Is Pinterest marketing the right choice for your business? What do you need to know before you start pinning your product & services if you are hoping to use Pinterest as a traffic-driving source for your website?
Today, I’m interviewing my talented Pinterest manager, Kirsten Tay. Besides valuable insights about Pinterest marketing for small businesses and female-founded brands, Kirsten also shares her inspiring and vulnerable entrepreneurial story.
Kirsten is the founder and owner of The Pin Bar, a Pinterest marketing business. She focuses on helping female-founded brands grow their community and brand with intentional Pinterest marketing strategies through 1:1 monthly management and strategy sessions.
Since 2018, Kirsten has worked with various small businesses to elevate their online marketing through the power of Pinterest, to drive traffic to their websites, grow their email marketing, increase product sales, and drastically grow brand awareness online. Her mission is to help as many businesses as possible utilise the most underutilised marketing tool online today (Pinterest!) and grow their businesses while they get back to focusing on their zone of genius.
Ways to connect with Kristen Tay:
Questions answered in this interview:
- As a Pinterest manager, can you tell us a little bit about Pinterest and the benefits of using Pinterest compared to other platforms?
- Who would you say Pinterest is best for and who would you not recommend using Pinterest?
- What do you recommend to the business owner thinking about using Pinterest to market their business?
- Is there something you can tell us as a Pinterest expert that most people don’t know or forget about?
- Can you tell us about you and your journey? Share with us your story and how you got into Pinterest.
- How can you help business owners with Pinterest?
- Tell us what success means for you as a business owner in this season of your business and how it’s changed over time
- What is an actionable or inspiring takeaway you want to share with other business owners?
As a Pinterest manager can you tell us a little bit about Pinterest and the benefits of using Pinterest compared to other platforms?
Pinterest is a visual discovery engine used for finding cool ideas and inspiration. Back in the 90s, we used to rip images out of magazines or take pieces from a poster, and pin them to a giant corkboard to keep our dreamy ideas organized — whether that meant inspiration for outfit ideas, makeup, home decor, or even dream vacations.
Well, Pinterest is exactly like that, but online. That’s why boards are called “boards” and pins are called “pins”. It just takes your physical dream board and makes it digital, so you can easily save and share ideas that inspire you!
As far as benefits, I mean, there are so many. But I’ll try to narrow it down to my favorite three:
If Google and Instagram had a baby, you’d get Pinterest
What I mean is, Pinterest meshes together the two major benefits of these two incredible platforms. It gives you accurate results on what you’re searching for, as well as incredible visuals, images, and videos that cater to your more creative side. So not only do you get access to curated imagery with every search, but you can also use Pinterest to drive traffic to your business’ website, blog, shop, podcast, or anything, really!
Pinterest isn’t technically classified as social media
Unlike Instagram and TikTok, Pinterest isn’t about constantly pushing to promote yourself or show your face all the time (which can be tiring). It’s more about sharing your content, specifically your pins. You can let your work shine without the pressure of constantly having to self-promote and interact with people on the platform.
Your content has greater longevity on Pinterest
When you post content on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, they all have a short lifespan. Within a few hours the post has already hit its peak. With Pinterest, your content essentially lives forever. Because it’s a search engine, anything you publish on pinterest can always be searched for, found, pinned, saved, and shared — for years, over and over again! You get so much more reach out of your content that way.
Who would you say Pinterest is best for and who would you not recommend using Pinterest?
Who Pinterest is best for:
In my experience, Pinterest does deliver better results for certain businesses, but it’s not necessarily based on industry or anything like that. For example, I’ve seen shops do very well on Pinterest. But I’ve also seen online service providers do just as well. If I were to narrow down the common threads, the businesses that do best on Pinterest have these three characteristics:
Business owners with a working website (that they own)
This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on a professionally designed site. But it does mean you have to have an online platform that’s 100% yours. Like for product businesses, Pinterest works great if your shop is linked to a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce. You used to be able to connect Etsy to Pinterest, but they’ve since taken away that feature because Pinterest requires you to have a domain that you own.
Business owners with a consistent content creation schedule
Specifically, content that you’re consistently housing on your website. This doesn’t mean you have to post ten blogs every week or create a new product every single day. But you do need some form of consistent content creation. Anything from blog posts to podcasts to new products to YouTube videos to lead magnets. Basically, anything you can upload as content to your site, you can promote on Pinterest.
Business owners with a clear customer journey
On Pinterest, it’s not just about getting traffic to your website. It’s also about having a clear path for your visitors once they get to your website. Whether it’s reading more blog posts or signing up for your email list, your website needs to clearly guide them on the next steps you want them to take. It’s an aspect of Pinterest that most people forget about!
Who Pinterest isn’t best for:
The platform can work for a lot of businesses, regardless of the products you’re selling, your industry, or the topics you cover. The real questions you want to ask yourself are, do you have a working website, do you have a consistent content creation schedule, and do you have a clear audience journey? These three things will tell you whether or not you should be on Pinterest.
What do you recommend to the business owner thinking about using Pinterest to market their business?
If you’ve determined that yes, Pinterest is the platform for you, I’d then clarify why you want to use Pinterest. What purpose do you want it to serve in your business? It’s important with any marketing efforts to know why you want to make them in the first place.
The reason can be as simple as wanting to drive more traffic to your website, grow your email list, or grow product sales. Whatever it is, make sure you have a clear “why”.
The next thing I would recommend is approaching Pinterest differently than other social media platforms. Pinterest isn’t social media. It’s not built like social media. It functions like a search engine which means it will take longer to get results, and you’ll need to market on that platform and treat it differently than you would Instagram or TikTok.
Once you’ve got that out of the way, start by creating a system for pin creation, scheduling, and weekly posting goals that you can consistently stick to.
Is there something you can tell us as a Pinterest expert that most people don’t know or forget about?
On Pinterest, so many people often overlook the importance of having a strategy. A lot of times business owners will post a bunch of pins and get frustrated when they don’t see results.
When I say strategy, I’m really talking about a plan of action to achieve your goals. That’s all it is. And it can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Whether that goal is driving 500 clicks to your blog or something else, it’s important to set a clear goal and have a concise plan to reach it.
And remember, you can always tweak things along the way, but a plan in place will keep you on track. Consistency will help you see it through.
Can you tell us about you and your journey? Share with us your story and how you got into Pinterest.
As a kid, I always dreamt of being an actress. So after college, I moved west to pursue acting in Chicago and LA. But after 3 years out there, the tough grind between auditioning and working multiple jobs burnt me out.
I realized it wasn’t the life I wanted anymore. So, I started a lifestyle blog in 2016. It never took off, but I kept it on the back burner because it was a creative outlet for me. That’s what drew me to the world of online entrepreneurship.
I knew the lifestyle blog wasn’t panning out, so I pivoted to branding and web design. That didn’t pan out either.
As a final tried and true effort, I turned to social media management and stumbled across Pinterest. Since I still had a little blog hanging out in the corner, I took some time to experiment with the platform. I researched, studied, and taught myself everything there was to know on Pinterest, and managed to grow my blog by over 5000% in eight months. The growth was insane!
It got me thinking, “What if I could help other business owners achieve this kind of success?” In 2018, I officially niched down to Pinterest Management and it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
How can you help business owners with Pinterest?
All Pinterest managers and strategists are different, but for me personally, I focus on two main services:
Pinterest Monthly Management
This is a long-term partnership where I take over the ongoing management and growth of a business owner’s Pinterest account. I dive in and create a custom strategy, rebuild the account, and every month, work on promoting their brand on Pinterest through profile optimization, keyword research, pin design, scheduling, analytics, and so much more. It’s best for the business owner who wants a hands-off approach. And by the way, it’s exactly what I do for Michaela, so she can stay in her zone of genius!
Pinterest Strategy Sessions
This service is more of a one-time based offer. Essentially, I create a custom strategy as if I were going to manage your account, gather it all into a large PDF document, discuss it over a 2.5-hour Zoom call with you, and hand it over for you to implement. It’s perfect for new business owners, those who prefer a DIY approach to Pinterest marketing, or just need a clear plan of action.
Tell us what success means for you as a business owner in this season of your business and how it’s changed over time
At the risk of sounding totally cliché and like everybody else, success for me is doing what I love every day, with the freedom to do what I want to do, in the way I want to do it. It’s doing work I truly love, for clients I love, and helping people in a way that’s truly meaningful.
My view of success didn’t start there initially. Back when I pursued acting and started the blog, all I cared about was making enough money to cover basic expenses. But once I reached financial stability, it allowed me to step back and question whether what I was doing made me truly happy. And the answer was, no, it wasn’t. It felt brutal. And it forced me to really think about what an enjoyable life looks like.
Overtime, “success” has come to be the life I’ve created right now, which is crazy to think about. Five years ago I would’ve imagined doing something completely different. But now, I’m so happy doing what I do and this is the life I want to be living everyday.
What is an actionable or inspiring takeaway you want to share with other business owners?
At the end of the day, Pinterest is a marketing channel for your business, but it’s just an overall fun place to be! There are all kinds of interesting things always trending during different weeks and different seasons. It’s meant to be a fun platform, so keep it fun! And on top of that, I’ve heard so many business owners say they’re burnt out from using Instagram and TikTok because they always have to show their face or find the next trending audio.
Let Pinterest be your happy little corner on the internet, where you don’t have to “show up” all the time, and can find a safe and positive place to grow your business.
If you’re a business owner looking to expand your marketing efforts, or you’re tired of Instagram and TikTok, I encourage you to just look into Pinterest. You don’t have to outsource it yet, but look around, play with the analytics, and experiment. There’s still so much opportunity to be on this platform and it’s never too late. This is your business. You should be marketing and getting your name out there in a way that’s enjoyable for you. Pinterest just happens to be a great way to do that.
If you want to implement Pinterest marketing in your own small business, and get tips from my very own Pinterest Manger Kristen, tune in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧.