Cara works exclusively with online entrepreneurs to get traffic to their websites, email addresses on their lists, and ideal customers in their tribes, all by using Pinterest.
A lead-generating funnel from Pinterest doesn’t happen on its own or with magic pixie dust and lattes – it happens by creating a SYSTEM and a strategy that works (almost on auto-pilot). Working with her clients, Cara sets up that funnel to help grow your website traffic and email lists month after month – building relationships and welcoming new customers to your world.
And if it’s outsourcing you’re looking for, the lovely Cara does that too, looking after Pinterested management and promoted pins ads for multiple clients.
When she’s not geeking out on Pinterest marketing, she’s designing beautiful, semi-custom websites on Squarespace – because, she says:
“once you get that traffic from Pinterest you need a gorgeous, click-inducing “home” for your business online”
We caught up with Cara to discover some of the best Pinterest marketing secrets and to find out more about how work.
How did you get into Pinterest?
I was an original beta tester way back when Pinterest was invite-only! I loved it immediately (I’ve always been a moodboard and magazine cutout type of person), and I used it personally for years.
When I originally started my business several years ago, I provided general social media and digital marketing services for both online businesses and brick and mortar stores. After a couple years, I realized that both my own business, and the clients I was providing Pinterest services for, were seeing huge returns on marketing efforts from Pinterest.
They were getting most – and I mean around 70%+ of their website traffic from Pinterest and their email lists were growing overnight.
I decided to focus exclusively on Pinterest as a service in 2017 and it’s been the best decision I’ve made! I love seeing those “lightbulb moments” with my clients when they realize that not only does Pinterest work for their marketing, but they should have started a year ago.
Would you define Pinterest as a ‘social network’ or more a ‘search engine’?
Pinterest is definitely a search engine! To be more specific, it’s a visual search engine.
While there are a few “social” aspects to the platform, being social won’t get your content and your pins found.
While every other “social network” is designed to get the user to stay on their platform, Pinterest is specifically designed to get users to click through to your website! How cool is that?
Pinterest functions on keywords, just like Google or any other search engine, to help users find what’s relevant to them and what they’re looking for.
After keywords, having good graphics is the next most important element to getting your content out there in the Pinterest feeds.
I like to say, “Keywords get you found and graphics get you clicked.”
What is the biggest Pinterest misconception?
Some business owners think if they are not a food blogger, in the wedding industry, or in the DIY space that Pinterest won’t work for their marketing. But that’s so not true!
If you solve a problem, help someone improve an area of their life, and/or help your audience dream/be/aspire to do something better, Pinterest can work to showcase both products and expertise.
Pinterest turns dreamers into doers – and you can help them on that journey!
How do you think Pinterest can support brand growth?
No other marketing platform I’ve used drives traffic to websites the way Pinterest does.
It is the very top of the marketing funnel – where your potential audience starts researching and gathering information on how to solve a problem or find what they’re looking for.
Once you have your keywords, on-brand pin graphics, and are pinning consistently – setting up a funnel to gather emails of your ideal customers is the next step.
Pinterest does the heavy-lifting of getting eyeballs on your content/products – then it’s up to you to provide value and build those relationships to turn your audience into customers.
When I set up my first email opt-in funnel from Pinterest to my email list, I saw the number of my subscribers triple in 6 months.
And I’ve made this happen time and time again with clients! Those subscribers are the ones you are building the know, like, and trust factor with to entice them to buy from you.
Do you think Pinterest is overlooked as a platform, and if so why?
I think a lot of small business owners think Pinterest is just “one more thing to do” – it feels intimidating and they don’t understand it because it functions so differently than other marketing platforms.
Some people don’t even realise that Pinterest also offers paid advertising to business accounts – let alone the fact that they are way more effective and much cheaper than Facebook Ads.
That, plus other common misconceptions (like it’s social media, or you have to pin 50 times a day), lead people to sweep it under the rug as a “get to later” skillset or marketing tactic.
I cannot tell you how many students and clients have told me they wish they had started with their Pinterest marketing a year ago. With some simple understanding, a little groundwork, and a consistent system, it can easily be the biggest return on your marketing time and efforts.
What is the main challenge you get from people you work with?
When I initially talk to my potential clients, lots are overwhelmed with thinking they are going to have to do a ton of work or create a massive amount of content to start using Pinterest effectively.
It’s simple – figure out what the top 10 pieces of content and/or products are on your website through Google Analytics and create multiple pin graphics for each of them.
Pinterest allows you to easily repurpose the same content by creating new pins that can be pinned and re-pinned to seemingly multiply the amount of content you have.
Don’t get yourself stuck by thinking you have to create 100’s of pins for all the blogging you’ve done in the last 3 years – start with your biggest traffic drivers and go from there.
What one piece of advice would you give for upgrading a Pinterest account?
The most important strategy for Pinterest is knowing and using your keywords. Not only do they need to be used in your profile, but they’ll be essential for targeting the right audience when you get to promoted pins (paid advertising).
Use the Pinterest search bar to find what people are searching for on Pinterest that has to do with what you offer. Keep in mind that people are at the top of that research funnel, so think of what they have in mind when they first figure out they have a problem they want to solve.
A business coach might not find a lot of keywords around people who are looking to hire a business coach.
But they will find keywords around people who are searching for how to be a more productive entrepreneur, how to make better to-do lists, or lessons learned from being an entrepreneur – make sense?
Once you have your keywords, make sure they are woven throughout your profile name, about us section, board titles, board descriptions, and pin descriptions (your own pins, not others’ pins).
How do you make sure you make time to pin?
I could not do what I do on Pinterest for myself or my clients without Tailwind.
Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler that lets me set up a “Smart Schedule” based on when my audience is online and pinning, and lets me batch content to save me tons of time.
To batch about a month’s worth of pins (I pin around 12 times a day – a combination of my content and curated content from others’ pin), it takes me around an hour or so once a month.
Who doesn’t have time for that?
Looking for some Pinterest inspo? Here are Cara’s 3 most popular pin graphics:
For more from Cara, see her website, or find her on Pinterest.
For more on social media marketing from the HBC, see our membership – jam packed full of resources to help take your content to the next level and grow your influence.