You can check out his own Pinterst page here.
1. How do you go about helping others discover interesting products?
Well, if we’re talking Pinterest, simply put, “I pin interesting products on appropriate boards I’ve created and most of the time I give a short descriptive, comment, or both, interspersing my product pins between a fair number of non-commercial pins.
2. Is this more of a hobby or business of yours?
It’s definitely a hobby, albeit a business hobby, but still falls into the ‘hobby’ category. I’m invested in other projects, but as a hobby it does have the capacity of bringing in some extra income.
3. Do you have 1-2 tips about growing a Pinterest fan base?
Share information that is helpful as well as a bit inspiring and fun. People are hungry for human interaction and are looking for a connection, even if it’s virtual and don’t want just to be ‘customers’ when they’re online. So, don’t ever just be about yourself and ‘on the take.’
Be down-to-earth and think of your followers as people, not consumers or a fan base. Most people generally have a knack for spotting pinners who are self-absorbed product pimps and will run the other way. So, you need to be real and if it’s just an act, then that’s a cue for a “player alert.”
Have some people skills. This is not just a mantra for those interacting face-to-face in a retail environment. It’s for everyone. True people skills originate in the core of one’s being. You need this online – I’m not trying to be mystical or anything, but anyone who communicates through the perks of modern tech and expects to maintain a good following need to cultivate the integral parts of their private persona to increase or open up to more empathy and authentic kindness. This inner work reflects outwardly in the long run and is good for business. Perhaps paying attention to matters of the soul is even helpful with digestion or to help one sleep better or whatever, as those who monitor such things suggest.
4. What are some tips you can share about making the most of your time while using Pinterest for business?
Strategize. Know who your audience is. Then pin accordingly. For instance, if you’re trying to reach scholarly type people, posting the latest on the Kardashians might not be the way to go. And likewise, it your target market is the average teenage girl, then your non-business pins probably shouldn’t be about the latest in camo pattern survival gear.
Which brings up another thing – don’t just post your ‘business’ and make it all about your ‘products.’ People are on social media to have fun – most people will go to an online auction or their favorite department store’s online retail if their primary intent is to buy stuff. So, be entertaining as well as informative.
Plug your merchandise or service, sure. But again, treat me like a human being and not a stepping stone to your road to riches and I’ll be more likely to follow you and to come back and continue to view your pins.
5. Have you found Pinterest is a great source for traffic for your businesses?
I find social media in general to provide interesting connections, and with that, there’s always increased opportunity for traffic and then, subsequently, ‘sales.’ It’s like King Solomon’s “casting your bread on the waters,” and then expecting results, be they today, next week or three months for now. Or as one modern sage told us, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” There are certainly surprises when you keep moving forward.
Recently, I had a great experience on one of my newest social media accounts recently. The account was only about two weeks in existence. Without my actively doing anything to initiate attention from him, I was followed by a nationally-recognized community leader and author. I don’t ‘name-drop’ so am being anonymous purposely. This didn’t necessarily bring business my way, but was a ‘feel good’ experience that made me know I was on the right path in the way I was connecting with people. What I’m saying by sharing this is the fact that Pinterest and other social media are proactive tools that we’re only beginning to tap into, whoever we may be, corporate moguls or small business entrepreneurs.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
Keep envisioning and creating. But, that’s what entrepreneurs do, I’m finding, although I didn’t always associate the term ‘entrepreneur’ with who I’d envisioned myself to be. But once it started flowing, particularly in this era of new media and being able to connect with people, I just jumped that train and kept moving.