Become a Power Pinner

I’ve been working on becoming a power pinner on Pinterest for a few months (in our industry, who isn’t eh?). I define a power pinner as someone who’s efforts have resulted in a vast number of followers. Fortunately, I did find a formula that seems to be working. To illustrate that I thought we would talk about two of Pinterest’s most prolific power pinners and how they achieved it. You’ll be surprised at their completely different paths and the one thing that makes them similar. Let’s start with:

Sherry Petersik

There is no way Sherry thought about becoming a power pinner on Pinterest when she started her blog YoungHouseLove.com. In fact, there’s a good chance she didn’t plan on making the blog as big a success as it is. But what her and her husband have built is nothing less than an internet Juggernaut.

Sherry and her husband started YoungHouseLove on October 5, 2009 on a part-time basis. Through unbelievable content and dedication to their craft they grew the blog into a full-time gig now receiving more than 70,000 visitors per day. Today’s blog post, for instance, has 332 comments already, yesterday’s 7,102 and 2 days ago 236. You don’t get that kind of love without working for it for sure.

They’ve built their Pinterest following by leveraging their web traffic. In the last couple years they’ve featured their own “Pinterest Project Challenge” on their blog asking readers to undertake a new “Pinterest-worthy” challenge, blog about it, pin it and then upload that pin to their site. I looked at one of the challenges and 688 readers had shared their project. What are you going to bet they followed Sherry’s Pinterest account as well? They merely had to share their love of Pinterest with their community to grow in on Pinterest as well.

And they didn’t have to pin 10,000 things to get to the top. Nope. As of today, they’ve only pinned 574.

Some would call that the iceberg syndrome. What’s visible above the surface doesn’t come close to describing the work that went into it behind the scenes. As bloggers yourselves, I’m sure you can relate to the amount of work they put into their site. That community is the bottom half of the iceberg.

Erin Dollar

Erin took a different route to becoming a power pinner on Pinterest, though it’s not apparent from the surface whether she fully intended to do so. Erin is an artist who sells her wares on Etsy.com and last year finished making fake silly beards on IMadeYouABeard.com.

Unlike Sherry, Erin hasn’t amassed an enormous 70,000/day following – in fact she just has a respectable 500 or so followers on Twitter. But like the rest of us, she’s started to build a “raving fan base” on etsy and her site, she just hadn’t hit super stardom prior to Pinterest.

An early adopter of Pinterest Erin started paving the way for Pinners yet to come. Because her boards were edgy, purposeful and smart, they often got noticed. In fact on August 26th, 2010 (2010? Hmmm. . . she’s been at this a while, eh?) Erin was interviewed by Pinterest on the Pinterest Blog. She didn’t get that honor by knowing the “higher-ups” at Pinterest. Nope. Someone liked her board and recommended to Pinterest that they interview her about it.

That same attention to great boards is what made her the winner of the Pantone Color of the Year Contest held on ChronicleBooks.com, a site that gets 50,000 visitors per day by itself. Similar to the Pinterest interview, she won that not by knowing someone who knew someone, but by creating a quality and engaging board called Tangerine Tango.

Constantly sharing her love of Pinterest with others (back before it was big) landed her interviews or mentions on sites like mademoisellecrankypants.com, juliacantor.com and PinterestPower’s “most followed pinners” board. And all of those interviews centered on her love of Pinterest.

The bottom line is Erin rose to the top because of her taste and dedication to creating engaging and quality pin boards. These mentions, interviews and contests got her in front of thousands of people she didn’t have access to alone. But there is a similarity between Erin and Sherry as both have about 500,000 Pinterest followers and both were early adopters.

For them becoming a power pinner on Pinterest meant not giving up, creating great quality pin boards, and having faith that their readership would grow over time.

Which brings me back to my goal of becoming a power pinner on Pinterest. I’m still interested in the viral approach that I wrote about in my recent article “How to make your photos go viral on Pinterest”. But I think quality, patience and hard work, exhibited by Erin and Sherry, are a much stronger community building strategy to get there than viral is for anyone.

Dan R Morris

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Strategically use testimonials

testimonialsNo one ever asks how to use testimonials. Instead most do it the way everyone else does it. They create a testimonials page and they hope you go read them. But is that the best way?

Let’s establish some criteria to measure our use of testimonials. Has the use of testimonials in your marketing enabled you to

  • Increase your income?
  • Reduce your working hours?
  • Increase your conversion rate?

If you have some other measure of criteria, please share below.

So what are testimonials?

Well they’re not just the emails you get that say how great you are. Yes, those are testimonials but you have more powerful ones at your fingertips.

A testimonial is any third party tool that lends proof to your claim. That means a retweet is a testimonial if you’re claiming influence among your audience members. Retweets, repins, and shares show that what you’re saying is resonating with your audience.

Your Amazon Sales spreadsheet showing you made 51 book sales from a book you blogged about last week is a testimonial. Not only does it show your influence, but your ability to get people to open their wallets.

Pictures of smiling people at your coupon workshop is a testimonial without any words. Not only does it show that your content is pleasing, but it also shows that real people do attend your workshops. It shows someone new that they are not alone in their interest. Very powerful indeed.

Not every testimonial supports every claim. Kind words from someone who attended your workshop do not support a claim that you’re influential in your community. It does directly support the claim that the workshops are valuable and informative, but that’s likely it.

Showing that you have 400 unique visitors per day does not support the claim that people love your website. You may be able to use a “returning visitor stat’ to do that, or blog comments, or mentions in the social universe. Just make sure that the testimonial itself adds value to the goal you’re trying to achieve.

How do you use testimonials?

Your business is no different than George Lucas’s, Sam Walton’s or John Grisham’s. They are basically the same but in different forms. You provide products and/or services to an audience who, in return, pays for them. Sure Adsense income and coupon prints are a bit different, but those aren’t the only sources for sure.

Ever pick up a John Grisham novel in the airport bookstore? What’s the first thing you do when you pick up a book you’re considering purchasing? Look at the back cover for the synopsis, right? And what do you find along with the synopsis? Yep, testimonials from people they hope you respect.

How about a movie trailer? They never ask you to visit StarWars.com/testimonials to find out what the critics say, do they? Nope. They feature the good reviews right in the ad, after one explosion and before another.

In both of those cases the testimonials are used directly in the buying process. No extra page, no extra website. The buyer doesn’t have to do anything extra to benefit from the fine words of others. Not only that but the testimonials directly support the goal of buying the book or the movie ticket.

Another influential part of testimonials is the author of such. Movies look for reputable movie critics. Books look for newspaper reviewers. Businesses look for stereotypical customers. Facebook uses your friends faces along with ads to show that your current community already likes that company. Infomercials look for celebrities. The best testimonial is the one that resonates with your audience from both a content and origin standpoint.

Where do you put testimonials?

Without knowing it your readers are probably benefiting from the testimonials in your blog comments. When people comment on a blog post sharing their own experience, validating the ideas in the post, responding with their own results. . . those are testimonials working for you. And they are right in line with the buying process. Blog comments are social proof that the topic is being enjoyed by others. They also make it easy for others to comment, follow and heed your advice.

What about your media kit? Are the testimonials separated from the Media Kit or are you using quotes directly in the explanatory paragraphs? In the “Online Reach” section, are you including links to your most commented blog posts? Repins? Retweets? Are you using natural social proof, or have you decided that telling them you have 3,200 followers is better?

Screen-Shot-2012-10-22-at-8.35.48-AMOne of the great things about the online world is the ability to take screen shots. Actual complimentary tweets, emails and Facebook updates show the reality of the comment and instantly dispels any disbelief the reader may have. Lots of people make up testimonials. Screen shots used throughout your content dispel the belief that you do too.

No one wants to be first. Whether we ask for it or not, we want proof that someone else has done it, survived it and is better for it. We don’t want to be sold, we want to be educated. Instead of telling someone how great you are, just pop in a testimonial and you never have to broach the subject.

Dan R Morris

this post was originally published on SavvyBlogging.net

Pinterest: How to grow faster, get more repins, and win

So I’ve figured out a little something with Pinterest. It’s not rocket science and it isn’t going to blow you away, but I bet  you’ve neglected it and I bet you’re going to be really happy to start doing it again.

And this concept is the same for YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and any other image based account that ties into Twitter.

The concept started to sink in a bit after seeing the “likes” that Crystal Collins of TheThriftyMama.com was getting on her Instagram account. It took a bit for it to sink in, but then it all made sense.

For instance take a look at Stabiano on Instagram. He’s got 35,353 followers of his Instagram photos. And Yaron007 has almost 6,000 followers for the same reason. That reason is right here in this picture.

Strategically use testimonials

No one ever asks how to use testimonials. Instead most do it the way everyone else does it. They create a testimonials page and they hope you go read them. But is that the best way?

Let’s establish some criteria to measure our use of testimonials. Has the use of testimonials in your marketing enabled you to

  • Increase your income?
  • Reduce your working hours?
  • Increase your conversion rate?

If you have some other measure of criteria, please share below.

So what are testimonials?

Well they’re not just the emails you get that say how great you are. Yes, those are testimonials but you have more powerful ones at your fingertips.

A testimonial is any third party tool that lends proof to your claim. That means a retweet is a testimonial if you’re claiming influence among your audience members. Retweets, repins, and shares show that what you’re saying is resonating with your audience.

Your Amazon Sales spreadsheet showing you made 51 book sales from a book you blogged about last week is a testimonial. Not only does it show your influence, but your ability to get people to open their wallets.

Pictures of smiling people at your coupon workshop is a testimonial without any words. Not only does it show that your content is pleasing, but it also shows that real people do attend your workshops. It shows someone new that they are not alone in their interest. Very powerful indeed.

Not every testimonial supports every claim. Kind words from someone who attended your workshop do not support a claim that you’re influential in your community. It does directly support the claim that the workshops are valuable and informative, but that’s likely it.

Showing that you have 400 unique visitors per day does not support the claim that people love your website. You may be able to use a “returning visitor stat’ to do that, or blog comments, or mentions in the social universe. Just make sure that the testimonial itself adds value to the goal you’re trying to achieve.

How do you use testimonials?

Your business is no different than George Lucas’s, Sam Walton’s or John Grisham’s. They are basically the same but in different forms. You provide products and/or services to an audience who, in return, pays for them. Sure Adsense income and coupon prints are a bit different, but those aren’t the only sources for sure.

Ever pick up a John Grisham novel in the airport bookstore? What’s the first thing you do when you pick up a book you’re considering purchasing? Look at the back cover for the synopsis, right? And what do you find along with the synopsis? Yep, testimonials from people they hope you respect.

How about a movie trailer? They never ask you to visit StarWars.com/testimonials to find out what the critics say, do they? Nope. They feature the good reviews right in the ad, after one explosion and before another.

In both of those cases the testimonials are used directly in the buying process. No extra page, no extra website. The buyer doesn’t have to do anything extra to benefit from the fine words of others. Not only that but the testimonials directly support the goal of buying the book or the movie ticket.

Another influential part of testimonials is the author of such. Movies look for reputable movie critics. Books look for newspaper reviewers. Businesses look for stereotypical customers. Facebook uses your friends faces along with ads to show that your current community already likes that company. Infomercials look for celebrities. The best testimonial is the one that resonates with your audience from both a content and origin standpoint.

Where do you put testimonials?

Without knowing it your readers are probably benefiting from the testimonials in your blog comments. When people comment on a blog post sharing their own experience, validating the ideas in the post, responding with their own results. . . those are testimonials working for you. And they are right in line with the buying process. Blog comments are social proof that the topic is being enjoyed by others. They also make it easy for others to comment, follow and heed your advice.

What about your media kit? Are the testimonials separated from the Media Kit or are you using quotes directly in the explanatory paragraphs? In the “Online Reach” section, are you including links to your most commented blog posts? Repins? Retweets? Are you using natural social proof, or have you decided that telling them you have 3,200 followers is better?

One of the great things about the online world is the ability to take screen shots. Actual complimentary tweets, emails and Facebook updates show the reality of the comment and instantly dispels any disbelief the reader may have. Lots of people make up testimonials. Screen shots used throughout your content dispel the belief that you do too.

No one wants to be first. Whether we ask for it or not, we want proof that someone else has done it, survived it and is better for it. We don’t want to be sold, we want to be educated. Instead of telling someone how great you are, just pop in a testimonial and you never have to broach the subject.

Dan R Morris is the author of LettersFromDan, a marketing strategy program dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.

Pinterest and your Marketing Matrix

What is a Marketing Matrix?

Before you get too far into this Pinterest marketing article, I want to explain the kind of marketing matrix I promote. One of the hard things about marketing online is exposure and links. Building a quality marketing matrix makes that a bit easier. The idea is simple, find five people in a similar or related niche who are interested in marketing their site and agree to help each other.

It’s hard to find 5 people that you can really work well with, so it may take involvement in 3 or 4 groups before you put together one that works efficiently. In a matrix each person agrees to help the others in the group market what’s important to them that week. So in a six week period someone new is helping to market your projects to their audience for 5 weeks. Take a look at the matrix below:

Pinterest for Local Businesses

I got this question via email today and thought it was probably a universal question:

Question: How could I utilize this for my local lawn mower repair business or my local taxi business?

Answer: Let’s break down the value of Pinterest to local businesses into two sections. First let’s discuss the SEO benefits, and 2nd let’s discuss the community engagement

Local Business SEO

I hate to break this down into two parts, but Pinterest pins can be found by searchers on Google. And they can help your website’s rankings improve.

Creating a Pinterest Campaign

After learning how to pin pages without images, we realized that an entire campaign could be built on Pinterest – not previously imagined.

Users of our Marketing Calendar Blueprint product know that the marketing of a campaign is only part of the overall business marketing calendar. Determining when that campaign should start and stop, integrating that campaign with SEO, buyer mindset and 3 other factors were important as well.

The addition of Pinterest to that matrix provides additional traffic, insurance against SEO changes, a method of capturing user intelligence like never before available. and the ability to repurpose images one more way.

Taking cues from Chapter 3 in the Marketing Calendar Blueprint, let’s look at Google Trends to see when we should start and end a campaign for “4th of July Party Ideas”. You can see that 4th of July search starts in June and ends on July 5th or 6th. You can also see

Make Photos Go Viral on Pinterest

I thought it would be hard to figure out how to make photos go viral on Pinterest, but I was wrong. It’s fairly easy.  I’m not about to tell you that this is the only way to make an image go viral, because you’ll surely be able to point to another way someone else made their photo go viral on Pinterest. But you can check the “most popular pins” on Pinterest category at any time, you’ll find they all follows these rules:

Pretty

This rule is going to sit all by itself because if it’s pretty, people are going to repin it. That’s everything from a tree lined street to a fabulous bow window. But pretty doesn’t mean viral. It will certainly be repinned, but it takes more than “pretty” to get 30,000 repins.

Clarity

The image needs to clearly be about one thing. Not only that, but the caption needs to be in sync with that one thing. A beautiful sunset overlooking the harbor is great. But that won’t go viral if the caption is “I would love to be drinking a smoothie”. Cute, but that clarity isn’t there.

Take a look at this summer-y sangria looking drink. Beautiful picture of the drink. And the caption makes it even better. You look at the picture and say “that looks awesome” but then you read the caption and say “ooh I gotta pin this so I can make this later”.

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