Why I Think Pinterest is the Next Big Thing for Direct Sales

Do you pin?

I’m talking about Pinterest, a new social sharing site that users describe as “addicting.” Essentially, users find things around the web that they love, and then “pin” them to boards on their profile. What’s neat about this as opposed to other bookmarking sites is that the boards are all visual. When you enter a URL, you select a picture from the site to pin to your board. People spend hours pinning their own content, and then finding content on other people’s boards to “re-pin” to their own boards.

Now let’s think about this from a direct selling perspective for a minute:

  • Many product lines in our industry are visual. In fact, one of the reasons people choose the party plan sales method is because the product needs to be shown to be fully appreciated.
  • The target market that many of us are trying to reach is the one most engaged right now with Pinterest, and this will only grow as time goes on and the site becomes completely public.

Now this is not to say that you should recreate your catalog and try to craft a sales pitch on Pinterest. Rather, it’s an extension of your existing content marketing strategy…providing content people can use right now without spending a dime. But make sure you’re focused on the visuals that go with your content if you’re going to be using Pinterest, because that’s what helps your content spread here. For example:

  • If you sell jewelry or clothing, create “looks” boards. Pair your jewelry and other accessories with outfits to give people ideas on how to put together a look.
  • If you sell cookware or food, create recipe boards. Post delectable looking recipe photos, together with links to the recipe and the cookware you need to prepare the dish.
  • If you sell skin care, create boards that have healthy living or skin care tips. Include articles about caring for your skin, products you love for skin care, etc.
  • If you sell makeup, create boards of makeup application tips. Pin content that shows women how to apply makeup, products that work well together, the essentials for every makeup bag, etc.
  • If you sell scrapbooking or card making products, create boards of your projects, along with pins of the materials you used to make the projects.
  • If you sell vitamins, nutriceuticals, or other health products, create healthy living boards. Have a board for exercise tips, one dedicated to vitamins needed for healthy living, and what they do for the body, etc.
  • No matter what you sell, you can use Pinterest for remote personal shopping appointments. If you have a customer with specific needs, create a board just for him or her with items you sell that would meet their needs, along with links to other tips and content. Invite them to check out the board on Pinterest, and let them know you made it just for them.

Are you beginning to see the possibilities here? The more time people spend on Pinterest, the more likely it is they will be exposed to your brand messages. And if you’re interesting enough, people might repin a specific item, board, or all your boards to their own profile, creating viral visibility for your content.

While the site is still invitation-only, some companies in our industry are already jumping in, like Creative Memories. And this is just the beginning. I predict that in the next year, Pinterest is going to become a big deal in our industry. Take some time now to jump in and get acquainted. Request an invitation, and just start playing.

Do you use Pinterest? How? Do you think it holds potential for direct selling? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

And if you’re on Pinterest, feel free to Follow Me. So far I’ve got boards for Recipes, Causes I Love, Fun Stuff, and, of course, Fabulous Shoes. 🙂

15 Responses to Why I Think Pinterest is the Next Big Thing for Direct Sales
  1. Isabelle Ewers
    March 7, 2012 | 6:03 am

    Pinterest is the most happening thing currently in the social network market and is also attracting lot of new people. To be honest I learned something new in this post even if its my first time to know.
    Isabelle Ewers recently posted..Boulder Philharmonic

  2. Katherine
    February 5, 2012 | 8:58 am

    Thanks for this article I have been resisting Pinterest for several reasons, and I’m still not sure I am ready for it – especially in light of fb going public soon and privacy laws potentially changing.

    If I pin things I like, aren’t I setting myself up to be bombarded with marketing from those sorts of companies? and are all my pins public? what if I want to pin gift ideas that I don’t want the recipient to see?

    and if I post an original idea, my intellectual property is out there for everyone to steal, right?

    I guess I still don’t get it.. What am I missing, Jen?

  3. Janette Stoll
    January 15, 2012 | 11:37 am

    I’m really excited about Pinterest too and just getting on board with it. The visual aspect of Pinterest is a powerful concept. Thank you, Jen.

    Janette Stoll
    Janette Stoll recently posted..What’s In Your Skin Care and Personal Care Products?

  4. Betsy
    January 6, 2012 | 1:42 pm

    Thanks for the info on Pinterest. You did a great job on explaining how and why to use it. I had not heard of it before. I look forward to checking it out.
    Betsy recently posted..Network Marketing Tip #1

  5. Alishia Willardson
    January 4, 2012 | 7:57 am

    This is great post! My mind was flowing like a freeway with all the ways I could Pinterest to promote my writing & Romance Business. This is something I’m really going to dive deeper into this week.

    Alishia Willardson: Author of Live The Life You Love, “You Deserve It” & “Relationships”.

    Alishia Willardson recently posted..Fix it and Make a Plan for 2012

  6. Cinnamon Miles
    December 28, 2011 | 10:59 am

    I think you’re right Jennifer. We sell doll clothes patterns, online, not via direct sales, but Pinterest has quickly become one of our top referring sites. It’s incredible. After years of trying to get Google to pay attention to our site, this is sweet vindication.

    Cinnamon Miles
    Liberty Jane Clothing
    Cinnamon Miles recently posted..Free Pinterest Marketing Guide

  7. Jacqueline Perez
    December 24, 2011 | 6:19 am

    Love tha idea and lern from from another co worker

  8. Kelly
    December 23, 2011 | 1:40 pm

    Great post Jen! Not only can direct sellers use this site to pin their products and create interest and depth for other uses for the products, like you mentioned pairing items like jewelry with clothing, posting videos and then pinning them, pinning blog articles, BUT I teach my clients to use it for content for their other social networks. Keeping your target market and the season in mind when you are pinning makes it really easy to then turn around and post engaging content on Facebook and Twitter, content for newsletters, etc. This tool has a lot more depth than most are using it for.

  9. Terri
    December 22, 2011 | 12:02 pm

    Love the “Pinboard for a client” idea! Especially since I do custom design projects and books for people and always have to share images.

    I love Pinterest and the ability to collect ideas for all my interests. I love the organization. I have actually implemented quite a few things I have seen on Pinterest.

    My question is, if I am pinning something from my company, that isn’t from my personal website, how can I get it to link back to me? For instance, an idea on the Project Center… can’t link it through my consultant website, so if I pin it, and it gets repinned, I am lost in the process. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 22, 2011 | 1:38 pm

      Once you add a pin, you have the option to edit it. Click edit photo and you can add any URL you like.

      • Terri
        December 22, 2011 | 4:01 pm

        I understand that part. Unfortunately, to link to the idea itself, I would be out of the loop. Or, I could link to the product on my site, but then the idea’s directions aren’t given. Too bad our project center & digital center aren’t integrated with our personal websites so that we can be the entry point… Thanks for responding!
        Terri recently posted..Spinach Garlic Stuffing Recipe

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