The boring-business guide to using Pinterest to drive traffic

If your business is as boring as watching paint dry on a painting depicting grass growing in a drought, then you need to read this article

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/78428166@N00/
Is your business as boring as paint drying?

I’m still not surprised that a business owner isn’t yet familiar with Pinterest.  What is Pinterest?  It’s the #3 social network in the world, that’s what it is!  It’s the underdog.  It’s the Cinderella story.  It’s the bronze medal winner at the Olympics.  It’s the (something else that I can’t think of right now).  Anyway, the thing that makes it different from the Facebook and Google+’s of the world is that Pinterest is a visual social network.  It is based completely off of images instead of just text-based posts.  So why should you read the rest of this article?  It’s all about showing you how to get more customers.  Can Pinterest help you do that?  Well, that depends on whether or not your business is exciting and visual-based or boring and not visual-based.  If your business is not visual based, we’ll show you how to use Pinterest anyway.

What is meant by a visual business?  
Well, are you a home builder, hairstylist, architect, photographer, wedding planner, or restaurateur?  If so, you have a visual business meaning you can use images from your business to promote your business.  However, if you are an accountant, software programmer, actuarial, ice maker, keypunch operator, lawyer, or cement manufacturer then you’re business is not so visual (yawn).  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use Pinterest.  In fact, you can use it to a high degree. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking those businesses.  In fact, I’ve had to use them all in the past.  Well, except the actuarial.  No one needs one of those….
An example of a visual-based business using Pinterest 
Lets say you are a homebuilder or a contractor who does remodeling projects.  Since you create something, hopefully something beautiful, you can use images of your projects to showcase your business.  People will see your “board” and share your images with others.  The images on your board will also serve to link back to your website thus driving traffic to your site and elevating you as an expert in your field.  Here’s what to do– create one Pinterest board that showcases the great work you’ve done.  Show the broken-down shacks, I mean the beautiful homes you’ve built, the remodeled kitchens you’ve created, the dusty attics you’ve transformed into beautiful master baths, and the mud pits you’ve turned into stunning outdoor patios.
Then create another Pinterest board to display great home remodeling ideas. These aren’t things that you’ve done, these are beautiful images that showcase great ideas for homes that inspire people.  Beautiful kitchens, new types of countertops, great looking bamboo-wood floors, and funky bathroom sinks that don’t seem to make functional sense. Anyway, these things are meant to inspire people.  To move them. 
How would a non-visual business benefit from Pinterest?
If you are one of those businesses that is as boring as watching paint dry on a painting depicting grass growing in a drought, then Pinterest can still help!  One thing businesses like this can do is to help give potential clients a sense of who you and your employees are.  What types of things do you like to do?  Who are you when you are on vacation? What are you passionate about? The idea here is to communicate a sense of relationship to people that don’t yet know you or your business.  
Other ideas to boost your small business
Other ideas would be for you to showcase what social causes motivate you and your staff.  Are you involved in your community?  Do you help out with the annual community fund-raiser in which money is raised to purchase double-espresso machiato latte machines for all the homeless in your area? (And if you do, that’s awesome). Use things like this to create a Pinterest board that shows images of these events, or that shows images that relate to the subject matter.  For example, as an email marketing software company (boring), we have a Pinterest board showcasing coffee!  Yes, coffee.  We love coffee, we love to relax a little bit, and we have a quirky attitude.  But, we are also very moved by the Fair Trade program that aims to protect coffee growers. We care that the coffee we buy hasn’t contributed to someone else’s poverty. Having a board like this shows people a little bit about who we are.  It shows that we are people that care (and we do). Just conveying that sentiment to our potential clients creates a sense of connection between us. Getting the picture now?  
The overall point of using Pinterest is to drive traffic to your website or to get people talking about your brand.  In a future post, I’ll talk about the how-to of Pinterest.  How to create a board, what text to include with your pinned images, and how to not get busted for copyright infringement for using someone else’s images thereby having to spend this year in prison : ).  
Want to read more ideas?

28 Creative Pinboard Ideas From Real Brands on Pinterest

What Pinterest board do you think conveys a sense of who the company behind it is?  Tell us in the comment section below.

About Nate Goodman

Nathan Goodman is the bestselling author of The Special Agent Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." For a free copy visit the author's website. He's also a freelance writer and entrepreneur.