We’re starting off the new year by drilling down into a super fun niche — Pinterest marketing for interior designers!
As we begin a brand new year of Pinterest marketing tips, I am excited to bring you an episode that really gives weight to the idea that anyone can market their business on Pinterest.
If you’re a professional in this field, you may wonder how Pinterest can work for your interior design business. After listening to my guest in today’s episode, you will have plenty of ideas on how to incorporate Pinterest into your business marketing plan.
Mark Cutler of Mark Cutler Design joined me for this episode. He shares his (awesome) story of how he got into design in the first place, how he learned about Pinterest at a design conference, and how that led him to find Simple Pin.
If you want to start 2021 off strong, be sure to join us for our Pinterest Challenge. We are excited to provide you with five days of content to teach you how to master Pinterest marketing in 2021. This Challenge is totally free and will help you discover how to make Pinterest work for you this year.
I love what Mark shares in today’s episode; how he is taking what he learns from others and figuring out how to apply it to his unique business. That’s what the 5-Day Pinterest Growth Challenge is all about – helping you figure out how to use the information we share to grow your business.
The Accidental Interior Designer: Mark’s Story
Mark didn’t start out in the interior design field. As a matter of fact, he attended architecture school in Australia. From there, a series of life events led to him living in New York, London, and Paris.
On his way back to Australia, he actually ended up living in Los Angeles, working for an architecture firm. One of the clients of the firm insisted on the firm handling not only the architecture but also the landscaping and the interior design for their project.
Mark offered to take the lead on the interior design portion of the contract, thinking to himself,
I’ve seen interior design done before. How hard can it be?
And with that, he became the firm’s interior design expert. Little did he know where this path would lead next. Within the following two months, his clients included: an African dictator, Vanna White, and Jennifer Lopez’s real estate developer.
Fast forward to today — Mark has owned his own interior design firm for the past 21 years. He has also been on several television shows (he even had his own show for a while).
His decision early on to adopt the mantra — Sure, I can do that — has led to some amazing opportunities for him.
Market Your Business on the Platform Your Audience is On
Mark created a blog a long time ago when he first started in the interior design field. It quickly became well-known in both the blogging world and the design world. His focus on the blog waxed and waned over the years as life demanded more of his time.
When Instagram came on the scene, Mark began to focus more on that platform as a marketing tool for his business. After trying out the whole “Instagram influencer” gig, however, Mark decided it wasn’t for him. He didn’t feel that his client base was using the Instagram platform.
Months later, he found himself at a design blogger’s conference, sitting in a room listening to someone talk about using Pinterest marketing for their interior design business, since it’s a hugely popular platform for people who have an interest in decorating and design.
At that moment, the lightbulb went off over his head.
Pinterest Marketing for Interior Designers: How to Build Brand Awareness on the Platform
Understanding Pinterest Strategy
Mark realized that rather than posting all his photos and projects on Instagram (where they had about a six-minute lifespan), he could post design images to Pinterest where they will live permanently and can consistently deliver results.
He came home from the conference and started pinning photos to Pinterest with wild abandon.
That’s when Mark realized a couple of things:
- Pinterest was a great option to grow his business and reach his perfect client.
- He had no idea how to use the platform correctly.
So, he began researching how to use Pinterest to market an interior design business.
And then I discovered Simple Pin and my whole life changed. — Mark
Before finding Simple Pin, Mark simply viewed Pinterest as a giant pinboard. His approach was to pin pretty sofas that he loved so he could look at them later.
What he was missing was the entire marketing element of Pinterest — where people find a pretty sofa they love and actually seek out where and how they can purchase it.
At first, he was annoyed when a pin led him to a blog post. That was until he learned that the pin was merely the entry point to getting someone to your website.
How Mark Uses Pinterest Marketing to Build His Interior Design Brand
Mark had used a PR firm consistently to keep his name in the forefront of the design world. They mostly achieved this through magazine advertisements. He was also heavily dependent on word of mouth.
But as magazines began to die out, he had to find a new strategy. He considered writing articles for the magazines that were still in existence, but he knew that his projects would not show up in the pages for 12-18 months (at which point they were obsolete).
He needed a way to market his work and to continue to build his personal brand while showcasing the interior design projects he was working on at the time.
Mark wanted people to hear his name at a dinner party and already be familiar with it because they had seen it elsewhere. And that “elsewhere” turned out to be Pinterest. Through Pinterest marketing, Mark was able to consistently increase brand awareness to his target market. The platform has helped him to showcase his work so that those ideal clients would be flock to him.
Figuring Out the Pinterest User’s Motivation
Mark has dabbled a bit in story pins and video pins over the past few months and I wanted him to share what has resulted from that dabbling. Story pins haven’t really been very profitable for him, but he has created some video pins that have been very successful.
Interesting, the video pins that Pinterest users love are the ones Mark hates (as I’ve said repeatedly, you never know what is going to resonate with people, so keep experimenting). His most successful video pin includes a video he shot several years ago of a client’s pantry. The pantry is empty in the video. It’s literally him panning the empty room of shelves.
We really stress getting to the bottom of why Pinterest users love what they love. For Mark, he needed to ask himself why people were so drawn to that video of an empty pantry.
He also needed to figure out where to send the person who clicks on a video of an empty pantry or an electric drapery closing. Where on his site should he steer the user once they click on these pins?
How Pinterest Marketing and Email Marketing Work Together
One of the goals of any Pinterest marketing strategy should be to get the people who click through to your site onto your email list. But what do you do with those email subscribers once they sign up?
Mark has developed a quiz to get email sign-ups and it’s been very successful. Once a person signs up, they are enrolled in a six-week email welcome sequence where they learn more about Mark’s firm, what services they offer, and their various interior design projects.
In the design space, nobody wants you until they need you. As a consequence, you need an organic way to keep in touch — to keep your business top of mind for your audience — even when they don’t need your services at the moment.
The magic combination of branded pins and consistent email communication ensures that when a client needs interior design down services the road, they will think of Mark Cutler.
Interior Designers: Clarify Your Pinterest Marketing Goal
When Mark first started using Pinterest to market his interior design business, he was completely hung up on numbers. He would pin an image of a decorating project and literally check in every 10 minutes to see how many clicks the pin was getting (don’t laugh; we’ve all been there)!
These days, he’s changed his approach and mindset. He knows the importance of understanding Pinterest analytics but he’s no longer obsessive about the numbers.
Mark’s goal with Pinterest marketing is to generate three to four interior design clients a year. He isn’t trying to meet any type of sales quota for products. Three to four clients per year keep him very busy.
The goal of Pinterest marketing for his interior design business isn’t sales; it’s brand awareness. He needs to keep his name out there so that a handful of clients will reach out to him when they’re ready to hire an interior designer.
There you have it friends — a case study on how to approach Pinterest marketing for interior designers. I hope you enjoyed hearing Mark’s success story as much as I did. To learn more about Mark, check out his resources:
Learn more about niche-specific Pinterest marketing case studies and tips: