The subject of today’s episode is how to use Pinterest marketing for service providers. We are going to be talking to Natalie Bacon about how she used Pinterest to help her business grow. A lot of people don’t realize that service-based businesses can utilize the power of Pinterest, so they go to other platforms.
Natalie shares all her tips and tricks on how she gets the perfect person to her site so that they can consume her free content, get to know her, and eventually become one of her coaching clients.
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Natalie’s Journey from Law Student to Life Coach
Natalie is a life coach for high-achieving women. She helps them with everything from goal-setting to making money to starting an online business.
Natalie started her blog right after she graduated from law school. She was in $206K worth of student loan debt at the time.
She decided to dive into personal finance and development by starting a blog (all while continuing to practice law). As a blogger, she started reading other blogs and realized that the possibility of making money.
She started pursuing blog monetization as she grew her blog into a personal finance blog. Eventually, that led Natalie down the path of becoming a financial planner, and then a life coach.
Currently, her site targets high-achieving women, coaching them through money and online business decisions and issues.
Pinterest Marketing for Service Providers: Natalie’s Story
Learning to Market a Blog
Natalie started out as The Finance Girl, then decided to rebrand and use her own name in 2016.
As a natural networker, she immediately sought out a personal blogging tribe when she started blogging. She accomplished this by reading other blogs and commenting and creating a circle of blogger friends.
She realized that most of her new blogger friends were using Pinterest, so she decided to start using it as well. She quickly realized that she couldn’t just “build it and they will come”. She had to figure out how to drive people to her site.
As soon as she learned that lesson, she knew that it was all about marketing. It wasn’t about how good her product/content was, but about how she was choosing to market that product and content.
Create for Your Audience, Not the Platform
Natalie grew from the learning experience of not really loving who she was in her business.
She was creating content that she didn’t love, but felt like she had to create for the Pinterest platform. It turns out that she could focus on creating content that she believed in the most.
It’s important to not get too caught up creating content for the platform. Be sure that all the content you create is directed at and made for your target audience. If not, you are missing the mark.
Natalie went from not knowing anything about money to learning everything that everyone else was saying about money. She initially believed that she had to believe those same things as well.
The next step was finding the confidence to formulate her own ideals about money. With new-found confidence came freedom and transformation.
Rebranding on Pinterest
Some people are afraid to rebrand on Pinterest because of all of the existing pins that have circulated on Pinterest and the corresponding HARD work they have already put into their Pinterest marketing.
When she rebranded in 2016, Natalie wasn’t scared because she has a very long-term vision and view for her business.
If the Pinterest algorithm changes tomorrow, she still has a business. Not because of some secret technology, but because she is not tied to technology. Instead, she is “tied to” the people she is serving.
The end result is that Natalie is willing to grow and feel the growing pains without thinking that it will destroy her business.
Natalie doesn’t worry about her old pins. She believes that if someone is really looking for her, they will find her. She focuses on creating new pins so that her current brand is still front and center.
If you don’t shift your focus, you will end up worrying about numbers that don’t really matter.
For the last couple of years, Natalie’s traffic has hovered around a couple of hundred thousand page views per month. But even without huge traffic growth, her revenue just keeps going up.
Take a look at how Natalie’s income has grown over the last few years:
• 1st year ($8K) – Not really focusing on making money
• 2nd year ($30K) – Freelance writing, ads, and affiliates
• 3rd year ($45K) – Ads and affiliates, no freelance writing
• 4th year ($180K) – Ads, affiliates, product sales, and coaching
• 2019 – On track to reach almost $300K
Create Different Pins for Different Purposes
Natalie is a big believer that simple is better. The more she grows her business, the more simple she wants it to become.
For her, different pins have different purposes:
• Pins that go to a landing page – for a free course or free training
• Pins that go to free content – a blog post or podcast post that will link them to free courses or email list.
The goal is to transition the reader from not knowing her at all to getting some sort of free training, and then eventually becoming a student or client.
Pay Attention to The Numbers
The topics that people on Pinterest engage with the most are never the ones that you think.
So, even if you’re not a numbers person, you still have to pay attention because what you think will do really well usually won’t, and what you don’t imagine will perform well probably will.
Paying attention helps you know what your audience wants.
Instead of just looking at what everyone else is doing and doing the same thing, look at what other people in your market are doing, and find a way to distinguish yourself and stand out.
What is going to make someone stop the scroll and look at your pin instead of all of the other ones?
Create Images for the Right People
Natalie’s images have grown with her business.
In the beginning, her images were “immature.” At the stage she is at now in her business, she is trying to attract a more high-end individual and she wants her pins to reflect that.
Instead of focusing on whether or not her face is in the image, she focuses on having the right people clicking on her pins.
I would rather have the right people click on my pin than twice as many of the wrong people.
Natalie grew her email list really quickly but she discovered that 90% of people on her list were the wrong people. Having a huge list filled with people who are not her ideal client/reader is not useful to her or her business.
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Natalie’s Pinterest Tactics
Natalie is a really firm believer that you need to do everything yourself before you begin outsourcing specific tasks.
Natalie only spends about an hour a week on Pinterest now, pinning between 5 – 20 pins per day. She has a VA who does most of her image creation. She started out spending an hour a day minimum. As long as you’re looking at your numbers, you can really optimize your productivity.
Natalie is exclusively pinning her own pins now. She is focused on promoting her own business and brand.
The Advantage of Pinterest Marketing
Google, Youtube, and Pinterest are all search engines. But an argument can be made that Pinterest is the best one to use if you are starting a blog/business.
No one is going on Instagram and searching for a way to solve their problem. They are using Pinterest for that purpose.
There is a huge advantage to starting your business marketing efforts on the Pinterest platform – Pinterest will show your pins relatively quickly. You don’t have to wait too long for your content to get in front of people.
It’s unlikely you will be able to take people through your funnel from Instagram. Search engines are the best places to do that because you’re solving a problem that the user is experiencing.
I hope that Natalie’s story was inspiring to those of you thinking about using Pinterest for your service-based businesses.
Want to read more about Pinterest marketing for service providers? Check out these podcast episodes:
- Pinterest Marketing for Real Estate Agents
- Pinterest Marketing for Wedding Professionals
- Pinterest Marketing for NonProfits
2:23 – Natalie’s Journey from Law Student to Life Coach
5:27 – Learning to Market a Blog
9:30 – Creating for Your Audience, Not the Platform
12:16 – Rebranding on Pinterest
14:55 – Natalie’s Revenue Growth
16:45 – Different Pins for Different Purposes
18:32 – Paying Attention to The Numbers
22:11 – Creating Images for the Right People
28:08 – Natalie’s Pinterest Tactics
35:56 – The Advantage of Pinterest Marketing