Today’s episode is all about using Pinterest to sell physical products. We’ve talked about this topic before on the podcast, so I knew that I wanted this episode to be more of a client story.
Kirsten of Julep Tile is one of our clients here at SPM. We’ve been working with her for about a year now. I wanted her to share her story from the very beginning with all of you. Before we get started, make sure you downloaded the Ultimate Pinterest Planner and join our Facebook group.
Kate’s Productivity Tip
I receive newsletters every week, but because I have to stay focused on my work in order to get things accomplished, I can’t always make time to read them right away. Instead, I compile all my newsletters in a file and read them at the end of the week. It’s a great option for those of you who don’t want to miss any of your favorite newsletters, (hopefully the SPM newsletter is one of them!) but don’t have time to dive into them in the middle of the week.
Julep Tile Company
Julep Tile Company makes handmade tile inspired by modern vintage wallpapers and textiles. Kirsten grew up in an old Victorian farmhouse that was constantly being renovated. When she started her business, the her tile patterns were heavily inspired by the type of farmhouse she grew up in.
Kirsten has a BFA in ceramics but didn’t work much with tile during college. After graduating from college, Kirsten worked as a fundraiser for an art center (and hated every minute of it). She knew that she didn’t want to continue down the path she was on.
She met her husband who had a background in manufacturing/engineering, and they decided to start a business together. She loved the idea of contributing something to a home that made you really love it.
Using Pinterest to Sell Physical Products: A Client Story
Starting In a Showroom
In the beginning, Kirsten spent a lot of time focusing on how to make the tiles effectively and consistently. It’s easy to get stuck trying to perfect your product instead of getting it out into the world. Julep Tile started out being marketing exclusively to showrooms within their niche (handmade with a higher price point).
Kirsten “cold called” lots of showrooms, sent samples, and tried to build relationships. At the time, their company wasn’t taking orders directly from the public, so they didn’t have a need for a website. But two summers ago, Kirsten and her husband realized that they needed to open an online store if they wanted to grow further. It was definitely a step that was out of their comfort zone, especially after working solely with showrooms for the last several years.
Moving Onto Big Commerce
When she first started online marketing for Julep Tile, Kirsten used a WordPress website. When it became time to create an online store, she considered several platforms, but eventually landed on using Big Commerce. Kirsten created most of the website, with the help of her tech-savvy brother.
Utilizing Pinterest as a Marketing Tool
Julep Tile’s sales had plateaued prior to opening the online store. Kirsten knew that she had to figure out how to best market her tiles. For years, Kirsten brushed Pinterest off and didn’t think it would be an effective marketing platform for Julep Tile. But she knew that she at least needed to establish a presence on Pinterest.
She found Alisa Meredith online and learned a ton from her about Pinterest marketing. Next, she discovered SPM. The simple, actionable tips that she learned at SPM really made a difference in the traffic she was getting on to the online store.
Kirsten was still creating her tiles, along with managing the website, and diving into Pinterest. Kirsten did the best she could to juggle all of her different roles within the company. It took a lot of time to learn and implement what she was learning, along with still making the tiles. Kirsten was so passionate about the business that it didn’t feel like work.
Everyone Needs a Blog
Kirsten remembered reading that “everyone needs to have a blog.” She always had it on her long-term To Do list but didn’t realize just how important it was. When she hired SPM, she only had about ten posts at the time. She was so busy that it was hard for her to be consistent in posting. Our creative director (aka magician), Tina, has been super helpful in creating new pins for Kirsten, even with only a small number of posts to pull from.
Kirsten has experienced firsthand the impact that having blog content has on site traffic. She nows view content creation as a priority and tries to post at least once a week.
Seeing the impact that it’s having on our traffic, and building relationships with customers, I’ve really tried to put (content creation) on the top of my list priority-wise. — Kirsten
It’s not about pushing your products on your audience, but understanding what they need and giving them that content — answer whatever questions they have, share things that you know they are interested in. Focus on solving the pinner’s problem.
Kirsten talks to a lot of people on the phone about their tiles. She’s established a rule — if two or more people ask the same question, she knows she needs to create a post on that topic.
Creating Multiple Pins for One Landing Page
Another thing that Tina did while working on Julep Tile’s Pinterest management was to create 9 or 10 pins that led back to the same product page, based on any subcategories she noticed (blue tiles, green tiles, glazed tiles, etc…). She looked at the top trending tile designs and looked at popular DIY categories and used appropriate keywords to the text overlay.
This is a great way to get more content – by creating multiple pins that all go to one landing page. It also cuts down on the number of blog posts you are having to create each week.
Prioritize and Delegate
Kirsten’s best piece of advice when it comes to growing a new business is to prioritize what’s going to propel you the furthest. It’s easy to get caught up doing “busy work” but not using your time well. If you see that all your traffic is coming from Pinterest, focus on that as a priority and don’t spend so much time on Facebook. You are just one person and you still have a life outside of your business. Every minute of every day cannot be about the business.
As you grow, delegate as you can. You can’t do everything yourself. Look at where you’re spending your time and where you can shift things to push you further along and do it. There is so much responsibility when it comes to growing a business, and sometimes that responsibility involves passing some of the duties onto someone else.
Kirsten’s Hopes for Julep Tile
In the next five years, Kirsten would like to see Julep Tile continue to serve people. She wants to continue to make the home renovation process more fun for the buyer. Renovating is always more expensive and takes longer than you thought it will. Kirsten wants to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Talking to a shop owner who understands your wants and desires is a huge relief. They will come back again and again if they feel heard and understood. That develops customers for life.
Want more information on using Pinterest to sell physical products? Be sure to listen to these podcast episodes:
- Using Pinterest to Sell Products
- How To Sell Products Through Pinterest Ads
- Using Promoted Pins With Educational Products
- How to Market A Product On Pinterest
- 2:32 – Kate’s Productivity Tip
- 4:29 – Julep Tile Company
- 10:12 – Starting In a Showroom
- 14:05 – Moving Onto Big Commerce
- 16:25 – Utilizing Pinterest as a Marketing Tool
- 23:27 – “Everyone Needs a Blog”
- 31:36 – Creating Multiple Pins for One Landing Page
- 34:35 – Prioritize and Delegate
- 37:50 – Kirsten’s Hopes for Julep Tile