I am excited mostly because I think when I ask small business owners if they care about Pinterest or use Pinterest for their business, most people say no and my mind is just blown away by that because it's such a missed opportunity. And so I want to take a moment before we get into the nitty gritty of how to leverage Pinterest for your business, and tell you a story about how Pinterest changed my life and my business. So my name's Alex Evjen. And I am a creator, I am in influencer and I am a strategist. And I started a company called AVE Styles exactly March eight years ago, so exactly eight years ago, and I started it to simplify the complicated world of fashion. So here I was, living in Phoenix, wanting to live my dream as a fashion stylist in, like, not the fashion capital at all, but I was gonna make it happen. And it was at a time in the economy when no one had any money, but I wanted to start this luxury service. And I thought, I don't care, I'm just gonna do it. I'm going to bec...
ome a stylist. And so I just said that I was and I created a website. And sure enough, as I started doing it more and more, I started learning, but really, the heart of who I am as a creator, I really wanted to create experiences for men and women that made them feel comfortable and confident. And as I started doing that, I would bring these binders of all these ideas to my sessions with my clients and we would have to go through each one and I would say, "Pull out four pages "that feel like this is your style." And, I mean, it was tedious. And then Pinterest came along. The same year I started my business, Pinterest launched. And when I discovered it at a blogging conference called Altitude Summit, I thought, "Oh my gosh, "this is gonna revolutionize my business!" So right away, at the very beginning of my business, Pinterest changed my business because it made it more efficient. I'd gone online and I realized I can now save all these ideas on the web in one place and create a central location for all my ideas. And then, I can make it collaborative, where I can invite my clients to look over what I'm sharing, and say, "Hey, does this feel like who you are? "What are your thought on this?" And I could go to their profiles and ask them to start a Pinterest account and I would peruse their profiles and think, "Well you say you really love boho style, "but I'm seeing a lot of black and white and graphic here. "Maybe we find something in between." So it was helping me understand the consumer, and helping me understand the nuances of how they think, and is creating a connection point. And it opened up a way for me to take my local business of Phoenix and expand it not only in the country but internationally. So, already Pinterest revolutionized my business in so many ways, just from a creator standpoint. And then I became an influencer, which is just a fancy word for having a large community of people who listen to what you say and do. And that happened because as I was using Pinterest more and more, and sharing my ideas, people loved the ideas, too, and then they shared them, and then just exponentially grew. And I created this community, and then this place where every time I wanted to share an idea from my website, something I created, I could share it with them and they could give me feedback. Did they like it, did they not like it? What was good, what was bad? As a business owner, you're always seeking feedback. Do people like this product? Or would they like blue instead of red? I should put more blue into production, right? So already, Pinterest can do that, too. It can be such a great litmus test to see if things are working for your business. And then that, so, creator, obviously, that's my home and you can kind of get a feel of what I do in my work throughout this presentation. And then because I was this stylist and this influencer, brands started coming to me and saying, "Hey, would you create content for me?" Which was just a dream, like, to want to be a part of the fashion world and then all the sudden have Revlon say, "Hey, we see you have such great style, "and we see you have an audience that's listening to you. "Would you work with us to tell people about Revlon?" Or, "Work with us to tell people about Anthropologie." And I was like, "Do I need to tell people about Anthropology, because it's pretty awesome." But, yeah, and so I got to start working with brands and ultimately have become a strategies where I work at an agency called August United, we're an influencer marketing agency where I get to pair awesome brands with awesome people to create awesome content and tell great stories. And so, I help people with Pinterest strategy, and I get to tell great stories, and all thanks to Pinterest. Literally, life changed in every way, and to take it a step further, Pinterest has made me a better mom. I didn't, I was pregnant, I didn't know what to register for, went on Pinterest and found out what I should do. I didn't know how to swaddle a baby, went on Pinterest and found out how to swaddle a baby. You know, Pinterest revolutionizes people's lives every single day. So, if you are not already using Pinterest and that story didn't inspire you, I wanna ask you a couple questions to still pique your interest if you're thinking about using Pinterest for your business, let me ask you some questions. What if you could know the future? Would you wanna know the future as a business owner? Would that mean a lot to you guys? Yeah, absolutely. You could anticipate what the customer wanted. Another question would be, what if you could know the next big trend? Wouldn't that be so helpful? Yes, and Pinterest can do that. And does that. What if you could become a better parent? Would you wanna use Pinterest to help you to become a better parent? What if you could become a better cook? Oh my gosh, I've become such a better cook because of Pinterest. My children will thank Pinterest later. What if you could increase your website traffic? That's just a no-brainer, right? Okay. What if all the content you created could live on forever? So all that time that you're taking to create these Facebook and Instagram posts and all these photos and all this content that lives in your website. Well, it, you know, lives for about a hot second on Twitter at 24 minutes to reach its half-life on Twitter, and it can live three and a half months, that's just a half-life of a pin, is three and a half months, let alone the pin to be living and breathing for years to come. I have pins from three years ago that continue to drive traffic to my sight. Three years ago. That's amazing. You probably have thousands of images on your hard drive somewhere that could be doing so much work for you right now. So, if that's not enough to use Pinterest, I don't know what is. What if you could increase your organic reach beyond your followers? I mean, you guys know that algorithms are really frustrating, the fact that you can share something on Pinterest and it can have a 10x reach beyond that. So, Pinterest is a unique place where, when you save something, it's telling everybody that follows you that you saved it and then they have the opportunity to save it, and then their people have an opportunity to save it, and it grows and grows and grows. No other place does that. Use Pinterest. (audience laughs) Did I sell you, or what? I mean, you're already here listening, so hopefully you already care. But, I hope I got some more people there. Okay, so let's do this, let's talk about how to leverage it for your business in a really practical way. Okay, so, first we're gonna talk about the foundations of Pinterest. What exactly is it, who is on it, so you understand your audience. Then we're gonna talk about how you brand your business on Pinterest to create a good branded experience, 'cause chances are, they could interact with your company for the first time on Pinterest and then go to your website, so you want to make a full branded experience. How do you create community? How do you build a following on Pinterest? How do you create a pin that's going to have virality to it, right? That's going to launch into the Pinterest stratosphere and drive a ton of traffic. And how do you drive, ultimately, share your content effectively to drive traffic to your site?