Can This Business Be Saved?: Stay One Step Ahead with Pinterest

Q. I own a small jewelry boutique and am ready to get active on social media. I’m intrigued by the buzz around Pinterest. Would this be a good place for me?

A. Yes, Pinterest is the place to be. For Sue B. Zimmerman, who has a summer shop in Cape Cod, Mass., and who sells at trunk shows and online year-round, Pinterest has been a big sales driver.

The colorful online bulletin boards allow Zimmerman to post photos of products featured on her website, When followers spot something appealing, they click to buy the item on her site. “I also use Pinterest as a focus group by monitoring the response to items I post,” she says. “If the activity is lukewarm, I probably won’t stock that item in my store, but if it’s racking up lots of repins, I know I have a winner.”

Here are Zimmerman’s best pinning pointers to help you make the most of this platform:

1. Create boards that represent and even define your brand so visitors to your page will instantly understand who you are, your style and sensibility, and what you’re passionate about.

2. Develop creative names for your boards and include a description for each one. For example, you may create a “Wrist Party” board featuring colorful bracelets. This allows your network to identify with each board you curate and also helps with search engine optimization.

3. Upload awesome images. The standards on Pinterest are very high, so you want rock-star-quality photos to showcase your brand.

4. Write detailed descriptions for each pin (or photo) because they enhance the experience for visitors.

5. Be mindful of your time. When you’re looking at gorgeous images on Pinterest, 15 minutes can quickly turn into an hour.

Once you dive into the site, you’ll quickly recognize what you’re most drawn to, and you’ll emulate bits and pieces of what’s most attractive to you and your target market.


Q. Nobody is spending like they used to. Because I’m running out of savings, I need to know when spending will resume so I can plan accordingly for my business.

A: Consumer spending will return at midnight Dec. 15. No, wait a second, make that Dec. 17. I think.

If I could look into the future with a crystal ball, I’d buy winning Powerball tickets. The truth is that few if any people can accurately predict how Americans will spend their money today, let alone weeks and months from now.

Stop looking for assurances and change your mindset: The reality is all of us spend money every day—some more than others. Billions of dollars trade hands daily despite the stalled economy.

As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to get off your butt and find the people who are spending. Stop waiting and start adjusting to the new reality: Nobody’s coming to make your day. It’s up to you to make it happen. Millions of other businesses are doing that right now, and quite successfully—they make it happen. You can figure it out as well.

 Every month the pages of SUCCESS offer endless examples of how it’s done—and what you can do, too. Soak up the inspiration and information, and put your plan into action today. 


Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.

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