Monday, May 06, 2013


Welcome author Karen Leland as she stops here on her blog tour about considering seven questions before pinning on Pinterest.

Excerpted from the new book
Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest For Business

The right boards, beautifully named, won’t do you much good if they aren’t housing winning pins. And let’s face it: the pics (and videos) you post are what will make or break your Pinterest reputation and determine how far you can go.
Not all pins are created equal. Just posting any old photo or video won’t get visitors to follow your boards or find out more about you. In general, you want answer these 7 questions before you pin.
1. Is it Appropriate?
Be sure to think before you pin anything that might violate another’s privacy or your own. A good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t want the image or information to appear on the front page of The New York Times, then it doesn’t belong on Pinterest.
2. Is it Interesting, Cute, Unique, Beautiful, and/or Funny?
The only thing a visitor to your Pinterest account may use to determine whether they want to stay is their first glance at the pictures you post.

Anyone who has ever read a profile knows that certain attributes are highly desirable in a potential date. The same goes for Pinterest pins. Pins that are interesting, funny, cute, beautiful, or unique stand a better chance of getting repinned and asked out on a second date.

If visitors aren’t intrigued enough by the image to go further, they may never get to your bio, click through to your website, or even read the description of the pin.

3. Is It on Brand, Message, and Target?

A high-end cosmetic dentist’s Pinterest boards probably won’t feature photos of cute little bunnies lying in the sun—but a veterinarian’s site just might.

Whatever images you end up pinning, they won’t move your marketing forward if they aren’t congruent with your brand and on message and on target for your audience. Likewise, spending your efforts posting things that help craft an accurate and powerful picture of who you are as a business and brand makes viewers want to further engage with you.

For example: GoGirl Finance ( gogirlfinance/) has a board called “Personal Finance,” which offers a host of “how-to” pins on how to handle your money, including one on “5 Ways to Help (or Hurt) Your Credit Score.”

4. Does it move and/or inspire? Check out the “Happiness” board pin from Passion and Positivity (, which focuses on aspirational messages and images.

5. Does it show us how to do something better, faster, cheaper, etc?

Fitness Magazine ( has a whole board titled “Work Those Abs,” with pins showing ways to get tight and toned.

6. Does it educate, enlighten, or entertain? Dr. Mehmet Oz, ( doctoroz/) of Oprah fame, has a strong presence on Pinterest, with over 100,000 followers. His “Oz Lists” board offers educational information on healthy foods such as the “100 Foods Dr. Oz Wants in Your Grocery Cart” pin.

7. Does it tell a Story, with Feeling?
A picture is worth a thousand words. Photos that evoke a strong emotion, tell a story, or communicate a clear message make great pins. One way to evaluate whether your image has the right stuff is to think of a single word that expresses the idea, meaning, story, or message you want to convey. Then take that word and find images that match.

Keep in mind that even pins that meet these criteria are subject to size limitations. While Pinterest doesn’t limit the vertical size of the image you can post, it only allows for a horizontal width of 600 pixels. Anything wider will be resized. However, it’s best to avoid a long vertical that requires visitors to scroll down to view the entire image. Instead, keep your vertical size to under 5,000 pixels. On the other side of the coin, images that are too small (under 250 pixels wide or deep) end up looking teeny-tiny and don’t catch the eye.

Karen Leland is the bestselling author of 8 business books including the recently released Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest For Business, which can be purchased at She is the president of Sterling Marketing Group, where she works with small businesses and Fortune 500 on building stronger personal and team brands. She writes the Modern Marketing Blog at

A blurb about the book and the author:
Pinterest is a social bookmarking site that allows users to create a visual, online pinboard with images they love organized around topics of their choice by category. It’s the fastest growing social media site in history, the third-largest network after Facebook and Twitter and has over 25 million members and 10 million unique visitors a month. 

The most recent studies indicate that nearly 20 percent of women using the Internet are on Pinterest, 72 percent of Pinterest users are female, and 66 percent of those are age 35 or older, and the average amount of time visitors spend surfing the Pinterest site is an hour.

Karen Leland, author of the new book “Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business,” has created a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to hitting the road running and quickly making Pinterest into a valuable source of prospects, promotion and profits. 

“Great business brands are about telling compelling, congruent stories, and Pinterest is at its core about storytelling in pictures,” says Leland. “Pinterest has tapped into this visceral lover of visuals, and no small business, entrepreneur or corporation can afford to miss the boat on bringing what they offer beyond words and into images.”

About Ultimate Pinterest Guide for Business:

“The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business” is designed to help businesses use Pinterest to its maximum potential. The book provides both beginning users and seasoned veterans with the ability to find their specific area of interest “at a glance.” It uses step-by-step how-to, sidebars, examples, case studies, expert interviews and tip sheets to show how, from setup to strategy, to use Pinterest for promotional, branding and marketing objectives. 

The book explores the ins and outs of signing up and getting started on Pinterest and how to create boards that get noticed, drive traffic and convert fans into customers. Special chapters are devoted to creating a strong community and enthusiastic following through high-engagement activities, contests, social media outreach and smart pinning strategies.

In addition the book outlines specific marketing applications to small businesses, from architecture firms to theater companies.

About Karen Leland:

Karen Leland is the best-selling author of nine business books and the President of Sterling Marketing Group, where she works with entrepreneurs, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies around the globe on building stronger personal and business brands. Her clients have included AT&T, American Express, Marriott Hotels, Apple Computer and Johnson & Johnson, among others.  

She is a regular speaker for business groups and has spoken for the Young Presidents’ Organization, American Management Association and Direct Marketing Association, among others. Karen is a frequent guest of the media and has been interviewed on “The Today Show,” CNN, CNBC and “Oprah.”

She writes a regular branding and marketing column for and has been published in Woman’s Day, Self, The Los Angeles Times and others. Her latest book is “Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business.”


WiseOwlFactory said...

Wonderful and insightful information. I like how you compare dating and pinning, and I realize you are correct. I have the book, too, but this makes me want to read it with your perspective. Thanks!

Janice Seagraves said...

I have a pinerest account. I pinned photos from my research/field trips for my next book. The one that gets the most repinning is the photos from the trip to the zoo.


Leah St. James said...

Great tips. I enjoy Pinterest, but like all the other social media sites, it takes time to feed it! This at least helps to focus your efforts. Thank you!