Starting From Zero
How do you get an entirely new business off the ground? Just going for it, head down, forging ahead. And experimentation.
And then there’s the $395 sale from one pin two weeks ago that set me on fire for Pinterest.
But let’s first go back to the beginning…
Birthing Dixie Duckies
Dixie Duckies has been a work in progress for about a year. Actually, long before that I knew Rubber Duckies were my future.A Decade ago I wrote a pop culture book about them that sold 230,000 copies and is still selling. Out of the 35 books I have written, Rubber Duckie has far outperformed the rest of the pack. Obviously I’m not the only one to fall for the charm of our little yellow buddies.
About a year ago I started messing with creating illustrations for a book, Next I made little animated shorts of the duckies, telling my story. I worked with all sorts of materials.
Somehow I ended up with the idea of dressing the Duckies as greetings, much like giving flowers for an occasion, event, or just cuz. The idea is similar to Vermont Teddy Bear Company. (Fittingly, the subject of my first book was teddy bears.) It took quite a awhile, but once I was ready to show my designs I started posting them on Facebook. My friends offered great suggestions, so I honed my first designs. Meanwhile I came up with a name and started building a web site.
Will They Come?
With eight Dixie Duckies designs on my site it’s now all about marketing.
I’ve read a ton of articles and books about Facebook marketing, have run some ad campaigns, started building my e-mail list… the usual to-do’s.
I’ve created Facebook pages for Dixie Duckies and for my other business, The Cuckoo Clock Designer. (My first Kickstarter for the Quilt Shop Cuckoo Clock was a resounding success — and all from my friends on Facebook!)
Google +. Check!
Both of my businesses fit with the highly visual nature of the platform. Knowing it’s a long term investment, I’ve been posting sayings with my duckies in the images, new duckies, etc. There’s not all that much I can do with just my first clock design for The Cuckoo Clock Designer (I expect the prototype for my second clock design to arrive from Germany any day), so in concert with my site I am posting useful posts such as trouble shooting and set ups info. And adding pins of vintage and new clocks, and cuckoo clock crafts. Lo and behold,week before last I received an order for a $395 clock generated by a pin on Pinterest!
A $395 sale from a single pin? I was, naturally, suddenly engrossed in reading case studies and articles about Pinterest marketing. I set up rich pins. But what I found even more fascinating was promoted pins. I had read about being early in on other platforms, particularly Facebook, and how those businesses got a lot of traction. Ah! An opportunity!
Last week I received an email from Pinterest inviting Dixie Duckies to Promoted Pins. Heck yes! I ran my first test immediately, just one ad. Here are the results:
Considering I had no followers to begin with, 8 pins and two clicks is better than cricketville. But what gets me excited is the total impressions. It’s all about brand awareness. Someone is seeing my brand, and for cheap!
This article Marketing Lessons From Pinterest Promoted Pins shows how it can get really exciting:
Perhaps the least-publicized but most amazing benefit of Pinterest is that it is the first marketing platform where paid media can lead to a massive amount of earned activity. In other social media, like Facebook or Twitter, sharing is a secondary user choice; we read the promoted item and must choose to click a share button. But with Pinterest, a social share automatically happens whenever something is pinned to a personal board. According to Pinterest, promoted pins saw an average 30% bonus in earned (free!) impressions. Since that’s just an average, it suggests that companies that work hard to optimize can see even stronger results.
Pinterest Promoted Pins My Marketing Experiment Begins
Yesterday I switched from toe dip to test mode and created two more ads.
It may be a boom, and if it’s a bust it can only be a small one at this price. My goal right now with the business is to prove the model. To sell some Duckies, see how the ordering and fulfillment process works, the custom greetings tags, and get feedback. Do people even like the idea?
So I’m going full steam into Pinterest. Who knows, Dixie Duckies may turn into a success case!
P.S. As I was proofreading this Pinterest notified me that two people repinned my Basketful of Love pin. Hurry up Pinterest and send me an invitation to promote The Cuckoo Clock Designer pins!
A Few Resources
This is a great article by Social Media Examiner to get you started: How to Use Promoted Pins.
And this infographic by Neil Patel How to Turn Pinterest Into a Revenue Generating Channel is chock full of good, solid info.
Plus, to give you a leg up on rich pins read How to Use Pinterest Rich Pins: What Marketers Need to Know, also from Social Media Examiner.