Interview with personal branding expert Kim Garst Special

Kim Garst is part of Forbes' Top 50 social media influencers. She has just released a new book, titled "The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest."

Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Kim, thank you for answering my questions. How have things been for you since you made it to the Top 50 on Forbes this year?
Kim Garst: Simply amazing! It was quite an honor to be named to Forbes “Who Are The Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers?” list. It is an amazing thing to find yourself on a Forbes list for one and two, to be on a list with so many incredible people. I am more focused than ever on my mission of being authentic, providing great social media content and resources and continuing to connect with amazing new people every day.
CM: Why did you decide to write "The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest"?
KG: I immediately saw the marketing potential of Pinterest. However, when I started researching to see what information there was about using Pinterest from a branding and/or marketing perspective; I discovered that there was very little information about using Pinterst from this angle. I saw an opportunity to get the word out about what an amazing opportunity Pinterest is for businesses to brand themselves and generate massive sales.
CM: Pinterest has been around since 2010, but only started to take off about six months ago. Why is that, according to you?
KG: I think businesses are just beginning to see how Pinterest can relate and be used from a business perspective. This is my overall goal; continuing to educate business owners with specific ideas that will help them build their brand awareness and ultimately increase sales.
CM: What makes Pinterest such a great platform for brands? Any tip to share?
KG: Pinterest is great opportunity for brands because it can be a portal for their products, services and even their content. It is a chance to lead with content and let social interaction take a secondary role. Brands will be able to see what people care about instead of who they care about. The market research alone could be invaluable to brands.
 The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest  by Ki...
"The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest" by Kim Garst
Kim Garst
My top three tips:
1. Images are more effective than text as an engagement tool so I would encourage everyone to connect their Pinterest content to their Facebook profiles.
2. Add the “Follow Me On Pinterest” button to your site. The neat thing about this is that this will allow you to segment your followers. They may follow distinct boards based on the way you theme them instead of following ‘all’ your boards.
3. Pin your products and your content to themed boards on Pinterest with shortened links that allow you to track your Pinterest traffic. Make sure that you are presenting your products, services and content in a visually appealing way because this is what will draw people’s eye. They aren’t reading the subtext in other words. Stand out, be creative and most of all; be unique!
CM: Who are some of your favorite Pinterest users and why?
KG: I love Whole Foods. Who doesn’t eat, right? They have so many amazing pictures, recipes and general themed ideas.
I love WestElm for home related ideas and Real Simple is a great well rounded brand that provides creative ideas from a variety of themed boards. I am also watching them to generate my own ideas.
CM: How have you used social media to create a buzz about your new eBook?
KG: I have been using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest primarily as ways to generate ‘buzz’. I held a contest on Pinterest and plan to do another in the near future as that was incredibly effective. I am tweeting about it and of course, sharing quotes from the reviews on Facebook and Twitter. There is no substitute for a personal recommendation!
CM: Where can people find more information about "The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest"?
KG: You can find the book “The Quick and Easy Guide to Branding Your Business and Creating Massive Sales with Pinterest” on Amazon.
CM: Any last words?
KG: Cendrine, I appreciate you for reaching out and initiating this interview! Thank you so much for taking the time, effort and energy to make this happen.
End of the interview.


Hans Smedbol   Feb 20, 2012
to the EDITORS of the DJ:
since you like social networks enough to have connected with Facebook, and since this new operation, Pinterest, appears to be useful in driving customers to advertisers, OR Digital Journal stories i would might be worthwhile to check them out.....personally i never heard of them before...but a cursory glance through the wikipedia article on Pinterest was interesting and appeared to hold possibilities for increasing traffic through the Digital Journal....and thus increasing revenue for the Journal, and for the writers too...
the article in Wikipedia about Pinterest contains this excerpted bit:
"In December 2011, the site entered the top 10 social networks, according to Hitwise data, with 11 million total visits per week.[6] The next month, it drove more referral traffic to retailers than Linked In, You Tube, and Google+.[7][8] The same month, the company was named the best new start up of 2011 by TechCrunch.[9] .....
In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.[10] Pinterest's wide reach helped it achieve an average of 11 million visits each week in December 2011. Most of the site's users are female, with 97% of the site's Facebook "likes" being made by women."
mind you it seems to be a place where people put collections of pictures up...pinning them to a wall or whatever...
i'd never heard of them til today...but then i'm not a social network hound...
Marcus Hondro   Feb 20, 2012
The positive energy comes through, that is for certain. Made me think of Tony Robbins, who was just on Oprah last night.
Hans Smedbol   Feb 20, 2012
apparently you also have to have a "facebook account" if you want to join....but then Digital Journal is already might be useful as another "portal"....
Hans Smedbol   Feb 20, 2012
what she says does look interesting, promising and potentially profitable to those interested enough to pursue the might help the Digital Journal give one editor the job (or a committee, whatever) of making up the would include what we have to offer to terms of pictures...even the pages of the news and op-eds could be pinned up to allow the Pinterest subscribers to connect with us here....who knows, it might be a boon....Kim Garst was very convincing...i have to say.
speaking of which...thanks Cendrine for the story.