“You have to ask yourself, you know what kind of client you want? And that kind of thing. And for me, I really wanted this boutique experience I wanted, which I think most people do want clients that you can really kind of pour your heart and your creativity into. And so in order to do that, I wanted their experience to be really great.”
Welcome to Thrive by Design, the podcast for ambitious independent jewelry brands, looking to profit from their products, get ready to make more and sell more doing what you love, without spending every single waking minute doing it. Hey, and if you're a creative fashion or product-based business, I want to welcome you to the show. I'll be dropping big tips on launching, growing, and scaling your business. Spend more of your precious time using your creativity to make you ready. All right, let's do this.
Tracy: Welcome to the Thrive by Design Podcast Episode 264. Hey there, it's Tracy Matthews. Chief visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy and today I have a very special guest on the show, Jessica Zimmerman and we're going to be talking about pitchers tips from a wedding Insider. Now Jessica interviewed me for her podcast, geez, maybe a couple of months ago, before everything got super nuts over here in the world and over here in the world that we live in.
And we had such a blast. I loved being interviewed by her and we got to talking after the episode and she was telling me a little bit about her history in the wedding industry and how she's used Pinterest to grow her wedding business. And so I asked her to come on the show. We've actually rescheduled this interview several times because of her book launch and everything. And I'm just thrilled to be able to interview her because we had, you're going to learn so much there is this is a value packed episode, get your notebook out because you're going to learn not only about Pinterest, but how to actually navigate all the things that you have to deal with a business in order to make sure that your business is profitable, and that you're not Working yourself to the bone.
So, before I dive in, you know we just wrapped up a couple weeks ago our Supercharge Your Sales Masterclass. And I am thrilled because the response was amazing and people were blown away by the key metrics that we shared in that class. And also some of the news from this industry report that we just did this industry study that we curated it into a report. Now we, I was fascinated by what was happening because members of our community there were sort of a divide. Some people decided to take a backseat and their businesses were struggling during this year. A couple people were ending up flat, but the majority of the people that had been building, you know, their online presence, actually we're crushing it.
So we we found out that wholesales trending down 55% we found out that in person, art shows pop ups, all those things where you're setting up a booth and selling direct to consumer down 69% that was the hugest segment down and I know some of you who build your business on that are really struggling right now. And the other brick and mortar retail segment was down by 61%. The only segment that was trending up over everything was selling online on your own branded website and that was up 41.4%. And if we also look at that segment, 40.4% of those people were trending the same as last year. So that tells us something like selling online is not going down or away. There.
There was a small percentage down like less than 20%. So that's something to look at. But what I do know is that the people who are really leaning into this have figured out how to pivot. And they've been doing the groundwork to build a sustainable long term, profitable brand. And so we decided to open up some seats for free business accelerator audits for people who are interested in getting our eyes on their business. Now, this audit is perfect for anyone who would like to have more flow more easily, who likes to make more money, who would like their business to be easier to run, and they're ready to start working less for more. And what I mean by that is, a lot of times we're running on this hamster wheel or running the rat race, we're working, working, working or throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks.
And we don't ever stop enough to actually take a look at our business and we want to provide you an opportunity to do that with someone on our team so that we can clarify like some of the things that you're doing that aren't really reaching you towards your goals. And that's one of the things that in this masterclass is key metrics that I was talking about in the class really uncovered for people because they're like, Oh, I'm not looking at this duh. I'm not looking at this, how do I know that the stuff that I'm doing is actually working? and we want to give you some clarity on that. So if you're someone who is ready to get help now in your business, you're ready to invest in yourself and your success.
Please head on over to http://flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy and apply for a free business accelerator session. Now we can help everyone but we don't help just anyone. And the reason why that's the case is that we attract ambitious and motivated people who are ready to do the work and are ready to take full responsibility for their success. And what I mean by that is that you know, inevitably, there are people who aren't that serious about their business, you know, they like it.
They want to make some extra cash, but they're not willing to dig in and do the work and actually say like, if my business is suffering, I'm going to take responsibility for that and figure out how to fix it. A lot of times, people want to blame others for their problems, they want to blame the situation, the economy, we call that victim status. And I'll stop there with that. But what I mean by that is that, you know, we all have the power. And while our external factors can influence things that are going on inside the business, we need to take responsibility and do what we can to fight for what we want. And I learned this lesson, the hard way in 2008.
And that, I would say, besides all the things crumbling down around me, and getting wiped out, I had lost the will to fight for my business at that time. And so I made it a conscious choice to actually let it go. And so we want to help you like if you're ready, that you're willing to come out with the boxing gloves on and fight for your business. Let's do this. So head on over to flourish, thrive academy.com forward slash strategy, and see if you qualify for free business accelerator audit. Doesn't matter the size of your business or your growth. We help companies from, you know, under $100,000 in annual revenue all the way up to seven figures.
So if you're someone who is trying to really dial in your branding online marketing strategy we are here to help. All right, so Jessica went from working 16 hour days without earning a profit to generating seven figures working six hours a day. her journey started when she survived a fatal car accident that took the life of her sister. She realized that life was too short to give her freedom away to others. She didn't want to simply survive. Her business didn't make a profit for five years, and she couldn't figure out why.
When her husband fell ill and became bedridden for a year, she had to take control and provide for her family of five. Survival wasn't an option anymore. By setting serious boundaries and getting hyperfocus she grew her floral design business into an industry leader in her highly vulnerable book, which we're going to talk about Sleeping with a Stranger. Jessica shares her raw story of what happened under the covers and both her business and personal journey. You are going to be so inspired this is like I started crying when I was interviewing Jessica Her story is really, really powerful. So let's dive in. to today's episode,
Tracy: I am super excited to have Jessica Zimmerman on the show today. Jessica. Welcome.
Jessica: Hi, thanks so much for having me.
Tracy: We had such a great conversation. you interviewed me for your podcast a couple of months ago, I think and we just had a blast. And I was like, I need to have you on the show. And we had, we had, yeah, we had a good time. We had some scheduling errors. So I'm excited to be talking to you now. And I think this topic is really timely because although this has been a really weird year, the jewelry and creative product industry is often highly revolved around weddings, and you come from the wedding industry. So I want to hear a little bit more about your background and kind of like how you got started, and all those things, and then we're going to dive into some other topics.
Jessica: Sure. The short version is when I was three years old, I was in a car accident and with my only sister, and she passed away and I survived and so they're, you know, where people say all the time tomorrow isn't promised and life is short. I really know that to my core, like I've lived every day of my life knowing how true that is. It's never surprising to me when someone passes away No matter how old they are, you know, people seem to be in such shock when something like that happens. And it's not that I'm not upset or sad or grieving or any of that. It's just never surprising to me, because I know that we can go at any time. And I think and because I've known that to my core my entire life. It really showed me how valuable time was.
And so my whole life, all I wanted to do was I wanted to be in control of my own time. I really hated, you know, school and stuff because I thought the subjects I loved, I loved, but the things I didn't I weren't I wasn't interested in I just felt like I was wasting my time. wasting my life, you know, and I just thought, Gosh, I just don't want anyone to tell me what to do. Like I want to be able to do what I want to do. And that doesn't come from being like a juvenile. You know, like a selfish kind of source. It really comes from knowing how precious life is. And I want to spend it with the people that I want to spend it with doing what we love doing good things, it really does come from that place.
And so when I left to go to college, my mom, you know, when my sister died, she kind of put all of her energy into me, her one surviving child, and I saw how hard that was on her when I then left to go to college. And I remember just thinking to myself, you know, if one day I choose to have or I'm so blessed and lucky to have a husband and a family of my own children of my own, then I needs something that is just mine, apart from my family, in the event that we were to get in a car accident, and they were all to die, and I was the only one to survive, there's got to be something that is just mine. And that that is okay. And so really all of this kind of stemmed from my childhood. And I didn't care what it was. I just wanted to own my own business, I would have sold knives for a living. I almost did.
And, and I did I worked for a kitchen store for about four or five years. And I was set to buy that. And then this was the time that we went to get the loan about two weeks before the housing market crash of 2008 happened. Yeah, and at that point, banks could not like they even said if this were two months earlier, we could have given you this loan, no problem. Like all the paperwork shows that this business can support itself and everything and they said but now we basically can only know what the inventory is worth, like a bit like a third of what the inventory is worth. And because if the whole thing were to go belly up, how do we get our money back? And so, you know, the inventory was like 100 grand where the business was worth, you know, 10 times that Yeah, no way I could get that loan.
So I left because I that's one thing that I will say, I'm really good at is when I know I'm done with something, I'm done and I and I move on. And that wasn't going to serve me anymore. And I went to a Christmas party Two weeks later, and a lady came up to me who owned a wedding rental shop and she didn't know that I had left the kitchen store and she actually said to me, I know you'll probably never leave the kitchen store because you I can tell you love it so much. But I really am looking to be you know, my first grandchild is coming soon.
I want to retire. I want to be able to stay home with my grandkids. Would you ever consider coming to work for me for a year and then buying my business. Because once again, I didn't care what the business was I just wanted to own my own business. And so I bought this wedding rental business and struggled immensely for like the first four or five years, I worked all the time and made no money. And, and then I got real serious after my daughter was born. And I said, Okay, I gotta figure this out. Because I did not go into this to be working 16 hours a day and never see my child I got into this to control.
I hate that word control, but it's what it was but like to control my own schedule and to be able to have more time. So I went and I got alone for $100,000 because I needed to buy myself time. And I needed to keep the business running while I figured some things out. And so I took 60,000 of that to just kind of keep the business going. While I stepped away for a couple of months and really learned everything that I could I mean hired professionals consultants met with financial advisors and CPAs and read every business book I could get my hands on listened to every podcast I could listen to, I mean just dove into I wanted to I became obsessed with like researching what successful people did. And it was actually really simple. I'm not gonna say it was easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was simple. The steps were simple and it was basically just building a proper foundation of business which I didn't have.
And I think that is one of my biggest things that I teach Tracy is or that I, you know, stand for and really try to like, yell out to anyone who will listen is you can you know, my my sons they love I have twin boys and they love the book. The three little pigs. Yeah, like my business wasn't built with a strong foundation. was not brick, and it was the straw one. And every time anything happens, it collapses. So you can never grow, which is why you feel like you're on a hamster wheel. Yep, and all the time. But when you take the time to build that foundation properly, you can build as many stories as you want to you the sky's the limit, and I learned very quickly and how to turn that business around and I went from making zero dollar profit paying myself zero dollars and two in one year being able to pay myself a six figure salary. And on top of that the business profited six figures that year.
Tracy: That's amazing. Well, that's, it's, you're speaking my language girl. And I want to come back to your story like how old you were when you're you and your sister, your sister was killed.
Jessica: I was three and a half and she was at two months shy of nine years old. So She was eight and a half.
Tracy: Yeah, you remember her?
Jessica: I do, I remember. And I remember a feeling, you know, I remember just feeling really safe. And I remember feeling like, I was just really loved like she never made me feel pain like, ah, Jessica, I don't want you in here and with my friend, she always wanted me around and didn't include me. And she, I think, but I also just have felt, you know, that void my whole life, you know, which is just been a little difficult if I'm being completely honest in in the friendship category in many ways, because while other women you know, we're seeking and I write about this, and I have a book that just came out called Sleeping with a Stranger but I write about this and I say, you know, while growing up like while other girls were seeking friendships, I was thinking sisterhood.
Tracy: Yeah. Which I'm yeah, it's If I can, I mean, I have a I've eight or seven siblings I should say. And four of them are sisters. So I totally understand the feeling of wanting sisterhood because like, I feel like, I mean, I have a lot of friends but like, I've never felt like a void and companionship because that my sisters were always there. So I wanted to come back to that because I feel like there's a lot of things parallel in our story. And, you know, my mom passed away when, and I think we talked about this even on your podcast interview, she passed away when she was really young to when she was in her early 40s. Not as young as your sister obviously. And it's weird. Going for so long, you know, in your life without such a significant family member, the presence of that family member in your life. You know, you're like, well, what if and so I can't I can't imagine losing a sister. That's like, yeah, that was hard enough losing mom. So you know,
Jessica: I'm so sorry to hear that. It's interesting. I was telling my husband Brian This last week, it's been exactly a week. This is why I'm a little overly emotional is we put our we lost our dog who has been with us for 15 years. And listen, I know it's a dog and I know all of that. Members are family members and like I said, 15 years with this dog 15 years of walking in the door and someone greeting you and always being happy to see you witnessing the worst of you, but choosing to see the best in you. And always and, and I told him I said, you know, most of my memory of my sister is the loss of her, you know, and I've had a couple of grandparents die, but we weren't necessarily super close.
And so Sophie our dog in a way is, is the first relationship that I have known for kind of that length of time, someone that you talk to everyday or every day To have to have lost and so I've been thinking about that and think, you know, from my parent's perspective of having their daughter for almost nine years, someone you see every day you took care of every day and losing I just can't I don't know how my parents got to bed. Like I don't know how they did it.
Tracy: Yeah, right. Yeah, I hear I hear you. That's it's tough, man. I mean, it's a lot. I won't go, we're not gonna make this stuff like that. But like everybody started.
Jessica: We're not, we're not gonna make the whole episode depressing. I promise. Yeah.
Tracy: Let's bring it up a little bit. So, you know, when you bought this rental agency, or you laid the foundation and now you're kind of in other areas of the wedding planning and floral design, and stuff like that, so obviously jewelry is a huge part of the wedding and from the engagement rings and wedding bands, part of the process of getting married. And then also, you know, like, when I started my first jewelry business, like my first thing was that I was designing jewelry for bridesmaids. And that was a huge part of my business. So have you ever liked your businesses in the wedding industry? Have you ever partnered with jewelers in any way? And if so, how? How did that work? or How did you guys cross promote each other? Or is that not something that you did?
Jessica: What would you do is if we ever had a styled shoot, which we would do a few of those. And I learned very quickly, and this is something that a lot of people in the wedding industry, I believe, get taken advantage of, or they're not doing it right. They're not protecting themselves. And I have a I have a thing in my resource hub. And at https://jessicazimmerman.com where I share with you exactly how to like to do a photoshoot for the wedding industry where you can, you know, where you can be sure to get featured and you can get paid for it. And but I made sure that first of all, once again that I was in control of days, I could I could, I would obviously collaborate with other people.
But I think when you're invited to go into a shoot, you have a lot less control over something. And if you're going to be spending your marketing dollars, you want to make sure that you're getting what you want out of it what you need out of it. But I would go to two jewelers, and they were great. They would let me pick out what I wanted and use them. And of course we would, they would, you know, I would work hard to get the feature, or the shoot featured. And obviously they would get, you know, credit for that and everything. So, yeah, that's how that would work. And they were always really great to work with and never had a problem.
Tracy: That's awesome. That's awesome. So I have another wedding industry related question. And this is really about because you're kind of you're a vendor, like am I describing you correctly in that way?
Jessica: Yeah. So just real quick, so your audience knows. So I ended up selling my rentals. Yeah. And just doing floral design and wedding planning because I wanted to that was one of the questions I really asked myself was, how do you want to spend your time What do you really enjoy doing and I realized I hated having like a storefront that you had to be open nine to five, because you were dealing with clients and then about five o'clock you, that's when you could start doing the work you actually needed to do. So my appointment only was so much better for me, because I could have a smaller space, I could, you know, come and go as I wanted.
And also I realized that my profit margin was so much better, right with flowers. So just I mean rentals while rentals brought in 30 grand a month. It also cost me about 29, five a month. Yeah. You know, whereas with flowers, I may only bring in 10 grand a month, but I'm only spending four. So I actually saw that on paper. I was like, holy cow and sometimes that's what it takes is stopping stepping away. And, and and really looking at your numbers. You have to know your numbers for sure.
Tracy: Yeah, this is where laying that strong foundation, you know, this is why we're talking the same language because we have programs for people in the jewelry and creative product industry, where we talk about the same thing without those things in place. And without a clear understanding of how much you need to actually be making in order to have a profitable business based on your inventory and the cost to actually make the product. Like you're basically shooting yourself in the foot if you don't have a clear understanding of that from the beginning, ideally, but if it's not in the beginning, you need to get an understanding of it like ASAP right now.
Jessica: Absolutely, yes.
Tracy: Yeah. So as a vendor to a bride on your wedding day, obviously jewelry is kind of an isolated purchase. A lot of times it's happening before or after. I'm just curious for you. If there are people who are more in the vendor space, like you are doing flowers or some other product that they're supplying to Brides, what are some of the things that vendors should be thinking about when they're working in the bridal industry?
Jessica: Do you mean just as we're working with one another?
Tracy: Yeah, working with one another. Or like what are some sweet touches that vendors have offered for, you know, a bride or a wedding or something interesting that they've done.
Jessica: So for me, again, you have to ask yourself, you know, what kind of client you want, and that kind of thing. And for me, I really wanted this boutique experience I wanted, which I think most people do, you want fewer clients that you can really kind of pour your heart and your creativity into. And so in order to do that, I wanted their experience to be really great. And so I customized everything, and I spent time again, this was the foundation building, but instead of using a software program to do quotes, I, you know, created my own so that if they went one day and got five quotes from five different people, and those other four people were using the same software was gonna stand out.
That was important to me. The gift that I gave them, and it was really simple. It was a candle it had our brand on it or logo wanted, but very small, not like annoying it as you know, and I think the scent was called Love Spell. And he said something you know about a bride to be or something like that. And then I made sure like we would put in the calendar when we would email them or when we would send them you know, we sent them gifts on their one year anniversary, we sent them gifts, a nice touch, you know, a week before their wedding, you know all these things just to kind of remind them that I always wanted to remind them that like, I've got the wedding like I can do that backwards and forwards.
But you're never going to get this time back and I want you to focus on your marriage. You know what I mean? Like focus on the marriage, not the wedding, leave the wedding up to me and enjoy your showers and enjoy being an engaged fiance for a little bit because it's going to go away really soon. And so that was really my job and then as far as the vendors went, I made sure that if anyone ever referred me, what I would do is I would give them a percent of what I made on the wedding meaning and I it was usually just like 1% or something.
So if a photographer recommended me or referred me, then on the day of the wedding when I'm there and I see the photographer, I would give them maybe like $150 Visa gift card or something and just say, Hey, thank you so much for for referring me, I really appreciate this, I wouldn't have gotten this wedding without you. And that's not a lot, but it was and by the way, you could do that with $20 or whatever they don't get. It's just enough to, to acknowledge it to say, hey, thanks so much and you're doing then you're seeing them face to face. I would always send an email or a card, of course, to say thank you in the beginning, but then another thank you on the day I have to let them know Hey, I know how I got this job and I appreciate it. I think that helps them to continue to refer to me and I think Always being friendly.
I think sometimes the wedding industry can feel competitive and can feel like, oh, there's that vendor, or I use. I'm working with this Baker and this Baker doesn't like this photographer. We're all here, you know, just to not buy into any of that BS. Yeah. Just friendly to everyone. And because you never know, you never know. And so I think that it's worth it to stop going over to someone to say hello, and everything and Yeah, I think so.
Tracy: So awesome. Yeah, that's, that's so true. And that kind of, you know, I get from you from the beginning, like this southern hospitality that you kind of have and I like, I love what you said about like, make it about your marriage instead of the wedding. And I know, I got married when I was super young, and since then been divorced, and I'm with my partner now. He's amazing, but that first time I got married, like when you're young, like I think especially for young people in their 20s who are getting married fairly on the young side. can become so much about the wedding because they're trying to like impress their friends or like they're, you're, they're at that age where maybe their maturity level isn't as maybe the best thing I could think of is high where they're, you know, so focused on that. So I love it that you kind of keep people focused on actually the reason why they're having a wedding, which is the marriage and the relationship because that I've seen it. I'm not saying that everyone does that, but I've seen how it can get lost, you know. Translation sometimes.
Jessica: Definitely, definitely can and I think it's just as helpful to have someone you know, on the outside kind of remind that other than, you know, just like a mom or a dad, but just go hey, this I've got this like he there's no reason for you to stress over like a napkin selection. I just go enjoy, like go, you know, and I would give them tips whether they wanted him or not, you know, like, Hello, did you sit down together? You make a list of what you expect to do and what you don't do. Like just think I remember my husband and I did this and premarital counseling and it was like, because I I'm like I'm just I'm probably not going to take out the trash remote the yard, you know and, and so we made a list of like, here's the things I I will happily do. And here's the things that I don't really want to do and let's compare the list and see so that you're not just walking by the kitchen sink filled with dishes and going and then stewing inside mad at the other person for not doing the dishes when they don't know that that's their role. You know what I mean? We got to communicate.
Tracy: I see your next role as a marriage counselor.
Jessica: Oh my gosh, you gotta read Sleeping with a stranger. I talked about how we almost got divorced and everything. I mean, it's a mess. It was a mess.
Tracy: I can't wait for you to share all about your book and in just a minute but first I want to talk about Pinterest because Yes, a huge tool in the wedding industry. You also have a program called the power of pinning where you teach people how to use Pinterest. And so we're going to talk a little bit about that later. So here's the thing. I know that everyone likes when I'm getting referrals or people reaching out to me for a custom engagement ring and stuff like they're sent over Pinterest boards, like Pinterest is the tool for people who provide anything for the wedding industry. So what's the best way to you like or, in your opinion, like, what's the best way that you've used Pinterest for business? And how has it helped you grow your audience and all that?
Jessica: Pinterest is everything I mean, honestly, listen, and it is a visual search engine and everyone. I mean, let's just think about the past five months. Everyone is buying everything online. I mean, raise your hand if you haven't lately. I know. Exactly. And the beautiful thing about Pinterest is People go there looking for something they are there for, like a Facebook ad or an Instagram ad. People are on there to kind of get away for a second you know, and you're just scrolling and they're looking and then they're bombarded with this ad and you hope maybe that someone you know, clicks on it or something. Pinterest isn't like that. Pinterest is someone going there to search for something.
So whether they are searching for engagement rings, and let me tell you, a lot of them are or a wedding bouquets or a jean jacket or an enamel pin or a backpack or whatever, they are going there to search for something and if you are doing Pinterest, the way it was designed to work, then your product shows up. And then people click on it and they feel grateful. They don't feel bombarded like an ad does. They're so grateful. The key is you have to start to use Pinterest the way it was designed and created. To be used, which, if you look at Facebook and Instagram, they are going to penalize you. If you take someone away from the platform, Pinterest was designed to do just that. They want you, the user to have an experience to go find what it is that you're looking for, to be inspired to make a purchase.
And the beautiful thing about Pinterest is you have to stop using it as a user and you have to start using it as a seller. And the thing is, let me just give you an example. What and this doesn't just work with the wedding industry, although I will say if you are in the wedding industry and you're not on Pinterest, I don't like you better get on it today, or you're gonna get left behind. I mean, it's the most visually searched industry probably I mean other than fashion and stuff. I mean, it is so visual and everyone looking to do anything with a wedding is on Pinterest and even if they're not on Pinterest, And they just google something. Pinterest is now so smart that pins come up on the first page of Google as links.
And so it's just you're really, it's kind of, it's free, it's free. And if you want a free training on this, you can go to Zimmermanpodcast.com/ Pinterest training, and I do a free one hour training on this. But here's how I know that this works. Is that not too long ago? Last year, I was taking my family to San Diego for a trip. And so I'm just on Pinterest and I am just searching San Diego things to do with small kids. And I found this pin and it led to a click on it. And it leads me to this lady's website and her name is La Jolla mom, which La Jolla is a town right outside of San Diego.
She's like, one of the best things that you can have in San Diego for small kids is a scooter you know I'm talking about there's like there's like or whatever. And she's like, they're great. You can fold them up like you can be on the beach and your kids can just kind of zip up and down the little sidewalk beach on their scooters. And you can pack them up. And I'm sitting there and I was already thinking, do we take the stroller? Do we take the veer wagon like what do we know what I mean? Like I already was, I was already kind of thinking about those things.
I see this post or this blog about this scooter. By the way, I did not go to Pinterest looking for scooters, right. I went to look for things to do with my kids in San Diego. And I find this pin and I click on it, it takes me to this blog and I am now wanting to email this author of this blog and thank her for her pacing advice on this scooter. She has a link to the scooter which I'm sure was an affiliate link so she made a little bit of cash, but it did not feel slimy. It did not feel salesy. It wasn't an ad that popped up that took me, they caught me off guard where I was like Don't want a scooter.
Like if I'd been on Facebook an hour before, when my mind was not in the frame of thinking of San Diego, and I saw an ad for scooter, I would have been like, Why? Why is this ad for scooter popping up and you know to mean that because I'm in the mind frame and I'm sitting down, wanting to know how I can make this trip fun for my family. I find myself wanting to email her and go thank you so much for this scooter suggestion like this is the best thing ever. So that is how I know that this works because me as a user does this. Let me give you one more example.
So my daughter has this little Bible study group and when they memorize a Bible verse, they get an enamel pin, you know, just like those pins that you pin on like a jacket or something. And so I look at I'm in charge of buying pins, which I should never have volunteered for. But so I google this verse that they are memorizing, which is not like a common, super popular verse.
There was one person Tracy on this planet who made a pin. This is all she does. She makes two enamel pins. One of them happens to be this verse. And one of them is like another verse. That's all she does. If you go to her website, and you go to her shop, that's all that's there are these two enamel pins. So I googled this. The first link is a pin, link, Pinterest link, I click on the Pinterest link, it takes me to Pinterest and shows me a picture of this enamel pin. And I'm like, that's exactly what I'm looking for. And so I click on it, it takes me to her website and I buy it. Now, if this person had not used Pinterest correctly, I would have never found this pin.
Because there's no way that her website would ever generate enough to be at the top of Google's list. There just isn't when you that's all the content she has on her whole website for these two pictures. You know what I mean? This is possible. Not just blogging. It's not like she's updating galleries. It's just these are the two products. And so but she knew how to take those two products and how to use the proper keywords and everything to get her pin to show up. And that was another thing that just made me go Yeah, this works.
Another reason why I know it works is because I have a pin. The beautiful thing about Pinterest is you do the work once, like you pin something once. By pin. I mean you pin a picture right? once and it does the work for you for years. Yes, I have a pin that I pinned three years ago from a wedding. And I get inquiries today. I haven't done a wedding in two years, and then a wedding in two years. I still get inquiries every week from this one pin that I pinned three years ago.
Tracy: Yeah, I totally believe that. that to be true because we've had designers in our community who they got one of their pants got paid on some influencer board and it drove like a majority of the traffic And it was devastating because it drove the majority of the traffic to their website. And it was devastating for them because someone called the person out on a copyright infringement. And this was an original design, I know this designer and stuff like that. And her because of that, like they have built this really strong ecommerce business on him because of that, like, half their, like, monthly revenue was cut out. And so it's really powerful if you do it, right. And all those things, and I'm not telling that story to like, freak anyone out about like, but more than anything, just saying like, it's powerful because she had that pain was like building traffic and SEO for their website for like five or six or seven years, like for a very long time.
Jessica: And listen, I get it, because I, you know, it heard that Pinterest could do this. And I was really skeptical because again, I wasn't looking at it from the perspective of the seller. I just was looking at it as a user going How can I? How can I get in front of people locally, you know, like, I don't even know, I was a little skeptical. And so I ended up hiring Well, I took a purchase to Pinterest courses, and I'm telling you, I couldn't get through five minutes of them. I didn't understand it. It was so much technical jargon. And I was like, This is not I mean, I do not understand this. I don't get it. I don't. It's because they're not speaking my language. Yeah. And so I ended up hiring a Pinterest manager.
And, you know, she costs 1500 dollars a month, which is a lot of money. And, and my students started to ask me, How are you getting these leads and these inquiries and all of this? And I would say, well, Pinterest, Pinterest is and they would go how, and I didn't know the answer, because I was paying someone to do it. And so she and I worked together to make the power of kidding. And I said, Listen, we have to make this to where I would be able to understand it. Actually. I'm all about a like Stupid, simple program. You know what I mean?
As I said, Nobody needs to know why you're doing it. Or they just need to know you literally just need to be like, okay, step one, I want you to go to this link right here, and then type this in. Okay, step two. We don't need to know why all this is doing like what the back end means, not just step by step, tell us what to do. And the other beautiful thing about it is, she is on there every day. So if you have a question, she answers it in the most thoughtful way. And I mean, I basically pay her 1500 dollars a month so that other people don't have to, and they get her to buy the program one time, and you get to go through it and people see the results very quickly at how much it grows.
And it's a traffic driver. What we have to know what everyone has to know is that your website is your most important tool. It is your most important business tool. And if you are paying more attention to Instagram And then you are your website and you've got a big problem and you're not going and I don't say this to be like. I think people spend way too much time on social media and not driving traffic to their website. I say this to be really honest and to kind of wake you up if you need to be woken up a little bit because you're gonna get left behind. It's just the truth.
You have your online store, you have to think of it as like a retail store, but it is your online store. And that's where people are shopping now. It's the most important thing and you've got to drive people to it. And it's, it's not all about analytics and SEO. You can begin that journey with Pinterest and we show you how in the power of pinning and it's so easy. It's so simple. And you know within you know, if you do a little bit every day in 14 days, you won't just have the knowledge to have this, you know, Pinterest running business. You'll have done it. You'll have done a level.
You have set it up and so it really is incredible and I don't even care about my Instagram numbers and stuff. I love going to my Pinterest and seeing 1.4 million views and 500,000 clicks to my website this month and all of that. I mean that is what is driving business. That's how my business has survived during a pandemic. That's how an unknown first time author got on a bestsellers list Wall Street Journal USA Today bestsellers list was because we strategize our marketing through Pinterest.
Tracy: Okay, I'm super excited to hear about that in just a minute. But we'll definitely have a link to the program in the show notes and we'll send it out with the email because I think this is really really I think simplicity is the key here and that's what everyone is going for. And you can go to https://powerofpinning.com So that's where you can find Jessica's Power Pinning Program. Real quick, like what are your thoughts on Pinterest ads and then also what kind of ratio should people be posting content to like, sharing the stuff that they do or other people's stuff?
Jessica: I think that you need to be focused on your website and you need to be doing your own content. I think that you know, and a lot of people say, you know, like, for example, I worked with a consultative student who she was a violinist and like, that's what she did for wedding she would go and she would, and she was like, I mean, what on earth am I gonna, you know, blog about and stuff and I said, you can blog and say, these are the top five most common, you know, ceremony songs. These are the top five mother daughter songs or father daughter dance songs, or whatever it is. And, you know, you've just got to kind of think about what someone who's looking like you do music, wedding music.
So just think of any and everything that a bride or groom that is searching for wedding music would ask themselves, you don't even have to have a picture and we teach you how to do this for free. In Canva, or you can just have like a graphic that is just text that is just copy. And I said that can be it. And then you pin that. And then if you do the keywords and everything correctly, and you, you know, do location correctly, like we teach you, you are going to start seeing more and more people in your area hiring you just because you show up for them. And so that's what you have to do.
I mean, for me right now, I am an author and educator and a podcaster. So I blog. And you know about, I mean, so for example, this podcast that we're doing, I will blog about it, when it comes out, like I will blog it, I will link it to your thing, but like some people would just do this interview and be done with it. Not only am I going to blog about it, but I'll put it on my press page. And so then I've got two things that I can now pin that are going to talk about whatever it is that we're talking about. It might be that someone, you know, Google's the exact title that you end up naming this episode. And then somehow they buy my program or they buy my book from it or whatever.
And so I do my own podcast and I blog about each one of them. I don't just put it on the show notes page. I also blog about them. And then I just do simple things. I mean, right now, when I blogged about my coffee table book obsession, you know what I mean? You can blog about anything, just think like, what would your audience or who you're trying to reach? What do they want to hear about? I've blogged about Pinterest during this time. I think you've just gotta keep your content updated. And that's why I say you have to think about your website as an online retail store. If you drive by a clothing store, downtown, and and they never change out their windows ever.
Are you really gonna go in there? No, because you think it's the same thing. And so you have to treat your website like you would a retail store that's got the best window real estate. And you've got to get out frequently like that, people always ask how should I spend my marketing dollars? For me, it's how should you spend your marketing time on your website?
Tracy: Exactly. Well, Jessica, this has been such an awesome interview. I'm so excited. I've even gotten some ideas for myself for our business. So thank you for being here. But tell us a little bit about your podcast and your book.
Jessica: So my podcast which Tracy was a guest on recently, you should check it out and it's called Zimmerman Podcast. You can learn about the podcast, the book, the courses everything you can go to https://jessicazimmerman.com and do that but my book I'm, I really feel like everything that I've done, from you know, losing my sister, and to where I am you know, today led to My greatest work which is Sleeping with a Stranger, and it is about really what happens when a strong, ambitious man that I married, kind of faded into a stranger with an illness that that no doctor could diagnose. And he contracted this mysterious illness at lifting 50 pounds underweight.
And he was a prisoner basically, to our master bathroom. And, and it's a raw and real journey of self discovery, you know, and that we both kind of had to go on. And as we work to kind of solve the riddle of his illness, we had kind of a harder question to answer, which was whether our marriage was even worth saving. And honestly, what I'm really most proud of with this book is so many educators you will hear or female entrepreneurs you hear the good right you hear seven figure business and travel, whatever I want and yada yada and you can have this life too.
But really, what drove them to get there. And this is a really honest and real look about what drove me. And what drove me was fear. I was scared to death to lose my husband, like I had lost my sister. During that time, I was like a dog with a bone and trying to build this business to save everyone. And it was quite a journey for both of us. And it's, it's just a really honest look into, you know, I mean, everything I talked about sex I talked about, you know, just having kids and like, what does that look like on a marriage? And then just the things that I think a lot of people are curious about when it comes to illnesses like how do people when they are a caretaker, you know, what does that look like for a marriage?
And it's funny too. I mean, I don't want to toot my own horn, but it's, it's some really, it's some not fun topics, talked about in it. One funny way, in a lot of ways, because I just don't know how else to say it, like, it's like, you know, I'll say things like, I just wanted to, like stab myself with a fork. You know, like, it's just during some of these times because it was so like, you just can't make it up, you know? So I hope I hope, you, I hope you enjoy it, but you can find all that at https://jessicazimmerman.com
Tracy: I'm so excited to read it. I can't wait. Jessica, thank you so much for being on the show today. I'm excited to share everything about you to our audience. Thank you.
Jessica: Thank you so much for having me. This was really fun.
Tracy: Thank you so much for listening to the show today. If you are interested in grabbing Jessica's book, we are going to have the links in the show notes and make sure that you go check her out her podcast is great. I love being interviewed on it and she is really you know another person that I would definitely recommend to listen to. And with that being said, I just want to say one more time if you're interested in getting our eyes on your business, and you'd like to apply for a free business accelerator audit, head on over to https://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/strategy/ We have a limited number of seats every single month that will take. So I want to make sure that you get in so that your business is on the right track for holiday season. All right, this is Tracy Matthews signing off. Until next time.