It’s no secret that I love using Pinterest to market my business—even more than my first flame, Instagram. But it was not love at first sight (as a marketing tool… I’ve always been on board with the online inspiration boards!). When I started my stationery business on Etsy in early 2015, I decided that I wanted to use Pinterest to help me market my business. I had heard that it could be a valuable tool, and even had a friend in college who started getting PAID promotions to pin things. And this was before being a social influencer was really a thing—we nicknamed him “Mr. Pinterest” and now that I’m typing this… I totally should have asked HIM rather than following the bad advice that I followed back then.
My First Attempt At Pinterest Marketing:
Back in 2015, I attended a free webinar and was shocked when I heard the instructor advise us to pin 100 pins every.single.day, at a minimum. That seemed ridiculous to me, but I was serious about my business, so I did it. I created a business account with Pinterest and started pinning.
The good news is that one of my items went semi-viral and is still one of my best sources of passive income. The bad news? I could not sustain it. It created an unrealistic live style for me—I remember eating my lunches in front of Pinterest every single day, pinning while we relaxed in the evening, desperately searching for another pin (ANY PIN) that would fit within my categories. In hind sight, she probably recommended a scheduling app, but since I didn’t get one, I probably decided that I couldn’t afford it. As you might have already guessed, I burnt out pretty quickly and this technique lasted a few weeks at the most. Over the past few years, I’ve listened to a few random podcasts on Pinterest, but nothing really stuck. I just wasn’t into it.
Try, Try Again:
Then… I started blogging again in June of 2018. I wanted to promote my wax seal design and I knew that Pinterest worked wonders for other bloggers. I was eager to share more of my content and, frankly, I was frustrated with Instagram. So I started pinning. I started applying rules that I knew to be true for other areas of business into Pinterest, and before long Pinterest was were I put most of my marketing energies. Because it started working. It took a bit of trail and error, but Pinterest has given me better results in 5 months of effort than Instagram has given me in the past 2 YEARS. At least! Just think of what you could do if you started to attract your dream clients like that. You might actually make some money!
Pin one of these for later:
6 Tips to Start Your Pinterest Marketing From Scratch:
I’ve had a few people ask me how I recommend getting started on Pinterest. Rather than just throw out some quick advice, I wanted to be really thoughtful and strategic about it. But I think I’m finally ready. If I was starting my Pinterest Marketing Strategy from scratch today, this is what I would do:
Clean Up Your Boards:
I don’t feel like you have to start over with new account. I honestly would have kept my original account if I started again, but I’ve heard arguments for both sides. Regardless, you want to be strategic about the boards that you allow to show publicly on your business profile. Make sure that everything you keep reflects your business or will help you promote your business in some way, and everything else is private. For example, I have a “healthy eating” Pinterest board just like everyone else in the world that I add to from time to time, but it’s private. You all don’t need to see all of those chocolate chip cookie recipes! hah! I do include my fashion board because I am active on it regularly and I showcase photos of myself online—so if you like what I’m wearing, here’s where we can connect!
Also, make sure that you board titles and descriptions are filled out with searchable keywords. And DO NOT (seriously, don’t… I will hunt you down) use a space between every word L I K E - T H I S. Yes, it looks cute and stylized, but you just murdered your searchability.
And murder is bad.
There is no way I’m going to tell you to pin 100 pins a day! But what you DO pin, needs to be excellent. A Pinterest marketing game plan is useless without something worth marketing! So if you’re in the wedding industry like I am, I recommend photographing a healthy collection of your products/services and get them onto your website. If you blog, so much the better! Start writing and scheduling content so that you have something to share and add to your Pinterest boards consistently.
Curate Your Aesthetic:
Don’t pin at random. You need to get in touch with your specific aesthetic—cater to your target audience. For example: even though I’m in the wedding industry, I rarely go to Style Me Pretty when I’m searching for items to pin. The work that they share is lovely, but it has a more southern and casual feel than my ideal bride. I am way more likely to go to Wedding Sparrow or The White Wren when I’m looking for items because their style reflects that of my fine art bride. Thus, I’m attracting those with similar tastes and it’s more likely that I will make a professional connection, or meet with a future bride!
Bonus: For more ways to find your aesthetic and tribe on Pinterest, check out my blog post about group boards.
Brand Your Pins:
I have a collection of Pinterest templates that I use for all of my content. With each new blog post or service, I pull these templates out and create 3-4 graphics that I will then use to promote my product/post. I love that you can scroll through Pinterest and know immediately if a pin is mine or not. It makes this former brand designer blush with happiness, and it saves me time—I don’t have to come up with a new design all over again, I just edit the template to fit my needs! I recommend creating a few templates that fit your branding colors and feature your logo—if you’re not sure where to start, you can use the Pinterest templates that I created:
Captions That Captivate:
Another major element of marketing on Pinterest is your captions! This will not only help with your search ability, but can also prompt viewers to click or re-pin your content. Using your keywords, create a natural, conversation-like caption that will hook your audience! If you don’t feel very confident in this area, you check out my worksheet—in there I walk you through finding the right keywords, the method I walk through to caption my pins, and the formula I recommend:
After you have a foundation on Pinterest as a business (you have a business account, 3-5 boards that are specific to your target audience, and each board has at least 10 pins in it), and you have collected images and/or blog content to share, it’s time to automate. The main reason I say to wait is because Tailwind (the automation service that I recommend and use daily) will give you a free month trial if you use my link, and I would hate for you to start that before you have your content collected!
Pinterest marketing works best if you pin consistently. Thus, it would be better to pin 5 items for 20 days than 100 pins one day and then nothing for 2 weeks. That’s where Tailwind comes in. Tailwind is literally the only thing that I pay for as far as marketing goes—and it’s because this penny pincher really thinks it’s worth it!
(the tailwind link above is affiliate, but it’s how I can get you the free month trial!)
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I hope that you found this little blog post helpful! I am so obsessed with Pinterest marketing right now that I could talk about it all day, but I completely understand that it is overwhelming and frustrating at times. I would love to hear if you found any of this helpful or if you have any specific questions—I’ll do my best to answer them.
Some of the links above are affiliate, but all opinions and advice are true!