If you’re targeting women with your business, especially if what you sell looks good in photos, then you need to consider using Pinterest. Think of it like a giant pin board with pictures of everything you’ve every dreamed of and more.
If you’ve never used it, it works like this – you set up your own board or boards, so you might have one called ‘craft ideas’ or ‘things I’d love for my birthday’ or ‘kitchen design inspiration‘ (you have have LOADS) and you then search the pins.
If you like any of them you can click the little heart icon in the top corner and it will show up on the image as a ‘like’ from you. If you want to add any to your boards, you can PIN it to one or many boards – this is called a repin.
You can subscribe to individual boards or to whole accounts, in which case you see everything they pin appear in your feed. When you like or re-pin images, your connections can see that you’ve done so and the images will appear in their Pinterest feed. Your aim is to build a following for your account and/or individual boards.
From wedding favours to craft projects, jewellery to flowers, clothing to garden design, kitchens, art, horses, you name it, it’s on there (and then some).
Pinterest can be pretty addictive, as you can imagine. You can lose hours or even days in there, looking at all the gorgeousness on display. *Sigh*. So, I guess I’d better give you a tip – set an alarm on your phone, allow yourself 30 mins or an hour and then CLOSE PINTEREST or you’ll never get any work done.
The key to Pinterest success is all in the quality of the images. You’ll see when you scroll down that the most beautiful images attract the most interest.
Now, not all of us have a photography studio to hand, so all you need to do is THINK about the image you want to create. Your phone camera is easily good enough if you stage the photo properly, make sure the lighting is great, use props if necessary. Bad images don’t get shared.
Look at how other people have created their pins. Use www.canva.com to get the right size and even use some of the $1 pre-designed templates to save you time. Pinterest could do wonders for your business – I’ve bought lots of things because I saw them on Pinterest, followed a link and shopped. Here are some ways you can make it happen.
1. Tactical Pinning – Make It Easy To Buy
When you create a Pin, think about your Super Customer – that person who is a great fit for your business, who loves what you do and is most likely to buy. Think about what they want to see. Create images that work for them. Write your description for them.
If you share a photo of a beautiful product, use the web link for that pin to send them back to the product page on your website where they can buy it, rather than just linking to your home page.
Make it easy to buy. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen something beautiful on Pinterest only to find that the Pinner didn’t link it back to their site and hasn’t filled in their profile with their website address so I would need to spend time searching on Google instead of just click, click, buy.
2. Create Themed Pinterest Boards
Say you’re a florist and you do flowers for weddings, corporates, Valentines day, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, instead of just having ONE Pinterest board with everything included, create separate boards. Create a Wedding Flowers board. Or even better, break it down again and create LOTS of Wedding Flowers boards – vintage wedding flowers, purple wedding flowers, yellow wedding flowers, minimalist wedding flowers, unusual wedding flowers. Do you see? In this way you can attract lots of different brides, who will be searching for just those things. It makes it easy to organise your images and means it’s easy for your customers to go directly to the board that interests them – customers love businesses that don’t waste their time.
3. Be More Findable On Google Using Pinterest
Every time you create a Pin you can go back in and edit it. This is something you MUST do or you are missing a huge opportunity because Pinterest pins show up brilliantly on Google, if you do them right. Pinterest is HUGE and is just like a big search engine – one where YOU want to show up in searches. So, instead of just copying and pasting the usual boring old product description, put some effort into it.
Put yourself into the mind of your customers and think about what they will be typing into Google. When you’re a bride, you search for specifics – not just wedding flowers. You search for a colour scheme, or a theme. Think about when YOU search on Google. What type of things do you look for. In my case, I’m a marketing and business coach for women but people usually don’t put THAT into Google. Instead, they search for ‘how to get more sales’ or ‘how to get more customers’ or ‘how to use Pinterest for business’. They search for specifics because they have specific needs at the time.
This works equally well for osteopaths, business coaches, artists or any business – think about what your customers are searching for. What do they need help with? What are they actually looking for? What words and phrases will they use? It’s not always what you expect but the easiest way to do it is to think ‘OK, if I was that person, what would I want?’ Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they want and need. This goes for ALL your marketing, not just Pinterest. Make every pin count!
4. Get More Value From Each Pin
Don’t restrict your Pins to Pinterest – if you’ve gone to the trouble of creating beautiful images, share them far and wide. Top tip: make sure you put your web address on your Pins, and even your logo or a watermark so if they get downloaded and shared it’s easy to see where the Pin originated.
You can share your Pins on Facebook, there are apps that can do this for you automatically whenever you pin. Embed them in your website or blog. Include them in your e-newsletters. Make them work for a living! Get them out there bringing attention to your business.
If you’re going to share on Instagram, which is also brilliant for images, you may have to resize your image to get it looking its best. www.canva.com is a free tool (with paid upgrades) that will let you take an image and easily resize it.
5. Build Your Database With Pinterest
Getting people to view your Pins is great but unless they are in the market to buy right now, they might like or repin your pin and then forget about you. That’s a shame because when the time comes that they ARE ready to buy, they might not remember to seek you out. They might be follow hundreds of Pinners and your lovely Pin might get lost in the mix.
So how can you stop that happening? Well, one way is to get them onto your email list. To use your Pins to whet their appetite and offer them a great incentive to join your mailing list, so you can share even more fabulous things with them. You could do this by running a competition and promoting it using Pinterest. You could offer a tempting freebie – an e-book, tips list, how-to video, something that your customers would LOVE to get their hands on and send them from the Pin to a sign-up page where they can enter their email address and get the freebie delivered in their email right away.
That way you can continue the discussion away from Pinterest. You can send them regular value-packed e-newsletters that they will love and you can stay top of mind. That way, when the are ready to buy, you will be at the top of their list.
6. Create A Shared Pinterest Board
You can create public Pin board and invite people to pin. How could you use this in your business? Well, you might ask people to share the results of a recipe you Pinned, or a craft project you shared. You might ask them to share photos of their pets if you run a pet store. You might ask them to share their favourite inspirational quote Pin or their wedding day photos.
Shared boards bring people together. It’s a way for you to add value for your followers and a place where you can also showcase your products and services to a willing audience. Shared boards are a great way to build relationships, to build your credibility and to find new customers, suppliers and collaborators – you never know what might come from a shared board!
7. Private Pinterest Boards For Business
When you create a new Pin board it asks you if you want to make the board private. So, why would you want to do this? Well, you could do what I suggest to my clients and create a business vision board on there that no-one but you can see. It means you can dream big dreams and find Pins to match. Vision boards are brilliant to keep you motivated, show you why you’re doing all this and focus your mind on the big plan. Private Pinterest boards are brilliant for this because searching and takes seconds, and you have the whole of Pinterest for inspiration.
You can choose to share private Pinterest boards with specific people and so you could create customer mood boards, project overview boards, ideas boards. It’s a really easy way to share concepts or images in a beautifully-laid-out way and it’s dynamic – you can add and take away in seconds. You can be talking to a customer on the phone and say, OK I just added some more suggestions to your board, can you refresh it now?
8. Inspiration On Flat-As-A-Pancake Days
Running a business is TOUGH and some days you feel flat or emotionally battered. There’s nothing like a browse through Pinterest to lift your spirits and get you smiling. Find your dream home office. Gaze at amazing shoes. Laugh at gorgeous puppies. Create your dream vision board.
Pinterest can recharge your batteries and make you smile on down days and that is just as important as anything else in business. Time dreaming, browsing and looking at things that make you happy is the magic ingredient we sometimes forget when we’re busy.
So, whenever you feel fed up, tired out, sick of the business battles and need a lift, I’m writing you a virtual prescription to spend an hour on Pinterest, building your dreams.
PS: Buyable Pins, where you can buy straight from the Pin without having to be diverted off to a website, already exist in the USA. Hopefully it won’t be long before they hit the rest of the world and bring us even more opportunity to build our business on Pinterest.
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.