Set up an account
Have you thought about your business name yet? Its best to set up a Pinterest account once you know your business name as the internet likes when the same name shows up in different places. Ideally you should know your business name or a personal avatar that you are assuming, like my ‘mumpreneurjules’, and make this consistent across different platforms.
Another useful thing to do is to set up an email account to manage all the accounts across platforms associated with this business. I set up firstname.lastname@example.org to manage the details off all of my social media, website and Etsy for my mumpreneurjules persona. This just makes things easy to keep track of if you have different business’ at the same time or don’t want to fill up your personal email with things like this.
It is very easy to set up a Pinterest account. Just choose a name, and email address and a password. You will then be given the option to choose some themes that you are interested in. It is important to remember here that you are your business persona and not to add in things you like that are nothing to do with the business. Recipes might be great for your personal life but will only confuse the Pinterest analytics that are trying to create your niche to engage with.
Choose your boards
Leading on from the ideas of choosing themes your business is interested in comes the choice of what boards you are going to create. Ideally you should have between 2-5 boards, all with different strands of your business. Ideally each of these strands should correspond to pages of your website so that you can easily and directly promote the work that you are doing. An important thing about choosing boards is to know the themes of your business, really know your business. Know what you want to say, but more importantly know what your customers want to know. How can you provide high quality and useful information that can improve your audiences lives and solve their problems. People don’t buy things, they buy solutions to problems they have in their lives. In your Pinterest boards you have an opportunity to build your audiences trust by providing high quality pins, either your own or re-pins from other people that your audience would like.
Make your first pin
Pins follow a particular format and its important that you know how to put them together to get the best results from them. They are a vertical rectangular shape that is very different from other sites you may be used to posting on. Facebook and Instagram both have square areas, although slightly different proportions, are similar when designing a post. Pinterest pins are closer to an A4 piece of paper that you would use for your printer.
The images in this article are pins. A good technique to make the most out of your time is to make sure that nothing you do only has one purpose. When I write an article for my blog I also create 14 pins at the same time. I play with the title of the article and repurpose it in seven different ways to appeal to different people. These will be the pins I post in Pinterest to promote the article that I will schedule for seven days in a row. The other seven pins are to accompany the advertising pins in the blog article. This is because my current blog format looks better with two Pinterest images side by side. These images could also be used in future to create an e-book from the article that could be sold on a platform such as Etsy. Do you see how everything can come together and be used in different places?
But for now you are just interested in creating your first pin. So, design a pin in Canva. Canva is a brilliant, easy and free piece of software you can use to make images. It is a drag and drop system with endless options of shapes, photos and fonts. It also has countless templates so you can simply customise an existing template with your words and colours if you aren’t ready to start designing your own yet. There really is no reason for you to get started now. Canva does have a pay for option that you can upgrade to once you get more ambitious but you can last quite happily with the free version and still produce amazing images. Look through the Pinterest boards and get a feel for what you like and what you don’t. Almost everyone is marketing using Canva and you will quickly see patterns and start to know what your preferences are. Pins should be clear and visual. They should instantly let the viewer know what you are promoting and make them want to know more. The next section is about giving them the information in words.
Choose which board you want to put your pin on. Its important to make sure that your content fits well with your overall topic so that your audience builds trust in what you post and can view you as a n authority.
Title. This is where you SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) becomes important. You should have key words or phrases that you use across all of your platforms that really present the essence of what you do so that the anilytics can recognise you and rank you higher. I often use Creative Entrepreneur as this is the most core thing of what I do.
Your main body of text is an opportunity for you to describe your pin and what it is offering. You can also include a CTA (Call To Action), which is basically asking the viewer to do something like visit your website or follow you on another platform. You may be offering a competition, an discount, or simply asking people to view articles you have written in a blog. The point is to consider what you pin is doing and make sure that your text is backing that up and making it clear to your audience what you are wanting them to do. Ill considered or dead end pins will not add to your business.
Finally, there is space to put a link to your website. If you don’t have a website yet then I strongly recommend that you get one, even if its a one page landing page to advertise a specific offer or if its a simple blog. You want your audience to have somewhere to go to get to know more about your and what you are promoting.
Once you have filled out all of these sections and are ready to post you can see two options at the bottom which are to publish now or schedule. It is tempting to make pins one at a time and post immediately, especially as you are finding your feet with Pinterest, but the algorithms love consistency and if you schedule your post it will really help with your overall reach. All you need to do is choose a date and a time and press publish, Pinterest will do the rest for you.
Re-pin from others
At first you may be thinking that you want to make your board unique to you to help with your brand identity. You want your audience to see you and not be distracted by other people’s pins on your boards. This is not the best way to use Pinterest. The system works on building reach based on what other pins you interact with therefor if you don’t share anybody else’s pins then you can’t get exposure to their audience. If you consistently re-pin other people’s content then Pinterest will start to make your pins appear on their audiences feeds. If you only ever post your own pins then your audience will never find you.
You need to look for other people who post in your niche and fill your boards with their pins by re-pinning. Obviously you may not want to re-pin posts from a direct competitor of yours who your audience may buy from instead of your, but find pins that compliment what you do and who your audience would also be interested in.
Ideally you want to re-pin about 30 pins per day. This will greatly increase your audience reach and help you to become known in your niche.
Pinterest and your website
If you have a website is is important to attach it to your Pinterest account. This is a fairly easy thing to do but may require you to have a paid for standard of website rather than the free versions. Free website are great for getting you started but when you want to increase your reach you will probably want to add plugins to improve the quality of your site. Plugins are like apps that make you phone do other things. Imagine you want to use a fitness tracker and need to connect it to your phone so you simply download the app and connect it. Website plugins are basically the same. The website is like the basic phone, but if you want it to perform other functions like sync with Pinterest to increase your visibility then you need to get a plugin to make it happen.
This is the most important thing of all. You can make amazing new individual pins every day and be posting consistently, but if you are doing it manually then the algorithms won’t be impressed. Like all search engines, the algorithms favour consistency and if they see that you have used scheduling tools then they are more convinced that you deserve a higher place in the ranking because you will be consistent in your posting. Pinterest allows you to post two weeks in advance so I suggest your first task is to sit and make 14 posts on Canva and schedule them to post for the next 14 days. You will instantly see a difference in your reach.
This however will only get you so far. Ideally you want an external scheduling software such as Tailwind. Tailwind makes is very easy to pin and re-pin for schedule many items in just a few minutes. Its very easy to use and has a free version that can get you started. Perhaps you will want to upgrade in time but initially you can get good results with the free version.
Join a tribe
A tribe is the name for a community on Tailwind. This is a brilliant way to find a group of people who have similar content to yours that is high quality and worth you re-pinning to your boards. It is also a great way for you to share your content to a group of people who have a similar niche audience to you. If you join a tribe and others re-pin your content then it will show on the feeds of their audience and they may be interested in what you do. You can see how this is a much more targeted way of reaching your specific niche audience rather than aimlessly wondering through the whole of Pinterest. The important thing to do here is to share high quality content that has a purposeful call to action, like visit your website, to grow your own audience and generate interest in what you do.
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
The key to this system is repetition. You may see an initial rise in your reach and then it slows down, but don’t be discouraged by this. Consistency is key. Repeat this approach for at least 90 days and watch your results. 90 days is a great number for trialing and growing anything as it gives you a decent amount of data to analyse but also it takes time to build habits in life. Your Impressions will grow, which is the overall times your pins show up in other people’s feeds. This is important because it means you pins are getting out there and finding their potential audiences. But that is not enough. You need to track your actual engaged audience to know how many people are drawn to your content. If 150,000 people can see your content but you only have a few hundred people engaged and far less than that actively pinning your content or clicking links to your website then that is not working. Although you are being consistent with your schedule over 90 days you need to be responsive with the type of content you post. If one week you post a campaign about a new article you wrote and it gets no interest then look at both your article content and the style of pins you are putting out there. Check to see what other people who have content like yours and are doing well do. You may be able to easily identify where you went wrong or it might take some trial and error. Perhaps you could re-design your pins and run the campaign again with a different look to see if that makes a difference. Every time you do something like this be considered on what you want to achieve and analyse how successful it has been. Don’t stick with something just because you made a decision to try to, also, don’t simply move away from a failure without taking note of why it might have been a failure so you don’t keep making the same mistakes.