I’ve been on Pinterest ever since you needed an invitation to join, and to be honest, I’m kicking myself over the fact that for ages I used it mainly for personal stuff rather than marketing my business. A couple of years ago I got serious about the platform, converted to a business account, took an awesome online course on using Pinterest for business, and got strategic about my marketing over there. Now? It’s my single biggest traffic source most months, brings me new subscribers and customers daily, and has helped me grow my little blog into something that actually makes money while I sleep.
I really want to share this with others who might benefit from the power of Pinterest. So this is the first post in a 10-part series about Pinterest marketing for solopreneurs. Subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss any of the posts, or follow me on Pinterest and pick them up over there. Pinterest is driving a lot of traffic to my blog right now, and other solopreneurs are saying the same thing. But it’s not for everyone. Today we’re looking at whether Pinterest is the right platform for your business.
If you’re not already on Pinterest, you may be wondering if it’s really worth it. Keeping up with every social media site out there is impossible, so it’s vital to pick the ones that will work for you. You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about how good Pinterest can be for business, but how do you know if it’s worthwhile investment of your time and energy for your particular business?
I’d suggest that most bloggers, authors, coaches, freelancers, and service-based solopreneurs (such as virtual assistants) can benefit from a Pinterest presence, as well as almost anyone with any kind of product-based online store or website. But there are always exceptions. Check out the questions below for some insight as to whether Pinterest might be the right platform for your brand.
Do you need more traffic?
One thing you’ll hear a LOT is that Pinterest isn’t a social media network, it’s a search engine. Actually, it’s both, in much the same way other sites like YouTube are. In fact, much like YouTube, it’s a visual site where people go to look for ideas and research things. So just like you can bring traffic to your YouTube videos my getting your title, description and keywords right, you can do the same with your Pins on Pinterest.
This is important because people searching Pinterest are often in a buying mood. If they’re searching ‘baby boy nursery ideas’ they’re ready to buy nursery furniture and accessories. If they’re searching ‘summer party dresses’ they’re probably looking to buy one rather than just enjoy looking at them. If they’re searching ‘best books for entrepreneurs’, they want to read those books. By giving your Pins and Boards the right titles and descriptions, and using strategic keywords, you can attract a slice of the Pinterest traffic, which is great.
What’s even better is that the individuals that make up that traffic are, as already mentioned, often in a buying mood, which means Pinterest traffic is generally high-converting traffic.
It’s NOT always fast-converting traffic. Someone might save that nursery Pin and go back to it when they’re eight months pregnant. They might go back to the summer dress Pin when they have a wedding to attend, or to the books Pin when they’re loading up their Kindle for a vacation.
When they do go back to it, though, they’re definitely in a buying mood, so they’ll click through and find themselves in your online baby accessory store, or on your fashion blog, or on your entrepreneur-focused website, with their credit card already out.
Are your audience members on Pinterest?
Some research is necessary to find out whether your target audience falls into the demographic of the average Pinterest user. Research the latest information regarding who’s using Pinterest to get a feel for whether your ideal customer falls into these groups.
The vast majority of Pinterest user have always been female, with a median age of around 40. So, it really makes sense to consider having a presence here if your target audience includes women in their 30s and 40s. You can take a look at current Pinterest demographics for further insights.
Does your brand lends itself to visual content?
Pinterest is very visual. It’s basically a curation site where users pin blog posts, articles and products that interest them. But when you scroll through it, you’ll initially just see a wall of images, a little like Instagram. What’s different about Pinterest is that the vast majority of images link directly to a blog, website, or online shop where you can find out more about the product or topic in the image, and buy what’s needed for whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.
Pins must be visually appealing if they’re to stand out among the crowd. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense to spend a lot of time and effort here if your business is one that can’t be represented well through graphics. However, I’d argue that it’s possible to create graphics related to your product or service even if you don’t have a large variety of photo-worthy content. There are a few different strategies
People love quotes on Pinterest, so creating quotes that are relevant to your business, and then linking them to your website is a possibility. You can also create lovely images to go with your posts or articles if you have a blog or content based website. You’ll catch browsers attention with your images and they link directly to the relevant post or article. Creativity is necessary when it comes to using Pinterest. It’s not all about just posting images of what you’re selling (though that works really well in some niches).
What resources do you have available?
Finally, you also need to take inventory of your resources in order to make an informed assessment of whether a Pinterest marketing effort is a sound plan for your needs. You’ll need the time and inclination to spend time creating Pinnable graphics, pinning or scheduling Pins into an automated system, monitoring any comments and maintaining boards.
Of course you can outsource some of this, but you don’t have to. Online software such as Canva and PicMonkey are more than sufficient to make Pinterest graphics. You can obtain stock images for free at many sites, or go for a highly affordable subscription at a site like Ivory Mix or SheBold Stock. You can even buy in highly affordable customizable Pin templates. I love these easy-to-customize templates, and they’re less than $10. You can edit them in the free version of Canva.
While you can outsource your Pinterest marketing efforts, you can also learn your way around fairly quickly, especially if you invest in a high-quality online course on the topic.
I learned everything I needed to know about Pinterest from the self-paced online course, Pindepth Advanced. It includes four hours of video training, actionable workbooks, a private Facebook group, and a ton of bonuses (including two bonus courses, Content That Converts and The Subscriber Rush). Plus, you get lifetime access. Every time Pinterest rolls out new stuff, more information is added to the course, so you’re constantly updated. Check out the details here.
Pinterest can be an incredibly successful platform for use in your online marketing. As with other marketing efforts, you simply need to be strategic about its use. If you have the resources, a willingness to learn, and image-friendly products or services, the site could bring you a ton of new traffic, subscribers and sales. Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll look at some of the benefits of Pinterest when it comes to building engagement around your brand.
Don’t forget to connect with me on Pinterest. And just click here if you’d like to get a free printable workbook and other goodies to help you run your online biz, along with updates on the other posts in the series.