Dear Creative Business Owner,
Meet your newest marketing tool- the groovy little place known as Pinterest.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is – as “it” describes itself – a virtual, visual pinboard. (Think StumbleUpon, only with larger picture thumbnails and more easily customizable “pin boards” – or folders.) It’s as easy to use as Facebook – maybe even a little easier – and it’s rapidly becoming one of the Internet’s hottest spots for marketing handmade products. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, you need to – and not just because it’s a great way to market but because it’s a fun way to market, or just collect ideas for your next home remodeling project, or upcoming wedding, or party decorating ideas, or ideas for your garden…or, or, or…Well, you get the idea – you can make a pinboard for ANYTHING.
How To Join Pinterest
There are two ways to join Pinterest.
- Visit Pinterest.com and sign up – This seems like a logical solution, except that if you use this method, you’ll have to wait 2 to 3 days to actually get started.
- Ask a friend to send you an invite to Pinterest- this seems to grant you access to Pinterest a bit quicker than signing up yourself. We’d be happy to send you an invite if you want to email us your email address or leave it in a comment at the end of this post. – You can send emails to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pinterest Etiquette – For Crafters and for All
Pinterest has a few rules they want you to follow, whether you’re there for work or leisure.
The rules are pretty easy to remember:
- Give credit where it’s due. Whether you’re pinning something new to Pinterest or sharing a pin on your blog, Facebook or in group or team forums, be sure to provide a direct link back to the original source of the pin. You want to retain credit for pins you or others make of your physical or intellectual property, so do your fellow crafters, artists, photographers, graphi designers or writers a favor and give them credit for their work- this will help them draw more traffic to their site and it’s the respectful, pay-it-forward thing to do.
- Be nice – if you can’t type something nice when leaving a comment or making a new pin, then don’t type at all.
- Don’t overly self-promote. – A little self-promotion is okay, just make sure you share stuff from others too. Remember, this keeps you from seeming too salesy and helps you gain trust and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
- Report pins that are not suitable for young users or pins that violate the Pinterest Terms of Service.
- And give your feedback on ways Pinterest can be improved.
How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Creative Business
Pinterest is a really popular place these days – attracting users of all ages. Members of your target market are likely using Pinterest, so you should be too.
So how can you use Pinterest to market and advocate your business? There’s a few ways:
- Pin your products. Try creating a board specifically for your business products. This way your followers can stop following only that specific board if your products don’t interest them. But, don’t be afraid to pin your products to different boards, as long as they are appropriate. For example, feel free to pin your handmade jewelry to both you business pinboard as well as your “fashion” or “style” board as applicable.
- Pin photographs or images of products that inspire you.
- Pin things your target market will find useful. Did you just find a new website, blog, book, article or an individual blog post that will be useful to your followers? Pin it!
- Pin useful posts from your own blog. Try creating a special board for this one too, to allow your followers to unsubscribe from your blog updates so they don’t have to see pins that are irrelevant to them.
- Connect with others and make new friends – especially those in your target market or users who may benefit from following your pins. Connect with other crafters and artists so you can repin each other’s pins and help each other make the most of Pinterest as a marketing tool. If you use Etsy, join the Pinterest teams and find crafters to connect with on Pinterest.
- Create and fill as many pinboards as you like. Create pinboards for anything you want- this helps to showcase your personality and gives your followers an insight into your personality, what inspires you, what drives you and what you’re up to outside of marketing your business. All of that helps you build relationships with your followers and customers, which can help you appear trustworthy and knowledgeable. But, please, please please remember to keep your boards neatly organized. Personally, if I start following someone and they can’t keep their boards organized so that I can unfollow the boards that are not relevant to me- then I’ll just stop following them completely. You don’t want that- so keep your boards organized!
But that’s not even a fraction of the ways you can use or optimize Pinterest for use in your business marketing arsenal. To really optimize Pinterest for marketing your business- be sure to check out 56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest by Beth Hayden at Copyblogger.com.
And make sure you follow my Craft Advice & Blogs board to see other useful blog posts and articles I pin related to the business of owning, marketing and managing a craft business.
See the rest of my Pinterest boards and connect with me on Pinterest at: Hip Earth Designs on Pinterest
Have any additional tips for making the most of Pinterest? Please share them by leaving a comment.