You might think of Pinterest purely as a fun place to go find some recipes, fashion inspiration or extravagant cakes.
But Pinterest is actually an often overlooked social media channel, which can harness to drive significant, organic traffic to your website.
For freelancers, Pinterest is a simple and effective way to get more exposure, and possibly land new collaborations and clients.
If you don’t have a profile there yet, or you are not using it actively because you don’t really understand the point of it, this article is for you.
It’s best to think of Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform.
Each month, more than two billion searches are made on Pinterest. Take a look at some of the stats on this post from Hootsuite – they will blow your mind and convince you to take Pinterest seriously.
I will explain how any freelance business can benefit from a presence on this massive visual platform.
No matter what service you offer, if people are searching for it, being present on Pinterest can help you.
For example, I run Destination Marketing – a marketing and design agency aimed at the travel and hospitality industry. Even though the search volumes for related keywords for this niche are not huge, I still use Pinterest and am very active there.
My target audience may not be present in huge numbers on Pinterest, but there is still a significant number of them using the platform. So I want to make sure that even the small percentage that uses Pinterest always finds my pins when they search for any topic related to marketing for a hospitality business.
This then leads them directly to our website.
In addition, if my Pinterest content is performing well, it will likely show up on the first page of Google and in the top Google images for those keywords.
So even people who don’t use Pinterest are likely to find the content through Google. They can then interact with it and click directly through to my website.
With an average of lifespan of at least four months, Pinterest is the platform where content ‘lives’ the longest.
When you compare it to the 18 minute lifespan of a tweet, or the 24-hour lifespan of an Instagram posts, it’s clear that Pinterest offers you a generous reward for the time and effort involved in posting content.
Pinterest is a great channel for so-called passive marketing. It’s one of the best platforms to publish and promote your core services, and evergreen content that will continue to attract potential clients in the future.
One of my favourite things about Pinterest is that your website is just a click away. Once someone sees your ‘Pins’ (Pinterest’s word for a post), all they need to do is click on the pin to be taken directly to your website.
No need for any ‘link in bio’ nonesense. This is why Pinterest can be so effective at turning lookers into buyers and clients.
But don’t let the term ‘passive marketing’ fool you, you do need to invest time and hard work to bring your account to the point where you can relax and let Pinterest bring you a steady stream of new website visitors and leads.
Another great thing about Pinterest is the fact that creativity and inspiration is around you all of the time.
You’ll need lots of inspiration to keep you going and posting when you’re not feeling creative – and Pinterest is a platform designed to help you find, curate and create ideas easily and efficiently.
It’s great for creating moodboards, which you can use for client work, to manage a client’s expectations, and make sure you’re both on the same page with projects.
A lot of creativity comes from finding and combining ideas from different sources, and Pinterest can really help you do this.
You can also use Pinterest to discover what your audience likes and what is currently fashionable – especially if there is seasonality in your work. Pinterest is a great place to ‘predict’ what will be popular in the months ahead.
Building your brand
Get ready for some stats – 70% of us are visual learners and we process visual information 60 thousand times faster than information we have to think about and process.
We also remember 80% of the content that we see, in comparision to just 20% of information we read and 10% of information we hear.
So if you want to establish your freelance business as a brand that people will remember, your visual presentation should be a high priority. This is another great reason to use Pinterest.
Pinterest can help you to visually present any part of your business. Because it’s a social platform that acts like a search engine, people use it to quickly find answers to questions and problems.
Because every search shows ‘pins’ it’s often easier for users to skim through the results and find what they are looking for than if they were doing the same search on Google.
Whenever your pins come up in search, you’re getting exposure that can help you to build and grow your brand.
You can also create boards that are solely about your business and offers, and keep them on the top of your profile. That way whenever someone lands on your profile they can easily get familiar with what you do.
Community over competition
Pinterest is not a social media platform for staying in touch with friends and family like Facebook and Instagram. But it is great for finding community and generating potential collaborations.
When you are sharing good, legit pins from other users, you are giving them exposure. At the same time you are signalling to Pinterest’s algorithm that you are an active, valuable member.
In return, over time, Pinterest starts to give your content a boost, rather than someone who comes to the platform occasionally and doesn’t contribute.
That’s why users often find their own ‘tribe’ and join group boards.
In case you’re unfamiliar with group boards – they are niche-related boards where multiple users can contribute posts and re-share other pins – a win-win for everyone.
With Pinterest’s help, you can easily find like-minded freelancers, who offer services that complement your own, or who have the same target audience as you do.
By interacting with them, and leaving thoughtful comments on their pins, you can get in front of their audience as well, without making them feel threatened – because you are not competitors.
Equally, if you’re sharing good, valuable content, then others will share your work with their audiences and your content can take on a life of its own.
I hope you’re a little clearer about the business case for using Pinterest and you understand a little bit more about how to use it as a freelancer.
I’ve seen some amazing results for organic traffic for all types of clients so I encourage you to give it a go and see what happens. If you need some help, drop me a line at email@example.com.
In my next post for Freelance Success, I’ll talk a little more about the process of creating ‘click-worthy’ pins.