We talked in my previous post – How to use Pinterest to get new clients | Part One – about the amazing potential that Pinterest has to give your website visitor count a huge boost.
It sounds perfect – throw up some posts, and then sit back as they go to work for you. Pinterest is a passive marketing channel – but this can give the misconception that it will do everything on its own.
In reality, of course, you need to put in the hard work and have a proper strategy in place to get the best out of it, and build your account to a point where you can relax and let it promote your business for you in the background.
As someone who has quickly grown accounts which have half a million unique visitors each month, I know that you can make Pinterst the main source for website traffic, without having to spend a pound on it.
You too can learn how to use Pinterest to provide a steady stream of traffic to your website. So here, I’ll share some of my top tips for setting up a successful account for your freelance business.
Set up a business account
First of all, you need to set your Pinterest profile as a business account. It’s free and it’s very easy to do. If you already have a profile that’s set up as a personal account, you just need to go to ‘Settings’ – ‘Account settings’ and click on the option “Convert account”:
Or, if you want to create a separate account just for business purposes, sign up for a new account – and then choose the business account option:
It’s essential to use a business account because you will get access to helpful insights and analytics – as well as the option to run ads and paid campaigns in case you want to in the future.
These insights are what you will use to see which pins are driving traffic, what is performing well, what is not working so well. You can then use this information to tweak and improve your strategy as you go.
Are Pinterest ads worth the investment?
When it comes to paid campaigns on Pinterest, I personally haven’t run any campaign yet, but depending on the type of your business, for example, if you are a product-based business, it might be worth it for you.
For a service-based business, I believe you can achieve great results without ads – and I think it is worth building your account organically before deciding to spend money on ads.
If you are curious to try it out, Pinterest often has good offers for ads – for example, spend £15 and they will match it – so you can test it out without investing too much.
Start completing the profile
Once you have your business account set up, start completing the profile. Pay special attention to your display name – it’s searchable, so make sure you write it in a way that your target market can easily discover you.
The formula for the display name goes NAME + CORE SERVICE + TARGET AUDIENCE:
Connect website and social media profile(s)
Don’t forget to add your website and claim it – it will take a couple of days for Pinterest to approve this. Also, claim all other social media accounts you have:
To start building your Pinterest presence, you need to create boards and add pins. For a solid start, aim to create at least ten public boards that are relevant to both your business and your target audience.
When you are naming these boards, think about your audience would be likely to search for – keep in mind that boards names are also searchable:
It’s tempting but don’t skip on writing descriptions and selecting categories when creating your boards. This all helps to make them more discoverable in searches.
Now you have a few boards created, go through and add some content to each board. Make sure you have at least ten pins for each one.
You can repin from other people on Pinterest to get started if you don’t have any pins ready to publish – but don’t leave the boards empty.
Once you add pins that are relevant to the topic of the board, you are basically signalling to Pinterest that your board is active and that you are actively repining and curating pins that are related to the category of the board. If you can design some of your own too – that will be even better. Canva can help you with this if your design skills are limited. (Keep reading for some more advice on creating your own content.)
It’s best to spend a little bit of time each day setting your account up in this way, rather than doing it all at once and then disappearing. This kind of consistent usage tells Pinterest that your boards are active, so you’ll start to be included in search results within the chosen category, for the topic.
When I first started the account for Destination Marketing, I dedicated roughly half an hour each day to publishing new pins, and repinning other users’ content.
I would also follow relevant accounts and leave meaningful comments on pins that were relevant to my business.
I did this consistently, for approximately a month, and could clearly see that I had the algorithm on my side.
Once I started seeing results, I started doing it every second day, and eventually, just once per week to publish my new pins.
I do occasionally go on Pinterest because it’s a great tool for creating mood boards and other things for my work.
Of course, I usually pin during that time, but I try to use it more naturally, without thinking too much about the metrics and performance of my account.
I use it because I need it and I pin because I want to save resources that could be valuable for my work. So I kind of separate the two simply because that works for me.
Patience is the key
However you decide to approach building and using Pinterest, ultimately I recommend you to be as active as possible at the start.
Be patient and put some time and work into it. Build momentum and get the algorithm on your side – show Pinterest that you are a legit account and that you are bringing value to the community.
Don’t forget that Pinterest is, at the end of the day, a social media platform
Even though Pinterest is of a visual search engine than a social media platform, don’t be a stranger – post meaningful comments or start a conversation in the comment section with the person who has pinned the pin that is about your field of expertise. That way you will attract the attention of the audience that is seeing this pin, which can then lead them to your profile.
Follow your fellow freelancers and support them by resharing their pins. There is much less competition here than on other platforms, and by resharing other pins you are equally helping yourself as much as you are helping them.
Once your account is starting to grow, the snowball effect will take care of the rest.
Publish original content regularly
Repining and resharing is a major part of Pinterest strategy, but you cannot rely just on that – you have to publish new and original content as well. There are two reasons for that:
1. Original content drives traffic to your website
First, your ultimate goal is to generate traffic from Pinterest to your website. For that, you need to create pins that link out to your website. You cannot reshare other people’s pins and put links to your website. Or at least you shouldn’t – it’s unethical and you will get flagged as spam and these accounts are quickly suspended.
2. Pinterest’s algorithm rewards high-quality, fresh content
Secondly, Pinterest, loves new and original content, and it gives it an advantage over reshared content.
Over 20% of pins are original content, and the other 80% are actually just reshared pins. So you want to be contributing to that 20%, with original content.
By doing this, you’ll quickly start to see that others share your content too – complete with the juicy links back to your website.
To ride the Pinterest wave, you need to publish original pins consistently.
Nowadays, I batch pin designing once a month and then publish those pins over the following weeks, during my weekly Pinterest session.
What dynamic will you have at first depends solely on your schedule. Whether you will batch it, do it weekly or daily, just please make sure you publish original pins regularly.
Last but not the least, a factor that significantly contributes to the success of your Pinterest content is overall design of your pins. This is a very visual and looks matter a lot. If your content is not ‘pinnable’, it will get lost in an endless sea of other pins.
So, what are ‘pinnable’ pins? Simply, pins that get reshared and most importantly, clicked. Good pins are the result of smart design – they provide value while also being visually appealing.
A click-worthy pin has the following elements:
- A website link
- An interesting topic
- Something to trigger curiosity
- A Call to Action,
- Appealing visuals
It will take some trial and error at first to see what pin design gives you the best results – but that’s why it can be really useful to create two to three different designs, with the same link. You can then test to see which one performs best.
Until next time,