Developing Your Professional Pinterest Strategy

*content warning: throughout this post, I will overuse the words ‘pinning’, ‘aesthetic’ and ‘inspiration’ to an infuriating degree. Unfortunately, these words come with the territory of Pinterest, so please forgive and enjoy the post!

Over the years, Pinterest has evolved drastically. Transforming from a simple ‘pinning’ site for the newly engaged, Polyvore-obsessed and indie art communities, the digital moodboard has shifted into a professional site of inspiration for almost every industry. With new features being introduced regularly, in 2019 anyone with a digital presence can use Pinterest to their advantage.

pinterest nikki mccaig

So where do I start?

Getting your head around Pinterest as a new user might take some adjustment. It’s not a complicated site to use, but it can take up a serious amount of time building up your boards and creating an aesthetic. To start with, establish around 5 key boards that represent the different elements of your work. Use generic titles to create categories, such as ‘logo inspiration’, ‘fashion’, ‘autumn style’, ‘winter wedding’, etc… And just start pinning.

Take at least 20 minutes per day to scroll through your feed, pinning the content you find appealing and inspirational to the corresponding board, making sure that you stick to a similar aesthetic in each piece of content or image. For example, if your logo style is minimalist and simple, pin the logos you find that are equally so. It might be an idea to find other users with a similar aesthetic to yours and follow their boards to see a bigger range of inspirational content.

Once you’ve built up a decent amount of content, add in a few elements of customisation to make sure that any user following you will be able to identify your aesthetic straight away. This could mean adding relevant emojis to your board titles, changing the cover of them and selecting your favourite boards to be ‘featured’ on your profile.

pinterest nikki mccaig

Developing a strategy

I’ve never really liked the word ‘strategy’, when it comes to the creative fields. ‘Strategy’ feels too militant for the typical Pinterest user, but it is worth creating a routine, if you like, to help you benefit from everything Pinterest has to offer. After building up a substantial profile on the site, and utilising the opportunities for customisation, it’s time to start planning how to pin your own content.

Pin from your Portfolio: First, create a board dedicated to your brand name i.e. ‘Nikki McCaig Marketing’. In this board, you can pin images from your website, your own brand content and any aesthetic pieces of work you’ve created. You upload them as pins and link them to their location on your site or digital portfolio. When titling your Pins, use a simple description, for example ‘Skincare Branding Case Study’ to help users understand where the image has come from. Then use the description to ‘hashtag’ what the image represents, using searchable terms such as ‘graphic design’, ‘logo inspiration’, ‘print design’, ‘beauty design inspiration’. This will help any users looking for pieces of content or work under those terms to find your content, and click through to your website.

Pin from your Socials: Then it’s time to start pinning from your socials. Unfortunately, you can’t directly pin from Instagram, however you can upload individual images and link them to your Instagram account, so make sure you’ve kept copies of your favourite posts. Pick the images you feel best represent the best quality of work or photography you have and upload them with the relevant title and hashtags. This can also be applied to any other social profiles you have or any other photography/designs you’ve done in the past.

Designing Pinterest-only Content: To truly build up your Pinterest reach, it’s time to start designing your own content. These can be really simple pieces of content, such as social assets, logo ideas, quotes and prints, etc… but it’s important to show off your skills. Whether you’re an artist, marketing, public speaker or fashion designer, anything you can create that will inspire others is bound to go down well. Use a free design site like Canva to help create infographics or prints specific to your industry. Some of the posts I’ve created recently have been around my advice for marketing, my autumn social media tips or just the titles of my latest blog posts. As long as the content is high quality and consistent with your brand, you’ll be recieving hits in no time.

Screenshot of Pinterest board, with different colour palettes and representations of shades.

And if you don’t believe me…

To prove that I know what I’m talking about, I’ve decided to share some of the stats from my own website, highlighting just how much traffic you can gain from a well stocked Pinterest board.

*these figures are taking from the past month

nikki mccaig pinterest

82% of my total web traffic in the past month has come from Pinterest. In that time, I’ve had more business enquiries, print downloads, blog post hits and social followers than any of the months prior. My Pinterest account now gets 365.5k monthly views, with my top post being downloaded over 1.9k times. This process is simple, easy on time and entirely free. But it’s also totally worth it.

To find out more about my social media services, click here or to read my last post, follow this link.

Thanks for reading.

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