Switching from using Pinterest for personal use to using Pinterest for business will require a bit of strategy and planning. It will initially take some time to get things set up, but once you get a good system in place, you can manage your Pinterest account in a reasonable amount of time.
Here's how I find time to promote my own business on Pinterest without giving up my core, focused work time.
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If you're going to grow your Pinterest account, you need to start pinning images. Of course, you'll pin your own images, but you'll also need to pin other images as well. Getting both types of images can be a challenge.
Getting great images of your own products is fundamental to running a craft business. You'll need great product photos for any type of online sales and promotion, and you'll need them to apply to juried art shows. If you want help with product photography, the book, The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos, is a fantastic resource.
Finding other people's pins can be time consuming. Before I had a good system in place, it took hours for me to keep up with pinning. Happily, I've found a system that works well, and is quite efficient.
In addition to your own images, you should pin other people's work that is relevant to your customers, and does not compete directly with your own business.
I pin an average of 20 pins per day. I started at 5 pins per day and worked up as my process became more efficient. I'd consider doing more, but 20 per day is about what I can get done without getting in the way of other work. Do what you can manage, but keep in mind, more pins generally translate into more followers.
I am careful about what I pin. I'm sensitive to the time it takes to create something great, so I will only pin from the original source.
That means, if I find an interesting "roundup" on Pinterest, I'll click through to the original sources and pin from there. I don't pin the roundup. If the blogger doesn't provide links to the original sources, or if they cite Pinterest as a source, I will move on without pinning anything. In my opinion, the person who created the item in the first place deserves the credit and the link to their blog.
I always click through to the original site if I find something good on Pinterest. It's shocking how often an image on Pinterest does not link to the actual item pictured on the image. If the link doesn't go to the original source, I won't pin it.
I use this degree of care, not only to be respectful of other people's work, but also because I believe it's better for my own Pinterest account in the long run.
If I owned Pinterest, I would see all of those images linked to the wrong source as being a bad user experience, and I wouldn't want my users to have a bad experience. I would, at some point, start cracking down on those bad pins. One way to do that is to give accounts that contain bad pins less exposure in Pinterest feeds, and give more exposure to accounts that pin good items that do link correctly to the original source.
I won't pretend to be a Pinterest algorithm expert, but I do think it's safe to assume that good user experience is what Pinterest wants, so developing your own boards that create a good user experience gives everyone what they want, and that has to be a smart way to build your brand on Pinterest.
I bet right about now you're thinking, "Searching through hundreds of Pinterest posts to make sure they link to quality material and go to the original source sounds like a giant pain in the neck."
You're right. It is - Massive, time consuming, and highly annoying work.
I used to find my pins this way, and it took a full two work days every month to schedule my Pinterest pins. That's two days I could have been using to write new articles, or create new products, or hang out with my kids, or read a good book!
That's why I don't use Pinterest much for finding items to pin anymore.
I'll surf around on it and pin something that catches my eye, by it's not where I go to find 20 pins a day. I will scroll through Pinterest and pin anything I think would be interesting to craft professionals who follow me there, but it's not my main source of content to pin.
I use Feedly to get all kinds of new, relevant craft business information sent to me every day. Feedly is fabulous because it sends me the newest information, just posted to the web, about any topic I want to track. For pinning, that means almost everything that comes to me from Feedly is the original source. It doesn't take enormous time to track down original sources when you get your content from Feedly because they are all brand new posts. You might get the odd "roundup" in your feed, but that's about it.
Plus, if you're on top of the newest information in your niche, you can react quickly to new trends, and become the go-to person in your niche who always has the most current scoop.
What is Feedly?
Feedly is an RSS feed reader. If you're not familiar with RSS feed readers, they are fantastic tools for staying on top of all the news in your industry. You simply add blogs, or topics you want to follow, and every time something new is posted on that blog or about that topic, it will be listed in your feed for you to read. I use Feedly to track some personal interest information as well as business information.
To get started, simply create an account at Feedly, then start adding content. There are free and paid options at Feedly. I've been using a free account for quite a while, and it fully meets my needs.
There are a few ways to add content to Feedly. It might not be immediately obvious how to find and add content, but they have a good blog post explaining how to get started.
Think about topics you want to post on Pinterest, and start searching those topics on Feedly. Follow anything that looks like it might have promising content to post on Pinterest.
You might also have specific websites you want to follow on Feedly. Search for and follow them as well. You can follow this site, for example. While signed into your Feedly account, just type craftprofessional.com into Feedly's search bar, and then click follow.
It will take some time to cultivate a good set of sites and topics to follow. As you review your feeds each day, you'll notice some sites or topics you follow give you nothing of interest, while others will deliver plenty. Just delete sites or topics from your feed if you find they aren't helpful.
Over time, you might find you're missing information on a topic you want to pin, so you'll need to do another search for more sources of information on that topic.
Once you've developed a great set of feeds that provide information your Pinterest followers would like, your pinning will be simple and not too time consuming.
How do I get items from my Feedly account pinned to my Pinterest account?
With Tailwind, of course. ;)
I also use Tailwind to pin items from my own site to Pinterest.
Tailwind is a service that allows you to schedule pins to your Pinterest account, and it is an official partner of Pinterest. I've been using Tailwind to schedule my pins since 2016. Before that, I used a free service that no longer exists. Tailwind is not free, it's $15.00 per month, or $9.99 per month if you pay annually. I find that cost pays for itself in the time it saves me and in the number of visitors Pinterest brings to my site.
When I have some free time, I go to my Feedly feeds and scroll through looking for items to pin to Pinterest. When I find something I want to pin, I click through to that page, and then click a button to activate Tailwind to schedule the pin. I can do all of this work on my computer or on my smart phone. Feedly and Tailwind both have mobile apps, so I can schedule pins when I'm out and about with time to fill.
It's pretty simple. It definitely takes some time on the front end to find sites and topics to follow that will provide content to pin, but once you have that work done, it's not terribly time consuming.
I never use big blocks of dedicated work time to pin to Pinterest anymore. I save that precious, focused work time for big projects, like writing articles and creating products. Feedly and Tailwind allow me to build my Pinterest following when I have little bits of free time here and there, when I'm sitting around waiting for my kids after swimming lessons, for example. Any time I have a few minutes to fill that isn't long enough to get started on something big, I can work on growing my business on Pinterest.
This system works beautifully for me. If you want to try this workflow for yourself (for free) simply get a free Feedly account, sign up for Tailwind, where your first 100 pins are free, then get pinning!