Marketing for Artists: Using Pinterest for Your Indie Business

Are you on Pinterest, the online scrapbook (called "pinboards") where users share images? You can use it to promote your indie business and show your creativity to a wide audience.

The purpose of the pinboards is to organize the various images you find from around the web or from your own collection. You might have pinboards labeled "Jewelry," "Ideas for Tablescapes," "Favorite Desserts," and "Vintage Dresses," for example. As you peruse the web, you will find images that you can pin into these categories, and you'll want to start new pinboards as well. Other Pinterest users can re-pin your pins to their own boards, "like" your pins, and make comments under your pins on your Pinterest page.

If you're an IndieMade user, check out this page of our handbook to find out how to make it easy for you and others to share your site's content on Pinterest.

Hatpins and lace on Pinterest    Hatpins on Pinterest

You can pin much more than your art or handmade crafts on Pinterest. Vintage finds or nicely styled photos of any sort can help you give your customers a peek into your personal style.

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As you get involved in Pinterest, you will find others that you will want to follow because you like their style. You can follow all of their pinboards or just select ones. There are also group boards that you can follow; many companies have started these boards to show how their products are being used. Examples of group boards include Mod Podge Rocks, Stampington, and JoAnn Fabrics.

How do people find you and your pinboards? Primarily through Pinterest's search function. This is why descriptions of your pins is important. Be sure to use popular, descriptive keywords in the description of your pins to ensure that you get more views, likes, and followers.

Pinterest is a great way to show people your style outside of your typical specialty area. For example, if you are a jewelry maker, Pinterest will give you the opportunity to show others what types of interiors you are attracted to, your preferences in clothing, and holiday decorating ideas you like and want to share.

A Few Tips About Using Pinterest

Size matters. People are more likely to pin large images versus small images. If you are a blogger, keep that in mind.

Watermarks are good. Using watermarks on your images gives everyone an instant identification of your brand.

Just repinning doesn't cut it. It's original and interesting content that gets you a following on Pinterest.

Videos can be pinned, too. Consider pinning tutorials, tours of your workshop, and other video content.

Don't pin from Tumblr sites. Pin from the source or from your blog. Tumblr makes it impossible to find the original source of the image — which means that the image's creator isn't getting credit for that image. (Check out this IndieMade resource article for more information on how to give credit where credit's due when sharing others' images.)

Timing is everything. Pin throughout the day and evening to reach more people rather than early morning or late at night. Pinning on Saturdays has the broadest reach, so definitely pin on the weekends when you can!

Add good board descriptions. If you have a blog, enter your blog URL in that space too.

Invite followers to pin on a board with you. This means that their followers will see the pins and as a result, they may follow you, too. If possible, invite well-known bloggers to increase your exposure even further.

Other Uses for Pinterest

If you're an indie business owner, you can set up your Pinterest as a business account, rather than a personal account, and connect to your followers as your brand. Pinterest will ask you to verify that you own your site, before allowing you to open your business account; IndieMade users can go here to find out the process for verifying your site.

Pinterest allows you to create up to three "Secret Boards", or boards that only you can see. You can use Secret Boards to save images for a possible book you want to write or a blog post, or perhaps a collaboration with someone else. You can learn more about Secret Boards here.

Add a "Pin It" roll-over button to your blog template so that when visitors come to your blog and hover over your images with their mouse, a Pin It button appears. There are generic Pin It buttons available or you can have a graphic designer (there are many available on Etsy ) design one for you.

Pinterest is guaranteed to inspire you, organize your images, and invite some followers to see different facets of your style. Are you ready to start pinning? I hope so!
 

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