Six Tips for Marketing Your Freelance Business on Pinterest

As of January 2012, Statista notes that there were over 11 million Pinterest users in the United States alone. While that’s not nearly as high a number as Twitter or Facebook users, Pinterest is growing rapidly and is proving to be very addictive, since the average user spends over an hour on Pinterest when using it!

Because of this explosive growth, it’s definitely time for you to get your freelance graphic design business on Pinterest. Once you get an account, here are six tips to help you market your business through Pinterest:

1. See What Others are Posting in the Design Category

The first step to any good marketing plan is to see what people are already interested in. Pinterest is a fantastic market research tool for businesses. For your graphic design business, you should spend plenty of time in the “design” category to see what others are posting. This can be invaluable in helping you get a grip on the colors, fonts, and other design elements that are trending right now.

2. Create a Visual Resume

Once you get started on Pinterest, you can use your account to create a sort of visual resume of exactly what you, as a graphic designer, do. This means, of course, pinning some of your best work to your Pinterest boards. Keep your boards organized, and be sure to pin only your best work. This may mean pinning a screenshot from a website you recently designed or pinning photos of your graphic artwork. Be sure that you do have the rights to post pins of work that you do for clients. If not, you may need to put some time into creating designs that you’re free to use wherever you want.

3. Pin from Other Sites, Too

Pinterest users are quick to notice and avoid pinboards that are completely promotional in nature. So use your Pinterest account to pin from other sites, too. Here are some tips to help you round out your Pinterest account in a way that attracts more followers for you:

  • Keep your boards separate. Don’t try to fool your followers by mixing your own work in with everything else you pin. That won’t win you any respect in the long run. Instead, keep a board of your own work, and then keep other boards. Some ideas include other graphic designs that you love, work from other artists or web developers you’ve worked with before, or even personal pins, such as craft projects and fashion ideas you would love to do or wear.
  • Don’t pin from competing sites. Be careful where you pin from. Even if you have an inspiration board for your own work, don’t lead your followers back to a close competitor’s site!
  • Clearly label your own work. Besides just pinning your own work to its own pinboard, label it clearly so that re-pinners will know it’s an example of something you’ve done.
  • Connect with your followers. These days, the most successful businesses are often the ones that present a “real person” feel to their potential customers. Just like you may want to include a little bit about your personal life on your Twitter feed and Facebook status updates, include some items or ideas that you intend to use personally on Pinterest. Your followers will feel like they know you more, making them more likely to come back to you when they have graphic design needs.

4. SEO with Descriptions

As a graphic designer, you know that search engine optimization is vital to everything you do online, and that’s no less true when it comes to Pinterest. Re-pins that link directly to your website are valuable backlinks that can build your website’s rank. But you can help this process along by using your main keywords in the descriptions of pins from your website. Many re-pinners will leave the descriptions as- is, so you’ll get a further SEO boost on Pinterest with this simple technique.

5. Build Buzz with Contests

Pinterest contests are becoming a great way for users to promote a business or blog. All you need to do is let your followers know about your contest. Every pin counts as an entry, and at the end of the contest period, you hold a drawing. Because of the social, viral nature of Pinterest, this can get you lots of clicks back through to your website!

6. Check Out the Descriptions of Pins from Your Site

Finally, once you’ve gotten started on Pinterest, be sure to use it for continuing market research. Pinterest is a simple way to see what people love about your website and your work. By typing in http://www.pinterest.com/source/creditdonkey.com, replacing creditdonkey.com with your domain name, you can see all the pins from your website. Check not only what people are pinning but also the descriptions of their pins to see which of your work is most popular and what people are saying about it.

Should You Financially Invest in Social Media Advertising?

When looking at ways to boost your business through Pinterest and through other social media websites that are popular today, you might wonder if you should spend your hard-earned cash on social media marketing. The short answer is: yes, sometimes. While social media marketing can be inexpensive – and often even free – it’s also a worthwhile investment that can help boost your business like nothing else. Here are some of the ways you might invest in social media marketing for your graphic design business:

  • Get a good camera. If you specialize in graphic design for products like cards and posters, invest in a great camera to take product photos. Pinterest is, above all things, visual, so you definitely need excellent photos of your products to pin.
  • Check out tracking tools. Social media tracking tools and applications can be helpful when you’re ready to get serious about tracking exactly what your social media marketing efforts are doing for your freelance business.
  • Ask a professional. If marketing is not your strong suit, consider hiring someone to get you started. Alternatively, consider investing in some good social media marketing books to help you get started in the process of boosting your freelance graphic design income through marketing with tools like Pinterest.

If you’re just getting started or don’t have cash to spare for your marketing efforts, do your best to keep things low-cost. Check out social media marketing books from the local library, or get a one-hour consultation with a professional rather than services that will take more time. You could also check out the guerrilla marketing category here on Guerrilla Freelancing for more great freelance marketing tips.

Author Bio: Daniela Baker from CreditDonkey says marketing through Pinterest is becoming more and more popular, and it’s definitely a bandwagon you should jump on. It’s especially helpful for visually-based businesses like graphic design, so it could quickly become your new favorite marketing tool.

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