A year and a half ago, Renee of My Girlfriend Renee didn’t even own a computer, now she’s running her biz entirely online and slaying Pinterest in the process. Listen in to hear about how she has incorporated Pinterest into her marketing strategy. Catch all of the tips that Renee shares on how you can set your Pinterest profile up for success, find the right keywords, and design pins that drive traffic and convert!
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Tell us more about you and your biz!
I’m actually still pretty new in my actual business. But I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, I have worked for myself forever. I was a hairstylist, spray tan technician. So I am like a total girls girl like girlfriend. And then now I do a monthly shirt subscription for small business owners. I do a cute monthly motivational shirt. That’s a surprise. And then we have little mini mastermind zoom calls every single month. And I bring on other experts in the industry or a lot of the members. If they are strong in one topic, I have them come on and educate us and share their knowledge. So that way we can all learn from each other because we all pretty much have amazing stuff we learn by doing our own businesses. And I think it’s amazing to share that knowledge. Before we talk about all things Pinterest, can you tell us about your branding? You have such a cohesive look, and we’d love to hear your tips about staying consistent with your brand!
Why do you think we should make Pinterest part of our marketing strategy?
Well, I’ll tell you how I got into it. You know how you launch your blog and then you’re literally like, yes, it’s launched! Everybody come to my house, come and tell me how amazing it is! Read my content! And then nobody comes, right? So then you’re liike, why is nobody coming to my website? I did all this work. Why is it not happening?
So of course, I got all upset because I’m like, What do I do? How do I get my word out? Because getting people to leave Instagram or leave Facebook, It’s hard. And you’re not going to have you’re not going to be like, oh, come and read my blog post and then have to click the link like out some like how the heck do you build traffic? And I kept hearing Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. And if you really think about it, Pinterest is a search engine. It is Google for like women. Like we’ll take an example, when you think of Pinterest, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Exactly. It’s where you go to search for things, right? Like, yes, you would be like, okay, I want to decorate my office. So you type in like cute office ideas or pink office inspiration. So it’s just kind of like you have to think about it that way. So when you go on there, every single pin leads back to somebody’s website. It’s freakin’ genius. You’re like, holy crap. This whole time. I’ve been blinded by Pinterest. And I didn’t even know you’ve been reading blogs this whole time. And you had no idea. So Pinterest is the hugest driver for blog traffic. And it was like, and it’s free. I mean, reason number one, right? Like, do you agree?
Yeah,I just love that you call it Google for women because I know what
you mean. When you’re looking for a cute new pair of shoes or some style inspiration. For that, I don’t typically go to Google, I go to Pinterest. And I search things like, oh outfit for fall wedding or whatever, you know, like you don’t type it into Google. I think just that idea alone is super helpful.
People do tend to think of it as a social media platform. And it’s not, it’s completely opposite. People go on Pinterest, with the intent to find an answer to their problem. Social media is more entertainment, casual scrolling, you come across something, you’re like, Oh, I like her. I’ll click on it. But when you’re on Pinterest, you’re going with the intent of finding something.
Handling Copycats on Pinterest
I think one of my biggest hang-ups or fears of putting my content on Pinterest, which I have pictures of my custom wedding invitations is that I hope that potential clients are saving it for inspiration. But I also have the knowledge in the back of my head that somebody could be saving my images and taking them to their wedding stationer, who’s then going to create something similar to my work, but ultimately that pinterest lead is not going to hire me. Or vice versa, where another stationer in the industry or wherever it may be is creating a board of things that inspire them and may create work based off of yours. So how do we avoid that like, mental pitfall to get past that, so that we’re still sharing if that makes sense.
Hundred percent, I mean, I have my designs for my shirts, and I always get nervous even on Instagram to post my design because you know, like when you’re, you get the final word from your designer, the proof or whatever, and you can post it on your Instagram, and I always get scared, people are gonna, like screenshot it, or they’re going to come up with their own design that looks like mine. So that’s definitely a fear that I hundred percent understand. And I think every creative business product based business has that fear. And I think you just have to get past the fact of somebody copying it is worth the risk of getting a customer. And no, it’s scary. I get it. Trust me 100%. Like, I’m always terrified, somebody’s going to come up with my shirts, which people have asked to copy my shirt. So it’s out there, people are gonna do it no matter what. So my thing is, is if I can just take the risk and get the chances of somebody becoming a customer, it’s worth it for me, because I’d rather know for sure I did everything in my power to get that customer versus being scared. So it helps to switch it to proactive versus like reactive, you know, it does that kind of makes sense.
Let’s start with the basics of Pinterest. What do we need to be set up for success? Business or personal profile?
So first of all, you want to have a business account on Pinterest. If you already have a Pinterest account I would suggest converting it over to a business. It’s very easy, you just claim your website. Because for one, I’m just all about easy. And I don’t want to monitor two pages. So if I have a personal and then I have a business, it’s just more work. And you can also do secret boards on Pinterest, you can still have your business one and then keep your private stuff to be on a secret board.
And The biggest reason why you want to have a business is just the same reason you want to have a business Instagram account — because you can see the analytics. So if you’re putting all of this, all these pins into the world, you want to make sure that you can track which ones are getting traction, which ones the audiences, you know, telling you they want more of, because if you have a pin that is hitting really well and driving a lot of traffic to your website, you want to create more. And if you don’t have that business page, you do not have access to the analytics. So you would never know and you’re just pinning, you know on hope versus with a plan.
Let’s talk about pin design. What types of pins perform best? Can we simply pin photos or do we need to be making pinterest-specific graphics?
So go to Canva.com. You can use the free version. I have it and it’s totally fine. They have Pinterest templates already set up for you. So what you can do is you get a template that you like, and you can change the type of text overlay. They have pictures already there for you. So when you’re setting up pins, I’ve done both I’ve done pictures of me. And then I did stock photos, pictures of me tanked. Nobody cares about me. They were like nah, girl, we don’t care get out of the picture. So once you do stock photos, they perform very well on Pinterest. And what’s cool is Canva already has stock photos for you to use. So you want to do stock photos bright and airy, like not so congested, because you’re thinking of it in the feed.
And there’s so many pins on your screen at one time. So a lot of like more, you know, blank space or whitespace, whatever you want to call it does really well and popping like text. So if you know I like a lot of people like the swirly text, which I’m sure you girls are fans of Hello. And the swirly text doesn’t do as well because Pinterest can’t pull that from the image. So you want to use big bold text and color combinations. You don’t want to use like a white photo with like a light pale yellow text because it’s not going to pop. So you want to make sure things are like popping to the eye when you’re on your feed. And they don’t always have to match either a lot of like, the bloggers do a lot of like the same text in the same kind of like feel of their pins, but I don’t care. I’m like whatever is going to get people to click on my craft. That’s what I use, so don’t overthink it too much.
What to do when you can’t use stock photos in your pin designs
Yes. So, I know you said to use stock photos, but our audience obviously is custom makers and custom invitation designers, product makers. So, using a stock photo just doesn’t really work for us. So do you have tips on like, like a horizontal versus vertical photo or like types of photos that perform best or do we need like a text overlay with our invitation images like, I guess I get hung up on whether I need to just post a picture of my invitations we ever needed to be like oh custom water. Color wedding invitations like overlay or something like that.
And this is going to go to every single brand business type of product, test it. So test, the long the vertical, the short, the picture of your product alone a picture of the text overlay, like you’re gonna have to test because your audience is going to be completely different from somebody else’s audience. So whatever appeals to your audience isn’t going to appeal to mine. Like I personally love pictures of people. So I tend to click on those more because it builds trust. But other people only like stock photos, because they just want the facts. So my advice would be like an A B test, do one picture of your product with a text overlay. And then do another picture of just your product, no text overlay and see the analytics of which one is driving more traffic. That’s kind of like the best way you can do anything is just test it and repeat and test it again.
One thing I always get hung up on is keywords/hashtags and the caption. What are some best practices for this?
Yeah, so keywords are what you’re using in your pin descriptions. Keywords are literally the bread and butter of Pinterest. So you want to put your keywords in your bio, so your actual bio for your page, like what you do your business and everything. So mine is my girlfriend, Renee small business tips, and stuff like that. I have keywords for my description.
Then you also want to have keywords in your boards, and You want to have keywords in every single pin you use. So whatever the topic of that blog post that product you want to type it in.
On the top of Pinterest, you can type in search. So it’ll be something like small business tips, and then those little colorful bubbles show up underneath it kind of like a Google search. Those are what people are searching for. So you want to say So say I type in small business tips and the little bubbles come up. And it says, For product based business, for beginners, those are your keywords. That’s Pinterest telling you that’s what people are searching. That’s the most popular thing. So you want to take those search words and turn them into a subscription. So I’d be like, Hey, are you a small business owner that needs a little bit of tips to get started. And then that way when people type in small business tips, my keyword from that description comes up in the search.
Then your board would also match that keyword as well. For instance, small
business tips board. So it’s like and then on the text overlay because Pinterest is creepy. They take the images and they pull from that as well. So if they have, if I have, yes, so if I have my office in the background, and the text overlay says small business tips, they’re going to take all those images and all of those words, and they’re going to put that in the search as well. It’s very, very smart how they do their algorithm.
Getting your numbers up: how can you get more views AND more click-through conversions?
Mostly, it’s consistency, because you want to know, like, you’re going to rank higher if you’re putting out more content, because you’re going to have more of a chance of being seen kind of like Instagram, kind of like everything else. If you put one post out of the month, you’re really not going to get much traction. But if you’re going live every week, you’re doing igtv you’re doing reels, you’re gonna get more traction. So what you want to do is also not have clickbait, so you want to be consistent. And then to if you’re putting a pin out there, make sure you’re providing value and everything you say in your pin. So you don’t want to say like check this discount of this, you know, invitation and then it leads to just a sales page with no discount, because then people are going to click out. So make sure you’re honest and you’re upfront and you’re providing value with what you’re saying. As far as like building that trust and being reliable.
Do you recommend a service like Tailwind, etc?
Okay, so when it comes to getting more and more pins out there, I’ve been using tailwind and by me using tailwind. I mean, my VA has been using tailwind. Do you recommend things like tailwind for Pinterest? Or is it better to like be natively pinning in Pinterest because I feel like when I schedule posts for Instagram for his birthday bash, sometimes they don’t do as well as when I was just like post them from my phone. So I’m just wondering if that’s similar in Pinterest, or if that doesn’t really matter.
I’ve read both. I mean, there’s a strong, you know, debate right now going on because Pinterest is they prefer people to be on the app and actively pinning and putting fresh pins. So they’re going to reward that I believe to I’ve had tailwind in the beginning because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. And the more I used it, the more I realized it wasn’t helping my traffic but it was helping my vanity metrics. So by that I mean, it got my monthly views up to 8 million. That does not mean traffic though. So I was spending the 1499 a month to pay for tailwind. But to fill all of those spots. I was pinning other people’s content. So I was paying $15 a month to get other people’s content going because it was feeding my vanity metrics. I looked credible, but it wasn’t feeding my traffic. So I cancelled tailwind. And now I stick to the five pin a day strategy, which is what I teach my girls in the boss babe strip club. And that’s what I use. It’s realistic, it’s achievable. And it helps me so five pins a day is I create five fresh pins and I pin those to Pinterest and then I’m done. So that way Monday through Friday, that’s 25 pins that I put out there in the week. But tailwind does serve a purpose. And I think it’s good for people who are like a virtual assistant who don’t have access to you know, creating tons of pins all day or who work full time or a mom or somebody who’s having a problem being consistent with Pinterest. I would definitely recommend Tailwind. But I personally have noticed better results not using it.
Vanity Metrics – Why Views on Pinterest Don’t Matter
I’m so glad that you offer that clarification of vanity metrics. Oh my gosh. I literally think about this all the time when someone is selling anything related towards Pinterest. And they have all these people that are like, Oh, you know, my views went up to a million or in your case, 8 million whatever. And I kind of always find myself thinking well, so what like I want to know your sales. I want to know your click throughs your website views your traffic, who cares how much your content is being seen on Pinterest, if it’s not accomplishing the goal of it like being seen somewhere else and it’s the same thing with like, Instagram or any other social media platform you know, like followers Like me and I have said this all the time, like followers are such a vanity thing on Instagram, like it does not always convert to clients and customers. In fact, I can guarantee like most of the time, it does not convert to clients and customers. The only good thing about having like 10,000 followers on Instagram is they give you the swipe up. So of course, they want you to like, you know, spend a ton of time on the platform, trying to get a bunch of followers just to have this one feature. And get it, it’s a little business-like marketing thing. But I’m just glad you said that because I was like, oh, hallelujah, Shelley’s put that out there, that makes me feel so much better.
Pinterest ads: yay or nay?
I haven’t started on Pinterest ads, although I hear that they’re very cheap compared to Facebook and Instagram. I just personally enjoy the fact that it’s free. I’m gonna use it for free for as long as possible. I don’t even want to start opening money over there, because I’m like, I’m already dropping dollars on Instagram. So I’m like, let me ride this free train as long as possible. And to be honest, the traffic is great. I mean, I’ve gotten a couple subscribers. So to me, that’s invaluable, because it’s a you know, it’s a long term value for me. So for ads, I don’t have much experience, and I’m not even going to try and fake it. But if you do do it, I would test 100% just like you would any other, you know, ads manager that you would do.
What’s your number one trick/strategy for Pinterest success?
I would say to stay consistent and don’t overthink it. Like I have done the five pins a day which now takes me about 10 minutes realistically I put it in my list of tasks of things to do every single day. And I do my five pins and I’m done. So that way I’m being proactive. I’m putting stuff into the world. And it gets me in my blog consistently, you know, out there to new people, because if you double down on Instagram, double down on Facebook and your email list, it’s like, it can get overwhelming. So as long as you’re just hitting all of the points and not, you know, overwhelming yourself with five pins, everybody can do I mean, realistically, who has everybody has 10 minutes, and you’re doing something productive for your business. So I would say five pins a day, Monday through Friday, get it done.