Pinterest. It’s the king of the future bride’s wedding dreams – it’s where she chooses the color of her floral arrangements, pins potential dresses, decides on the look and feel of her bridesmaids dresses. And it can be the place where she chooses her wedding photographer.
After all, Pinterest is a search engine – instead of bringing up links directly, most of the time, it brings up photographs and photo composites, and this, as a photographer, is your change to absolutely shine.
While there are wedding boards left, right, and center, most photographers don’t use Pinterest to its fullest potential. Today, I’m peeling back the secrets that Pinterest pros use that will help you to grow your site traffic and get you more clients. You may be used to using Pinterest for your own personal enjoyment, but it’s time to put that board about cat eyes on “secret” and start using Pinterest to drive traffic to your site and bring you in a waitlist full of excited clients.
While I’m aiming this at wedding photographers, because ’tis the season, these tips can be used by any photographer to grow their presence on Pinterest, you just need to tailor the wedding-specific advice for your own niche of photography.
The “name” section of your profile is incredibly important. Most people on Pinterest just stick their name in the name line and their profession in the description. If you want to get the biggest Search Engine Optimization bang for your buck, you should also be including something else in your name: your profession. You want to structure it as follows “Erika Ashley | Toronto-based wedding photographer.” When potential brides see your photos, they’ll ALSO see your location right along with it.
List-building and opt-ins are all the rage right now. It’s basically a free offer where you give someone some valuable information in exchange for signing up to your mailing list (ie: The top five questions to ask a wedding photographer). I gave you more of the nuts-and-bolts structure of opt-ins in my post about 10 ways to make your photography business more efficient, but you want to include a link to that in your description with a clear call to action. For example: “Download my FREE list of the top five questions to ask a wedding photographer here: [link].” This will get a TON of people onto your list for very little effort on your part. No, they won’t all be clients in your area, but a lot of photographer friends have been flown out to do weddings in other parts of the country or even the world because a couple just falls absolutely in love with their work. So, who knows, you may even get a free trip out of an opt-in!
Enable Rich Pins
The way to look “legit” on Pinterest is to have Rich Pins enabled. A Rich Pin shows your site’s icon, along with the title of your website and a description. Pinterest will automatically rank you higher in search traffic if you have Rich Pins enabled. You can apply for rich pins here.
How you structure your boards is absolutely crucial to your success on Pinterest. Pinterest likes order and logic and the more cohesive your boards are, the more that its search engine loves you.
Your First Board
Your first board is make-it-or-break-it time for you. You want to call the board something to the effect of “Found on [your site’s name]” or “Your Name Portfolio” – something that indicates very clearly to people that this is about you. In there, you will link to any and ALL of your blog posts, especially posts that have your portfolio items in them. You can also link to a generalized portfolio page, but Pinterest prefers blog posts to specific pages.
Your Other Boards
In all, you want to be aiming for 15-20 Pinterest boards that have a minimum of 25 posts in each (more is better). I know this sounds overwhelming, but bear with me, I’ve got a trick a little further on in this post that will really help you out and turn that frown upside down.
Your other boards all need to be related to photography, and some should be related to your location. So, for example, you might want to have a board called “Toronto wedding venues” or “Toronto wedding designers” “Toronto cake shops” where you feature the work of Toronto-based professionals. But, you also want more general wedding boards as well. So wedding cakes, wedding dresses, rustic weddings, destination weddings, etc.
Do you see how all of the boards are related to what you do? This way, if a bride is going on a pinning spree and she clicks on your profile, she’s going to think it’s the mecca of wedding Pinterest goodness, and she’s going to follow you. She’ll also be more likely to share with her other friends who are getting married (because most brides know at least one or two other brides). All of this means more traffic for you, and more clients.
Choose your cover photos wisely
Do not underestimate the power of carefully curated Pinterest board covers. You want all your boards’ covers to stay within the same 2-3 colors. So if you’re doing mint, coral, and blue, every board cover should prominently feature one of those colors. I’m sure as a photographer, you know exactly why I’m making that suggestion, but just in case: it makes your Pinterest profile look coherent, and people are more likely to click on color schemes that look coherent.
The secret weapon to avoiding Pinterest overwhelm:
For anyone who is starting out on Pinterest or who knows Pinterest like the back of their hand, they also know that it’s an overwhelming place where you can spend the majority of your day. The trick that has helped me to grow my following immensely is using a scheduler. My personal favorite is Boardbooster, which allows you to create secret boards that it uses to pin to your main boards, and it will loop pins in your public boards so that you gain increased traction on your pins.
The initial setup of a boardbooster account is about a half day – I know, it’s a time investment, but the maintenance is fairly simple. I don’t spend more than an hour or two a month finding new pins now, but I get hundreds of new followers each and every month and thousands of repins. You want to make sure in your setup that you’re trying to pin at least 100 pins to each secret board (hence why it takes so long) but afterwards you only need about 30 new pins a month – 1 a day, as you’ll be looping your pins to increase their traction on Pinterest.
For you to get the most out of Pinterest, you need to be pinning consistently each day, so having a scheduler takes that out of the day to day management of your business.
Homework: Whether you are a wedding photographer or other, take a few moments to think about things your dream client would pin. Are your boards speaking the language of your target client?
Which of these Pinterest tips will you be implementing? Got a great one that isn’t here? Share in the comments below!