03/08/2012 11:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Teach a Client About Pinterest... and Help Yourself While Doing It

Like nailing Jello to a wall, Pinterest is a bit hard to "get." It's fairly easy to define the concept, "scrapbooking with high viral potential," however many people, including many of my clients, struggle to figure out if it has any worth to them.

Instead of just telling them about it, which loses some of the impact of what Pinterest actually is or can do, I decided to make a tangible example for them to see how someone like me could engage with it, and therefore spur ideation with them as to how they could use it. I have always found that "show" works better than "tell."

For those who do not know, Pinterest is a visual curating site. If you are on the Internet and see images that you just like, you can "Pin" them to a "Board" you create on Pinterest. Say you love cars, you can keep a record of car pictures you like in a place you can always go back to. And... other people can follow your love of cars that way.

For individuals, the uses are easy to understand. It's basically a place for you to keep track of stuff you like that you see online. But brands? The key here, that I continually drill into my clients' heads... with any marketing technique, think WHY would someone engage with me this way? And the answer is always the same... because I am providing them value.

Now to my example. What would be my reason to use Pinterest? What does "success" look like for me? Simple enough: work -- whether it is a client who hires me temporarily to work on marketing strategy, or I am presented with an exceptional opportunity as a full-time employee.
There are three essential components to consider.

  1. What would be of value to my clients that is visual online?
  2. What is my value to my clients?
  3. How can I connect what is valuable to my client to what is valuable to me?

What do I do for clients? What is my value to them?

a. I take vast amounts of experiential knowledge and information about what works in marketing, and I simplify it so that they can understand the implications for their brand.

b. I use that knowledge to strategically develop ideas that will resonate with their consumers based on what will work, and my knowledge of what is the best combination of mediums to use.

What would be a value to my clients that is visual online?

I could not figure out anything that I could offer that could be analogous to "b," for that is a creative process, however in thinking more about "a," I came up with "infographics about digital marketing." Infographics provide my clients with valuable information. I often cite them or use them in person to illustrate concepts or tools my clients are having problems with. What they do very well is take vast amounts of information and distill it into something understandable which is what I do in "a."

Step 1: Create a Pinterest Board on Digital Marketing Infographics.


How can I connect what is valuable to my client to what is valuable to me?

Step 2: Sell Me

I put up a Pinterest "Resume" board... so that as people start to follow my Board on Digital Marketing Infographics, they will be exposed to my other Board "Sean X - Digital Unicorn."

TRICK 1: The trick in creating your destination Board (that you want to drive people to from another Board you are already using) is to have a catchy name for it. I mean seriously how can you not look at something called Digital Unicorn?

So there you have it, a simple process for figuring out how to show your client how you can use something like Pinterest to drive their business or brand.

TIPS for creating a Resume Board on Pinterest.

For those who are interested in how to create a résumé board on Pinterest, follow these steps. I found this out through much trial and error as top what would work well. Feel free to experiment and add any good tips in the comments.

  1. The size of the image you should upload works well at 660 x 900 pixels because when someone clicks on your image on Pinterest they can read text in the preview
  2. I used Adobe InDesign and created a 5.5 inch by 7.5 inch template
  3. The Font I used is Myriad Pro at 9pt on the main pages, and 13pt with a 22pt header on the first Hire Me page.
  4. Include something visual on each page, an icon, etc... a Wordle helps bring boring static text alive. Remember, your goal is to get people to read and connect with you.
  5. To create the individual graphics in InDesign: Export >> Format JPEG >> Resolution: 120ppi, Quality: High, AntiAlias
  6. Import the images into Pinterest one at a time in reverse order you want them to be viewed if someone goes to your Board. You cannot change the order of images.
  7. Have a good description on each image as people can use the Search function on Pinterest to search.
  8. This Step I still need to complete... Link each page to something relevant online. For example, my Resume pages will download a Word or PDF copy of my résumé when clicked. Portfolio pages will go to those brands online. I have even thought of having the first page of my Board go to an eBay auction of "me." The trick here is to be creative with the links...