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The Power of Pinning

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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.

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heard of it, I called it “Pin-Interest”… like a dork.  Come on Katelyn, READ! “PINTEREST”! One word, two syllables. It’s not that hard. I had no idea what this was, all I knew was that I had to have an INVITATION to be a part of it.  Well, of course I wanted to be a part of it!  I requested to join Pinterest and a week later I was “Pinning”.  It took me a while to understand this new phenomenon!! I added the “Pin it” button onto my browser and I started pinning EVERYTHING I loved. THIS. WAS. AWESOME. And like usual, once I find something new and AWESOME, I think to myself “Why didn’t I think of that?!!!”.

 

Well, in the case of Pinterest, I can actually say that I had a somewhat similar idea, on a MUCH smaller scale, when I designed the “Design Book”. Anyone remember those days? Well, the DesignBook still exists  (but not for long!) and basically, it’s a way for my blog stalkers (who I love!) to save their favorite images into different folders on my blog.  It’s like they have their own little inspiration board on my blog!! Well, this was a GREAT new invention two years ago… but things change and they change FAST. Pinterest entered the scene and BAAM! The Design Book was outdated, useless and several steps behind. I’m not offended! I actually think it’s pretty cool that I was trying to think of something NEW that I had never seen before.  It’s just too bad I didn’t take this idea and blow it up a few thousand times!

 

Pinterest is MASSIVE! It’s just insane how much it’s exploding!!!  People love it! It’s limitless when it comes to AGE and STYLE and ACCESSIBILITY.  I know 15 year olds that are pinning and 50 year olds that are pinning! It’s just incredible! And it’s not just for DIY’ers… If you’re a man and you LOVE cars…. you can start a board just to store your favorite car’s and their links! My dad is getting into motorcycles and he loves RV’ing and 4Wheeling! If he had a Pinterest, he could pin EVERY image he liked onto a board so that he could always find that link later!  So see how universal this is?! Anyone can Pin! And for businesses, Pinning is Powerful!

 

So the reason for this post is to explain just how IMPORTANT Pinterest is to a small business!!  I was told by someone in the industry that Pinterest isn’t going to amount to anything… it’s a fad. Well, that may be true in the grand scheme of things…. but I doubt it. And say Pinterest is only here to stay for the next 2-3 years… well for the next 2-3 years, I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth! It’s FREE everyone!! FREE ADVERTISING!!! Why would I not use this new tool?! I understand NEW things can be scary, so I’m going to break this down a little bit and hopefully convince EVERYONE that Pinterest and Blogging are HUGE ways to grow your businesses!

 

 

1. Pinterest is all about pinning things that you LOVE and want to save on a board.  It could be IDEAS, DIY projects, Wedding Details, Recipes, Home Decor, Cute Quotes… etc etc.  The amazing thing is that when people PIN from my BLOG….ALL of their followers will see that pin and will have the opportunity to then REPIN it! What happens then? All of THEIR followers will see this pin as well! It’s a VIRAL effect!  You can see below that these images were pinned from my blog on the same day. If you look closely, you can see under the images that some have been repinned several times. The other thing you can see is that people are pinning RANDOM stuff. Here we have office pins, DIY flower pins, some bridal shots, a ring shot, some wedding portraits and BOKEH! (you know I love seeing my little guy on Pinterest!)

2. Pinterest is a BLOG STAT BOOSTER! So moving on…. the BEST part about Pinterest is that when someone PINS an image from my blog, if someone clicks on that image, it will take them directly to that post on my site. So if there are brides out there looking from some DIY detail ideas and click a picture that someone pinned from one of my weddings, they will go directly to my site and will be able to view that full wedding post! Some days my 2nd highest incoming referrer link to my blog is from PINTEREST! AMAZING.  That means more people are finding my blog than ever before!  The trick is, you have to BLOG. Most websites have flash components and Pinterest can’t recognize any images. Blogs are different. You can pin anything from a blog so make sure you’re blogging as much as possible! Even if you feel like no one is reading it, keep blogging!! One pin can go a long way!  (You can’t Pin from Facebook either so if you have all of your images on a fanpage, unfortunately they will never be pinned). ps. Can you tell when the weekends are by looking at my blog stats?! haha That’s good, people should be having fun and not stuck to their computers on Saturdays and Sundays!

3. When you learn how to work Pinterest, you understand how valuable it is! I’m still trying to remember to add captions to my pins so that others can find them! Basically, if I pin a picture of a bouquet that I love, I should add a caption that says something like “Beautiful Peony Bridal Bouquet Pink” because anyone searching for a bouquet like that will find it and then maybe they’ll check out my board and follow me! So how does it help for  to have boards and start pinning? Well, it gets you involved! Technically, you’re not supposed to “Self-Promote” on Pinterest.  This means I shouldn’t get on and pin EVERY image I have ever shot because that’s just annoying. The creators of Pinterest want it to be a place where everyone can share their ideas and inspiration  that they find on the web… it’s not meant to be a self-promoting free-for-all!  However, I do have a “Katelyn James Photography” board that I pin a few of my favorite images to every now and then.  I don’t do that JUST because I want people to repin my work, I like having an online collection of MY favorites…. and it just happens to be free marketing:):). Below you can see an image from my blog that was pinned and then eventually repinned 13 times. You can see the BOARD it was pinned to, WHO PINNED IT and the SOURCE (from my blog).

4. Use Pinterest to help your brides! I have Boards for so many things! “Looks I Love”, “Posing Inspiration”, “Floral Favorites”, “For the Love of TEAL!” etc. etc.  If you’re a wedding photographer or planner, why not start pinning inspiration for your clients! If Josh and Mandy are having a “Vintage Garden” wedding, then I’m going to pin anything that I think may be inspiration for their wedding onto their board! It’s a fun and easy way to help them with the planning and it shows that you’re thinking of them and enjoying being a part of the whole process!

5. It’s not just for photographers! ANY Business can use this! The best example I have is Leather Craftsmen, my awesome album company. I just found them on Pinterest and I’m loving it! They have all of their products pinned and categorized but they are pinning them from THEIR CLIENTS blog posts. So if I blogged about my new sample albums (which I did), they would pin my images so that others can then find my link and see how I rave about their products! GENIUS I tell you! GENIUS!!

So are you convinced yet?!  Do you want to go and starting pinning RIGHT NOW?! Well beware, it’s addicting! You have to make sure you pace yourself and don’t spend HOURS online! However, in moderation, this is the most amazing new piece of social media in my opinion!  MASHABLE tweeted this statistic a few days ago: “”Pinterest drives more visitors to 3rd-party websites than Google+ YouTube & LinkedIn combined.”  WOW. Yea I think it’s time to start jumping on this social media bandwagon! If you’re holding off and not interested right now, at LEAST try to signup and save your NAME before it gets snatched up! I got Twitter 2 years before I actually used it. I just wanted to make sure “in case this twitter takes off”, I would have the Twitter name “KatelynJames”.  It’s worth it!! So anyway! Have a GREAT weekend everyone and if you get bored…. make a BOARD! (haha get it:).

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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