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10 Ways to Use Pinterest for your Handmade Biz

June 11, 2012

sourcinghandmade

Pinterest is an online pinboard where people go to find inspiration.  Recipes, crafts, projects, home decor, art, travel, education, books…you name it, it’s there.  However, it’s not only valuable for the casual observer or hobbyist.  It is extremely valuable for a small business when used properly.  If you sell your handmade items via an online marketplace, your own website, or social media site, you should also have a Pinterest presence.  It is by invitation only, so if you’re not on yet, request an invite (from the site itself or a friend already using it) and you can be on in a few days’ time.  Then, follow this list to make your handmade business that much more pinteresting:

  1. Create a Product Gallery.  Make a pinboard for your products.  You can pin directly from your website, or upload products from your computer.  This is a great way to get free exposure.  If your product gets re-pinned (similar to a re-tweet on Twitter), it is added to the re-pinner’s board and shared with her followers.  This means more eyes on your product.  You will receive credit for the pin, so anyone clicking on it will be directed to your online shop (just be sure to add a link url to the photo if you upload from your computer).  Think of it as a free ad.
  2. Show Happy Customers.  Pin photos of customers happily wearing or using your products.  Let them be a visual testimony to your product’s greatness.  You can even give permission for others to pin to a community board.  Be sure to include different types of poses and uses to show the versatility of your product, and only let other pinners pin if you trust them.
  3. Connect with Influencers.  Re-pin, like, and comment on pins from influencers in your industry.  This can be bloggers, small biz experts, and valuable sites like Handmade Success and Sourcing Handmade.  This will open the door to forming a relationship, and will create mutually beneficial re-pinning potential.  You can also tag others using the @ symbol…another great way to create relationships.
  4. Pin Other Interests.  Don’t stop at pinning your products.  Create boards for topics in which your target market may be interested.  This can be recipes, projects, kids’ craft ideas… anything with which you think your target will identify.  This will draw more people to your Pinterest page, creating more opportunities for people to find your handmade products.  Try to keep it related to your market, and be sure not to pin anything that may be offensive (what is funny to some isn’t funny to all).
  5. Pin Works in Progress.  Show images of you in action, or before and after pictures of your product.  Of course you don’t want to give away your secrets, but it will help to show you as an expert in your area.
  6. Price your Products…with Caution.  You can upload pins that also contain sales prices for your products.  However, I advise using this with caution.  If one is obviously using Pinterest as a sales method, it may turn off some people.  Pinterest should be used for sharing information, photos, ideas, products, and inspiration, without blatantly asking for sales.  Outright self-promotion is also against the Pinterest code of ethics.
  7. Use Accurate Descriptions. Have a well written “about” section on your Pinterest profile, and include links to your website, Facebook, and Twitter.  Be sure your profile and pin descriptions include pertinent keywords for SEO.
  8. Organize your Boards.  Organize your boards so the most relevant ones are in the first row.  You do this by clicking the “re-arrange boards” icon in the center of the page, next to “edit profile.”  You can also choose the board cover by hovering over the center of any given board.  Be sure to use a pin that is an accurate and attractive portrayal of what the board contains.
  9. Don’t Over-Pin.  If you have thousands of pins, people may feel overwhelmed and jump off your page.  If you love it, pin it.  If it’s mediocre, don’t.  People will appreciate your authenticity and value more if you don’t pin and re-pin everything.
  10. Use Great Photos.  Of course, you must pin high quality photos of your handmade products.  If the photo isn’t high quality, no one will look twice at it.  After all, Pinterest is all about photos, so make them good!

Feel free to comment below with your Pinterest link, and we will check you out!

5 Comments

  1. June 21, 2012

    Thank you so much for this helpful blog ! I’ve been so hesitant till now to really use Pinterest to my best advantage for my little handmade bag business. Been using pins for my general art, craft and eco interests, which would also match the ethos of my AlikiBags.
    Best wishes, looking forward to more of your posts,
    Kiki x

  2. June 12, 2012

    Thanks for the comments! It does take a little getting used to, then the possibilities with pinterest become clearer. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the sharing Erin…it’s nice to see you here!

  3. June 12, 2012

    I don’t have a business yet (working on it), but I use Pinterest to promote my blog and have picked up some readers I would have never come across! I tweeted and G+ shared this post!
    ~Erin

  4. June 12, 2012

    Great Tips, Thank you for sharing these, I am still learning how to use pinterest.

  5. June 12, 2012

    great tips! and i totally agree, with 10, use the best photos

    my pinterest is http://pinterest.com/debdunkerton/

    i’ve only just started but i can see its going to be really addictive!

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