What is Pinterest?
Chances are good that you’ve heard of Pinterest. You may be active on it already or you may just be beginning your own boards. If you don’t know what it is, from the Pinterest site’s about page: “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.” Pinterest is a social media and social networking platform – a mix between Facebook and Flickr, even though it’s really its own new thing.
You can ‘pin’ pictures from anywhere on the web to ‘boards’ you make for certain subjects. Right now there is no way to hide boards or block users, so be careful what you pin. If you’re brand new to Pinterest, check their help page for information on how to pin, repin or even install pinning buttons into your browser toolbar.
I myself have both personal boards and boards for professional use. My personal boards include boards for planning my wedding, what I want my wedding photos to look like, photos that I just love, clothes and style.. etc. I follow people on pinterest who use their boards for recipes, kids’ crafts, home decor.. even workout routines!
Pinterest for Photographers
Professionally, I’m using pinterest to not only gather ideas for other photos I want to shoot for my clients, but I also use it for pinning my own photos to put into the pinterest world.
My boards full of other people’s photos are for shot inspiration, product ideas to offer my clients, and prop ideas for things I want to buy or use in shots in the future. Then for marketing my own work, I have a personal favorites board I pin my own favorite photos, and a bragging board to repin my own photos that have been pinned by other users. I even follow someone who uses her boards to show off her wonderful packaging and another photographer who uses pinterest for picking out clothes for her clients and ‘styling’ their sessions for them. If you want to find your own photos being pinned, go to http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain info). You can also add a ‘pin it’ button to your website so pinners can get to your photos easily.
Make sure to “pin” some of your favorite MCP Posts. If you’d like to add a ‘pin it’ button, the instructions are here. Note: If you have a wordpress blog, you need to edit the theme files and put that code where you need it in the Main Index template. This can break your site if don’t wrong, so be sure you know what you’re doing beforehand!
What to do with all that information?
- Make pin boards for shoots you want to do. Want a Harry Potter styled session that could be the envy of Style Me Pretty if it were a wedding? Pin anything you find from around the web to bring it all together in one place where you can see what doesn’t ‘fit’ before you buy it.
- Make a bragging board for everything people have pinned from your website. Not only can your followers see what you’ve shot, but this gives you the opportunity to put up a monthly blog bragging post linking the photos that people have pinned. Clients will love seeing their kids are so popular. You could even host a photo session giveaway and allow people to enter via pinning a certain photo from your website.
- Make a board for products you offer with prices. Clients could add this to their boards around the holidays for things they’re wishing for.
- Create a coupon picture, then pin that and publish to facebook while you’re doing it. Your clients can use that coupon as well as share it by repining it.
- Make a how-to board for pinning photos or videos of your own shoots. You can talk about what inspired the shot, how you lit it, how you set it up.. etc. I’m waiting to do this until Pinterest makes a user-blocking feature so I can keep other local photographers from knowing all of what I do.
- Market your own photos by pinning things from your own site. Make sure you include your domain URL in the description. Most people do not change the majority if pin descriptions when repinning, so your website will go far! If you’re a wedding or pet photographer, this is doubly important because those photos really get repined a LOT.