If you're just getting started in social media - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram - gaining followers is likely one of your main goals (as it should be!). People can't love you and what you do if they don't know about you!
You're also super excited about the abundance of free strategies and tips out there that promise that you'll double, triple, or even quadruple your follower numbers. And you know in your heart that the expert advice will likely help you, but still that little voice in the back of your head keeps nagging at you.
"Hmmm ... when you have 7 followers (that's 4 family members, your best friend, and a couple randoms) and you double it, well that's a grand total of 14 followers. Ok, it's bigger than 7, but nothing I'm ready to get too excited about."
So here's where it's time to get excited! Yes, I'm talking to you! You - the passionate and creative entrepreneur that has amazing services or products or talents to share with the world, but just hasn't hit the big time yet in terms of followers.
I'm here to prove to you that you can drive CRAZY BIG Pinterest traffic to your website with less than 500 followers.
Let's get started with a little background story of how I've driven almost 30,000 website views over the past 365 days directly from Pinterest to my website (29,465 as of this post being written) with never more than 360 Pinterest followers (to be exact!)
Want to kickstart your own Pinterest marketing strategy for your business? Join my FREE 5-Day E-Course PINTEREST POWER, where I teach you my exact strategies for building a list, leads, and clients through the power of Pinterest!
When I originally decided to jump into the online entrepreneurial space, I decided I was going to become a travel agent. I loved travel planning and I was hungry to increase my knowledge of the travel industry. Around this time I stumbled across a variety of articles on using Pinterest for business purposes and I was hooked, so I decided to give it a try. I took a Pinterest course to get some basics down, and then dove right in. My main focus was always on repins rather than followers and it shows! I never even reached the 500 follower mark, but to me that didn't matter.
The ultimate goal was for pinners to click through the pin to my website, and from there to a "Trip Design Request" form. Pinners that took those steps had given me their email, and were then "warm leads" for me to follow up on. Almost 75% of my travel clients ended up coming to me directly from those Pinterest pins!
So no more excuses that you don't have big numbers of followers! Pinterest can be an absolute gold mine for website traffic, and truly became the driving force behind my business.
Ready to leverage Pinterest for your own business? Here are the exact 5 steps that I took:
1. Set up my Pinterest account with SEO in Mind.
Since I didn't have huge follower numbers, I knew that the Pinterest Smart Feed was going to be important to my success, as well as showing up when pinners searched for specific key words. (If you're not familiar with Pinterest Smart Feed, it's a formula that Pinterest uses to take into account the pin's image quality, the pin's source, and the keywords searched for). So I decided that I was going to make sure I had my account optimized for key words related to my business in any way possible.
These are the places I intentionally included key words:
"About You" Description
Words on the Image
2. Created Boards that fit my Ideal Client
Since I was targeting engaged couples that were either considering a destination wedding or would be planning their honeymoon, I created boards with this ideal client in mind. I had plenty of boards on travel destinations, honeymoon checklists, and destination wedding tips. But I also had boards on budgeting for newlyweds, decorating your first home, cooking for two, dating as a married couple, and other topics that I knew my ideal client would be searching for on Pinterest.
These boards allowed me to increase my re-pin numbers and also made my ideal clients that stumbled upon my Pinterest profile feel like my account was specifically tailored to them. It's all about adding to that know, like, and trust factor.
3. Created Pin Images with a Focus on Text
I was very intentional about the Pinterest images that I created for each article on my blog. At that time I used PicMonkey to create the images, but now I'd recommend Canva as another option for creating photos with text overlays. (If you're feeling lost about how to dothis, be sure to check out my blog post: The Ultimate Guide to using Canva to Create Viral Pinterest Images)
This is absolutely key for success on Pinterest. It is 100x more likely (not an exact statistic!) that someone is going to click on a pin that describes exactly what you'll find by clicking through, rather than a pin that is just a pretty picture. I tried to make the text overlay very convincing using words like: Ultimate Guide, Checklist, 101, How-To.
Also, when adding the text, I made it large and bold enough that pinners on mobile devices would be able to easily read it. Think about it - when do you usually jump on Pinterest? Probably on your phone, right? Finally I added a small piece of branding to the image - just my website url.
Here are examples of my 3 pins that drive the most traffic. The funny thing is that I don't think they are the greatest in terms of aesthetic and design. If I was designing them again today, I'd probably make some different choices in terms of font and pictures. BUT, they work!
4. Told Pinners Exactly What to Do
If you're used to being on Pinterest a lot, it's easy to forget that your average pinner may not be as comfortable with what to do on Pinterest as you. So I got real clear on what someone should do when they see my pin.
In the description of the pin, I included a phrase like "Find the full guide here ....." or "Download the checklist here ...." It used to be best practice to include the blog post's actual URL in the pin description, but it seems Pinterest doesn't look on that as highly any more. So now I would include a phrase that says "Click on the pin to ....." and include whatever the reader is going to get when they click through to your site.
5. Designed my Blog Posts to convert Pinterest Traffic
Once I saw which of my pins were driving the most traffic to my website, I made some changes to the blog posts that each of those pins linked back to. The main thing that I wanted pinners (my potential clients) to do when clicking through to my site, was to fill out a "trip request form". This gave me their email address, and allowed me to follow up to try to close the sale. Your main goal should definitely include some way of securing a pinner's email address, and getting permission to add them to your email list.
There are a couple ways I did this:
I made sure my site was mobile friendly to make it easy for mobile pinners to view it
After the first paragraph of the blog post, I included a Call to Action: "Are you ready to start planning your trip? Fill out our Trip Design Request Form to get started!" There was a link directly to the form included in this sentence.
At the end of the blog post, I included another similar call to action, linking to the same form.
I also had a sign up form at the end of each blog post offering a freebie travel guide in exchange for entering their name and email and adding them to my email list.
So that's it! The 5 top strategies that I think lead to my massive amounts of Pinterest website traffic, with less than 500 followers. Much of Pinterest is a big trial and error game, and although there are many best practices and strategies to give you the best chance for success, you're got to try for yourself to see what works!