a live chat with a fellow freelancer.
For those of you who can’t catch it live, want a review or just prefer reading a blog post to watching a video, here’s a recap of my recent chat with Kristin Larsen of Believe in a Budget.
This past Friday I talked with Kristin about how to build your VA business using Pinterest. Thanks for joining me for the chat, Kristin!
Kristin, tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I blog about budgets, businesses and side hustling. I do Pinterest management, and it’s now my full-time job. I have quit my day job and do strictly Pinterest stuff.
Never in a million years did I think I’d be doing something like this!
(Gina’s tip: I teamed up with Kristin to teach virtual assistants how they can turn Pinterest management services into a lucrative niche for their biz. This course will teach you exactly what you need to know to launch your Pinterest VA business – today if you want!)
Wow, how does what you do now compare to the job you used to have?
It doesn’t. In the past, I was a commercial interior designer for assisted living facilities and office buildings.
My job now is so great. I can take a vacation. If I’m having a bad day, I just take the day off.
I love being able to travel. And getting to meet other bloggers and working with other bloggers is so great. I love it.
Today, we’re talking about growing a virtual assistant business using Pinterest, but I think this will also apply to any other freelance businesses. Tell us a successful example of how you landed a client using Pinterest yourself.
Pinterest is awesome because you can manipulate Pinterest and your pins to do anything you want and to go to any website you want:
- You can create a portfolio on Pinterest.
- You can link pins to go to a portfolio on another site.
- You can drive clients to your website to promote a product you want to push or to discuss an article.
There are so many things that you can do to grow your business. The best part is that Pinterest is free.
Gina’s Tip: If you’re still not sure what virtual assistant services you can offer, we’ve put together a list of over 150 services that webpreneurs need help with.
Let’s say I’m a brand-new virtual assistant and I’m just starting to put myself out there with friends and family. I have a site and a Pinterest account, but I don’t have a ton of followers. What’s my first step?
First, create some pins and link them back to your Hire Me page.
Whatever your niche is, create a pin that has a problem and solution, and then link the pin back to your site.
Or write some blog posts about solving a problem and become an expert at it. You could make multiple pins for the same post or the same Hire Me page.
(Gina’s tip: For example, if you wanted to do email management, you’d probably write a blog post about how hard it is to get to inbox zero and some tips and tricks to help. That way people are able to get value from your post.)
I’ve found that there are a lot of people out there who don’t want to do things themselves, so if you position yourself right, they’ll see you as the expert and then hire you to do it on their behalf, right?
Yes, exactly, Gina.
Let’s say that you do have a couple of clients.
Create a board on Pinterest that links to your client’s websites with posts you’ve done. You’re then advertising yourself by showing work you’ve done that other potential clients could then see.
Your client wants you to promote your pin because it translates into more traffic for them. It’s a great balance because you’re promoting their website and also promoting your own posts.
Another example is if you were a designer, you could then promote sites you’ve done. Or if you’re really good at creating newsletters, then write some posts on different ways to create newsletters or how to write catchy titles.
How much money can someone make offering Pinterest services?
When I first started, I started with a low hourly rate.
Every time I got a new client, I raised it a bit. I keep raising it. Not a lot of people are telling me no. As long as you’re getting clients, you can keep raising it.
(Gina’s tip: I agree that when everybody starts to tell you no, you know that you’ve hit your threshold, or you need to look upstream for clients with bigger budgets. One on the modules we teach in Become a Pinterest VA TODAY covers how to find and pitch clients.)
Can you share with us what you do for your clients and how long you spend doing it?
My Pinterest business is divided into two areas. I spend an hour a week scheduling a client’s pins. You can use BoardBoost, Tailwind or Buffer, and it depends on how many boards you have.
After everything is scheduled, there’s another aspect in regards to if the client has a specific marketing plan they want me to promote, such as a specific course they’re offering.
That might be an extra hourly service.
I try to split the two up so that it’s easier to track the time. Sometimes they just have me creating images.
One of the ways to grow your VA biz using Pinterest is pinning your Hire Me page. In addition to great images, I think descriptions and keywords are also very important, as you mentioned in last week’s post, right?
I don’t consider Pinterest to be social media at all. I consider Pinterest to be a search engine. In its results, it displays images really big and the actual descriptions of the pin really small.
Treat it like you would Google and use the keywords and SEO to your advantage.
How do you prove success to your clients? How do you prove your value?
With Pinterest it’s so easy.
Pinterest Analytics will tell you your percentages every day as far as how many repins you’re getting, how many impressions you have and your audience reach. If you use a scheduling service like Tailwind or BoardBooster, either of those will track your results. That’s super easy.
Tailwind has a free trial for a month. After that, it’s around 10 dollars a month.
It’s worth it because for an hour of scheduling a week and 10 dollars a month you get tens of thousands of hits back to your site. It totally pays off.
Gina: Check out Tailwind’s summary from this week:
So your goal, rather than some blanket number, is just to see growth over time, week after week and month after month and it’s probably going to vary depending on who that client is, right?
Yes, and it depends on your niche.
Certain niches perform better than other niches. For instance, because Pinterest is mostly female-based, female niches perform better than those geared toward men.
What’s a good ratio for pinning?
You should do 80 percent of your own stuff and 20 percent of others. I get really good results doing 80/20.
You have to promote yourself first.
Pinterest wants you to be nice and share their content, but you have to promote yourself first.
Do you have a post on your blog that breaks everything down? Or is that a part of your course?
Unit One of my course is dedicated to creating the perfect Pinterest pin. There is a whole section on how to create the image, including the size and what kinds of photos and fonts you should use.
There is also a whole section on descriptions and keywords. You have to do it all – you can’t just have one bit of it.
For blogging, especially, Pinterest is where it’s at right now, right?
Pinterest is soooo good.
Over 90 percent of my traffic each month comes from Pinterest alone.
Let’s say you’re not brand new on Pinterest or brand new as a VA – what are some intermediate to expert strategies that we can be using?
If your goal is to get more people to your website, your next goal is to get them to stay.
So when you create pins for your site, create opt-ins or pop-ups or freebies.
You need something on your site to give the visitors something that’s of value to make them want to stick around.
A lot of times, when people pop over to your site, they stay for 30 seconds. They read your post and close the page. But you want to try to give them something that’s going to make them want to stay.
(Gina’s tip: If you’re trying to attract clients using Pinterest, you need to be pinning, have boards, have content directing back to your website – a reason to click back in the first place. And the second part of that is getting them to stay, meaning having something for them to opt-in to your list in order to continue that conversation with people. You’re specifically targeting certain professionals, so you should probably know what your niche is and the services you want to offer. Once you know those two things you can target the right people.)
Should we have separate Pinterest accounts for business and personal use?
I just stick with my business account and that’s it.
You can use secret boards to hide the stuff that you don’t want people to see, but want to be able to refer back to. You can pin from there anytime, but you use them when you don’t want everyone to know what your business is and what you’re using those pins for.
You can use secret pins to check out your competition too. 😉
One of the secrets to your success is using the group boards, correct?
Yes. Group boards are where it’s at.
You can reach so many people. You may not have a lot of followers, but you can use somebody else’s group board and reach all of their followers.
You can find so many group boards and new people, which means there will be more traffic to your website. If you’re not a part of any group boards, go get on some. You’ll instantly do better.
Let’s review the top tips for using Pinterest that can be put into action today.