You’ve probably found out by now that setting up a virtual assistant business is not as hard as it sounds.
But inevitably, one of the first questions VAs have after they start on this road is “How do I pick a niche?”
Sure, you may have picked a domain name, and you may have already branded yourself as a VA, but when you go fishing for clients, you really have to narrow it down.
Remember, you can’t be everything to everybody. And the sooner you realize that, the clearer you’ll get in your business.
Today, we want to dig down into how to niche down as a virtual assistant by offering Pinterest management services. We’re not just talking social media management services here, but Pinterest in particular. (See, we’re niching down again?)
Wait a minute! Isn’t Pinterest that website where we get lost looking for chocolate chip cookie recipes?
Well, not necessarily.
Like anything on this mighty internet, Pinterest is what you make of it. Pinterest boasts a pretty impressive user base: officially, 150 million people around the world are using Pinterest, with 40 percent of new signups being men – up 120 percent from 2015.
And businesses should know that 93 percent of Pinterest users report they’ve used the site to plan for a future purchase. That’s a goldmine, whether you’re selling goods or services.
With all these benefits to Pinterest, the main downside is that it can become very time-consuming, especially for someone who is working on building a business from the ground up. If you’re spending even one hour a day figuring out Pinterest, that’s 25 hours a month that you’re taking away from other revenue-generating tasks.
Not to mention its complexity. Sure, it may look like fun, but if business owners want to reap the rewards from being active and visible on Pinterest, they have to keep up to date with all the changes that go on behind the scenes. (Just like Google, Pinterest is in the habit of changing algorithms quite often.)
And just what are the benefits of a business being present and active on Pinterest?
If you’re pinning your own content, that brings more readers to your website. This, in turn, may translate to an increase in email subscribers, more affiliate income, more sales and, if you’re selling ads based on pageviews, more ad revenue. Get this: Pinterest users are 47 percent more likely to be introduced to new brands than users on other social media platforms.
(Gina’s tip: Here is a quick case-study from when I first started using Pinterest to grow HorkeyHandBook. The boost in traffic was amazing, and I turned into a Pinterest believer almost instantly. We still get a big chunk of our traffic from Pinterest.)
So how can a business owner reap the rewards while still keeping atop the complexity and time suck that is Pinterest?
Here is where a Pinterest virtual assistant steps in to help.
What does a Pinterest virtual assistant do?
A Pinterest virtual assistant helps build their client’s Pinterest outreach and maintain their Pinterest presence.
Ok, that’s a bit generic, so let’s break it down.
As a Pinterest virtual assistant, you will:
1. Create stellar pins
You can’t just pin any image. Well, you can, but it won’t bring any benefits to your clients. Creating the perfect pin is as close to an art-form as you can get in this job.
A good pin has to have the right size and orientation, a good combination of fonts, enough white space to make it easy to read, and a background image that catches the eye (and maybe even evokes emotion).
You may have noticed that there are a lot of boxes to tick when creating a good pin, so this is definitely something you can help clients with.
Even if your client only posts once a week on their blog or website, that’s no reason for you to be out of a gig.
In fact, creating multiple pins for one post is a great strategy to attract more visitors to your client’s website.
Here’s what Melissa Berry of Sunburnt Saver has to say about it:
I promise you, if you do this one trick, you’ll grow traffic like crazy: make multiple Pins per post. This means if you have a blog post called “10 Ways to Grow Your Email List”, make one Pin with that headline … then make at least two more pins. You can use the same headline, but I like to go to CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer Tool and find a few more headlines that score “green” (above 70), such as: “Growing Your Email List the Easy Way” and “How to Grow Your Email List in 10 Simple Steps”.
It’s an effective strategy because you never know what is going to resonate precisely with your audience – “10 Ways to Grow Your Email List” might work on one person, but “Growing Your Email List the Easy Way” might work on even more people. You’ll get more clicks if you try a few different enticing titles!
Melissa uses this strategy in her work with Pinterest VA clients, and she’s found it really effective in driving traffic to their websites.
2. Write pin descriptions
Writing an SEO-friendly, keyword-rich description will help your pins show up in more searches. And that is really important because Pinterest is becoming more like a search engine than a catalogue of pretty pictures.
As a Pinterest VA, it will be your job to write a good description for every pin and every board that goes on your client’s Pinterest account.
3. Schedule pins in your scheduling tool
Do I have to be logged into Pinterest all the time if I’m pinning for my clients?
Nope, no, no.
That would not be a very productive use of your time, would it? That’s where scheduling tools such as Tailwind (<affiliate link) will make your job so much easier.
Once you have a pinning routine and a pinning spreadsheet set up, you won’t have to spend more than a few hours a week pinning. That depends on how many clients you have, of course, but through the magic of task batching, pinning won’t take up your entire work day.
(Tip: We’ll get you started with a super snazzy pin tracker in the Become a Pinterest VA course.)
4. Apply to group boards assigned by the client
Being part of group boards is a surefire way to get your pins in front of more people.
As a Pinterest virtual assistant, you may be in charge of finding relevant boards for your client, applying to join the boards, keeping up-to-date with the rules of the boards, and keeping in touch with the board owners. That’s no small feat, and that’s exactly how you should market it to your VA clients.
Do Pinterest boards really work? You bet! Here’s what Latasha Peterson of Arts and Budgets has to say about it:
Pinterest is currently my top referral site and has quadrupled the traffic to my blog over the last 6 months. One of the main ways I am using Pinterest to grow the traffic to my blog is through group boards. When I pin to a group board, my pins are visible to not only my followers but also to followers of that board. Which means more exposure and traffic being directed to my site.
For anyone looking to grow on Pinterest, I would highly recommend joining relevant group boards in their niche. Group boards are definitely one of my favorite things about Pinterest because they have the ability to skyrocket any blogger’s traffic when used properly.
Once you’re comfortable doing all of these tasks, you can even re-brand yourself as a Pinterest Manager, which will allow you to add (and charge for) some extra services.
What is a Pinterest Manager?
In addition to all of the responsibilities above, a Pinterest Manager may also:
- Launch Pinterest business accounts, including boards, descriptions and writing profiles;
- Audit existing Pinterest account and build a growth strategy based on business goals. (Is it wider outreach, more sales, higher traffic?);
- Use rich pins;
- Dig into the data with Pinterest analytics;
- Optimize existing pins for search results;
- Create a custom pinning schedule for clients;
- Create promoted pin campaigns, and track the results.
If you’re not comfortable with analysing data and creating strategy, why not start with offering just the basic services? You’ll gain some experience and some money while you learn. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of starting where you are and figuring out what you need to know along the way.
How do I charge for Pinterest management?
That is a question we get very often. Let’s start by stating the obvious: don’t charge per pin. You’ll only nickel-and-dime yourself into giving up, and that’s not what we’re here to teach.
The best way to start is by creating packages from all of the possible services we’ve listed above. The next step is to figure out how much time will a performing the tasks in a package take for you, then multiply that by your hourly rate.
(Tip: Don’t forget to account for client communication time in your package.)
The rate for an absolute beginner may start at $15-20/hour, while the rates for a Pinterest manager can go as high as $75-100/hour.
If you’re not sure where to start with your rates, check out this in-depth pricing guide that we’ve put together based on the most common practices in the field.
Here you go! Now you’re hopefully on your way to better understanding what a Pinterest virtual assistant does and the skills you need to become one.
We’re digging deeper into how to prospect and pitch for clients in the Become a Pinterest VA TODAY! Course. By the way, the course launches next week! Hop on the waitlist and we’ll let you know when we open the doors.