As a freelance writer, it pays to have a strong personal brand to show potential clients that you know your stuff.
You probably already have a LinkedIn profile, and you may also be active on Twitter and have a business Facebook page but there are other less obvious ways to use social media to demonstrate your credentials and expertise.
As a freelancer, it pays to have a strong personal brand.
Take Pinterest, for example.
It may have a reputation for being predominantly about sharing recipes, fashion tips and wedding ideas but you’re definitely not wasting your time if you’re not focusing on these kind of areas.
Pinterest can actually be an underrated and underutilized way to strengthen your personal brand and impress potential clients.
You probably share industry content on other platforms and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same on Pinterest. Organize your pinned content into categories and create boards around these topics.
Here’s an example of how one of our team writers – Lizzie Davey – has created different boards to curate content on blogging, social media and business branding:
You can break this down even further into different aspects of marketing, as Rebekah Radice, a social media writer has done:
Don’t be afraid to plug your talents on Pinterest.
Lots of people visit Pinterest to get advice, and how-to pins are a great way to tap into this. If your content is providing value, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t promote it on a board that gathers together your published work.
Here’s how Carrie Smith of Careful Cents has created a board to display posts that she’s had published recently:
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Fun
You might be trying to build your brand as a freelancer but that doesn’t mean that everything you pin has to be strictly business.
Don’t be scared to create boards and pin things that reflect your personality. The great thing about Pinterest is that it’s okay to showcase a different side to who you are, which is less acceptable on Twitter and Facebook pages.
It can also help you to get yourself out there to the wider Pinterest community by connecting you to people with similar interests.
Here’s an example one of Rebekah’s board aimed at coffee lovers that has over 13k followers:
Personal Accounts Versus Business Accounts
If you’re hoping to raise your online profile through Pinterest and reach prospective clients, you might want to think about having a Business account rather than a personal one. This makes it a lot easier to use Pinterest Analytics track traffic that is generated as a result of your pins.
Optimizing Your Pins for Search
With Pinterest, you definitely can’t just pin and go.
Give your pins titles and descriptions that will help them to be found in searches. Keywords are vital for making your pins more visible.
It’s worth noting that hashtags don’t do much for promoting content on Pinterest so use them sparingly.
Building Your Profile on Pinterest
Even if you’re fairly new to freelancing, you have hopefully got some connections on other social media platforms that you can leverage to kickstart your Pinterest following.
You can connect your Twitter account to your Pinterest account with a Facebook profile.
Optimizing your pins and profile for search will go a long way towards helping you to be discovered but don’t forget to add a widget to your website to show visitors that you are active on Pinterest.
That way, they can choose to check you out and get an idea of your personality. This can be as simple as a “follow me on Pinterest” button or you can go a step further and use a widget that focuses on a particular board or your Pinterest profile as whole to give a glimpse of what to expect if they follow you.
For example, Elna Cain does this on her TwinsMommy blog.
Adding a Pin It button to images on your own blog posts makes it more likely that they will be shared on Pinterest. You can do this through Pinterest itself via the widget builders or if your blog is hosted on WordPress, you can use the Pinterest Hover Pin It button plug in (provided that your images are at least 120 x 120 in size).
Joining Group Boards
Joining and participating in Pinterest group boards in your niche is good way to boost your profile and drive traffic back to your blog or website.
These are invite-only so it helps if you already have a connection with the board owner before asking to get involved. This can be done by sharing and commenting on their pins and generally trying to build a relationship with them so that they are aware of who you are and what you will bring to the group.
Some group boards are only open to a select few pinners, as chosen by the board owner.
Although you are using Pinterest predominantly to build your profile as a freelance writer/blogger, you don’t necessarily need to stick purely to group boards that are focused on this area. Joining group boards for some of your other interests can potentially widen your exposure to potential clients.
You may be one of the few writers that are active in the group and by showing up in the group and regularly sharing high quality pins, you are making yourself known to them and being useful.
How do you determine which kind of group boards are your best options? Regardless of the group’s focus, look for popular ones that have a high ratio of repins as this is more likely to mean that your pins are shared to a wider audience.
Be sure to share pins from the group to encourage the likelihood that your own will be shared.
To find groups you can look on PinGroupie or check out your followers’ boards and see what groups they belong to.
Are you using Pinterest to build your writer brand? Do you have any tips that haven’t been covered here?