Pinterest is Perfect for Artists

Pinterest is perfect for me.  I am very visually motivated and inspired.  When I first saw all the beautiful pin boards, wonderfully organised, with so many gorgeous pictures, I fell instantly and hopelessly in love.  It had me hooked. 
What is Pinterest?  Pinterest is a social networking site with a twist.  It is an image based, virtual pinboard.  Pinners find pictures on the web and pin them on categorized boards.  These pictures could be of recipes they want to make, fashions they want to buy, ideas for parties, products they want to buy, etc., all arranged on neatly organised pin boards.

What I’ve discovered in the short time I’ve been pinning, is that Pinterest has the potential to be a fantastic marketing tool, especially for creative, crafting and art based businesses.

Pinterest is growing rapidly with about 1.5 million unique visitors visiting the site daily.  It is driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube, Reddit and LinkedIn combined, and more referral traffic through it’s images  to major retailers than Twitter does through tweeted links.

Bloggers have already caught on to this and a new trend in blogging is to create attractive word/subway art blurbs of their post so that pinners can link that picture to Pinterest, which will bring more readers to their blog.  Clever.

Pinterest provides the perfect marketing tool for artists.  It is visual.  It attracts a creative and visually motivated crowd, more inclined to buy what you create.

In case some of you have heard about the big artist freak out over Pinterest let me set your mind at ease, before I move on.  There was some uproar that Pinterest’s Terms of Service were not friendly to artists.  There was worry that Pinterest would steal your art and sell it themselves.  Good news.  Pinterest has recently changed their terms and removed the wording that caused the confusion.  Pinterest said it was never their intent to sell anyone’s work.  The new terms go into effect April 6th, 2012 and you can read them HERE .

If you are still leery, but want to pin your art, you can watermark your images, or pin only products with your images, or lower resolution copies (72dpi) of your images.

Know that others are probably pinning your images from your sites.  If you really don’t want images from your site to be pinned, Pinterest has a piece of code which can be added to the head of the page you don’t want anything pinned from.  It must be on every page that you want excluded from pinning.  You’ll find it HERE .  Scroll down to the bottom of the page, under “Linking to your blog or website”.

How To Share Your Art and Increase Your Fan/Customer Base on Pinterest
  • Of course you need an account.  You can browse around Pinterest without one, but you won’t be able to set up any boards without one.  My advice is not to request an invitation to Pinterest from them.  They are very slow about sending the invitations out.  Instead you can create an account by signing in with your Facebook account.  If you don’t have a Facebook account, leave me a request for an invite in the comments and I’ll send you one.
  • The added bonus to using your Facebook account to register is that it will link you up with any of your Facebook friends who are Pinterest users giving you a follower and following base right away.
  • Once you have your account, make sure you fill in your profile, so people will know that you are an artist and who you are.  You can change your profile name.
  • Make sure you link your site, gallery, blog or store so that people will know where to go to find more art or products.  You’d be surprised how many people forget to do this.  Connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts with your Pinterest account.  Doing this will create social media icons under your profile picture that your followers can click to be taken to your web site and Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  • Next, in order to be able to pin your art and other images, be sure to install the PIN IT Button on your bookmarks bar.  This is a great little tool and enables you to pin an image to your boards from any site.
  • Pinterest sets every new account up with a few generic boards.  You can change the name and category of the boards and you can also make new boards.
  • As an artist you may want to have a board as a digital portfolio of your work, another board as a WIP board for new pieces you are creating, another as a board for your products/available art.  You may want an inspiration board, where you pin things that inspire your art, or a board of art by other artists.  Don’t forget to include boards that let the pinners have a look into your personal side and what kinds of books you read, food you eat, what your personal style is etc..  They want to get to know you.
  • When you pin your work, include the name of your art and that it is by you.  The descriptions usually remain with the image when it gets repinned.  People can see the original source of the pinned image by double clicking on it and they will be taken to the original site it was pinned from.
  • Which leads me to some “Pintiquette”.  What ever you do, please don’t pin every single product you made on Cafepress or Zazzle (just for an example) with each piece of art.  That is the fastest way to get that board unfollowed or all of your boards unfollowed.  Every thing you pin shows up on your follower’s feed of what the people they follow are pinning.  I want you to succeed, so please don’t do this.  The etiquette from other social media sites applies here.  Pinners like variety.  I’m not saying not to create your own “Shop My Stuff” board.  You can promote yourself, but don’t over promote.  Mix in pins about other subjects you’re interested in, or repin something you saw that you liked from one of the people you follow.
  • When you are pinning items that you do have for sale type the dollar or pound sign, followed by the price into your descripton and a little banner will appear with the price across the upper left corner of the image.  When you add prices to your pins they may be featured in Pinterest’s “Gifts” section.  Cool!!
  • Be active on Pinterest.  This keeps you visible to your followers.  It is better to pin a little at a time, than to pin a few hundred pins at once and then disappear.  Remember you can share what you pin on Facebook and Twitter.  Multi tasking is great!  One pin appears in 3 different places along with your comment.
  • Be social.  You can like pins.  You can comment on pins.  This will help increase your number of followers.
  • Regularly look at the POPULAR page on Pinterest to keep up on trends that you might be able to incorporate into your art or products.
  • Follow other artists.  Network. 
  • Leave your Pinterest profile in the comments of this post, so that we can all follow each other.
Follow Me on Pinterest
I’ll follow you back.
Happy Arting!  Happy Pinning!
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  1. Thanks Tori, I'm a friend of Aus and saw these posts on FB this morning, having had a Pinterest page for some months and not knowing what to do, I need to thank you for helping me on my way, your help was invaluable.

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