“If it’s not online it doesn’t exist” has become society’s motto. In fact, it could actually be “If you’re not online you don’t exist.” This is especially true for businesses. Whether you own a coffeehouse or a photography studio, your online brand will have a huge impact on the success of your business. And, like it or not, the wider your presence expands, the more likely you are to be found by clients. That’s why having a stunning photography website is the first step to a successful online presence.
Think of your online presence as a little universe of its own. In the center sits your portfolio, the brightest star in your microcosm. Around it are your social media profiles feeding from your site and creating their own little communities. And every now and then, a rocket full of traffic leaves these planets to see what the central star is up to. Except instead of getting burnt like Icarus, they end up hiring you. Everyone knows the main planets by heart: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn. And, of course, there’s the one no one is sure if it’s actually a planet but still loves dearly: Pinterest.
Most photographers overlook Pinterest when building their online presence. This is primarily because they don’t understand how the platform works or how it can help them. This is why we sent our very own New Horizons spacecraft to learn more about this odd (but big) planet and its community. And boy have we learned about it! Ready to explore this new and sort of uncharted land? Here are some must-know Pinterest tips for photographers that will help you grow your business:
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
It’s a hybrid between social media and search engine! That’s the most accurate description we can find for Pinterest. Essentially, it is the online version of a cork board. Users find things they like and pin them to their boards to look at it whenever they need to. Unlike most social media platforms, Pinterest is not about networking and starting a dialog with your audience. The strength of your account will lie on your content and how many users choose to save it for future reference.
And now that we know what it is, let’s move on to some Pinterest tips for photographers to make the most out of the platform.
It’s all about the SEO
We all know what social media entails. But the search engine side of this platform might be confusing for some. Basically, Pinterest works on the same basis as Google (and Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, etc.). Rather than scrolling through a feed, users search for specific content they’re interested in. The words they use on these searches are called keywords. Finding the right keywords for each pin will increase your content’s exposure. You should be using these keywords on your pins’ descriptions, board titles, and your own profile description.
Promote your brand
Unlike most social media networks, Pinterest is not scared to let users leave the site. In fact, it actually encourages them to do so. Every pin is linked to a URL that users are directed to when clicking on the image. This results in a unique opportunity to drive traffic to your portfolio. Ideally, every user who sees your pins should end up on your website. We’ll talk about what to offer to get users to click on your website in a few paragraphs. For now, let’s see how to improve your marketing efforts without leaving the platform.
Make sure you use the same name, address, and phone number that you use on your website and other social media channels. This will avoid confusion and can also give your local SEO a nice boost. You should also create a logo to improve the cohesion of your online presence. Use this logo as a watermark on every pin you create. This will maintain your ownership even if someone else reposts your content. Additionally, every user who saves your pin will clearly see your brand even if they don’t visit your website.
Marketing goes both ways. You can easily allow users to share your images on social media by using Wix Pro Gallery. Writing SEO friendly alt text for your images will also lead to better Pinterest results. It’s definitely a win-win situation.
Let inspiration flow
Before you start using Pinterest to promote your photography business, spend some time exploring the platform. Looking at other people’s work may help you see your photos under a different light and keep up with photography trends. You’ll also be able to find many tutorials and DIY guides to experiment with. After all, one of the main benefits of social media is getting inspired by others. Take Wix lifestyle photographer Louise Whitehouse for example. She has created 15 different boards ranging from celebrities and interior design to books and cute animals.
This exploring time will also help you build a stronger profile. There is no better way to learn something than experiencing it firsthand. Remember those keywords we mentioned before? This is how you find them. Understanding what you were looking for and how you searched for it will be crucial for getting them right.
Become an expert
As we already mentioned, Pinterest is not about creating a dialog with the community. The main thing you should have in mind when using this platform is your brand. Users should associate your business name with high-quality content. That includes not only photos, but also any knowledge you can offer. The most clear example is writing a photography blog. Creating a pin that directs users to your articles can be a great way to improve both your Pinterest presence and your blog’s performance.
But you don’t need to be good with words to share your expertise. Think about what you know regarding photography and how you can share it. Maybe you can come up with a step-by-step guide for DIY flash diffusers. Or maybe you can show a preview of the presets you developed. Find what you know and let it grow your engagement.
Show, don’t tell
Despite being known for its lack of user dialog, Pinterest is a great place to communicate with your clients. It might sound confusing, but there is a saying that explains it perfectly: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” If you have ever talked to a client, you probably know how hard it is to describe a concept that only exist on your (or their) mind. Here’s where the magic of Pinterest for photographers comes in.
The platform makes it possible for different users to share content on the same board. This means that you and your client can both give your visual input without struggling to find the perfect words. Having an understanding of your clients’ needs before a photoshoot will significantly improve your work and results. Additionally, you can also ask customers to create their own inspiration boards and share them with you. This is especially effective for those cases when they have a very clear understanding of what they want.
Make it pop
No matter how good your content is, it also needs to be eye-catching. Once users do a search, the screen fills up with hundreds of results. On traditional search engines, entries appear as a list and being on top is all that matters. On Pinterest, however, the different pins are shown on a grid that takes up the whole screen. Because of this, it’s extremely important that your content is visually attractive. This includes both vivid colors and portrait formats, as these take a larger portion of the grid.
Take a look at Gal Ben-Zeev’s account for the perfect example of how to make your pins stand out. Both the pins that he creates athe ones he shares are bright and colorful. Most of the pins use vertical images, which strengthens their presence on the feed.
Keep on improving
The only way to get better is to keep working. Start by changing your account from personal to business and claim your website. Afterwards, you will be able to access Pinterest Analytics and understand how users interact with your pins and website. This knowledge will be crucial to knowing how to improve your performance and take advantage of all the opportunities that Pinterest offers to photographers. However, keep in mind that the real star here is your work, not the numbers you get on social media.