Well, it’s about time I wrote a post about Pinterest! I mean, I rave about it being my fav social media network and stuff. Yet have I written an ode to Pinterest and why you too need to love it? No. But I’m writing it now, so I hope you’ll forgive me.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pinterest is the best traffic generator and return on your time, when it comes to social media. You see, it’s a platform that’s designed with the intent to encourage the sharing of one’s own content and that of others, and less of a forum or a place to rant.
Pinterest is the place Life & Health Coaches need to be focusing on the most. I tell my clients this all the freakin’ time. And in today’s post, I’m going into detail about how you too can use Pinterest to grow your coaching biz ( like I did).
Rather than making your boards all about your, you can also use your Pinterest boards to show your personality and interests, as well as to pin your latest blog posts.
Let’s use my account as an example. You see how many boards I have? Quite a few, yes. And while you don’t have to have nearly as many as I do ( I’ve got waaaay too many interests), I think it’s smart to show people your quirks, passions, travel goals, and more.
You’ll notice I have boards that also sort of compliment my business related boards too. For example, there’s my Girl Boss group board ( for fellow coaches and women entrepreneurs) and my Girl Boss Style board, which serves as my style inspiration, and that may also be of interest to my Girl Boss followers.
Why should you include your personality and interests? Because people connect with and hire people. And the random things that interest you may stand out in a prospective client’s mind, or maybe even get the attention of a brand.
Even though you’re going to pin some of your interests, make sure to set up a Pinterest business account so you get access to analytics. I also suggest you consider making your profile photo one of you and not your logo, and use your name instead of your business’. Or better yet, use both! ie Lysa Jones- Global Yoga Studio or John Reilly, Freelance Writer.
Because I not only do coaching but am a freelance writer ( and often write in the travel niche), I’ve got boards that have inspiring pins pertaining to my writing or travels. I made the executive decision to avoid the overwhelm that would come with running two Pinterest accounts and just created separate boards for my interests, coaching biz, and freelance work.
Some coaches will tell you not to do this. But I disagree. I know from experience that in my case, my Ideal Clients LOVE to travel and also happen to be bloggers, so there is an overlap.
Takeaway Tip: You can use Pinterest to grow your personal brand, and don’t need to create a separate account for your interests.
One of the most common issues I see on Pinterest is that pinners don’t fill in the description boxes of their boards, nor even write a description on pins!
Using keywords in your descriptions allows Pinterest to see what content you’ve pinned and to show it to people searching for that type of content. Just like google, friend. Optimize your boards and pins by using accurate keywords, especially for those that relate to your business.
On another note: Pinterest differs from Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms in that it isn’t a place to hashtag. In all the training I’ve done and in what I’ve found works, I’ve learned that if you really want to get your content found, you:
1.) Pin high-quality content
2.) MAKE SURE the link is accurate
3.) Fill in the pin description with compelling copy
What basically all of us Pinterest strategists can agree on is that it’s handy to have a board devoted to your own content. That’s not to say you won’t be pinning your content elsewhere, but that your blog post or business board board will serve as the go-to place for your latest posts.
In my blog post board, I pin both my latest posts plus Instagram pics ( from time to time), guest posts, and opt in pages. Your board may also include pins from your latest products or links to your free Discovery Call.
And because we’re talking about Discovery Calls, now is a good time to check out your DC opt in page and make sure it has an image that’s Pinterest-friendly. That means a long, vertical image with good copywriting that makes your Ideal Clients want to click through. Because Pinterest is extremely visual, it’s important to use a stellar image. But if you’re on a budget or don’t have time to take your own pictures, no worries: you can get free photos for your content on sites such as Stock Snap.
Action Step: Spend the next month going through and pinning your old content to your blog post board. If your content isn’t optimized for Pinterest, take the time to do that first, or have your designer create on-brand Pinterest-friendly images for you, and put them in every post and landing page.
Just starting out and have few followers? Fear not. Here’s an important shortcut: join group boards related to your industry and interests.
Choose those that have engagement, and ask to be a contributor. Sometimes you may need to leave a comment on the board owner’s pin, or even send them an email letting them know you want to share quality content on their board.
If you get invited, don’t just share your own content. Pin any high-quality posts that would be of interest to the board’s followers.
I run several group boards that help fellow coaches & bloggers thrive. Two of my boards are the top in their niches and have pinners from around the world contributing helpful content to them. As a board owner, I can get overwhelmed by the amount of people who request an invite. Based on my experience, here are my top tips on how you can find hot group boards that have your Ideal Clients or coaching peers and get added to them:
1.) Use the search function in Pinterest and search for group boards in your coaching niche or interests. If no luck with that, try searching on PinGroupie.com
2.) Thoroughly read the group’s description and guidelines. Follow the group, and then proceed to ask for an invite in the way specified in the description box.
3.) When pitching/emailing the group’s owner, let them know why they should add you, plus include your Pinterest profile and email. As a group owner who gets loads of invite requests, I can tell you that I really appreciate friendly emails that aren’t just sent from a mobile phone and only have ‘ Please add me to your group’ with not much else to go on. I also get people who don’t send me the info I need to add them, which takes me extra time to write and tell them I need their Pinterest profile and such.
People who write me thoughtful ‘asks’ stand out in my mind. I remember them further down the line. I’m going to elaborate on this in a moment when we get to using Pinterest to connect with influencers, but I wanted to mention it here as writing a group owner can be your first communication with someone. And it can blossom into a relationship or heck, even a client.
Depending on the group board I’m a member of, I pin around 3 pins to the boards. Most of the pins are repins of other people’s content, interspersed between my own.
Want me to suggest a few group boards to consider joining?
( for Health Coaches)
For Biz & Life Coaches
Your next ( and very powerful) step is to use a scheduling tool like Board Booster to program your posts/pins to be repinned to the group boards of your choosing. Board Booster can help you get your content pinned more consistently, which will get you noticed more by your peers, Ideal Clients, and Influencers on Pinterest.
One of my all-time favorite ways Pinterest can help you grow your coaching biz is by connecting with influencers & brands. I’ve been amazed at the meaningful connections I’ve made just from being active in group boards, plus sending messages to pinners I want to connect with.
Perhaps the best example is what happened with Lonely Planet.
As I mentioned earlier, I do travel writing in addition to my work with coaches. This is something I’ve done for years, but it got sidetracked by my focusing on coaching and the ghostwriting work I do.
But a year or two ago, I connected with Lonely Planet and was invited to pin to their group board, which has hundreds of thousands of engaged followers! This was huge for my career. I made certain to be as helpful as possible, and became virtual friends with their social media manager ( who is awesome). And after some time, I was hired to run their Tastes of Thailand board, plus accepted into their Pathfinder program. It’s a huge honor.
In addition, I’ve connected with coaches around the world on Pinterest. I’ve also got some pretty epic entrepreneurs ( like Peg Fitzpatrick and Natalie Lussier) who pin to my group boards.
Nurturing relationships takes time. And it also takes the ability to get in touch with people. With social media, you can now connect with influencers like never before. And by helping them ( not asking them for help), your relationship will blossom and it could lead to a potential collaboration.
Perhaps the most important reason to be using Pinterest to grow your coaching biz is because chances are, your Ideal Clients are on there, pinning away!
There are over 100 million active Pinterest users across the world! That’s a whole lot of people. And that number is growing.
And better yet, holistic, creative women that want to make changes in their lives are using it often. Of course I don’t know your Ideal Client as well as you do, but I do know mine, and yep, she’s on Pinterest.
She’s pinning images of Bali.
She’s pinning courses they want to sign up for.
She’s pinning inspiring quotes & recipes.
To find out if your Ideal Client is on Pinterest, you’ve got to start with market research. This is what I’d suggest for any coach, regardless of whether or not they’re using Pinterest.
Make a list of ten people you know ( online or offline) that match your Ideal Client profile and survey them. Ask them if they are on Pinterest, and if you can follow them. This is a great start!
Next, find influencers who your Ideal Clients look up to and probably follow. Click on the person’s followers and follow/engage with anyone who is your IC.
Your coaching school may have taught you the importance of standing out in a niche, and why you need to pick a very specific market to help with your coaching services. This is smart advice.
You see, it’s not really enough to just call yourself a Life Coach. That’s not going to make people flock to you in droves.
People need to know how you can help them. They want to know what problem you can help them solve.
When you’ve gotten clear on who you help and how you help them, all of your blog content plus social media should be a reflection of that. Your Pins should be ‘on brand’ and have photos and copy that appeals to your niche. Your boards should be the same.
If you’re a coach that helps single women find the man of their dreams, maybe create a few boards like Dating Tips, Marriage Advice, How To Find Mr. Right, Positive Communication, etc.
Nothing that you do should be nebulous or vague, and this applies to your Pinterest just as it does to everything else.
What I’m about to share with you about my personal strategy for creating group boards is something I think hasn’t been discussed before.
To be honest with you, I look at my own group boards as less of a way to promote my own stuff as a way to create a community and help others promote their own work.
That may sound funny, but hear me out.
I pin to many group boards that other people run, and I have ample places to share my own content ( and that of others). My own group boards do help me grow my list, but more than that, they help me meet and learn from like-minded holistic, creative entrepreneurs.
I view my Blogging Boost Facebook group in the same light. My intention when I created it was to unite and uplift bloggers. The Facebook groups that fail are those that are uber self-promotional for that of either the group owner or the group members. This is also why I have decided not to create a random ‘pin your latest blog post no matter what it’s about’ type of group Pinterest board. People pin and run, and it’s not targeted. There are therefore few clickthroughs and little engagement. Because there is little community.
Are there exceptions to this? Yep. I’m a member of a few private group boards and also Facebook groups that are focused on promo, and they are great. But again, they are the exception, not the rule.
I’ve been interviewed on the subject of Facebook groups, and what I said about them also pertains to your group boards: create them based off of a passion or interest shared by a group of people, ideally your Ideal Clients.
My suggestion then to you is:
1.) Create a group board that follows a demand, passion, trend, etc ( IE SOMETHING THAT ALREADY HAS A GROUP OF PEOPLE INTERESTED IN IT)
2.) Create guidelines for your group board that state how often pinners can share posts, what they can share, etc
3.) optional: ask pinners to subscribe to your email list or join your Facebook group before they ask for an invite
I hope this post has been helpful! I’d love to hear your takeaways and what you will implement in the comments below. 🙂