Using Pinterest as a Self-Promo Tool

As Pinterest continues to gain followers (it currently has more than 25.3 million unique visitors), it’s become an increasingly valuable marketing tool for designers. The visual nature of the social media site also makes it an ideal platform for showcasing one’s creative capabilities.

Interactive professionals, for instance, can post high-quality screenshots of their web, mobile or app designs to the online bulletin board. If you have your own website (or a presence on online portfolio sites like Behance), you can upload images that link back to the original source. If you don’t, posting on Pinterest provides a quick way to get your work in front of a broad audience.

Pinterest Homepage

How to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Work

Not yet a pinning pro? Here’s a primer on using the virtual pinboard for career-related purposes:

Categorize carefully. Pinterest enables you to arrange images and other media (“pins”) by topic into collections known as “boards.” First and foremost, separate your designs from others’ work, which you can organize into boards such as “Inspiration” or “Artwork I Like.”

If you have a robust portfolio, consider dividing your work into boards defined by specific categories—like “My Web Work” and “My Print Work”—so viewers can quickly find what they’re looking for. Aim for clear, concise titles.

At The Dieline Packaging Design Conference, Steve Kazanjian, global creative VP at MeadWestvaco, will be talking about how brands and the designers who support them can create eye-catching packaging designs in this social media era. Check out Tweet, Pin, Post, and Text: Designing Your Digital Moment Of Truth and other Dieline sessions at HOW Design Live.

Craft compelling captions. Context is key, so give people perusing your pins an overview of each work sample. Include the client’s name (if you have permission), project objective, role you played and any positive outcomes. Example: “This website redesign I led for XYZ Corp. exceeded the client’s goal, boosting monthly page views by 20 percent.”

Check your settings to ensure your profile is open to search engine indexing. Use keywords, such as web design or digital typography, in your captions so users searching for boards on a certain topic are directed to your content.

Be a follower. You want to gain followers so more people will be exposed to your work. The fastest way to do so is to frequently engage with others. Follow boards and users who share your professional interests. Many top creative shops and talented designers are on Pinterest. The Creative Group’s Pinterest page, for instance, contains design resources, creative inspiration and industry news.

Like and comment on work you find striking. Or share it with your followers by “repinning” it—basically, reposting it to your own collection. Just be sure to honor Pinterest etiquette and give appropriate credit to the image’s original source. In short, show some love to your fellow pinners, and they’ll be more apt to return the favor.

Pinterest Website Design Boards

Keep it clean. The goal should be to build your personal brand and share relevant content, not to shock others or stir up controversy. While you certainly can offer some insight into your personality, passions and pastimes, err on the side of caution when it comes to your boards.

Just as you can undermine your reputation with a single ill-advised tweet or Faceboook update, the same is true of your pins. There’s little upside to posting a potentially offensive image or pinning an inflammatory quotation.

Get (info)graphic. Sure, you can post a PDF of your resume on Pinterest. But it’s more advantageous to create an eye-catching infographic resume. Eliminate the boring bulleted text and convey your professional skills, background and achievements through colorful illustrations, graphs, charts and other visuals. This increasingly popular resume format makes it easy for potential clients and employers to scan and digest.

Stay committed. Adding new content consistently is the name of the game on Pinterest. Regardless of how impressive the designs you initially post, you won’t derive much benefit if you let your boards go dark for weeks at a time. After completing work you’re proud of, take a few minutes to update your boards. Remember: If you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.

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