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20 ways to make your business Pinnable (Pinterest: SMRW 2015) when you offer a service (i.e. you don’t have a product to ‘pin’)

Not everyone has a business that includes products that we can turn into beautiful re-pinnable images.

Some of us provide services — we may be journalists, writers, programme makers, producers, PR or communications agents, accountants, virtual assistants, copywriters, coaches, teachers, mentors, consultants, musicians, actors, instructors and other companies without physical products.

Our products are the services, expertise, and content we provide. These are ʻproductsʼ that you cannot photograph.

You can still use Pinterest to pin things your clients will love and engage with fans, but you also need to include content on your site that people can pin.

The images people take from your website will determine how itʼs visually represented on Pinterest, so itʼs important to give people images you can be proud of. One of the huge benefits of Pinterest is the traffic it can bring to your site.

If you donʼt have images on your website or blog the only image people can pin is your banner graphic, which Pinterest squishes. The result looks terrible and does not represent your company very well.

What images can you include on your site for people to pin on Pinterest if you donʼt have product images?

Here are 20 tips.

  1. A graphic with a quote, a saying, or an inspirational message.
  2. A graphic with your blog post headline or ʻtake-home message.ʼ
  3. An infographic that contains useful information, interesting facts, or a visual ʻhow to.ʼ
  4. A shortlist of your top three helpful tips or suggestions.
  5. Before & after photos that show the result of your service or expertise. PRO TIP: Stack them under each other rather than side by side.
  6. Images of you, your team, your office, your inspiration or motivation (people like to know the face of the business).
  7. A humorous image such as a comic or meme.
  8. A photo or scan of an illustration, scrapbook page, doodle pad, brainstorm, or sketch.
  9. A mindmap or flowchart.
  10. Pictures of local places or things of interest (especially if you have a local business & want to find local clients). Example: your favourite local restaurant or hiking trail.
  11. Photos from your day or your life, if it relates to your expertise/service/niche.
  12. A snapshot of a headline from the newspaper, a magazine, or something on TV that relates to your industry, along with your commentary.
  13. Images relating to complementary products & services (e.g. “if you like this product you are going to love my service”).
  14. Photos/text graphics that show your process or the steps clients take when working with you.
  15. A photo of a satisfied client along with a snippet of their testimonial.
  16. A graphic showing the social proof of your business (the number of people you have helped, the number of hours or pounds you have saved people).
  17. A graphic with a commonly-asked question or a common problem that you solve.
  18. A list of your steps or instructions (with the meat of the information in a post so that people click through).
  19. ʻCall to actionʼ graphics that fit with your logo & brand (e.g. to sign up to your newsletter or read your FAQs page. Be sure to include ʻwhatʼs in it for clientsʼ to make it enticing).
  20. A video of you describing how you help people or answering a question – offer some tips for free to encourage pinning!

Not only do you need images on your site so that visitors have something to pin, but you want to provide images that Pinterest users will want to share and repin.

Another consideration is using images that will entice people to click and read more (visit your site). Itʼs important to consider what images will be popular with your target market but donʼt give everything away in your image. Instead give people a reason to click through and read your blog post or visit your site.

Whatever images you decide to post, DO invest the time to study, learn, and practise so that you can share quality images (or invest money in getting images created for you by a professional photographer). If you post a poor image and it gets pinned it will forever be associated with your business.

This resource was compiled by Emma Meese from the Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ) at Cardiff University. NUJ Training Wales runs the Social Media Roadshow Wales in partnership with C4CJ and Cult Cymru.

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