I’ve been a freelance designer since 2014. Before freelancing, I used to have a full time job in the advertising world that left me feeling overworked. As always, when you take a leap of faith and jump into the unknown it is scary and it takes a while to get things going. That’s exactly how I felt when I finally decided to quit so I could pursue this solo design career. I remember late nights working, stressing about getting clients and paying my bills. Seriously, I used to have full blown meltdowns and often felt untalented and like a failure because I had one small client that paid $10 an hour for simple Photoshop edits.
I often get asked on Instagram when I got my “big break”, and the truth is… it was a slow process but there was ONE moment that defined the trajectory of my career. I always remember that moment because it was made out of desperation. I was at a low point and desperate for clients, for money, for creative work. I had been freelancing full time for about 6 months and still only had one paying client who’s monthly invoices were for less than $500 —not nearly enough to cover rent! I needed more clients and I had no idea how to attract them or let them know that I was alive and looking for work. So I did the only thing that was in my power, I created fake design projects and uploaded them to Pinterest.
You know the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’? Well, I was desperate and with bills pilling up, I needed to do something FAST. So I created design projects that were in line with what I wanted to do and hoped that someone somewhere would see it and hire me. Actually the first project I faked and pinned was Beauty Bar which still gets me clients TO THIS DAY!
Why Pinterest Attracts High Paying Clients
Here’s the thing. I had no idea that Pinterest was a marketing powerhouse. I thought that Pinterest was a site for women to create inspirational boards for their weddings and pin recipes or cute clothes — at least, that’s how I used it! At that time I was unaware of how awesome this platform could be for your business. Pinterest is a search engine. It’s not social media! So if you think about it, you can create strategies so that when someone types something into the search bar, you pop up as the solution! Back then, people probably found my Beauty Bar design project by searching for “Beauty Packaging” or “Feminine Beauty Branding”. And the best thing? Your dream client or customer is already spending hours scrolling through Pinterest looking for inspiration and solutions to their problems! All you have to do is get in their attention 😉
You Need To Create a Pinterest Strategy
Now that you know how powerful Pinterest can be — you need to create a strategy! The great thing about this platform is that unlike social media, anything you create has a long life and can keep bringing traffic to your website, products or services for a long time. A Pinterest strategy is all about serving your dream tribe. Answering their biggest pain points, putting out content they will love and establishing yourself as the go-to resource in your niche. For example, at the time, I really wanted to tap into the Beauty industry and have lots of packaging design clients, so I started creating content around that including blog posts and fake design projects. This eventually landed me with Anthropologie!
Because Pinterest is a search engine… you have to master SEO (search engine optimization). This is the secret sauce that catapults your content right in front of your dream audience. How exactly does this happen? One thing my friend: Keywords. Anthropologie found me on Pinterest because of they keywords I used on my Beauty Bar project. A keyword is basically what people are typing into their Search Engine to get a certain result (like with Google!). If you go type something basic into the Pinterest search bar you get a bunch of recommendations that help you get a sense of what people are searching for and with what words. Pinterest does the work for you! All you need to do is keep that in mind make sure you are using those keywords in all the right places (hint: all this info in on that free workbook!)
Show Up & Be Consistent
Like anything else, you need to be consistent in order to grow. So if you’re starting a freelance business or have physical products to sell — you still need to show up everyday! Pinterest is awesome but you need to consistently put up new fresh content that it can display for you. In fact, Pinterest wants you to succeed, it wants to display the BEST and most up to date information to its users. The more you pin, the more you are displayed in search results. Don’t just pin one blog post and call it a day… You need to be creating new content for not only Pinterest, but your dream tribe as well. You want to show them that you mean business and that they can trust you. Once you establish trust they will be more willing to buy and/or hire you.
Thats the gist of it! And honestly, if I could do it and grow a business from scratch using only Pinterest, you can too! I mean, I wasn’t even on Instagram so every client I’ve ever had has found me on Pinterest. It simply works and the best part is that I was able to do it without any social anxiety.
Because I want the same for you, so download the quick-start guide and get to pinning intentionally and strategically!
Have you ever used Pinterest for your business? If not, would you?