A photographer based in Costa Rica and Savannah, Georgia upped her monthly viewers by 108x in one year by converting to a business account, adding keywords and hashtags to her Pin descriptions, and using a scheduling tool to pin daily.
Kristen M. Brown isn’t afraid to leap into something new. In 2011, she left a finance job in New York City to move to Costa Rica and pursue her twin loves: surfing and photography. Kristen now runs a successful portrait and event photography business, plus an online shop where she sells her original prints of beaches and sunsets.
Kristen loves to learn new things, so when she started to think about growing her business, her first step was to educate herself about how she could get her name in front of potential customers. She taught herself a few basic search engine optimization (SEO) tricks to improve her ranking, including adding alt tags to her photographs, naming her images, and launching a blog. She also saw that the more she blogged, the more referrals she got—a snowball effect.
This experience led her to an important realization about Pinterest: it works like a search engine, and by making a few changes to her current approach, she could get immediate results. She jumped in with both feet.
“When I realized that Pinterest isn't a popularity contest, it's a search engine, that's when I really understood the potential for me. As a photographer, I have plenty of visual assets, so it was really a matter of learning about Pinterest and ramping up my activity.”
Once Kristen got serious about marketing her business on Pinterest, she changed her approach in three important ways.
First, she converted to a Pinterest business account. Business accounts give you extra features, like Pinterest Analytics to show you which of your pins are most popular. A business account also tells Pinterest you’re here to get discovered, so we take steps to get your content in front of more people. A month after Kristen converted to a business account, in early March 2017, she had 5,000 monthly viewers on Pinterest. By the end of March, she was up to 18,000 monthly viewers.
A few months later, Kristen started adding relevant keywords and hashtags to her Pin descriptions to help get her content to the right audience and provide helpful context for her services. Prior to implementing this strategy in early June, Kristen had 26,000 monthly viewers. At the end of the month, she was up to 75,800. By the end of July, it was 115,000.
In December, Kristen added a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool (Tailwind) to her strategy so she could create and post Pins daily. Pinterest prioritizes fresh content, so creating new Pins frequently, and making sure they link to your website, is key to increasing your reach. Utilizing a scheduling tool like Tailwind also lets Kristen plan her content in advance, uploading Pins and setting them to publish up to a month ahead of time.
"Once I learned the rules, the simple things," Kristen says, "that's when my metrics really skyrocketed." Kristen closed the year with close to 300,000 monthly viewers, more than double her earlier record.
A year after she first converted to a business account, Kristen’s monthly viewers on Pinterest had skyrocketed to 540,000—an increase of 108x from the 5,000 she started with. In May 2018, she reached 1 million monthly viewers and measured that Pinterest delivers 91% of her social customer acquisition, making it the #1 social referral source for both her photography business site and online shop.