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Authenticity on Pinterest

Andie Mitchell is best known for her food and lifestyle blog, but she is also a New York Times best selling author. Her book, It Was Me All Along, has won numerous awards, and shares the story of how she lost 135 lbs. and has kept it off for ten years. She has a new cookbook out as well, Eating in the Middle- A Mostly Wholesome Cookbook.

The first time I met Andie at the Indulge conference, I was impressed by how “real” she was. There was no “trying to figure her out.” I wanted my listeners to get a chance to hear her and be encouraged that authenticity pays off, and you can be successful by being yourself!

Today’s episode is a bit shorter than previous ones, but it is absolutely packed with awesome information!

Sharing Her Personal Story

Andie began blogging in 2010, and was mostly focused on sharing healthy recipes, general wellness, and weight loss. But after a while, she decided to start sharing the more emotional aspects of losing weight. Rather than just saying, “Here’s what I eat now!”, and throwing up a recipe, she really began to dig deep into the challenges of losing weight. Readers related to the way she wrote about the emotional journey of weight loss.

Maintaining Your Voice

As your business grows, it can be easy to slip into meeting other people’s standards, writing what others say you should, running your business according to some “expert,” bending to the “hot” trends…you can become clouded with what success really is.

…you can become swayed into building a website, instead of building an audience or building your voice…there is a distinct difference, and your audience always knows…

Are you being too safe with your opinions? Are you only pinning things that you know are popular? When you write as though every recipe you create is your favorite, or every Pin you share is wonderful, you lose your personality. You may gain popularity, but you will no longer have an authentic voice. You may build a brand, but you will lose character.

What did your audience come for in the beginning? You have to be mindful of that. Ask yourself, “Would you read your own blog?” If not, then why not?

Woman sitting at desk with laptop and text overlay "how to be authentic on Pinterest".

A More Personal Pinterest

Andie started using Pinterest four years ago, and only for things that she liked personally. But over the past year, she has begun to follow the advice to have more specific boards and to Pin more regularly. She doesn’t follow a schedule though, because it just isn’t her style.

Andie’s Pinterest is much more intuitive; she really has no specific strategy for her social media use. Her audience keeps coming back because they want what she has to offer. Once a reader trusts her with healthy recipes or weight loss, then they want to see her opinions on other topics as well. They’re trying to learn her style.

Even when Pinterest makes changes to their algorithms, Andie’s numbers don’t change. Her audience is extremely loyal. How can you make that happen?

  1. Know and understand your audience. It is easy to lose your sense of intuition if you aren’t tracking with your audience.
  2. Continue to be authentic as a blogger. Walk with your reader; get to know them. (Learn more here about how know and understand your audience.)

Woman sitting at desk with laptop and text overlay "how to be authentic on Pinterest".

Pinterest for Beginners

Numbers don’t matter; 100 solid followers is better than 10,000 come-and-go followers. If you have 100 people that care, that is worth 10x more. Work on building relationships with those 100 people; let them know that they matter to you. Let the reader know that you write because they come to read it. Without that relationship, there is no reason for a reader or follower to come back.

Build a connection with your reader; that connection is the reason someone will be loyal to you, or trust you.

Keep building slowly. Turn that 100 into 200, and 200 into 300. But make it 300 real followers. Everyone has to start at the beginning! Don’t wish to be three years ahead of where you are now; enjoy the beginning, and use the knowledge you have to go forward.

Share yourself. Would one of your readers know what to buy you for your birthday based on what you share? Be consistent in sharing things that you actually like, so that your audience gets to know the real you. Be okay with being different! Even if you are sharing a recipe, there is a way to share it that is uniquely you.

Build a connection with your reader. That connection is the reason someone will be loyal to you, or trust you.

Final tips for Pinterest

Be mindful of your audience and their needs. Andie blogs about healthy living and weight loss. While she adores a decadent chocolate cake, that is not what her audience is looking to her for.

Use a scheduling tool if you want to Pin a lot of posts at once. Andie uses Viral Tag for this, so she doesn’t Pin a ton of stuff at once, since she mostly looks for things to Pin at night.

Stop trying to Pin a massive amount of Pins per day; try to find the flow of where you’re going. It’s not about a number; it’s about quality. Be intentional about what you’re doing.

Because Andie is so delightful you should really follow her in all of these places:

Catch up on past episodes of the Simple Pin Podcast here.


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