Back in episode 27 of this podcast, I shared the story of how Simple Pin actually got started. Today, I want to go deeper into that story and talk more about becoming a Pinterest account specialist. If you run your own Pinterest management business, or if you’re a virtual assistant, this post will definitely pique your interest!
My Favorite Podcast
I don’t listen to many business-related podcasts, since I can’t listen to them while I’m working. I also avoid listening to them because when I do, I find myself getting easily caught in the comparison trap and shiny penny syndrome. After I listen, I find myself thinking, “maybe I should be doing that,” or “here’s someone else’s tactic.” It makes me have to check myself and really focus on what our objective is here at Simple Pin. If those tactics don’t line up with our objectives, and I run with it anyway, it makes it really difficult for my team. So I tend to avoid these types of podcasts.
I love entrepreneurship, however, so I am drawn to a few podcasts that share stories about how particular businesses have evolved and grown over time. For example, I really enjoy Guy Raz’s How I Built This podcast. I’ve mentioned it in my email newsletter several times. Whenever we’re driving a few hours to see my parents, or heading to the beach, I love to binge listen to this podcast. It’s encouraging to listen to stories of how people grew their business into household names. I love to hear the struggle and success of business stories.
At the end of each episode, Guy Raz asks his guest if it was luck or skill that got them to where they are today. While some admit it was sheer luck, others will talk about how it really was their skill and hard work that was behind their success.
Today I’d like to share my own How I Built This story.
How I Built This
It was 2013 and the recession hit my family hard after my husband lost his job. In the year following that loss, my husband and I tried every “work at home” avenue that we knew of none of them panned out.
I was desperate to do something that would free up my husband to do what he loved, since he had suffered through a few jobs that left him unfulfilled and miserable. I didn’t want to take a job that I would hate, but I didn’t know what I could do that I would love. I had worked part time for a friend who was a blogger and really enjoyed many aspects of that work, including Pinterest marketing. That blogger friend suggested that I begin managing Pinterest accounts for other bloggers.
So four years ago, I jumped into the world of Pinterest account management. I started with an old laptop computer, only had a few months of experience under my belt, and even fewer resources at my disposal. I signed on two beta clients and asked them to be brutally honest with me about every facet of the service that I was providing.
Deciding to Dream Big
Going into 2014, I decided to dream big. When those first clients gave me constructive feedback and heavy praise, I was in shock. Could this really work? Their Pinterest accounts were growing, and soon, they were referring me to their friends. Each time I had a new email in my inbox, I wondered if this would be the thing that freed us up to live out our talents and gifts.
I was still nervous because of the risk. What if I failed? But guess what? I didn’t, and no one fired me. Nobody thought I was a failure.
But it wasn’t easy. There was no one to serve as a mentor to me in the Pinterest management arena (during that time, Pinterest was like the crazy step-cousin to Facebook that no one really understood). I had no one to field my questions, no other account managers to collaborate with. So I devoured as much information about Pinterest marketing that I could find.
I made sure to communicate regularly with my clients about what I was doing with their account behind the scenes. Three clients turned in four, which turned into five, then seven. We were finally earning enough money to pay the bills and get off food stamps! It felt like freedom to us. None of our friends really understood what we were doing from home, but our little business was making around $3K a month.
Fast forward four years and now I have over 100 clients and have worked with over 500 Pinterest accounts. I’ve trained a team of 30 members, speak regularly at national conferences on the topic of Pinterest marketing, and have forged so many amazing relationships along the way.
Skill or Luck?
I will say that luck has played a part in my success with Simple Pin Media. At the time, I was learning along with everyone else. The skill part was knowing that business owners have long to-do lists. I wanted to be the person who could take things off their plate and provide peace of mind that Pinterest management was taken care of. I am a great communicator and good at following through. I knew if I could communicate well and always deliver a product that was clear, helpful, and easy to understand, the clients would stay.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Become a Pinterest Account Specialist
Four years later, I’m embarking on something new to help people who are just starting out, like I was. In September 2017, I spoke at the Activate Conference which is run by Ruth, of Elite Blog Academy. During the conference, I had the pleasure to meet Brian Dickson of Amplify Publishing. At the time, I knew I wanted him to help me update my courses. Typically, you either love courses and marketing OR you love delivering client-based services. Straddling both has been REALLY tough for me. I knew that outsourcing the course creation/updates would be a win-win for me.
The following month, I attended the Biz Chix Live conference, hosted by Natalie Eckdahl. There were so many incredible women CEOs in the room when I shared my idea of teaching and training Pinterest account specialists in a Mastermind coaching format. Some of the women told me to go for it, while others urged me not to do it.
My attorney, Danielle Liss, just so happened to be attending the same conference (I introduced you to her in the Pinterest and Legal Issues episode). The next morning at the conference, Danielle suggested a business model where I train account specialists in the Simple Pin method and certify them to be approved Pinterest account specialists. I LOVED the idea, but couldn’t figure out how I could make it work (and I wondered if I just might be creating my own competition if I went through with it).
At this point, I was conflicted to say the least, and I don’t do angst well!
Blue Ocean, Red Ocean
I had heard the phrase Blue Oceans and Red Oceans floating around quite a bit during that conference (referring to the best-selling business book). A Blue Ocean denotes a wide open opportunity with no competition. On the flip side, Red Ocean signifies fierce competition with everyone fighting over the same thing. I knew I didn’t want to be in the red ocean.
When Brian and I talked in early November of 2017, his message was similar to my what my attorney suggested:
You need to teach people how to become Pinterest account specialists like you.
And it was as if the heavens parted and the angels started singing. I have a team of 30 people, so teaching and training are like second nature to me. It’s what I love. So I booked a flight to Charlotte, NC, and Brian and I created my new course, How to Become a Certified Pinterest Account Specialist.
Get On Board with Me!
This course is designed for those just starting out on their Pinterest account management journey. It walks you all the way through the process of becoming an account specialist (and through the process of hiring your first team member). You get to learn from my mistakes and get the training I wish I had when I first started.
We aspire to work from home because we want a certain lifestyle for ourselves. We want the freedom to make our own schedules, decide who we work for and to live out our goals and dreams.
Visit my new site, visualmarketingcertification.com to learn more about my new course (or you can text the word PINTEREST to 33444 and I’ll send you the information via email). Now is the time to become a certified visual marketing specialist and I’d LOVE to be the one to guide you, step-by-step.
1:42- My Favorite Podcast
4:17 – How I Built This
6:35 Deciding to Dream Big
11:06 – Skill or Luck?
12:43 – Visual Marketing Certification
15:04 Blue Ocean, Red Ocean
18:35 Get on Board with Me!
FREE Download -- Pinterest Consult Call Checklist
Make Pinterest work for you. Download our FREE Pinterest Consult Call Checklist to optimize your Pinterest branding, website & strategy.