Today’s podcast is for those of you business owners who are interested in learning about how to build a Pinterest marketing team. Before I share my best tips on the subject, there’s something I need to first address.
One of the most common things I hear from people regarding Pinterest is that they “just want to get it right.” They’re afraid of making some huge mistake that will set them back. I want to clear that up first.
Getting It Right
Getting it right means whatever is right for your account. Your account has its own identity, its own culture, its own avatar. Your people will click on things that my people won’t. Your people follow you because of what you post and share. We all see those posts that guarantee that if you use “their system”, you can 10x your traffic in 30 days.
The fact is that yes, some people seem to explode out of the gate, but it isn’t the norm. The norm that I’ve seen in managing Pinterest accounts for four years now is slow and steady growth. Viral pins may give you some massive growth in a short amount of time, but that is the exception, not the rule.
My Best Tips for Training a Pinterest Marketing Team
Start with Why
Before you start training your team to manage your Pinterest, ask yourself why Pinterest matters to your overall marketing plan.
Is your audience on Pinterest? Do they save your content there? To find out, go to Pinterest, slash “source”, slash “your blog name” dot com. I would go to pinterest.com/source/simplepinmedia.com to see which of my content people are saving on Pinterest.
If you answer “no” to these questions, you can probably “just say no” to adding Pinterest to your current marketing plan. Ask yourself what it is you hope to gain from driving traffic to your blog from Pinterest. Once you get that straight in your mind, explain your “why” to the person you’ve hired to handle it.
Team members work better when they have a vision of how and why they are doing what they are doing. You need to get your team on board with your goals and the vision you have for your business.
Find the Method
The best way to get started in finding your method is to ask your colleagues who they recommend. It may be a course or it may be a consulting call with someone.
I remember hearing JoAnn, of A Whimsicle Life, talk about how she had taken my Master Course, figured out how to make it work for her business, then taught her VA how to do what she had learned. She began with her why, then she discovered how. Only then did she try to train her team member to do it.
As a leader, you have to keep a couple of things in mind:
- Delegate, don’t abdicate. Delegating is teaching someone to do something and working through it with them until they are comfortable doing it alone. Abdicating is just handing it off and expecting results to look a certain way even if you haven’t given the necessary training.
- Be clear about your expectations. Say it with me, “Nobody is a mind reader.” Sometimes I forget that and I get frustrated when a team member doesn’t do something the way I wanted it done. I have to ask myself if I explained it or if I just expected them to read my mind.
Turn Them Loose
Once you’ve explained your why and gotten them on board with it and taught them the method you want them to use, it’s time to turn them loose and let them experiment.
I already know that this is going to be the hardest part for some of you, so let me give you my best piece of advice.
Do not micromanage your team.
I suggest you give them a solid month to just run with what they’ve learned. Nothing kills productivity like somebody looking over your shoulder and watching every move you make. Obviously, if you belong to group boards with certain parameters, you need to make sure those are being followed. Otherwise, leave them alone. Let them pin for your brand.
If, and I should say when, your person makes a mistake, give them grace. Just because a pin gets saved to the wrong board doesn’t mean the world will end. The likelihood of someone actually noticing that the pin is on the wrong board is so small that it doesn’t really matter.
When you do have to make a course correction, do it with grace. Ask questions instead of making accusations. Give them a chance to explain their thinking before correcting them. And when you do correct, do it gently and with an eye toward helping them to be better at their job.
While your new team member is experimenting for that first month, I highly recommend you give them access to your Google analytics. They need tools to evaluate their performance. Giving them “read and analyze” access allows them to dig around in there and see how they’re doing. Giving your team the right tools also allows them to perform better.
Set Up a Check-in Time
After they’ve worked on your account for 30 days or so, take some time to go over your account with your team member. This should only take about 30 minutes.
You aren’t looking for magic results and you aren’t hoping to see your graph look like a mountain. What you do want to see is that your branding is on target and great quality pins are being shared.
Pay attention to any requests they have of you. Perhaps you have a great post but it doesn’t have a high-quality pinnable image. Either take the time to create the image or put the task on your calendar and tell them when you will have it done for them.
In the first month, you are looking for momentum. Is this team member moving your brand forward on the platform? If so, give them another four to six months to see if it’s working well for both you and the team member. Go back to your why; is your strategy working? Is Pinterest marketing something that’s growing your online business?
Ask for Their Input
What do they think about Pinterest for your brand? Are they excited about what they’re doing? Are they getting into a groove?
You need to listen to their feedback. They may have discovered something about your brand that you haven’t. Ask them to give you their suggestions. You just might be surprised at their answers.
You also want to ask them for content ideas. If they’ve been faithfully pinning for your account over the past few months, they might have some great content ideas based on what they’ve learned about your brand.
Okay, you’ve got six months under your belt of seeing how this team member is going to work out. It’s time to set some goals for them for the next six months and for you to turn your focus back to your business.
Your team member knows the why, the how, and they’ve got tools to work with. You need to go back to creating great content for your blog. And in the meantime, set a monthly 15-minute check-in with them to see if there is anything they need to share with you. Give them a chance to share their ideas or questions.
As you go along and your team member grows with your brand, do they need more education? Do they have an idea of a course they would like to take to serve you better? If so, or if there’s a course you want them to take, pay for it and enroll them!
Always give them the option to choose either the course or the person they want to learn from, as long as it doesn’t go against your why. Be sure you check out the course to ensure it’s a great fit for both your brand and your team.
If your team member isn’t just your Pinterest manager but also does other work for you, you need to know how long they are spending on Pinterest scheduling.
The best way to know is to ask them to track their hours over a period of two weeks to get an average. Don’t do this in the first 30 days when they’re learning. It will obviously take them longer during the learning phase.
As they go along and get more efficient, it will take less time. I actually have account managers who manage seven accounts well, simply because they are efficient and they know their clients like the back of their hand.
Need a Personal Pinterest Advisor?
Conversations with other business owners are almost always profitable. I had the opportunity to attend the Biz Chicks LIVE conference earlier this year and I had some interesting conversations with Danielle Liss and Jocelyn Sams. They were expressing a need to have someone that they could send their team members to in order to get their Pinterest questions answered.
They already had the staff in place to handle Pinterest, but when questions came up, they either didn’t have the know-how or the time to answer them. Jocelyn suggested a service that offered office hours that she could pay for and have her team member take advantage of to get her questions answered.
In order to meet that need, I have created the Personal Pinterest Advisor service. Simple Pin is almost four years old and this is the first new service we have added since the beginning. As I look back though, I’ve noticed some common questions in emails I’ve received. People say that they loved their team member, but they weren’t seeing any momentum. Other people had questions about the “how”, and weren’t sure where to get answers.
If this is you and you just need some help training your team members or getting answers to their Pinterest questions, please reach out to us here at Simple Pin. We would love to train your team and help you be more successful on Pinterest!
Intro- How to “get it right”
5:45- Start with the why
8:50- Find the method
10:50- Turn them loose
15:55- Set up a check-in time
19:30- Ask for their input
20:15- Get focused
21:10- Continued education
24:35- Time management
25:35- Personal Pinterest Advisor