I don't consider myself a genius when it comes to crowd-sourcing. I'm much more the type who likes to do my own thing, in my own way and at my own pace. You won't find me tweeting every hour on the hour, posting short videos on Instagram between business emails or documenting my every move (both business and personal) on Facebook. I marvel at those who dedicate their day (life?) to leaving a constant trail of their actions and thoughts, but I'm too private for that.
At least I thought I was until I found Pinterest. If you want to see my life passions in pictures head on over to my Pinterest page. Who I am (for the most part) is laid out in pictorial fashion. My passions are on display thanks to shared photos from around the globe and some taken by yours truly. The eyes of the world can freely view, share and connect with my work life (35 of my boards are "Home" related), my community (16 boards are hyper-local), or they can delve into my interests, and perhaps theirs, by checking out my posts on food (we all eat), art (one board was recently featured by Pinterest as a suggested board for new members to follow), travel, fashion, health, yoga and the list goes on.
I'm sure I have much more to learn about the art of pinning for business, but today my total number of followers passed the 6000 mark. This triggered my decision to share what little I know about crowd-sourcing via Pinterest.
In the beginning I pinned for pleasure. A fellow agent, familiar with with my blogging endeavors, casually suggested she thought I might enjoy Pinterest. I was familiar with the site but not a member. Later that same night I joined.
My first few boards were not work related, they reflected my interests, my style and my aspirations. I was hooked. The photos were simply images too beautiful and meaningful not to capture and file them away for future viewing and reference. I looked forward to winding down each night with the beautiful little collection I was building. Soon, I pinned while I drank my morning coffee. The number of boards and followers began to grow.
228 is my current board count on Pinterest. My business and personal count ratio is approximately 20% business and 80% personal passions. I was reluctant to add too many business related boards too fast. I wanted the beauty brand to outshine the business brand for visitors to my boards. We are a visual society and Pinterest is a visual experience. If the photo is captivating enough, people will click on it (and often land on one of my websites or blogs). If it's not for them they will move on to the next.
How Pinterest Participates in Growing My Business:
1. I pin my hyperlocal neighborhood reports to the appropriate City Page. We use our own photos for these reports and post close to 30 reports each month. A click will take the viewer to my website where they can read the full report. I track my website clicks and often see the red "P" as the source of visits.
2. I have a Norma Toering & Team board and send the link to new prospects as way of introduction. A click on a photo that will lead the viewer to blog articles, listings, neighborhood reports etc. It's a pictorial snapshot of my business brand.
3. I frequently use my personal travel photos in blog posts (penguin photo above snapped in South Africa 2014. It's an original and most likely will be re-pinned many times) and I often pin the photo on a non-real estate related board. This is an effective way to crowdsource. Again, the viewer has the option of reading the entire article if their interest is sufficiently piqued. One of my boards is "Homes Around the World" and photos of homes from other countries generate a surprising number of local pinners. One of my underlying goals is to attract more local pinners with an interest in homes as they are potential sellers and buyers.
However, I still find the process of viewing and pinning beautiful pictures very satisfying in its stand alone capacity. If that means I'm passionate about Pinterest, and the side benefit is finding like minds, a few who may happen to live in my community thereby being future buyers or sellers, then I say more power (and time devoted) to Pinterest!