pinterest_logoWhen I received an invite to Pinterest last week, I was a bit reluctant about joining. How could I possibly manage another social media site? Was this attractive network going to be a time-suck? But, within five minutes of joining I was already hooked, or should I say – pinned!

In case you do not know, Pinterest is the two-year old social bookmarking site that allows you to collect, upload and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. These collections are neatly and cleverly stored in virtual pinboards.  People use pinboards to plan  weddings, gain artistic inspiration, collect quotes and decorating ideas, or their favorite recipes. Pinterest also lets you to browse pinboards created by other talented people.

Getting started on Pinterest is quick and easy. Once you’ve set up your account, it is simple to drive traffic back to your product. I am just a newbie at pinning, but I already see the huge marketing and branding possibilities for Pinterest users.

I asked my artist friend and avid Pinterest user, Cheryl Greenfield to share her thoughts about Pinterest.

“Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration and sources, a place to interact with friends and associates, a place to research trends, and a place to market. It’s a place to get yourself ‘out there’ in order to promote your brand as a writer, artist, photographer, designer, architect, sculptor, musician, or any other arena.” ~Cheryl Greenfield, Chez Blanche Designs

Here’s 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest:

 1. Pinterest is growing at a phenomenal rate. According to CNET News, in the week that ended December 17, the site received nearly 11 million visits – almost 40 times the number of visits it received during a single week six months earlier, according to Experian Hitwise, which measures and analyzes consumer behavior on the Web. According to ‘the big hitter on Twitter’, @askaaronlee  says, “Pinterest is one of the top 10 most visited social networking sites. It has more traffic compared to tumblr and Google+.”

  2. Pinterest is a visual feast for the eyes! Pinterest is filled with beautiful imagery and inspiration. Be warned, it is a great escape and you can easily get lost in its alluring pages. Set an egg timer to snap you out of your pinning stupor!

Here are a few of my pinboards…

  I'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love PinterestI'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest

 3. No more scrap-filing. Most all artists and creative people that I know have file cabinets and folders that are filled to the brim with magazine clippings, photocopies, images, color chips and other inspirational scrap material for future projects. With Pinterest, you can say bye-bye this labor intensive work. Now you can easily pin your ideas into virtual pinboards. Stop wasting ink and paper – you might even save a tree!

 4Share your art. Pinterest is a great way to share your online portfolio. Get your art in front of a targeted audience of designers, fellow artists, galleries and prospective customers. You can upload images directly, or you can pin your portfolio directly from your blog. This way the images will link back to their original source. However be tasteful about it, “Avoid Self Promotion Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

I'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest

 5. Share and link to your website or blog. When uploading your art portfolio from your computer, and not an online site, be sure to add your blog URL in the description for another branding opportunity. Not only can you upload images from your blog, but also blog posts and Youtube videos. Consider holding or a contest or giveaway.
I'm Hooked! 10 Reasons Why Artists Love Pinterest
 6. Bookmark favorite websites. While surfing the web, now you can easily bookmark your favorite blogs or blog posts onto a pinboard for easy reference.
pinterest_blogs
7. Sell your art or product. Do you have an Etsy store you would like to promote, or do you want to sell your art products from your blog? Pinterest allows you to add a price to a pin, type the $ or £ symbol followed by the number amount in the description. When you are finished, click Pin It.
Below is an example of how #PowerArtistRobin Pedrero lists her fine art prints.
Pinterest_art
 
 8. Cross pollinate your pinboards. Share your pinboards across your social networks with Pinterest. Tweet, Like, embed and email your pins to find new friends and followers!
 
 9. Social media etiquette still applies.  Pinterest is designed to curate and share the things you love, and encourages you to repin your friends’ and credit your sources. Like with Twitter, avoid using Pinterest purely as a self-promotional tool.
10. Invite your friends. Once a member, you can build your community by inviting your friends to join you on Pinterest. If you would like an invitation to Pinterest, please leave a comment below, and I will send you one!
***Please read the helpful post that discusses Pinterest and the copyright infringement debate. How to Use Pinterest and Still Respect Copyrights 
Looking for some interesting people on Pinterest to follow? Check out Mashable’s great list of 21 Must-Follow Pinterest Users
I hope to meet you on Pinterest!  ~Lori 
*PS. Let’s also connect on  TwitterFacebook and now on Google Plus
How do you use Pinterest? I’d love to hear your ideas…

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