As of 2012, Pinterest had 10.4 million users. The average time spent by any one visitor was over 90 minutes.
This is definitely a sticky site.
And that’s a beautiful thing for visual artists.
If you’re a visual artist, Pinterest can be a double-edge sword. It’s great for people searching for gifts, but it’s also rampant for those creating DIY boards and pinning your work as a Sunday craft. It annoys the crap out of me, but I hold fast onto the hope that my customers are on Pinterest, too.
For any new social media platform, there are growing pains -and Pinterest is no different. Over the past few years, I’ve been watching the business model of Pinterest expand and contract based on popular demand and how it manages its messaging. First, it seemed they couldn’t give a rip about copyright. Because users were pinning without regards to rights, Pinterest had to take a good hard look at their copyright position –and modify it to make amends to visual creatives. Cooks, photographers, artists, and others in the business of making money based on their intellectual property needed Pinterest to have their backs. It looks as though Pinterest has come thru for us. Thank you, Pinterest!
Same goes for any new and unactualized social media platform.
Finally, Pinterest embraced copyright as right and not a privilege. Unfortunately, there are Sunday crafters who continue to live in ignorant bliss and pin my work to their DIY boards.
So, yes, I do find my work on their boards. I firmly remind them of my blood, sweat, and tears that go into each product I design. If I were to teach my craft, I would openly teach. But my product pins are to reach my true customer who wants to adorn herself with my earrings or the techie who needs to look great w/my tech bags.
Join the Club
It’s not a matter of if you should join, but when you will join. This may happen whether you like it or not.
If you belong to any membership group, chances are, they want to pin your work to their boards. And you want to counted be among other members. You want to be seen but not stolen, I get that. So the best thing you can do [to protect your work to the best of your ability] is make sure all of your work has watermarks that send fans back to your site to buy.
Protect Your Work
Watermarking your work doesn’t have to be obnoxious. It can be subtle and compliment the work that you create. Once you begin using your own logo, you’re creating a brand voice that people will want to recognize each time they see a new piece. You’re creating expectations. Don’t worry about the purists who tell you that watermarking make your pieces ugly. Keep going. It’s about protecting your work, not hurting someone else’s feelings. You have a mortgage to pay –remember that.
My board or yours?
How should I begin creating pins? Short Answer: It’s up to you.
You can take a look at the slew of boards I’ve created below. They range in the various subjects that I’m interested in. They key is that other people can follow everything that you create or just select boards.
If you’re passionate about a certain subject, say Steampunk, you can create a steampunk board. The more you pin, the more you might consider separating that steampunk board into several: Clothing, props, parties. Or whatever triggers your fancy.
What About Your Own Portfolio?
For my own work, I have created separate boards the highlight the various media that I create. They range from fine art to leather work. Even the leather work is separated into their own categories (ie. handbags, jewelry, masks, etc)
Membership Has Its Privileges
I belong to Piedmont Craftsmen as a guild member in Winston-Salem, NC. They’ve begun their boards and separated them into respective categories. You may find my work on several boards.
Beyond the pins, there are groups that one can be a part of to contribute relevant image & article posts. You can also create private boards.
Ready, Set, Pin!
Stay tuned for a Quick Reference Card to help you pin to your first Pinterest Board!
This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more ways to utilize Pinterest in your marketing campaign.
I hope this info helps you!
Here’s to Cultivating Your Creative Independence