Offering your services on your blog is a good way to monetize your blog, and being a Pinterest virtual assistant is a service that is particularly in demand nowadays. In today’s blog post, I outline how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, one of the many ways you can make money on your blog is to offer your services, and one of the more popular and in-demand services is for a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who is hired to help businesses and bloggers with administrative tasks to free them up for tasks that require a more personal touch.
Pinterest is an excellent means of driving traffic to blogs, but it can be tedious to master and apply to their websites, on top of all the other tasks that a blogger has to do to keep their blog running.
In today’s blog post, we dig down into how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant: what tasks you can expect to do, what kind of income you can probably get, how you can promote your services, and the best tools you can use to help you do your job.
Being a VA certainly gives you plenty of flexibility in terms of where you want to work, and when you want to work.
But of all the blogging and online business tasks, why focus on social media? And of all the social media networks available, why would you want to specialize in Pinterest?
Pinterest boasts of a massive, active user base. As of September 2018, Pinterest has 250 million active users and more than 175 billion pins. More importantly, over 5% of all referral traffic to websites come from Pinterest.
Thus, Pinterest has been proven to drive traffic to websites and blogs, and that’s why bloggers, internet marketers, and online business owners are interested in using Pinterest. In fact, we have a past article about using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.
The downside is that if you aren’t already well-versed in Pinterest, it’s a bit difficult and time-consuming to learn. Pinterest is also known to change algorithms frequently, and you want to keep up with these changes so you can pin the best pins and get the maximum possible exposure you can out of Pinterest.
For a blogger who is running a medium-sized blog, learning to use Pinterest can be a drain on time and energy that’s better used toward creating more high-quality content. And for small to medium businesses, this drains resources better placed toward business activities that have a larger impact on their profitability.
This is where a Pinterest VA (or manager, or consultant) would come in handy.
A Pinterest virtual assistant takes care of Pinterest-related tasks for blogs and businesses that want to utilize Pinterest for their growth but don’t have the time or the manpower to do it themselves.
Now that you know why a Pinterest VA would be needed, the next thing you need to learn is how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant, which is what we’ll look at in detail in the following section.
Generally, a Pinterest virtual assistant helps build up their client’s Pinterest presence by doing essential day-to-day tasks that are in line with your client’s goals.
Here are some of the particular tasks you can expect to do as a Pinterest virtual assistant.
1. Design and create stunning, eye-catching pins.
The main task you have to do is to create pins, but not just any kind of pin. You need to create pins that are visually appealing, particularly to your client’s target audience.
2. Write compelling image descriptions.
Aside from being attractive, pins have to be optimized for search engines, both for Pinterest search and all other outside search engines, especially Google. The best way to do that is to write image descriptions that are keyword-rich and search-engine optimized.
Image descriptions are an attribute that you can add to your pin that describes what’s in the image and what type of content users can expect when they click the link in your pin. As a Pinterest VA, you’ll have to write descriptions that will get noticed by both Pinterest users (or Pinners) and search engine bots.
3. Create rich pins.
Rich pins are special types of pins that provide more information than your pin image descriptions.
For example, if you’re going to be pinning about blog posts, you’ll probably be using article pins the most. You’ll have to learn how to place metadata in the blog you’re promoting, and then apply them so your rich pins show up correctly on Pinterest. If you’re curious about the details, you can read more in this highly technical guide.
4. Schedule pins.
Once you’ve made your stunning, optimized, rich pins, it’s time to post them. Normally, this would mean pinning and repinning several times a day. But if you handle all this manually, you’ll never have time for anything else.
There are plenty of software and tools to help you post pins automatically, but you’ll have to make sure you only work with software that are Pinterest-approved and don’t violate their terms.
Another aspect of scheduling pins is determining the right times to post them to increase the probability that your client’s followers and target audience see and engage with them. Of the hundreds and thousands of pins that get pinned and repinned on a daily basis, you’ll need to make sure that your pins stand out from the rest.
5. Join relevant group boards.
Pinterest allows its users to organize pins into boards so that they can keep related pins all in one place. Pinterest group boards are collaborative boards that are handled by owners that can allow other Pinterest users to contribute pins to those boards.
Blogs and businesses want to join group boards that are relevant to their niche because users who follow the boards are those who are already interested in pins in that niche.
Instead of just posting pins out there and hoping that your client’s target audience who don’t already follow them searches for their pins, posting on a group board gives you the chance to show your client’s pins to those who don’t already follow them but are potentially interested in the subject.
You’re going to have to find group boards that are pertinent to the blog or business you’re working with and build a relationship with the owners to be invited to join those group boards. Once you’re in, you’ll also be responsible for adhering to the group rules so you don’t get kicked out or worse, blocked.
6. Set up and maintain Pinterest business accounts.
Your clients will need to have Pinterest business accounts to unlock plenty of features they would need, such as rich pins, analytics, promoted pins, and a specialized resource center.
More importantly, if your primary goal in using Pinterest is to drive traffic back to your client’s website and to make more sales, it’s considered commercial use, and if that’s the case, under Pinterest’s terms and conditions, they’ll need to have a Pinterest business account.
I’ve previously written about setting up a Pinterest business account, if you want to know more.
If your clients already have Pinterest business accounts, you can offer to do account maintenance and cleanup. Keep the business account valuable by editing pins and pin descriptions such that they can be optimized for search engines.
Cleaning up involves deleting pins and boards that are no longer relevant, productive, or being engaged with. It’s not that Pinterest has a limit (and even if they did, you’re unlikely to reach it), but it’s worth doing an account cleanup so your client’s account isn’t cluttered with irrelevant pins.
These are tasks that take a little more knowledge and skill than the previous tasks. When you get more experienced, you can graduate into higher positions (and a higher hourly wage), such as a Pinterest manager, where you may handle a small team, or even a Pinterest consultant for larger companies.
Think of these tasks as more big-picture tasks; that is, you’re looking at your clients’ overall goals and how Pinterest can help them achieve those goals.
7. Establish Promoted Pin campaigns and track the results.
Pinterest ads don’t look like ads; they look almost like normal pins (except for a “Promoted by” label), but they get shown to a lot more people.
However, this does involve a spending budget and a higher risk to your client, so you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing.
8. Keep abreast of and report on Pinterest trends.
Pinterest is not only known as a popular social media network; it’s also known to start plenty of trends that spill over on other social media. Being on top of these trends and applying them to your clients’ Pinterest can boost their popularity.
Aside from applying these trends to pins, you can also produce weekly or monthly reports on these trends so your clients can also be aware of these trends and can possibly inspire their content aside from their pins.
9. Build overall Pinterest growth strategy.
If your client doesn’t have a solid Pinterest strategy yet, you can build one based on their goals for their blog or business.
10. Study present Pinterest strategy and make recommendations.
Conversely, if your client already has an existing Pinterest strategy, they might want you to take a look at their strategy, evaluate their current pins and their Pinterest analytics data, and recommend an action plan to either improve their strategy or do a complete overhaul.
Pricing a product is tricky; determining your hourly rate is just as tricky, if not more.
But as online entrepreneurs, we have to simply bite the bullet.
Depending on the tasks and responsibilities you take on as a Pinterest virtual assistant, you can make anywhere from $12 to $50 per hour. That seems like a wide range, but remember, every new client you take or new project you start is different. Even handling different Pinterest accounts for one client entails different rates.
Let me break down the factors that can determine how much you can charge your clients.
Your overhead costs
When you’re a flexible worker or work from home, it’s easy to forget that it costs money, especially if you’re doing this as a side hustle.
List down the costs of hosting your website, software and tools you’ll need, advertising and marketing your blog and your services, maintaining your computer and internet connection, as well as all other business expenses.
Task: Designing pins
Do your clients already have a signature format for their pin that you have to simply follow? Or will you have to decide on an image size, font combination, border, and other elements for each and every pin? Or will they require you to come up with a default format for their approval that you’ll follow from that point onwards?
Task: Creating pins
How many pins does your client expect you to create on a daily/weekly/monthly basis? Would you have to create rich pins? Promoted pins? Do they have an expected length (or at least a range) for the image descriptions? Or will they trust that you’re going to ensure that the descriptions fit the pins they’re describing?
Task: Pinterest account maintenance
Are you creating a Pinterest business account for your client and essentially starting from scratch? Or do they already have a Pinterest account? Can you work on it straight away, or would you have to do some (or a lot of) cleanup on the account?
Task: Pinterest management
Do your clients need more from you than doing day to day Pinterest tasks? Will they need someone to create an overall strategy? Or does their current strategy need a revamp?
How long have you been offering this service? How many clients have you had prior to the current one? Do they have positive things to say about you and your work?
How long will your clients need your services? Can you commit yourself to a certain timeframe? Or do your clients prefer you to stay in your role until a certain target is met (e.g., after reaching a certain number of followers, achieving a certain level of engagement, increasing referral traffic to a certain percentage, etc.)?
Note that these are only some of the factors to consider when figuring out how much your rate should be. Remember that when you do finally come up with a rate, make sure to stand by it. You have to believe that you’re worth every single cent of what you’re charging.
The next step after learning how to do the expected tasks and determining your salary rate is advertising your services as a virtual assistant and finding potential clients.
One thing to remember is that when you start promoting, you need to go where your target bloggers and/or businesses will be, which will vary with the niche and industry where they belong. They will frequent particular forums, websites, or social media networks, and you need to do your market research thoroughly to find out where they hang out virtually.
Here are some ways to promote your services.
Have an updated, well-designed website.
The main promotional tool you’ll have is your own website. This is where everything related to your business lives: your content, credentials, skills, testimonials, sample work, and direct communication line to you.
No matter who your target businesses are and where they are, they’ll invariably ask if you have a website. It’s a big trust factor. I mean, would you trust a business that has no website or online presence? They think the same way about online workers, too.
Your blog should contain plenty of content related to Pinterest, such as how-to articles, best practices, and examples to demonstrate your knowledge to your prospective clients.
Build a dedicated “Hire Me” page.
Your Hire Me page summarizes relevant information about you, your qualifications, and what services you can offer potential clients.
Think of it as a sales page but instead of convincing readers to buy a product, you’re convincing people to hire you. Thus, you need to design it such that it captures your target client’s attention and encourages them to get in touch with you.
List down all the services you can provide. Having a defined list makes it easy for potential clients to look over the list, pick and choose the ones they need, and contact you with the services they want already in mind and ready for negotiating.
This avoids the dreaded back-and-forth with potential clients asking what services you provide and you having to list them down every time you get an inquiry.
Plus, it makes your Hire Me page SEO-friendly. By including keywords, you increase the possibility of your page being found by people who are looking for the particular services that you’ve listed down.
Your Hire Me page is also where you should include testimonials as you accumulate them from your satisfied clients. They’re powerful social proof for your potential clients, especially if they see a few people in the same niche and industry that they’re familiar with.
Include a contact section within the page where you list down your email address, business phone number, and Skype/Google Hangouts username if you’re willing to take in calls. You can also include a contact form with fields for their name, website/organization, email address, and a large text space for their inquiry so they don’t have to get out of the page to contact you.
When you’re done setting up the Hire Me page, the next step is sharing the link to it everywhere; include a link on the navigation bar on your blog, share it on social media, email it to your subscribers and encourage them to share it as well.
Set up your own Pinterest business account.
Using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog where you advertise your Pinterest virtual assistant services sounds like Inception, but let me explain.
Maintaining your own Pinterest business account and using it to drive traffic to your own blog gives you something to present to prospective clients lets them see for themselves the quality of work and results that they can expect.
Aside from acting as your portfolio, this is also a great training ground for you to practice your design, copy, SEO, and marketing skills. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will let you work more efficiently on your client’s Pinterest accounts.
Do all you can so your Pinterest page and statistics impress your potential clients.
Use social media.
As I’ve mentioned above, it makes sense to hang out where your target clients are likely to be and make yourself known there.
One of the more effective ways to do this is through Facebook groups. It’s a matter of looking for the right Facebook groups, joining them, and providing value to the group, so you can drive traffic back to your website or Hire Me page. I’ve written about driving traffic to your blog through Facebook groups, so check it out if you want to know more.
Other social media networks that have proven to be helpful in promoting virtual assistant services, as well as drive traffic back to your website, include Quora and LinkedIn.
How about your existing social media followers, though?
Well, you’ll have to gauge how many actual bloggers and entrepreneurs actually follow you on social media. If you have a lot, great, but if not and you mostly have individuals and not businesses, you can ask your followers to share your link instead to their followers.
Take out paid ads.
If you have the money to spend on some ads, it might be worth taking them out to show your target audience. Google ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and yes, Pinterest promoted pins can all help to spread the word about your services.
Tell your email list.
If you’ve been blogging for a while now, you should already have an email list (and if not, it’s imperative to start now). Subscribers to your email list are interested in your content, and there are probably a few of them who are interested in your service. If not, they probably know people who are.
Set up a mailing list as well for visitors who filled out the contact form in your Hire Me page. When you ask for their email address on your contact form, make sure you get their explicit consent through a double opt-in and make it easy for them to unsubscribe. What you’re going for here is to remind them of your services through gentle nudges, not aggressive shoulder pokes.
When blogs or businesses opt in to your mailing list through your Hire Me page, make sure they’re receiving emails related to Pinterest and how they can build their business with it, ending with a reminder of the services you’re offering. Don’t send them unrelated content, especially when you write about different topics on your blog.
You want to endear yourself to your prospective clients, not alienate them.
Being a successful virtual assistant starts with yourself, first and foremost. But having the right tools certainly helps you do your job more effectively. Here are excellent tools at your disposal to help you become exceptional at your job.
Note: Pinterest for Business has a number of approved marketing partners, of which the following tools are part of.
Hopefully, you now have an idea of what it takes to be a Pinterest virtual assistant. Here’s a recap of what I just discussed.
Here are some more reminders before you hit full speed.
Ask yourself this: What types of blogs and businesses do you want to work with? Do you want to work with blogs in the same niche as you? Or if you aren’t blogging yet, what topics are you interested to work on?
When you’ve pinpointed your target market, it’s much easier to find them or make them find you and then offer your services.
You’re thinking of offering your services so you can make money, but you have to make sure you’re giving your clients their money’s worth in terms of the services you provide and the results you deliver.
Are you thinking of offering your services as a Pinterest virtual assistant? Did this article help you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.