Pinterest for Makers: 5 Ways to Grow Your Audience and Find Buyers

  •    Tim is a freelance business writer. He writes about the business of innovation, comics and genre entertainment on The Full Bleed.

Striking images are perfect for selling products when you're a maker. The trick is getting the right visuals in front of the right audience. Where do you find them? Social media may have the lowest hanging fruit, especially if you're using Pinterest.

​A recent analysis by TrackMaven found Pinterest to be ahead of Twitter and nearly on par with Facebook when it comes to social media engagement in the consumer goods industry. Learn to get the attention of buyers frequenting Pinterest and and you increase the odds of building a sustainable market for the products you're making.

Try these five ideas the next time you log in:

1. Search your competitors

Even if your product is unique, someone else is trying to sell something similar to what you offer. You know what? That's good. Embrace the copycats and watch what they're doing. Find out who is following them, and what their audience likes and pins. Every bit of research can inform your own marketing approach. Let's say you're making a uniquely adjustable wood standing desk. Searching for similar products on Pinterest and noting the photos that garner the most likes, and the features displayed within those photos, could inspire your own set of design tweaks.​​

2. Browse for your buyers

Don't stop there. Your own buyers and prospective buyers will be searching Pinterest with similar tastes. Comment on highlighted products you think are cool and invite your fellow makers to investigate your wares. Let's return to your standing desk project. How about commenting on posts by those who make comfortable shoes for office use? No one wants to be miserable standing all day; there's potential crossover between your buyers.

3. Use appropriate tags

Sometimes you can find audience by tagging your products correctly. Say you like to produce painted pottery. Tagging your products with "pottery," "art," and the various colors in your product could bring traffic from Pinterest's browsers. For your standing desk, tags such as "posture," "healthyoffice," and "ergonomics" could go a long way to putting your product in front of interested browsers.

4. Create Pinterest-only coupon codes

The key to growing your eCommerce business as a maker is to get regular customers coming back again and again. Sometimes, that means offering promotions. Taking your standing desk as an example, try debuting it on Pinterest first and including a coupon code found only in your post and redeemable only at your eCommerce store. Done right, this strategy will not only boost sales but also give you trackable data on how Pinterest can perform for you as a long-term channel.

5. Keep a spreadsheet of pins

Finally, make sure you know who's pinning your product photos. Even if they don't buy, they're at least interested enough in your work to pin your photos for later reference. Saving their usernames in a spreadsheet gives you the flexibility to go back to them later — using Pinterest's messaging feature — with offers to connect or access to a private, invite-only promotion, which could be handy data when it comes time to introduce the second edition of your standing desk.

Ready to begin building and selling products? Are you using Pinterest? Find out everything you need to know about starting your something with a new Weebly site today.