[GUEST POST] The Control Freak’s Guide to Outsourcing Pinterest

You finally decided to take Pinterest seriously.

Why? Because you're a lady boss who makes good decisions, dag-nab-it! Plus, you want a piece of the pie that’s generating leads + attracting new traffic + building email lists, amirite?

You go ahead and do "all the things" to claim your Pinterest success: you create your strategy, you set up all your boards, you network with fellow Pin-heads, you choose a scheduler to help you create that consistent online presence...

Until the couple hours a week you used to dedicate to Pinterest turns into an everyday thing and you realize that the social media platform has a way of becoming a serious source of time-suckage and is taking your attention away from running your business.

But how are you supposed to maintain your hard-earned momentum without having to repeatedly invest so much of your own limited time, energy and focus into Pinterest?

Just outsource it! (Yeah, you can outsource pinning!)

And I'll show you how you can do that, even if you're a total control freak! (Or worse, an only child whose first words were "please don't touch my stuff"... or maybe that's just me!)

The thing with outsourcing — especially when it comes to something like social media, which exists primarily as a means of promoting your brand’s personality — is that you need to be crystal clear about 2 things before you start outsourcing anything:

  1. You need to know who you are, who your audience is and how you serve them; and
  2. You need to take charge and be the leader that brings everyone else along for your ride. As the driver, your team are your passengers and they will only go as far as you are able to take them.

Translation: Girl, you need to have a pinning strategy.

Don’t have one? Fortunately, Summer has put together an awesome sauce course (for free, y'all!) to help you figure all of that out, which you can access HERE if you haven't done so already.

Being able to communicate these two things is going to be the key for you to successfully outsource pinning but once you have those covered, you’re ready to blaze through these next 3 steps that shows you exactly HOW you will do this.

STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR BRAND

Your boards should act as "categories" that reflect who and what you are as a brand as well as the interests held by the people you serve — good job setting those up!

Start by creating a list of your boards and then go through each of them, one by one. For each board, brainstorm and jot down all the topics or keywords that each of the boards would include.

For instance, I have a board called {LAUNCHING} and on this board, you'll find pins that use keywords like "start(ing) up," "preparing," "developing," "first year" and of course "launching."

This should be a quick and easy thing to do.

In fact, if you open up your board and you don't immediately see a recurring theme in the words and language being used, it's a sign that your boards could use better boundaries and definition. Anyone should be able to pop into any of your boards and quickly identify your posting patterns.

Which is why I'd suggest that you actually skip doing this task yourself and immediately outsource it to the virtual assistant (VA) who will be working on your Pinterest account in the first place.

Not only does this free you from having one more thing to do but it also provides your new hire the opportunity to get familiar with the way you operate, what you represent and how you like to be represented before they get started on scheduling.

Again, before you can your new VA at the jump because they don’t “get” you, go back to your boards and take an honest look at their content — chances are their content may need to be tightened up.

WANT A WORKSHEET TO MAKE THIS AS EASY AS SNAP! TO DO? 

STEP 2: DEFINE YOUR SCHEDULE

Whether you're working with Tailwind or BoardBooster or any other scheduler, you'll want to establish how often your hire is expected to queue up your content.

While you probably already have a posting frequency established within your scheduler (i.e. posts 30 pins per day), you’ll want to get on the same page as your VA as to how often they'll go into your scheduler to queue more content up.

Personally? I tend to post fresh content to my blog once per week so updating my Pinterest scheduler twice per month works out for me to keep my recent posts circulating without interfering too much with getting stuff done.

While you’re establishing a schedule, you’ll also want to lay the groundwork for any particular strategies you employ.

For instance, let’s say you loop content (meaning that you recycle pins from the bottom of your boards to re-generate them as new content, then deleting the old pins). You’ll need to inform your VA what type of content should be looped and how often it should be done.

You'll also want to make sure they're clear on any rules that apply to your group boards, including posting frequency and guidelines for posting duplicate content.

Another thing you'll want to cover with your VA are the pinning practices for your specific blog posts. Do all blog posts get pinned to every board or are you selective about which boards they get sent to? How often do you re-pin your own content? What percentage of your pins are from your brand versus what percentage are those from others?

Don't ever assume your VA will "just know" how you operate — they're not you, and unless you hired a clairvoyant as your assistant, they won't do it your way unless you show them exactly what that way is. (And as I write this from the voodoo capital of New Orleans, I assure you that even the clairvoyant ones will need your guidance!)

STEP 3: ESTABLISHING YOUR CONTENT

What you choose to pin is kind of a big deal — I get it!

Your social media presence is the face to your brand. Obviously, you want your audience to feel like your content speaks to them, and your level of comfort to outsource this will vary based on your niche and how high you fly that control freak flag of yours.

And your level of “control freakiness” will depend on 2 things:

  1. How you generally feel about other people touching your stuff — gah! #thestruggleisreal, and 
  2. How you feel about the person you hired to work with you. 

Because chances are that the longer you have someone performing a task for you, the more comfortable and confident you will become with their ability to do so and you’re likely to loosen up the reins a little bit. 

Or maybe you won’t! Which is A-OK, too, and I’ll go through the 3 levels of “control freakiness” to show you why.

Let's start with the mellowest of them all: Level 1, The Free-For-All

This is a total hands-off-the-wheel approach where you trust the person completely to locate and curate the pins that best represent your brand with zero supervision or feedback from you.

I don't recommend this as a starting point unless you really are certain this person "gets" you and your brand. Having said that, this is definitely a level you can achieve after you've lived in Level 2 for a little while and it's basically the boss lady's mecca for being able to outsource anything.

You'll usually hang out in Level 2 for a bit before that happens and be a Nit Picker.

Since most schedulers will allow you to send pins to a drafted area before they get scheduled, you can assign your VA with the task of stock-piling drafts that they think would be suitable for your brand; just ask them to hold off on scheduling anything until you've gone and nit-picked through them yourself.

When you're both ready, comb through your VA’s selection of drafts to assess which ones fit from those that do not. As you find yourself deleting certain recurring types of pins, or you notice that they're “off” with something, make a note of it and let your assistant know. Your feedback will help them get better at judging what works for you, and you'll likely be able to eventually take the backseat to this process.

Likewise, when someone just "doesn't get" what you're about, it may be a good idea to try out someone who may be a better fit. (Unless, of course, you want to live happily ever after supervising the content you're delivering — there's no shame in that game and it’s your brand to run as you see best fit!)

But then, there are some bosses who can't let go and this Level 3 control freak is a DIY-er For Life.

If you have convinced yourself that you're the only person capable of pinning your content — so much so that you're not even going to attempt to roll at a Level 2 — aight, you know who you are and that's cool!

I won't even try to talk you out of it, because if you really feel like only you have the eye to locate imagery that adequately represents you, and you want to stock-pile a little bit of content every day that is curated with love by only-you, that's totally fine!

However, what is never ever OK is for you — the lady boss! — to be wasting your time doing routine tasks. Your time, energy and focus are all precious, they're all limited, and you should treat them as such.

Translation: Identifying the appropriate board for each and every pin you've chosen and then scheduling them yourself is a tedious task that anyone should be able to do.

Further translation: Don’t do this!

You, my dear, are a lady boss and you are the only one who can generate the thoughts, ideas and vision that are integral to your brand. This is where you should be most heavily invested, not in the hours of tedium that goes into scheduling pins every month!

By laying out the architecture of your boards, you are providing someone with the knowledge and license to deliver and schedule your content exactly the way you would have done so, while sparing yourself from doing work that simply doesn't have to be done by you any more.

 FILL IT OUT. OUTSOURCE YOUR PINNING. GET SHIZ DONE!

Regardless of how much control you feel you need to have over the way your brand is represented on social media, one constant remains: Success is a strategy.

Establish a rock-solid plan for your Pinterest Power, go into outsourcing with a clear intention and you, my entrepreneurial friend, have the key to freeing up more time you can spend in your zone of genius and you have the strategy to successfully outsource your social media presence.


 

 

 

Author’s Bio: Lanie Lamarre is the headmistress at Miss #GSD, where feisty biz ladies like you come to flip their To Do lists into DONE! Overwhelmed much? She has a FREE email course for you called {SYSTEMS 101} — all you have to lose is your gigantor workload!

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Summer Tannhauser

I'm Summer! I help LadyBOSS entrepreneurs build their dream businesses through rock solid action + advice, with more happiness, less overwhelm, and full of freedom.