Pinterest is a social network that hasn't realized its full potential, and that's because most people who use it haven't recognized the power it possesses. A virtual pinboard, Pinterest allows you discover interesting things on the Internet and pin them to particular boards you've created. For instance, I have a board called "Film Noir Favs & Classic Kingpins," which is tacked with posters of classic movies I've watched. But aside from pinning images you find on Google, more and more people are pinning up their own work as a showcase of their talent and ideas.
The next step will be to use Pinterest with your online fundraising endeavors. That said, here are four ways you can get started using your Pinterest account in conjunction with crowdfunding your next big project.
Create a Look-Book Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to keep your product a secret until an official release date. Pinterest can make it easy for you to share your project, creative and otherwise, throughout each of its various incarnations. For movie projects, for instance, you might display panels from your storyboards; for inventions, you can unveil photos that take your potential contributors from prototype to finished product. Sell your audience and buyers on more than just the end product –– sell them on the journey itself. And be sure to give your look-book a snazzy title. Nothing spells a snore quite like "Video Game Look-Book." But if your video game is about the zombie apocalypse, perhaps the title "Zombocalypse: A Look Inside" will best suit your look-book's content and get people to click the link to your campaign.
Pin Up Your Promotion Much the way crowdfunding relies heavily on marketing your campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, if you promote your campaign on Pinterest through look-books or other images that link back to your campaign's homepage, you now have the potential of reaching out to tens of thousands of people who may help you raise the tens of thousands of dollars you need to bring your product to those people. Take visual artist Jed Henry, whose Kickstarter campaign I discovered because I stumbled on his wonderful prints for Ukiyo-e woodblocks of classic Nintendo characters just by perusing other people's boards on Pinterest. However, I had to go to four websites before finding out about his campaign. Make it easy for your Pinterest contributors to get to your campaign from any image they click on.
Unboard Your Windows Pinterest can also be an invaluable tool for helping creators and entrepreneurs connect with other creators, entrepreneurs, audiences, and investors. In other words, Pinterest may help you find collaborators for your projects. If you're working on a children's book and you can't draw, you can find an illustrator that matches your writing style by perusing the "Illustrations & Posters" category on the Pinterest homepage. After a few likes and repins of that person's work, you might start a dialog in a comment or two and bridge the gap between Pinterest and other social networking sites. Before you know it, you'll be welcoming a new partner to the fold of your latest project and campaign.
Pinwords and Keeping with the Trends You've probably noticed a lot of word-based pins such as "Keep Calm and Drink Tea" tacked up on a lot of boards on Pinterest. These are "pinwords," and they are the most recent trend and tend to get repinned frequently. In terms of promoting your product and campaign, you can post fun pinwords of your product's tagline to build further awareness for it. If it's a creative project, you can go the Star Wars route: post a photo of one of the main characters alongside a quote from your film, like the bountiful images of Boba Fett, complete with his trademark phrase from The Empire Strikes Back, "He's no good to me dead." As with any trends, however, they're here one week, gone the next, so it's important to keep a keen eye on the latest trends and maximize your outreach by working them into the world of your project.
While we do many of these same things on Twitter and Facebook, what makes Pinterest most powerful of all is that it's all images, and today's consumers are drawn to images over words. If you have curious photos of your product or artwork for your latest EP, you can stretch your reach further and attract people you might not normally find frequenting your other social networks by pinning them up to a board named after your project or campaign. Of course, it's important to build a following before you start using any network for your crowdfunding needs. So go and request an invitation to join Pinterest and start pinning!