Cheri Cowell here.
I've been a lurker for several months. There were several reasons for my reluctance 1. I didn't want to spend time on a fad that would fade, 2. I couldn't see adding one more social media need-to on my list of must-dos, and 3. I just didn't get it. I didn't see how I'd use Pinterest and how the time invested would offer a worthy return. But, after several months of reading the stats (Pinterest looks like it is here to stay and its power as a good return on one's investment is now proven), I finally decided to take the plunge. Here is what I found.
First, go ahead and sign up. You don't have to participate right away in pinning; you can simply lurk and follow and accept followers while you get a feel for what people are doing. I didn't spend a lot of time looking around, but when someone followed me, I clicked on their link to follow them. Then while there I glanced at their boards to see what they were doing.
While I was gatheirng this info I began to think about what I do and how I could tell "the story of Cheri" in pictures. What are those categories? I looked for a good balance of personal and professional because this is, after all, social media.So, I certainly want to share a little of my personal likes, but to be honest I don't have time to only be social. I need to spend my time marketing so the bigger question for me was how do I express my professional interests in pictures?
The next step was to fill in my descriptive bio. This is where the info from the ponderings described above came into play. I described myself with the categories I planned to use in creating the "boards" of pinned images. Here is my bio:
Don't I sound interesting?
Next I used these categories to begin creating boards and pinning. A huge thing I learned while pinning was how a "pin" is linked to a URL where guests would be led if they "repinned" my pin. For instance, the Holy Land is one of my boards (because my new book is a study of the parables and is a natural link) and I had a few blog posts with photos from the Holy Land. However, I wanted more links to more of my blogs, so I went back into my blog archives and added more Holy Land photos where appropriate so I could link to these posts with my photos.
The results? Within hours of creating my boards I already had a handful of people repinning my images and linking to my website, blogs, and articles. Now, I'd say that is time well spent!
Come check out my Pinterest site - follow me and I'll follow you: http://pinterest.com/chericowell/