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5 Simple Tips On Using A Pinterest Board to Uncover Your Ideal Client

Do you know who your ideal client is? Can you define him/her? 

You can? Bravo! I extend to you my heartiest of congratulations. 

What happens when you don’t have a clue in the world who your ideal client is?  There mere thought of narrowing down all the traits of my ideal client is akin to being a ghost hunter.

The ghost hunter has no earthly idea whether or not their ideal client really exists. However, from extensive eyewitness accounts, it’s been proven that this mystical creature does exist.

So how does one go about capturing the essence of this mystical creature called the ideal client?

You create a board on Pinterest.

Yes, Pinterest.

Conquering Goliath

My graphic design clients run the spectrum from pastors to restaurant owners. From corporate marketing departments to stay-at-home mommies.

Where do you find the commonalities among this diverse set of businesses?

Then it hit me. Focus on the person, not the business. My ideal client was the best parts of all my clients. My task was to hunker down and learn everything I could.

It was during my time as a contestant on a web edutainment series called Prosperity’s Kitchen that I first discovered how to harness the visual power of Pinterest. 

Our first mission was Market Research/Understanding Your Ideal Client. Our mentor? Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan.

First, I started with research. Lots of research. 

The shear amount of Googling I embarked on would make your brain matter curl. I looked up age ranges, demographics, disposable income, income, family size, shoe size, underwear color, brand of toilet paper, etc.

I finally succumbed to a self inflicted case of analysis paralysis and threw in the towel.

It was at that moment that I thought, “There’s got to be a better way to approach this mission.” 

1. Collaborate

My fellow Prosperity’s Kitchen teammates, Tammy Vitale and Kristin Elliott were incredible role models and teachers.

Tammy mentors women who are ready to claim their Hell YES!! life and business. She’s a self described Pinterest junkie and ideal client maven.

Kristin is owner and innovator of Doodie Pack, a lightweight canine backpack “to put dignity back in your dog-walk.” She’s got a fantastic head for business and an uncanny understanding of her ideal client.

They not pinned photos and quotes to my board, they described their thought process behind their choice in the description area of the pin.

We then exchanged comments back and forth until we were all happy with the final product.

2. Get The Picture

Prosperity’s Kitchen host Tea Silvestre (aka The Word Chef) also encouraged us to reflect our ideal client’s past, present and future on our board. Where did they grow up? Did they go to college? How about fraternity’s or sorority’s? Were they into the sports scene or more of a book worm.

In thinking about my ideal client, I found a picture on BigStock.com (the sponsor of Prosperity’s Kitchen) that reflected her time in college but showed that she graduated with some of her friends from high school.

Don’t worry about going out and purchasing stock photos to put on your board. Most of the largest stock image sites allow you to use a preview of the image for your own use, as long as you leave their watermark intact.

Feel free to use your own photos too. You can make your board as personal as you want. This is your ideal client and the more specific you get, the better off you will be.

3. Quotable Quotes 


Who is that said, “A picture’s worth a thousand words?”

Sometimes, it’s easier said than done.

If you can’t find the perfect picture that’s worth a thousand words, go find the words in a quote.

When a Pinterest user creates a new board, they have to designate a Board Category.

There are categories for Animals, Cars & Motorcycles, DIY & Crafts, Film, Music & Books, Hair & Beauty, Home Decor, Kids, Photography, Products, Tattoos and Weddings just to name a few.

As luck would have it, there is also a category called Quotes.

Spend some time scrolling through the pins and you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect one to describe your ideal client.

4. Ask For A Little Help From Your Friends

I’ve overheard one of my business owner friends say they’re great about giving advice, but struggle to get a clear focus on who their own ideal is. It sounds a lot like a bad case of  “I can’t see the forest through the trees.” We’ve all been there.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, take a look at what other people are doing. It will give you a better sense of who you are targeting for your own business and spark some creative ideas at the same time.

Here’s some inspiration from some of my fellow Prosperity’s Kitchen participants:

First, the host of Prosperity’s Kitchen, Tea Silvestre of The Word Chef,

Peter Sterlacci of Believe. Become. Be Your Brand

Ang Jandak of Lowbrow Events 

Tiffany Manley of Sweet Phenomena

Linda Griego of Java Raiz

 Joseph Richards of Salary Negotiators

Tammy Vitale

Kristin Elliott of Doodie Pack

5. Refine, Repin, Repeat

The work of refining your ideal client is never done. They will morph, change and evolve as your business grows.

If you’re reading a blog post that explains your ideal client better than you can in a picture, pin that blog post. The same goes with videos and music. 

Use any and all tools at your disposal. I’m currently experimenting with Facebook’s new Graph Search feature.

 

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BONUS!

If your website runs on WordPress, you can install the Pinterest RSS Widget to display your board on your website.

Here’s Digital Photo and Design’s Ideal Client – “Delilah”

Follow Me on Pinterest

Colleen Conger is owner and lead pixel alchemist at Digital Photo and Design, LLC. She’s a self-confessed Starbucks addict, font freak and geeky tech girl. Connect with her personally on Facebook and Google+. You can also follow Digital Photo and Design on FacebookGoogle+, PinterestYouTube and Dribbble.

  • Oh – you forgot to brag about how you figured out getting a Pinterest board onto your blog! So I’ll brag for you: Colleen rocks! She’s a great teammate, is quick to understand and implement and, since she did the same Pinterest board thingy for me, I can say she’s great to work with and her pricing is awesome. Having her for a teammate: luck. Having her for a new friend? priceless!

    • Colleen Conger

      Congrats on being the first commenter on my first blog post on my new website. Phew, that was a mouthful.

      Thanks too for your kind words. Using technology to create beautiful designs for people feeds my soul.

  • Ooh! Ooh!! I want to create one of these “ideal clients” boards on Pinterest, Colleen. What a downright fabbytastic idea! 🙂

    (I don’t generally get this animated but something about your energy and writing style draws the oomph right out of me) LOL!

    Rooting for you and your Prosperity’s Kitchen team – You Shine!

    • Colleen Conger

      I would have never thought to use a Pinterest board either, but being a visual creative type, as soon as I could tie in a photo or graphic, I was off and running. After everything I’ve read about envisioning your ideal client and all of their traits and qualities, Pinterest seems to be a perfect solution to “pinning” them down. Oh, and I’m now addicted to Pinterest 😀 Are you on Pinterest? Post your url so I can see your boards.

    • evan austin

      I’m inspired too, Colleen! I’m still daunted by Pinterest in general, but can’t argue against the powerful presentation that it creates when used in this way. Thanks for being so connected and sharing this with me!

      • Hi Evan!

        I’m geeked to hear your inspired! You would think for us graphic designers that Pinterest would be the cat’s meow, but when it comes into integrating business ideas & concepts, it took me a bit to wrap my head around the idea.

        And just remember, you can always have more than 1 ideal client (I need to go back and add some more personas.)

  • Everything is so clear now – you did a mammoth job in this summary and thanks for linking the contestants’ Pinterest Boards to look through.

    Using a Pinterest Board in this way gives the reader insight not only to the ideal client but the owner of the business.

    Seeing is understanding. Now I get it. Not only did I enjoy reading everyone’s board but selecting the image that felt most pertinent to ME from each contestant’s board, when re-pinning them on the Ideal Client Manifestos board.

    Your warning on the analysis paralysis is well taken. I need a tribe to help me on doing one for my business but now you’ve given me the idea, I can get started.

    Great Job ! Julia

    • Colleen Conger

      Julia,

      I am proud to say that I’m a Pinterest addict now. It sounds like you may be one yourself (and that’s a good thing.)

      I would have never thought it could be so useful in my own business to visualize my ideal client. I’m glad it worked for you too.

      And you’re right about seeing is understanding. I learn by seeing examples and then put my own spin on it.

      Please come back and leave the link to your Pinterest board. I’ll gladly add it to my post.

      Colleen

  • Pingback: How to Market Your Business on Pinterest and Increase Your Customer Base()

  • dave kenny

    Colleen, This is a smart thought that is so implementable for everyone out here
    who is looking to restart again online & on point with that ideal customer, just looking for you

    • To be honest Dave, I never would have thought to use Pinterest in this type of way, but am I glad I discovered it during my time on Prosperity’s Kitchen.

      The best part that, since writing this article, I’ve discovered even more great tips on visualizing your ideal client(s) and furthermore, how to attract the ones you want to work too.

      Thanks for dropping by. It’s great to see a new face in the comment thread.