Are you interested in hiring a virtual assistant to help market your travel blog on Pinterest? I interviewed leading Pinterest VAs and learned their secret strategies, weekly workflow, and tips on working together to help you successfully outsource your Pinterest marketing.
- Introduction to Pinterest Marketing For Travel Bloggers
- What do Pinterest Virtual Assistants actually do?
- Pinterest Marketing Checklist for Travel Bloggers
- Where To Hire A Pinterest VA
- Best Practices for Working with a Pinterest VA
- Conclusion / Questions
Introduction to Pinterest Marketing For Travel Bloggers
It's no secret that Pinterest is a big part of my social marketing strategy for Travel is Life. I've previously written articles about how to market your travel blog on Pinterest and Pinterest best practices for travel bloggers – both of which you should give a read if you're new to Pinterest.
I've also written extensively about Tailwind App which mostly everyone in our private Travel is Life Creators community use to schedule pins and cross-promote each other's content.
Today's article assumes that you already have a basic understanding of Pinterest marketing and are looking to outsource some of the workload to a virtual assistant. If you don't quite have the fundamentals of Pinterest down yet, read those articles above first.
Rather than focus on the basics which I've already covered in previous posts, this guide is going to teach you how to successfully hire a Pinterest VA so that you can free up time to focus on other income producing tasks. I'm going to break down what Pinterest VAs are actually doing for their clients, how to hire a Pinterest VA, and share best practices for working with one.
What do Pinterest VAs actually do?
To discover the answer to this question, I interviewed three leading Pinterest VAs who specialize in working with travel bloggers. My goal was to breakdown their actual day-to-day Pinterest workflow and compare it to my own. This would allow me to determine the weak points in my own process and fill in the gaps so that when I eventually outsource the tasks to a Pinterest VA, I can hand them an itemized checklist to work from.
I've worked with VAs in the past (although never for Pinterest marketing), and one thing that working with virtual assistants in any capacity has in common is that you can't expect them to be mind readers. (That goes for anyone you have a relationship with.) The best way to work with a virtual assistant for any type of service is to create a process to follow, typically in the form of a checklist of tasks.
In general, the responsibilities of a Pinterest VA include creating Pins, writing descriptions, researching hashtags, manually sharing and/or scheduling your pins across your boards and tribes, participating in reciprocal sharing groups, and resharing/looping your best performing Pins so that they stay fresh in your queue.
A good Pinterest VA will also help you analyze your performance across group boards and tribes and take action to further leverage your best performing pins. Lastly, they may help you with outreach to join new group boards, Tailwind tribes, and reciprocal sharing groups.
However, none of that is to be assumed, which is why it's so important to understand your own process and expectations and be on the same page with your VA about what exactly you're hiring him or her for.
Pinterest Marketing Checklist for Travel Blogger VAs
Below I'm going to share with you a checklist of Pinterest related activities that you may choose to tackle with your VA. These tasks are not in chronological order, and this list is not exhaustive. You may choose to divide some of the responsibilities between yourself and your VA to either retain editorial control and/or save money. And you might choose to only partake in a subset of these activities. The purpose of the list below is to give you a checklist to start with so that you can add/edit/remove items and create your own.
Create Pin Graphics & Descriptions
□ Create pin images for new posts
□ Create pin images for old posts
□ Write keyword-rich descriptions (max 500 characters)
□ Research relevant hashtags for your descriptions
□ Embed pins in your blog posts manually with code or via a plugin like TastyPins
Many bloggers use Canva templates to create their Pins. I use Adobe Photoshop.
Pinterest / Tailwind Account Management
□ Set up your Pinterest account and connect it to your blog
□ Create your profile including name, description, and image
□ Create your first set of boards with keyword rich titles, descriptions, and board cover photos
□ Add Rich Pins to your account
□ Manually follow accounts and repin quality pins to your boards to start
□ Create your Tailwind account and connect it to your Pinterest
□ Create Board Lists and organizing your personal and group boards onto those lists
□ Create a Weekly Pinning Schedule within Tailwind
□ Join relevant Tailwind Tribes
□ Create a SmartLoop schedule within Tailwind
□ Create your own Tailwind tribe and/or group boards
See my post on Pinterest Marketing Best Practices.
Pinning, Repinning, & Scheduling
□ Manually pin to your boards when you publish new posts
□ Schedule those new pins across your personal and group boards using Board Lists
□ Add your new pins to Tailwind Tribes
□ Repin other tribe member pins to adhere to the rules of each tribe
□ Add your new pin to reciprocal sharing threads on Facebook
□ Repin the other pins in those reciprocal threads
□ Add your new pins to Smart Loop or manually reschedule them after your initial cycle ends
□ Manually repin through the Pinterest discovery feed
□ Request to join group boards relevant to your niche
□ Request to join Tailwind Tribes relevant to your niche
□ Join reciprocal pin groups on Facebook
□ Follow accounts in your niche and engage through repins, likes, comments, etc.
□ Invite other accounts to join your own Tailwind tribes and group boards
Join Travel is Life Creators for access to our private Tailwind Tribe and group boards.
Analytics & Reporting
□ Monitor your best performing pins
□ Monitor your best and worst performing group boards and Tailwind tribes
□ Send weekly or monthly analytics reports that include performance of pins/boards, visits, and clickthrus
□ Recommend actions to take such as tribes/groups to leave, articles to create new pins for, etc
□ Curate great examples of high performing pins to pull inspiration from their design and/or descriptions
□ Discover new group boards you can join through monitoring the activity of friends and competitors
□ Plan for seasons and holidays by creating new pins for older content and repinning / scheduling older posts back into circulation
What items are this checklist missing? Share your ideas in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
Things To Know Before Hiring a Pinterest VA
I could technically write an entire book on the subject of hiring and working with VAs, but I'll do my best in this section to highlight important things to consider before making your first hire.
Where To Hire A Pinterest VA For Your Travel Blog
Here are a few places to begin your search for a virtual assistant. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it's a good place to start.
- Ask your personal network for recommendations. Other travel bloggers who work with Pinterest VAs might be able to refer you to someone great.
- To help put together this resource that you're reading right now, I interviewed Sierra Dehmler, Kelly Ann Duhigg, and Marissa Abao. They each have extensive experience working as Pinterest VAs and in the travel industry.
- A few members of Travel is Life Creators offer Pinterest services including Disha Smith.
- My long time friend Mariella Mojar of FilipinaVirtualAssistant.com runs a team of virtual assistants based out of Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines. Full disclosure – I developed that website and work closely with Mariella's business in a marketing and consultative capacity. At the moment, her team does not specialize in Pinterest marketing, but we're working together to develop a training curriculum for her VAs and onboard Pinterest clients.
- Freelance hiring websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru can put you in front of thousands of freelancers and virtual assistants worldwide. There are plenty of talented freelancers on those platforms who can handle the job for you, but be careful and do your due diligence because you're going to have to filter your way through the noise, spam accounts, and unscrupulous laborers in order to find your diamonds in the rough.
- OnlineJobs.ph specializes in helping you hire full time employees from the Philippines. They tend to do more employee verification and background checking as compared to the freelancer directories mentioned above. However, still do your due diligence with your hiring, and only work with this platform if you're looking for full time help.
- There are Facebook groups like Virtual Assistant Tribe Job Board where you can post your job description and have VAs reach out to you through the group.
- What am I missing? Leave your suggestions for great places to find Pinterest VAs in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
Best Practices for Working With A Pinterest VA
Now that you're on your way to finding a great Pinterest VA to work with, let me address a few best practices of working together so that you can build a mutually successful relationship.
- Communicate your expectations. Speaking of long term relationships, the one with your Pintrest VA needs to have expectations set from day one. While goals can be fluid, it's important to have them and make sure both parties are aware of them. One of my golden rules is: Never test someone if they don't know they're being tested. So in this case, if you have growth or traffic expectations for the first 90 days for example, communicate those with your VA so that you're both on the same page. They may be more experienced than you with Pinterest and tell you that your traffic expectations are ridiculous – but at least you can start the conversation from there.
- Give them a fair chance, but know when to cut ties. It takes a learning curve and some training to learn your particular process, so be patient. However, occasionally people make the wrong hires. If it becomes clear that your VA misrepresented their skillset, doesn't quite understand your objectives, or generally doesn't perform as expected, it's okay to professionally part ways. It's often a smart move to schedule first performance review from day one so that you can review their progress.
- Be available, but set boundaries. Your VA will have questions for you in order to effectively do their job, so be available to them. You can't expect perfection if you disappear for days or weeks at a time without responding to questions. However, you're the boss, so set boundaries. If e-mail is your preferred method of communication (versus WhatsApp or IG Messages), then keep your VA on a workflow that's best for you. Mostly the VA will be working on their own time and schedule, but if there's a certain window of time when you're available for weekly meetings, you're allowed to make that part of the responsibilities of the job. Don't put yourself in a position where you're begging for your VAs attention when you need it, or having to constantly play the back and forth scheduling game.
- Don't be a control freak. Your VA is going to inevitably do some things different than you, and that's okay. Maybe you would've pinned something to your Hiking Board and they pinned it instead to your Epic Travel Adventures Board. While you should definitely communicate to your VA which boards you prioritize, they don't have to do things exactly how you would to get the job done. Differentiate between important feedback and your perfectionist issues.
- Don't be a dick. Seriously, they're a virtual assistant, not a robot. Sometimes it's easy to forget that you're dealing with a real person and not a piece of magic software because you probably will never meet in real life. Real people have family issues, health emergencies, and technical issues that delay communication from time to time – especially in third world countries. But hey, you're a world traveler and already know that. So be a good employer. Be courteous and flexible with your VA's life and other responsibilities. If inevitably they can't get the job done, you can part ways, but you don't have to be a dick about it.
Hopefully after reading this post, you're now prepared to hire a Pinterest VA for your travel blog. If you have any questions or suggestions, please drop them below in the comments section.
Check out my Travel Blogger Success Kit for more travel blogging resources and consider joining Travel is Life Creators – our private community of like minded travel bloggers from around the world with a desire to help each other grow and succeed.
If you like it then you should've put a Pin on it!
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These are good tips for finding a Pinterest VA. I asked for reviews and should have taken it a step further as mentioned and verified the references. So far I’ve had a great experience with Disha Smith for Pin creation. I did not have a good experience with Sierra Dehmler due to communication and deliverables did not match what was discussed in some areas and other items.