3 Ways to Build a Powerful Portfolio on Pinterest

By Kelly Clay April 9th, 2014

Pinterest is well known as the go-to website for finding DIY inspiration, fashion trends and more gluten-free recipes than you can imagine. Since Pinterest launched in March 2010, it has now emerged as one of the leading sources of traffic for most publishers. In fact, according to data from October 2013, Pinterest now drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.

But can it be one of the leading sources of referral traffic for freelancers? If used right, this visual social network just might be the gateway to your next gig.

Here are three creative ways you can use Pinterest to establish yourself as a freelancer.

1. Pinterest your resume

Forget the typical 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. For the last few years, social strategist Rachael King has used Pinterest to establish what she calls a “living resume.” She’s now the social media manager for Sidecar in San Francisco, but not long ago, King was a freelancer hunting for creative opportunities. Pinterest offered a dynamic way to compile work samples that established credibility — such as her leadership role in Washington D.C. as President of Social Media Club — and ranked highly on Google when people searched for her.

When designing a resume on Pinterest, King advises, freelancers should list everything they want to include on their board in a purposeful order. “Do some real research to make sure your list is complete before starting, because you can’t rearrange or drag and drop pins after the fact (yet),” she says.

Finally, be sure to keep an updated resume in the first few pins, so anyone looking at your board will be sure to see it. Simply save your resume PDF as a .jpg, upload it, then link to your LinkedIn or professional website.

2. Build your personal brand

Using Pinterest boards to funnel traffic to your blog or website can a smart way to find more clients and job opportunities. (On that note, the more professional your “personal” website is, the better.)

Seattle-based freelancer Berrak Sarikaya drives traffic to her website by extracting snippets of blog posts she writes and pairing the text with a graphic from a free image service like She pins these pull-out quotations — which link to her blog post and include a description with her name and related hashtags — to Pinterest. The tactic has proved to be extremely successful: Berrak’s posts have been repinned dozens of times, leading to hundreds of pageviews on her website. This visibility has increased her personal client base by over a half dozen clients in the past year; it also led to a lucrative full-time offer from Google as Content Marketing/Community Manager with the Google Small Business Team.

3. Drive traffic to your work

Great writing may not lead to future work if nobody reads it. Considering some clients now offer bonuses for social share and pageview benchmarks, there’s a huge incentive for writers to promote their own work.

As a freelance writer contributing to several high profile publications, including Forbes and Huffington Post, I’ve found Pinterest to be a great source of traffic for articles, even months after publication. According to Poynter, journalists and news outlets are seeing thousands of referrals a day by pinning their articles. The key to this success is to create viral pins focusing on general lifestyle topics (health, social media, money) with graphics or quotations that link to articles.While you may not see a spike in traffic immediately, your work (and your portfolio) will undoubtedly benefit in the future.


Image via Sunny Studio

Tags: , ,