I know I mostly talk about branding, creativity and design on this blog, so this post may seem a little like the odd one out. But getting your creative work seen is vital if you want to grow and have people buy your work or hire you. Personally, I have found Pinterest one of my greatest sources for traffic and getting my work seen. I have been on the platform for a long time, back when you had to request an invite to join and there were no secret boards, and you could only sign in using your Facebook login. And thanks to my early adoption and my obsession with pinning it has become a valuable tool and over the past 2 years, I have learnt ways to really make the most of it, to bring in traffic.
What is a Pinterest Group Board?
One of the things people teach is joining group boards. These are boards that are started and moderated by one account and then they can invite other Pinterest users to join the board and also pin to it. When so, done is invited to a board, it shows on their account and they can pin to the board,p. They can not, however, add members or remove pins, only the host of the board can do that. These boards then get more reach than your own boards, as they are seen by more audiences.
The host usually has terms for how to apply to join the board and rules to follow once you are invited.
group boards can be very valuable to people fairly new to using Pinterest, as it boosts the reach of your pins.
How to Successfully Apply to Join a Pinterest Group Board.
About a year or so ago I decided to start my own group boards. To get things started I invited a few people I know and asked in design communities if anyone wanted t join, and the boards slowly grew. They now attract invite request almost daily, sometimes 3-4 requests a day. So being on the side of a group board host who gets a lot of requests for invites, I thought I could share some valuable tips for how to go about requesting an invite. Some people make my job harder and some want to join boards that they just don’t seem a good fit for. So these tips willl help you more successfully get invited to group boards.
It is always at the discretion of the host to accept you or not, but if you set yourself up for success, the more boards you will be able to be accepted onto. Don’t take it personally if you don’t get a reply, some boards are just maxed out and some just get too many requests to keep on top of.
How to Find Group Boards
- Check out a site like Pin Groupie. This site also allows you to rank groups by stats, to help you choose quality relevant boards.
- The way I like to find boards I would like to join is to check out accounts of people in my same niche or industry or have a similar audience. I then look at what groups boards they are on, and see if any appeal to me, and if they are decent boards with a good following, regular content being added and good quality content. Also if you can find a smallish board that a very popular pinner or someone big in your niche is on, these are perfect, as your content will go on a board that is listed on their account. If you only know a few Pinners, you can widen your board search by then checking out the other people that are on the group boards they are on.
Start creating a list of boards you think are ideal and you would love to be invited to.
Other things to consider:
- Apply to boards that have a similar style to your own pins. When I got to review an account, one of the main things I am looking for is that their style is similar to mine and that their pins will suit the board. I am big on curating and creating a cohesive look. It doesn’t have to be the identical style, but needs to have a similar feel, and be able to compliment the other content on the board.
- Make sure you are willing to abide by rules, including the method for applying. Sometimes the owner will want you to join a Facebook group or email list or follow their account, before considering adding you. If the rules are too complex for you to keep up with following, or you don’t want to be part of what they want you to join, then it might not be the right board for you.
- If you want to also invite them to one of your own group boards, don’t send an invite without first asking if they would be interested. And don’t make them feel obliged to join your board. It can be as simple as saying ‘I have ‘this group board’, I’d be happy to invite you to if you are interested’.
How to Contact the Board Owner
First of all check what the host of the board has requested. Usually in the board description, they will have mentioned how you can apply and how best to contact them and any other requirements they have. So first, be sure to follow any instructions, and request an invite using the method they suggest. If they want an email or for you to fill in a form, then don’t go and send them a Pinterest message. Or if they ask for a Pinterest message, don’t go to their site and contact them direct. They likely have a system in place for adding people to their boards, so respect that, and follow the instructions.
Now some guidelines for the message you send them:
- If they have their first name on their account, or it is easy to find on their website, USE IT. Just writing ‘Hi’ makes it look like you either didn’t do much research or that you sent bulk emails. If you can make it personal, it makes a big impact, because it shows you are genuinely interested in contributing to this person’s board. If you want to say something nice about their board, account, blog or business, do so, but keep it short and simple. It can be as simple as ‘Love your style’ or ‘ I really enjoy your blog’.
- Provide your Pinterest link ( a clickable link not just handle). When I get an email from someone requesting to join my group board, I want to make the decision quickly. This isn’t a high priority task, so it needs to be as quick and simple as possible to do. When someone leaves the name of their Pinterest handle but doesn’t leave a clickable link, that just makes my job harder, I then have to manually copy, open up and paste it. I want one click to check out your account. Please make it easy for the host, don’t make more steps than necessary.
- Provide the email you use for Pinterest. Occasionally a username isn’t sufficient to add someone to a board. I often find with smaller accounts, Pinterest can’t find them based on name and the easiest way to add the person is with an email address. It is particularly importamt to provide this if it is different to the email you used to send the request. However, dont only send an email address and not an account link. I have had people only provide their email, and I almost instantly dismiss them because that doesn’t allow me to review their account and is very presumptive that I’ll just add them without first looking at their account.
- Keep the message short and to the point. Make it easy for them to find your details and make a quick decision.
- Don’t send follow-ups, unless you can make it personal and you are very keen to get on that board and believe you have content that compliments the board. Often people don’t reply because they either are not accepting new contributors on the board or have decided you are not the right fit. So don’t harass them. I’d only follow up, if you really think it is the right fit, you are interested in the person and you are not pushy about it. e.g ‘Just wanted to be sure you got my message…[something brief about the board and why you want to join it, and your details]… if you are not accepting new contributors or don’t feel I am the best fit for the board, no worries.’
- Name the board you want to join. Sometimes the owner of the board has more than one group board, so if you are not clear on the board you want to join, they won’t know. Simply writing ‘I would like to join your group board’ is too vague. Be specific and show you have actually look at the board.
- If emailing consider your email subject line. Make it clear in the subject line that this is a Pinterest Group Board request, so they can easily spot it in their emails, and it won’t be dismissed as junk.
What I look for in Your Account.
Obviously, everyone will be looking for different things before accepting someone in their group board, and it is at their own discretion to invite you or not. These are the things I generally look for, so keeping them in mind will increase your success of being invited to boards.
- Have your account in order, with your website link, profile pic, description, relevant boards on your topic with clear board names, and quality pins.
- If you are pinning on too many varied subjects, then I don’t feel you are the right fit, as I want people in a similar industry who are focussed on the topic. Obviously, a few boards on different topics are fine, but I want to see your primary focus is in line with the subject.
- Pin quality pins and curate your feed. Your personal feed and curation is an indication to me of the kind of content you would be sharing on my board.
- If you are quite new with a low following, be sure your account is well filled out and quality curated pins. I am more interested in what you content you can offer then follower count or views.
- Be sure your style compliments the board you are applying for. Sometimes people have good, on topic accounts, but their style is too different that I don’t feel it will complement the board well.
I hope this post helps you get more group board invites and also gives you some little tips to improve your account. Pinterest is an amazing tool to get your work seen and bring traffic to your shop, website or blog. If you want to learn more about using Pinterest to it’s best advantage, I highly recommend the Pinterest Avalanche course,* which I have taken myself to help improve my Pin strategy.
You can also check out another Pinterest post I wrote recently about creating pin graphics- Creating Perfect Pinterest Graphics
*this post contains affiliate links if, when purchased, earn me a small commission. Thanks so much for your support!