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Guest Post: Seven Ways To Use Pinterest To Boost Your Personal Brand

MJD Editor Rachel Kaufman’s Note: This post comes from a partnership with Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog where we syndicate content from the blog on a weekly basis. This post is from Oscar Del Santo (bio below).

Personal Branding lovers are in luck. The hottest and quickly rising new social network Pinterest is fast proving to be a much welcome and indeed attractive addition to our personal branding repertoire with endless possibilities yet to be explored.

We have reasons to believe that Pinterest is more than a passing fad and based on the evidence we can be reasonably confident that it is here to stay. According to a recent study by Maggie Georgieva from Hubspot, Pinterest has not only grown by more than 150% in one month (Jan 2012), but companies and bloggers alike are reporting significant increases in traffic and revenue thanks to the new social media rising star. That includes Hubspot itself, since it apparently drew more visits from Pinterest than Google+ to their blog last month by quite a significant margin. Lead generation, more attractive and fun social sharing and the clear marketing value to be derived from Pinterest are other irresistible bonus features accounting for its rapid success. Add Personal Branding to the mix and you’ve just found a social network it would be extremely ill-advised to underestimate… let alone ignore!

Here are seven hip, cool and trendy Pinterest uses for your personal branding that can be helpful, fun to create and at the same time highly beneficial to your greatest asset: your brand.

1. Showcase your work. Whether you are a photographer, a chef, a florist or a blogger, Pinterest is ideal to bring together your  output under one roof, showcase your work in a compelling way and make a name for yourself in the process. Real life example: Binita Patel.

2. Curate and update a reading list. If you want to send a clear message about how knowledgeable and passionate you are about your present or future career, keeping a curated up-to-date and reviewed reading list is a straightforward, credible and helpful way to go about it. And needless to say, that could and should include your own work if you are a published author. Real life example: my own bilingual ‘Books Worth Reading‘ board.

3. Flaunt your creative and innovative spirit. Even if you are not necessarily showcasing your own work, Pinterest can be instrumental in underscoring your creative zest by the way you bring together multifarious elements together in your boards in ways that speak tons about you and also prove your innovative spirit beyond reasonable doubt. Real life example: Yael Zeman’s ‘Wedding Ideas‘.

4. Pin your CV or Résumé – especially if they are visual. There is no doubt that Pinterest can prove to be a formidable ally in your jobsearch. This is especially true if you are one of the lucky ones with an enticing, visually attractive CV or résumé you are proud to display. I’ll go as far as saying that Pinterest may be the definite seal of approval for those trailblazers who experimented and innovated with their visual résumés when it was still not fashionable to do so and they were thought to be mere fireworks. Real life example: the awesome collection by vizualresume.

5. Create a user-generated pinboard. Nothing will make you go up in the personal branding credibility score like demonstrating that you care about your customers/followers opinions, views and needs. Allowing them to contribute freely to a user-generated pinboard curated by you with their own pins highlights the way you value their contributions and (by extension) them as part of your online community. Real life example: the community hospital as shown by Creative Triage

6. Support your favourite charity & non-profit. If you believe in making a contribution, you’ll be glad to know that Pinterest can be successfully used by non-profit and charitable organizations of all kinds and that you can actively contribute by pinning quality content. In the process, you will have shown the world that you are a value-driven individual and that you care beyond your own immediate needs and aspirations. And let’s not forget that proving your values is an integral part of your personal brand. Real life example: John Haydon.

7. Just pin! Pinterest is what Americans describe as ‘the hottest ticket in town’ in social media at the moment. Being part of the Pinterest success story in any of the ways shown above (and many more that I am sure you will figure out) proves that you keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments, are well-informed and conversant with online and digital issues and are quick to grab a good opportunity when you see one. Being part of the fastest site to go beyond the ten million unique visitors mark in history sends the right signals about you in more ways than one. Real life example: You… if you are already on Pinterest or about to join!

Last but not least, keep in mind that your Pinterest profile is important. Do not get so carried away with pinning that you forget to create a quality profile with your best picture, profile message, website and selected social networks where you want to be found and followed. Do it with the same care and attention to detail as in any other social media that actively contributes to your personal branding in a powerful way and you may soon discover that Pinterest exceeds your expectations. Just make it happen.

Oscar is one of the trailblazers of online reputation management and popularisers of inbound marketing in Spain. In his various roles as consultant, blogger, lecturer and international speaker, he has worked with companies and institutions from many industries including social media and communication agencies and business schools. He has been extensively featured in the Spanish and Latin American media and is a regular contributor to several TV and radio programs. He is the author of ‘Reputacion Online para Tod@s’ and can be followed on Twitter @OscarDS. He was recently awarded the #TwitawardSV for his participation in El Salvador’s Social Media Day and has been included in the ‘Top 70 Spanish Tweeters’ list.

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