Pinterest: A “Visual” Social Bookmarking Tool You and I Can’t Ignore

Pinterest Logo

I value my time. Which is why I'm rarely an “early adopter” of new social media tools.

Twitter and Facebook both had to prove their worth to me before I decided to get on board. I'm still undecided about LinkedIn, MySpace (ha!), and even Google+.

But when I heard about the rapid growth of this new “visual” social bookmarking site,, I had to check it out.

What Is Pinterest?

Let's ask them! From their about page: “Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard”.

The more detailed elevator pitch explains it like this:

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Did you see that part about “people use pinboards to plan their weddings?”

Yeah, that perked my “Pinterest” too. (Sorry, that was a pretty lame joke).

But Really, What Is This Thing and Why Is It All the Rage?

Well, it's kinda like a mish-mash of twitter, flickr, digg, and evernote. I think…..maybe.

As a simple Pinterest user (as opposed to marketer or advantage taker), people are using Pinterest to bookmark images and links to stuff they care about and want to either organize, reference, compare, or share with other people.

For example….let's say I'm getting married and shopping around for a photographer.  On my Pinterest account I could create a pinboard called “Wedding Photographers I Like” and as I search and find cool photographers (and cool photographs) I would use the “Pin It” tool to bookmark the image and the link to my pinboard.

In the non-digital world this would be the same as cutting out pretty pictures in wedding magazines and then gluing them to a big piece of cardboard.

Pinterest is just faster, has less toxic fumes – and is apparently way more addictive.

Plus you can search other peoples pins and boards, share your own, “like”, comment, tweet….the whole social media 9 yards.

Why Should I, As a Wedding Photographer, Care About Pinterest?

For one – Pinterest is HUGH and getting HUGER (like….2006 facebook huge…..)

And it just happens to be big with women between the ages of 25-34 — an audience us wedding photographers are keenly familiar with,  no?

Pinterest Audience Stats

Secondly, Pinterest is VISUAL….and wouldn't you say that our business is also visual?

That's reason enough for me to at least start up an account and check under the hood.

Which brings me to the next question…

How Do I Get In On This?

Remember the beginnings of gmail?  It was rolled out as “invite” only.

Apparently Pinterest thinks this is a good product launch strategy…as they are doing the same thing.

That's right, you can't just sign up.  You have to be invited by another user to get an account.

……………[awkward silence]……………

Oh, come on. Of course I'll send you an invite! What are friends for!!

Just leave a comment on this post (and remember to include your email address!).

Thanks for the Invite! Now What's a Quick Way to Get Started?

Your welcome! :)

I'd love to give you the Complete Pinterest Marketing Guide to Land 40+ Weddings in 2012 (or your money back!)…

…but I can't….yet.

I just signed up myself and still need time to figure it all out.

For now I'd suggest two things:

  1. Complete Your Pinterest Profile — Let people know who you are, link to your facebook, twitter, and website/blog.
  2. Create a “Wedding Photography Inspiration” Bucket — Find wedding images that you like (by browsing website or pinboards) and use the “Pin It” button to collect 'em.

Then, if you feel so inclined, come and…

Follow Me on Pinterest

Lastly, please leave a comment and share your thoughts on this new tool. Love it? Hate it? Skeptical? Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. Hi Ryan, thank you for the interesting piece on Pinterest. I always enjoy reading the things you share to help other become more informed about photography. I even joined Smugmug after watching your 90 minutes video, but I have a lot to do as far as customizing the site. I’m not that skilled in the customizing area, but I’m learning. Could you send me an invite for Pinterest? Thank you Ryan, have a great day!

    • Hi Stephen — thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re finding my site useful.

      As far as the Pinterest invite — you no longer need one! Pinterest is open to everyone. :) Enjoy.

  2. Its a nice informative post and its great resource for lots of peoples, so to promote your business by using some internet marketing strategy and it can easily to reach the correct market place.

  3. I just ran across Pinterest by accident the other day and thought it would be a good and inexpensive marketing tool. Looking forward to visiting the sites mentioned here.

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      Just be careful – Pinterest is pretty addictive! :)  Do you need an invitation? If so, just let me know your email address and I’ll send you an invite.

  4. Aside from the pure numbers of people using Pinterest, photographers should also use because their customers are there.  Simple as that.  I recently wrote an article on just that point:

  5. Mari Clark says:

    This article is very informative and now I would like to get a Pinterest account. I followed you this far from the feature on you in this month’s TechSmith Newsletter. I take lots of photos of my grandchildren and also of many church activities. My photography is just for fun with no other ambitions, however your writing is so easy to read I just kept going. Please invite me to Pinterest.
    Mari Clark

    • Hi Mari – thanks so much for the kind words. I sent off your Pinterest invite and you should receive it shortly in your inbox.
      Have a wonderful day!

    • Ryan Oakley says:

      HI Mari!
      Thanks for the kind words. I sent you a Pinterest invite and it should be in your inbox. Have a wonderful weekend!Ryan 

  6. Hi Ryan – I am working on my photography websiite using your tutorial and want to get on Pinterest.  Please help me be invited.
    Dave Bennett

    • Ryan Oakley says:

       @Dave Bennett Hi Dave. just let me know what email you want me to send the Pinterest invite….(I couldn’t find your email address on your website, by the way).

  7. EthanTweedie says:

    Great post Ryan.  Google + to me is a total flop.  Pinterest though really has potential!  

    • Thanks Ethan. Yeah, I’m still an “outsider” with Google+. I hear it’s going to have a big impact on SEO (if it doesn’t already) so I’m keeping my finger on it. Why do you think G+ is a total flop? Number of users, the interface, or ?? I’m really digging Pinterest. It’s fun, easy, and I’m starting to see some great business potential!

  8. Ryan Oakley says:

    Invite has been sent Christine. :)

  9. Christine says:

    Curious and curiouser…

    cjtoakley at gmail dot com

  10. CameronCreations says:

    You have struck my interest. I’m interested:

  11. Serenityphotos says:

    Hiya could you invite me to Pinterest please???



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