Pinterest for a career coach

One of my clients runs a career coaching service. Resumes aren’t “pretty,” generally, and service businesses in general are not the most obvious target for marketing on Pinterest. However, that’s not a valid reason to ignore potential web traffic.

I searched on “Dream Job” and found the following pins:

Pins found on a search for “dream job.”

Only two of the pins are about FINDING a dream job, while the others are examples OF dream jobs. This is a market opportunity.

Searching on “job interview” yields a few more helpful pins, as well as a lot of funny ones:

There is room in this space for pins about interviewing skills and improving your work situation.

Career coaching is not a market that will generate instant sales traffic from Pinterest. However, it may be fairly easy to ask a visitor from Pinterest to sign up for an email list, or even to follow the business’ boards and pins in Pinterest itself. Board and account description fields offer plenty of space for traditional copywriting.

I recommended that this client start by taking each of her “talking points” from the sales letter:

  • Are you working in a job you hate . . . and thinking “I can’t take it anymore!”?
  • Are you retiring (or planning to) and need to figure out what to do with your time?

and turning it in to a pin using a text tool such as

Quozio example

Example of a text-to-pin conversion from

Pin the quotation from the Quozio application to an appropriate board:

Pin from Quozio

Quotation pinned from the Quozio application

Edit the pin to add a more engaging caption and a link directly to the blog post or email sign up page on the business website:

Edit pin from Quozio

Edit pin to point link to business website and adjust caption to include a call to action.

So that the pins and boards for this business are not seen as sales pitches, at least 80% of the businesses’ original content should be “how to” info-graphics, containing helpful suggestions.

Repins from other users’ accounts will include fashion, industry-related (our clients work in places like this), dream offices, commute (transportation), and retail food (places to have a business lunch or to meet for coffee). All of these will be selected based on the ideal target client for the coaching service–C-level executives will have different “fashion” tastes than people just starting out.

More Info Pin Ideas

Inc Magazine, October 2012, p. 8:  Three questions great job candidates ask:

  • What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60-90 days?
  • What are the common attributes of your top performers?
  • What are a few things that drive results for the company?

You could either pin “three questions” linking back to a blog post about all three and what the employer is hoping to hear, or make up three separate pins, one for each question, and send them to the same blog post.


See Candy Chang’s TED talk for more about the “Before I die” pins.)
Bucket list pins

Brazen Careerist 9 Lies Job Interviewers Tell (Post has a PinIt button already)

Five common interview mistakes


Pitch Anything and Pinterest

Pitch Anything is a new book about presenting-to-sell by Oren Klaff. One of my marketing teachers, Glenn Livingston, said it was the best marketing book he’d read in the past five years. I’m not so sure I’d go that far, but I just finished the book and it is engaging.

Pitch Anything, by Oren Klaff

Pitch Anything, the new marketing book about using framing and hot cognition to influence your audience.

Klaff’s recommendation is, IMO, not quite as revolutionary and innovative as he’d like to think: Guy Kawasaki has been saying the same thing for a few years already. Tell the story. Don’t let them get you into the weeds. Give people something to believe in. They don’t care about your pedigree, resume and backstory. Use your business’ version of puppy porn…(that link is safe for just about anyone). (In his case, the big sale involved airplane porn. I hope you already understand the use of the word in the internet context…)

If you’re someone who reads marketing books, you’ll enjoy Pitch Anything. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it because it’s difficult to apply. Klaff uses examples from his own investment fund raising past, and they don’t directly translate to the kind of selling most of my clients do.

One point, however, struck me powerfully. Klaff talks about the importance of Hot Cognition–the instant, primal brain response that says, “I want it.” When buyers / clients are in hot cognition, they want what you have.

Reader, Pinterest is nothing BUT hot cognition.

I see it I want it I click it’s mine.

There is no sales letter than can compete with puppy porn, if what you sell can be represented by your market’s equivalent of this pin (also safe on a public PC).

As I write this post, I also realize that Pinterest is, in Klaff’s terms, a way to “stack frames.” The board and surrounding pins provide context you control, setting the scene for the item and how it will fit into your client’s life. Providing more detailed examples of boards and frames is more than I have time for in this post. More later.

Load a Portfolio to Linkedin

Post a Portfolio of Your Work to Linkedin

Linkedin is not a very image-friendly application. If you are successfully displaying your work on any of the portfolio sites including Pinterest, you may not need to worry about Linkedin. However, lots of professionals use the site, and adding either or both of the two portfolio display options to your profile doesn’t take very long.

Behance Creative Portfolio Display

If you already maintain a portfolio at Behance, link to it using the Creative Portfolio Display application (More / Get More Applications / scroll — on my account, Behance is #10).

Behance is the portfolio engine for Pantone, BTW.


At the time of this blog post, you can’t open a SlideShare account through Linkedin directly. (Check under More / Add more applications / Slide Share.) You can create a free account at SlideShare, and then link a presentation to your Linkedin Profile (as well as share it in your updates and groups).

Use MS PowerPoint or your choice of presentation software (most formats are supported) to create a deck with images of your work.

Think about a useful file name if you are going to allow downloading. Once files are downloaded, they are easily lost if the file name is something like “Portfolio 2012.” Use your own name and useful search terms to help viewers find the file again. (Put contact information in the header or footer of each slied, as well.)
Add captions and watermarks as needed. Load your portfolio presentation to SlideShare, and then let your network and groups know, as appropriate.

Pinterest and LinkedIn

Connecting Pinterest and Linkedin

Apart from your profile picture, LinkedIn doesn’t offer a lot of support for images, but all is not lost.  Linkedin has a LOT of activity, and because most of the people on that platform are employed, they tend to have a bit more money than the average visitor.  Even if Pinterest is driving the bulk of your traffic, take an minute and make sure Linkedin knows about your Pinterest account.

Add a Website link to your Pinterest account

Pinterest displayed as one of three websites on your profile.

Your Pinterest account can be one of the three website links displayed on your Linkedin profile.

Use one of the website link options to point visitors to your business account, and one of the others to point to your Pinterest account.

Select the “other” option on the first drop down (rather than any of the fixed options) and Linkedin allows you to create your own label for the URL.

Linkedin's Website listing

Select the “other” category to create your own label for the URL, and then enter the full link to your Pinterest account.