Everywhere you turn on Pinterest, there’s a virtual assistant or ‘Pinterest expert’ offering their Pinterest management services. It seems to be the hot job in the stay-at-home market. More VAs have popped up offering a Pinterest management service than ever before since early 2020. However, is this the route you should take?
Hand Over My Pinterest Account? No Thanks!
You could not pay me even $5 million dollars to turn over my Pinterest account to someone. I’ve worked too hard to let a virtual assistant from who knows where manage my account. I would not even let a company like SPM manage it. Ever. It’s simply not a service that is sustainable or can provide you the best results possible – this is one of those things that only YOU can achieve, and I have reasons why below.
Virtual Assistants Offering Pinterest Services are Everywhere Now
Now, I understand that there was a flurry of new virtual assistants out there offering to take over Pinterest accounts left and right in the past few years, and pin for you. If you’re one of those people, know that this is not a slight against what you offer, and you could very well be good at what you do.
But just know this – you’ll never love someone’s brand as much as they will; that’s just the nature of ownership. And you simply don’t have enough vested in their company, and probably aren’t being paid enough to do what any brand on Pinterest actually wants: to generate sales. And that right there is point number one that we’ll talk about today.
Time to Rethink Your Pinterest Strategy
Is it time to rethink all this hiring of virtual assistants for Pinterest? YES. And you’re about to find out why.
Here are ten eye-opening reasons NOT to hire a Pinterest management service to manage your Pinterest account:
You Are Closest to Your Brand
Only brand owners and those who have physical money into their brand businesses are the most loyal to their company. Everyone outside of that small circle of brand loyalty will have an agenda. They’ll want to make money off of your brand, providing you with services because they’re in a perceived position to help, or have the perceived time to do the work on your behalf.
But that’s the problem with perception. Are they truly in a position to help? How much experience do they have? What kind of sales have they been able to bring in on their own? What makes you think they’ll be loyal to your brand and not take on one of your competitors, as well? There we start running into conflict of interest problems, coupled with issues of proven success. Dollars, sales, and conversions are proof – not happy customers who are simply getting pins created.
Do they really have the time? Consider how much you’re paying per month for pinning services and Pinterest account management. If you’re paying $300/month or even $750/month, what kind of pin and Pinterest management services quality are you expecting?
Let’s suppose you’re getting Pinterest account management services for $300/month. If they’re pinning daily on your behalf, that means you’re paying that person less than minimum wage to do the job. That’s $10/day for 1 hour of work. And that’s IF they can get the pins generated, designed, pinned to the boards, scheduled, and reported back to you, all in an hour. What if that actually takes 2 hours? Then they’re making $5/hour. What kind of quality do you expect from someone making $5-10 a day for managing your Pinterest account?
Let’s go the ultra-high-end route, where a pretty-well-known Pinterest management service offers 10 pins a month for $750/month. So you’re paying $75 per pin. Gosh. That’s wildly expensive. What happens if you only get one that performs well? That’s probably $675 down the drain, right? Or, worse, yet, let’s say they’re ‘so good’ at their job they only spend one hour at $750 per month designing and pinning for your account. What if those results are as good as what you could have done on your own? $750/hour is a whole lot more than your average high-end attorney charges.
Are they really going to focus on what is going to help you convert, or are they pinning just to get the job done? Sadly, most Pinterest management service personnel are focused on getting that job done, so they can move on to the next client.
Only someone being paid big bucks hired by your own brand, who is being paid a reasonable salary of $75,000 for a sales / brand strategist position (and that’s at the low end) is going to truly care about getting you results. Not a firm charging $750 for 10 pins, $97 for Facebook group access, and even more on top of that in case you want to have access to tutorials. It’s utterly insane to spend that kind of money for a task you could bring in-house for an hour a month.
Now, think about all the other clients they might have that are in direct conflict with yours. And then ask yourself, will they truly be loyal to my brand and help me surpass my competitors on Pinterest? Probably not. Will you get them to admit they have a conflict of interest? Also, probably not.
You’re the one most close to your brand, and the most loyal to it. With a little know-how, I know you can learn how to use Pinterest and do the work yourself, so you can let your voice and brand shine through.
Waste of Money – Invest in YOU Instead
Pinterest management services are actually a waste of money, if you think about it. There are so many examples of pins that work and convert for brands, and equally as many platforms to help you design and start pinning fabulous content. Do you really need to have money go out the door for someone else to do it?
Rather than spend money on services, invest instead in processes and systems. The main reason people seek out service professionals is they don’t have a process in place. Once you establish a process, and run through it a couple of times, you can refine your system for blogging to pinning on Pinterest.
- Your Pinterest management service could quit.
- They could not do the job well (you end up firing, having to rehire, and train).
- You might end up bouncing around from provider to provider, losing traction each time.
- Spending more time/money training providers, signing documents, reading their materials, dealing with communications / emails / messages trying to communicate your needs/wants, understanding their reports, questioning whether the reports are accurate or complete, etc.
See, all of these activities actually eat up the same amount of time, if not more, than simply investing in YOU, learning some Pinterest skills, and doing it yourself.
Reallocate Your Spending
Instead of spending money on Pinterest management services, which is pretty much a sunk cost, you could instead reallocate those funds to pre-made templates, tutorials, classes, etc. for one-time fees.
By using a template system that is customized for your brand, you’ll be able to quickly put together posts and images that are built and representative of your brand.
Batching images together and working out pre-planned posts merely requires some scheduling and preparation. It’s not hard; just requires organization and planning on your part. Which are good things to do, anyway!
Lack of Experience, Not Experts
There are a lot of virtual and personal assistants out there looking for work. If you want to be someone who supports them, by all means, do that. But, you’re going to get what you pay for.
Lack of experience can actually cost you more time and money. There’s actually a lot to know when pinning on Pinterest. Keyword research, hashtags, pin title recommendations, image layouts, fonts, colors, pinning frequency, pinning strategies, board maintenance, emerging trends, group boards, and so on.
There are only a few “experts” who work on Pinterest methods and strategies as a form of expert technical knowledge. So unless these individuals are personally working on your account (which is likely to never happen), know that hiring someone with less experience than expert status might not be a good idea.
If you have no choice but to hire someone, choose someone who has actual proof of building income. Have them show you the before and after sales conversions in working with their clients. Have they just maintained the status quo of being present on Pinterest with pinning? Or, have they helped a business improve sales? There’s a big difference.
Loss of Branding / Copy Control
Anytime you farm something out to others, you’re going to have a loss of control over branding, copywriting, and how others see you in the marketplace. Unless you establish a process of reviewing each and every pin before it gets published along with reviewing the copy that goes along with it, know that a pin is essentially “forever” and is hard to delete on Pinterest once people start repinning it.
Spelling errors, grammar, word usage, cliches, perspectives, and diversity are all things that brands need to be aware of going forward. You certainly don’t want to allow an opportunity for a brand attack or a cancel culture movement to strike against your pins because something was written insensitively, or without thought or regard for other perspectives.
Even with a review process in place, the time spent going back and forth with a Pinterest management service could very well equal or exceed the time you could have spent doing the work yourself.
Insight Into Trends
How will you know that something is trending? How will you establish a process with Pinterest account management personnel that alerts you to things that are trending that your brand might want to take part in?
Even subtle changes to marketing of your existing products, including mockups, designs, overlays, etc. can make a night and day difference. These are usually first to emerge on Pinterest before you even see them on Facebook. That’s the beauty of Pinterest – trending of themes, products, textures, patterns, all of it – emerges first on Pinterest due to the immersion of interest-based usability versus social-based usability dominated by popularity rather than new ideas.
Staying updated on algorithm changes on Pinterest is essential these days. The platform is changing frequently. Knowing best practices and staying on top of pinning requirements, sizing, frequency recommendations, et al, has become more important than ever.
Your PA or VA, or Pinterest management service may not vocalize these changes to you, simply because they’re too busy doing the pinning work to stay on top of newsworthy issues related to Pinterest.
Hiring / Firing the Wrong Person
Hire slow, fire fast. That’s the guideline for working with any VA or PA, or even the most prestige Pinterest management service.
You’re going to have to spend time interviewing, looking into performance history, getting referrals, background checks, evaluating whether you’ll be a good fit for that company or person, etc.
On the same token, you’re going to have to have the guts to fire someone without burning bridges. If someone you’ve hired isn’t performing well or not getting the results promised (like sales, viral metrics, pins per day, impressions, click-throughs, followers per day, etc.) you’re going to either have to start having serious conversations to get the performance you want or be willing to make the hard decision to fire them.
Either way, this is time being spent that could be used to manage your own Pinterest account, without allowing someone outside your vested interest circle access to your account.
Robot, or Getting Sales?
Is the purpose of your wanting to use a Pinterest management service to just have a human warm body behind it doing robot-like functions? Or, is it to get sales? Remember point number one above, no one will be dedicated or as close to your brand as you are.
The whole point of being on Pinterest as a brand is to get more sales, right? So if you hire someone to do pinning for you, would you want them to be able to generate more sales or just keep on pinning? Ask yourself what value either of those activities bring to your brand, and then evaluate whether or not hiring someone who does not have a vested interest (and possibly conflicts of interest) is such a good idea.
Lose Your Content Control
I have seen many virtual Pinterest management service people in action. And they all tend to do the same thing – use as many free resources as they can, just like everyone else has access to, and whip out as many pins as they can in a short amount of time.
Makes sense to do, from their perspective, right? Save time, and they’ll make more money per hour, freeing them up to take on other Pinterest jobs and clients.
But. How does that really impact you? The quality of content starts to suffer. Mistakes get made. You lose control over the quality of your content, and your pins start looking like a lot of others’. Which is not a good idea.
In order to manage this and keep control over your content and how it appears in the marketplaces and Pinterest, you’re going to have to develop strict guidelines on what is acceptable use and what is not.
Is using generic stock photos ok? Or do you have a preferred source? Is using a standard Canva template ok? Or do you have a specific layout you want to stick to? When and for what purpose do you want a video pin versus a story or standard pin? These are all things to think about and discuss with your Pinterest management service, if you haven’t already.
Simply put, using an outside service is simply risky and unsustainable unless you’re working with someone who never plans to retire, die or is a qualified, proven expert. Think about instead, investing in YOU.
There’s always going to be the argument of time. Let me tell you, Pinterest is a platform worth investing your time in. It’s worth learning, doing it yourself, and a big part of the overall search engine optimization learning process!
If you’re a Pinterest account manager, please don’t take this post the wrong way and assume that it’s intended to put you out of work. The focus here is to act in the best interest of the brand for both long and short-term decisions. And I think any Pinterest manager would agree that Pinterest is a fun, beneficial skill to learn and know for anyone who is in business.
Also published on Medium.