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This epic guest post was written by Kayla Ihrig, a hardcore Pinterest whiz who manages her client’s accounts while traveling the world.
Pinterest is more than just your meal planning concierge, travel slam book, and vault of potential tattoos.
Pinterest, like Instagram, has a bubble around it: it’s an entire industry, complete with an ever-changing algorithm, ads, account managers — the works.
So much so that people are lining up to learn how to become a Pinterest manager and enter into the backend, members-only side of the internet’s coolest search engine.
Today, I’ll show you exactly how you can become one too.
✔️ How to become a Pinterest expert
✔️ How to find the best types of clients
✔️ How to streamline and maximize earnings
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- The journey to Pinterest manager mastery
- What is a Pinterest manager?
- What does a day in the life look like?
- How to become a Pinterest manager with no experience
- How much does a Pinterest manager make?
- What do you wish you would’ve known before becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant?
The journey to Pinterest manager mastery
While the average pinner never thinks twice about the human behind their Thanksgiving tofurkey recipe (it’s not as bad as it sounds), Pinterest is flush with creators constantly dealing up the latest content at your fingertips.
In exchange for constantly uploading this new content, Pinterest offers access to hundreds of millions of global users. Content creators use Pinterest to drive website traffic and increase their brand exposure.
But Pinterest can be a time suck, so many brands hire people (like you!) to do it for them.
I started Pinterest as just another blogger trying to get people to read my blog posts.
I understood the platform, and on one particularly boring day of quarantine, I started answering people’s questions in blogger groups and offering my help for free.
Experience collided with timing and ricocheted off of happenstance Facebook meet-cutes, and before I know it, I found myself at the helm of other people’s Pinterest accounts.
Make money on Pinterest? Don’t mind if I do.
It hasn’t all been fun, but becoming a Pinterest manager changed my life. It allowed me to finally monetize my brand, quit my part-time side-job, and start traveling without concerns about my schedule.
Out of all of the digital nomad jobs I’ve had, this one provides the most freedom.
So, do you want to learn how to become a Pinterest manager, too?
Your path won’t be exactly the same as mine, but I can tell you how to make it happen.
What is a Pinterest manager?
The term “Pinterest manager” refers to anyone who runs another person’s Pinterest account. It can be for a blog, a big brand, an MLM member, an Etsy seller — anyone who wants to build their brand exposure on Pinterest.
The role is sometimes called a Pinterest virtual assistant (PVA) or generic “Pinterest management services.”
Sometimes a virtual assistant business includes Pinterest in addition to their other general services, but others specialize in Pinterest alone.
There are also are Pinterest managers like me — a blogger who offers Pinterest management services on their website.
A Pinterest manager wears many hats. Inside of the Russian nesting doll of “Pinterest manager” sits:
▶️ Graphic designer
▶️ Content marketer
▶️ Keyword researcher
▶️ And naturally, account manager (which is less technical and more about managing your client relationships)
When hired by a brand that’s already been publishing on Pinterest, you’re also tasked with auditing its account to determine what’s working, what isn’t, and where it’s leaving money on the table.
If a creator is brand new to the platform, you’re responsible for setting up their account correctly from the beginning.
That means an optimized account name, a bio that funnels, pins that are designed for the pinner’s eye, and all that jazz.
What does a day in the life look like?
The most difficult part of Pinterest management has very little to do with the act of uploading pins to Pinterest. Rather, it is:
☑️ The constant learning curve of what’s working best *right now*.
☑️ The constant checking of the accounts.
☑️ The constant communication with clients.
In a nutshell, a Pinterest manager’s responsibilities include:
✔️ Setting up accounts to appear in searches and funnel viewers to a client’s website
✔️ Designing and publishing optimized pins
✔️ Watching the account’s performance and adjusting as necessary
It sounds streamlined, but there are many, many pieces to a Pinterest manager’s routine.
Thankfully though, not every day is rigorous.
The process of bringing on a new client (also known as onboarding) is by far the most time-intensive part of your workflow as a Pinterest manager.
When beginning with a new client, you need answers to SO many questions, like…
▶️ What’s the ultimate goal with Pinterest?
▶️ What keywords should they be targeting?
▶️ How should their pins look?
▶️ What content marketing has been most successful for them in the past?
▶️ Where have they been leaving money on the table?
▶️ Do they want standard pins, or should they experiment with newer features like idea pins?
▶️ Should they leave their group boards?
▶️ How can they tap into their existing audience to boost their Pinterest following?
Most of this data is easy to gather. But unearthing some information can feel like pulling teeth.
For example, a client who’s not familiar with the nuances of Pinterest can’t tell if they want idea pins for their account or not. That means you have to do quite a bit of teaching before you can extract an answer.
This is a very subtle part of Pinterest services, but it exists in most trades.
Imagine going to a mechanic and saying, “I’d like you to replace the steam valve with the X2000, make the knobs 30% tighter, and upgrade the motor twirler so that it’s in line with the new requirements the state is rolling out next month.”
(I obviously know nothing about cars.)
Most people don’t do that. They don’t know what they need. The mechanic has to use their insight and experience to diagnose the problem.
The same goes for Pinterest management — you ask, listen, make a plan of action, and test different strategies to see what works best.
After two years of experience managing accounts, it still takes me about a month of onboarding before I can settle into the regular pinning routine.
Pro tip: If you’re a digital nomad, do NOT try to onboard while hopping from destination to destination. It’s completely possible to onboard new clients while traveling, but it’s both time-intensive AND time-sensitive. This is best handled when you’re not distracted and aren’t trying to squeeze your work in between hikes and bus rides.
Once a client is fully onboarded, the job simplifies significantly. You move onto upkeep mode…
Once a client is onboarded, you may only work on their account one day a week.
You research keywords, write pin descriptions, schedule pins to be published, record weekly stats, and check in with your client. This can be done from anywhere.
How to become a Pinterest manager with no experience
There’s no single or official path to teach you how to become a Pinterest manager. But, there is a specific order of operations:
1️⃣ Learn how the platform works and what’s required to build a successful account
2️⃣ Find your first client
3️⃣ Build up a client and testimonial base
Let’s zoom in to the nitty-gritties.
Learning how to use Pinterest
I’m sure this blog post on how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant has you chomping at the bit to get started…but yield this warning:
Don’t look for clients until you *really* understand how Pinterest works.
Some people are trusting enough to hand over the keys to their account to anyone who looks halfway smart, but that doesn’t mean you should take them.
Before commandeering any accounts, you need to learn how to avoid doing damage.
For example, did you know that Pinterest is a search engine? Most people lump it in with social media platforms, but it’s more closely related to Google.
That’s something the average pinner doesn’t realize, even if they’ve been using the platform to help them choose their haircut for the past decade.
There’s *nothing* wrong with starting with zero knowledge base and learning from scratch. But if you do, there’s a few common potholes you definitely want to avoid, like:
🚩 Wasting new links by uploading them without optimization
🚩 Getting an account marked as spam
🚩 Or, even worse, getting it suspended
You will never know everything about the platform before you start managing accounts. It’s impossible — the platform is constantly changing. Even the most seasoned PVAs are constantly learning.
That said, the basics (such as the need for a Pinterest business account and knowing where to put keywords) should be understood before you take the wheel.
This is huge: before you can learn how to manage a client’s Pinterest account, you need to be crystal clear on the basics of Pinterest. It’s time to become a sponge and start learning. Make it a part of your routine by subscribing to YouTube channels, podcasts, and email lists about Pinterest.
Here’s a good video to start with from yours truly 😉
Pinterest management courses and trainings
I’ve taken quite a few Pinterest courses. And once your browser cookies see you reading this blog post on how to become a freelance Pinterest manager, you’re going to start seeing ads for courses left, right, and center.
Pinterest courses come at a variety of price points, but many of them teach the exact same thing. The bigger the brand, the more in-depth you’d expect the course to be, but that’s really not the case.
I won’t name names in regards to the disappointments. But if I had to choose just one Pinterest course, this is the one I’d choose.
It’s the most in-depth course I’ve ever seen about Pinterest. And it’s actually updated regularly.
The term “lifetime updates” is thrown around liberally in the online course world. I’ve purchased quite a few of these courses, only to see them completely neglected or formally discontinued — not cool.
If you do choose to go through a training course, choose one that’s specifically *about* Pinterest, not just a fashion or beauty blog that sells Pinterest courses on the side.
A word to the wise: Be cautious when investing in Pinterest courses from random bloggers who AREN’T Pinterest-specific. Within the Pinterest world, it’s common knowledge that many big names outsource their accounts and don’t even understand Pinterest’s inner workings themselves, despite selling courses where they’re positioned as a guru.
If you don’t have the budget to invest in a course, you can puzzle piece together some good information on Pinterest Youtube channels. You’d be hard-pressed to find a free Pinterest manager course online, but if you’re bootstrapping, you can use Youtube to build up your general Pinterest knowledge.
When you’re brand new to the platform, 90% of your energy should go to learning the platform anyway. After that, you can figure out the business side of things to become a manager.
For a specific Pinterest manager course, Taylor Bonham’s “The Pinterest Manager Course” is a popular choice, but it’s currently closed. You can, however, download her free Pinterest VA guide, which is a helpful place to start.
To learn the business side of being a Pinterest manager, she also has a quick Pinterest VA Survival Guide.
The *best* way to learn Pinterest
This way is better than any free Pinterest manager course, it will get you *invested* in the results, and it’s the #1 way to score Pinterest clients.
The absolute best way to see how the bacon gets made is to make some yourself.
What I mean by this is — start your own website and use Pinterest to drive traffic to it.
There is no better way to learn Pinterest than this, and there’s no better advertisement of your abilities than your own account.
If this feels intimidating, I challenge you to entertain this thought: you’re here because you want to learn how to become a Pinterest manager. If you succeed, won’t you have a website anyway?
Nothing sells like showing potential clients your OWN Pinterest account that you’ve grown from zero. Start a website, write your first blog posts, and upload them to Pinterest.
Play around inside your own account and you will learn *so* much.
Invest enough in your blog, and it may just become another income stream, too.
How to find a remote Pinterest manager job
A surprising goldmine for finding clients for your Pinterest manager services is Facebook groups.
How to find Pinterest clients on Facebook
This is exactly how I got my start. My early days of becoming a Pinterest manager followed this path:
✔️ Started blogging and learned Pinterest for myself
✔️ Noticed that a lot of people in blogger Facebook groups had basic questions about how to use Pinterest
✔️ With no agenda, I started answering their questions and offering to even hop on calls and answer people’s questions
✔️ One person asked me if I was interested in managing her account for her
✔️ I jumped right into the new role of “Pinterest manager” and started telling people that I had availability (of course I did, I only had 1 client! but more came)
This started out as a shoot-from-the-hip strategy, but it snowballed.
After answering someone’s questions on Facebook, I would send them a friend request. Then something unexpected started happening: when THEY saw Pinterest questions or someone looking for a manager, they would tag me in the comments.
How cool is that?
They essentially tracked down my clients for me.
Within the first 6 months of being really active in blogger Facebook groups, clients started coming my way pretty regularly.
Pro tip: if you use this strategy, you can copy/paste my exact message that I used in Facebook groups. First, answer their question. If it’s super simple, bonus points if you can throw up a screenshot to help explain. Above and beyond is my motto.
Then, end with this: “I’m a Pinterest manager, I love talking about this stuff and am happy to answer any other questions you have 🙂”
I’m two years into my business, and I still use this strategy to drum up business. Just earlier today, someone said they were confused about how to change their display name. So I sent them a quick response along with this quick screenshot:
I’ve gotten replies that literally say “Can I hire you?!”
This value-first technique works wonders when you do it authentically, for both newbies and already-successful Pinterest managers.
Here are some good groups to join:
Facebook is so powerful because it brings people to you naturally. Think about if you had to go out in ~real life~ and find people with Pinterest questions – can you imagine? The horror.
People are already gathered in these groups, and they’re already asking questions. The leads practically come to you.
An even more passive way to bring in leads is to blog about Pinterest…
How to get Pinterest clients using your blog
By creating content that answers common questions, like “what is the Pinterest spam block” and “how do I set up a winning Pinterest account,” people will be funneled into your website naturally.
This is content marketing at its finest. It naturally requires an SEO skill set and is a long-term strategy for getting clients, but it’s really effective.
Other options for finding clients
Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork also can work for finding Pinterest manager jobs, but I can’t recommend it.
You almost always make less than if you manage the process yourself. And it creates a chasm where people sell their time for pennies just to beat out the competition.
It brings to mind a quote I once heard: “Never try to race people to the bottom.”
Some people build robust businesses on these platforms, but I’ve never met one of them doing it in the Pinterest niche.
Another place to look is your existing network.
Do you know anyone with an online business, blog, or e-commerce site who uses Pinterest?
Reach out to them and offer your services.
Announce your new business endeavors on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok — you might be surprised to find that you have client opportunities already in your network.
How much does a Pinterest manager make?
There’s no solid Pinterest manager salary since every Pinterest manager sets their own packages.
When I began, I charged $200 a month for designing, optimizing, and uploading pins, as well as re-pinning 20 pins per day from other creators.
Fast forward to today — both my experience and the Pinterest algorithm have changed.
I now offer two different Pinterest manager packages. For $250 a month, clients get my “mini-management” package where I design, optimize, and upload a pin every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (Psst…this doesn’t take very long!)
There’s also a bunch of auxiliary tasks, such as:
☑️ Setting up their account correctly
☑️ Management account help tickets
☑️ Analytics and data tracking
☑️ Adjusting account strategy as the algorithm changes
My full management package costs $450 a month. It covers everything the mini-management includes, plus a daily pin.
As you can see, once you gather a few regular clients under your belt, you can start to make a healthy income — more than enough to become a digital nomad and live an epic lifestyle.
Now, my rate is influenced by my experience, the amount of time I dedicate to each client, my keyword research, extensive tracking, and the extra attention put into pin design.
As you build your business, you’ll find that certain clients have no problem paying good rates for this level of care — those are the clients you want.
Variables that influence your rates
A quick glimpse at Pinterest manager rates online will show you that rates vary wildly. This is due to a few factors:
▶️ Your location. Many Pinterest managers who offer budget rates live in countries where earning US dollars goes far compared to the local currency. On the other hand, those living in higher cost of living countries have to earn more to pay their bills.
▶️ Amount of experience. Just like any other job, someone brand-new will not make as much as someone who has a Pinterest marketing strategy that’s tried and true.
▶️ Being niche-specific. If you can specialize your services to a specific niche, you become more valuable to creators. You’ll be able to offer high-value insights, knowledge of trends, and connections to your clients.
▶️ Where you find your work. This isn’t an official rule, but generally speaking, Pinterest managers who find work on sites like Fiverr charge less than those who operate independently.
What do you wish you would’ve known before becoming a Pinterest virtual assistant?
Before learning how to become a Pinterest virtual assistant, I’d had quite a few other remote jobs.
Namely, I worked as a graphic designer and freelance blog writer — both of which seemed to take an endless amount of time.
After all, writing can always be tweaked, and a design can always be polished. Those roles were time-intensive, and your work always had to be approved by the client.
They reviewed and decided that the work was good enough, which could be frustrating. But by working hard, at least I had some control over the outcome.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is much less controllable.
For example, the summertime slump (when people spend far less time online) can bring all of my clients’ accounts to year-round lows. Stats will drop no matter how well I did my job. It’s easy to feel like there’s no control or payoff for doing your best.
It’s stressful telling clients that the stats are down in the dumps and probably won’t get better for a while. The anxiety of being in the driver’s seat is heavy.
I found myself checking stats constantly, obsessing over every little movement. Pinterest is like an ocean — it rises and falls and sometimes it has nothing to do with how an account was managed.
Setting boundaries and being your emotional gatekeeper are really important habits, not just for Pinterest virtual assistants but for all online business owners. You can’t allow your life to be controlled by your inbox or an account’s impressions.
Of course, you do have to hustle in the early stages of any online business. But the amount of time Pinterest takes up in your life *needs* to be capped.
I let my business overrun me for a while, but when I gained the confidence to raise my rates, it was easier to find balance.
If you’re serious about making money as a business Pinterest manager, I implore you to set SMART goals and treat this passion project like a business from the beginning.
Managing other people’s accounts and building this type of business doesn’t have to overrun you. The freedom to work from anywhere is well worth the investment of sweat equity and the learning curve.
Do you feel ready to travel the world offering Pinterest services?
I hope this is the push you needed to learn how to become a successful Pinterest manager and see how far it can take you.
Kayla’s a remote work lifestyle blogger and Pinterest manager who lives for conversations about website traffic and bucket lists. After packing up her life in Chicago, she became a digital nomad in 2017 and moved abroad in 2018. She got by on odd jobs until she became a Pinterest manager, and now helps creators get more bang for their buck out of their content marketing. She lives online at WritingFromNowhere.com.
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