We’re pleased to welcome Erin Freedman for today’s installment of the Pinterest Influencer Interview Series. Erin is a professional web designer from Washington DC who works with clients in the finance, political and non-profit industries. She enjoys the process of crafting visual identities and loves both the technical and creative aspects that her job brings. Despite Erin’s love for design, she has a really hard time sitting at a desk all day and balances out the workload by pursuing her passions for outdoor adventure, which include skiing, mountain biking, trail running and hiking. In addition, Erin loves to travel and recently discovered that Switzerland is her “happy place.”
6 Questions on Pinterest With Erin Freedman
1. How has Pinterest helped you personally or professionally?
When I first started using Pinterest it was a way to visually catalog all the bookmarks that I had amassed over the years including design inspiration and links for my career as well as things like recipes and lifehacks that were more for my personal life.
Pinterest has completely changed my professional workflow in that I now have a visual system for cataloging all the great ideas that I’ve come across. Now when I start a new project, my first step is to browse through my appropriate boards, taking bits and pieces of ideas to craft a layout, color palette or theme. My new Pinterest-based workflow has drastically reduced the amount of time I spend in the exploration phase, which means I have more time to spend working hands-on in Photoshop or Illustrator.
On a personal level, Pinterest has certainly inspired me to cook more. All it takes is a few minutes to scan my food boards to find something that interests me or that I can create with ingredients I already have in the house. I can honestly say that I eat much healthier and order take-out less often now! Pinterest has also made it really easy for me to find fitness activities and workouts for when I get stuck in a gym rut or while I’m on the road– it’s hard to make excuses when you’ve got a million options right in front of you. I’ve also exclusively used Pinterest to plan vacations, which makes the process so much more enjoyable.
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2. What is the method behind your success?
I have such varied interests that I end up attracting a lot of different audiences. While I love to scour the web for the perfect dress to wear to a friend’s summer wedding, I also love to get down and dirty mountain biking so I use Pinterest to save trails that I hope to ride someday. I think my profile is a good balance between my personal and professional self and everything that I pin is something that I would genuinely wear, create or do. I also read a lot of blogs aligned with my interests so I’m constantly pinning real world experiences that inspire or motivate me, which also seem to resonate with my Pinterest audience.
3. What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered using Pinterest?
From a technical perspective I get annoyed when I’m really interested in learning more about a pin that doesn’t have a direct link and I find myself in an endless loop trying to search for the original content. This often happens with Tumbler accounts. I’ll see a gorgeous travel photo and think to myself, “I’d love to go there…only I can’t for the life of me figure out where ‘there’ is!”
On a more personal level I find myself getting overwhelmed with all of the things I want to do or create based on pins I see. I feel like a kid in a candy store. There are so many awesome ideas out there and it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by wanting to do them all…and right NOW!
4. What do you think is the future of social media?
I think social media has already demonstrated that it will have a strong future and will foster personal connections that were, at one time, off limits. Social media is constantly evolving and new products are created every day. As an individual you’re given the choice to decide which platform works best for you. I don’t find much use for Twitter in my daily routine but Pinterest is something that I’ve really connected with. Being a visual person, it taps into my creative needs and helps propel many of my personal goals. The presence of social media had made the world a much smaller place. It’s amazing that we have the ability to connect to individuals who live 8,000 miles away and share similar stories or interests. In the future, I think we’ll see an even greater degree of organizing communities around particular interests or activities on a much more global scale.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting a Pinterest account?
Start by thinking about the brands you love or those that have been particularly influential in your life or career and follow them.
Make sure your board cover images are a good representation of what users can expect to see on that board. When I scan a profile I’m much more likely to follow a board with a good cover image before exploring the whole board.
Maintain a high level of organization and subdivide boards if you need to. I realized it was much easier to find specific recipes when I broke down the boards into specific meals or courses rather than throwing 500 pins into a general food category.
Don’t be afraid to use Pinterest to showcase your own work or highlight your talents! I really should take my own advice on this one!
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone on Pinterest if you find him or her inspiring and want to take an interest in his or her work. Pinterest is flooded with so many creative people who are more than happy to share how they got into their profession and the secrets of their own success. I’ve had some really fascinating people contact me and it’s refreshing to connect in a way that showcases both our individuality as well as our shared passions.
6. Where can we find you on Pinterest and Instagram? What is your website?
Pinterest (634,936 Followers)
Instagram (143 Followers)