I conducted a Pinterest Marketing Intensive Session with an online coach last week. (She focuses primarily on helping her clients recover emotionally from bad break-ups. 💔 And she is soooo good at this important work.)

She had recently decided to start a Pinterest marketing strategy – to start growing her audience and getting clients – using Pinterest. (Yay!) 

And she was up to her eyeballs in #AllTheFreebies about how to use Pinterest to get clients. (Not so much Yay 😉 ) She needed help sorting it all out. 

And I was *shocked* to hear this. ——-> She had spent roughly 12 hours (two of her precious 6-hour work days!) applying for, joining, and pinning to Pinterest group boards – in the month of May only.

And she hadn’t even created and keyword-optimized her own boards yet! 🙈🙈🙈  (You can click over to this post to read about the four types of boards that I recommend you create first.) 

So, I felt a little bad telling her this… but I had to deliver the bad news:


Using Pinterest group boards for marketing your offers?

There. I said it. #SorryNotSorrry.

So, why had she invested so much time in group boards?

Because she saw a video about it on Youtube. (Ahhhh Youtube… the time-sucking vortex of free and outdated advice about Pinterest marketing…)

So I decided to write this blog post – and catch you before YOU make this mistake…

Pinterest Group Boards: A quick back story.

Once upon a time (like in 2017), Pinterest group boards were all the rage. Bloggers, e-comm sellers, service providers… Everyone was joining and contributing to group boards to hack traffic. And, it worked really well for awhile! But these days, joining and pinning to TONS of group boards? It’s an OUTDATED strategy.

… Mainly because Pinterest changed the way its algorithm treats them.

In early 2018, they made a rare direct announcement to the creator community about group boards. They essentially said these boards were not being used in the way they had intended them to be used. Pinterest’s vision for them was for VERY small groups of people (like 2 to 4 people) to use them to collaborate on projects. (Think: Three neighbors create a board with ideas for the block party they are organizing together. Or a website designer and her client share a board and pin things to establish the aesthetic for the website.) 

Group boards had grown to become these enormous catch-all places – with hundreds (even thousands) of contributors, and overly-general in terms of their topics.

So Pinterest told us that they’d start de-prioritizing these boards – and the pins on them.

BUT, because they had been so good for traffic for so long… Some influencers didn’t want to believe it, and they kept teaching group boards as a strategy. (Meanwhile, Pinterest marketers across all niches were seeing their group boards become less and less effective – almost across the… ummm… well… across the board. 😉)


So… flash forward to today. I now consider Pinterest group boards to be a big, distracting SHINY OBJECT – and a dangerous one! Here’s why…

(Pssssst…. You can 📌 pin this article for reference later!)

Why Pinterest Group Boards are a perilous distraction:

I am a proponent of a being incredibly discerning about what marketing tactics you spend your time on… and therefore I teach a “minimum viable Pinterest marketing strategy.”

(Pssst… I have plenty of course students and clients who *only* focus on the basics – and get leads and clients using Pinterest!) 

I’ll be transparent, here. On occasion, group boards can work – when they are chosen VERY STRATEGICALLY. (Executive summary: Limit them to small group boards with few contributors that are VERY closely related to the things you create content around and help clients with… I’ll work on another post about the details.)

But, group boards are an advanced strategy. And they ONLY have a prayer of working IF you’ve mastered the basics first.

So, what are the basic, you may ask? 😉

I use my framework of the FOUR PILLARS of Pinterest success to teach the basics:
1) Keyword optimization; 2) Visuals that convert; 3) Consistency; 4) Time


Joining Pinterest group boards before you’ve mastered these four basics is sort of like buying a piece of land for your house, putting up two walls, and then inviting people over for dinner parties. (No roof, only two walls… ummm… that won’t work!)  

So, until my clients and students have completely MASTERED those four pillars – I encourage them NOT to get distracted (Watch out! –> ___🕳___ ) by group boards – or any “advanced” or less important tactics.

It’s not easy…. I know you want to have those dinner parties. (Or you think you do!) … Because even if you are fatiguing of social media, your brain is still trained to gravitate towards groups to build relationships.

(But Pinterest is *not* about relationships – it’s a search engine, not social media. More on that in a future post, too!)

So, Pinterest group boards don’t really work. Then what does work? 

What does work in Pinterest marketing? What *should* you invest time in – if you want to get leads and clients (for your coaching or service-based biz) using Pinterest?

Here’s the basic breakdown…

In PHASE ONE – SET UP* of your Pinterest strategy, you focus on setting up (or cleaning up) your account – so it’s fully-optimized. (*Psssst… This is what I teach in my course.)

That means you:

✔️ Get clear on who you want to discover your content and offers on Pinterest.
✔️ Do the keyword research necessary to learn what those women are searching for around what you help with.
✔️ Add the keywords you find to 6 areas of your Pinterest profile.
✔️ Design visuals (pins) that stop the scroll and attract those women to your content and offers –  and templatize those pin graphics so you can re-use them.

✔️ Design a monthly workflow that you can follow. I recommend and teach a 1x-per-month workflow that requires about 4 to 6 hours max… and allows you to set it and forget it until next month.

In PHASE TWO – WORKFLOW, it’s time to just do the dang thing. Follow that workflow you planned for yourself.

✔️ Follow your workflow.
✔️ Follow your workflow.
✔️ Follow your workflow.
✔️ Eyes on the prize. Don’t get discouraged. Follow your workflow some more. Pinterest can only perform and generate leads for you if you are consistent – especially in the beginning!

In PHASE THREE – OPTIMIZATION, you can start really drawing conclusions about what’s working – and do more of that.

✔️ You can now tweak your workflow – based on what’s working.
✔️ You can update your pin designs. (Are you pink ones performing best? Make more of those. Are the ones about a particular topic getting you the best results? Pin more about that content… etc.)
✔️  If you *REALLY* want to, you can layer in more strategies… but you don’t have to.*

(Remember, I have plenty of course students and clients who *only* focus on the basics – and get leads and clients using Pinterest!) 

A note: If you’ve mastered the basics – and you really want to add in other strategies – please check in with an expert first! Be sure you’re spending time on things that actually work (NOT applying for and pinning to massive, overly-general group boards, please! 😉)

So, that’s the inside scoop on why I don’t recommend group boards for 95% of my Pinterest marketing students and clients… 

Let’s only spend time on tactics that work… Here’s to being discerning! 🍾 

If you’d like to learn aaaaallllll the steps of Phase 1 above – Setting up your Pinterest profile to attract perfect-fit clients and grow your audience (on autopilot!), I invite you to enroll in my e-course Pinterest with Purpose.

In it, I reveal the methods I’ve been refining with my 1:1 clients for three+ years now – the methods that work for online coaches and service providers.

The course takes you, step-by-step, through the process of getting your Pinterest profile set up optimally – so you can use it to grow your audience and land clients! 

Check it out and enroll here!