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Many businesses are already using Pinterest — a social media website that lets users save (or “pin”) images to titled collections — to build brand awareness and drive traffic to their websites. But it’s also a powerful tool for creating a vision board, which is a collection of photos and short sentences that represent your business goals.
“The point of a vision board is really to get you to focus on what you’re looking for,” says Marcia Layton Turner, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vision Boards (Alpha, 2009). “In a way, this could be used as a visual business plan.”
Unlike a business plan gathering dust in a drawer, this photo collage is meant to be looked at daily. “Through pictures, [a vision board] focuses your mind,” says Turner. It helps you notice opportunities and stay on the path to success.
While vision boards aren’t new, Pinterest lets you take them to a whole new level. Not only do you have access to millions of photos, but you can engage followers, store useful links, and build public support. Follow these four tips to create a Pinterest vision board that will help you achieve your goals:
1. Create specific goals. “Vision boards are very literal,” says Turner. “You really have to think about what you’re looking for.” Ask yourself: Where will my business be in five years? What will he be known for? What will the offices look like? How many employees will I have? How many users? The goal is for you to articulate exactly what you want to achieve.
Follow the brands you admire for inspiration or include them in your vision board with a note about what they do well. Focus on the practices you want to emulate so you can work toward a positive goal.
Related: The 10 Commandments of Using Pinterest for Business (Infographic)
2. Express your vision to consumers. Pinterest is a public way to share your vision of the future. “You can really galvanize the public into supporting you before you open your doors,” says Turner.
Think about how consumers could support your vision and encourage them to do so. For example, if you want your staff to carpool to work, offer incentives to your followers to do the same or ask them to share how they “greened” their commute in the comments.
Related: How to Sell Your Startup’s Long-Term Vision
3. Go beyond images. The biggest advantage of creating your vision board on Pinterest is that each image is linked to the original source, allowing you to store articles, infographics, videos or websites that can help you achieve your goals. If you want to double your reach on social media, you can pin an image of an article with helpful tips and come back to the article while you work towards that reference.
But one last caveat…
4. Be careful what you share. Pinterest doesn’t currently allow private boards (although they’re considering it), so be sure to only include goals you’re comfortable sharing.
Related: How to Craft a Business Plan That Will Turn Investors’ Heads