linkWrapper”>+Jane Ellen is amazing. What a great set of info to get started – professionally – using Pinterest to showcase your talents and services. Think outside the box people! Her suggestions for photographers was spot-on in my opinion!!!

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And now, back to me. One of the delightful aspects of my career is I have the honor (no sarcasm, really) of working as a fashion stylist. Yes Tim Gunn and Nick Verreos think I'm fabulous. But that's not the point. Of late, there has been much talk of Pinterest. It is an obsession, a bugaboo, a reference point, a pleasure, and a highly useful tool (I said tool).

First, why. Depends upon who you are and what you do. For instance, there is a glorious community of photographers on G+. Pinterest can be used be each one as they, in essence, answer every question that has ever been asked of them. What equipment do you use? What's your favorite editing software? What type of bag do you like to use to carry your gear? The response can be: see my Pinterest board on photography equipment.

It doesn't end there. You, the curator of the boards, should include the price, if available, of what you've posted. And, if you are an expert in the field, why you chose it. That is what will make your pinboards have value.

It dawned on me recently to use Pinterest as a way to communicate with the clients I style so we could each see the vision together. You can have more than one person pin on each board. I only let my clients pin on their own boards as in "please, I want to wear this" and then I say "what? are you crazy?" and hit delete. See, it is a giving relationship. My clients are not all within walking distance of me and my knowledge is vast. No, really, just ask me.

I now answer the eternal question, how do I (Me, Jane) stay in business? I'm not Lady Gaga, I can't afford a stylist. Well, yes you can. And you should. Especially if you represent yourself in a boardroom, if you're looking for a job/raise, if you're a public figure, if you're in sales of any kind, even if you're seen in a hangout. Bottom line, you are your brand's front line. You are your brand. Whatever that brand may be. So if you don't know how to market yourself, how can anyone but trust in your ability to market anything else? In turn, when I style someone, you are a reflection of my work so I had better not screw it up.

Are your photos professionally done? Do you know what colors and styles of clothes look good on you? Do you think you dress appropriately for your line of work? The list goes on and on. I have some clients who don't want to think. They just want to have a wardrobe of work clothes so they know that this shirt goes with that pair of pants and their done. Others are in entertainment. They have performance wear, which is completely different. Granted, not everyone who works in technology requests something with rhinestones. But if I think they can carry it off, I'll give it a go.

Where do you get the content? You can just repin from another board. I do that sometimes. But much of my content is original in that I have spent hours searching the web for a specific piece for a client. Once approved I can buy it and ship it to them, they can buy it, or something along the same lines can be found be either myself or the client. For me, it's all about the shopping and the bargain finding. When Donald Trump hires me, maybe I won't have to be so cautious with my spending. Mr. Trump?

So think about it. Are you ready for the addiction that is Pinterest? Do you have expertise that can be displayed on a pinboard? Is Pinterest paying me? (No, they are not.) Do you think you look great every time you walk out the door? Do you feel good about the way you look? Has your family had an intervention regarding your style choices? These are all valid questions. I answer them. And I don't hold back. I once had a BMI of 60. I know what it's like to feel miserable in my clothes and I know how to hide body flaws. You've gotta have skills, man.

I hope that answered some of the questions that have come my way over the past week. Or perhaps, it has raised some new ones.

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Jane Ellen (thejaneellen) on Pinterest
Jane is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.

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