AUSTIN -- Nathan Strange did not set out to become one of the Top 10 Most-Followed Men on Pinterest, but with 710,652 Pinterest followers to date, he is just that. In fact, the Austinite is number eight according to Mashable.
Strange is a 28-year-old church youth director who heard about Pinterest only because his wife told him. Strange designs his church’s website, printed materials, and T-shirts, and his wife thought the photo-heavy social network might serve him well for his creative projects.
Soon after logging on, Strange was more than convinced Pinterest could help his work.
“It was really exactly what I was looking for,” he said. “I was struggling with maintaining folders of images I had saved from online that I used for inspiration for design work. If I was stuck on how to approach designing a poster, I would go through my inspiration folder and look at all the neat stuff I had saved. It was a pain though, because I had a folder at home and another one at work, each with different images in them. The obsessive-compulsive in me couldn’t stand it!”
Strange says he had only two boards at first – one for design and one for typography. Eventually he began to branch out -- creating a recipe board, a do-it-yourself projects board, and a board for home design. Now, more than six months after his Pinterest debut, Strange’s favorite board is labeled “Beardspiration.”
“I like to grow a beard every couple of months; I mean a very big, full, mountain-man beard. And when you’re growing one of those, there are days when you really want to just shave it off and give up,” he explained. “I made my Beardspiration board so that whenever I want to give up, I go and look at all of the awesome beard pictures I’ve collected, and it inspires me to keep growing.”
Perhaps it’s his creative eye, or perhaps it’s a shared love for beards, but more than 710,000 people think Strange’s boards are worthy of a follow.
“I only pin things I know I’m going to go back and look at or use at a later date. What’s the point in spending hours and hours pinning stuff you will probably never look at again?” Strange said.
But is there a key to his success? Strange says he has no idea how he amassed so many followers. He guesses that since many of his pins are his own and because he is one of the few men on the site, he may have been flagged by “some algorithm that put [him] on some sort of auto add list right before the website exploded in popularity.”
“It’s too weird for me to think that people actually like what I pin and actively follow me. It’s much easier to think it was a random computer thing,” Strange said.
Random or not, Strange says he sees a niche for men on Pinterest, and he encourages all pinners to “pin what you like and don’t worry about followers.” Easy for him to say.
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