Why I Merged My Personal and Business Instagram Accounts
Do you have separate Instagram accounts for personal stuff and business? This is a tough call and a question I get asked frequently by clients and friends.
For a long time I was a firm believer in separating business and personal accounts. I thought that was the right way to do it. I mainly thought this because I would get annoyed if I followed someone because they were a graphic designer and I was interested in their work, and then a photo of their cat or boyfriend showed up in my feed. I would think “what the hell is this?” and unfollow them.
Social media is constantly changing but one thing remains the same. As humans, we have a deep, fundamental need to connect with other people.
Sidebar: I don’t think we’re doing ourselves any favors socially by being so obsessed with social media. In fact, I was literally the last person I knew to get an iPhone because I HATED seeing couples or groups of friends at restaurants staring, hypnotized by their phones instead of enjoying each other’s company. Until 2012 I had a pink flip phone that could only be used for phone calls and texting. My bosses called it the stripper phone. 😂(No, I wasn’t a stripper.)
So back to my bad advice. I thought separating business and personal accounts was the way to go. It made sense to me to compartmentalize posts this way, so that followers would only see posts that they’re interested in. There are some major problems with that approach though.
Your feed will begin to look very one-note. And let’s face it, variety is more interesting.
When you only post your work, you’re missing the opportunity to CONNECT with your followers. When you post a picture of yourself or another aspect of your life, you have the opportunity to tell a story, or give your audience a sneak peek into your life. I’m talking about your REAL LIFE, not the version with the styled coffee shop flat lays, avocado toast and curated outfits. (If that is your everyday life, I am very jealous!)
Here’s the biggest problem with the multiple account approach. When you only post your work, you’re limiting your audience to a very small group. For example, if I only post my branding projects, most likely the only people who will want to follow me are people looking to hire a graphic designer / branding specialist. If you limit that to San Diego, that’s not very many people at all.
So what do I suggest doing instead? Use one account. Showcase your work, but also let your audience in on other aspects of your life. Choose a few defining things about you that are not work-related to include in your feed and stories. For me, that would be my relationship with Billy, my dog, my obsession with pizza and red wine, and my love of travel. When people like you, the person, chances are they will follow you even if they don’t need your products or services. And guess what… chances are, you’ll be the at the front of their mind if they do eventually need your products or services, or when their husband or BFF does.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Do you have one account or separate accounts? Leave your handles in the comments so I can follow you!
I'm Gretchen Kamp.
I'm a graphic designer turned business owner who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I am a soon-to-be fiancé to a handsome nerd, and a mom to a goofy snaggle-tooth rescue pup. I love traveling the world and teaching other female entrepreneurs everything I've learned in the last three years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me at Cyclebar or galavanting in San Diego with my semi-insane girlfriends.