I’ve been there. Ready to hit post and feeling unsure about the content or photo. “What will the people following me think of this? Does it fit? Will it help me gain an audience and connect with my current followers? Will it be helpful and interesting?”
Instagram can be tricky.
Brands that will share any kind of visual content on Facebook are a lot more picky about Instagram. Why? It’s trickier because the grid turns your photos into a magazine and things that would work posted chronologically on any other site wouldn’t on Instagram. #problems
Top brands carefully curate the content they share so that it both looks good in the grid, but also is interesting on a post-by-post basis. Whole campaigns are planned around balancing these two things.
It is possible to use your personal Instagram account for business or to transition your current one to a mix of your personal and business life. Often people want to see some of your personal life as it helps them feel more connected with you and trust you as a person! If your brand is built around you as a person, you absolutely have to share some of your personal life in order to achieve this.
Sometimes it just seems easier to split them up into a personal and professional account. Is this the best way, though? What you need is some analysis and a plan!
Is it: 1) For people to know and trust you as a person? or 2) Or is it to sell a product or spread the message of a corporate brand?
Here’s the difference between selling products and services to people on Instagram:
When you sell a service as a freelancer or creative, you sell you. People have to like you enough to spend thousands of dollars on your services at once. You want to build trust, credibility and like ability.
With product or service based businesses with a team behind them, it’s a little different. You’re more likely to be selling them a way of life, a solution to a problem, or something that doesn’t have quite as much to do with your individual life. (Although it can be fun to pull back the curtain once in a while.)
Creative or soloprenuer accounts are more likely to be focused on the person. Product based accounts are more likely to be focused on a lifestyle. Of course, there’s overlap, but thinking which you might be can help you determine which way to go.
You want to make sure these posts still:
Since I’m selling myself as an expert freelancer, (I’m using the term selling and expert loosely here) I stick with mostly with design and business topics. But adding other things I enjoy that my audience also would, like my faith, occasional posts about my sisters, my love for caffeinated beverages helps me connect with the individual people following me who like the same things.
If you’re struggling to keep things balanced, try this. Vary every 5 posts between 5 key types of content. Here’s mine.
Occasionally something else slips in, but if you go through my feed, you’ll see those 5 key topics represented fairly evenly.
A photographer who is also a mom and gluten-free eater might share:
Hopefully from the above examples you can see that it really depends on your unique situation and interests. You just need to be consistent in sticking to those topics and making sure the overall quality of the photos you are sharing blends together visually.
I’ve discovered that the grid can actually be a good thing for curating your content. It can help you make sure that what you post is a good mix of topics and keep your audience interested if you are a business owner or blogger. As a designer, I enjoy the creative challenge (most of the time!)
Here’s a few additional questions that might help you: