“Do I open up a second Instagram account for my freelance business or not?”. Many Instagram users who have their own businesses will ask themselves this question at some point in time. But should you really open up an extra Instagram account to manage? Or isn’t mixing your personal and business life on Instagram beneficial? In this blog, I’m going to help you figure it out!
If you’re expecting to find an easy answer to this question, then I’m going to disappoint you. There is no ‘Golden Rule’ on whether you should or shouldn’t mix your business and private life on the Gram. Cases can be made for both, but nowadays finding the right Instagram strategy for your business is incredibly important. Especially for those who are self-employed.
This article was revisited and edited in October 2022.
When we talk about big companies and corporations it makes sense to separate business from personal. This is mainly caused by the separation of corporate and personal brands. Large companies usually have entire marketing departments but what if you are self-employed? You don’t want to spend too much time and money on marketing… Don’t worry, I’ve got you!
In this article, I will take you through the pros and cons of mixing business and personal on Instagram as a freelancer. These pros and cons will help you assess your own situation and ultimately help you to make your own choice. You are your own boss, remember?
Let’s start with the pros, shall we?
The Pros of mixing your personal and business life on Instagram:
The right balance of mixing personal and business creates more authenticity, and nowadays people are much more interested in the full package. With billions of users on social media, you would want to find a way to stand out. Finding the right balance between your business and personal presence on Instagram will definitely help you do that.
2. Become more Personable
In reality, your private and business life can overlap, so why not on Instagram too? Clients and consumers might be interested in what you do outside of your business life, and mixing them make your business image also more personable.
3. Use your Personality
When your personality is part of your business brand it doesn’t hurt to have only one Instagram account that includes both. I said it earlier already; when you are self-employed, you are part of your brand image. When your personality is part of your business brand, mixing your personality with your business on Instagram will actually be more beneficial. Instagram is simply another way of marketing your business and you would want that to coincide with your business brand as well. It would be weird to be all serious business on Instagram while your brand image involves a fun spontaneous personality!
4. Sell your Story
When you are self-employed you mostly sell yourself as a product or service to others. One of the most undervalued marketing rules is “do not sell products but stories”. So why not sell your entire life as one big story? People love a good success story! I hate to say this but that’s exactly how “influencers” market themselves and it works right? A small note though, not all products and services require a full life story context.
5. Divide the use of Content
Instagram is a platform that has different ways of sharing content; your feed, stories, IGTV, and reels. It’s easy to play around with these 4 different areas for content and it will actually allow you to still separate business and personal within just one single account. You can use your feed for your business and your stories for your private life. I see this a lot with artists who use their feed as a portfolio of their work and when they want to share some more personal stuff, they use stories.
6. Save Time!
Lastly, simply managing only one single Instagram account saves time and your time is precious as a busy self-employed boss!
The Cons of mixing your personal and business life on Instagram:
1. Protecting Your Business Image
Establishing a business-only account helps to separate inappropriate personal content that could potentially harm your business image. It creates instant boundaries. But the boundaries are also good for separating, for example, your family and work. If you love to share family-related content it might be that not everybody feels comfortable being in front of your potential customers. Or maybe when you have kids yourself you might feel that you want to protect them from being too exposed to your customers.
2. Relevancy Matters
If you have an already existing personal account and you start a new business that isn’t relevant enough to your current following, it is better to create a new place for all that business talk. When you start out a new business it’s good to assess if this blends well with your personal content and your following. If it goes well together, I’m here for mixing them up by slowly introducing your new business.
Never bombard your following with something completely different! People follow you for specific reasons and it takes time for them to get accustomed to changes. If your business doesn’t connect to your current following you are actually more likely to lose the interest of your current following, resulting in less engagement and causing damage to your IG account as the algorithm won’t be boosting your posts anymore due to low engagement.
3. PR 101
Political, personal, and religious views can turn away potential clients. Are you somebody that is very vocal on specific topics? It might be better to separate business and personal.
4. Don’t overshadow your Business with Personal Content
Oversharing personal posts can overshadow your business-related posts and potentially harm the credibility of your business. If you love to share just about anything on the Gram, it might be better to separate business from personal, therefore you can still keep an open outlet through your personal account.
5. Is it clear what you do?
The last con and potentially the most important is; When it comes to business strategies you ultimately create a strategy to grow your business and become successful or sustainable. The keyword here is to grow. To grow your business on Instagram you will need to implement certain strategies that will allow you to grow. Accounts with a clear concept are much more likely to do well and grow easier on Instagram. Mixing irrelevant personal content in your Instagram strategies will confuse your following and in time will hurt your Instagram strategy.
Unless, as I said in the pros before, you are part of your own brand image, then you are also part of your strategy and wouldn’t hurt it. If that were the case, you still have to carefully curate what you will show off your life.
An example; if you are an artist that sells his work through Instagram. Sharing your artistic lifestyle and creative process can definitely be part of your strategy. To provide people with more context of where your art comes from. Mixing your business (selling artwork) with your personal life (your lifestyle) fits perfectly here. But how much of that lifestyle do you want to show and more importantly are you willing to show? Sometimes having a separate account can give you more freedom with your posts and let you create a clearer strategy and vision for your business account. Ask yourself the following question: by looking at my Instagram, is it clear what I do?
Experimentation is Key
As you’ve just read, there is no simple answer to the question. In the end, it all depends on what your business is and how much personal branding you use. Yeah, we finally said it! Personal Branding is key to understanding how you can use Instagram to your advantage! If you are still confused after all these pros and cons, there is one simple question that you can ask yourself:
“Do you want your personal life exposed through your business?”
Your answer to the question above should quickly make things clear for you. If your answer is ‘no’, then you should definitely open up a separate account for your business. If your answer is ‘yes’, make sure to weigh out the pros and cons listed above. These will hopefully allow you to successfully create a strategy for your Instagram account(s).
I wish you the best of luck!
Want to learn more about Instagram for freelancers or looking to create a strong Online Presence? Schedule a Discovery Talk with one of our coaches! They can help determine how to help you get the best out of Instagram!