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About two years ago, I decided I wanted to take my photography business up a notch. For me, this looked like sharing about my photography business on Instagram and promoting it to potential clients and friends. But that’s when I made a big mistake: I separated my photography and my personal posts into two separate accounts.
While that may seem a little dramatic, I noticed a pretty significant drop in inquiries after I separated my posts into two accounts. My editing style hadn’t changed, and, if anything, I was improving in my photography skills. So what was different?
I’ve noticed several friends doing this same thing recently—they’ve decided they want to start booking clients for their photography (or really any endeavor-turned-business), so they make a brand new account and start encouraging people to follow it. And while this may work for some people, I truly believe it inhibited my business’ growth when I did this. Here are a few reasons why I think it’s important to keep your personal and business posts all on one account!
Whenever people who wanted to follow me, they would type my name in the search bar, and they’d either follow my personal account or my photography account (and sometimes they thought my photography account was my personal account!). They RARELY followed both!
This is an issue because I want the people I know personally to be able to keep up with me and what’s going on in my life. I mean, that’s kinda the point of following people you know on Instagram! But I also know that my friends or acquaintances who follow me on Instagram are most likely going to be the ones who hire me. So if my follower is only seeing personal photos and never any of my professional work, they may not even know that’s something I offer.
Your images might be GORGEOUS, but if someone isn’t looking for a photographer right now, they typically don’t really care about seeing photos of a bunch of people they don’t know. Maybe other photographers would follow you in order to learn from you or admire your work, but typically, those photographers aren’t the ones who will pay your bills!
By showing things other than just your photography on your Instagram, people have the chance to connect with you over several other things! For example, my Instagram covers my work, photos of Brighton (a.k.a. undeniably the cutest dog in the world), my friends, my fiancé, and my podcast. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at consistently sharing about my personal life, but it is something that I try to prioritize.
Let’s be real here—there’s a TON of photographers out there. There’s a ton of REALLY GOOD photographers out there. Yeah, there’s going to be a difference in quality of work, experience level, and style between some photographers. But customers looking for a photographer can do a quick search on Instagram or Google and find hundreds of incredibly talented photographers that they can hire. And honestly, if you charge more for your work than someone else who’s just as good as you, they’re probably going to go with the cheaper option.
So how can you avoid being price-shopped? Well, there’s a few things (like improving client experience or effectively communicating the value of your work), but one way is to connect with people on a personal level!
It makes me SO happy when someone tells me they wanted to hire me not just because they love my photos, but because they connected with me as a person too! I’ve had people say they chose me over someone else because they’re obsessed with dogs as much as I am (which is debatable honestly haha) or because they felt encouraged when I share about my faith. Whatever it is, finding a way to connect with your followers will give them a reason to follow you AND to hire you!
So tell me what you think! Do you have separate accounts for your personal and business Instagram? Why or why not?