Should I Mix Business + Personal Photos on Instagram?

This past week I've been asked by three separate business owners a variation of the following question:  “I do more than one thing…I am an X who also does Y and provides Z…how do I brand my business when I do a mix of things?”

These people wondered if they should separate each facet of their business on social media, specifically Instagram.  Should they show a variety of who they are as business owners or should they create separate accounts for each thing?

I hate to break it to you, but there isn't a clear, cut answer.

Should a photographer include photos of her piano studio?  Should a calligrapher include personal posts on her professional Instagram account?  Should a mommy blogger post her fitness photos on Instagram?

Before these questions are answered, take a step back and view your efforts like you were walking through…

An Art Exhibition: Not every painting is the same thing.  The artist is painting a variety of things, but with the same vision.

A Fashion Show: Models are wearing a different outfits as they walk down the runway, but the designer uses a common theme to tie everything together.


Showing off what makes you unique as a business owner is one of the most powerful things you possess.  Are you a realtor who likes to paint?  Why not paint the view from a ocean-view home you're selling and share a video of your process on Instagram?  Are you a fitness expert who likes to cook?  Why not post a photo of a healthy meal you cooked and share the recipe with your followers?  Are you an accountant who loves to walk on your lunch break? Why not create an Instagram challenge (with a hashtag!) encouraging others in office life to join your walking efforts for seven days and report the positive changes in their mindset?  Not only is this a good way to differentiate your skills as a CPA, but it sheds light into who you are as a person, as well as creates community around a shared goal.

This is powerful.

So what am I saying?  Curate your Instagram feed to reflect your brand story, stay true to the business' vision, and share images that differentiates your company with the only true thing that makes your business different:  YOU.