As a creative, social media is one of your most powerful marketing tools. The premise is simple: the more work you share, the more work you’ll get. My earliest freelance opportunities came to me thanks to Flickr and as the platforms have evolved, I’ve done my best to keep up.
Today I want to share a short but sweet post on Instagram since that’s where a lot of the social action is these days. I’ve had many client inquiries lately with specific mentions of discovering my studio on Instagram so I’ve been dedicating more of my efforts specifically to that platform.
Running a personal account is pretty straightforward — selfies, vacation photos, latte art, your killer new shoes and photos of your cat all pass the test. But what about business? When you have a business account, there’s more pressure to step it up and yes, be on brand. I hate to even say those two words because they’re so overused but it’s true — the more polished and pulled together your brand is, the easier it is for a potential client to feel at home and hire you.
Like many of you, I’ve struggled in the past with what to post to my business account. Through many trials, I’ve defined five key things that work well and are easy to produce.
1. Inspirational Messages
Everyone loves a positive message and an inspirational story, especially when they’re having a bad day. The key is to make the graphics your own. Don’t just grab them from Pinterest and re-post without attribution! Use your fonts, brand colors and any imagery or patterns to pull in your brand style. I format these in bulk in InDesign and then share one a week under the hashtag #branchquotes.
2. Work From The Archives
If you’ve been producing creative work for awhile, chances are that you have some rarely seen pieces and / or plenty of rejected client concepts. Instead of letting them gather dust, brush them off and share the story behind them! What was your process? What did you love about this particular project? Remember, much of your audience hasn’t been with you since the beginning so this “old” work is all new to them! I love this page from a portfolio I designed for Luke Copping a few years back and will be sharing it soon under the #wearebranchfiles hashtag.
3. Workspace Still Lifes
Make the objects you already have in your office work for you! I often spend 10+ hours a day at my computer so to switch things up, I’ll pull together simple still life compositions. The art of arrangement helps you think in a new way and work with your hands. I’ll often share these on Instagram to break up the monotony of just posting work.
4. Work In Progress
What are you working on right now? Do you have a project that you’re super excited about? People love to see what you’re up to! One of my current favorites is a branding project for Kate Eckman ( I LOVE her — more about her story and project soon!) and though we aren’t wrapped yet, I got permission to share her brand icon. Sharing work is also a great way to tag your clients and give them a shout-out.
5. Travel Photos
Of course, you can’t spend all your time hiding in your workspace — you’ve got to get out and live! I love sharing photos that remind me of my brand when I’m traveling because it gets me inspired and thinking of ways it can evolve while also allowing my audience to discover somewhere new. The Parker Palm Springs was a defining factor in the visual style of Branch so I tend to share photos every time I’m there. Ask yourself, “What places feel in line with my brand?” Is there a coffee shop, store, park, restaurant or something else that sums it up perfectly?
I hope these five tips help you get the creative juices flowing for your Instagram business accounts!
Your turn: What kind of content do you find works well on your account? Any themes, tips or tricks you swear by?
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