Should I have multiple Instagram accounts for different brands?
If you’re growing a creative small business, you may be in a season where you’re branching into different revenue streams & diversifying your offerings. How do you determine if you should split those brands into different Instagram accounts?
Over the past six years, I have grown three Instagram accounts for my various brands. I’ve learned a lot along the way and have a few KEY things you should think through before determining whether you should grow multiple accounts for multiple brands or build one account that speaks to all brands.
First things first, you need to understand the difference between growing multiple brands that truly need their own platform and having multiple content buckets in your business!
Think about the difference between a brand and a content bucket. Per Wikipedia, “a brand is an overall experience the customer has that distinguishes an organization”. Rise Creative Dictionary tells us that “a content bucket is a topic of content that heavily relates to your target customer or audience”. The brand is the UMBRELLA through which the content buckets of your business live!! You can create multiple brands, like I’ve done, or have distinct content buckets that speak to your target audience (even if your target audience consists of multiple ideal clients).
Let’s look at some examples of creating content buckets under ONE handle, or creating multiple handles for your businesses / brands:
In my own business, I grew the Creative at Heart Instagram handle – a brand & business built on education & community for small business owners. I also grew the Kat Schmoyer Instagram handle – a lifestyle and education brand. In order to build the brand awareness around C@H, I knew it needed to be its own marketing entity. I knew C@H needed its own platform. There are multiple revenue streams and content buckets within that brand and it did not make sense to combine the Kat Schmoyer & C@H handles. Because I started a handle specifically for C@H, I have been able to grow that brand tenfold and utilize the platform for a different mission than the Kat Schmoyer brand. The Kat Schmoyer Instagram handle allows me to share personal stories and behind the scenes of mom life & business life. It allows me to share about additional revenue streams I have with Kat Schmoyer that are not specific to C@H – and vice versa! I do not regret splitting up those two handles; however that does not mean that growing multiple handles is the right move for you!!
I do think that you can grow one Instagram account for multiple brands by using those brands as content buckets in your business, if there is enough overlap in brand voice & ideal client.
A great example of a creative small business owner who has created content buckets for revenue streams that all fall under one brand (instead of creating multiple brands / Instagram handles) would be my good friend Hope Taylor of Hope Taylor Photography.
Hope has created one business with multiple revenue streams and therefore multiple ideal clients, yet houses them all under ONE Instagram handle and utilizes a content bucket strategy to speak specifically to each ideal client. She speaks to senior photography clients, wedding photographers she is educating, wedding photography clients, and lifestyle content through home decor & fashion. Her Instagram handle is a well rounded portrayal of ALL of those revenue streams in her business.
Ask yourself: even if your business has multiple ideal clients (like Hope), do you think you can utilize a content bucket strategy to speak to them on ONE platform – or is splitting up your brands going to be the most beneficial?
The second thing you need to think about is: Who is your ideal client? Do all of your ideal clients have a connecting factor?
Remember: Hope has multiple ideal clients and has found a way to speak to all of them through one Instagram handle. She does this through a content strategy that seamlessly ties all ideal clients together. For example:
- She speaks to seniors since she offers senior portraits – her seniors can then also hire her as their wedding photographer when the time comes.
- She speaks to wedding couples who fall in love with her style of work and the fact that she also shares her personality through her lifestyle content.
- She speaks to other photographers from an educational standpoint because she utilizes her work (showing portfolio images that speak to her photography clients) to show that she is an expert in her field. They also connect with her lifestyle content and feel comfortable with who she is & want to hire her to help grow their business!
She can guide ALL of her ideal clients through a clearcut customer journey by using content buckets on ONE instagram handle, and a organized Link In Bio to direct them where they need to go! (Example: “If you’re a bride: click here!” “If you’re a photographer, click here!”)
On the flip side, let’s look at what I did with my wedding planning brand, Dear Sweetheart Events, and my lifestyle brand, Kat Schmoyer. Rather than combining my ideal clients into one handle, I decided to follow Michael Masterson’s Rule of One*: “The rule of one means you use ONE main idea to build your promotion or campaign around.”
My wedding planning instagram handle speaks to ONE ideal client: brides. I niched down very, very tightly so that ALL of the content I put forth is specific to brides. I share portfolio work, wedding planning tips, and behind the scenes of planning. My goal for that Instagram handle is for brides to see what I do as a planner and want to book me for their wedding planning services.
My lifestyle & education brand allows me to speak to creative small business owners! I share business tips & tricks, behind the scenes of running multiple brands, personal stories & the life of being a mama & a business owner.
Remember when I explained the Rule of One? “The rule of one means you use ONE main idea to build your promotion or campaign around.” I chose to use the Rule of One for my Dear Sweetheart Events brand and funnel EVERYTHING I share through that Rule! However, you do not have to use the Rule of One in your marketing.
Instead of using the Rule of One for the Dear Sweetheart Events brand (and therefore creating the Kat Schmoyer brand since it did not align with my Rule of One), I could have done what Hope did – one brand with multiple revenue streams & therefore multiple ideal clients. She speaks to ALL of her ideal clients by strategically utilizing content buckets! She has one Instagram account for ALL aspects of her brand, instead of splitting into several like I did! Both options (sticking to the Rule of One OR using content buckets under one handle) are great ways to organize your biz on the squares. The key is to decide intentionally about which one makes the most sense for YOUR approach and then stick to it!
I hope this helps you understand examples of what it could look like in your own business to split your brands using the Rule of One (like me!) or combine them if your ideal clients have connecting factors (like Hope!).
The last thing I want you to consider when thinking about growing multiple Instagram handles is: Do you have the TIME? Think realistically about your time and the Instagram algorithm.
I am not trying to be a Negative Nancy, but we tend to have a love/hate relationship with Instagram due to the algorithm. It’s harder to build brand awareness on Instagram now then it used to be. It’s not impossible! But it takes strategy, dedication, and time!! Growing multiple brands as a small business owner is challenging enough all ready – you don’t want to add more work on your plate then necessary.
Think about the audience you have already built up – and the time it will take to grow a new audience on a new handle. You might want to leverage the audience you already have – whether that’s 100 or 10k. Think about having 100 people in your home – that’s a lot of people!! Use the people who already know you and who are already familiar with your brand. Leverage your marketing by connecting the dots between your ideal clients (like Hope!).
Logistically speaking: snag the handle name(s) for the brands you run, but focus on putting all your eggs in one basket with ONE instagram account. While I always suggest diversifying your offerings in business to make for a well rounded financial portfolio, in terms of marketing– there is a lot of power if you give ONE handle all of your time, dedication, and attention!!
Take it from the girl who currently runs three Instagram handles: it is a lot of work!! Hindsight is always 20/20 though, so hopefully my experience can help you as you process through this for your own brand!!
Questions? Leave a comment! I’m happy to help!
*Read more about Rule of One Marketing here!