trade tales | Apr 10, 2020 |
User friendly: Should you separate your personal and professional Instagrams?

Navigating social media is tricky for everyone, but for designers, it can be a unique challenge. How do you show your personality and aesthetic while maintaining a professional tone? For some, it’s easier to have two Instagram accounts: one personal and one for your firm. We asked eight interior designers—Joan Craig, Dahlia Day, Jessica Geller, Nina Magon, Stephanie Molster, Rachel Moriarty, Virginia Toledo and Charmaine Wynter—how they handle it.

Out in the open

Dahlia Day
Dahlia DayCourtesy of Dahlia Day

“I believe that a lot of clients like to see the personalities of their designers. It helps to build confidence in the style and taste that the designer will bring to their project. Personally, my social media for my business and personal life are one and the same. Many of my clients love to follow along with my everyday life and see what else I am doing, where I am getting inspiration from and who I am as a person. I truly believe it helps to drive my business, and I get to show clients what I will bring to the table.” —Dahlia Day, DahliasDay Interiors, New York

Keep it to yourself

Jessica Geller and Virginia Toledo
Jessica Geller and Virginia ToledoCourtesy of Toledo Geller

“We do not mix business with pleasure. The occasional kid or dog pic will sneak into our work Instagram account, but it’s always in relation to a lifestyle post, or is limited to Stories if it’s relevant. Let’s be honest—no one is going to an interior designer’s Instagram looking for a close-up of the meal they just ate or an outfit-of-the-day post. We think that our followers want glimpses into our lives, but are very careful not to give them TMI. We like having our privacy and have very clear delineations of what we want the public to know about us. One time, our opinion of a certain president was put out there on our professional Instagram and we received a few angry DMs about it. That kind of crossover is just not necessary, so now we always keep everything separate.” —Jessica Geller and Virginia Toledo, Toledo Geller Interiors, Englewood, New Jersey

Approachability is key

Rachel Moriarty
Rachel MoriartyCourtesy of Rachel Moriarty

“I only have a professional account and no personal account. I feel that my brand is such an approachable one that I find it’s the only account that I need. I share sneak peeks of my own home on the feed and behind-the-scenes type content using Stories. My superpower is helping clients draw out their own passions so that they can live authentically and unapologetically in their own home. I use my professional Instagram account to show how I live that philosophy.” —Rachel Moriarty, Rachel Moriarty Interiors, San Diego

Less hassle

Stephanie Molster
Stephanie MolsterCourtesy of Stephanie Molster

“I am the last person that should be giving Instagram advice, as it is a constant struggle for me, but I think a single account for personal and professional content is generally the way to go. I think people enjoy seeing all aspects of life—especially these days, when the only social interactions we have are virtual! It’s also easier to manage one account versus two, so it’s a win-win.” —Stephanie Molster, Stephanie Molster Interiors, Charleston, South Carolina

Mix it all together

Charmaine Wynter
Charmaine WynterCourtesy of Charmaine Wynter

“As a private person, I struggled with this decision. In the end, I decided not to separate my business from my personal account, because although cultivating a social media presence dedicated to my work could help build my brand, protect my privacy and grow my business footprint, I find that a ‘sales-y’ account devoid of personal posts, life updates and relatable pictures is boring, and eventually followers disengage. So, I splash personal and business posts all together, so people have a reason to keep following me before and after they’ve used my services, because word of mouth is, and probably will always be, the best form of advertising.” —Charmaine Wynter, Charmaine Wynter Interiors, Dallas

Brand power

Nina Magon
Nina MagonCourtesy of Nina Magon

“It is important to have separate accounts if you feel uncomfortable with posting personal thoughts about your life on a social platform. If you don’t feel that way, having one combined account lets followers have an inside view into your life, which ends up strengthening your overall brand by showing your individual personality.” —Nina Magon, Contour Interior Design, Houston

Personal space

Joan Craig
Joan CraigCourtesy of Joan Craig

“I have both personal and business accounts, and honestly wish I had more time to dedicate to both. I post much more often on the business account and am making that a priority during these days at home, as screen time has increased so much. While many of my friends follow my business account and many of my clients have become friends, I don’t want to subject my professional relationships to the many birthday, vacation, kids’ performances, food shots, etc. that I share on my personal account. I also want my firm’s account to reflect the talent and character of our team, rather than focus on my life. That said, I do think it’s important that our account reflects an identifiable voice and direction, as our work does.” —Joan Craig, Craig & Company, Chicago and New York

Homepage photo: A project by Toledo Geller | Jacob Snavely

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