Separating Personal and Business accounts on Instagram

Separating Personal and Business on Instagram

I just listened to a very insightful Amy Porterfield podcast interview with Chalene Johnson. This is the second interview I’ve heard with Chalene Johnson where she explains the importance of separating our personal photos from our business photos on Instagram but, for whatever reason, it just clicked for me on Amy’s interview.

Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match. ~ Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook$

I’m sure we can take the lessons from Chalene Johnson’s advice for other social media networks but I want to focus on Instagram for now.

So after I’ve posted over 500 photos on Instagram with my business profile @HotBlogTips, most of which are of personal nature, that interview has convinced me that I need a personal account that is separate from the account I use on Instagram for business. So, just minutes ago, I created @brianDhawkins. I am SO glad that my name was still available and would have kicked myself if it was too late.

So why should we separate Business and Personal images?

First, let me explain my reasoning why I thought I should mix business and personal photos into one account because I’m betting you were thinking the same thing. I thought Instagram would be the perfect place to allow an “inside” look into my personal life for my social friends and connections. Makes sense, right? Wrong.

I’d encourage you to listen to Amy’s interview but in a nutshell Chalene explains two separate key points:

Amy Porterfield’s interview with Chalene Johnson

  1. First, we need to offer exactly what people followed us for.
  2. Second, we should be seeking new followers that aren’t already following us, especially when focusing on lead generation.

Think about it, you’re never going to love my dog Sadie as much as I do and she isn’t why you might follow Hot Blog Tips on Instagram. You might love blogging as much as I do and find value in the tips I share so that is why, more than likely, you would follow Hot Blog Tips on Instagram.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have many interests but for the personal stuff, wouldn’t it make more sense to offer it on a separate account, especially when we should be using the power of Instagram to connect with a brand new audience? Sure it would and that’s exactly what this blogger is going to do.

Managing two or more Instagram accounts

I already have two separate Instagram accounts for two different blogs but now I’ve added a third. Up until now, it’s not been a huge issue because I actually carry two smartphones. Yes, I am THAT geeky. I have a Galaxy S3 and a Galaxy S5, each logged into a separate Instagram account.

I’m not willing to add a third phone to the mix so I started searching for an easy way to manage two or more accounts from a single app.

Chalene even addressed this issue but I was sure there had to be something but, for right now, there doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution. I did find Phonegram but that only allows me to upload a photo to which ever account I’m already logged into on the Instagram app.

I also found a workaround that I haven’t tried because I don’t want to risk downloading apps outside of the Google Play Store. You can find that workaround at How to Use Two Different Instagram Accounts at the Same Time on Your Android Device.

Resource notes: Here’s a little about Chalene Johnson to put things into perspective. This should lend her some credibility as well as offer a little insight to her success; I don’t want to mislead you into thinking we can easily duplicate her Instagram success.

With that said I believe there’s a lot of value and potential in following the success of others and this is a prime example of someone worth looking at.

Chalene Johnson on Instagram

  • Chalene’s main Instagram account where she has over 379,000 followers.
  • Chalene has four other Instagram accounts with an additional combined following of 150,000.
  • Chalene has a staff to run all but her main account so that’s something to consider.
  • Chalene is a bestselling author and physical fitness celebrity in her own right, including infomercials.

Backing up your Instagram Photos

Since now have a new personal Instagram account with zero photos, I thought it would be fantastic if I could move or transfer the personal images from my Hot Blog Tips’ account over to my new account. It doesn’t look like that’s possible but I was able to backup all 534 photos to my harddrive using I then dropped those images into Dropbox for easy phone access. Now I can choose which photos to re-share using my new personal account at my leasure.

I won’t start deleting old personal images from the HBT’s account but I will focus on blogging, social media, and content creation related posts for that one in the future.

Over to you

It took Flickr two years to reach the milestone of 100 million uploaded pictures; it took Instagram eight months. ~ Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook$

Are you on Instagram? Why do you follow the accounts you’re following? Here’s the BIG ONE – are you connected with the same people on Instagram that you are already connected with on many different social networks? I know I am. There’s nothing wrong with that but, in my opinion, Chalene Johnson is correct in that we should be using the network to find new followers while being very focused on relevant content. What are your thoughts?

One last thing, would you consider connecting with me on Instagram? For blogging and online business content, follow @HotBlogTips. For my personal side, follow @brianDhawkins. I’d love to connect with you on either or both accounts.

Now take massive action and blog on, Brian

Related Social Media Posts:

About Brian Hawkins

Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and an all around great guy.


  1. Whoever is posting some things from personal life should make his own personal account. Yes, most of us are thinking we should add something personal to our business, to let our followers know something more about us but it should be separated, it’s not called business or personal account without any reason

  2. No matter if it’s on any kind of social media, it’s always important to seperate our personnal life from the business life! Instagram is in the same basket.

    Anyway, I totally agree with you!

  3. lol! I also got a Galaxy s3 and a Galaxy s5, but I don’t really use my Instagram, and I only got a personal profile.
    It’s the same with my facebook. I use my facebook for my youtube followers so they can get to know me.. maybe I should have made a LIKE page instead of a follow page… dang it!

  4. Thanks Lewis, I appreciate your thoughts on this. Opinions seem to be all over the place on this topic.

  5. Thank Jean, I tend to agree. I do have my Facebook personal acct outperforming the FB page but that’s just lack of effort on my part.

  6. Not necessarily Ramul, whatever works best for you and your followers. There are some great reasons to use a page over a profile (indexed by Google, no followers limit, etc) but trial and testing might prove different for you.

  7. Here’s a problem I see; actually, two problems for me.

    The first is that I market services and not really products. Charlene’s services are personal fitness, so some of her pictures work well in that regard. I work in health care finance; just what the heck am I going to put on a business page? I also blog and talk about leadership; other than posting quotes all day, once again what would I put on a business page?

    The second is that I do only have the one phone (I lost my true geek status years ago) and can’t do it anyway. It’s too bad we can’t upload images from our computers, as that would be pretty easy also. Then again, I guess that would alter the nature of what Instagram was originally supposed to be about.

  8. First, I completely agree that it would be great to be able to post to Instagram via our computers Mitch. I manage a dozen Twitter account fairly easily because I have access to the right tools, both on mobile and desktop. Running just three Instagram accounts using just the phone (or two phones in my case) is a bit of a challenge.

    As far as what you share on Instagram Mitch, it seems perfectly matched for your main blog, which I think of more as a personal blog with a slant toward your business side. The only way to get closer to your Instagram posts would be to start a food blog. LOL

    Seriously though, you’ve created a nice relationship with the I’m Just Sharing readers and any that follow you on Instagram, like myself, feel privledged to see more of the personal you.

    As far as the Leadership blog, that’s an easy one to fill an Instagram account with relevant content. The questions are: 1) Is your target market on Instagram? and 2) Is it worth the added effort? Only you know the answer to those questions but I suspect it would be yes IF you had the time.

    You have the same problem that many of us face, we’re just a one person band. When you grow enough to have a team working around you I bet you’ll have that type of targeted social media top of mind.

    I’d say the same for your Health niche since it’s such a massive audience and Instagram caters to the masses. On the other hand, your health expertise is niched much deeper than the health industry as a whole. Instagram might not have the users that would even understand what it is you do. I’ve talked with you many times about what you do and I still only have a very basic understanding. Face it, you’re a very complicated dude. lol

  9. LOL! complicated, that’s me. I just said that in an interview I did with someone on Tuesday where I said that most of my friends don’t really know what I do, even after I tell them.

    As for the Instagram page, I figure it is what it is. I see where some folks are putting out quotes all day which they believe relates to their business. Frankly I think that’s a bit dull and cold, but I could be wrong…

  10. I hope you’re wrong since that’s exactly what I’m working right on now for this week’s Instagram content for HBT. lol

  11. Thanks for the great blog post my opinion on Instagram is this I think you need to show a little bit of your personality if you’re constantly doing pitches, quotes, shots of your blog post then it becomes very impersonal and I think that’s one of the things I love about Instagram is that it’s very laid-back and you can have a little bit of the personal (behind-the-scenes, this is my life type of feel) along with some great content I personally do personal posts and pictures mostly throwback Thursday, that’s just my way of switching it up and seeing if I can relate a reaction. So far my followers respond pretty well to my business posts as well as some of the personal posts. I will admit that since I started using my personal account for business I tend to not post certain personal things as you can get too personal and a little creepy …. I’ve seen several profiles like that. Anyway I wanted to stop by and share some love on your blog as you follow me on Instagram and I’ve been trying to go out and touch base with some of my followers . I hope I hear from you soon @jolynnoblakmarketing on IG

  12. That’s cool Jolynn, I know who you are. 🙂 Yeah, I totally understand, if it’s working for you then you should obviously keep going with it. You’re in pretty good company too, I see a lot of pretty popular folks give that “behind the scenes” look and it fits nicely.

    I follow Chloe Bennet, for example, (I’m an Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan) and she shows her “human” side and gets a lot of interaction; not to mention a quarter million followers. She could easily stick with “Hollywood business” and do just fine but I believe her fans appreciate that personable side. Kind of funny, my last post had a bit to do with that. 😉

    Anyway, I’m going to give Chalene Johnson’s strategy a try for a while and see how it pans out, assuming I can keep up with three accounts.

  13. Unitil now I really haven’t considered even using Instagram. Though, having personal and business accounts make sense I do feel that even if one has a business account a personal touch should flow through.

  14. Not just about the two… even with work and personal things a proper segmentation of audience arriving must be done, or else a person coming in and looking for segment A of one’s own liking might see segment B and get confused into finding what they originally came finding for. E.g. someone might know Person A being good about Segment A and on reaching the person might see things entirely different to one’s expectation as at that time Person A might be posting about B on a regular basis.

  15. Great point Ganesh. I will say now that I’m down to just a single phone it is a little more difficult to keep up with multiple accounts. I spent about an hour today on my biz and personal accounts. I try to do that at least twice a week.

  16. Suppose in Business one is talking about Physics and someone researching Physics reaches the concerned article/page then that person should see that page majorly about Physics posts itself even though the business is into chemistry as well. Because if the person reaches for Physics and sees Chemistry all over? The requirement is little tricky but then to hold the audience I don’t see another way out of this… I would try allocate an hour in a week to fix my pages for this problem. I see the websites at my end facing this problem as well… Need fix them…

  17. Nice post Brian D. Hawkins helped me get hold of a major problem.

  18. The example of physics and chemistry seem pretty closely related to me as far as blog content goes. If they found it from a search inquiry and landed on a physics article it will probably be a bounce. That’s just an optimization issue.

    If someone is looking for blogging tips and finding my personal posts on Hot Blog Tips, they will bounce and never return. Content consistency is our responsibility.

    With that said, Hot Blog Tips is more than blogging tips. I feel anything that supports blogging and would be of interest to bloggers is fair game. I post on social media marketing, video and other content creation topics, marketing, building influence, and anything else that seems to fit.

    The general consensus is to niche down as tight as possible but that’s just not in my DNA (As Gary Vaynerchuk would say). Overall, I’m sure it is best to keep it as tight possible as long as it’s not so remote that no one will look for it.

    The same for social media. The reason I separated business and personal Instagram accounts is to attract the right audience. If all of my social posts are on my dog Sadie, I’ll attract animal lovers. If they’re all rants, I’ll attract somewhat negative people.

    I want my business accounts (and blog) to attract people interested in my niche. When it comes to offering a solution (product), I want people that will be interested in making that purchase.

    I try to use my personal blog and personal social accounts for my other friends and interests. It’s tough because I have a lot of interests.

    Sorry, I know I’m speaking to the choir here and you already know this stuff. I just like to talk a lot. lol

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