Would You Consider Re-branding Your Instagram Account?

Would You Consider Re-branding Your Instagram Account?

Instragram is a great social media platform for photographers. Being primarily focused on images, the popular platform allows for talented photographers to develop a feed that provides their followers a sense of who they are and what they do. So what happens when who you are stays the same, but what you do changes?

What does one do when they decide to focus more on a specific genre and less on what they’ve built their feed and following on? Do you keep your previous posts public so new followers get a sense of where you come from, or do you demolish your feed with proverbial dynamite and start all over? Do you ditch your old account entirely and create another one, starting the process of gaining followers all over again? Or do you try to juggle multiple accounts, all displaying a different side of your work?

Why Re-brand?


For the last several months I’ve had a love hate relationship with Instagram (hate, mostly). Not so much because of the platform itself, but because I haven’t been happy with the feed that I’ve randomly and inattentively put together over the last couple of years. I started off in photography photographing some of the tattoo industry's most popular models. The work was rewarding in the sense that I got to meet a lot of interesting people and it afforded me the opportunity to be published in a few magazines and even a book.

As my interest for photography grew into something more developed and focused, I found myself awkwardly posting images of half-naked women a day after shooting family portraits (or vice versa). It left my feed with a strange vibe to say the least. Worst case scenario, perhaps someone was visiting my feed to see samples of my portraiture and instead stumbled upon a lovely gallery of NSFW content with the occasional family friendly images scattered throughout.

 
I decided to make a change. To re-brand you could say. This way my feed would better reflect what is that I do now, and not so much of the racy stuff I did before. Prior to doing so, a few thoughts crossed my mind:


Creating Another Account


Most would agree that the easiest way to re-brand on Instagram would be to simply create another account and post images specific to the genre you want to be associated with. This is fine, but I honestly don’t feel like losing the followers I’ve obtained up to this point and I already feel as though I'm juggling enough social media accounts as it is. Managing another account just isn't something I'm interested in at this point.

 
Deleting


My first thought was to just say "screw it" and delete everything. This led to the consideration of those who had followed me specifically for the racy stuff. That thought process didn’t last much longer than it took me to realize those followers added no monetary value to my business anyway - and I’m a cold-hearted bastard sometimes (not really).


My Thumbs


Considering that Instagram is designed to be used on mobile devices, there’s typically a lot of thumbing involved. Just the thought of manually deleting hundreds of images made my thumbs sore, so I searched the interewebs for a solution.


InstaCleaner


Upon browsing the internet for an easy way to delete multiple images on Instrgram at once, I came across a recommendation for the app called InstaCleaner. The app offers other tools to help manage your Instagram account but I was only interested in the ability to delete a bunch of images at once, which after paying $4.99, I was able to do.


Is It All Worth It?


Was demolishing my previous Instagram feed even worth it? Who knows. I think it will be beneficial for my business, but that’s not to say it’s the best thing for you. I do feel that having a feed with a consistent theme is important in conveying who you are and what you do to potential clients if you’re using Instagram to promote your photography business. For me, that idea is reason enough to take a chance and make a change in the appearance of my own Instagram account. If that makes me further appreciate my body of work and helps more efficiently deliver a message to my followers and potential clients, it’s completely worth it.

Although it will take some time to rebuild my feed, doing so consciously will help paint a better picture of the type of work that I do.

Have you ever remodeled or re-branded your Instagram account? Do you have certain rules you’ve set regarding how, when, and why you post on Instagram? Share in the comments below. 

 

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15 Comments

Sean Molin's picture

We just rebranded last week (https://instagram.com/seanandmollyphoto) because the wife and I decided to make our name include both of us. Honestly, of all the places we had to update to reflect our new brand, Instagram was the easiest. There's no hoops to jump through with changing your name and URL. You just change it to whatever you want, as often as you want it. There are no delays or checks.

One strategy is to set up a second account and name it the old name after you change your account. That way any links on the internet to your old account aren't broken. You can make a handful of posts spread out over a week or two letting people know about the rebrand. Example: https://instagram.com/seanmolinphoto This is also the way to go if you decide to make a brand new brand and account. Make sure you're letting your followers know of your new account.

Great point Sean, I've seen a few accounts migrate over to a new one and leave a trail of breadcrumb posts for users to follow over too. 👍

I rebranded https://www.instagram.com/drahtphotography/ about a year ago, and it's made HUGE changes to my user base. I used to be stoked when I woke up and there were 1 or 2 followers. Now I'll wake up to 20-40 new followers regularly, without even using hashtags. Awesome.

Congrats Eric! It is exciting to watch your own community grow and develop. Just started my own three weeks ago (https://instagram.com/lenstherapylive) and it's grown by leaps and bounds faster than my 5-year old IG account. Great job without hashtags even, well done!

Jessica Jones's picture

I have often thought about this myself. I tend to post photos in more or less "real time" as my film comes back, so blocks of posts are related to one another. I then started to spread them out, so it wasn't 5 shots from one roll and then 3 shots from another. People like to see individual posts, not grouped I've realized. So now I wonder if I should start over with all of what I have and just choose them randomly. I think I would be sad not to be able to look back on the past though, it has kind of become a time capsule.

Great point, I've seen the same thing over the years. 👍 Some of my friends did much better when they staggered, or completely shuffled, their posts rather than keeping everything perfectly sequential.

Rich Thul's picture

I struggle with what content I should post to Instagram. What I have been posting is my finished photographs. The problems is that I have multiple genres of photos on my feed, because I shoot and design multiple genres. I have some landscape photos, some food photography, some boat or fishing photography and some of my photoshop composites. The boats and fishing stuff does better than the rest usually so I wonder if that is all that I should post so that people that have chosen to follow me don't see things they are not interested in. But I want to share all my work also. For now I continue to mix it up, I figure as long as it is good quality images people will hopefully like it regardless of the genre. Thoughts? Or any advice on what you do to build your following? Thank you. Here is my instagram account if you would like to take a look: https://www.instagram.com/richthul/

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Truthfully, I've sucked at building a following on IG ever since I created my account: https://www.instagram.com/dustywooddell/ . It's not that I don't understand what works, it's that I haven't put much energy into it - which unless you're paying for followers (pretty common unfortunately), is the key to success on IG I believe. Finding or creating a niche and becoming a substantial part of it is what I would recommend focusing on.

David Moore's picture

OO maybe I should do this. I have changed what I do... hmmm

I moved from phone shots to posting DSLR images in the last year. Sometimes a phone pic still makes it to my feed but those are mostly BTS photos. So far the change turned out to be a good one >
https://www.instagram.com/helmut_steiner/

Instagram is still not as big here in Austria as it is in the US but I believe the market is still growing. Austrians can be a little bit lazy in taking up new technologies... :D

Would love to chat with someone on Hashtagged Podcast who found a success through strategic rebranding on IG. DM me at either @hashtaggedpodcast or @jrdnpwrs.

I rebranded (https://instagram/kieranstoneau). My original name was "Stoneography" which sounded too amateur-ish for the fine art landscape photography path I wanted to take. I constantly purge my gallery of unwanted photos. It's just an Instagram account. It's nor your personal life story photo album.
If you think you should do it. Sooner rather than later is better

Allison Kirk's picture

I love this post! I'm an Instagram Strategist and this is actually a service I offer. I do all the cleaning, and store the deleted photos in a file my clients can keep (so they aren't lost forever) and I make their account reflect who they really are with their brand colors, better images & custom created quote cards.

My Instagram account truly benefited from rebranding and sticking with more of a niche or at least something that my followers would expect to come from me. I also find hashtags and being featured on "Feature Accounts" to be the reason for my somewhat success. I purged a lot of my old photos and still do as my work gets better if I don't think it represents me at my best.

Here is my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patrickdsimmonsphoto/

Not only would I consider rebranding, I use to constantly purge photos from my feed https://www.instagram.com/ginganinjoe/ until I was happy with the content I was posting. Sometimes it's hard to do, certain people like certain photographs, other people like other photographs etc. but you have to do what is best for the direction you want to be heading in.