What should my business Instagram handle be?

A question I get asked a lot is this: I’m starting a business, should I change my Instagram handle to my name or my business, or should I start a new account?

My advice is usually: if you have some followers (50+), I’d keep your Instagram account the same and change the handle.

If you are operating as a freelance/sole trader and using your name for business, make that your handle (so for me: @annieridout).

If you’re starting a business (like The Robora), use that for your handle (@therobora).

It is easier to grow from 50 followers than to start from 0.

But it can work well to use your name to start with, as people tend to connect more with a real name and real face than a logo and business name.

Once your profile has grown and people know who you are and what you’re doing – either change your handle to your business name, make it a combination of you and your business (eg. @annieridout.therobora) or start a new account, as I did with The Robora.

One thing to consider is whether your personal feed has photos on it that you’d prefer not to share in a public domain. So if you have children, you might not want their faces and names to be included in your business account.

I know people who’ve deleted all personal photos from their feed, kept the followers and then started uploading business posts.

And I know others – me included – who’ve changed their personal ‘family’ account to, for instance, @annieridoutprivate, which frees up your name to use for work purposes – @annieridout.

Ultimately, if you’re putting out good content and engaging with other people/accounts, it shouldn’t hugely matter whether you operate under your personal or business name. The handle isn’t the most important consideration. And it can always be changed down the line.

What have you gone for with your handle, when starting a new business/line of work?