A Beginners Journey Using Instagram For Marketing & Brand Awareness

January 12, 2021

In this Insight follow Robbie's start into using Instagram for marketing, sales & brand awareness of his color correction buisness.

Day 12: 24 Insights in 24 Days New Year Marathon

A Skeptic Turned Believer!

Recently I joined a group of colorists that have a weekly happy hour Zoom chat. It’s been a fun way to connect & socialize with other colorists especially in light of the global pandemic that’s affected us all in one way or another including isolation from our peers.

On one happy hour chat, the idea of marketing and the use of social media came up.

On this call was colorist Brian Singler from the facility Bruton Stroube in St. Louis.  Brian is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, and if you take a look at his Instagram account it’s clear he’s immensely talented and obviously utilizing the platform well with over 10k followers.

Brian spent some time explaining to the group how he uses Instagram, and how by utilizing it in a methodical way, he’s earned not only followers but high-end work for national and international brands including Die Hard Batteries, Uber, Purina, and many others.

Brian Singler is a fantastic colorist and has been an inspiration/guide as I start my use of Instagram to promote my business.

I should state something for the record – I’ve always been skeptical of social media for purposes of winning work.

I’ve always felt having a presence was important on various social media platforms, but that personal connections were always more important than a post on Facebook or Instagram. I’m not totally naive, as I’m aware that ‘influencers’ on social media platforms do well for themselves, it was just more I didn’t think that posts from me or my small company could actually win work.

Couple this skepticism with the vitriol that often exists on social media platforms, I have traditionally been lukewarm to using social media as Brian was describing and suggesting to the happy hour attendees.

However, as Brian continued, it became clear that Brian WAS/IS winning work through his Instagram account.The more I listened the more I became convinced I should at least give it a try. So late last year I decided to give it a go, trying to use the best practices I had absorbed from Brian and others.

I’m decidedly NOT an Instagram expert but I thought I would share my experience and the things that I’ve learned so far – not so much as a step-by-step guide, but to maybe help those of you who are on the fence about using Instagram and looking to get started.

For you Instagram power users – this article is not meant for you, but if you have some additional tips we’ll take em!  Please use the comments at the end of the article.

Finally, before getting started, I have asked Brian Singler if he’d contribute with a more advanced & nuanced article on his experiences with Instagram.  Brian is interested, but also a super busy guy!  Hopefully, we’ll have a part 2 to share sometime soon.

(Banner image courtesy of Garrett O’Brien (Go Visuals) and Slyvia Johnson (Free Roaming Studios)

Personal & Company Brands

After deciding that I wanted to use Instagram for marketing and brand awareness, one of the first choices I need to make was to decide if I wanted to put ‘company’ content alongside ‘personal’ content.

There are many colorists out there that their names are their brand – our own Dan Moran (Dan Moran Colour) for example.  But I’ve spent 15+ years building my company up and that’s really what I wanted to promote not necessarily me personally.

Our own Dan Moran has been successful at using Instagram as well. Notice he markets under his own name but this account is different than his regular personal Instagram page.

What I mean is that I want to promote my company’s work first and foremost, but within posts, stories, etc for the company – promote myself, my partner Joey and other folks we work with.

I also feel pretty strongly that my personal life is my personal life.  Potential clients don’t need to see family trips or silly photos of my kids mixed with work samples.

So it’s for both these reasons – keeping personal/work separate, and an account name trading on my company name, not my personal name, that I set up two separate Instagram accounts for Robbie Carman (personal) and for DC Color (work).

Prospective clients don’t need to see silly pictures of my kids, that’s why I maintain both personal & company Instagram accounts.

Keep in mind, I think it’s still a good idea even if you want to raise brand awareness based on your name i.e. Dan Moran Colour that you also maintain a separate account for your personal life.

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