I had a heatwave induced, existential crisis about social media last night. I ended up scribbling notes in the dark and shifting a bunch of social media accounts around at 1am. I’ve had trouble for some time about which account is for what, and where I share what content. I’ve finally figured out why – and what to do about it.
My Online Space
I have two websites – one for my freelance design business, and one that serves as a journal. This is mirrored across the big contenders on social media. Somehow I’ve never found the right balance across personal and business. Last night I realised I’d been doing things the wrong way round.
Any accounts related to Jaz Design were intended to be for clients. I wanted them to be a resource, as well as the usual sharing work, news etc.
My personal accounts are a mixture of creative output/inspiration, food, films/books, Simpsons memes and general opinion. Whilst they do show me to be a creative, engaged human, they are more of a conversational, casual space.
Different purpose, different audience.
I’d always had a “main” account, dropped a secondary “personal” one, and then picked it up again. I was trying to use the main account for the business, and the secondary one for my journal. The main account had an existing audience, the secondary one didn’t.
This was not the first time I’d tried to do this. Apparently I didn’t realise the issue the first time around, but that’s okay. Sometimes you have to go around in a circle to see what you missed!
Trying to use the main account for business never quite sat right. It’s followed by friends, colleagues, people I’ve met at conferences and people I chat to person to person. It feels personal. I realised I don’t want to change that. When I was tweeting from the secondary account, it was those people I wanted to be talking to. This meant I didn’t put much effort into the secondary account. On some level I knew it wasn’t the right place.
So I decided, melting in the dark, I should retire the second account, and give the business a brand new account. Crystallise the focus for each. Cross-post where appropriate. And so I have.
I did this with Instagram some time ago. The business account is well positioned for when I start generating more content. My journal account has a similar following to Twitter.
I did, however, make a mistake here too.
I made a third Instagram for sketchbook posts. I know, bonkers right? Who has time to update three? Turns out, not me.
Instagram stories lend themselves well to sketchbook/messier work – problem solved. Thus, goodbye sketchbook account, hello again Jaz Journal!
I’m glad I went round this circle again. Ultimately, my personal accounts are for me. There are things I like to do and share, I am allowed to do that. If people like it, great, if not, no biggie. The business accounts can then grow in the way I want.
This felt right at 1am, and it still feels right now. I may have finally found the solution!
The catalyst for this was a recent series of posts from Laura Kalbag. Laura talked about what/how/why she shares, and the challenges therein. This resonated with me:
I have been holding back. Not just on social media, but on my personal site too. I’ve lost confidence in the web I want to share things on, and I’ve lost confidence in those things I want to share. (Read Laura’s article)
Timehop often reminds me of how much more I seemed to enjoy the web not even five years ago. I miss it. I know I may not have anything groundbreaking to say, but I’ve had my own space on the web for over twenty years, and I want it back.
What Content Goes Where
This has led to the question of where to post this, giving me a good gauge for the future. Is it useful for clients? Is it showcasing my work or expertise? Probably not. Thus, it’s here in the journal, where most 1am heat-induced ramblings belong.
If you would like to follow me or my business: