How to Not be a Jerk on Instagram

There are some spoken and unspoken rules of using Instagram for business that will keep you from looking like a complete money-hungry jerk. Reposting etiquette is one of those unspoken rules that I need to SPEAK UP about! Here we go:

It can be so confusing to sort out what you should and shouldn’t do, and what attracts customers instead of making them run away {{and even block you}}!

I absolutely love user generated content {{in English: Reposting}} for some of my posts. I feel it strengthens the Pretty+Profesh Community and lets my audience see how many amazing accounts are out there. Typically I only repost other lady bosses {{preferably solopreneurs}} to show that they are not alone and I {{and my super fab community}} am cheering them on!

BUT for the love of guacamole, don’t be that skeezy sleazy reposter that doesn’t give credit. 

You can give props in so many different ways on Instagram; you don’t have to be that one account who is too proud to say that this pic isn’t theirs.  

Did you know the most common complaint among the design community is theft? Say WHAT? THEFT?? Yup! When you don’t give credit, you’re stealing someone’s work and even if it seems insignificant to you, it isn’t. So don’t be a jerk: give credit!

You may be asking yourself, “So, Michi, what am I supposed to do if I want to repost?” EASY PEASY! You can tag the photo, or mention the original creator in the comments. Right where it’s easy to see!

Now, don’t be the jerk that hides the credit in your hashtag list that no-one looks at. {{Insert creepy evil laugh}} Yeah you gave credit, technically, but that’s still a jerk move. Just saying. 

And don’t go cropping out watermarks. If someone has branding in their image, DON’T CROP IT OUT! That’s really awful, and shows lack of character. If you don’t want someone else’s branding, website, handle etc. on your feed, create your own graphic! I love {{meaning hate}} it when someone takes one of my images, crops out my info, and uses an app to put their info on it. {{meaning yes, I see it, way too often}} It usually looks terribly grainy, and is discolored, and it makes me sad. 

Being a designer by trade, it’s easy for me to throw something together in Photoshop. BUT {{and this is a super huge but}} you don’t have to be a designer to have amazing graphics on your Instagram account {{or website, blog, other social media, etc}} you just need the tools to get it done.

Reposting is nothing to be scared of when done correctly so you can totally curate a mixture of original designs and credited reposts!

Wanna learn more about the changes taking Instagram by storm?



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Some of my Insta friends want me to be sure to talk about DM etiquette; this is one of my absolute PET PEEVES and another way to be a total jerk! DMing can be done right, and when it isn’t, it’s a super quick way to send your Dream Clients running the other direction!

Don’t DM every person who likes a photo trying sell them something. This is the absolute most annoying thing someone can do in my opinion. If I liked your picture, its most likely because I like it {{SHOCKER!}} or at the very least, I’m showing my support for another lady boss out there kicking ass! You can send one to someone who has genuinely indicated interest in your product or service, and don’t be pushy. Offer something like a discount or early access. Keep it simple and don’t overdo it.

Another absolute annoyance that will get you blocked with a quickness is tagging someone in your post who isn’t relevant. Tagging is great! Use it correctly to engage with the person/people you’re referencing in that post. If they aren’t part of it, don’t tag ’em. It’s against the terms of Instagram to tag someone in a picture that is not of them, and can get your account shut down if you are reported. 

To sum it all up, be sure to: 

1. Give Credit. Don’t be sleazy about it. Don’t hide the credit in your sea of hashtags, you can even do it as a tag in the photo if you don’t want to have it in your caption. 

2 Generally speaking, it’s okay to use other’s materials but if they don’t want you to, you are not protected by the veil of the internet. They can pursue legal action if they so desire, so if someone asks you to take it down, be nice, and oblige. 

3. Try to credit the original source. If you reposted from me and I got it from someone else, you can say credit: @prettyandprofesh via @originalposternamehere. You can also indicate this by saying OP: @originalposternamehere.

4. Don’t crop out branding/source info. If you don’t want to show someone else’s website info/ IG handle, create your own graphic. That (especially if you don’t give credit) is straight up stealing. 

In the comments below, tell me what your Instagram Pet peeves are so we can help each other NOT be jerks! I know you have one!