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In Part 1 of our Instagram Marketing Guide for Direct Sellers, we discussed what you should be posting to get the best results. Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and chat about what you should avoid – basically, what NOT to post on Instagram when it comes to marketing your business. Are you ready for some real talk? Good!

Dark and dreary images

You’re excited to try out the newest shade of your company’s lipstick? Awesome! Please don’t show us in a poorly-lit living room while you sit on your couch. That does nothing to sell your product, brand, company or YOURSELF. Opt to use a bright bathroom mirror or natural light from a window – think light, bright and happy! Or, if you already took the photo and it needs some work, Instagram has a built-in photo editing tool and more than a dozen options for filters. You can lighten photos, turn down the backlighting, bring up the saturation, reduce shadows. Take the time to play around with these tools so you understand what they do.

Messy backgrounds

Do you love the new seasonal warmer your company just released? Sweet – share a photo and tell us why! But first, make sure you don’t see a messy kitchen, cluttered desk or the TV on in the background. Instead … clear off a spot on the counter, with the wall as your backdrop; … or put a plant behind your product; … or stand on a chair (carefully) and take the shot from above, flat-lay style; … or take your product outside. Put the focus on your product without any distractions and make it the star!

Diary entries

Don’t post too many videos of you, talking to the camera like it’s your personal journal. Occasionally, sure! All the time? No. It wears people out, takes up a lot of their time, and can come across as a bit vain. The exception to this rule is if people are paying you for your advice, service or consulting. Instead, be sure to use video to share your excitement for a new product in a ‘how it works’ tutorial, show them what you’re up to at convention or on an incentive trip. Remaining professional is an important part of owning a business!

Reposting without asking

Anything you repost from someone else without permission is a big no-no. Sharing content from other places is awesome, stealing content is not. One exception is company content — for example, CinchShare’s posts. Most companies publish with the ambition of reaching as many people as possible, so sharing something from a company page (with proper attribution and a tag) is almost always ok. Simply DM them on Instagram and say you love their post and do they mind if you reposted it giving them credit – 9 times out of 10 it’s a yes, please do!

Selfie overload

Yes, it’s true that for many direct sellers, you ARE your brand — but your face isn’t what’s selling your product. One of the most BASIC rules of marketing is to make the experience about the customer. If it’s all about you, it’s not all about them. A good rule of thumb is to not exceed one selfie per nine-tile grid. Of course you want to show your face and be relatable/personable, but be sure to use customer testimonials as well, they work wonders!

Blurry photos

There are no tools to fix a blurry image — your best bet for those is to delete and try again! They don’t do anyone a bit of good so just say no to blurry photos.

Company photos

Sure, your company’s website shows a computer-generated version of every shade of manicure strip — but using that as your core content doesn’t do much to help you stand out from the pack. In fact, if someone follows #nailstrips on Instagram and sees the same photo a few dozen times in their feed, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll even click on yours. Be original and try to use your own products in real life – everyone loves to see them in action so they can envision themselves using them as well. You’ll definitely pop out of a hashtag search!

Misquoted quotes

Some of the most commonly shared quotes are attributed to the wrong people. This is SO embarrassing, should anyone call you out on it. A quick Google Search on the quote’s origins is usually all you need to clarify. And be sure to check for typos too!

Keep these types of posts in mind while you’re planning your Instagram grid and watch for the final post in our Instagram Marketing guide: Growth Strategies – coming soon!