If you’re an Instagram creator and you’re still using your personal account to share content, you might be missing out on some great features that come with an Instagram creator account.

In this post, we’ll discuss what Instagram creator accounts are, who might use them and the differences and similarities between creator, business and personal accounts.

What is a creator account on Instagram?

Instagram creator accounts are public, professional accounts specifically for content creators who make their living through creating and sharing content online. This includes, but is not limited to, photographers, videographers, models, artists and influencers.

With the rise of a creator economy, it’s important to have an account that reflects who you are and what you offer.

If you use Instagram to share your creativity and build a following around your work, then an Instagram creator account (rather than a public personal account) might be right for you.

Image of an Instagram creator profile from photographer and director Justin Bettman.

Features of an Instagram creator account

Instagram creator accounts give you access to tools that personal accounts and even business accounts don’t necessarily have access to.

An Instagram creator account has access to:

  • A Professional Dashboard and growth insights where you can track in-depth metrics about your followers and the reach of your posts. This includes what actions people take after seeing your content and impressions over a set period. You can also see daily follow and unfollow data to track how your content is affecting follower growth.
  • A secondary inbox where you can organize your messages and control notifications you receive. You can filter messages by primary, general and request inboxes.
  • Category labels, such as influencer, blogger, public figure, artist. This is an optional feature for your Instagram creator account bio.

Instagram creator vs. business account

If you’re using Instagram for business purposes, you might be wondering whether a creator account is right for you.

Generally, Instagram creator accounts are best suited for influencers, content creators, public figures, photographers and artists (again, just to name a few).

If you’re focused on building a personal brand, and you don’t directly sell products or use advanced analytics, then an Instagram creator account may be best for you.

If you’re running a retail business, brand, public service, or other business organization, an Instagram business account would be a better fit.

Instagram business accounts can also use third-party apps, such as Sprout Social, to create and schedule content. Keep this in mind if creating content in a high volume or if you want to plan your content calendar in advance.

An Instagram business account will give you access to features like contact buttons, Instagram insights and the ability to run ads. You’ll also be able to see audience insights on organic traffic, ad attribution and conversions.

Screenshot example of Instagram Insights Overview within the app for Instagram Business Accounts.

Remember, you can switch between creator and business accounts without losing your data and insights, as long as you export your insights data. Don’t be afraid to test both account types to see which one works best for you.

How to make a creator account on Instagram

Wondering how to switch to a creator account on Instagram? Follow these steps:

  1. Go to your profile page and click the three lines in the top right corner.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Select Account.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Switch to a Professional Account, then click Creator.
  5. If you already have a business account, just choose Switch to Creator Account.
  6. Choose a category that best describes your brand.
  7. Connect to your Facebook page, if applicable.
  8. Add or review contact information and choose whether to display this information on your profile.

You’re all set!

Screenshot image of the Instagram app settings asking "Are you a creator?" with two options below: Creator or Business. There is a blue "Next" button at the bottom of the screenshot.

How to turn off creator account on Instagram

To convert back to a business or personal profile, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your profile page and click the three lines in the top right corner.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Select Account.
  4. Click Switch to a Personal Account (or, Switch to a Business Account).
  5. Confirm the switch.
Screenshot of the Instagram app Account Settings with two choices at the bottom of the screen: Switch to Personal Account or Switch to Business Account.

Be aware that every time you switch between personal and professional profiles, Instagram will delete your insight data. Be sure to export your insight data before you switch, so you don’t lose it.

What are the benefits of an Instagram creator account?

Instagram creator accounts come with new features and benefits compared to personal accounts. Here are a few benefits of using an Instagram creator account.

1. Schedule Instagram posts

Connect your Instagram creator account to Sprout Social. Adding your creator account gives you access to Business profile features like direct publishing, first comment, robust analytics and replying to comments in the Smart Inbox. Alternatively, you can continue to schedule Instagram posts using Creator Studio.

To schedule posts from the Creator Studio:

  • Click the green Create Post button in the top left corner of your Creator Studio dashboard.
  • Upload your content, write your caption, tag other accounts or include any other info you’d like.
  • When you’re ready to publish, hit the drop-down arrow next to Publish in the bottom right corner.
Screenshot of the Facebook Creator Studio dashboard and a pop-up window of a Compose screen to create and schedule an Instagram post.

2. Create shoppable posts

Instagram creators who sell products or give recommendations can create shoppable posts. As a creator sharing a product, upload a photo of the product and tag it with the brand account and, if possible, the specific product. When a follower clicks on your tag, they’ll land on a product description page where they can get more information or make a purchase within Instagram.

However, the brand you’re working with will need to give you access to their product catalog in order to tag the item. Take a look at how influencer Stylefeen tags Lulu’s Instagram account and the specific dress she’s wearing, which leads users to a shoppable Instagram post.

3. Filter messages into different inboxes

The DM inbox for Instagram creator accounts will look a little different than your standard personal or even business account inbox. You’ll see new filtering options that allow you to quickly find the types of messages you’re looking for.

For example, you can filter by:

  • Primary DMs – These include notifications
  • General DMs – These don’t include notifications
  • Requests DMs – These don’t include notifications because these are messages from people you don’t follow

Inbox filtering also makes responding to multiple conversations easy with the Saved Reply tool, so you can respond to common questions quickly.

4. Use paid partnership tags

With more eyes than ever on ethical influencer marketing, disclosing your paid partnerships is crucial. Instagram creator accounts let you tag a paid partner in posts and Stories, so your audience knows when you’re collaborating with a brand. The partner brand will also be able to see your insights on that post, which improves campaign communication.

Screenshot of an Instagram post with the label "Paid partnership with..." and the brand's Instagram account linked.

5. Try different CTA options

Instagram creator accounts have fewer options for calls to action (CTAs) than business accounts. While you can add a button encouraging people to Book Now or Reserve, you can’t offer other options like Learn More or Shop Now.

If you frequently use CTAs to drive traffic, an Instagram creator account might not be the best option for you.

Amplify your Instagram marketing strategy

Whether you’re a content creator or a social media marketer, it’s important to know the ins and outs of marketing on Instagram.

However, for influencers or individuals using Instagram creator accounts, think about what’s important to grow your own presence and engage your followers. To inspire your efforts, we’ve put together 10 lessons from Instagram influencers that can help guide your own creator strategy.