Selling art on Instagram is a great way to expose your work to a larger audience and earn more money. A growing number of art collectors use Instagram to search for and buy original art.
No matter if you produce paintings, sculptures, or handcrafted décor, Instagram may help you sell more of your artwork. The challenge is getting people to find your art.
Here is a complete guide on how to get your art on Instagram noticed by art collectors:
Create An Instagram Account Using Your Art Business Name
The first step for promoting art on Instagram is to create a separate account for your art business. No matter the platform or the industry, you should always separate your personal and business social media accounts.
Maintaining different accounts provides more control over your branding and public image for your business. This also keeps you from sharing private moments with the public.
When setting up Instagram art accounts, most artists either use a unique business name or add “art” to their real name, such as “John Doe Art.” You should also search on Instagram for similar handles.
Type your preferred name into the search bar and see what comes up. If you find multiple accounts with similar names, consider using something different.
Make sure that you set this new account to public instead of private or people will not be able to discover your artwork.
You also need to create a short bio for your account. Instagram limits the length of your bio to 150 characters. The bio only needs to include one or two short sentences that describe who you are and the type of art that you create.
Choose A Profile Picture That Represents Your Artwork
Your profile needs a profile picture. Some artists choose to use images of themselves while others use original artwork. Using your face as a profile image makes your account more personable. It establishes trust before you even communicate with a potential art buyer.
No matter if you choose to use a headshot or original artwork, use the same image across all your social media business accounts. Maintaining a consistent image is an essential part of growing your brand online.
Your image should meet the requirements for Instagram profile pictures. If the image is too small, it will appear blurry. The current size of an Instagram profile picture is 110 x 110 pixels.
After adding a profile picture, you need to add a cover photo. If you choose to use a headshot for your profile pic, use the cover photos to showcase your art.
Cover photos should measure at least 612 x 612 pixels. Instagram automatically resizes them to create thumbnail images measuring 205 x 205 pixels. You can add up to six images.
Start Following Other Artists And Popular Instagram Accounts
Establishing a large following helps you reach more people. Instagram users are more likely to browse accounts with 1000 or more followers, especially when looking to buy products. A large following gives you more credibility.
To start gaining followers, you need to follow others. Follow other Instagram art accounts with lots of followers. Many artists have a solid sense of community and actively try to support each other. When you follow other artists, they may follow you back.
Getting other artists to follow you may help you attract a larger following from general Instagram users. People frequently look at who their favorite Instagram accounts are following to find new accounts to follow.
Start Sharing Photos On Instagram
Instagram revolves around images, making it a great place to showcase your artwork. Use the following tips to start sharing photos:
- Share high-quality photos
- Showcase your work in progress
- Avoid using filters
- Follow the size guidelines
- Limit the use of text and hashtags
- Promptly respond to comments
How often should you post?
Try to post one new photo each day. If you cannot post daily, choose a schedule that works for you. Building a following requires consistency, no matter if you post once per day or once per week.
Share High-Quality Photos Of Your Artwork
You need high-resolution, clear photos to stand out on Instagram. Quality photos help present a professional image. If your photos are blurry or poorly lit, people may be less willing to trust your artistic abilities.
Photography is an artistic medium. As an artist, people expect you to understand the basics of composition and visual design. Make sure that your artwork is properly framed in the shot.
You should also use HD cameras. Luckily, most smartphones and tablets now have quality internal cameras. If you find that your images are a little grainy or dark, you may simply need to add more natural light.
Take photos in a room with large windows or take your artwork outdoors. The main sources of light should be facing your art. If the light comes from behind, it casts a shadow over the subject.
When taking photos of paintings, try to keep the camera level with the painting. After uploading the photos to your computer, you can crop everything outside of the painting to create a perfect digital copy of your artwork.
Showcase Your Art In Progress Or Your Creative Process
Unless you are extremely productive, you will not have a new piece of art to share every day. Along with photos of your completed work, you can showcase your work in progress or provide more insight into your creative process.
Share updates on a project or post a picture of the inspiration behind your artwork. For example, you may snap a photo of a sunset that you want to paint.
Adding personal stories and more details about how you create artwork can help build a rapport with your audience. It gives them something else to comment on other than your completed work, building a stronger connection with your followers.
Avoid Using Filters Or Extensive Editing
Instagram provides users with a variety of filters for enhancing their images. Avoid using these filters when sharing photos of your artwork. Using a filter may lead some art collectors to believe that you are trying to hide the quality of your work.
You should also avoid heavily editing your photos using image manipulation software. While you can crop pictures to better frame your art, using software to edit the art itself is a bad idea. You want people to see your real art instead of a manipulated version of it.
Follow The Size Guidelines For Instagram Photos
As with your profile picture and cover image, the photos in your posts may appear blurry if they are too small. The images that appear in users’ feeds measure 612 x 612 pixels when viewing them through the Instagram app. The thumbnails only measure 40 x 40 pixels.
While the images can expand to 612 x 612 pixels, Instagram allows you to upload images up to 2048 x 2048 pixels. Try to reach the maximum size for photos of your original artwork. When uploading personal photos or photos of your work in progress, 612 x 612 pixels is fine.
Limit Your Use Of Text And Hashtags In Your Posts
Your art should speak for itself. However, people still need some type of commentary. The text that you include with the post should help people understand the meaning or inspiration behind your work.
Instagram allows you to use up to 2200 characters in each post, which equals about 365 words. Most people will lose interest after one or two short paragraphs.
Keep the captions short and to the point. You should also try to include relevant hashtags at the end of your post instead of using hashtags as replacements for words in your caption.
Including hashtags is an important part of social media marketing. Art collectors and other Instagram users search for new posts using hashtags.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags in each post. Adding too many dilutes your brand and may confuse people browsing your posts.
Stick to a dozen or fewer hashtags. Make sure that at least a few of the hashtags mention art, such as #art, #artwork, etc. The remaining hashtags should relate to the subject of your art or the medium.
Tailwind for Instagram is an Instagram schedular that has a lot more to offer.
Plan a week of Instagram posts and arrange them into a beautiful must-follow feed in just a few minutes.
Tailwind Visual Planning Features:
- Drag-and-drop grid
- Preview your feed before you post
- Best photos, meet you best posting times
- Personalized post inspiration
- Caption templates
- Recommended post types
- Caption formatting
- Hide Hashtags
- Hashtag finder
- Optimal post times
Try Tailwind for free to see if it is a perfect fit for your business needs.
Promptly Respond To Comments On Your Posts
Gaining a following and keeping your followers requires you to engage your audience. When someone comments on a post, respond as soon as you can. You can respond with a simple “thank you” or “I appreciate your comments”. Avoid using emojis or slang if you want to maintain a sense of professionalism.
If someone has a specific question related to your art, respond with a direct message (DM). Having a private conversation makes it easier to provide in-depth answers to questions. This is especially important when someone inquires about buying your artwork.
Promote Your Art On Instagram With Paid Ads
Instagram ads provide a way to instantly promote your art. Instead of waiting to build a following, you can start attracting potential buyers using the Facebook Ad Manager for Instagram.
To create a new ad campaign, you need to sign into Ad Manager on Facebook and select your Instagram account. The process is relatively straightforward as Ad Manager guides you through the steps needed to launch a new ad campaign.
You first select a marketing objective, such as brand awareness or traffic. You then select your target audience. You can focus on specific geographical areas, age groups, gender, and other demographics.
Facebook’s Ad Manager allows you to choose your placements. Choose “Automatic Placements” to let the platform decide how to display your ads.
After you set a budget and schedule, your ads can start appearing in people’s Instagram feeds. Check Ad Manager each day to monitor the results of your campaign and adjust the setting as needed.
Analyze The Metrics Of Your Posts Each Week
Instagram provides some basic data about your posts that you can use to analyze the success or failure of your social media marketing efforts. Use this information to determine which posts are most popular or least popular. Try to find out what type of art people respond to more frequently.
Analytics are available at the bottom left section of each post and includes the following:
By analyzing your posts, you can start focusing on the art and posting strategies that provide the best results.
Daily Task List For Building Your Instagram Following
There are many steps to selling art on Instagram and the process can quickly become overwhelming. Instead of trying to do too much, follow a simple strategy for growing your brand online. Here is a short task list that you can complete each day to stay on track:
- Post at least one image per day
- Like three to five posts from other artists
- Comment on one post that you find interesting
- Search for related artists or topics and follow one new account
You should try to post at least one image per day to remain active on Instagram. People may stop following you if you do not post frequently. If you choose to post less often, set a schedule. Even if you do not post each day, sticking to a schedule allows your followers to anticipate new posts.
After posting an image, scroll through your Instagram feed and like several posts from other artists. You should also leave a comment on at least one of the posts.
The last step is searching for a new account to follow. If you cannot find any other artists that you want to follow, you may follow brands that represent the same values or creative style as your artwork.
Other than posting an image, these steps should only take a few minutes out of your day. If you cannot stick to this routine every day of the week, choose a schedule that works for you. For example, you may choose to work on your Instagram marketing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Decide How You Want To Sell Your Artwork
Building a following and growing your brand can help you connect with potential art collectors. However, you also need to let people know how to buy your artwork. There are several ways to sell directly to collectors:
Each option comes with pros and cons depending on your technical experience with websites and online marketing. You may even decide to use multiple platforms, such as selling through Instagram Shopping and an individual website.
To use Instagram Shopping, you need to sign up for the feature through your Instagram business account. After signing up, you can add a product sticker to each post. When a user clicks on the sticker, Instagram opens a product description page that includes an image of the product, a description, and the cost.
The description page also includes a link to the webpage where users can purchase the product. Unfortunately, Instagram Shopping does not allow you to sell directly through the app. You still need to use a third-party solution, such as one of the following choices.
Selling Art Through Etsy
Etsy is a popular platform for handcrafted goods, including original artwork. It has a simple interface that anyone can use. However, it also comes with high service fees that may limit your profits.
Using Shopify To Sell Art
Shopify is another eCommerce platform frequently used by artists. While it was designed for retail eCommerce, it allows artists to create professional-looking webpages with a streamlined checkout process. As with Etsy, it also includes fees for selling products.
Creating A Custom Website
Creating a custom website gives you more control over how you sell your art. You can add basic checkout features for free, allowing you to accept PayPal or Google payments. However, if you want to accept credit cards or electronic checks, you need to pay for a payment gateway service.
Even if you use Etsy or Shopify to sell your art, you should still consider setting up a custom website. A website provides a boost to your credibility and helps increase your brand awareness. You can display art on your website and write blog posts about your processes or inspiration for creating art. These steps can help attract visitors from organic searches on Google and other search engines.
Many successful artists maintain websites and multiple social media accounts. After landing on your site, you can direct visitors to your Instagram page, using your website as a lead conversion tool.
Last Thoughts On Selling Art On Instagram
You now have a complete strategy for selling original art on Instagram. If the process seems a little challenging at first, start simple.
Create a business account and start posting pictures of your artwork. Familiarize yourself with the platform. As you grow more comfortable sharing your art, start implementing the Instagram marketing techniques discussed.
The last tip is to hang in there. You may not attract an art collector within your first few days on Instagram. It can take months of consistent posting to build a following, which is needed to help expose your art to a larger audience.
Do not become discouraged. Stick with your posting schedule and strategy while continuing to engage your audience. If you remain consistent, you should start to grow your art business on Instagram.
Instagram Online Marketing Courses
You have to spend money to earn money. Investing in educational courses will help you to master the art of marketing.
CREATIVELIVE offers many courses that will help you master digital marketing.
Here are a few top-selling Instagram Courses:
Popular Art Marketing And Sales Tutorials
Below are some of the most famous art marketing courses that will grow your online art business:
Most Popular – How to Make a Living Selling What You Make by Megan Auman
Most Popular – Build a Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles-Olin
How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft by Megan Auman
Pinterest Marketing for Makers & Designers by Megan Auman
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