Instagram For Artists
Artists have various ways to connect with their audience online and grow a more significant following like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, art blogs, and online galleries.
Over the past few years, Instagram marketing for artists has become very popular among visual artists, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.
Instagram is unlike any other social media platform, and if done right, it could help you reach a new audience who is searching for art just like yours.
Many artists become impatient and discouraged when they see other artists who have thousands of followers and struggle to get a few hundred followers.
Let’s be honest if you have under a hundred followers, most of them are probably your friends, family, and some of your artist friends.
It is frustrating when you are trying to build a following, and it feels like it is impossible to grow a fan base.
The truth is that it takes time, a strategic plan, and dedication to build a loyal following on any social media platform, and Instagram is not any different.
To put it all in perspective, the people who have a large following started with zero followers just like you.
They built a solid foundation for the Instagram business account and tried multiple strategies until they found what worked for them.
In this post, we will not talk about some fancy Instagram tips for artists that promise to get you a thousand likes in a month. Instead, we are going to talk about building a strong foundation for your business on Instagram.
- Instagram For Artists
- Why Should Artists Start An Instagram Business Account
- How To Get Your Art Noticed On Instagram
- Tell The Story Behind The Artwork You Are Showcasing
- Share Your Art Journey
- Share Testimonials
- Engage With Your Followers
- High-Quality Images
- Images Should Represent Your Brand
- Image Tips For Instagram
- Add Graphics To Instagram Posts
- Experiment With Colors
- Use Multiple Images
- How To Add Multiple Images To Instagram Posts
- Instagram Videos
- How Often Should You Post On Instagram
- How Often Should You Promote Your Artwork
- Best Hashtags For Selling Art
- Captions Sell
- Instagram Bio Section
- 5 Instagram Features For Artists
- Follow From Search
- Top Posts
- “See All” Suggested Users
- Stories In The Explore Tab
- Instagram Live
- Selling Art On Instagram Tools
- Final Thoughts On Instagram Marketing For Artists
Why Should Artists Start An Instagram Business Account
Only a few artists were fortunate enough to make a living selling art in art galleries before the internet.
Today, anyone can build an art website and showcase and sell merchandise.
But it takes more than creating beautiful art to sell your artwork online.
Artists must focus on promoting and marketing their art online to generate income from their artistic skills.
Many businesses, large and small, take advantage of social media to connect with their customers and build a more extensive fan base.
Unfortunately, many social media networks are changing the way businesses reach their followers.
For example, Facebook business page posts only reach about 2% of the publishers’ followers.
So, if you have a thousand Facebook fans, only twenty people will see your post in their newsfeed.
The only way you can reach more people is by purchasing Facebook ads or boosting a post.
Related Post: How Many People See Your Facebook Posts?
The good news for artists is that there are platforms like Instagram and Pinterest that focus on images.
As a creative person, you have the upper hand on other businesses because you will develop an artistic Instagram marketing strategy that will produce great results after you have worked on the basics.
How To Get Your Art Noticed On Instagram
Thousands of artists start an Instagram business account because they want their art seen by many eyes.
But how can creative people get their art noticed on Instagram and build trust from their fans?
The first step is to know what your Instagram business objectives are.
Do you want:
- More people to see your art
- Drive traffic to your artist website
- Increase original art sales
- Increase art print sales
- Increase the number of people who visit you at your craft shows
- Have people purchase your drawing or painting tutorials
The next step is to craft some strategies to help you achieve your objectives, like promoting an Instagram flash sale.
Unfortunately, not every strategy you implement on Instagram will produce great results. You will have to try different methods to see what works best for you.This will be tedious work, but you will eventually see great results if you invest the time into it.
There are some standard practices used by successful artists on Instagram, and I will cover them in this post.
If something is showing positive results, stick with it, and go full force with that strategy. When a plan falls flat, discard it and move on to the next project.
Tell The Story Behind The Artwork You Are Showcasing
Instagram is a visual social media network.
That is one of the reasons, so many artists prefer Instagram over other social media platforms.
If you want to increase the chance of growing an audience on Instagram and increase your art sales, you will want to share the story behind the art you are featuring.
After you have uploaded your image, write a few sentences that explain what inspired you to create the art and what message you are trying to get across.
Your goal is to connect the viewer with your art. If you can do that, you will gain a loyal art collector.
Artists like Gina Hawkshaw Tell their stories by showcasing art in progress. Showing art in progress images allows art lovers to follow the journey of the art project.
Other artists like Richard Macwee share a story that connects you to the artwork they are showcasing.
Share Your Art Journey
Like I mentioned above, your goal is to connect your audience with your artwork.
One way to do this is by letting people get to know you.
Even though Instagram is a visual platform, it is still a social media network.
Instagram is not a selling platform. Your artist website is a selling platform.
So be social on Instagram and let people know who you are.
Share pictures of you:
- In your studio
- Painting your latest project
- With your pet
- With your art collectors
- At your craft shows
You will be pleasantly surprised when you see the results you get when you post personal images in between your artwork posts.
Behind The Scenes
This strategy is similar to the one mentioned above.
People enjoy learning how artists create their artwork.
Behind the scene post ideas:
- Supplies you use
- What is on your easel
- Your studio
- Your work area
- You packaging a painting for shipping
- You painting or drawing
- You at a craft show
- You at your favorite art gallery
- You with an art collector
- You with a different artist
- Your pet in your studio
These are just a few ideas that will help you to connect with your following.
The more your audience get to know you, the more they will talk about you to their friends and family.
The end result is that you will gain even more new followers.
Gemma Best has mastered this marketing strategy and receives great engagement on her posts.
Everyone enjoys free stuff.
How often have you purchased something you didn’t need at the grocery store because they were offering a BOGO (buy one get one free) special?
It might not be in your best interest to give away one of your paintings, but offering a signed print is a great way to get more engagement on your Instagram account.
Study how other artists are offering giveaways and see what strategy will work best for your objectives.
Holly Simental has built a loyal following by hosting fun giveaways of prints her artwork.
A call-to-action is when you tell the viewer what to do after they have engaged with your post.
It is difficult to generate sales on Instagram because they do not allow you to include links in your comment section.
But that does not mean you can not promote upcoming events.
Promote every event and include the name of the event, date, and time.
You can also change the URL in your bio to a new painting you are promoting.
Changing the link in your bio might seem like an inconvenience, but if you land a sale, it will be well worth the couple of minutes it took to change the URL.
Including a call-to-action like “click the link in my bio to purchase this art” or “private message me for more information” on all of your Instagram posts
One way you can earn your follower’s trust is by sharing testimonials.
Testimonials can help significantly with the conversion rate of visitors to your business website to customers. This is because they add legitimacy to your website and make people more willing to buy from you. (Source: DigitalDonut)
Every time you get a testimony on art you sold, highlight it on your Instagram account. Include an image of the art with the testimony and a call-to-action to purchase similar products.
Engage With Your Followers
Instagram is a social media platform.
Engaging with your followers will inspire them to comment on your future posts.
Replying to your followers on Instagram shows that you care about your customers, that your business is up to date with social media and lets your customers and potential customers know that you are there for them. (Source: EA)
Social media platforms can eat up a lot of your time. If you do not have enough time to engage in the platforms, do not use them for marketing your business.
Scheduling ten minutes a couple of times during the day to engage with your following will go a long way.
High-quality images of your art are essential for selling art online, but this does not mean that you have to hire a professional photographer to take behind the scenes photos of your studio or you at craft shows.
Images Should Represent Your Brand
You tell a story on Instagram with the pictures you publish.
All of the images you share should represent your brand and you as an artist.
Personal images are for your Facebook personal feed.
Brand imagery is the result of all the visuals that represent your brand’s identity. The images that make up your brand imagery can appear in a variety of forms, from billboards to Instagram, websites to print ads. These images are more than simple visuals—they convey an emotion in the viewer (known as “brand feelings.”). This often occurs on an intangible level, building trust and confidence over time and repeated exposure. (Source: 99 Designs)
Image Tips For Instagram
Here are some more tips to help you create images that will have you stand out and make a presence on Instagram.
Before we get started, I would like to recommend that you take some time and research what others are doing on Instagram.
Take note of what is working and what is not working.
See if there is anything that might work well with your audience.
Add Graphics To Instagram Posts
Have you tried Canva yet?
Canva is a free online image editor site that makes creating images for social media sites a breeze. Canva also has a premium account with extra features.
Instead of posting the same old close-up photos of your artwork, try creating an image with text and graphics that feature your blog posts.
Canva makes it easy to add text and graphics to a plain background or over an image.
Simply upload an image from your PC or use a background Canva provides and start becoming creative with grids, frames, shapes, lines, illustrations, icons, and charts.
Note, you will have to email the image to yourself to access it on your mobile device. As of now, Instagram does not allow you to upload pictures from a PC.
Experiment With Colors
Another way to make your images stand out is to use different color schemes.
Scroll down your Instagram newsfeed and take note of what colors are dominant.
Try using colors that will contrast with other images in the newsfeed.
The goal is to grab someone’s attention.
If everyone is using blues in their images, nothing will stand out.
There are a few different ways you can use colors to have your images jump off the newsfeed.
Use a colorful background that contrasts with what is standard on Instagram. Just make sure that the background does not take away from your artwork.
Add a contrasting color for your text.
Experiment with using a color overlay.
In time you will start to notice what works best for your audience.
Use Multiple Images
Instagram allows you to upload up to 10 images to a single post.
When you are showcasing a finished piece of art, including ” in progress” photos, people love to see art come to life.
You can create a post of all the art you created that month or year.
Showcase all of the art you sold for the month.
Building an audience on any social media site is all about grabbing someone’s attention. You can easily do this by posting different types of content.
How To Add Multiple Images To Instagram Posts
To navigate to where you can add an image, tap the + sign.
On the next screen, you will see a stacked squares icon for a photo carousel post.
Tap on the stacked squares icon. Choose up to 10 images from your image library.
The number on the images top-right corner will tell you what order the images will appear in the slideshow.
After you have selected the images you wanted to include in the post, tap Next.
Edit Instagram Images
The next screen will allow you to edit and apply filters to your images.
You can apply a filter to all your images or one at a time.
Once you are on the editing screen any filter you apply will be applied to all the images by default.
You can edit and apply a filter to individual images by tapping on the image you wish to edit. When you have completed your editing, tap Done.
Change The Order
You can change the order of the images in your slideshow by tapping and holding the image you want to move.
When the trash can icon appears, drag the image to the right or left to reorder your images.
Even though static images perform the best on Instagram, you can change things up by adding a video here and there.
Maybe post a short video of you creating your art before posting an image of the finished piece of artwork.
Create a video of you explaining your art techniques.
Talk about the art supplies you use.
There are many ways you can use video to help build an audience on Instagram.
How Often Should You Post On Instagram
Building brand awareness is accomplished by having your art seen by people regularly.
Why do you follow some artists on social media?
Do you follow artists because of one painting you saw, or was it multiple posts?
Many people follow artists after they have seen multiple posts by them.
So what is the magic Instagram formula?
According to CoSchedule, you should be posting 1-2 times a day.
The first post should be between 8:00 am – 9:00 am, and the second post should be at 2:00 am.
You can read more by visiting How Often To Post On Social Media? (Proven Research From 14 Studies)
Does this mean that you will receive a million followers on Instagram if you publish a post at 8:00 am and 2:00 am every day?
If you do, that is great, but I would find it unrealistic.
I have found that being consistent works better than any studies I have come across.
See what works best for you and stick with it for the long term.
The only advice I would like to recommend is to try to post every day. You want people to see you every time they visit Instagram.
For more information on scheduling Instagram posts, visit –
How Often Should You Promote Your Artwork
Like I have said earlier, Instagram is a social media network.
You will have better results if you use it as a social media platform.
Don’t try to sell a product with every post. If you do, people will start to scroll past your posts.
Use the 80/20 rule.
80% of your posts should be entertaining, educational, and help to solve a problem.
The other 20% is for promoting art or a product you are trying to sell.
Letting people get to know you without being too pushy is how to sell your art on Instagram.
When your followers are in the mind frame of purchasing art, they will go to you first because you built a relationship with them.
Best Hashtags For Selling Art
Instagram is similar to Twitter when it comes to the importance of hashtags.
Hashtags make it easy for your target audience to discover your posts.
How do you know what the best hashtags to use for your posts are?
Tailwind’s Hashtag Finder has made it easy for you to pick the best hashtags for your Instagram posts.
Don’t waste your time guessing what might work.
Tailwind will provide you with the best choices so you can multiply your Instagram reach.
Instagram is a visual social media platform, but it also allows provides you space where you can describe your posts.
This is valuable real estate you will want to take advantage of.
I see so many artists who post an image of their art and do not explain their art showcasing.
The caption does not have to lengthy, but it should be catchy.
Letting people know more about your art will connect them to your work, which will turn them into loyal collectors of your artwork.
Take a look at how the artists highlighted above take advantage of Instagram Caption.
Instagram Bio Section
The bio section is the only place where you can add clickable links.
All the tips I have discussed earlier in this post will help you build your Instagram following, but the main reason you are doing this is to increase your art sales.
If you do not optimize your Instagram Bio, you are wasting your time marketing your art on Instagram.
Take the time to fill out your Bio and make sure that you include a link to your artist website.
5 Instagram Features For Artists
Below are 5 Instagram features that will help you to grow your audience.
These Instagram features allow you to reach a broader audience.
Follow From Search
If you are interested in increasing your following, you are in luck.
The Follow from Search feature allows users to follow accounts straight from search.
You can increase the odds of being followed from search by having an exact name and descriptive headline representing your art business.
Instagram’s Top Post feature has been around for some time, but it is worth mentioning because it is an excellent opportunity to build brand awareness.
There is no way to know exactly what affects Instagram’s algorithm by I have found that images that receive likes and comments within 10 minutes of being published have a better chance of being displayed in the Top Posts.
Having your Instagram posts showcased in the Top Posts helps you build your following and have your artwork seen by people worldwide.
“See All” Suggested Users
The “See All” feature allows you to find other artists and influencers on Instagram.
Simply click “See All,” and a new page will open showcasing accounts related to the one you began on.
Studying what other artists and influencers are doing on Instagram will help you to develop a more productive digital marketing strategy.
For example, you might want to consider uploading “art in Progress” posts if you find that other artists benefit from it.
Spend some time to learn what is working for other artists and see if the strategy will work for your goals.
Stories In The Explore Tab
Instagram Stories is a powerful feature that allows more people to see your Instagram posts.
Instagram features a variety of Instagram Stories on the explore page, which allows you to have your stories shown to a target market that is not even following you yet.
Facebook and Periscope discovered that people are moving from static content to video content.
Live video has quickly taken over social media, thanks to Periscope and Facebook.
Instagram took notice and has launched live streaming.
The only difference between Instagram’s live video and the others is that Instagram is not offering a replay. Once the live video ends, it is gone.
Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for visual artists and crafters if used correctly.
Below are some popular Instagram marketing online courses available from CreativeLive.
Selling Art On Instagram Tools
Selling Art On Instagram is more challenging than marketing your art on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Unlike Instagram, Facebook and Twitter allow you to include links to outside pages in the posts.
Every post you publish on Facebook and Instagram can have a link that the viewer can click on to learn more about the topic you are writing about.
Instagram only allows you to have a link to the profile section.
Another benefit that Facebook and Twitter offer is the metrics they show in the analytics.
Even though the other social media platforms make it easier to land a sale, Instagram is a great platform to reach a broader audience.
The strategies will help you build your Instagram following, and these tools will show you what strategies are working best for you.
Dash Hudson is relatively new and provides the most detailed metrics around for Instagram.
Some of the features include:
- Get insight into account growth
- Get insight into post-performance
- Get insight into interactions with followers
- Reports sent to your inbox weekly and monthly
- And much more.
Iconsquare is popular with most markers when looking to track their Instagram metrics.
Iconosquare allows you to track what is important, like:
- The best time to post
- The number of likes a post receives
- The number of shares a post receives
You can even track how people found you and what type of followers they are.
As of now, you can try Inconosquare free for seven days.
Final Thoughts On Instagram Marketing For Artists
The art world has changed over the years and how people discover new art for their art collection.
Traditional art was once purchased locally at galleries of craft fairs. Now an art collector can buy fine art worldwide.
There are potential buyers continually searching for new art on the Instagram feed as well as other popular social networks.
Developing an Instagram marketing for artist strategy will help you to be noticed by a broader audience.
Even though many artists have seen a great deal of success on Instagram, it was not an overnight success story.
The artists who are doing well on Instagram have suited how to market on Instagram, and they put in the hard work.
If you are willing to dedicate the time to learn how to market your artwork on Instagram, you will also see the same success as the artists you are admiring.