An Artist’s Guide To Success On Instagram

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While we might think of Instagram as a social network that has allowed a new breed of influencers to take the spotlight for doing influencer marketing, it’s also a place where people who are looking to showcase their creativity and build a following for their output in other mediums can find their feet.

Artists, in particular, have a lot to gain from leveraging Instagram, so let’s talk about what it takes to find success in this sphere, whether you’re an illustrator, painter, graphic designer, animator, or anything in between.

Artists’ Guide To Success On Instagram

Here are some tips to help you succeed on Instagram as an artist:

1- Establishing an Engaging Profile

In our social media-centric world, your Instagram profile is the first impression you give to potential followers, fans, and buyers of your work alike. As such, you need to make sure it reflects who you are and what type of work you create.

You need to think about your profile both as a holistic element of your online presence while also looking at how each individual aspect can be adjusted and optimized. This is something we’ll discuss as we go along, so stick around!

2- Crafting a Captivating Bio

The bio section of your Instagram profile is an important way to communicate who you are as an artist and also an individual.

Keep it short and sweet, but also use this space to give insight into what makes you unique or why people should care about the work that you create.

Your Instagram bio must use keywords relevant to your art style, so viewers can easily find your content based on their interests. Also, make sure it’s engaging and invites readers in. You can achieve this in a number of ways, whether with humor, curiosity-generating statements, or mentions of your achievements, such as awards and industry recognition you’ve received.

In short, you want visitors to your profile to want more after reading through the few sentences that make up your bio. This will help draw them further into exploring all of the great artwork they can discover from scrolling through your feed and, hopefully, convert them into a fully-fledged acolyte of your ever-expanding community of supporters.

3- Finding Your Aesthetic and Voice

Creating a unique aesthetic is an important part of standing out on Instagram. This will give your followers a sense of familiarity when they come across your profile and content, which helps create loyalty as you build up more engagement with them.

Take some time to experiment. Look at what type of visuals resonate most with audiences in your style and what types of captions engage people the most. The integrated analytics on the Instagram insight part can help here.

It’s also important to find your own creative voice. Think about how you want to communicate through words or even just by using images that evoke emotion without needing any text whatsoever.

For some artists, this will be easier than others. If you’ve already forged a distinct aesthetic and voice over the course of your career, you can translate this to Instagram relatively easily. If you’re still early in your journey as a creative professional, this is something you will have to feel out over time.

4- Utilizing Relevant Platforms to Promote Your Work

In order to reach the widest audience possible, it’s important for artists to branch out beyond just Instagram.

Consider creating a website or blog where you can showcase your artwork and link back to your social media profiles. This will help drive more traffic from search engines as well as potential buyers of work.

There are also other platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Patreon that could be great places for you to promote yourself further. Online art galleries like Singulart also offer a lot of value in this context.
If your Instagram followers can click through and purchase your pieces on a reputable third-party platform, you will look much more professional right away.

It’s essential to get creative with how you use all of these third-party solutions in combination with Instagram, in part so people don’t feel overwhelmed by too much content all at once. Sow the seeds of your online empire in as many places as possible, and you’ll reap the rewards in the long term.

As an artist, it’s important to stay up to date with trends and changes within the art world. This could be anything from new styles of artwork gaining popularity or techniques being used by other artists that you can learn from.

The good news is that you can use Instagram as a tool to research what other creatives are doing. Follow popular accounts in your style so you get regular updates on their work and inspiration for yours!

Hashtags are also great tools for discovering more about current trends. When doing hashtag strategy on Instagram, make sure you use ones relevant to your niche so people looking at art hashtags see your content too.

6- Creating Quality Content Consistently

Regardless of the artistic niche you occupy, quality content is central to gaining more followers on Instagram.

Make sure that each piece of work you post is thoughtfully created and showcases your artistic flare in the best possible way. The flip side is that you should avoid posting artwork just for the sake of it. If inspiration just isn’t sparking, don’t force yourself to publish something that’s half-finished or not up to your usual standard.

In this context, think about setting up a schedule so you’re regularly posting quality images, Stories, or other types of content. If followers know when to expect your latest post to drop, they’ll appreciate it and anticipate its arrival eagerly. Of course, if you’re hammering them with multiple updates day in, and day out, then this can become overbearing, so finding the right balance between staying active and avoiding an excess of content is important.

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Once again, you can use insights from posts and Stories to track how audiences are responding to what you’re putting out there. This will help inform what type of work resonates most with them, as well as giving ideas for future pieces.

Of course, you don’t just need to bend to the will of your followers based on which posts get the most engagement. Following your own path is important for any artist. But it’s still informative to get a sense of the work that’s generating the largest number of interactions, especially if you’re hoping to generate sales of tangible works from your Instagram presence.

7- Setting Realistic Goals for Growth

Having realistic goals can help you measure your success on Instagram and stay motivated as an artist. And after all, motivation is important if you want to stick to your guns regarding achieving success on this platform. If you’re aiming for the moon, then you’ll likely miss it, and this can be dispiriting, so it’s better to be sensible when approaching this.

To do that, think about what type of growth would make the most sense, given your current situation. Do you want to gain more followers, increase engagement, or drive sales?

Once you have a goal in mind, set smaller objectives to lead up to it, such as creating content around certain topics or running promotions that could help reach it faster. Being able to move toward and measure smaller wins will give you that incentive to keep on going to reach those more important milestones.

Also, make sure to track progress regularly, so any changes needed can be made quickly. It’s useful to know whether or not any changes in posting scheduling or content strategy you put in place are paying off or falling short. This will consequently give clarity on where it’s best to focus your energy when trying to achieve larger-scale goals.

8- Interacting with Other Artists on Instagram

Connecting and collaborating with other artists, especially top-selling artists on Instagram, is a great way to grow your network, as well as to discover new ideas for artwork, as hinted at earlier.

Look for art influencers and accounts in similar styles or who specialize in the same mediums. Although finding your desired influencers can be hard and time-consuming, using an influencer marketplace, such as Ainfluencer, can pave the way. Ainfluencer is a DIY marketplace that has a vast database of influencers that are categorized by niche, follower count, engagement rates, and other factors, making it effortless to find the perfect influencer for your specific requirements. Join Ainfluencer‘s community for free and start working with talented art influencers to grow your visibility and reach.

Finding related accounts will help you connect with people that can relate to your work more easily and so will be more likely to give you a follow-back and reply to any interaction you offer them.

Of course, you won’t get replies from other artists if you aren’t engaging with them regularly. Comment, like, and share their posts when appropriate so they get notified of any engagement from you. This is all part of the push and pull of creating clout and earning a good reputation on Instagram because only the already-famous can afford to effectively remain aloof from the underlying community on this or any other social platform.

You could even go one step further by joining artist groups, creating challenges, or running polls within Stories if it fits into your style. These activities create an avenue for that all-powerful connection and collaboration between creatives, which can lead to bigger opportunities down the line.

9- Writing Thoughtful Comments & Responses

Just as you should be posting comments on the content of other creatives on Instagram, you also need to be proactive about monitoring and responding to the messages left on your work.

Comments can help build a meaningful connection between you and your followers, so reply to them in a timely manner, whether they’re questions or just compliments. This shows that you value the people interacting with your content and demonstrates that you see yourself as on a level pegging with them.

Try to write thoughtful responses rather than something that’s too generic. You want to make an impression, rather than your reply seeming like it was fired off in half a second.

For instance, you can show appreciation for their support by mentioning something specific about them or their comment. This will encourage further conversations, which helps build those bridges with fans, as well as generating trust in potential buyers who may want to purchase artwork from you in the future.

It may have served artists to seem mysterious and untouchable in the past, but with social media, this attitude no longer flies.

10- Planning Ahead for Holidays & Events

Creating content ahead of time can help give you a competitive edge on Instagram. Look out for holidays and other events that could be relevant to your art style or niche, as this will guarantee that your posts are timely and in line with what audiences may already be looking at online.

Try to plan out visuals, captions, Stories, or even giveaways related to the event. By doing so, you’ll create anticipation from followers who know something special is coming up soon.

You can also use these occasions as opportunities to collaborate with other artists or brands, which could catalyze the growth of your account and your audience and bring in some much-needed cash between commissions. This ties back to the idea of keeping your posting schedule consistent and finding inspiration.

11- Understanding What Drives Popularity

For an artist to flourish on Instagram, they need to understand what drives popularity and engagement with viewers.

To this end, dig into the type of visuals or topics that people are drawn to. These don’t need to be too specific and might be something as simple as working out that a certain color pallet strikes a chord. Of course, conversely, it might be that your followers are more engaged and interested in content that has a story behind it.

Also, don’t just limit yourself to one type of content. Go outside of your comfort zone and learn new skills to produce something different that still very much has your aesthetic fingerprints all over it. This may mean creating videos, Stories, and gifs as well as regular posts in your style.

Conclusion

These are general rules for making the most of your Instagram presence as an artist, but don’t be reluctant to think outside the box or try something different if you think there’s a better way of doing things.

That’s the brilliant thing about being creative, in that you have the freedom to experiment and both learn from your mistakes while building upon your successes and becoming more rounded as an individual and a brand as a result.

Cyrus Nambakhsh

Cyrus is a serial entrepreneur, product-led-growth expert, a product visionary who launched 7 startups. He has built scalable platforms to help businesses and entrepreneurs. Contact: Cyrus@ainfluencer.com