A successful artist in today’s fast-paced world not only needs to create art but also should focus on promoting their art. Gone are the days of the “starving artist” and elite art dealers. Art is becoming more open for everyone to enjoy, and also forces artists to preserve quality both online and offline.
Just like many small businesses and large corporations, the art community is quickly finding a home in the online world. From Facebook, Pinterest, to Instagram, you can find a way to connect with fellow artists and gain a fan base as well. This may eventually lead into opportunities otherwise unavailable in a traditional networking setting.
Instagram lends itself well to artists as it is primarily focused on sharing images with friends, family, and the rest of the world. Artists now use Instagram as a way to show their process and to sell their paintings. According to Vogue, artists regularly sell their paintings straight off of their Instagram feed. The accessibility Instagram offers to viewers is something unprecedented and will continue to expand. If you think about the audience you could potentially reach through the Internet versus your art show, you will realize just how important Instagram is to grow your art.
Below are some simple suggestions from the Agora Gallery Experts if you are new to Instagram or are unsure of how to use it to promote your art.
Posting Your Art on Instagram
- Keep it interesting – Make sure to post only relevant photos to your overall image as an artist.
Instagram is an excellent way to show your followers your art in progress, final images, any inspiration for your art, and perhaps other things going on in your life. Instagram is not simply about your art, but also your brand and your daily life. Post: Inspirations, Events, Accomplishments, Work in Progress, Studio Shots.
- High-Quality Images – This may be obvious, but make sure your images are high quality and reflect your work and vision. When users go on Instagram, they are usually expecting highly curated and top quality photographs. Especially due to the frequent use of filters, it is easy to make your image look beautiful. It is much harder to get by with a low-quality photo on Instagram than it would be if you posted that same photo on Facebook or Twitter.
- Think about the captions – Instagram has become a platform for visual story telling, so make sure that your image is accompanied by an interesting caption or a story that will stimulate your followers to engage. Instagram crowd loves interacting and will gladly comment, like, and report an all-around interesting post.
- Represent you as an Artist – Because Instagram caters towards images, you want to make sure the images you take and use are something you want to represent you as an artist. Even if you are Instagramming something as candid as the sky or what you ate for lunch, you want to make sure you present it in an artistic way.
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How Often & When to Post Your Art on Instagram
Remember when you post: focus on quality over quantity. You want to post frequently enough so that people are engaged. However, if you are debating whether to post an image just to meet that daily quota, it may be better to skip if it’s not a good picture. Trying to post every day is a good goal.
Latergramme, a service that helps manage and schedule Instagram posts, studied 61,000 posts to determine when photos received the most likes and comments. Huffington Post posted the results which found that: 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST are the best times to post if you want your followers to pay attention to you; the worst times are 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Also, Wednesday is apparently the best day of the week to post, though not by much.
Using Hashtags on Instagram
A very important way to engage with your followers and attract more people to your Instagram is to effectively use hashtags. Hashtags is how Instagram categorizes content, so using a few with every post will get you added to different categories, raising your exposure on the platform. So, how many hashtags should you use? Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, but it’s common practice to use between 5 and 12.
You do not want to overuse hashtags by using irrelevant terms. This practice will seem “spam-y” to other Instagrammers and can result in a decrease of followers. Instead, focus on using relevant and attractive hashtags that will bring in the audience you want. Checkout our post on hashtags for a list of popular art hashtags.
When you have a large enough group of followers, you may want to consider initiating a hashtag campaign. This can help spread the word, as other users will use the hashtag you created and increase its visibility. You can do this with a weekly tag (Agora Gallery’s #StudioSunday has been very popular) or an event, like an #AskTheArtist campaign or #PickAPic competition. There are plenty of ways to use hashtags to engage with your followers.
Eventually, you can even consider offering your artwork as a prize for your Instagram followers. This not only can increase engagement within your followers but also be a way to attract new members.
Engaging with the Art Community on Instagram
Similar to other forms of social media, in order to successfully use Instagram to grow your art, you will need to engage with your followers. Think about the audience you want to have. When you are starting out on Instagram, search and follow other artists through the user or hashtag search. It is easier for you to find your audience then for them to find you. Follow other artists or friends that you consider to be an inspiration for you. Instagram is an excellent place to gain inspiration as you can quickly screenshot and save an image onto your phone to reprint for later.
You should also comment on other user’s photos that you like. Engaging in conversations with fellow artists and users will help you show your personal side outside of simply being someone that creates art. You never know the connections you will make simply by liking or commenting on someone else’s image.
Promoting Your Art on Instagram
The sole reason you may be using Instagram is to promote your artwork. However, to engage a long-term fan base, you do not want to come off as only wanting to sell your artwork to them. Some of the most successful people on Instagram show that it is even more important to develop a brand and style that people love. Only then will promoting your artwork seem natural and be most effective.
An excellent way to promote your artwork is to focus on all aspects of the process. For example, do not only post finished products. As most artists are always working on something, it is a great idea to post some photos as updates of your work. Use a hashtag like #sneakpeek or #comingsoon and give people an exclusive feeling to raise the hype of the work. Keep your followers engaged, and build the suspense to the final product.
Promoting your artwork on Instagram can also lead to collaborations with other artists and brands. Find like-minded people or companies you would like to work with and follow them. Like their images on Instagram, comment actively.
Even if they do not follow back immediately (and they may not), you have started a small relationship that could potentially lead into something in the future.
Using Instagram to Lead to Sales
Many artists who have found the most financial success over Instagram have realized it is often spontaneous and unpredictable. The potential for Instagram is huge, and if your work is good, people will begin to follow you. You never know who one of your followers may be, and soon enough, you may find yourself making a sale.
Depending on where you are as an artist, you can at the very least have a way for buyers to contact you. Several consumers will just comment on the image that you post to see if it is up for sale. If you have more established work and are looking to be more direct, you should include your online portfolio or website in the information section. Instagram does not allow you to add links in your image descriptions; however, you can always lead them back up to your profile biography.
You can consider posting images as a way to promote your pieces online. Make sure that you do this in between several other posts, as you do not want to appear as to be spamming others only to earn money. A good marketing tip to remember is that you first want to build that relationship with your future clients and buyers before too quickly offering to sell.
One reason Instagram works so well is because there is a lack of pressure for your followers to buy something. Instagram followers will respond to an authentic feeling of liking your artwork. This is something that is unprecedented as it brings art to everyone at the ease of a few clicks of a button. It also allows artists to be in more control of their work, in contrast to waiting for a show or dealers.
As your followers grow, you may find people re-gramming your artwork or tagging their friends in your comments. This is how one photo can easily go viral and gain followers to sell art both on and offline. Of course, your primary goal as an artist should not be to solely pursue the most amount of fans. However, the more publicity you get, the more likely you will be to bring in the cash flow.
Share Beyond Instagram
Instagram can easily link into your current Facebook page or artist’s website. You can do this by adding the Instagram Widget to your website. Since Facebook recently bought Instagram, it is now easy to add an Instagram Tab onto your Facebook page. This will encourage your Facebook and website fans to follow you on Instagram and vice versa.
- Your Website
Bringing Instagram to your website can also help your website feel more intimate and add personality through the high-quality photos.
As time goes by, you will find even more people using social media. Instagram is always shifting their ways of promoting businesses and corporations, and you want to be on top of the game.
If you have not already, sign up for an Instagram account today and post your first image! And make sure to Follow Agora Gallery’s Instagram page.
At the time of the update, Instagram was preparing to launch its very first news feed algorithm, not unlike the one Facebook uses. The purpose of the algorithm is to improve user experience by making the most interesting content appear at the top of the Instagram feed. Stay ahead of the game by thinking about your posts and the content you share. Like, comment, and regram your favorite posts and encourage your fans to do the same.
As a promotional gallery, we take pride in the diverse group of artists from across the globe represented by us. Want to give your art more time, and leave the marketing and promotional hassles to someone else? Visit our Gallery Representation And Artist Promotion page for more information.
Let us know what are some of your favorite ways of interacting with your followers! Comment below or send us an email at email@example.com
This post is also available in: Spanish