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5 Key Tips to Sell Your Art on Instagram

Maybe you’re already on it but aren’t seeing strong results. Maybe you’ve heard of it but haven’t yet taken action to build a profile. Maybe you think social media is an annoying distraction and you just want to paint (I get it!).

Here’s the thing, I want you to be successful – UBER successful – so I’m going to share with you today why you can benefit from using Instagram to promote your art business and 5 key tips for doing so successfully.

Let’s start with a quote from this super inspiring article Vogue published about artists who are making huge sales of their work on Instagram:

“[Instagram] is not only launching the career of under-the-radar artists, it is providing the world with an entirely new way to access art. Where artists once had to first get support of the art world elite—critics, galleries and big name collectors, which would eventually lead to museum shows—before reaching the monied masses, today artists use Instagram as their own virtual art gallery, playing both dealer and curator while their fans become critics and collectors, witnessing the creative process in real time.”

1. Set-Up

  • Create a profile and choose your profile photo. In your bio, include a brief description of who you are and what you do and most importantly, make sure you have a link back to your website.
  • Decide on 5-10 key “basic hashtags” you’ll include with nearly all of your posts. These are basic descriptors like “#photographer”, “#photo”, “#naturephotographer”, “#naturelovers”, etc. Figure out what is appropriate for your medium and niche.
  • Keep it public! Make sure your profile and posts stay public, not private, so that your potential audience can easily find, follow and support you. Create a separate private profile for family and friends if you must!
  • Decide if you want to showcase your work with a particular aesthetic framework. I personally love a free app called “Squareready”. You can resize images within a white backdrop, which I think gives an instagram profile a sort of white-wall gallery effect.

2. Content

  • Reveal your process (show images of you painting, writing music, rehearsing a dance, etc.)
  • Showcase finished work, your best pieces, what’s currently for sale
  • Integrate what inspires you and consider using relevant quote images
  • In addition to adding your “basic hashtags” when you post, include additional hashtags that are customized for that particular post (i.e. “#mountainlandscape”, “#landscapephotography”, “#mountainsunset”, etc.)
  • Include a plain text description of the photo and your general thoughts or feelings about its content and your creative process. If a piece is for sale, be sure to reference the link in your bio so you can give people the opportunity to purchase it. 

3. Engagement

  • Reply thoughtfully to comments
  • Be generous with compliments, “likes” and follows that you give out
  • Utilize the tool that allows you to automatically post your instagram photo to twitter and facebook. Reply to comments on those platforms as well. If a piece is for sale, once your photo posts to facebook, include a comment where you link to the exact page on your site where someone can purchase it.

4. Frequency

  • Find what’s right for you and fits in with your lifestyle goals
  • Typically 1-2 times a day is plenty
  • The most important thing is that whatever choice you make (1x/day, 1x/week, etc.) be sure to stay consistent
  • Find ways to automate or outsource (Hootsuite, Latergramm, hire a social media manager, etc.)

5. Follow Your Market

  • Make sure you’re not just “liking” and “following” random people like crazy – you want to stay within your target niche and demographic
  • Know who they are! Remember that work you did to identify your tribe? Go back to it (or if you’re brand new, do it now)
  • Search hashtags for keywords you think your target market might use when searching for work like yours

Now, I want you to TAKE ACTION! Have you been using Instagram already? How has it been going – any big wins or struggles you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or email me directly at contact@limitlessartists.com.

Let me know if you try out these tips and how it goes!

Sending you so much New-Vember love – my yoga teacher has been calling it “New-Vember” because it feels like the perfect time for new beginnings…doesn’t it?

Much love,

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