Nine Tips For Artists To Grow On Instagram

marcel mensah Art Instagram Social Media Tutorials

 

As a creator, getting eyes on your work and building hype around what you do is an extremely important aspect of your business. If no one knows or cares about your craft, you ultimately can't sell your work or make a living. Instagram is a great tool that's been used to amass huge followings for artists very similar to yourself. If they can do it and use it as  a means to make a living, why can't you? Here are 10 ways to grow your account and audience to get you where you want to be on instagram.

1) Be Consistent

The Very First step to building a following on any platform, no matter what your craft, is to be consistent. If you expect people to pay attention to your content, engage with your work and, ultimately appreciate you as an artist, you have to show them that you take it seriously. There are two main ways you can be consistent on Instagram. Those are:
  1. Make sure the bulk of your page has something to do with your art!: Simply put, people want to know what they’re in for before they follow you. If you’re a painter but your page has photos of your dog Skippy and sunsets on the beach, then someone who wants to follow painters won’t give you the time of day. On the other hand, when your page has 10 pictures of your dog, and 100 pictures of your paintings, you’re making it very clear to people what you do and what they can get out of following you.
  1. Set Posting Times/days: Be consistent with when you’re putting out work. One of the biggest “Artist Killers” (as I like to call them) on Instagram is a a lack of structure in this area. Sure, you make really incredible work, but when you only get to see it once a month its harder become invested in the work. On the other hand If you’re posting one really awesome painting every other day, then people will get excited about checking in on you to see what new thing you’ve come up with. Getting people excited to see more of what you do is a big part of building a following because ultimately this gets people more invested in you and you’re process. 

 2) Engage!

Instagram is a SOCIAL Platform, that means to do you well you actually need to be…. well, social. Shocking right? The fact of the matter is if you’re not engaging with your audience and building relationships with the people in your niche then no one is going to care about you or what you have to say. The most important part of building a solid following is making people feel welcomed into the world that is your art and your process. It’s very hard to do that if you’re not responding to comments, answering to DMs, talking to people about their work etc.

3) Be Authentic

To many people, the secret to social media is to put on a mask and pretend your somebody interesting enough to follow. I’m here to tell you its actually the opposite. Becoming some unreachable fantasy person isn’t going to make people like you more. If anything, what people enjoy are other people they can relate to. On my own page @eat_more_spiders, if I’m not posting my daily illustrations I’m putting up pictures in my story of fun looking plants or cute dogs. Why? because that's who i am! it may not be as impressive as sitting on luxury cars or holding up stacks of money, but it’s something I like to do. And people appreciate that.
 
The takeaway here should be: you become more relatable the more you show people that you’re a regular person, just like everyone else.

 4) Tell your story

There are plenty of ways for you to let people know what your about on Instagram, AKA telling your own story. To clearly get your story to your audience, you can start by asking yourself questions like:
  • How did I get started in my craft?
  • Why do i do what i do?
  • Where am I in my creative process?
  • Where do I hope to take my work?
Once you get these things down tell your audience about it! This is done in  captions, stories, going live, chatting with people, and so much more. Having a story to tell is important because it adds depth not only to your branding but you as a person! People can become more invested in you and what you do if they have some context as to why you create and what your goals are.

5) Post high quality images

At this point, having high quality images on your Instagram is an absolute must. When you finish a project that you’re really proud of, there’s a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with it. How can your followers share in this satisfaction if all they get to see is a bad photo you took on your phone in the dark? Instagram is a visual content platform, if you want to do well you need to make sure your visuals are both clear and professional looking at the very least.

6) Don’t be afraid of negative feedback

Being afraid of people possibly hating your work is an affliction that nearly every artist EVER has experienced at some point. The fear of being laughed at or ridiculed can,  in worst case, completely prevent you from publishing anything.
To really grow an audience, you have to be able to take a long look at yourself and say, “people might hate this, and that’s ok”.
A great way to start building confidence in this area is to just…. well, put it out there! The only way to get over that anxiety is to push through it and publish your work regardless of what anybody might think of it. Over time you won't even think twice about negative views on your work.

7) Create as much as possible

The next step to building a following on Instagram is to create as much as you can. By constantly putting out fun, professional and engaging content, you’re giving people more opportunities to become fans of your work. By posting 7 times a week rather than once or twice, you’re essentially multiplying your reach by 7X. If publishing your art frequently isn’t something your used to I challenge you to try putting more work into this area. If you’re posting once a week, try posting 3 or 4 times. If you’re already posting 3-4 times, Try bringing it up to 6-7. This kind of consistency will make a substantial difference to your growth and community.

8) Use Instagram’s tools

Instagram has become an extremely diverse platform over the past couple years. From 24-hour stories to live videos, its becoming much easier to engage with your fan base. When trying to build a following, its important that you’re reaching people in as many ways as possible. What that means is you need to utilize all of the features that Instagram gives you. With Insta you can;
  • Get direct feedback with polls
  • Allow your community to ask you questions
  • Show your process on Instagram live
  • Queue up your greatest hits with the highlights feature.
 With the addition of all of these new and exciting ways to use the platform, just posting on your feed doesn’t seem like it’ll cut it any more.

9) Be Patient

If you’re just starting out and your goal is to build an audience on Instagram it’s easy to get caught up in the “I need 100,000 followers by the end of the month” mindset. The reality is that something like that happening is very unlikely. If you’re serious about building a community around what you do you need to understand that patience is key and, that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to where you want to be. 

By consistently implementing the tips and tricks listed above, the community will build itself. Remember this: What’s important is that your building connections with you friends and fans, not that you’re getting heaps of new followers (though, that’s pretty cool too).



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