Instagram for Artists: 6 Ways to Make Your Art Stand Out Online
As with most things that require an online presence, promoting one’s art is often best managed via popular social media outlets. For many artists, Instagram has become the go-to platform for such efforts. It’s an ideal option for curating a fanbase and connecting with the art community at large.
Of course, making your Instagram feed a standout in the art space requires more than simply owning an account and posting at leisure. It involves a targeted approach that starts with understanding your audience and knowing whom you intend to reach with your content. With a smart approach and some ingenuity, you have the opportunity to tap into an entire network of followers and fellow artists.
Here are six valuable tips to help maximize the effectiveness of your Instagram feed and make your art stand out online.
1. Create Art & Post Consistently
With both art creation and Instagram promotion, consistency is key. It can feel daunting and vulnerable to open up to your following with works in progress and an ongoing array of artistic pursuits, but have confidence in your creative abilities and keep generating art. Play with various mediums and feed your artistic vision.
Along the way, chronicle your creative process and finished products by way of videos and imagery for a storytelling experience that captures interest. One artist we know, for example, expressed her process through different iterations of the same photo. Don’t worry that you’re giving away any secrets or that your work isn’t inspiring others the way you intended. Create for art’s sake, and post from a place of personal passion.
Keep in mind that posting consistency doesn’t necessarily mean high volume or frequency. If it’s not practical for you to be posting to your Instagram feed three times a week, then stick to one post every two weeks. The objective is simply to set a dependable expectation for followers so they know when to look out for your engagement.
Also, consider taking advantage of scheduling automation that streamlines this effort and supports consistency. There are helpful tools like Later that do the work of managing and scheduling Instagram posts for you so you don’t spend all your time focusing on this aspect of self-promotion.
2. Make Your Feed Purposeful
It’s important to acknowledge that the goal of creating art and posting to your Instagram consistently doesn’t mean your feed should be an aimless hodge podge of content. Followers can tell when a feed feels as though it’s been frankensteined together, and it’s not an inviting experience. That’s why the best accounts apply purpose to their feeds, posting photos that clearly belong together.
This feed is part of your personal brand as an artist, so each post should clearly represent the image you want to share with the world. Therefore, be sure that you’re opting for relevant content that is highly illustrative of your artistic identity. With each post, ask yourself whether the photos and/or videos have a legitimate purpose and are reflective of your overall brand.
Utilizing a photo tent can help you capture high quality images of your artwork.
3. Use High-Quality Imagery
It can be challenging for artists to capture a photo of their work that accurately portrays its artistic beauty, and certainly the limitations of smartphones can elevate that challenge. But it’s essential to ensure that your feed utilizes photos and imagery of the highest quality, as these posts may directly impact followers’ perception of the value of your work.
Use good lighting, and make sure your photography is clear. Invest in a phone with a top-notch camera or consider buying attachments that can optimize factors like lighting and focus. Maybe even build a DIY lightbox from scrap foam core to help augment the perceived value of your work.
If doing so adds to the quality of your feed, you may want to take advantage of Instagram’s built-in editing tools. With these options, you have the ability to crop, adapt colors, maximize exposure and more. Sometimes a basic filter is all you need to create just the right impact. Start with high-quality photos and then employ the other tools at your disposal to elevate the representation of your content.
4. Accentuate Professionalism with Custom Framing
Don’t overlook the fundamental value of professional presentation, especially if you intend to use your Instagram feed as an avenue for selling your art. Custom framing is the ideal way to achieve that professional-level look and enhance the overall value of your work.
Applying custom framing doesn’t have to be an overly complicated or expensive process. In fact, there are plenty of DIY and professional service options to fit every need and budget. Plus, you make it easy for clients to display the work they purchase from you when you invest in custom framing and opt for high-quality, neutral frames.
5. Include a Convenient Way to Purchase or Get In Touch
Ultimately, your Instagram presence is about promoting your brand as an artist so you can actually attract interest and sell your work. So be sure to make that purchasing process as accessible as possible to your followers. With each post, link back to your online shop and/or contact information. You can also add a link in your Instagram bio, and refer back to the bio in your post comments.
It might even be worthwhile to invest in a shoppable Instagram feed. There are new features for product detail pages and order placement. Explore Instagram’s shopping capabilities as a potential retailer, and consider whether these options are a fit for your needs.
Utilize Instagram Shopping to allow people to easily shop your artwork.
6. Apply Hashtags and Trends Wisely
No guidance on developing an Instagram feed that stands out in the art community would be complete without reference to hashtags and trends. These are some of the most popular and effective ways to leverage an Instagram account for promoting your brand as an artist, though they should be applied thoughtfully and strategically.
Conduct some research on influencers in your space or other artists. Think about themes, genres and movements, and capitalize on trending topics. Female artists, for instance, might utilize a theme like women’s history. Think outside the box and know that there is a seemingly endless array of thematic elements to apply.
Hashtags play an important role in these themes and concepts. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize their content, so leveraging them wisely is a smart way to boost your visibility across channels and gain traction from followers in certain spaces with specific interests. Be sure to keep your hashtags relevant to your work and content, or they may be viewed unfavorably. Think about running campaigns or contests that make strategic use of hashtags to promote engagement. Just be authentic and purposeful in your efforts.