As an artist, your Instagram profile can be a powerful tool to showcase your work, build your brand, and connect with your audience. But with millions of users using the platform daily, it can be challenging to stand out and gain a following.
Luckily, as artists, we have the advantage that art often stands out on Instagram. This will increase the chances of you gaining a decent following.
So, how can you increase your art Instagram following today? In this article, I’ve compiled many tips to help you optimize your profile, post engaging content, and promote your account.
Some of the tips in this article are based on my experience promoting my art on Instagram, where I have built over 100k followers. You can check out my Instagram profile here.
By the end of this article, we hope you’ll have the tools you need to grow your audience and take your art to the next level. So, let’s dive in.
Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Set Up Your Instagram Profile For Success!
Optimizing your profile is the first step in gaining a more significant following on Instagram. Your profile is your first impression, and it’s essential to make it count. Start by selecting a profile picture that represents your brand and style. It can be a picture of you, your work, or anything that embodies your brand.
Craft an Instagram Bio that speaks about your personality
Make sure your bio is concise, clear, and engaging. Use relevant keywords to your work and add personal flair to make it more relatable. Also, include a link to your website, online store, and other social media accounts you may have to drive traffic and increase engagement.
Use a Link in Bio Tool in your profile
I use Koji to share all my links in my Instagram bio; however, since writing this article, Koji has been acquired by LinkTree. I am currently researching which link in bio tool to use, so I will update this article when I choose a new app.
Regardless, Koji was an excellent link-sharing app that allowed you to sell your products directly from the app and share your links to your website and other social media sites.
There are many link-in-bio apps available such as LinkTree and Stan Store. Some of these are free or have free versions, but many are subscription-based.
Choose an Instagram Username That is Easy to Remember
Ensure your username is easy to remember and reflects your brand. Don’t use complicated usernames or ones that are filled with characters such as hashtags for example. Just keep it simple.
Lastly, remember to switch accounts to business account to access additional features such as analytics and the ability to promote your posts.
Have a Consistent Art Style
A consistent art style on Instagram is paramount to building a solid and recognizable brand as an artist. It allows your audience to quickly identify your work amidst the sea of content on the platform. Consistency in your art style creates a cohesive visual narrative that tells the story of your artistic journey.
To maintain a consistent art style, explore different techniques, subject matters, and mediums to discover what resonates with you. Once you’ve found your artistic voice, embrace it wholeheartedly and let it guide your creative process. Consistency doesn’t mean stagnation; it means refining and evolving your style over time while staying true to your core aesthetic.
Ultimately, having a consistent art style on Instagram sets you apart from other artists and strengthens your brand identity. It enables you to carve out a unique space in the art community, fostering recognition and opening doors for collaborations, exhibitions, or even commercial opportunities. Embrace your art style, nurture it, and let it shine through your Instagram feed, captivating your audience and propelling your artist following to new heights.
In addition to optimizing your profile, posting regularly is crucial to gaining more followers. This was key when I started posting, and I was growing my Instagram following.
Aim to have new posts at least once daily if you can, but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. If you miss a day or two, don’t worry; post engaging, high-quality content consistent with your brand and style. The Instagram algorithm likes consistency, so posting content regularly will be an indication to push your content out for more views, clicks, and likes.
Post Reels For More Discoverability
When it comes to growing your art brand, one key aspect is making sure you are discoverable, which is where posting reels really helps. Whilst static images are mainly shown to your existing followers, reels will help a new audience discover you.
It is important to post images, but in order to grow your Instagram account, it is recommended to post at least 2 to 4 reels per week.
Respond to Your Comments
Responding to comments and direct messages shows that you value your followers and can lead to increased engagement and loyalty. The Instagram algorithm also favors accounts where the content creator actively engages with comments and likes. The two most important factors in the success of a reel as well as the quality of your content is your activity and interaction history.
A little early love for a post, including likes, comments, and shares, can help to get your content in front of more eyeballs, so engagement on Instagram is key. Respond to comments especially in the first couple of hours of a post you have created.
Use High-Quality Images
Posting consistently is vital to growing your art Instagram following. Still, it’s also essential to maintain the quality of your content. This is where using high-quality images comes in. Make sure you are posting your best quality artwork.
Your artwork also deserves to be showcased in the best possible light, so take the time to ensure your photos are clear, well-lit, and properly edited.
Invest in a good camera or phone and use editing tools to enhance your images. You want your artwork to stand out and catch the attention of potential followers. Remember, your posts reflect your brand and the quality of your artwork.
By using high-quality images, you’ll attract new followers and keep your current ones engaged. Your art Instagram following will grow with regular posting and visually stunning content.
Now, you may be thinking, what if I don’t have enough artwork to post daily? You can do a couple of things to create more content to post if you don’t have enough finished artwork to share. One of the things I have been doing recently is making posts of my painting process, where I will share a load of images of my artwork in the various stages of creation in one image. My viewers have found this intriguing, and many of these posts have received a lot of engagement and likes. You can create these types of posts by using Canva.
Another thing you can do if you are running low on content to post is to reshare old posts and reels that have done well in the past. In 2022 I had a reel that went viral, receiving 1.4 million views. I reposted the same reel a year later in 2022 and it got even more views than when I first posted it, getting 2.2 million views.
Promote Your Art on Reels
Instagram Reels are a popular feature for sharing short, engaging videos and has been one of my most effective ways of growing my following on Instagram. As an artist, you can leverage Reels to showcase your creative process, provide art tutorials, or share time-lapse videos of your artwork coming to life.
Create Hooks at the Start of Your Reels
Most people these days have a short attention span, so you only have a couple of seconds to hook in your view to engage them with your reel. It doesn’t matter how good your reel is, if it hasn’t got a good hook in the first couple of seconds then people will swipe up to the next video.
Spot Trends by Watching Other People’s Reels
Spot trends on reels, copy them, and put your spin on them. You can spot trends by looking at other people’s reels and taking note of similarities of reels that are doing well.
In the art niche, it is pretty easy to spot trends as many involve an artist revealing a painting. I have had a few reels go viral, receiving over 1 million views using this strategy.
Another thing you an artist can do to increase your following using reels is to ask people to follow you. You can write something like ‘Follow me if you like my painting’, for example, and place it in your video’s last couple of seconds.
Share Your Process
Sharing your art process is an excellent way to give your followers a glimpse into your creative world and build a stronger connection with them. When you show the behind-the-scenes of your art and progress shots of a painting you are working on, you allow your followers to see your personality, skills, and dedication.
You can share your process through photos, short videos below, or Instagram Stories, depending on your preferences and the best way to showcase your art. You can also use captions to share your insights, thoughts, and inspiration. Sharing your process can spark conversations, answer questions, and inspire your followers to create their art.
Moreover, sharing your process can help you attract new followers interested in your style and approach. People love seeing how art happens and appreciate authentic and transparent content. When you share your process, you show that you care about your followers and are willing to let them into your world.
Sharing your process can also help you utilize hashtags strategically. By including relevant and specific hashtags in your posts, you can reach new audiences searching for content related to your art and style.
Use Hashtags, But Not Too Many
Hashtags can help you grow a following on Instagram, especially as many people follow popular hashtags, for example, #landscapepainting. Whilst hashtags used to be the main way of being discovered on Instagram many years ago, this is now changed. Hashtags are not as important as they once were however, they can still prove to be a valuable tool for increasing engagement and reaching new audiences.
Use a Maximum of 7 to 9 Hashtags
Instagram gives you the option to use up to 30 hashtags; however, it is not recommended to use this many. The recommended number of hashtags is between 7 – 9 hashtags. I personally have been having success with my posts just using 5 or 6 hashtags.
Including relevant and specific hashtags in your Instagram posts is a great way to increase your art Instagram following. Hashtags can help you reach new audiences searching for content related to your art and style. They can also help you join communities and conversations that align with your values and goals.
When you use hashtags, however, it’s essential to research them, test them, and analyze their effectiveness.
Use Instagram Stories
Another effective way to increase your art Instagram following is by using Instagram Stories. These short, 15-second videos or images can be an excellent way to showcase your art and your process more personally. By showing your followers behind-the-scenes glimpses of your work, you can build a stronger connection with them and keep them engaged.
You can also use features like polls, quizzes, and questions to encourage interaction and gather feedback from your followers. For example, you could ask your followers which artworks they would like to see more of or which colors they prefer in your work.
Using Instagram Stories can also help you reach new audiences through the right hashtags and location tags. By including relevant hashtags and locations in your Stories, you can attract more viewers searching for content related to your art and style.
Now that you know how to use Instagram Stories effectively, let’s move on to the next tip: running giveaways.
Use Mock-Up Tools to Showcase Your Art
Another effective way to create engaging art content is by using mock-up tools like Placeit to showcase your artwork in real-life settings. These tools allow you to overlay your art onto various mock-up templates, such as walls, frames, or gallery settings, giving your audience a sense of how your art would look in different environments.
I use Placeit to showcase my artwork in various settings, from living rooms to bedrooms. It is an excellent way to create content for Instagram. I have also used those same images to showcase my artwork on my website. Using mock-up tools can ultimately help you increase sales of your artwork.
By incorporating mock-up tools like Placeit into your art page and your Instagram strategy, you can create an abundance of captivating art content that resonates with your target audience. It allows you to present your artwork in versatile settings, expanding your visual storytelling possibilities and fostering a deeper connection with your followers.
Promote Your Instagram Account
Now that you have implemented various tactics to grow your Instagram following, it’s time to promote your account further. After all, only so many people will stumble upon your profile on their own.
One way to promote your account is to collaborate with other artists or brands. Reach out to like-minded individuals or other businesses and propose a collaboration that benefits all parties involved. This could be as simple as a joint Instagram post or a more complex project. Collaborating with others exposes your account to their followers and can lead to new creative opportunities.
Lastly, pay attention to the power of cross-promotion. Include links to your front page, blog and Instagram account if you have a website or blog. You can also include your own page and Instagram profile in your email signature and business cards.
Promoting your account increases engagement, the chances of attracting new followers, and growing your audience and number of followers. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to a thousand followers and becoming an Instagram influencer in no time.
Use Instagram Broadcast Channel to Grow Your Account
An Instagram Broadcast Channel is a new feature that allows users to share messages, updates, polls and videos with their followers through direct messages. It’s like sending a mass WhatsApp message to your loyal fans. Followers will be able to react to your messages but not be able to send messages.
This feature opens up endless possibilities for artists looking to engage with their followers in a more personal and interactive way. I am using this feature myself and so far it has been very beneficial.
In conclusion, growing your art Instagram following is a process that takes time. Still, by implementing these tips, you can start seeing results sooner rather than later.
Remember to optimize your profile, post regularly, use high-quality images, engage with followers, share your process, utilize hashtags and use Instagram stories to promote your account.
Above all, stay true to your brand, have fun, and keep creating and sharing your beautiful art with the world.