So, you’re most likely here because you desperately want to see a little ‘k’ (or if you’re ambitious, an ‘m’) to come after the number of followers on your Instagram profile. Who doesn’t? It is the dream after all.
Having a larger following means more website views, more sales, and more brand awareness. When you think back to how artists would traditionally need to mingle in the right circles or develop an eccentric persona (still optional by the way), Instagram has made everything more accessible. So, how do you get more Instagram followers as an artist?
There’s a certain etiquette to Instagram and a few things you have to do in order to organically gain a large following that is genuinely interested in your work.
Although these tips won’t give you thousands more followers, they offer actionable tips that will help you stand out on Instagram, develop an engaging feed and encourage the right people to follow your account.
1. Find your niche
Instagram has 700 million active users each month, and 80 million photos are posted per day. That’s a whole lot of pictures to compete against, so concentrating on a small niche is essential. This way, you’ll find users who have an actual interest in your artistic medium or style.
The best way to do this is to search for specific hashtags and delve into the users who post under it. You can also check out accounts that you like to follow and see who follows them. Once you’ve found some new, interesting accounts, it’s important to like their photos, maybe leave a genuinely thought out comment and give them a follow. People can now discover you more easily, due to Instagram’s smart algorithms and super targeted Explore tab.
Some hashtags to try:
2. Create an Aesthetic for Your Feed
Just like any art collection, your Instagram feed should have a distinctive aesthetic. The truer it is to you and your art, the more genuine it’s going to come across. If your style invokes imagery of bubblegum, cotton candy and sequins, your feed should reflect this. If your work is more industrial with heavier lines and metallic hues, then make sure your snaps mirror this style.
To create a theme for your account, jot down some words that you’d want people to associate your work with. Also, consider a dominate color to run throughout your pictures. This will help to solidify your Instagram aesthetic and give people an incentive to follow.
If you sell products with your art on it and want to feature those on your account, these need to fit into your aesthetic too. For example, if you’re selling some trendy face masks with quirky cartoons on them, photos with a bright, solid-colored background will make your designs pop and add to the electricity of your style.
Here’s some Instagram feed inspiration to whet your artistic appetite:
If you’ve got a love for letterpress and pretty pastel-y hues, 1canoe2 is for you.
Sonal’s feed takes us in the delicate floral world of her sketchbook and it’s truly enchanting.
This is an elegant feed adorned with muted pastel tones and historical, classic influences.
Billie Jacobina’s fashionable feed is full of glitter, girl talk and high levels of gregariousness.
This account is full of city chic abstract art that’ll make you jealous you’re not as cool as Jose.
Expect masculine typography blended and fused with pictures of whiskey and watches.
This might an account based on what Liz wants, but we want her minimalist, cute illustrations.
Rachel’s adorable stop motion illustration videos are mesmerizing and totally moreish – like this donut one!
Jamel’s female-orientated fashion sketches are 100% sassy, stylish and totally chic.
This feed by Jessica Colaluca is dedicated to showing the importance of perfectly curated color palettes.
Expect explosive color, energetic street art and expressive concepts in this vibrant feed.
3. Repost from Inspiring Accounts
Reposting is essentially the same as a retweet on Twitter and a share on Facebook. By reposting pictures from popular accounts, you’ll not only get noticed by the owner but their community too! Because of shared interests, it’s likely that the repost will pop up in their Explore feed and attract their attention. If your feed is interesting, this is a neat way to reel in more followers.
4. Promote your Instagram
Don’t do this all the time, but give your Instagram a shout out on other social media platforms every so often. Tell them what they can expect to find on your feed, such as inspiration or behind-the-scene shots of you producing artwork. Your Twitter or Facebook fans might not even know you have an Insta, so cross-reference your accounts and make sure they’re all linked up.
And if you’re selling products with your designs, this is even more crucial. If you’re promoting a new product, sharing and linking on all socials can drive up your sales. For example, if you’re promoting your freshly-designed face masks, try picking a different picture for each social media post, and link it to your store and other social media accounts. This connects your followers on all posts and encourages sales.
5. Get Involved with Instagram Art Challenges
You’ve probably seen these 30-day photo challenges where each day has a theme for users to interpret in their own creative way. But there are so many art challenges to get involved with, and it’s a brilliant way to find new accounts and new followers. Try the cartoon challenges #MyStyle, where you draw a character in your own artistic style and then in other famous cartoon styles. Or promote your art business through #MarchMeetTheMaker, a hashtag created by Joanne Hawker. When explaining the concept, Hawker said the hashtag is used for artists to “simply tell your small business story. It’s all about showing and telling people what you do, why you do it and where you create it.”
Check out these other cool Instagram art challenges:
6. Encourage Followers to Engage
As engagement levels increase, your account has a better chance of being found, so get TALKING! Posting relatable stuff and easy to answer questions will encourage users to engage with your photos and actively be a part of your online community.
For example, your caption could say ‘Comment a Paintbrush emoji if you’re in the studio creating today!’, or just a simple ‘Like this photo if you agree with XYZ’. Not only are you giving other artists the opportunity to get their name out there, but you’re helping to push your Instagram account to a wider audience.
Selling on-trend products can help massively with this. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends, selling them, and letting your followers know is a great way to boost engagement and even nab some new customers on the way. Check out products like face masks, leather tote bags, leggings, and bucket hats to get your followers shopping!
7. Only Post Relevant Content & Hashtags
This is a no brainer really. While you might be really proud of your tomato plant blooming in the garden and want to share it with the world, your followers probably don’t care. Keep on brand and keep consistent with the type of content you post. The same goes for hashtags; don’t post your usual art-related hashtags alongside said tomato plant picture. This is an Instagram turn-off and appears spammy.
To grow your Instagram account and grow your designer-maker business, you need awesome artwork to take awesome pictures of. Selling on-trend products featuring your designs not only produce great content for your Instagram, but give your independent business a boost too.
Pro-tip: our new custom face masks are beautifully photogenic, a perfect canvas for your art, and sell like hot cakes. If they’re not in your store, they should be.
With Contrado you can print your designs onto 100+ fabrics and over 400 handmade products and sell your art online. We work exclusively with the very best artists, selecting only outstanding creative talent from our applications. You could be the next one!
Click the banner below to see how easy it is to become a #ContradoCreative and start selling your art online.