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. However, with newly opened doors comes new competition to dodge.
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 I can’t give you thousands more followers, I can give you 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 artistic 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, candyfloss and sequins, then 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 think when they look at your feed. Also, consider a dominate colour to run throughout your pictures. This will help to solidify your Instagram aesthetic and give people an incentive to follow.
Here’s some Instagram feed inspiration to whet your artistic appetite:
Kelly Mindell of StudioDIY is pretty, pink and playful, and we seriously can’t get enough.
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.
I’m so excited to have recived these bottles today and see how the labels turned out for Skrapan Lager. Due to a tight production timeline there was no time for test printing so I’m slightly relieved when I say I’m really happy with the result. Skrapan Lager will be available at Systembolaget next month. Cheers! 🍻
This might an account based on what Liz wants, but we want her minimalist, cute illustrations.
Rachel’s adorable stop motion illustration videos are mesmerising and totally moreish – like this donut one!
Happy National Donut Day! I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to be one of “those people” who proudly post a picture of their six pack on Instagram? Let’s face it, donuts happen. So this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to achieving that dream. The good news is that with donuts we can all have a sweet six pack! Whether you’re a believer in this “hole-y” holiday or not, I hope you all enjoy this very special “fried-day”! Diet or not…donut hesitate, go treat yo’self! PS Of course today’s hidden emoji is this 👉🏻🍩👈🏻. See if you can spot it 😉 #ispyemojis #stopmotion #animation #art #drawing #illustration #instavideo #instavid #holiday #baking #doughnut #donut #pink #icing #sixpack #NationalDoughnutDay #NationalDonutDay #🍩
Jamel’s female orientated fashion sketches are 100% sassy, stylish and totally chic.
A contemporary feed straight out of NYC, Jessica’s Instagram is artsy, daring and bold.
This feed by Jessica Colaluca is dedicated to showing the importance of perfectly curated colour palettes.
Expect explosive colour, 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 once in a while it’s fine to give your Instagram a shout out on your other social media platforms. 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.
5) Get in Involved with Challenges
You’ve probably seen these 30-day photo challenges where each day has been assigned a theme for users to interpret in their own creative way. But there’s 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 at 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.
7) Only Post Relevant Content & Hashtags
This is a no brainer really. Whilst 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 looks spammy and is such an Instagram turn off.
To grow your Instagram account and grow your designer maker business, you need awesome artwork to take awesome pictures of. 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.