Instagram is often underestimated as a marketing tool but it can be a great friend to entrepreneurs, especially young upcoming illustrators who don’t have millions to spend on promotional campaigns. Used wisely and well, Instagram can get you enough followers to bring you into the spotlight and fuel the sales of your work. Here are some tips to keep in mind while trying to figure out what works for you on Instagram.
Using the right hashtags is very important if you want to hit the target audience. Try different hashtags and if you have a large number of followers from a particular area, go local with it. For example, if you have a large chunk of followers from Spain, use hashtags in Spanish whenever possible. It’s not enough to use hashtags in captions, make use of the search section as well. Check for the same hashtags that you have used and like the posts that appeal to you. It’s an easy way to draw attention to your own work.
Work at your art every day and post regularly, at least twice a day. Even if it is a quick sketch or a splash of watercolour, your followers will get to see fresh artwork on your feed throughout the day. Check for popular times to post to ensure that each of your posts gets ample exposure.
Be professional about your artwork and handle your Instagram account similarly. Post images related to your art only. Don’t post personal pictures or random selfies, unless they are connected to your art in some way. Followers are primarily interested in your work but they are also interested in you as an artist. So you can share interesting behind-the-scenes photos of your workspace, studio or your work material. It is also great to share a relevant backstory about an artwork; you can explain how it was made or share a narrative about what inspired you to create it.
Keep your Followers
Know your audience and once you have figured out what they like, stick with it. Keep it consistent because that is your unique brand and that is what drew your followers to your feed in the first place. Be positive when posting and avoid badmouthing another artist or a follower. Give your time be courteous to your followers. Like and comment on the work of other artists. Leave a thank you for compliments and reply to all the comments and queries as far as possible. You can also keep your audience happy with occasional giveaways during special occasions.
It’s a good idea to reach out to the movers and shakers on Instagram. When Instagram influencers take notice of your work, it is sure to increase your sphere of influence. So mail them your best pieces and whenever your work is posted by a recognised name, acknowledge it and share with your followers.
Give your followers plenty to look forward to and have at least 4-5 non-commercial posts for every post that endorses a product. Your Instagram posts can generate sales without sounding like advertisements for products. Each time you post something to encourage a purchase, make sure to refer to the clickable link even if it already exists on your profile. Your Instagram posts can also generate work for you by bringing your work to the attention of art directors and illustration companies.
Instagram is a great platform for you as an illustrator to display your work and gain an audience, but it is also a space where you can keep track of current trends and take inspiration from fellow artists to improve your art.