Having an audience on Instagram is crucial for artists. An audience allows you to: get more art commissions; sell your own products; and inspire other artists. But because an audience is so valuable, it isn’t easy to grow one.
Hey, I am Teezy and Lunar gave me the opportunity to share my tips which helped me to grow my art page to 7k followers and later on my Arttips page to 30k followers
I know how hard it can be to grow your community. In the past, I helped hundreds of other artists with their growth; therefore, I want to present you with 10 tips I learned during my three years on Instagram that will make your journey much easier:
1. Don't Get It Wrong When Posting on Instagram: Art ≠ Content
Most artists have the wrong belief that one Instagram post always must be one fully fleshed artwork. This way of thinking will just throw you into the next art block. Instead, you need to recycle your artwork into multiple pieces of content.
One single artwork, for example, can result in:
- A normal post
- A carousel post where you present your most favorite artwork
- A WIP (work in progress) post
- A Reel while you create that artwork.
- A trending reel format where you present that artwork.
This way, you can recycle your work into multiple pieces of engaging content with ease. You may use the image below as an inspiration for your Instagram posting schedule.
2. Setting Up Your Instagram Account: Your Profile is One of the Most Important Aspects
Your profile is one of the most important aspects of growing your art page. It determines how many profile visitors convert into followers. Let’s call this ratio the “visitor to follower conversion rate”.
Whether every tenth profile visitor or every fifteenth profile visitor converts into a follower doesn’t seem like a lot. But these few extra percents of this conversion rate can make a difference for thousands of followers in the long term.
Therefore, make sure to:
- Have a convincing bio.
- Make use of story highlights.
- Add aesthetic covers to your story highlights.
- Pin your best posts.
3. Don’t freak out and blame shadow banning
I have been actively growing my Instagram page for three years now. And I noticed that some variance in reach is completely normal. If you’re starting out and experience a drop in reach, you often tend to overthink: “It’s all over now” or “I am shadow banned”.
I also had these thoughts at the beginning. Social media is a long-term game, and you need to trust the process. Many artists in my free-to-join Discord server sometimes freak out about a drop in reach. I often tell them to calm down and focus on the long term, and two weeks later they experience the exact same thing.
4. Be Proactive to Get Yourself Out There
Especially at the beginning of your art page, it isn’t enough to just post your art and hope that the algorithm will make you famous. In the beginning, you don’t have many followers who can boost your posts.
Therefore, it’s very important to be proactive. Collaborate with other artists to profit from each other's reach; hit up curating pages; email bigger blogs to write a guest post for them and plug your social media; utilize Reddit; use Discord servers, etc.
Do everything in your power to get your name out there proactively!
5. Use Instagram Reels
The key on social media is to always find out where the “underpriced attention is”. Ten years earlier it has been YouTube. Then it was carousel posts on Instagram. And nowadays it is Instagram Reels.
Organic reach is always just the result of the supply and demand of content. And nowadays there is a lot of demand for IG Reels, while many artists still don’t utilize them. This is the reason why your second art Reel could literally get thousands of views.
6. How The IG Reel Algorithm Works
To create viral-potential Reels with your art, you need to know how the IG Reels algorithm works. The most important metric of the algorithm is “watch time”.
Watch time is determined by how many people watched your Reel until the end or even rewatched it. The more people who watch it until the end, the more people the algorithm will show your video to. So, to achieve that, you need the following:
- A hook or something that catches people’s attention within the first three seconds.
- Jump cuts to increase the perceived speed of your Reel
7. Don’t Sleep on Captions
I also used to make this mistake: not writing long and good captions. The caption under your post is important for the following reasons:
- Increase watch time: The longer people read the caption under your post, the more time they spend on it, which is a good indicator for the algorithm.
- Engagement: A well-written caption can increase engagement, for example, through comments.
- Keywords: Nowadays, Instagram also analyzes keywords in your captions to categorize your post.
Therefore, try to take 5 minutes before posting to write out a good and longer caption.
8. Use CapCut-Templates
I already explained the importance of Instagram Reels. And I get it: It can be very time-consuming to create a Reel for your artwork. But luckily nowadays there exist CapCut-Templates that allow you to create art Reels with literally four clicks automatically.
What are CapCut-Templates?
CapCut is a video-editing app specifically designed for creating IG Reels and TikToks (it’s free). And through CapCut-Templates you just have to select your artwork, and through green-screen technology, the template creates a ready-to-post Reel. The image above is an example.
On my free-to-join Discord server, I regularly share with you the recent trending CapCut-Templates.
9. Use Cross-Posting to Increase Your Reach
Right now, Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YT Shorts are the platforms with the most organic reach. When you create a Reel, feel free to also share it on TikTok and YT shorts. It’s an extra 2 minutes of work but can result in thousands of extra views.
10. Build a Channel You Own to 100%
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” they say. And they are right: having your whole audience on only one platform is a huge risk. Especially if you don’t control that platform—like Instagram. Therefore, start as early as possible with building a channel you completely own. Like a discord server or an email newsletter.
In conclusion, it's essential to work smart, not hard, when it comes to your posts. It's not just about the quantity of content you produce, but the quality and relevance that matters. Additionally, it's important to leverage the content that has the most organic reach, which is currently short form content. By being proactive and keeping up with the latest trends and algorithms, you can create opportunities for yourself and your brand. Remember, success on social media is a combination of creativity, strategy, and consistency. Keep these tips in mind and watch your social media presence grow.
Check out my Twitter for daily marketing tips for creatives. On Twitter, I write daily threads about a certain aspect of growth. There you will also find links to my free Discord server and Instagram page. Feel free to leave a follow there to not miss out on future tips.
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Much Love 💖
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