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#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

Instagram isn't just a place to fuel your #fomo, scroll through your crush's feed and snap latte shots, it's also a massive marketing channel for artists and entrepreneurs alike. In many ways, it's become the new blog, bringing fans and followers into an artist's story; generating massive potential for sales and new customers.

Instagram can be used in so many ways, it can often feel overwhelming to find an approach that works for you, so we rounded up a handful of top artists to ask them what works for them. Cat Coquillette of @catcoq, Ben Kwok of @bioworkz, Maria Bjornbom-Oberg of @bokkei, Hanna Kastl-Lungberg of @hanna.k.l, Elisabeth Fredriksson of @efredriksson.art, Allyson Johnson of @allysonjjohnson, and Eugenia Loli of @eugenia_loli weigh in.  

What's your best advice for growing Instagram followers?

Hashtags

@eugenia_loli: I've found that using the right tags is the most important thing. I try up to 25 different ones each time I post. I also always hashtag the word #art in Spanish and French. Additionally, it helps to pay attention to what time you're posting. I've found that 9:00 AM or 6:00 PM PST are the best for worldwide exposure.

Giveaways

@efredriksson.art: I recently reached 1K followers and celebrated it with a giveaway. Give your followers a little love for their support! I've done them a few times and they've all gone quite well I keep the rules simple: like the post and tag a friend. When people tag their friends, there's a big chance new people will find and follow you.

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

Focus on Art

@bioworkz: I treat my Instagram like a business. I've made it a rule to only post art-related images. No selfies, no pictures of my baby, no pictures of random events in my life, only art! I do share some behind the scenes photos, but I always make sure they are about my artwork.

Find Your Audience

@catcoq: Figure out a theme and stick with it, because consistency is key. Your brand is a reflection of your own unique aesthetic and voice. Mine is all about watercolor paintings with bright bursts of color, hand-lettering, and a cheerful vibe. I've found it also helps to figure out what your audience likes. For example, my process shots always get the most attention. People like getting a glimpse behind-the-scenes!

Explore and Like

@hanna.k.l: Don't just use hashtags in your captions, but take advantage of the search section. Look up the same hashtags that you use yourself and and like the hell out of the posts. That way you will be seen in people's activity without much effort. Just make sure you're honest with what you like!

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

 

What are your biggest tips for generating sales through Instagram?

Keep it Real

@allysonjjohnson: Hashtags. Responding to comments. Tagging @society6 in the product photo. Also, don't sound like an advertisement when you're writing a caption. I've found that getting personal helps people want your products more. In fact, I order my own products in order to take "real life" photos of them. People love to see a product in action!

Link it

@eugenia_loli: Have the URL of your store as a clickable link in your profile. Make sure you refer your viewers to that link every time you make a post. People often keep asking for your link if you don't remind them that it already exists!

Promote

@bokkei: If I know there is a promotion coming up I try to post or showcase new items in my shop to encourage sales.

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

 Mix it Up

@bioworkz: I respect my followers, so I don't bombard them with posts of things to buy. I like to have at least five interesting posts for every one image that encourages a purchase.

In-Person Product

@hanna.k.l: I'm more likely to buy something online if I see customer pictures of it and I'm sure a lot of other people are the same. Purchase your own products from Society6 and upload photos of them. Make sure to arrange the shot very carefully, and try to show the exact color and texture of the item.

 

Do you recommend any apps or filters for taking the perfect Instagram photo?

Photoshop

@eugenia_loli: It's best to not use pre-made Instagram filters on your artwork, any touching-up should be done in Photoshop before posting. This is good to do even if your drawings are handmade.

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

Make it Realistic

@bokkei: I take my photos with VSCO and try to tweak the white balance to get the photo to look close to how it looks in real life. I never want to change too much since I want to accurately show my drawings and not capture some dreamy feeling.

Lighting

 @efredriksson.art: I always make sure my photos are sharp and bright. The natural daylight is my favorite light source, so I prefer to take pictures around 1:00 pm. If it's dark outside, I'll use several lamps to avoid blurry pictures.

Use a Camera

@catcoq: I shoot most of my work in bright, natural light with my Canon, then upload it to my iPhone and polish it with the VSCO Cam app. I also pay special attention to the composition. Most of my posts are simple and keep my artwork as the focal point.

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

 

How do I get Instagram influencers to share my work on their channels?

Good Art Gets Out There

@bioworkz: I believe that "the cream rises to the top". If you have great artwork, people will find it and share it. It also doesn't hurt to put in relevant hashtags, which make your images easier to find.

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

Samples

@catcoq: I've begun reaching out to Instagram influencers by offering to send them some samples of my work. I pick my best pieces to mail and always include a handwritten note. Whenever I notice a major blogger has posted a photo that includes my work, I thank them and share it with my followers as well!

Hype Market

@allysonjjohnson: There's a really cool site out there called Hype Market. It allows you to send influencers your products for them to feature. I've used it before and made some amazing connections!

#NoFilter: Top Artists Reveal Their Tips for Instagram Success

Organic Growth  

@bokkei: I tag my photos with some art sharing pages and if I have done a portrait of a person I tag them in the picture. I have never actually asked anyone to post a photo of mine, and I don't like to spam people asking for reposts. I always hope that people will like what I do and, if I'm lucky, repost my work. The internet is amazing that way, even people that are shy and quiet like me can get seen.

 

What are your best tips for growing your Instagram presence? Share in the comments below!

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Comments

Bunny Blue commented on Monday, March 21, 2016 6:11pm
Thanks for the tips!
Nina May Designs commented on Monday, March 21, 2016 6:33pm
Super tips!
Moremo commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 1:47am
Cool and useful tips.
CYOP commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 2:48am
Awesome tips! Thank you👍😊
inktheboot commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 3:00am
Thank you 😊 useful tips.
ShineShop commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:03am
Great tips Thanks a lot :)
Tina Crespo commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:08am
This is a really great article! I really struggle with the balance of my Instagram, it takes discipline to stay with brand related only photos. I just....like showing off my cat too much. :D
Great job!
John Magnet Bell commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:35am
Good tips! I've only recently dived into Instagram and wow, it's a whole world. Thanks for these.
Annie Mason commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 4:59am
This is fantastic! Thank you to all the artists for their tips! Off to revamp my Instagram format!!!
Laura Maria Designs commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 7:38am
Awesome tips!! Thank you artists :)
Diloranium commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 9:23am
Very helpful! Thank you! :)
Koning commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:57am
Amazing tips! Thanks for sharing!
Atumclothing commented on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 5:10pm
looks great...
GabrieleCigna commented on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 2:43am
good great tips!! :)
misimix commented on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 4:44am
This post is really helpful and honest thanks a lot! :)
Adaralbion commented on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 10:31am
Fantastic! Thanks for Sharing :)
Mrs. Ciccoricco commented on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 12:50pm
Thanks everyone - this is so helpful!
Tordis Kayma commented on Thursday, March 24, 2016 1:26am
Thank you for the insights!
Jan Gelders Photography commented on Friday, March 25, 2016 11:47am
Thanks for inspiring me to sign up there also.
ChrissyInk commented on Friday, March 25, 2016 1:14pm
I'm going to check out VSCO so thanks. Great tips.
Between The Weeds commented on Friday, March 25, 2016 1:25pm
I need the help and these tips are great. Thanks!!
Naomi VanDoren commented on Friday, March 25, 2016 6:51pm
Excellent article and great tips! Instagram has played a huge role in my growth as an artist and I highly recommend, in addition to using tags, engaging with your followers and the community. It'll go a long way.
Emmanuelle Ly commented on Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:30am
Awesome! Thanks for the good tips ;-)
Vinita Chandra commented on Sunday, March 27, 2016 2:02am
Great tips. Love it! Instagram is great & still just getting my way around it. Thanks for brilliant article. It would also be helpful to learn more about how to develop your personal brand as an artist.
Verity Campbell commented on Monday, March 28, 2016 8:08am
Just opened my instagram this week as well as my society6 shop. Loving the process, it is really awesome to see other peoples work and exciting to get followers! Just need to take some pics now😊 Really helpful article for a newbie like me.
Bambica Fine Art commented on Monday, March 28, 2016 12:22pm
Very interesting to know the points of view of the artists in your articles. Good job, thank you.
Dagui Pierro commented on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 5:55pm
Thanks a lot for the tips, I was a bit reluctant to have an Instagram account, but I'll give it a try for my ink splashes illustrations ;)
johnny plastini commented on Friday, April 1, 2016 9:56pm



Amelia Senville commented on Sunday, May 8, 2016 4:23pm
I am finally getting back on instagram, definitely going to reference this post for tips!

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