How to find your audience on Instagram!

Speaking as a digital art platform, we are the first to know how important is to know how to sell art online, and having an online presence is for the contemporary artist! Social media is a great way to expose the world to your aesthetic and build some rapport for your work. In our view, Instagram is the best platform to show off what you do! It’s a platform that is perfect for artists to sell art online because it is built with all-around visuals. Keep in mind that just having a popping social media following doesn’t account for everything, but it can definitely be a useful tool when presenting your work. For example: for new exhibitions, applying to residencies, or collaborating on projects. If you have an already established following, your work and practice are given way more credibility. As always, balthasart is here to make it easy. Dive into our top tips on how to use Instagram like a pro and meet new audiences with your art!

First Steps to Sell Art Online

First things first, if you are looking to really gain visibility and grow your audience, make sure that your privacy settings on your Instagram account are set to public. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to stumble upon your work. And that’s not possible if your account is private!

Secondly, your bio should be creative but also get straight to the point. It should be clear from the first impression that you’re an artist and that you sell art online!  You should also include a direct link to either your personal website or online store (or even your balthasart page!) so that clients can find out where they can buy your work.

Follow these steps to do so: 

  1. Tap on your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
  2. Tap Edit profile at the top of the screen, then tap Bio.
  3. Write your bio and add the URL to your artist profile.
  4. Tap Done

Express Your Aesthetic

You probably already have that signature aesthetic that you use for your artwork, so it will be easy to translate this to your Instagram feed! If an account has a consistent visual style and pleasing content, then it will always attract more attention. Be sure to only post high-quality photos of your work and be consistent in the type of content that you post. Vary up the images and videos that you use, but be careful to not let your feed lose cohesion.  If you mix too many different types of images in a row, it may look a bit messy. Try to think of your Instagram feed in a series of threes, so that it’s clean and stylish all the way through.

Harness the power of hashtags

Don’t be #lame and forget to add hashtags! They are a small yet mighty tool for any artist who wants to boost their visibility and actually sell art online. Hashtags are keywords that are associated with posts, making it easier for new users to find your content. Think of it as a filing cabinet; if you’re an art lover who wants to see abstract expressionist paintings, you might search #abstractexpressionism on Instagram. Then, every one of the posts that have been tagged with this label will show up, sorted by the most popular and the most recent. Instagram users can now also follow their favorite hashtags directly so that when content about topics they enjoy pop up from new users, they can discover new accounts.

As an artist, it is important to use hashtags that are popular enough that people search them, but not too general to get lost. Don’t be basic and post just #art every time! Use hashtags that speak to elements of your art. Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on one post, but using this many hashtags every time tends to look like spam. We recommend that you use between 5 and 10 hashtags to increase your engagement, and place them at the end of your post after the caption, or in your first comment if you want to better hide them. Try to do so and you will see how your presence improves and you could actually sell art online!

Vibe with Videos

Everyone loves a good behind-the-scenes look into the art process! Filming how you create an artwork could be a really interesting and engaging piece of content for your page. Take this opportunity to make videos of your practice and give your followers an exclusive look into the creative process. Instagram supports video content in posts and with the new Reels feature, you can upload shorter, punchier videos to your feed.

When is the best time to post to sell art online?

Ah, the age-old question of when to post! Deciding when to share your post on Instagram is just as important as the content itself. If you go through your own Instagram statistics in your account, you can find out what hours and what days your followers are most engaged with your posts. Using these stats can boost your engagement as well as inform you about who your audience is and where they are from. Instagram gives a lot of very detailed statistics and graphs, so it is definitely a tool to use to your advantage. In addition to analyzing your own statistics, you can also follow global posting trends using this handy graph!

Engage with your fans

You’ve cultivated this following, now it is super important that you interact with them! This includes everything from responding to personal messages, comments, and actively engaging with other artists you admire. These types of actions could potentially lead to future collaborations, partnerships, and sell art online! If you did an artwork in collaboration with a brand, make sure to tag them in the post. Like that, they have the opportunity of reposting and sharing your work with their audience.

If you want to go above and beyond, you can even launch special projects like “giveaways” through Instagram. You can essentially raffle off an artwork to your followers. Giveaways usually work on the premise that your following will automatically grow based on the rules of participation. Usually, to win, participants must like or share the post, follow the account, and tag friends in the comments.

That’s the balthasart guide to Instagram! Of course, this guide is just a starting point and you should do what you like to make your account unique. As always, we are here to give the best advice and resources to artists, it’s what we do! To take full advantage of all our services for artists, apply today!