10 Tips to sell your art on Instagram and make good money

In Art, Artists by Toni Justamante Jacobs

Creating art is fun, selling art, on the other hand, is not so artistic, but could be very gratifying. Whether art is a hobby or a way of earning a living, you always have the ability to sell it. But the business aspect of art requires more artistic fingers or creativity – it requires Instagram.

Are you a buddy artist or pro looking to garner more visibility or sales from Instagram? Then we have 10 creative tips to get you the followers, the connections, and the mullah. Yes, by the time you are done going through these steps, you owe us for giving you this money-making tips.

If you might be thinking, how does one even make money off art on Instagram? Listen up; do you know that 1 billion people visit Instagram monthly? 71 percent of Instagram users are young adults under the age of 35 and another 71 percent of businesses use Instagram. Still not convinced, then perhaps this will do it. Art’s prominent players like Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Ai Weiwei all have followers in the hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, using Instagram as your art gallery, it enables you to build your business and negotiating confidence and earn good profits too.

So if you are ready, here we go.

1. Do not mix art

You know the famous saying; do not mix business with pleasure, yes something along those lines. If you are on Instagram for your art pieces, let your page tell your story. Do not mix your other hobbies like time out with the boys, girls, or cooking in your kitchen.

Would you bring your hobby to the office on a Monday morning? Bet you would not, so why bring it on Instagram. First thing first, separate your social page from your business page.

Litter your page with your artwork; add a picture of both finished and work in progress. This way your audience focuses on the art than your life.

We are not in any way saying our page should be monochromatic, no. A little this and that about you is nice, but it should focus on your art, what you do, and why you are doing what you do.

2. Be and Stay consistent.

For those artists that had Instagram accounts in the wee hours of Instagram, they were able to rely on their current followers to build a good sales page and sell their art. However, if you are new to Instagram, consistency is key to making your mark. As you consistently post your work, tag the right people such as friends and family or other artists or businesses who might be interested in your kind of artwork.  Today Instagram is the hash-capital of the world; use the appropriate hashtags to connect with the right clients and regular people.

For example, one year, Origami artist Ross Symons dedicated the entire year to his art. He took to Instagram to showcase his art, improving, making, and sharing the process. In fact, Ross added a different origami art daily, and his following grew from 120 to 100,000 and quit his job afterward.

If you stay consistent, you should have people reposting your art and asking you if it is for sale. Gradually, you will build a following and do not be worried if it is slow. All good things do not come as cheap as Instagram, be consistent and patient.

3. Niche down your Art

What do you do? Like the tip above, Ross was an Origami artist and was true to himself and art. When you come on Instagram and say you are an artist, it is kind of confusing and overwhelming. The word art or artist is a broad term, so be specific.

So what will narrow down your specifics do for your business? It will transform your business. By specifying your type of art, you are optimizing your search engine optimization and making your work visible. However, you are also building a connection to people who will like that kind of art and this is how sales start. After specifying your art, attach your location to let potential customers know where you are and how to contact you for business. For example, you can say something like California Nature Artist. It has all the SEO makings and tells everything about you to the client.

4. Know your hashtags

Hashtags are invisible keys that enable people to find what they are looking for on Instagram. It makes you discoverable in the Instagram world. However, you need to know that placing a hashtag on your work is not enough. You need to choose the right one.

So how do you find the best hashtag on Instagram? By using the search app on the platform, type in the keyword that best describes your art and the community. When that is done, look for other artists in the same category as you and see the hashtag they use. This is not cheating. It is learning from the pro. Remember to note the type and number of hashtags and use them accordingly. For example, #artoftheday should talk about a finished work you spent all day on, or #myart is a personal piece with a story you are sharing with the world. You can check out popular hashtags and how you use them.

If your artwork consists of different pieces and message, only a hashtag can link you with the right people and also bring them back to you. So never fail to include the relevant hashtags regardless of the number attached to it. Also, when using hashtags, remember to choose one that is not overused but popular enough to be searched and get you noticed.

5. Show your credibility

Just because it is Instagram does not mean you should relax on distinguishing yourself or your work. Whether you have a gallery or not, you should have a spot where you can showcase your art and happy customers. Use your page to show customers in your gallery, sales or no sale, post pictures of satisfied clients, and more.

If you have an upcoming event, post the venue, date, and offer free invitations to fellow artists if you can. Ask people to tag others and share the link as much as possible. This is branding your art and self. This gives followers peace of mind knowing you are credible and can be traced should anything happen in the future. After all, lots of fake people use Instagram to scam people; hence credibility equals sales for artists.

If you are an artist and a teacher, add pictures of your students in a class, their works, or make a video. Videos command more reactions and connect with people more. So never relent in your effort, Instagram is for the resilient of artists, and you are one.

6. Share the process

We are not saying divulge all your art secrets to the public but give a sneak peek of the process. People are drawn to the process, effort, and time invested in your work. They will buy the finished product, but they will be the ones spreading your story of how it was done.

Sharing behind the scenes also builds your credibility and let potential clients know that you are responsible for the artwork on your page. For example, Artbygueni is an upcoming artist that draws famous and well-known personalities. You can clearly see the process and effort she puts into each sketch and the passion in her eyes. You can also see her pencils, sketch pads, and the entire process too.

Just going through her page is a thrill, and people that like art in that category will easily connect with her and her work. So the process is as important as the finished work, and it is like advertising or a prelude of what is to come. For Instagram artists, it is one way to increase the following and make sales too.

7. Content Quality, Content Quality, and Content Quality

Under this tip, we are going to discuss the quality of your photos and how you caption them. Instagram is a free advertising platform, and you should take advantage of all the opportunities the platform offers. Investing in a good camera is one way to get noticed, posting incredible artwork too. You do not have to be in a studio or gallery to get the best images and maximize your space to work for you. If you cannot do great pictures, make a video of your work, and you are good to go.

Secondly, every memorable advert had a tagline that was etched in your brain. For example, Coca Cola – bringing happiness, so add a captivating caption to your art. It does not have to be emphatic, but something creative, fun, and food for thought. You could caption an abstract art like #itwillmakeahomecomplete or #iwonderwhohasthisflair.  You can also take the caption up a notch by adding a short story just to connect with the audience.

8. Track your progress on Instagram

Instagram is the largest virtual marketplace on the web, and every day millions of people post new stuff, create new hashtags, and rebrand old ones. It can easily get lost on this platform. However, Instagram has plenty of tools that enable you to track your progress and follow up on promising leads. These tools also allow you to monitor your progress, make changes, and improve your visibility online.

Have fun, or create fun activities to engage with your followers. You can post a half-done artwork and ask them to choose colors and give reasons. The person whose answer is more compelling will get the art finished and tag on the piece. You could also use the winner’s name to create a hashtag, and they will do the spreading to all their followers of what they have achieved. Fun engagement is likely to grow your presence and bring in sales.

9. Set up your art profile

Setting up your Instagram page is the beginning of making sales for your art. We left this for last because most people are on Instagram but if you are not, do the following.

Create an exciting profile that people want to look into. As an artist, your art should have a mood, an emotion, tell a story, have a color scheme, subject matter, and style. Having these six factors on lockdown will enable you to develop your niche and remain consistent with your artwork. Creating a weak profile will not make people remember you even if you have incredible work that will impact people’s lives.

Furthermore, learn to use the editing tools on the platform. The editing tools are to enable your artwork pop and not to deceive your clientele. If you cannot use the tools, follow the tip above, and invest in a good camera, and download presets to edit your photos before posting them. Also, have a room where pictures of your art are beautiful and glaring to the public.

10. See Instagram as your store

This is our final tip – see Instagram as your gallery. Most people do not put in the effort because it is online, but that is a wrong perception. When you have created the page, profile, and a banging bio, the next thing is to design your page.

You want people to come into your page and be amazed at what they are seeing. It involves a lot of work, no doubt, but it will lead to sales. So if you follow religiously the tips above, your Instagram gallery will be tagged in places you never imagined. Let the audience be wow at your work, and it will pay off in the end.

These are ten tips to help you sell your art on Instagram. However, embedded in these tips is PATIENT, and you must have it as you work your way up in the market. Just like other social media platforms, you have to find what works for you and run with it. There will be obstacles, but consistency is essential to success on Instagram.

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10 Tips to sell your art on Instagram and make good money
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10 Tips to sell your art on Instagram and make good money
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1. DO NOT MIX ART 2. BE AND STAY CONSISTENT 3. NICHE DOWN YOUR ART 4. KNOW YOUR HASHTAGS 5. SHOW YOUR CREDIBILITY 6. SHARE THE PROCESS 7. CONTENT QUALITY, CONTENT QUALITY, AND CONTENT QUALITY etc..
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Improve Your Drawings
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Toni Justamante Jacobs

About the author: Hi, I’m Toni Justamante Jacobs. I´m a professional Concept Artist and Illustrator with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Some of my clients are Gameloft, Fantasy Flight Games, Kunlun Games and Games Workshop. Currently, I´m working at Socialpoint as an in-house Senior Concept Artist.