Instagram as a Marketing Powerhouse for Artists, Illustrators, and Designers: Transforming Social Media into a Promotional Tool

Instagram as a Marketing Powerhouse for Artists, Illustrators, and Designers: Transforming Social Media into a Promotional Tool

Candido Romano Published on 4/19/2024

Instagram has become a prime platform for visual artists such as illustrators, cartoonists, and graphic designers to display their creations, attract freelance opportunities, or simply build a community of admirers for their work. With over a billion active users globally, Facebook’s social network offers a vast audience.

Previously, we covered the five fundamental steps to becoming an illustrator, with a special focus on marketing oneself on Instagram. Many creatives overlook this crucial element, concentrating solely on producing art. Yet, effectively promoting your work on social media is essential for gaining visibility, securing job opportunities, and establishing your identity as an artist.

Here’s how to forge a robust presence on Instagram, even if you’re beginning from zero.

Crafting an Attractive Profile

Initiating your Instagram journey involves setting up a profile. While anyone can do this, switching to a business or “professional account” on Instagram Business is advisable. For existing users, transitioning is straightforward through the app’s settings by selecting “Switch to a professional account.”

A professional account grants access to analytics on follower engagement and account performance, and the capability to sponsor posts. To craft an engaging profile, consider the following:

  • Profile Picture: This crucial element should encapsulate your artistic identity. Opt for an artwork or a segment that symbolizes your style. The ideal profile image size is 180×180 pixels, though the minimum is 110×110 pixels.
  • Bio: Your bio acts as your digital introduction. It should be carefully crafted to include a link to your portfolio or website and incorporate hashtags that define your brand.

Centering on Content

With your profile set, devise a content strategy outlining what to post and when. Consistency is key to maintaining a strong platform presence and growing your follower base. Here are strategies for an effective content approach:

  • Dedicate your profile solely to showcasing your artistic endeavors. Personal photos or unrelated content should be posted on a separate account.
  • Use your profile to share your creative process, including “behind the scenes” glimpses or videos of your work in progress.
  • Engage your audience with compelling captions. While captions can be up to 2200 characters, shorter ones under 150 characters for organic posts (125 for sponsored posts) are recommended. Incorporating questions can also drive engagement.
  • Include a watermark on your images or illustrations, such as “follow @username,” to easily identify and locate your work, especially if shared outside Instagram.

Leveraging Hashtags for Visibility

Hashtags are crucial on Instagram for enhancing visibility. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, a valuable tool for artists seeking exposure, especially those with fewer followers. Here’s how to use them effectively:

  • Choose relevant hashtags for each post, categorizing them into “general” (e.g., #art, #artist) and “specific” (e.g., #sketch, #digitalillustration) based on the content.
  • Utilize a hashtag search engine to find and select appropriate hashtags, considering the popularity and relevance to your work.

Engaging Your Audience

Engagement is vital for increasing your visibility on Instagram. Here are tips to foster interaction:

  • Engage with other artists through likes and comments to integrate into the artistic community, making your profile more likely to be noticed and followed.
  • Initiate conversations with new followers to express gratitude and connect on a personal level, potentially opening new opportunities.

Maximizing Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are increasingly used by artists to promote their work. Here are creative ways to utilize Stories:

  • Share behind-the-scenes content, sketches, and the artistic process, providing a more personal glimpse into your work.
  • Utilize stickers for questions, polls, or hashtags, and include links in Stories to direct sales.

The key is to begin. Creating an Instagram profile to display your work is the first step towards mastering the platform’s nuances and unlocking potential opportunities for even the most reserved artists.