How to grow your Instagram following as an artist
My Instagram grew slowly but steady in the last 2 years and along the way I learned a few things that helped me grow from 600 in 2019 to 6000 in 2021.
1. How to start with your following?
Let me sum up for you what I did in the beginning to attract people to my Instagram:
- Follow people in your niche and like and comment on their posts. Their followers, your potential new followers, will see your comment and will likely see what you are about.
- Find people to do giveaways with. If you are smart those are people in your niche or a similar niche with a bigger following than you.
- Hashtags: I used (and still use) hashtags in my niche and I did my research. Find hashtags that are not too big but also not too small. The minimum for me is 5.000 and the max 200.000. This means that the hashtag you use is used that many times. So if you go for ‘love’ (50 million), not a lof of people would see it on their explore page.
2. Branding for your grid
It sounds easy, but for me it was a real struggle in the beginning. Branding? I just posted pictures that I liked, without a strategy. Let me show you.
This was in the beginning of 2019:
As you can see, it’s a mess.. There is so much going on: bright colors, lots of different topics and most of all just not my vibe. This was in the beginning, when I just started to grow my business. I had no idea what to do. So I dove into branding and slowly I learned more about my preferences and what branding can do for your business.
I learned a few things about branding and decided to incorporate that.
- I learned what colors I liked. There are colors that you always like and choose over time. For me that’s soft pastel and neutral colors like beige and white. Make a Pinterest board with pictures you like, just random stuff and see what colors you see often. This really helps determine your brand colors.
- What is something that is you or your business? For me that’s working with my hands, so I show my hands quite often on my grid. People will recognize what I do sooner and feel more attracted to that.
- Keep it clean. People come to your Instagram for fun and maybe to feel inspired, you don’t want to over stimulate your followers when looking at your grid (like my grid 2 years ago).
So after thinking about those 3 things, my grid looks like this now (2021)
As you can see: soft colors, not too much going on and just so much better to look at.
You want your followers to be engaged, of course! But how can you do that? Why would people follow you and stick around? I think it comes down to a few things:
- Make sure people have a reason to follow you. You are most likely an artist, otherwise you would not have clicked on this blogpost. So there is something that you are good at! Show it! Show how you make a painting, show how you make that necklace. People like to see how things are made before they buy anything.
- And if you have found that reason, show it over and over again. There is this phrase that people have to see something for 8 times before they consider to buy it. That’s the same with following you. Not everybody sees your posts and stories everyday, they maybe skip a day or a week. So if you are thinking; ‘but I showed that last week’. That may be true in your eyes, but not for your followers.
- Behind the scenes video footage. I am sure that a lot of people follow me for that reason. I show how I make things, how it’s like to have a small business, how I deal with packaging, what I like about having my own business. Literally everything! Make a lot of IGTV’s, especially Reels are doing very good at the moment and show snapshots of your day in stories. I promise you that people will like that.
- Show your face. I know, it’s scary in the beginning. But just do it. Like I said before, people buy things from a person and not a company. They want to see your face and who is behind the business. Talk in Instagram stories about your day, show them who you are and give them a reason to stay.
3 tips to grow your following as an artist:
- Make sure you have a strategy when you are just starting out and stick to it day after day.
- Do research about branding and find your style and incorporate it in your grid.
- Make sure your followers are engaged and have a reason to follow you!
With love, Robin
(If you have questions about this, you can send me an e-mail or DM on Instagram)