How to Promote Your Art on Instagram: A Concise Overview

Instagram logo in a frame on a bookshelf

The art industry is finding its place in the online world and Instagram has become the new showroom. But how do you promote your art on Instagram?

Promoting your art on Instagram requires you to schedule at the right time, post good quality photos, and use relevant hashtags. You need an appropriate username and have an attention-grabbing bio. Target your audience and carry out giveaways.

Using the Instagram platform for your business is not a walk in the park. You need to carefully strategize and be consistent so that you can optimize the maximum capability of Instagram. It’s hands-on. Let’s take a further look.

(I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. However, I only promote products I like and recommend)

Set Up an Instagram Business Account

First and foremost, your account should not be for private use. Keep it focused on your business and make sure all your posts are relevant only to your business. Your account has to be public to gain followers and be found on search engines.

Your business insights tell you:

  • When most of your followers are online
  • Your fan’s demographics
  • How often your post was viewed
  • How most people found it. 

Instagram Username Tips for Artists

Select a username that describes your business or art and make sure it is catchy, memorable, and not too long.

Using your name makes your work appear original and authentic by putting a person behind the piece and works to get your name out there, boosting your brand image. Make sure the name is not long.

Add a keyword, like art or artist, to make it easy for potential buyers to find and remember you. This way you will find new customers without even trying!

I offer general advice, but for a more informed strategy, I urge you to follow Dot Lung on Domestika (affiliate). Her course is not expensive and she has had over 113,000 students!

How to Write a Good Instagram Bio

In your bio, be intentional with what you write. Mention what you do, who you are, and the value people will get from following you. What are your skills? Make it short, precise, sweet, and attention-grabbing.

Link your website to your bio to help people view your work more. The whole point of using Instagram is to get people back to your site. Give potential followers a reason to follow and engage with you.

Read this for tips: Write an Artist About Me Page: A Great Bio in 4 Easy Steps

Do you need help writing about yourself? Sun Yi will show you a classic way to write an engaging bio. Follow the formula! He’s on Domestika (affiliate).

Your name and username are searchable, your bio is not, but don’t mistake that for less important. Your bio creates your first impression and that’s insanely short. If it’s supposed to be 7 seconds in real life, just imagine how short it is online!

Add contact details and use emojis to save characters. You have a very limited space to deliver the maximum amount of information.

You have one clickable link in your bio so make the most of it. You can use it to direct your customers to your homepage, alternatively, you can link it to an Instagram link tool such as linktr.ee or make your own

The Importance of Good Quality Art Images

Low-quality images are out of the question. Invest in a good camera and/or use hi-res scans. Ensure that you use good lighting, crop nicely, and capture the right angles in all your pictures. Take advantage of filters, but use them sparingly.

The photos need to capture the potential buyer’s attention, excite them, and leave them in awe of your abilities as an artist. The aim is to arouse their curiosity enough to encourage them to seek out your website.

Learn how to take fantastic Instagram images with a cell phone. Join Mina on Domestika (affiliate) and learn how to make an effective Instagram feed. Her reviews are great.

Make a brand presence. Your feed must stand out from the crowd. You do that by coordinating

colors and images into a coherent theme. You must find your own style and look.

There are templates you can purchase and you can use platforms like Canva (affiliate) to easily create your own. One simple idea is just to add a white border and separate the images pleasantly.

This Skillshare course Affiliate) will save you a ton of time.

Canva has so many ready-made templates that using it is a no-brainer. It’s free to use unless you need a few extras. I subscribed to the Pro plan to get access to their stock photos, folders (for organizing my mess), and the background remover tool.

And say hello to Mina again, along with over 118,000 students, and learn how to use Instagram stories to increase your reach. Find her on Domestika.

I use Canva for the graphics and templates, but if you need a Photo Editor Pixlr (affiliate) is free to use online. If you hate the ads and want to download the software you can upgrade to a yearly license.

How to Use Relevant Hashtags for Artists

Instagram uses hashtags to categorize the content. It is a way for your content to reach people you may never cross paths with online.

As an artist, I would recommend you research the hashtags other artists use in your niche and try to incorporate them into your posts.

Don’t aim too high. The most popular hashtags will not let you compete. If there are 5,000,000+ people posting with ‘#art’ how will you be found? The big boys will dominate. Narrow it down and target hashtags with less competition. Look for tags with 100,000+ searches and you will have a better chance of being found.

You have up to 30 tags and I advise you to use them all in a new account. No one knows who you are so you need all the exposure you can find. The more hashtags you include in your post the better your chance of reaching new audiences

No one wants to see a long hashtag list in your caption so hide them further down by using line breaks with periods or dashes to separate them from your text. Many Instagrammers post them in the comments instead. Do this as soon as you post your image.

Compile a list of favorite hashtags and file them to use when needed.

Why Artists Must Post Consistently on Instagram

As weird as it may sound, posting on Instagram can be challenging. Your piece of art is beautiful, but don’t shove it in people’s faces all the time since it may become monotonous. This may hinder them from wanting to purchase. On the other hand, you want to be consistent to be on your follower’s radar.

Vary your content, show behind the scenes, art materials, projects, tutorials, promos, giveaways, mock-ups, and announcements; you don’t have to post your art all of the time.

Before posting, ask yourself, would I engage with this content? If you don’t think so, then don’t post it. Ensure that whatever you post, you’re comfortable with. Don’t overburden yourself trying to post every day. Try posting every other day. The goal is to be consistent, not bombarding your audience with content. 

You could try posting an image on Monday, a behind-the-scenes on how you created that piece or a time-lapse of the process on Tuesday. You can also use the insights offered by Instagram to schedule your posting or use a third-party tool such as Tailwind (affiliate). This makes it less overwhelming for you.

How Artists Gain More Instagram Followers

Having many followers is good, but if they neither interact with your posts nor make purchases, it can get frustrating. Go after your target audience by identifying other accounts that are connected to a similar target audience. 

Strike a conversation in the comment section about the relevant piece of art, have people interact with you, and some will be interested to know more about you, and thus, click on your work. Increased engagement boosts your chances of appearing on the explore page. 

Additionally, the more you engage with other people’s work, the more people will engage with your work. This strategy is effective because you will be assured of an interactive audience, and you will get followers who have the same interests as you. 

Now say hi to Dot again on Domestika and get a to know all about personal branding to increase your likes and followers.

Carry Out Giveaways 

Giveaways increase traffic to your Instagram account, resulting in getting engagements and increasing followers who are potential buyers. A giveaway post should be eye-catching to attract many people to participate. 

More so, indicate the giveaway’s duration, what will be won, and the procedure to select the winner. Most giveaway instructions ask you to follow, like, tag people and share the artist’s work. All these are geared towards increasing the visibility of your work.

After announcing the winners, remember to appreciate those who participated. 

Communicate With Your Instagram Followers 

Communicating with your followers is paramount. Create time to respond to the comments, questions, and reply to messages sent. It is only fair to reciprocate the time they took to comment by taking time to respond. That is, whether a comment is positive or negative, always try to look for the positive side of the statement and respond from that perspective. 

This also helps build a relationship between you and your audience. Don’t forget to be very kind and ensure you offer top-notch customer service. 

By asking questions or posting a poll, you may strike engagement to your Instagram account. Your followers may not necessarily respond when you start, but eventually, they will engage with you. Be patient and do not stop asking the questions. Find a voice that speaks to your followers and stick to it. 

Cross-Promote Your Art on Other Social Media Sites

Since Facebook bought Instagram, it has become effortless to share your work on both platforms since now they are interconnected. This helps reach more people because not everyone is on both platforms, and even if they are, they still have one that they use more than the other. 

Check this out: Social Media For Artists: The Best 13 Platforms for Creatives

This is an interesting class on Skillshare (affiliate). Again it is very popular and tells you how to monetize your efforts, and let’s face it, that’s the whole idea, right?

Promoting Art on Instagram – Final Thoughts

Artists are using Instagram to get their work in front of more people than ever before. To do this, they need a business account that is set up correctly and offers HIGH-QUALITY content.

Running an effective Instagram marketing campaign takes time and effort! It’s not as easy as it might seem at first glance so don’t give up too early.

Post high-quality photos, communicate regularly about your art or business, cross-promote other social media sites like Facebook, do giveaways, create a blog that is connected to the Instagram account… The list of possibilities goes on and on!

If this sounds daunting don’t worry, take it one step at a time. Be patient but methodical. You can do it all yourself easily, or you can use third-party tools, many of them are free or very affordable.

Stick to one or two social media platforms and you won’t get overwhelmed.

Instagram is especially popular with artists.


Giraffe pencil drawing by wildlife artist Kevin Hayler
‘The High Life’ by Kevin Hayler
Learn How to Draw This Giraffe

If you like the way I draw and want to try things for yourself, this is my basic kit: (Amazon affiliate links)

If social media makes you groan then you’re not alone. I’ll show you how to make a living from a simple market stall. This guide shows you how.

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How to Promote Your art on Instagram