How to Sell Art on Instagram

Checkout this roundup of methods to effectively leverage Instagram to promote your art and career

Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms for artists to showcase and sell their artwork. With its visual nature and large user base, Instagram provides artists with an opportunity to gain exposure and connect with potential buyers from all over the world. In this post, we will explore some tips on how to sell art on Instagram.

Before diving into the gritty details, it is worth noting there are many different platforms and routes to selling art online or marketing your body of work. Instagram is just one exposure track in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

Develop your Skills & Techniques as an Artist

There are few if any silver bullets when it comes to selling art online. More than anything, we recommend artists prioritize developing strong technical skills, honing a style and voice, and identifying a specific genre or niche that has a reasonable interest amongst potential art buyers. Without polishing your skills as an artist first, selling are on Instagram or any social media app will likely prove to be an uphill battle. If you feel confident in your skills and style, the following list outlines a number of ways to stand out and sell your art online with Instagram. If you’re still in the early stages of developing your work, we highly recommend learning more about the first course in the Commercial Gallery Mentorship Program. Skill & Style for Gallery Arts is a masterclass on process, technique, and professional direction.

Don’t waste too much time

Before we start discussing all the ways to optimize your social presence, it’s worth noting these platforms can be wildly distracting and counterproductive when abused. We recommend using social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Planoly to maintain a healthy distance from what can be a highly addictive mobile app. These management tools will allow you to schedule, organize your content, and map out a strategy without constantly opening apps that are designed to steal your time.

Create a business account

The first step in selling art on Instagram is to create a business account. A business account allows you to access features such as analytics, which can provide valuable insights into your audience and how they engage with your content. Additionally, a business account allows you to add a “contact” button to your profile, making it easier for potential buyers to get in touch with you.

Keep it interesting

Every post shouldn’t be promotional. Be sure to create posts that show off your technique, process, or shares an interesting behind the scenes look at your work.

Build a strong brand identity

A strong brand identity can help you stand out on Instagram and attract potential buyers. This includes creating a cohesive aesthetic for your profile, including a consistent color palette and style. Use your Instagram bio to showcase your unique selling points and what makes your artwork special. If you have multiple product offerings or destinations for customers, you may consider using a link organizer for your bio such as Linktree. This just like a typical link in your instagram bio, but allows you to promote several different sales routes or projects you are promoting.

Share high-quality images

Instagram is a visual platform, so it’s essential to share high-quality images of your artwork. Take clear, well-lit photos that show the details and texture of your artwork. Sharing a 2-3 instagram posts per week featuring new artwork or works in progress can be more than enough content. This does not include posting reels or sharing Instagram stories.

Leverage your work with Instagram Stories and Reels

Consistently creating reels and stories might sound like a lot of homework, but users who create engaging content using these tools tend to capture more impressions. Increasing your impressions can certainly contribute to more sales and potential buyers. Creating Instagram reels and stories that engage new followers doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Simply filming a time-lapse of a painting technique or process can be extremely interesting for Instagram followers. With a business account, you will also gain access to instagram insights. Using this data, you can determine what types of content receive the best engagement and with what frequency. At the moment, instagram reels likely receive the most engagement out of all Instagram content. Many believe this is Instagram’s attempt to mimic the opposing social media platform, TikTok.

Use hashtags strategically

Hashtags can help you reach a larger audience on Instagram. Research relevant hashtags in your niche and use them in your posts. You can also create your own branded hashtag to make it easier for people to find your work.

Engage with your followers

Engaging with your followers is key to building a community and fostering relationships with potential buyers. Respond to comments and messages promptly and authentically. You can also use Instagram’s features such as polls and Q&A sessions to encourage engagement.

Collaborate with other artists and brands

Collaborating with other artists and brands can help you expand your reach on Instagram and attract new followers and potential buyers. Look for opportunities to collaborate with artists in your niche or brands that align with your values and aesthetic.

Find a balance between engaging content and posts about selling art

Avoid making all of your posts about selling art. It is important to find a healthy balance between content your audience appreciates and posts that are primarily dedicated to selling art. If all of your posts are

Don’t buy instagram ads

Social ad buying may be presented as an easy way to market your work to more people and increase engagement. Effectively targeting your audience with an effective budget and campaign strategy that creates a positive ROI, is not only difficult, but can be cost prohibitive for most independent artists. We recommend against boosting posts, purchasing verification, or creating campaigns. This strategy is likely only practical if you have a substantial budget or access to experienced digital marketing skills.

Secure your Instagram account

Never click on links from accounts you do not recognize and never share your password. We highly recommend enabling 2fa for your login as well. Having your Instagram account hacked can be a terrible blow to your business if you rely entirely on one social media platform for sales.

Diversify your art business with multiple social media platforms and networking tools

Be wary of having your business rely heavily on one platform. While Instagram may be an effective platform to sell art online, the effectiveness of your marketing plan can be dramatically influenced by changes to the algorithm and terms of service.

Selling art on Instagram requires a strategic approach and consistent effort. By building a strong brand identity, sharing high-quality images, using hashtags, engaging with your followers, offering a variety of purchasing options, and collaborating with others, you can successfully sell your artwork on Instagram and grow your business.

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