Tools + How-Tos

3 Strategies That Will Level Up Your Instagram Game as a Creative

September 13, 2020


I'm a full-time artist and online educator. You can find my watercolor designs on products all around the globe. This blog is where I share all of my latest art business tips for you!


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It’s easy to start posting your work to Instagram and expect results right away: new clients, new fans, a bigger audience. If we’re trying to make it as a creative business owner, we all want these things, right? 

Instagram CAN bring you all of these things, its true! But just sharing your work without much intention behind it can only get you so far. 

Today I have a few tips for you on how to take your Instagram strategy to the next level. 

It doesn’t have to feel inauthentic to you, sales-y, or one size fits all (i.e. boring!). I actually want you to take these tips and adapt them to your own marketing or social media style. 

Because what will really help you stand out on Instagram, is by being YOU. I only want to help you take that one step further so you know WHY you are sharing your work to this amazing platform, and help get you the results you’re really after.

Okay, let’s get to it! 

1. Before you post, get specific about your why.

You likely know you want to grow your business or audience, and get more eyes on your artwork. But how can you get as specific as possible? Here’s a few ideas: 

• I want to grow my Instagram account because I want to start selling $500 more of my artwork per month to collectors who love my style. 
• I want to share my artwork to Instagram because it helps keep me creating; having an audience, no matter the size, is like an accountability partner for me. 
• I want to grow my community through Instagram, because I love to teach painting or drawing tips, and I know lots of fellow artists who want to learn are on Instagram, too. 

Action tip for you: Write down 1-3 statements of your own. 

2. Write your captions first. 

Write my captions FIRST, are you crazy?! Okay, I don’t personally do this all of the time, but if you’ve never done this before I highly suggest you try it!

Here’s why: Writing your captions first, before choosing a photo or video, forces you to know precisely what the point or message of your post will be. 

• What exactly are you trying to communicate today? Who are you trying to reach (think back to tip #1), and what do you think they are interested in hearing about? 
• If you just want to share that painting you worked on today, that’s good, too! But beef it up a little besides simply stating that this is what you made today. Talk instead about your process leading up to that finished piece, or why you decided to use a certain color. Even if you’re not teaching process methods to other artists, your fans or collectors will love a peek into your thoughts behind a piece. 

Action tip for you: Has anything been in the back of your mind lately that you think your audience would be interested in? Write about it, and THEN find a photo that works with it. 

3. Plan a year of Instagram posts. 

This tip is a little more advanced because it extends to your business as a whole.

I don’t mean that you should plan each individual post across a year. 

What I mean is, plan what you are going to either work on or promote throughout the year and let THAT define your posting schedule. I tend to think of my projects on a monthly or quarterly basis, but you can break it up however you want. 

For example: For the month of March, I know that I am releasing a series of watercolors on paper to my website at the end of the month.

So the majority of my posts throughout March are going to focus on both the process of creating these paintings, and then more finished photos of them as I get closer to the release date.

Throughout that month I’ll share a variety of posts surrounding these watercolors like: 1) process videos, both on my grid and in stories 2) Close up photos of details 3) Professional photos I had taken of a few that were already completed last month 4) Group shots of them as it gets close to the release date. 

Therefore, my whole month of March is planned! I don’t have the specific dates mapped out throughout the month; I intend to post organically but at least twice a week. 

Action tip for you: Get out a calendar and map out your projects or promotions for the year. Go month by month and decide what your focus of posts will be for that month (or however you like to break it up!)

Those are three of my strategies for you to get started on! If you’re looking for more, I have a FREE mini guide to my Instagram Tips for Artists available for download HERE. 

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  1. Leslie says:

    Great ideas as I begin! Thank you

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