How to Grow Your Instagram Art Account

how to grow your instagram art account

Hey guys! Today I’d like to share with you some tips for growing your art account on Instagram.

If you’re an artist and not using Instagram, get on it! I find it’s better than Facebook or Twitter for artists because it’s more visual based.

In fact, many artists today use Instagram as their art portfolio instead of having a website. While I don’t recommend that, as having your own space on the internet is always best practice, it can be a great place to connect with fans and other artists.

Keep in mind that no one really knows how the algorithm works except the folks who work at Instagram. People will tell you to do this or that or don’t do this or that, but they really don’t know either, so take it with a grain of salt.

These tips are just things that have worked for me personally, and are not guaranteed to work for you. Don’t focus too much on your follower count. Being authentic, focusing on creating quality content, and engaging meaningfully with your fans and followers should be your main focus.

Here are some tips for growing your account and getting more engagement on Instagram.

  • Post daily, if not to your feed at least to stories.
  • Create fun and interactive stories using polls, stickers etc.
  • Respond to comments on your posts.
  • Respond to other people’s stories.
  • Use relevant hashtags when you post. Use a mix of broad and smaller hashtags with less than 1 million posts. For example, use #art and #artistsoninstagram, but also use smaller hashtags that are relevant to your specific style of art or the subject of your post.
  • Switch up hashtags from post to post, don’t use the same ones every time.
  • Experiment with posting at different times of the day.
  • Experiment with video and IGTV.
  • Add a location to your posts. It could be the location you actually are, or a different location depending on the post subject or target audience.
  • Create content that isn’t pushing people to buy anything, but simply showing your work or offering something of value to your followers.
  • Create quality content. Images in focus with good lighting, and clear screenshots. Experiment with using props and mix up your feed.
  • Post selfies. Even as an artist, selfies get high engagement on Instagram. Take photos of yourself holding your art or wearing and using your products if you sell through print on demand.
  • Engage daily by liking and commenting on posts in your home feed.
  • Follow hashtags that are relevant to your niche or art style and they will show up on your home feed.
  • Check out the top posts and use them for inspiration, but don’t copy.
  • Every day, if you can, go through a few hashtags relevant to your work or style and like/comment/follow accounts using that hashtag.
  • Add Alt Text to your posts.
  • Join an engagement group. Basically a group of like minded individuals (artists in our case) who post in a group message thread and like/comment on each others’ posts. It’s a great way to build a community of supportive people and get more engagement on your posts.

That’s it! I hope you’ve found some helpful tips here. If you have more to add feel free to leave them in the comments!

Oh and make sure you follow me on Instagram!



You may also find the following posts helpful:

How to Fill Out the W-8BEN Tax Form for Print on Demand Sites

print on demand tax forms and information

Ah tax forms, one of those annoying administrative tasks we have to do to sell artwork online through Print on Demand websites. Many U.S. based Print on Demand companies, like Zazzle, require a W-8BEN tax form to be filled out and submitted in order for payments to be processed.

This form can be confusing, and if you don’t submit it or fill it out properly your royalties can be subject to a whopping 30% withholding tax!

As long as you live in a country that has an income tax treaty with the U.S. (such as Canada) you do not need to pay this withholding tax, or may have to pay a reduced withholding tax. Here is a short list of countries with tax treaties with the U.S. and their withholding amounts. A more comprehensive list can be found on the IRS website.

To get started, you will have to download the W-8BEN form from the IRS website.
Below I have provided an example of how to fill out the form as a Canadian.

how to fill out us tax withholding W-8BEN form

Things to note:

  • The SIN number (Line 6) is the same as a U.S. Social Security Number. I am assuming most countries have an equivalent personal identification number for tax purposes.
  • The ____% rate of withholding (Line 10) may differ depending on the withholding tax rate of your resident country. This is where you will use the list provided at the link above.

I hope this guide will be helpful to those of you who are getting started selling your art through Print on Demand websites and are required to submit this form.
Let me know your thoughts or questions be leaving a comment below.



Looking for more information about selling your art through Print on Demand sites?

Check out these posts!

Social Media Marketing Tips For Artists

social media marketing tips for artists

Are you an artist trying to figure out how to market yourself on social media? I was too, just a few years ago!

Since then, I’ve learned a lot and wanted to share some tips with you guys!

Please note: I’m not an expert on this matter, but I have managed to triple my stats on a few key social networks over the past year, and slowly but surely grown my online presence since creating the Julie Erin Designs brand.

To illustrate this, below is a screenshot of my Wordpress stats since starting this blog in 2013, and as you can see, it has gone up steadily each year.


By the way, I do have a full time job and other life commitments outside of this endeavor, so I am only able to dedicate a few hours per week to creating and marketing my designs.

This leads me into my first tip which is: Dedicate just 5-10 minutes a day to your social media game.

  • Start by taking on just one task per day on one of your social accounts.
  • Some examples include: Tweet an image of your latest work (don’t forget to include relevant hashtags). Like and/or follow some new users on Instagram.
  • Don’t feel overwhelmed.  You should be able to do this during your coffee or lunch break, on the way home from work on the bus, after dinner, or whenever you have an idle moment.

Focus on just a few social media platforms.

  • Try out different platforms but then hone it down to just a few, and then focus on content and growing your followers.  My top 3 are Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I dabble on others but I get the most engagement for my time on those 3.

Set up a social media calendar, so you can easily plan and see what you need to do for the week.

  • Don’t overwhelm yourself with an over-loaded calendar.  Start with just one task per day that can be completed within a few minutes.
  • Create a visual calendar using your computer, a planner, or you can find lots of downloadable worksheets online.
  • Do what works for you and your schedule.
  • Learn the etiquette for your chosen social media app.  On Twitter you can share multiple times per day, but on Facebook you may only want to share something every few days.
  • Example: Monday: Tweet about your latest design, tweet 2 sold items. Tuesday: Share a new design on Instagram.  Wednesday: Blog post about new design, and post to Facebook page.  Friday: Tweet new blog post.

Have a blog.

  • Use it to showcase your art work, items for sale, share art tips, supplies you use, your sketchbook, whatever you can think of.
  • Connect with other art bloggers. Follow/like/comment on their posts.
  • Pro tip: Don’t forget to link to your blog from your social media profiles.

Use (free) apps to make your life easier.

  • Buffer or Hootsuite.  Use one of these apps (or something similar) to schedule a few posts to your social media accounts for the day. This could even be your one task of the day, if that’s all you have time for.
  • Crowdfire or similar apps which help you track followers and unfollowers.  You can also search for people who follow similar accounts and then like/follow them.
  • Photo editing apps such as Canva and Photogrid. There are several out there, so find one that you like. Use it to create and edit images of your designs and products right on your phone.  While you could also just make these images in Photoshop on your PC, being able to make promo images on the go makes it so much easier to get it done when you have a spare moment.
  • Example of an advertisement I created using the Photogrid app:
mandala rainbow pastel leggings yoga workout pants

Keep a list of content ideas.

  • Keep a list on your phone or somewhere, so you never run out of ideas for fresh content!
  • Examples: Sold items, new designs, WIP’s and sketchbook shots.
  • Check out my Twitter and Instagram feeds for more content ideas!

Make use of hashtags (important for Twitter and Instagram especially).

  • Use relevant hashtags so that people can find your work.
  • …but don’t overdo it. Figure out what works on which platforms.
  • Monitor those hashtags and like/follow others who are posting to that hashtag.

Make use of tagging (Instagram and Twitter).

  • Sometimes, when appropriate, you may want to actually tag another user (such Zazzle or Redbubble for example) on Twitter or Instagram, if you are showcasing their product. You may get lucky and they might even re-tweet or feature your product!
  • Go through their tagged feeds to find similar users to like and follow.

Engage with similar users.

  • Connect with other bloggers, as mentioned above.
  • I sell my art work on POD websites such as Zazzle, Redbubble and Society6, so I try to engage with others who sell on those sites as well.  I do this by either liking their work directly on those sites, on social media, through forums or Facebook groups.

To learn more about selling your art on POD websites, check out my detailed post on the subject!

Post to shopping websites.

  • If this is appropriate to your style of art work, you may consider posting your products on shopping websites such as Pinterest and Wanelo.

If you have the opportunity to do so, take a social media marketing course at your local college or university.

  • I took a short course which was very informative and turned me on to some new apps and strategies.
  • Think of it as an investment in your business.

Speaking of SEO (search engine optimization)use it!

  • Do a quick search and learn some SEO basics which is especially important for your blog.

Other resources you may find helpful:

I hope you guys have found some useful information here, and don’t forget to follow my blog to get more tips like these in the future!
Feel free to share some of your own social media marketing tips below!