It’s hard to come up with a better place than Instagram when it comes to selling art on social media. Designed for visual content and powered by a plethora of business tools, Instagram becomes a proper asset for selling pieces of art. There are lots of cases when aspiring and prominent artists sell their masterpieces there, so even if you successfully sell art elsewhere, consider Instagram as an additional place to get discovered.
This article explains how you can increase awareness of your artwork, attract new beholders, and convert them into buyers.
Why Sell Art on Instagram
Let’s start with some convincing stats:
- Instagram has 2.35 billion users as of 2023.
- An average user spends 30 minutes on Instagram.
- 73% of US teens say Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them about new products or promotions.
- 76% of users claim they've bought things they saw on social media at least once.
What’s more, Instagram never stops improving its business and discoverability features, such as shoppable posts, partnerships with influencers, targeted ads, Explore page and feed algorithms, as well as Reels.
How to Sell Art on Instagram
Basically, there are two ways to sell things on Instagram, art or other stuff: with Instagram Shopping through the shop feature or by sending a customer to an external online shop (or even simply sharing a link for payment in DM). A set-up Instagram Shop streamlines your selling experience and makes the purchase process clearer for the buyer.
But regardless of the method you choose, here are the ways to sell art on Instagram.
Set Up a Business Account on Instagram
Switch to the Business or Creator account on Instagram if you haven’t already. With the professional account, you’ll be able to set up an Instagram Shop, access Instagram analytics, and promote your posts. To switch from a personal account to business, open Settings -> Settings and Privacy -> For professionals: Creator Tools and controls -> Switch account type -> switch to business account. Then select a category, such as ‘Artist.’
Select the Checkout Platform
You can either let your customers check out right on Instagram or lead them to another shop, such as Shopify or Etsy.
💡 If you choose the first option, make sure to check our guide on how to create an Instagram Shop in 2023.
Add Your Products to Facebook Commerce Manager
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s almost impossible to fully leverage Instagram functionality without having a Facebook page associated with your active Instagram account. One of the tools you might find useful when selling art on Instagram is Commerce Manager. You can add your artwork to Commerce Manager with titles, descriptions, sizes, prices, and images. By updating the catalogue regularly, your clients will always be able to track the stock availability.
Optimise Your Profile
Write a clear bio that unmistakably indicates who you are and what you do. Don’t forget to say in your bio that you sell your art here, not just showcase your works. Include a shop link in the bio, add Highlights with all the details that customers often enquire about, and keep your user handle simple and easy to read.
💡We've covered best practices of Instagram profile optimisation in one of our previous posts! Take a look if you want to increase your page's discoverability with Instagram SEO.
Work on Your Branding & Aesthetics
How your page is visually perceived is extremely important. The look of the Instagram profile will help your potential customers make a decision on whether they want to buy your art or not. Select a theme or idea and stick to it with every post.
💡Combin Scheduler will help you visually plan posts in advance. Just drag and drop your posts to see how your page will look like!
In addition to showing your works, don’t forget to post UGC that showcases how your works look in your customers’ houses or offices as a part of their interior design.
Leverage the Power of Reels
In this piece, we won’t pay much attention to content as we believe you know better how to present your art pieces right. However, what artists and brands often underestimate is video content. When Instagram rolled out Reels, it started to favour video content over photos to win TikTok’s audience. Instagram profiles that share Reels gain higher reach, profile visits, and get their Reels landed in recommendations on the Explore page and Reels tab.
💡 If you don’t know how to showcase your art on Reels, here are a few ideas:
- Show the process of how you create an art piece.
- Show snippets of sketching, painting, or sculpting, and give insights into your inspiration and techniques.
- Display a series of photos or videos that demonstrate the transformation of your artwork. Begin with a blank canvas or raw materials and progress to the final masterpiece.
- Condense the creation of a piece into a short time-lapse video. Capture each step, from the initial sketch to the finishing touches, allowing viewers to witness your art come to life in seconds.
- Share a collection of your artworks in chronological order, starting from your earliest pieces and progressing to your most recent work. Highlight the changes in your style, subject matter, and skills over time.
- Experiment with animating your artwork. Bring static images to life using digital techniques or stop-motion animation. This dynamic display will captivate viewers and showcase your versatility.
- Document your participation in various art challenges or collaborations.
- Provide useful tips and tricks for fellow artists. Create short tutorials or demonstrate innovative techniques that can help others enhance their skills or overcome common artistic hurdles.
- Showcase how your art integrates into everyday objects or environments. Display your designs on clothing, accessories, home decor, or even outdoor murals. Highlight the ways art can beautify and enrich our surroundings.
- Share the sources of your inspiration. Create a collage of images, videos, or music that sparks your creativity. Explain why these elements resonate with you and how they influence your artwork.
Remember to add captions, descriptions, and hashtags to your Reels to optimise their visibility and engage with the art community.
Tip: Don’t forget to tag your products in Reels if you have the Instagram Shop set up.
Be Consistent with Your Posting Schedule
Post something every day or at least three times a week to remind your audience of yourself and show Instagram algorithms that you actively work on your profile. Updating your social media ‘catalogue’ of works regularly will not only bring you more followers but also turn them into customers.
💡 Combin Scheduler comes in handy here as well. This free Instagram planning tool ensures your content appears on Instagram down to the minute as you planned. Feed posts, stories, and reposts are automatically posted on the day and hour you've selected without bothering you with annoying reminders to manually post the content.
Have Your Art Works Published on Dedicated Pages
There are lots of Instagram accounts with large followership that repost someone else’s art, such as @young_artists_help, and tag the original post owner. Sometimes, such pages repost content for money, while from time to time, they might even reach out to you to ask you to submit your post to their page.
If they don’t, reach out to them on your own and ask if you can have your content placed on their page. Such pages might boost your reach, especially if you’re at the beginning of your journey.
Collaborate with Influencers to Promote Your Art
Tons of people follow influencers on Instagram. You, just like brands, can leverage the power of influencer collaborations to boost your reach and sales.
Here are some specific ideas for influencer collaborations that artists can use to boost the sales of their art on Instagram:
- Invite an influencer to visit your studio or creative space for a behind-the-scenes tour. Let them capture the process of your art creation, including your tools, techniques, and workspace. This immersive experience can help build a connection between the influencer, their audience, and your art, potentially leading to increased sales.
- Collaborate with an influencer who specialises in home decor, interior design, or lifestyle content. Have them incorporate your artwork into their styled photos or home settings. This allows their followers to see how your art can enhance their living spaces and encourages them to consider making a purchase.
- Team up with an influencer who is also an artist or creative. Create a joint artwork or series combining your styles and techniques. Document the collaboration process through photos or videos, sharing the progress and final results. This unique collaboration can attract both of your audiences, leading to increased exposure and potential sales.
- Partner with an influencer to host an art giveaway on Instagram. Have the influencer promote the giveaway, encouraging their followers to participate by following both of your accounts, liking the giveaway post, and tagging friends. The prize can be one of your art pieces, generating excitement and engagement while potentially driving new sales.
- Host a live art showcase or virtual exhibition in collaboration with an influencer. Go live together, showcasing your art pieces, discussing their meanings or stories, and answering questions from the viewers. This interactive format allows both of your audiences to engage with your art, fostering a connection that may lead to sales.
Remember, when collaborating with influencers, it's important to choose those who align with your target audience and have a genuine interest in your art. Collaborations should feel authentic, allowing the influencer's followers to connect with your art organically. Ensure that the influencer clearly communicates the availability and purchasing details of your art, whether through captions, swipe-up links, or dedicated posts.
Sell Art on Instagram: Frequently Asked Questions
🟣 Do I need a business licence to sell art on Instagram?
You don’t need a business licence specifically to sell art on Instagram, but you might need a business licence when setting up your Instagram Shopping account.
🟣 Is it free to sell art on Instagram?
If you don’t use paid social on Instagram, it’s free. However, if you do, it isn’t free, but the costs are relatively low.
🟣 Can I sell art on Instagram without a website?
You can accept orders right on Instagram even with no website. Besides, US customers can check out without leaving Instagram, so having a website isn’t necessary. But for the sake of your customers’ convenience, create a website to allow your clients to seamlessly create an order. Having a website is essential for setting up Instagram shopping functionality.