Social media for Artist : : Instagram and Your Bio

“Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.” — Simon Mainwaring

This is part two of my series on Instagram. While my target audience is artsists, much of the advice equally applies to entrepreneurs. Is your Instagram set up to turn leads for you? What do you want it to ultimately do for you? Be specific as it will help you really tighten up what it does. I personally want three things from my Instagram page;

to generate sales - requires excellent photos of my art and the story behind it
connect with other artists - like and comment on other artist’s posts (with more than an emoji)
increase traffic on my website - use linktre.e

My video talks about the app Linktre.e. A follower sent me a message that made me realize that I needed to tighten up my use of the app, she was looking for the blog post I wrote a month ago and mentioned in a recent Instagram post. Whenever I write about a blog post, I need to add the direct link to the blog post on linktre.e. So now when I schedule a post, I take that added step so I increase the direct traffic to my website. I created that video over a week ago and so in the past week this is what I’ve changed. Each picture is loaded up for easy indexing and then the direct link to the blog post. Plus I added a sign up for my art newsletter listing. it takes the follower to a sign up page from Mailchimp which helps me develop my mailing list.

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Please note that I do not receive any affiliate income for my mention of Linktre.e.

And as always, let me know if you have a question and I will try an answer it in another post.

Instagram for Artists (and small businesses)

One comment that is consistent among artists is that they love Instagram, but that it doesn’t work. They expect that one or two posts will lead directly to a sale. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but social media just doesn’t work that way, even on Instagram. You have to be social on social media. And you have to make it easy for people to know what it is you do and why. The brain is biologically hard wired to remember stories, are you telling your story? The story about you work, why you make it and the challenges you’ve had in making it?

I can’t tell you how many artists Instagram pages I’ve seen where all they have in their bio is a link to their website if anything. Sometimes I will hear, “My art speaks for itself.” You believe that? Then why do art museums make the effort to provide labels? Make it easy for others to learn about you and your art practice. For example, if you walk into a store and have to look around for a sales clerk to help you find something, especially as you are in a hurry, do you stay at that store? Do you return? Think of your bio as providing excellent customer service. You are helping a collector, curator, gallery owner, architect, interior designer, art consultant, art director know more about you in a few short sentences in your bio. Sure many of your friends already know about your work, so it may feel redundant, but are you trying to connect just with your friends?

Create 3-4 short sentences about your art.

Medium

Inspiration

Who you seek to connect with on Instagram

How to contact you.

If you are a small business owner, what do you offer? What sets your business off from all the others out there? If you are a chef, let them know that French pastries are your thing, but you also love charcuterie. Your bio directs the viewer. So be sure you have a call to action. What do you really want your followers to know or do? In my case as an artist, I want folks to buy my art, whether an original, a print, or just one of my handknit hats on Etsy. I am also a teacher, so yes, I want to teach to a full classroom. Once you know what you want you can work backwards and write your bio. Be sure to watch the video for different examples.

As Instagram only allows you one live link, linktr.ee is an option for you to have one link turn into 4 or more. Basically when you click on a linktr.ee link it takes you to another page with multiple links. I have them set to take you to my website, my blog, my fashion line, my Etsy store etc. You could also use it strategically to promote an exhibition. Say you are soon to have an opening. Write a blog post about it with the story behind the work and photos of you installing it and the gallery information along with the exhibition duration. Now when someone sees the art in their feed, then can go up to your bio and click on the linktr.ee link which takes them to your gallery opening post with all the information and the story of your art. Maybe they can’ t make the opening, but they may enquire about purchasing an artwork. And you’ve driven traffic straight to your website.

Instagram Stories started nearly 3 years ago! Gasp! I am woefully behind on this. I hereby declare that my 2019 resolution is to get better at posting stories and to do so in a strategic manner. You can group images to tell the story about you and your art. So maybe one story about your family, another of sold works, exhibitions for 2019, the themes in your art, what inspires you etc. I’d love to see what you do and follow you on Instagram. So drop a link to your page in the comments. Thanks!

These next few weeks I’ll have more posts about Instagram, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter to have the content sent directly to your email box.