10 More Artist Instagram Tips to Grow Your Following

Photo by:  @runnerkimhall

Photo by: @runnerkimhall

You may have found my 8 instagram tips for artists helpful, I’m really glad to have implemented them at the time of writing the blog post - because I can tell that it’s working!! And now I have 10 more tips for you! 

Here’s what I’m learning


1.Be in the photo! 

Be. in. the. photo. BEINTHEPHOTO! 
I cant believe it took me so long for me to get this. 

People want to SEE you doing your thing. Painting, drinking a cuppa… being, living. As soon as I started putting myself in the image my engagement went up. For me it has involved getting over my fears of being seen and working through vanity shame.. it also involves many self timer runs. I’m looking forward to upgrading my dinosaur camera to one that has a remote. Taking heaps of photos of myself has also made me realise how terrible my posture was, and seek to improve it!

Photos with me in them get HEAPS more engagement than photos without. 

Bonus points if your outfit matches the painting. 


Part of me thinks that posing for photos is fake. It's literally running to the camera, pressing the self timer button and running back to pose in 10 seconds with a dry paintbrush in my hand (LOL!!!) 
BUT remember if we are a brand that’s trying to market ourselves effectively, that’s what all brands do, STYLED IMAGES. Its a bit more work, but its working, so you decide! 

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 10.37.55 am.png


2.Use Iconosquare

An amazing analytics tool that costs $9 a month, and is totally worth it for a business thats trying to grow. 

I love seeing my most successful hashtags, nice graphs with all my analytics info laid out for me, and information on the best times for me to post based on my previous posts. There’s a post scheduler which I want to start using, too.

I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface with what it can do. 

Its worth it. 

Success graphs are satisfying. :P 

Success graphs are satisfying. :P 


3.Take shit loads of photos. 

If you’re like me you’re not painting ALLLL the time. So if you take lots of photos while you are, you’ll have heaps of content to play with and keep consistent while you’re doing other things. For example right this moment I haven’t picked up the brush in a week (aaaargh!!) but my Instagram has stayed consistent because I created a lot of content for myself. 


When I am sorting my feed in my Lightroom quick collection, sometimes I want an image that will go with my feed colour wise, or a simple pic to put a break between two busy photos. I now have a huge archive to find the perfect photo from.



4.Take your profile off business to personal

I have read this advice on many blogs - apparently Instagram gives preference to personal accounts so business accounts are forced to promote their posts. Go figure.



5.Pick your niche - and stick to it. 

I just made a separate Instagram for my bus @magdathemagicbus and since doing that my engagement has gone up a lot. People who followed my art page for #vanlife posts used to get confused when I posted art pics, and vice versa. 

Only post within your niche. If I post something random people unfollow me. People don’t give a shit what you had for lunch… unless you’re a food blog. 

All these Bus photos below were getting mixed in with my art pics on @stephanie.rose.freeman and totally confusing my followers, causing them to leave. 


6.Post at the right time

Midday and 6pm weekdays works for me, as does 10am Saturdays, and Sunday arvos. Iconosquare will tell you when your best post times are, and you can sort it by last 30 days / year / whatever 

As you can tell,  Iconosquare  has been really helpful to me. 

As you can tell, Iconosquare has been really helpful to me. 


7.Engaging with your following

When someone follows you, check out their profile, give some love to your favourite photos. 

This is preferable to the insufferable “follow for follow” game that some people play, and then unfollow you when you follow back. 

I love to send appreciation to my followers, and if I sincerely want their posts on my feed, I will follow them back. 


8.Portrait photo orientation

4x5 is the largest ratio Instagram will allow. MAKE THE MOST OF IT.  If your awesome photo takes up the whole screen then people are more likely to stop scrolling and look at it. I’m always shooting in portrait now, and I want to see if I can change my camera settings to fit these dimensions so I don’t have to keep cropping great images. 

In saying that, while editing your 4x5 image in Lightroom, pretend to crop it to square so you can see how instagram will crop it for your feed. Here's an example. 


4x5 Orientation - the largest possible on Instagram

4x5 Orientation - the largest possible on Instagram

This is how the image will crop on your feed. If important parts are cropped out then adjust the photo accordingly.

This is how the image will crop on your feed. If important parts are cropped out then adjust the photo accordingly.


9.Vulnerable Sharing

With all the effort I am putting in to create a cohesive and amazing feed, the last thing I want to be putting out there is fakeness. 

Share what is really going on for you! There is a human behind there after all. 

I love sharing myself and I love reading the real-life struggles and triumphs of real people, not just an inspiring quote (which are great, too, in moderation)


If we want to talk about this in Insta optimisation terms, this makes people stay on your image for longer which may affect the elusive Insta algorithm in your favour.


10.Calls to Action

I have just started using these, and it seems to be working. Comments are another way that the Instagram algorithm bumps you up, so asking for them is a great way to get them. 

For example

“Tag a friend you want to paint here with”

“Leave your favourite emoji if you love this” 

“Have you read X book (that I spoke about in the comments), what did you think of it?” 

“Double tap (like) if you <3 this image"

Et cetera. Ask your audience anything!



I trust this has been helpful, I cant wait to see us all thriving on Insta!

Come follow me on Instagram: @stephanie.rose.freeman

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