Sell Your Art on Instagram

by guest blogger Karlie Carpentier Rosin

Ready to make online sales? Instagram is an outstanding e-commerce platform for visual artists.

 

Selling Art on Instagram

 

Selling art online has never been more popular. If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to take the plunge. Social media is a good option, and Instagram is one of the strongest platforms for selling. It is a highly visual app that attracts people who want to browse beautiful images, and make good prospective customers.

In order to be successful, prepare mindfully with the goal of making sales and get your account set up the right way. Let’s look at a few key elements to focus on in order to sell your art on Instagram:

Post with Intent

Establish your pillars

Selling art on Instagram starts with the “intent to sell” rather than just wanting to have a beautiful feed. First, establish your pillars: brainstorm four values or topics that represent you, your art, or your brand and write them down. These are the basis of the story behind your art and your goals.

Then, make a point of mixing up your content with photos of you, your art, lifestyle, work in progress, etc., all the while keeping those pillars in mind. Make sure to portray your art through mockups so your clients can visualize their life with your art in it. Selling art, especially on Instagram, isn’t just about the finished piece. It’s about the process and what drives you to make it. And customers want to know what they’re buying.

Is it just pretty, or is it for sale? 

When you post on social media, it’s important for your followers to understand that your art isn’t just there to make their feed beautiful. It’s also for sale! Educating your followers to see your art as a purchasable item is key. You can mention in your post that it’s available, along with the size, maybe even the price, or any other specs that are applicable. Make one out of four or five posts a hard sell, where the info is right in front of them. This clearly shows that it is an “art for sale” post. Introduce the rest of them as a soft sale, where the specs are at the footer of the post copy.

Share Your Story

Share as much as you feel comfortable with, such as when you’re shipping prints, or when someone buys your art. If you are working on a new collection or gig, announce it! This allows your audience to come to know you and get excited for you. Plus, it keeps them in the loop about your new work.

Selling on Instagram is all about building community, and your communication with clients and followers. Over time, as they get to know you and see others buying your art, they will eventually feel secure doing the same. In my own experience, after sharing that a piece of artwork has sold, an influx of other purchases happen.

Share your enthusiasm for your art and how much you appreciate your customers. For example, when you make a sale, offer them a small discount on their next purchase. This shows that they’re special to you, and encourages them to come back to your store. You’ve just gotten a valuable repeat customer!

Another strategy is to offer bundled prices, such as buy three and get one free, or buy two and get 50% off the third. This is a way to upsell and provide value to your customer. I don’t recommend offering deals too often, but if you sprinkle them in here and there, it will entice more Instagram sales and keep those esteemed followers happy.

Make the Transaction

You must share on social media with a sales intent in order to provide a pathway for people to purchase your work. But you also need a way to make transactions happen. There are two options when selling art on Instagram:

  • Simply interact by engaging with people and privately messaging with them. You can receive payments through your website shopping cart, Paypal, or e-transfers. Provide links in your Instagram bio so your products are easy to find, or place them in “Highlights” if you don’t have a site.
  • Shoppable posts: another option is to set up Instagram Shopping. Connect your Instagram profile with a catalog of products which you then tag in your posts and stories. This provides the customer with information such as the price and a link to purchase the art directly through Instagram. You will need to create a Facebook Page for your business, create a “Business Instagram Account” by linking it to your Facebook Page, and then upload a product catalog to Facebook that you would then link to your Instagram. Please note that not all accounts are approved for Instagram Shopping. First, review the Setup Requirements for Instagram Shopping and Instagram Shopping Availability. 

Move Beyond Instagram

If you’re looking to take that extra step after Instagram, I recommend having your own platform to sell products, such as an individual website. Owning your own site and internet real estate is always better than renting and allows you to build authority in your field. Having your own site gives you the most options, and you can offer a variety of shopping methods to your customers.

So, if you’re ready to take the plunge, remember: post with intent, share your story and start selling! I’m available to support you if you have questions or need more guidance with Social Media Marketing or Instagram Shopping, or if you need more help kick starting your presence online with a website.

 

Karlie Carpentier Rosin is an artist and illustrator based in Vancouver, Canada. She is also certified in digital Marketing, and invites you to follow her on Instagram and visit her website.

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