If I get more Instagram followers I’ll sell more paintings right?!….
Hmmm…not exactly. Today I want to open up the conversation between Instagram followers and success. A lot of focus these days, seems to be how many followers we have. It’s one of the first things we see when we look at someone’s Instagram. But how important is it really?
In the beginning…when I began this journey, I spent a lot of energy worrying about my amount of Instagram followers. I had a couple of hundred and I firmly believed I couldn’t get anywhere with my artwork, if I didn’t have a bigger following. I would scroll through certain hashtags, ‘liking’ lots of photos to get ‘seen’ by more people.
The reason I believe we feel this way, is because all the ‘successful’ artists that we admire, have at least thousands of followers. It seems they are successful because of those followers. In our mind the equation goes something like this:
lots of followers + good art = success
The question I asked myself is…how can I get more followers to arrive at this ‘success’?
The problem with this mindset is this. We can get more hung up on the social media aspects, that the art fades into the background. We want to ‘be an artist’ so much, we stop actually being artists!
My Instagram Epiphany
So I still felt these feelings up till a few months, when I stumbled across the Instagram page of an artist I used to be obsessed with. I thought she had the perfect life, in her glorious studio, dancing and singing all day. LOL
I wondered if I had the right account, ‘I thought she had a lot more followers than that?…In fact, I have more than double the followers she has!’
It was then I realised that this whole time, my goal posts moved further away as I neared them. Sort of like a rainbow. She had the ‘dream life’, but I had more followers and my life certainly isn’t a dream. In that moment, it made me realise, just because someone might have a whole lotta’ followers, doesn’t mean they’ve ‘made it’. It doesn’t mean they earn more, or are happier.
The Fine Print
Another major point. One artist might have more followers, but the other might have better engagement. The smaller account, might actually have more ‘fans’ of their work, because they have more likes & comments. Therefore they are likely to sell more of their artwork. Numbers really don’t mean anything. What matters is that these numbers are individuals. People with passions, family, problems, personalities. Once you remind yourself of that, it’s incredibly humbling to think that these individuals have hit ‘follow’, because they like you. When you think of each follower that way, even 50 is more than enough.
Rather than the equation I mentioned earlier. Let’s think of the equation like this:
art maker = success = more followers
Just Make Art
Make art and love it! Of course there is nothing wrong with growing your Instagram, and turning it into a business. I just wanted to talk about it today, because very often we get the balance wrong. Making art should always be the main focus, and the rest follows.
There are a number of tips we can use to help us grow our audience on Instagram and I will write another blog post soon about how to do that. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out! You can also check out my post ’10 Tips to Help Sell Your Art’.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts, so make sure you leave a comment! 🙂