Inspiration Painting Tips

Get More Instagram Followers

September 27, 2017

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?

The Sitch?

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 makerΒ = 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! πŸ™‚

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10 Comments

  • Reply Sandra Simmons September 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Katie I’m not on Instagram and not sure I want to be.
    I have my art page on Facebook with about 160 followers but not sure about joining Instagram, is it worth joining!
    Thankyou xx

    • Reply Katie Jobling September 28, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Hi Sandra! I would only use social media you use on a daily basis anyway. I loved Instagram well before I started using it in my business. It’s something that takes a alot of work, so unless you would enjoy it as well, it might not be for you. πŸ™‚ Hope this helps!

      • Reply Sandra Simmons October 8, 2017 at 7:19 pm

        Hi zkatie,
        Sorry just seen your reply thankyou.
        Got a small exhibition betrayed at our local library, so quite excited about it.
        It’s for two weeks so hoping it goes well.
        Hope your feeling better xx

        • Reply Sandra Simmons October 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

          Sorry auto correct on and messed my last comment up lol
          I’m sure you can decipher it haha

  • Reply Larry Maule Jr. September 27, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t use any social media, even though others have encouraged me to. But really, I don’t care for social media anyhow. I started off a totally unknown author, having zero support. I was just determined to write and publish a book on the topic of what I know best. My family even discouraged my book efforts – saying, β€œ I wasn’t capable enough to be a real author.” So today, without support, without writing and publishing experience, without advertizing or social media, my book is successful. I took a risk. I chose to believe in myself. Moreover, each day, I choose to stay with the effort. What really made my book successful, is that people really love it. Your math is correct… quality work = success = more followers. It usually just takes time for our work to catch on. We must believe in ourselves and stay with our dream.

    • Reply Katie Jobling September 28, 2017 at 8:20 am

      Wow this is amazing Larry! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Well done for following your dream and ‘going for it’! You an inspiration πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jean Choe September 27, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks Katie. This is an inspring post. I’m an aspiring artist and I had exactly the mindset you mentioned in the earlier part, and was often frustrated at my small number of followers. I’ll try to stay more positive and focus on what i love most – painting and creating! Thank you!

    • Reply Katie Jobling September 28, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Thanks for your comment Jean. Yes painting is what it’s all about πŸ™‚

  • Reply Emily Go September 28, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Hi Katie. This post makes so much sense! For the last couple of months I’ve been really trying to increase my followers on Facebook and Instagram. But you’ve just made me realise that it isn’t all that important.
    Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and realising that social media is only a part of our lives anyway, and that we should be focusing on the most important thing… art! Because of course we love making art but also because (like you said) without the art we wouldn’t have any sort of business or following.
    I also love how you created equations in this post, it really helps to think about it logically.
    Thank you!

  • Reply Midnightrose September 28, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Hi Katie! I’ve been a follower of you for a few months now and this has been a great help to me and my thoughts with pursuing art, you see, the past few months as well i’ve been constantly trying to get more followers to get my art exposed… thank you for this, i know alot of other artists but this article you’ve made is the one that made sense the most.. thank you!! hoping for more tips from you since i plan on selling my works as well πŸ™‚

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