This applies to most social media platforms including YouTube and I would exclude Facebook as it is not designed for organic growth.
It seems so simple yet we see over and over people making the same mistakes. All that effort going to waste when you could be using that time to push out better content.
Once you get more subscribers on Instagram, have a look at how to 10x your art getting noticed on Instagram here.
So what are the steps to getting more subscribers on Instagram?
- Don’t follow for a follow back
- Don’t comment on other pages with “check out my page” or “add me!”
- Do Post Quality and Post Regularly
- Do engage with your fans but don’t feed the trolls.
- Engage with ‘influencers’ in a meaningful way to get noticed
1. Don’t follow for a follow back
Put simply, it’s annoying and it’s rude.
Follow someone if you truly enjoy their posts and are a fan.
The Days of growing your profile by subscribing to someone else’s account and then expecting a subscribe back (and then you unsubscribe to them) is so.. 2000 whatever. Don’t do it.
Most serious accounts are also too busy to be following back. They are most likely too busy creating quality content to engage with their subscribers and gaining new followers. Hint: This is what you should be doing.
2. Don’t comment on other pages with “check out my page” or “add me”.
That one is pretty straight forward, everyone quickly walks past the beggar but most people will stop to watch the busker. The busker puts on a quality show and then asks for something in return.
I see this so often and I cringe every single time.
I even commented once on a fellow artist’s post where his comment section was littered with these requests.
When I replied to one with “stop wasting yours and his time and create quality content and then people will check out your page organically” the actual artist replied to my response with “I couldn’t have said it better because that is exactly what I did”.
If by chance this tactic is still working, then the conversion rate is pretty low.
The chances are high that you will only be gaining superficial followers who would like you to follow back.. see the vicious circle here?
As an artist working on Instagram, you want followers who are engaged and looking out for your work.
You are looking for those 1000 true fans who will make a difference to your career as an artist.
So what works? If you want to gain a steady stream of new followers and active engagement then you should try some of the following simple steps to gaining more subscribers on Instagram.
3. Do Post Quality and Post Regularly
I was guilty of not doing this one. My own account grew quite quickly when I was posting great art and posting daily. Sometimes a few times a day.
That was when my account was new and I had lots of my old art to showcase. Then my posts dropped in quality and so did the frequency and guess what happened next?
My subscriber count dropped as well.
I then went back to post regularly and posting average content and the needle on my subscriber count did not move much.
The moment I posted quality images of my art and I added some detailed commentary around it to make it more relatable then I saw my subscriber numbers jump.
You need to follow a schedule or be regular enough for your fans to expect a post whether it is daily, once a week or once every few weeks.
The longer your interval for posting the less subscribers you will see.
I have seen accounts start from scratch but because they post pretty decent content a few times a day, their subscriber numbers went from 0 to over 10,000 in a matter of months.
You also need a plan with what you want to do with all these subscribers. There’s no use collecting subscribers for your art page on Instagram just for the vanity of it.
You should see them as a way to either expand your reach, sell to, interact with, learn from etc
Also, do not forget to use up to 30 hashtags in each post to help expand your post’s reach. If you don’t know which ones to use I have an awesome article on which ones work best on art posts on Instagram
4. Do engage with your fans but don’t feed the trolls.
Sadly trolls exist for even the nicest of accounts who mean well. Some people are just not happy with no matter what you do and are looking to upset you for any reason.
When this happens, it’s not worth getting into an argument with a troll and it’s not worth taking what they say seriously.
It is sad to say that there are many people with mental illness on social media looking for validation. Don’t feed it.
Some trolls may be quite obvious, they will say the silliest of things. Some may come across as social activists looking for any excuse to be outraged.
Again, don’t feed this when you see a comment. It is best to ignore it.
Some artists I see do not even interact with their fans but I see this as a problem. You should engage with true fans. Which leads to number 5…
5. Engage with fans and influencers in a meaningful way to get noticed
You are going to get a good number of genuine fans if you’re doing Instagram correctly. Some of them may have more followers than yourself.
When you do interact with influencer accounts, be mindful that most of the comments they will see are to follow their page, take a look at me! Or from trolls.
If you comment about their latest post in a genuine way you may start a good online friendship. If you don’t hear from them, do not get angry.
Some accounts are just there to sell or get noticed and not to make friends.
Some end up answering when they see your name pop up on a regular basis saying nice and meaningful things.
Never ask for anything, treat them as you wish to be treated.
Now and then I share their posts and I get a thank you. Some will even like your own posts and comment on yours.
This gives you some social proof and their followers may even see the integration and start to follow you, especially if you both have similar interests or art styles.
Keep working hard and make great content and keep growing.
So that’s it… well almost.
I did say 5 Simple Steps to getting more subscribers on Instagram but this 6th tip had to go in. I will follow it up with it’s own post with specific examples but for now…
6. Don’t bother with Instagram Art Feature or Promotion accounts
Put simply, most of these are scam accounts that want you to pay to get featured. They are not based on merit or skill.
They will pick a few great posts from random artists to generate some traffic and then they will start to inbox art account and offering them (you) the opportunity to be featured with all these great artists.
How cool is that! Then comes the catch… how much is the feature worth to you?
Do not bother with these accounts. They are there to boost your ego and are as useful as paying for fake subscribers (what i’m saying is that they are a waste of money and effort!!!)
I hope these simple tips have provided you with some simple and valuable insights to help you gain more subscribers to your Instagram account and hopefully get your art noticed more.
Don’t become another Wasted Talent.
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