The quick answer to that is no! It’s not OK to sell your art on Instagram. Or what I should say is, I very strongly advise against trying, or you will likely be very disappointed.
As an artist looking to use these social media platforms, it can be difficult know exactly what the point of being on them really is!
You’re encouraged to use them, when you really don’t have the time or the inclination, and now you’re signed up to it, people are telling you not to sell your beautiful work from there.
So what’s the point of using Instagram if I can’t ‘sell’ my art?
It’s a good question, and if you’re new to using social media for marketing, then you could be forgiven for thinking as such. Let’s try and look at this in a slightly different way.
Imagine yourself as a friendly store owner, selling beautiful things 🎨💐💍🍰. You’ve spent a long time choosing the lovely items to display in the window, and it looks really eye catching.
People are starting to slow down when they pass by your store, because your beautiful things are glinting at them.
You decide to pop outside and offer a friendly smile and a hello to folks. Eventually they begin to stop for a chat, and when others see how friendly you are, and what beautiful things you have, they also want to chat. They may even start recommending your store to others.
The more they get to like you, the more they want to enter your store & buy your beautiful things. They have felt no pressure to do so, but they can see a lovely display, they’ve interacted with the friendly store owner, so this has now satisfied their justification to be able to purchase.
On Instagram, the pictures that you upload reflect your window display, the captions you accompany your picture with is your friendly, doorstep greeting, and the likes and comments you make is your customer engagement.
And just to be clear, it doesn’t mean that you can’t put prices within your posts occasionally, or be posting about a special promotion. Of course you can, because your customers know that’s a great offer, from a person they have already built trust with.
It may be a slow climb with social media, but like the real life store comparison, you know, for that store to survive – you have to look after your customers and build a relationships so they will keep returning to you.
Everything else aside – it’s just a really nice way to conduct yourself, and it’s a really rewarding way to be! There’s your win/win!
There will ALWAYS be exceptions to the rule, artists who are popular and selling their art in an upfront manner. They have their audience, but you won’t achieve heady heights of sales, until your shop is well established.
For more tips on Instagram – follow my social media account on Instagram here