Instagram is the platform we associate with businesses and lovely people that can’t have a meal or visit a memorial without taking a selfie. How can we use this platform to promote our skills and services? I’m glad you asked.
Building a Profile
First of all, you are no longer a simple private citizen. You are managing social media accounts of a business. Your business persona is an entity completely separate from your day-to-day persona. You can create your own business profile and treat it as your portfolio. You can either use a logo for the profile picture or a photo of yourself in a suit.
Any and every business with any marketing sense knows that social media presence is essential to building one’s brand. Because of this, you need to post regularly. Your posts and stories can be about the projects you are working on, offering your services, notifying the general public what your brand is up to, and so on.
Though you have a business persona now, it is of utmost importance to show your human side. Publish pictures of yourself working or meeting people you are trying to connect with. It is important that your fans and clients see you as a human artist and not just a faceless designer.
Hashtags used to be a tool for Twitter, but have since expanded and are now used to find trending stories, specific artists, persons, posts, and events. This is one more thing you will have to learn how to utilize. Choose a unique hashtag for yourself, but make sure you proofread it – several professional companies had a commercial failure because their websites and hashtags accidentally spelled out something crass instead of what they were going for.
Showcase and Don’t Be Aggressive
You are not a telemarketer. Do not push for a hard sell and let your work speak for you. Present your followers with your projects and work in progress and ask them for their input. The less aggressive you are, the more approachable you become.
I don’t often share this, but webcomics are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Because of this, I can give you an example of how a properly run Instagram profile can yield results. One of the artists I have come across by accident is Jago. Jago is an illustrator, artist, and graphic designer, most notable for his Living with Hipstergirl and Gamergirl comic. Though his content can be perceived as somewhat risqué, his Instagram presence is spot-on.
He regularly updates his followers on where he’s going and what conventions he’s attending. He makes his money off of commissions and merchandise, but he never pushes it aggressively. He posts once or twice a week and showcases his work. His hashtags are few but relevant and his profile more-or-less illustrates a solid example of how a page should be run.