Show your work.
That’s what every professional creative will tell you. Whether you’re an artist, a singer-songwriter, or a woodworker, if you want to make it in your niche, you have to share your work. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do that.
This is a social media platform you don’t want to sleep on because, here, you can share your work, behind-the-scenes, inspiration, and so much more, through visuals. You’re a creator, and people who create have fans. You may not see them yet, but they exist, and once you’ve put yourself out there, they’ll follow you.
There’s a problem, though. There is too much noise on Instagram. There are millions of other creatives showing off their work like you are, so if you want to reach people, you need to be willing to be different. You have to distract people, get them to stop scrolling, and eventually, follow you.
Like you’ll here for any industry, you have to stand out. The question is: How do you stand out to build a following?
Instagram for creatives: how to build a following of rabid fans
1. Share your work
You may have a fear of sharing your work because you don’t want to be judged or feel embarrassed, but it’s time to get over that fear. The first thing you must do is share your work. There’s no avoiding it, and you can’t get “famous” in your niche if you refuse to show it.
Don’t be stingy with it. No one’s going to directly steal what you share (well, the truth is, you never know, but it’s unlikely). Plus, the first few people who follow you aren’t going to judge you; most likely, they’ll praise you.
How do you share your work?
Take pictures of everything or record everything (this depends on what type of creative you are). When you’ve finished writing a song, record yourself singing and playing it, and now you have a piece of content. If you’ve finished a new painting, sculpture, or drawing, upload the video of you painting it or take a picture of the end result.
In the caption, you can talk about how you came up with the concept, what or who inspired you, how long you’ve been working on it, and so on. Create a story that will draw your followers in, one that intrigues them as much as the art itself. Finally, remember to use hashtags!
You can post pictures on stories, but this is where you want to be recording 15 seconds of what you’ve done. Say that you’ve recently made a vase, and you want to share it at every angle. With an Instagram story, you can record and show every inch of it if you circle around it. You can also talk about it as you do so.
If you want to allow your followers to engage, you can use the stickers available to you. You have the option of the slider sticker, the poll sticker, and the questions sticker. If you’re summarizing a new story you’ve written, you can add a poll sticker that asks, “Would you read this?” If you’ve crochet together an elephant, you can use the slider sticker, and ask, “How much do you love this?” Or if you’ve recently uploaded a new blog post for your lifestyle blog, you can use the questions stickers, and ask, “Do you have any questions about my latest adventure?”
You can also use hashtags in stories.
On Instagram lives, you can do the exact same thing you do in stories and record what you’ve been working on at every angle. Show off your new bracelets or bookmarks, and talk about them. Here, you would talk about what you would write in a caption—the inspiration, how you came up with it, the story around it, etc.
You can’t use stickers on here, but you can encourage people to ask you questions in real time. It’ll give your followers a chance to interact with you. Think of them as impromptu Q&A’s. People love Q&A’s because it’s a chance for them to ask you whatever they please.
2. Show behind-the-scenes
While people love to see, read, and/or hear your finished work, they also love to see the process. They love to know how you were able to get to call something “finished work.” This is when they find out how they connect with you on a human-level, and find ways to improve. You’ll find that you’ll inspire some to emulate your process, and get results.
Show the “failure”
They want to see scrap on the desk, the paper you printed with all the edits, and the trash can filled with bad ideas. They want to see how you “failed” your way to success because this makes you more relatable. When your followers see that someone they admire messes up too, you’re suddenly more human and people can connect to you better.
Show the inspiration
How did you get your ideas? Share that. Share the song you were listening to, when you got the idea for a new pin directly, from Spotify. Give the title of the movie that inspired your new sticker. Creatives can gather inspiration from anything, so take a picture or talk about the color of the sky, the book, the quote, or even the yellow banana that inspired your new t-shirt.
Show the actual work
Have a friend or family member take a picture of you while you work. Whether you’re sitting in front of your laptop, have a journal in front of you, or you’re working on your messy desk, people will love to actually see you working. Zoom into the headphones in your ears, and talk about what you listen to while you work. Mention the small details, like how you love to have the television on because you can’t stand the quiet when you’re working.
As a creative, just share everything.