TFD: A Freelancer's Approach to Instagram
Everyone has them: your absolute favorite Instagram accounts to follow. We're constantly liking their photos, following along with their story, eager to see what they'll post next. But what makes a good Instagram? What are the specific reasons we're drawn to follow certain people? These are important questions to think about if you're a freelancer because social media is a huge way to promote your work. The more followers you have, the more your little community grows. It's a small piece of a big puzzle called self promotion.
So, today I want to share with you a few of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. I'll share specific reasons why I follow them and things that I wish were better.
Okay, so it's sorta a known fact that Cody is my husband. But that's not the only reason I love following his story on Instagram. Cody is a pretty killer artist, but there are a few things about his IG that I am particularly stoked on:
1. HE'S REAL
There are so many IG accounts out there that are just a business. I enjoy the fact that Cody is totally real and you can see that on his feed. He's not afraid to sometimes share photos that aren't perfect if they reflect something he's excited about. Often, you'll see that the things he is excited about will influence his work. For example, he posts lots of rock climbing photos along with some kick butt landscape paintings. I think that this adds value to a feed. It makes one feel connected to the artist.
1. HIS WORK IS SOLID
This is a given with any account I enjoy following. Having legit artwork is a MUST.
3. HE'S CONSISTENT WITH HIS STORY
Here's the thing... Most artists who are successful on IG will say that you need to be consistent. And, generally, that's true. Having a consistent account encourages people to be drawn into your story, similar to how one would be drawn into a good book. But what does consistency really mean? Sure, having a consistent color scheme helps tie everything together, but having a real story is where it's really at. Cody has that. Cody shares a feed that represents himself as an artist and generally as a twenty something year old with a passion for nature.
Let's talk a bit about Maria-Ines's work. Killer, right? Here are a few things I like about her feed...
1. IT'S DISTINCTIVE
Maria-Ines's work is very distinctive. Her style is well thought out and has been tailored over the years. I appreciate that and genuinely love her style. The combination of rough drawing, flat shapes, fun textures, and SOLID composition gets me every time. LOVE.
1. SHE'S CONSISTENT
Maria-Ines works in a simplified color pallet for all of her illustrations. This creates a really nice consistent color vibe throughout her entire feed. The content is also consistent. She posts concept driven illustrations regularly, causing the viewer to stop and think. I really like this about her feed because a lot of IG accounts are just "pretty". This one is pushing the envelope with concept.
One thing that I'd really like to see more of on her feed is open conversation. I enjoy following along with artists that ask their followers questions and engage in conversation.
So Hattie Stewart is pretty rad. Odds are, if you're and Illustrator, you probably know about her. Let's talk about WHY I follow her work (and love it)
1. IT'S FUN & EVOCATIVE
1. SHE'S CONSISTENT
Again, I'm a sucker for a consistent story. Her style has been tailored to perfection. Her color choices are wide but work together in a crazy cool way.
Again, I'd love to see Hattie promote more conversation on her IG account to make it feel more personal. Right now, it looks like she uses IG primarily as another portfolio platform. The real her is slightly mysterious. That can be a good thing, but, in general, I really like seeing the "real moments" on Instagram.
And that wraps things up! Who are your favorite artists that you follow on Instagram? Why? How can you apply those techniques to your own approach to social media to grow your community? Comment below and let me know!
If you follow along with me on IG, you'll notice that I really like consistency in visuals. I try and balance my feed with portfolio work, informational posts, and somewhat personal posts. You'll notice that I usually only share highly styled photos to keep the "story" going and I opt out of sharing really personal photos. This isn't because I'm afraid of showing my messy desk, or what I look like in my PJ's... it's simply because I'm a fairly private person. Do you practice a similar approach to social media, or do you like to share more personal moments with others? Do you feel like Instagram has been a positive self promotion tool for your freelance business? Let's start a conversation below.
All my best,