June 17, 2018

Getting Featured on Instagram

Instagram is a wonderful tool for discovery and exposure. In fact, I've found time and time again Instagram is one of the best channels for widening your audience beyond local. When you post great content and use appropriate hashtags, you make it easier for new people to find you, but more on hashtags later. This week I'd like to talk about a third way to grow your account - Getting Featured. There are a number of Instagram accounts built on sharing other people's content. The best of these accounts are focused on particular themes, and they curate what they share based on relevance and quality. These featured posts can open you up to a whole new audience yet to see your work. Plus, by having a third party highlight your work, there is added credibility. Think of these accounts as Instagram influencers. So how to do you find the best accounts for featuring and get their attention?

1. RESEARCH: You can usually find feature accounts simply by searching. Most of them use hashtags for submissions, so you just have to explore the right ones based on a medium or subject matter. There are quite a few for different types of photography for example, but honestly you can find them for most types of art. See the list below for some examples.

2. CHOOSE: The next step is evaluating the accounts. Do they have a large audience? Are their posts consistently on theme? Do they feature work of similar quality? Do they credit the posts they share? Make sure you are investing your time in a feature that will benefit you. You want to avoid any that are spammy or low on engagement and quality.

3. SUBMIT: In your research, you will also want to get a feel for the instructions to get featured. Many of these accounts get tons of "submissions" daily, and they will simply skip over anything that's not the right format. Be sure to use their hashtags and tag the accounts where applicable so they'll see you work. Know that not every post will be featured, so keep trying.

4. ENGAGE: If you get a response, be timely with your follow. They may ask for another version of the image to share or for a signed release. Don't lose out on the opportunity by missing the outreach. You can also interact with these accounts and their other content to show that you are interested.

Sounds simple, right? The challenge comes in doing the legwork. Research to find the best feature accounts for your work, and don't get discouraged. I started out wanting to provide you all with a list by medium, but the truth is, there are tons of options, both general art and niche. Here are some examples to help you get a feel for what good feature accounts look like. Good luck!