How to sell on Instagram

9 Aug 2020

This year I took the plunge to swap my art store’s website provider to Shopify - a platform which also allows you to sell on Instagram. it was a very big step (especially price wise for a small business) but I knew it would be worth being able to shop on the social media site. So many times I’ll click an image on Insta and buy the product I want, it’s so quick and easy! It also lessens the time it takes a customer to find an item and buy it on your store, so after considering it, I knew it was no brainier. I swapped from Wix (a site I did love to build my website) and opened my shopify store with the connection to Instagram/Facebook selling. 

The results I’ve had from doing this have been so worth wile, and probably the best decision I’ve made for my business. Despite selling my art for years, my store has really taken off in 2020, to a level where I’ve been making a full time salary. Of course when you work for yourself it differs every month, bu for once in Witchcrafts life everything has been steady and I’ve felt safe. With COVID and being pregnant, it came at the best time for me to be able to work from home. 
Anyway! I always get a lot of questions from other creatives on how I work for myself, and how I sell art. I did want to write a post on how to sell from Etsy (another platform I use) but I’ll be honest, It’s not my favourite. Selling on Instagram is much more beneficial to any independent art seller! I’ve put together some tips on how to best sell on Instagram, as well as things I’ve encountered that is just food for thought. 

You need a facebook shop - another way to attract customers
It is a process to connect your shop to instagram, and one thing you need is a facebook shop (seeing as facebook owns insta). At first I was comprehensive about having another ‘shop’ or page to check up on, but it’s super easy and actually is a great way to gage other customers. Having the page for potential customers to find is better than not having the page, and them not finding your store. It’s super easy to set up following facebook - you have your products page as well as a main feed to post. Once it’s set up, any product you add to your actual shopify store will automatically show on your facebook store. 

Upload your product first and wait a couple of hours or day to upload and tag on instagram 
Just a straight up tip for using shopify - they process your product before you can share/tag it via Instagram. The product goes up straight away on your site, but to then connect it through the app, for customers to see it as a ‘product’ on insta - it takes a couple of hours. I tend to get a bunch of new prints, upload them to the store, then spread them out amongst my feed throughout that week. 

Take a lot of photos of one product and use the swipe feature 
I love the swipe feature for everything! It just allows you more options on one post, especially if you love a set of photographs and can’t just pick one. For products it’s amazing because then customers can see it from different views, in different settings, etc, encouraging them to buy! I love seeing art work set up in a nice ‘product display’, but it’s also good to show it framed, as no doubt a customer is wanting to put it up on their wall. 

Treat your captions like your product details - let customers know everything they need whilst keeping it fun 
What I love about Instagram is how engaging you can be with others! I love asking a question in the post caption, and then get a discussion going in the comments! With the art work I create I love a good chat about films, magical bits - so definitely keep your captions engaging!
I think however, it’s also important to treat the caption as a little product bio. You can tell customers everything they need to know, so they’re not then going onto your site hunting for details like ‘what size is the product’ etc. 

you can be more fun with the photos on your feed than a product photo on your site
The great thing about selling on Instagram is the photos you post can be loads more fun than on your professional website. You can product tag any photo, so you don’t have to have a bog standard product photo feed. I love sharing customer photos, fun little flat lays including my art or even just me holding up a sticker from one of my sticker packs. I do post product photos every now and then, but having a fun feed attracts followers, who are potential customers. Having clear photos of products is important, but if you can product tag any photo, it will then take your customer to the product where they’ll see the professional shot you did for your site.  

Share stories - others share your products 
Stories on Instagram is amazing - allowing people to see a behind the scenes of your store if you choose! It lets them connect with you as a seller more, and is another great way to product tag. I do a mixture of sharing art I’m working on, whilst also keeping everyone up to date with new art work by using the product tag. As customers can’t really leave reviews on your Instagram, if customers tag your products in their stories, you can share them and keep a highlight or customer feedback/photos! 

Customer photos - tag the products 
I absolutely love seeing photos of my art work that customers have taken, which is something you might not necessarily share on a website, but you can on Instagram! I love adding the photographs to my feed - showing other potential customers how people have used my artwork as decor. Again, you can product tag these photos! If your art work is surrounded by other artwork in a photo, you can product tag YOUR item, so there’s no mistake which piece is from your store. 

Treat your dms like your customer service 
Some might see this as too casual and choose not to, but speaking to customers through Instagram messages can be easier than email. I would say I check my DM’s regularly where as my emails...not so much. I think being able to quickly reply to a customer through instagram just allows you to connect with them more personally. I hate how professional emails can come across, even if you do have a professional business. 
I feel like this is a very ‘you either like it or you don’t’ point, as I know lots of people who would prefer to keep it professionally. 

There’s lots more points I could make on how to sell via Instagram, so if you found this post useless do let me know and I can make more on how I sell my art! I have done the odd art post before on my blog, but now as it’s my career (finally woo) I’d like to share more on how I built it up from being at university 6 years ago. 

Until next time, J x