I will preface this post by saying I know that there are probably many many many Instagram experts out there that will frown upon what I'm about to say. My methods aren't the most conventional and I come from a very specific mindset in my approach of my business and my artistic journey. In November 2019, my art Instagram account had 600 followers. As of today, that same account now has 11.1 thousand followers and all of it has happened from organic reach, which means I didn't spend a dime on marketing or any kind of Instagram bots to buy any of that following. Here are all the lessons I have learned on my journey thus far.
1. Be laser focused on your topic for your account until you gain traction and momentum
As a starting out artist on Instagram, in the beginning it'll feel tempting to start compensating for lack of art posts with posts about your family, your pets, and other hobbies and love interests. Try not to do that, unless you can tie it in with resin art somehow. In the beginning, you're still trying to show your audience what you're about as a resin artist, that you're consistently creating work that's worthy of their attention and interest. Once you've won their loyalty, then you can start easing them into your personal life if that's what you decide to do, because by then they'll be so invested in your art style that they will be genuinely interested in learning more about you. I'd also highly recommend creating a personal account that's just filled with posts for friends and family.
2. Abandon the "hustle" train
...because it leads to burnout. Don't publish every day because you think you have to keep up. Publish when you're feeling inspired to do so. The "hustle" mindset is a sure way to burnout. It's not a sustainable way to do business or to have a life for that matter.
3. Be real
People can sense when you're trying to put up a facade. And if your audience does grow from that kind of interaction, that's the kind of audience you'll be attracting, the kind that's also insecure and embraces pretentiousness.
4. Never ever check your Instagram before you meditate in the morning
I know, I probably have lost half of you already here. Meditate?! How hippie new age is this chick, amiright?! ;) I believe that by meditating daily we reset our point of attraction for the day and hook up with the energy of the Universe. Instagram can be my very best friend and my very worst enemy depending on whether I meditated in the morning or not, whether I took care of my own energetic vibration for the day or not.
5. If something is triggering you, it's because you have a belief or an expectation you need to shift
We create our own reality, thanks to Law of Attraction. If something enters your reality, it's because you've attracted it by having beliefs and/or expectations of those things happening. The good news is that you have the power to shift your beliefs and expectations as well.
6. Do things because they're FUN to do, not because you're trying to get something back in return
Do giveaways because they're fun, not because you're trying to get followers. Engage with your audience and visit other fellow artists' IGs to love on them back. Yes, there is a cycle of energy and when you give to someone (be it something physical or intangible like attention or love), you will be getting something back from the Universe but only if it comes from true inspiration and not from expectation that you'll get something back. So the next time you have an idea that starts with, "Wouldn't it be fun to do this?!" Go and do it!!!
7. Speaking of fellow artists...
... there is no such thing as competition. That's all in your head and it's called shortage consciousness. There is more than enough followers, love, and money to go around. We're manifesting more of it by the minute as the Universe is eternally expanding through us. When you get greedy about it, you shut off its flow into your life.
8. Don't say YES unless it's an excited and 110% positive YES in your mind and heart.
There is no such thing as "missing the boat". If it's your boat, it'll come back again and again and again till you're ready to say yes. I've had to say no to plenty of good-sounding ideas only because I wasn't ready for them at the time. But I was excited about getting ready for them. And that opportunity kept showing up at my door over and over and over, waiting for me to get ready. Until one day I could say YES and it was absolutely magical the way it manifested into my life. Saying yes because you think you have to or you'll miss it is once again shortage consciousness, because you're essentially saying to the Universe, "Ok I'll take it because I don't think there is enough of these opportunities going around!"
This doesn't really apply to Instagram as much as your whole business and a way to live life even. When I've embarked on this journey as an artist, I've decided that my dominant intent is to do it only if it's out of JOY. Joy is sacred to me. And once I was clear on my intention, every business decision became so easy to make. All I had to ask myself is, "Does this bring me joy?" And if the answer is no, I wouldn't think twice about declining business opportunities, partnerships, free swag and supplies, and more. Because you can't buy joy, but you can ruin it. And all of the lessons I've listed above abide by my intention.
(All of this and so much more is covered in my Resin Art Master class, because I really truly want to help artists all over the world see that we don't have to be "starving artists"; we can choose to have the reality we want to have and enjoy the journey getting there. We can build sustainable businesses that bring us both joy and prosperity and financial abundance. If you're struggling with any of this, I may be the right teacher for you :) )
How about you? What kind of intention do you have for your business / art venture? Do you have any lessons you swear by that I've missed?
Alex Labunets is an abstract resin artist and resin art teacher based in Seattle, Washington. She mainly works with epoxy resin but uses other media to achieve various results. Her work is inspired by nature and semiprecious gemstones, geodes, and agates. To inquire about a possible commission, click here. To inquire about her Resin Art Master Class, click here.