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Instagram Engagement Turbo Boost

#5, SEPTEMBER 2020


- Promote THE ARTIST!



As always:

- PLEASE share our community with other artists!

- We welcome new ideas on how to make the community better!


PLEASE support your fellow SWB member by publishing ONE SIMPLE STORY with THIS WEEK'S ARTIST on your instagram page. It can be as simple as the one shown here:

This week's featured artist is @dacil_azulcasiverde! Davil does wonderful character design which she brings into her dynamic scenes. Thank you for being part of the family! Please keep inspiring us Dacil, we look forward to seeing more of your work!

Every week we will choose one artist the whole group can promote, from the artists that posted in the group that week! Participating is good for you (you create content for your followers to interact with, which Instagram loves!) and is of course great for the artist!

As always a BIG THANK YOU to the panel that is helping to select which artist to feature this month! They are big contributors to group posts and very helpful to the SWB community. Check out their work!

Shivika: @artbyshivika

Chedi: @chedi_mhenni

Rad: @radrad


We learn a lot from each other in the Whatsapp group discussing what drives good engagement. Making the Instagram algorithm work in your favour isn't hard. The only rocket science required is to do a lot of small actions consistently. There are tons of confusing explanations online on how it all works. This week I thought I'd try and summarise many of the key points in a cheat sheet:

Read it.

Memorise it.

Follow it.

And be patient.

You WILL see results.

Checklist time: which of the below aren't you doing?

As if sharing your work isn’t daunting enough, increasing the reach of your work on Instagram is a complex mix of art and science.

Hashtags? Community? Captions?

Whatever it is you create, there will be people out there who are interested, and the key to success lies in identifying and interacting with them.

General activity on Instagram

IG growth is all about generating momentum and high quality interaction from the ‘right’ accounts:

1. Be active in your niche community: tell Instagram you're an artist! Follow accounts in your niche. Quality of accounts you follow is important: if you are painting, engage with content from artists, galleries, feature accounts, art teachers, influencers, art inspiration accounts… To find them, use IG’s recommendations or search for # in your niche and the accounts that use them.

2. Engagement breeds engagement, so be an ACTIVE member of your niche. Be active on those accounts. Reach out to other grammers who follow those feeds! People will come to see your feed, and some will FOLLOW YOU

3. When to post: ideally when people are awake and ideally not at work. Experiment a little using common sense: DON’T STRESS about the exact hour or minute

4. Leave comments on other accounts in your community before and after you post. It will drive traffic to you and support your post

5. Reply to comments on your posts ASAP. Bring other accounts “@” into the conversation by mentioning. Keep the momentum going on your post!

6. Choose a posting frequency and stick to it. Once, twice, three times a week. JUST BE CONSISTENT

7. Use Stories to show other aspects of your work and your process, and draw attention to your new posts. People follow People, not ROBOTS!

Creating a new post :

8. It does not matter if you paint dogs, or evil clowns or night skies: target YOUR TRIBE with specific hashtags or your audience will simply ignore your post (see previous blog posts on creating the perfect hashtag list for you)

9. Unless youre a Kardashian, stick to using #s with a max of a few hundred thousand posts: like #watercolourguide, or your posts will not be seen by anyone.

10. Write a GOOD caption. It can provide context for the photo, or shine your personality. Format can be a longer personal story, or a short opinion or information. Make it relatable to your target, increasing familiarity and bringing them closer to you

11. Include a Call to Action to keep momentum going: ask a question, or for feedback, or to tag a friend,to check out your website etc

Your content:

This deserves a topic entirely on its own.

12. There are accounts about cactuses out there with hundreds of thousands of followers. Honestly, you can post whatever you like. Over time, if your posts have something tying them all together, whether it is humour, or painting skill, or that they are all cartoons of silly birds, your niche community will start to come around to you.

13. A UNIFYING COLOUR PALETTE can do wonders for the general feel of your feed. If each of your paintings is totally different, connect them all with a unified set of posts that have a unified colour scheme (see my feed). My art changes dramatically every month - lately I've been experimenting with using black and white sketches to provide followed by a colour drawing to provide a consistent theme

14. MIX UP YOUR WORK with other interesting material: advice, quotes, photos of yourself, your process, or people plants, textiles, objects that work well with the overall palette and feel of your feed. Always showing the same thing is BORING!

To dive further into the subject, you can trawl through the internet. Or save yourself some time and go straight to the gurus: social media experts like @dotlung have no-nonsense, inexpensive courses that are guaranteed to enlighten you and up your game.

Share this with a friend who will benefit from this CHEAT SHEET!


I want to share 3 online platforms I have used in the past to improve my work. For the amount of content they have, the price is absolutely incredible. Whether you want to learn one little thing or do some monthly courses to slowly improve your game, I recommend you check them out.

Skillshare: Probably the largest platform I've used. Thousands of courses on traditional and digital art - from 20mins long to many hours. ANYONE can upload courses: I have found some exceptional artists on there sharing their tips.

Price: Free for 2 months, then $20 / month to access all courses.

Domestika: Probably the most "polished" courses - each one is with a succesful artist and the quality of production is very high. Courses tend to be 3-4 hours long split into small lessons, covering a wide range of topics from painting, crafts and illustration to managing your instagram account, making your feed beautiful, or using dozens of digital tools.

Courses are mainly in Spanish (although I watch them with English subtitles and find the translations almost perfect).

Price: Each course is $10-20 but there are always offers reducing them to half price if you buy 3 or more at a time.

SVS Learn: This for me is the most technical platform for digital illustration. It is run by three very qualified artists/professors (last week I recommended their podcast).

Classes cover everything from character design to backgrounds, lighting and children's work. They have some courses provided by incredible guest teachers.

Price: $20 / month but you can try it free for a month and access all the content!


Please continue to send us your suggestions, support and artist friends, and we will continue to work to make this group a valuable resource for you!

Keep in touch, and keep creating.

- Dario


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