I did a little experiment yesterday using some strategically targeted hashtags to promote my art on Instagram.
How did it work out? Lets just say the results were instant and dramatic.
BTW, If you are not using Instagram yet to promote your art, you should jump on it! As you will see below, including some strategic #hashtags to your Instagram posts is where the real promotional power is at.
Normally, I would just add two or three hashtags as an afterthought just to get the images positioned and seen. Since my work is primarily pin-up, I would use: #pinup #pinupart #vintage & #retro but would normally stop there. Just by doing so, I would get a couple likes and followers. First, a few immediately, then one or two a week as the exposure trailed off. Nothing spectacular, but they worked ok.
After reading a post over on Art Marketing Resources, I decided to take their advice on using some popular artist related hashtags and put them to the test.
Obviously, you can add whatever hashtags you want, however, the ones that primarily interested me were hashtags related to lists where art buyers might be regularly and casually browsing. In particular, hashtags that are related to buyers who might be looking for ideas for decorating their homes, and more importantly might be inspired to see and purchase art prints.
This was the real “AH HA!” moment.
The strategy behind this is targeting hashtags based on where the BUYERS are, not just the artists or fans. My feeling on this is also that you want to use hashtags for lists where people really do want to browse for inspiration, not just random related hashtags that people add to posts to be funny.
Within a 24 hour period of adding these, I received 92 likes, 7 new followers and 2 mailing list signups. This was all done by updating old art posts with more hashtags. As I type this 2 days later, my Instagram notifications are still going off.
You can experiment by either adding all hashtags at once for the “big bang” effect, or try adding a couple each week to stretch out the duration. Not sure yet which approach is best but, so far, the second option seems to be working well. It also makes it more manageable to keep posts visible during peak Instagram usage times. (Still researching and experimenting with what the peak usage times actually are)
I’m going to continue to experiment and I’ll be sure to post more results as they happen.
Do you have any favorite power hashtags? If so, feel free to share.
The very near future of 3D printing offers a lot of fascinating opportunities for digital artists.
While the 3D printing industry is still in it’s infancy, revenue numbers are expected to double every year for the next 5 years, (I would say much longer though) and we haven’t even begun to comprehend the new business opportunities that are still evolving.
Naturally, when I saw the announcement from Daz3D today about their move to start offering 3D printing, I was really excited.
Daz3D is one of the industry leaders in 3D figure modeling software and content. I use their software quite a bit for my pin-up art and have a huge runtime folder full of their content. The idea of being able to print my stuff in 3D, directly from their software is really awesome.
Although a logical next step for someone like Daz3D, it is still a pretty brilliant move when you think about it. Millions of artists already have their free software, know how to use it and most likely have tons of Daz3D content. Daz3D (along with Smith Micro’s Poser) have huge ecosystems of artists, fans and products, so this is really a huge thing to happen in the 3D art industry.
Here are a few thoughts about where I see the future of digital art and 3D printing going, as well as how to position yourselves to profit from it:
If you create 3D art like I do, being able to offer limited edition 3D printed figures or dioramas of your work will open some awesome new business opportunities. Check out the Munnies and other figures over at Kid Robot for some examples and ideas of how the business and culture of limited edition & collectable vinyl art toys are booming.
If you create 3D content, your future looks bright! Right now there is a huge community and ecosystem of 3D art content creators (Daz3D, Renderosity, RuntimeDNA) and when you add 3D printing into the mix, there will be tons of new customers wanting to accessorize their 3D printed models. As 3D printing becomes more mainstream and the price of printers go down, I expect a lot more printable marketplaces to appear. Creating both content and places to sell content will be goldmines.
Creating graphics and textures for 3D models is already a growing business. I can see it eventually growing for 3D printed models as well. Currently 3D printed models come in limited color and texture options based on the type of filament material they are printed out of. Anything super detailed is usually hand painted. This should evolve over time, as the quality of color and painting increases. In the mean time, custom graphics and decals, as well as hand painting services, could be an interesting option to pursue.
I would assume that companies like Zazzle and Cafe Press will jump on the 3D printing bandwagon and start to offer all kinds of customized products soon. If you are a 2D digital artist and still haven’t begun offering print on demand products, now would be a great time to get started.
3D printing is coming and it’s going to be a game changer, so jump on it!
3D Printing Links & Resources
MakerBot – Makers of some of the most successful and affordable 3D printers
Thingverse – Thingverse is an online community and marketplace (owned by Makerbot)for 3D printed models
I am officially an author. On July 17, 2012 I published my first book on Amazon Kindle. It took two years to write, and a majority of it was done using a mobile phone or an iPad, while standing on the train from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt Germany, during my long commutes to and from work.
Yes, two years is a long time to write a book, especially when edited down, was only about 120 pages. or so. The first year was kind of a wash because I just kept rewriting the first 2 pages over and over. It wasn’t until the following year where I actually took it seriously, created a solid outline (a plan) and dug in.
The goal of this book was not to write a bestseller or change the world. It’s certainly not a feel good, Oprah Club, curl up with a cup of tea, kind of book. (In fact it’s a little bit “shocking” but more on that later.)
It was simply to just write a book, finish it and publish it. It was purely an exercise in completion. In my post about creating a 20 year plan for myself, writing a book was one of my 2 year short term goals. Well… mission accomplished.
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