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"Making money is art and working is art
and good business is the best art."

- Andy Warhol

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  • 20 Mar 2021 8:11 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)


    As an artist in todays age of social media algorithms, GDPR and computer hacking, it is more important that ever that you securely manage and maintain your own professional mailing list. 

    As well as giving you peace of mind that you are in control of your data and security, it can engage people’s interest in your work, ensure visitors receive notifications and invites to your exhibitions and shows, and it can also lead to sales.

    There are so many benefits to mailing lists. They can act as a sale funnel. It is 10x harder to get a new customer than to sell to a current one! Through mailing lists, you are also able to generate new leads, while maintaining your current following.

    REMEMBER - YOU control your mailing list. Unlike social media followers, your mailing list is completely your own to adjust, orientate and manage.

    Here are our tips for effective mailing list strategies!

    How to generate your mailing list.

    LEAD GENERATOR

    This is the top of your sales funnel: collecting emails

    Make sure you collect names AND email addresses at every possible interaction point.

    Different ways to do this might be:

    By leaving a book out at an exhibition, fair or show inviting interested parties to add their details. Log these in later and remember to be GDPR compliant by offering a final sign up validation step.

    Ask your previous and current collectors for their contact details and permission to add to your mailing list. 

    Collect via your website: add in a ‘subscribe’ form, and either automate or manually transfer these details straight into your mailing list software or password secure system.

    Gated Content:

    This one may take more thought. Some people only enter their email with something promised in return. This is where gated content comes in.
    You can produce a guide, a blog post, a snippet from your practice, and have it automatically set up to send to the person signing up for your mailing list. This can be a fast way to grow your mailing list subscribers.

    Add subscribe links to your social media:

    You can add a direct link to 'subscribe to my mailing list' into your ‘website’ and in your social media bio or profile page.

    Linktree is a great hack to add to your social media bio and offers a "subscribe to my mailing list" automated option among many other features.

    Pop Up on your Page

    An effective strategy is to have a pop up on the home page of your website, encouraging subscribers to join your mailing list. Something like this:

    SUBSCRIBE TO THE PURE MAILING LIST


    Here are our top tips for reaching your mailing list effectively as an artist:

    CONTENT 

    This is the middle of your sales funnel: nurturing subscribers and building relationships.

    First Email

    When someone subscribes to your mailing list, it is polite and kind to send a ‘welcome’ email to them. This email can be automated with a quick message. Try to outline the links to your social media stack and website, and also the kind of emails they will be getting in the future.

    Frequency.

    This is a tricky one, and differs from artist to artist. Each email you are sending out should say something valuable. We recommend NOT sending out an email for the sake of it. Show your audience that each email is full of genuine updates and information, not padding, and time specific pieces.

    We recommend you wait until you have a genuine updates, like an upcoming exhibition or initiative etc… Some exciting ideas could be: private views/ previews for shows, sharing features in newspapers or online magazines.

    Subscribers also like work in progress features and time lapse videos if your tech skills are up to it.  

    Too many emails can lead to people unsubscribing! A good level of genuine content and genuine emails leads to better relationships with your list.

    If it has been a very long time since your last email (e.g. 6 months) we recommend sending out a general update email, for example showing current work, changes in your practice, or something similar. You could even send a survey to get peoples opinions on something relevant to you or your practice - people love giving advice.

    Does the content need to be about you?

    This is a great tip. The emails do not necessarily need to be directly about you and your practice. For example, you could include a list of exhibitions or artists you have been enjoying recently.

    Ensure all images are high quality and reflective of your work and practice.

    Keep your tone authentic to you and your artistic brand.


    STRUCTURE

    This is the bottom of the funnel: converting leads into customers.

    Simplicity itself:

    Keep your emails simple. In a nutshell, each email should have an effective Subject line, a clear message and a clear call to action - CTA

    We suggest keeping the email picture-led, with less text. Keep important information standing out.

    Subject Lines:

    Subject lines should be short (under 20 words if possible), and perhaps including an emoji to stand out! Make these intriguing, but not clickbait. A good example could be: ‘Your personal invitation to Pure Art Exhibition 2021’

    You can also include a teaser to the body of the email: We have missed you and we have bubbles on ice!

    Links:

    Make sure to include links as part of your CTA. Add buttons taking to the webpage you describe for quick access for your audience.

    PROGRAMMING

    Emailing Platform:
    MailChimp is probably the most popular email marketing service - and the one we use at Pure! They have recently updated the software to an easier method to personalise your artist emails!

    We also recommend you look at mailerlite and Sensorpro

      WATCH THE SENSORPRO WORKSHOP HERE

    HOUSEKEEPING

    Through a platform, you can segment your audience. For example into ‘Collectors’, ‘Gallerists’ etc… This will help you tailor your mass email content.

    As we said - your mailing list is your own. Make sure to do your house keeping regularly. This includes removing inactive members and regularly sending out surveys to ensure interest from your subscribers. This will keep your lists fresh and a great and profitable resource!


  • 14 Mar 2021 12:52 AM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)


    Are you thinking about pitching some content to a magazine or website to promote your artwork/art business?

    We spoke to Rosalind Sack Founder of the The Home Page on this very subject and she gave us some great advice.

    You can watch her interview HERE and you can listen to the podcast HERE

    Here is a quick run through of some of Rosalind's top tips:

    1. Make sure you are completely aligned to the magazine/website you are pitching to.

    Consider:

    Where you want your story to be published?

    Is it a great short story for a website, or a longer-read feature for a magazine? Imagine where your story might sit and what it would bring and how it would add value to the publication.

    And check if they have run a similar feature recently, as they are unlikely to repeat the same subject unless there is a clear reason or distinctly different angle/approach being offered.

    To be successful your pitch will need to have a clear benefit to the publication/website if they are going to run with it.


    2. Hone your pitch. 

    Keep it clear succinct and easy to understand at a glance.

    Put PITCH in the subject line and include:

    • A suggested headline - catchy/grabber
    • A story summary (no more than 250 words) - not the full story, just an idea/concept.
    • Your back story and links to your social media - saying why you and why now basically, with some evidence.
    • Attach a couple of hi res images of your VERY BEST work. 

    3. Send your pitch to a specific person

    Do your research and send your email to the person who is in charge of the magazine/section/supplement or website you have identified.

    Sending to an unknown faceless person is very unlikely to achieve the outcome you desire.

    How? you could find the correct contact via twitter, instagram or Linkedin. Making a first contact via one of these platforms can ease the way for your pitch considerably.

    Alternatively a google search may offer you the information you are looking for.


    4. Once you have sent your pitch, wait about 7 days and if you haven't heard anything follow up. 

    Be polite and check in to see if they have any questions. 

    A good old fashioned phone call is also an option if there is a telephone number for the person available in the public domain.

    Pitching for a book deal is a similar methodology and again complete alignment with the chosen publisher is key. There is little point submitting a fiction book to a non fiction publisher for example!

    If you enjoyed this article why not subscribe to our mailing list? 

  • 30 Jan 2021 6:59 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    You can complete our artists survey here

    It’s wonderful to see so many of you beginning to start your Social Media journey with us!

    Today we are going to look at some key features of Facebook, and how to utilise them in the art world.

    Business Pages & Groups

    Most of you i'm sure will have a personal Facebook page, but how many of you also have a business page for your art practice?

    As ever, PURE supporter Nadine Searle of Calmer Self has some wonderful ideas from her experience running her business on Facebook.

    We asked her what her favourite features for Facebook are:

    “Set up your Facebook business page to promote all you do.

    Invite all your potential clients to like/follow your page.

    You can also create a Facebook group for people to join. Here you can showcase any parts of your business that you want to share with a more specific group of your choosing and have a more intimate dialogue. Groups are perfect for growing relationships.

    Join other groups that are similar to what you offer and comment often on relevant posts so you get to know more people and they get to know you too.”

    We love all of Nadine’s suggestions. Particularly the highlight on Facebook Groups.

    Pure run several groups exclusively for members and those who take part in our Learning programmes. We are also members of quite a few groups, such as Hastings Creatives, International Artists Group and Art in London (to name but a few), where we keep in touch with our art community and what they are up to and also let them know if we have relevant news to share.

    We will do a deeper dive into Groups in a future blog post.

    Subscribe to our mailing list here for updates

    ABOUT

    Make sure you take full advantage of the ‘About’ information section on your business page. Filling in as much information as you can, including adding your artist statement. A MUST is to link your other social media profiles to your page.

    Also, make sure to use your professional artist name, or chosen pseudonym, and a recognisable header and icon image, so your clients and audience can easily find your business page.

    MANAGE SECTIONS

    As an Admin on your page, you can adjust the layout to suit you! For example, you can adjust your About section, your Photo section and more! You can pin announcements and priority posts at the top, so everyone who finds and follows your page sees these first. 

    SCHEDULING POSTS

    Estelle Keeber of Immortal Monkey says:

    “The fact that you can now schedule your posts is a game-changer…it means you can spend more time doing art and less time on social media.”

    Facebook has its own scheduling and backdating for posts, meaning there is no need for other social media management tools!

    As you write your post as normal, click the arrow next to ‘Post’, and select schedule for the perfect time and date.

    This will make managing your posts and scheduling your time so much easier."

    Read our post on Instagram Time Management 

    Top Tip: RECOMMENDATIONS

    Switch on similar page recommendations and drive more traffic to your business page.

    This is a great way to attract more visitors to your page.

    If you have this option switched on, when someone visits your Business Page, they may see a "People Also Like" section on the right side, which may list Pages similar to yours, but when you have this option switched offyou will stop appearing in recommendations when people visit Pages that are similar to yours. 

    To switch on, click on settings in the manage page area (left side). In general settings look for "similar page suggestions". Click on, check the tick and save changes.  

    It really is that simple.

    So if you haven't created your Facebook business page for your Art practice as yet - why not give it a go. Add it to your action list of things to do this week. 

    Good luck and let us know in the comments below how you get on.

  • 26 Jan 2021 11:36 AM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)


    Thank you to all those who have completed our mail chimp surveys - it is great to hear we are delivering what you want and also what you would like to receive more of. We are here to support you. 

    If you have any specific requests for PURE Posts, please comment below.

    In our last Blog post we established the necessity and benefits of being on Facebook and having an active and engaged profile,

    Bottom line, Facebook and Instagram are an essential tool for your business. Recent research shows 80% of consumers use Facebook for research before making purchase decisions. AND, 78% of consumers say they have discovered products or services – that they eventually purchased – on Facebook.

    The average Facebook user currently logs in daily and spends at least 38 minutes on the platform, so if you commit to implementing a sound strategy on Facebook and Instagram and stay abreast of the latest algorithm requirements, you have access to a captive audience of potential customers.

    So, with that said, today we are going to look at how to make a statement as an artist on Facebook (and stay on the right side of those algorithms!).

    When asking for hints and tips for an effective Facebook post, PURE Ambassador Nadine Searle suggested:

    • Choose how much of your personality you want to share.
    • Build up the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ – people buy from people remember!
    • Include a ‘call to action’. For example, letting people know how they might get hold of you etc…
    • Put a question in your posts to encourage engagement.

    We asked the same of Estelle Keeber, who suggested:

    “Share your work and feelings about what you are working on; even the process as it develops. Advertise where your work can be seen and bought. Ask people to share your posts and like and comment on them.”

    Here are our top tips for making each post count and reach as many people as possible!

    • Try to be positive, uplifting and motivational in your posts. No one likes to read doom and gloom, especially at the moment. Show your excitement for your practice and your new work, online exhibitions, initiatives or whatever it is you might be working on. This can be as simple as using happy emojis or starting by saying a happy Hello!
    • Vary the length of your posts. You don’t need to write an essay for every post, but sometimes you might want to. Vary the lengths so your audience doesn’t get bogged down. We recommend short post captions for updates on works, or simple pieces of information, but type away for those finished pieces. Finished pieces inspire us to learn more about the work.
    • Recycle content where appropriate. Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same people so you can connect your two accounts through your settings, and share directly from Instagram to Facebook. This can stop a lot of stress, and also save you time. However, a note of caution - the platforms attract very different audiences so this won't work for everyone. Be sure the post you crossover is relevant to both and edit if necessary. Check out our Post on Instagram Time Management for Details.
    • Call to Action. In your posts, be clear what action you want the reader to take - if any action at all. Remember however, social media algorithms want to keep the audience on their platforms for as long as possible, so talk about how people can contact you in the post dialogue but direct people within the platform to interact with you - DM, Messenger etc. If you ask people to click on your website link in a Facebook post, Facebook algorithms will detect this and will show your post to less people! Create short Bitly links if necessary
    • Encourage real quality engagement. As Nadine says, add a question in your post and encourage people to comment answers below. These don’t need to be deep or philosophical questions, they can be as simple as ‘Are you working in your studio this morning?’ or something similar or fun that everyone can answer, for example "Do you listen to the radio while you work?". Building proper meaningful relationships is key to a contented and fulfilling life and Facebook is no different.

    • Post images. This might be a no-brainer, but as an artist you want to get your work out there. Make sure to add images to your posts to grab attention and show what you have got going on.
    • Offer important information clearly. If you have dates and times to give your audience, for example for an exhibition, display these clearly at the top of the post. Often people won’t read the full thing, so get the important information out first - What - Where - When - How do I register? Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of new blog posts

    • Use video. As with Instagram, video content is hugely engaging. You can also GO LIVE on Facebook. Utilise these features to get people to stop scrolling and watch/listen. Once you go live, encourage viewers to click the thumbs up and heart emoji and comment. This will alert the algorithms that people are interested in you and your live will be shown to more people. Always alert your friends and family in advance and ask them to support you if they can.

    • Don’t just show the finished artwork. Your audience wants to see the behind-the-scenes elements of your practice. Update us with studio shots, progress images and preliminary studies. As Nadine says "People buy People..."

    • And finally, following on from No.9, show us your personality. Be completely, truly, you. Your audience will engage with your platform and with your work much more if they get you - they can see your personal story and personality clearly depicted in your feed/wall.

    There you have it! Our top tips for an effective Facebook post.

    Do you have any others? Make sure to comment below and share the love with your fellow artists!


  • 15 Jan 2021 4:50 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)


    We hope you have all kept well and had a happy Festive period in whatever form that took for you this year. While it is a tough time for all of us, with a new Lockdown announced, we at PURE have been busy behind the scenes devising new content to keep us all connected.

    As always, we are a group. If you need to reach out for advice, or a virtual cup of tea, please contact the PURE Arts Group Team anytime via email at lesley@pureartsgroup.co.uk or DM on social media. 

    It delights us to be diving back into another round of Social Media Blog posts for you. These have been highly requested after our influx of Instagram information.

    Today we begin our Facebook Bonanza.

    We are going to begin with an age-old question (or at least as old as Facebook!): To Use, or Not to Use?

    In the artist community, there is much debate as to the usefulness of Facebook over and above more visual social media platforms such as Instagram. We spoke to a few of our colleagues and incredible supporters of PURE to find out their opinions of the platform.

    To begin with, we spoke to Nadine Searle from Calmer Self. You can find Nadine on our PURE Meditations 

    Nadine is a great Facebook user. She told us that a useful way that Facebook helps her and her business it that:

    “Facebook gives you free advertising so you can let everyone know who you are and what you offer.”

    We also spoke to the fabulous Estelle Keeber of Immortal Monkey, who shared her opinions on the platform:

    “Facebook’s a great platform for creating community. For allowing people to feel a part of something. Facebook groups and pages allow for you to share your message specifically to people who want to know more.”

    At PURE, we agree with both Nadine and Estelle. You will know we are very active on Facebook, utilising its paid advertising, groups and events features regularly to keep you all updated on what we’re up to, and what you can get involved in!

    We believe it adds to your social media experience. While it is not as obviously visual as other platforms, it is an excellent addition to your social media profile.

    Facebook also yields a different demographic, and we all know that the wider audience you can reach with your art, the better.

    There is a genuine sense of community on Facebook. You can connect with friends, loved ones, but also people across the world. It is a wonderful platform for longer scale content, including blog posts and artist statements. There is less of a stress to produce a ‘curated’ feed, because of its longer layout. We believe there is also larger scope to have conversations and to engage with others more readily; building quality relationships and have interesting, dynamic and meaningful conversations.


    So in answer to the question, ‘To use or not to use’ in regards to Facebook, our response is a definite: USE!


  • 30 Dec 2020 9:51 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    Today we are going to sum up our series on Instagram, with some final tips from our Pure Artists

    Do your Housekeeping

    Keeping up with your Instagram Housekeeping is vital. Our blog post: “Managing your Instagram Feed or Wall” will demonstrate the basic ideas to polish your feed to perfection. Ensure each of your posts is on your ‘brand’ and fit your aesthetic to ensure your feed always looks beautiful. If there is something you really want to show off, but it would clutter your feed, utilise Instagram stories! They’re there for this exact reason. Check out our blog post all about How to use Instagram Stories.

    “Focus on images but don’t forget the words”

    - Florian Gadsby

    To receive regular news and updates subscribe to our mailing list

    Keep Positive

    "People want you to succeed and share your successes. Blow your own trumpet. We are very “British” and quite reserved by nature. But most people want you to succeed - they feel a part of it and can show off that they know you/ have bought your work.

    Keep Positive - when you are a bit down it’s lovely to have friends rally round you but it’s not necessarily an image customer want in their heads and Galleries will definitely be wary. I bought a painting once and overheard some people talking about his work. Apparently, it contains symbols relating to his deceased daughter. I struggle to look at that painting now - think about what you want to stay in people's memories about you.”

     - Louisa Crispin

    Engage

    Engagement in Instagram is vital for a successful feed. It is SOCIAL media after all.

    As Louisa says: “Build an audience, spend a bit of time to follow people, find people and interact”.

    `Make sure to support other creatives and the people you want to work with.

    Easy ways to do this are:

    • Follow accounts that excite or interest you.
    • Comment genuinely under posts you find.
    • Post regular content.
    • Share other accounts and features to your stories.
    • Tag people in posts they may like to see.
    • Respond to comments under your posts.
    • Like share and save posts.
    Be Professional

    “Be professional – it’s a public domain. DON’T post after a couple of glasses of wine. Re-read before posting. Take a deep breath – don’t rush it. Make use of the delete button.”

    - Louisa Crispin

    Your Instagram page is a reflection of you as a business, and impressions are important. Make sure you take your time to post each time, checking for spelling, grammar and tone of voice. Try to make sure the images are as high quality as you can. Only post when you are happy to.

    Hashtags

    Hashtagging is important, but not the be-all or end-all. Check out our blog post "How to use hashtags on Instagram". You need to get the right mix for you.

    Hashtagging can result in your account being seen by more people through the ‘Explore’ page on Instagram, and help drive traffic to your website and you. Experiment with it and find what works for you!

    Look after yourself

    We all know social media can be an exhausting, time-consuming place. Check out our blog post on "Top Tips for Time Management on Instagram".

    Throughout your Instagram journey it is important to remember to look after your mental health first, and practice self-care. This can include going for a walk, turning your phone off, unfollowing accounts that upset you or you compare yourself to.

    “Don’t be afraid to go quiet for a few days if you don’t feel up to it - only your real friends will notice!”

    – Louisa Crispin

    And our final words for 2020 come from photographer Richard Heeps

    “Don’t sweat it just do it.”

    To receive regular news and updates subscribe to our mailing list


  • 13 Dec 2020 4:51 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    We’ve loved the reaction we have had so far to this series of Blog Posts on how to get the most out of Instagram. For many artists and art world professionals, Instagram (and social media generally) is such an important tool for marketing and selling.

    Before starting this blog post, it’s wonderful to hear from our founder, Lesley Samms, who has these top tips for your social media presence:

    Its all about your mindset

    • If you approach social media as a selling opportunity you will fail.
    • If you approach it as an opportunity to build long lasting relationships with people you will win.
    • If you were building a relationship with someone in the real world you would seek out ways to make them happy - make them smile - learn something new - entertain them... and that is the best way to build an audience on social media
    • Be organised
    • Take hold of the reigns and steer the carriage
    • Do everything with intention and purpose.
    • Have a content plan - that includes engagement time
    • Schedule posts for efficiency
    • Know your data
    • Check your insights regularly
    • Have Fun
    • Enjoy your time on social media and people will connect with your positive energy
    • Have fun with stories and reels

    Lesley is so right. It can be so easy to get bogged down by the pressure of social media, so having fun is really important.

    Today we are going to talk about effective and time efficient Instagram presence.

    Pure ART360 Artist Richard Heep’s advice springs to mind:

    “Show up every day and mix it up”

    Keeping your Instagram content fresh and new will prevent you from becoming bored and finding it a chore. It should be fun!

    A way to keep it fresh with time management in mind would be to bulk photograph your works.

    Take your normal, face on image, but also take them in interesting places! For example, photograph your work in the wider context of the studio, go and hang it somewhere new in your house, even take the work outside! Take 5-10 images of each work in new and interesting places and you already have a store of images for those days when you’re not feeling up for finding new content. Make sure you’re looking through other artists accounts for inspiration and ideas.

    As Pure artist Louisa Crispin says:

    “Use explore to find new accounts and use save to create a personal gallery of inspiration etc… Most of what I follow is for my art inspiration which wouldn't necessarily be relevant to anyone else.”

    It’s important not to post all these images at once.

    “Save things for a rainy day - eek out what you have over a period of time / don’t post everything on one day and then nothing for weeks”


    (BONUS TIP: one of Louisa’s other top tips is: ‘to "save" all call outs to find them quickly when [she’s] doing admin)”

    1. Linking to the last point: video your work!

    Utilise the medium of video to walk around your work, zoom into your work and show off your work! Show the textures, size, form of each piece. Videos make for hugely dynamic content. (Click here for a link to our Video Guide)

    2. Make sure you are looking for opportunities.

    Have social media in the back of your mind. It needn’t take a lot of headspace – even if it feels like it does sometimes. Normal every day things you enjoy can be used to save you time. Photograph the world around you and keep them in your image bank for later posting.

    Louisa says:

    “People are nosy - they want to know how / where / what / why?"

    Studio shots/ working space/ tools.

    Inspiration: Garden, skies, sea, meadow walks… help the audience see what you see.

    Works in progress

    In action videos (BUT WATCH FOR BACKGROUND CHAT! - I’ll leave that one to your imagination) A friend told me about a video where the presenter was only half dressed … and hadn’t noticed the mirror behind!)”

    3. Automated posting:

    Louisa says:

    “Use auto posting for times when you know you will be busy elsewhere (buffer) - eg when you are setting up a show and also need to remind people to come to the PV that evening. Or when you are on holiday and don’t want it to be obvious. I post to Instagram and automatically share to Facebook but never my Twitter - images are essential for a visual artist and linking hides the image on Twitter. It’s so obvious to the twitter community that you are not fully engaged there.”

    4. Louisa Crispin’s final thoughts on time management:

    a. Create a manageable structure and stick to it.

    b. Turn off unwanted notifications - phone bleeps etc

    c. Use your common sense

    d. Don’t get bogged down in the statistics (especially unfollows!)

    And there we have it.

    Top tips for Time Management on Instagram. Any questions, please pop them in the comments or send us an email. We’d love to hear from you.

    Sign up for our mailing list to receive inspiration direct to your inbox


  • 6 Dec 2020 10:51 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    Cultivating your Instagram presence...



    As promised and much requested, today we are talking about the DREADED Hash-tagging!


    Hash-tags are essentially an indexing or filing tool. They are a way of connecting content to a specific topic, event, theme or conversation. They also make it easier to discover posts around  specific topics, because hash-tags aggregate all social media content with that same hash-tag.

    There are conflicting views around this much maligned Instagram tool, but we are going to give you our top tips for effective hash-tag use. 

    Something that is important to understand with Instagram from the outset is they change their algorithms all the time. Some days, the posts that come up most often are the ones with the most likes, or the accounts with the most followers. Recently they have changed to the posts with the most ‘saves’ and most ‘shares’!

    Hash-tags have recently fallen down the popularity scale as they have been seen as less useful. For example, on our Pure Instagram, only 9% of traffic comes from our hash-tag use. While this seems small, this is STILL 9%, so it is still important.


    We spoke again to Pure ART360 Artist Hannah Buchanan about her feelings around Hash-tagging: 

    Hannah said: 

    “Hash-tagging is the least fun part of Instagram, but probably one of the most important.

    This is how you can direct your posts to new and specific audiences. I know the maximum amount of hash-tags in one post is 30, but I would stick to 10-15.

    You can either put the hash-tags in a comment on the post or in the original text, but make sure you separate it from anything genuine you have to say. I usually write the text accompanying the post first and then make a bit of space below before posting hash-tags. This makes it clearer for your audience to read.

    Furthermore, try and use obscure hashtags which are less likely to be used. For example, the number of people posting with #art will be huge compared to people posting #artontheeasel. The fewer people posting with your hash-tag, the more likely you are going to be seen.”


    Let’s go through our Top Tips for Instagram Hash-tagging:

    1.   As Hannah says, we recommend putting your hashtags in the caption box underneath the image you are posting. Often people will put them in the comments, but this is by and large less effective even when done immediately.

    As Hannah suggests, there should be some distinction between your words and your hash-tags. You can have fun with this.

    For example:

    CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION
    CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION
    CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION CAPTION
    .

    .

    .

    .

    #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag

    Or, you can replace dots with emojis!

    You can even just leave lines. Whatever you do, it will draw a distinction between the two, and make your caption more aesthetic and pleasing.

    2.  You can use up to 30 hash-tags. As a rule of thumb, the more you use the better, but if you are running out of ideas DON’T use random hash-tags. Make sure they are relevant to your image or your post won’t do so well on the Instagram analytics.

    Suggested hash-tags could be:
    #workinprogress #painter #collectartwork #workoneasel #unfinishedpainting #galleryshot #inthestudio #pureartsgroupartist etc…

    It is often suggested that too many hash-tags looks unappealing. Again, do whatever looks and feels right for each post.

    Pure ART360 artist Richard Heeps, says about hash-tags:

    Use the full thirty hash-tags and engage with other accounts and posts using those hash-tags in order to increase your visibility.” 

    3.  Take a few days and notice the search words you are looking for. Are you typing in ‘British Artist’ or ‘Painterly’ – if not, why are you using them as hash-tags? Try and get inside the mind of someone who might be interested in finding your work. This will help you build up a collection of personally relevant hash-tags.

    4.  There is little wrong with having a ‘copy and paste’ list of a few hash-tags relevant to you and your practice. For example, a hash-tag of your name (eg. #lesleysamms), or your gallery. We recommend saving these in the Notes app on your phone, copying them into each post and then adding specific and relevant ones on top. This will make the task less intimidating, and less tedious!

    Do you have any other tips on Hash-tagging?

    Tell us in the comments on this blog post!


  • 29 Nov 2020 2:28 AM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)


    Cultivating a successful Instagram presence...



    Following on from our previous blog post talking about the Instagram feed, we were delighted to speak to a good friend of PURE and PURE ART360 artist, Hannah Buchanan about her experience with Instagram and she was kind enough to give us her top tips.

    Hannah’s Top Tips for effective Instagram presence:

    There are thousands of artists on Instagram who are all trying to do the same thing as you, so you need to make sure you are being creative and bold when it comes to standing out. 

    Firstly, make sure all your content is high-quality. Professionalism is the priority here. An iPhone camera will be just fine but make sure you are posting sharp photos and avoid blurry, wonky or discoloured images. I will always touch up my photographs by making sure the horizon is straight and the photograph matches the real colours of my paintings and I never use filters. 

    Secondly, post regularly. Every other day is a good rule of thumb and it doesn’t just have to be finished work. Show works in progress, your studio space, your colour palettes and anything that contributes to your practice!

    Wise words there from Hannah - Professionalism, creativity and consistency really are the key!

    In this blog post we really want to talk to you about Instagram Stories and Hannah’s tips for creativity, professionalism and consistency really work here too.

    On stories, Hannah says: 

    I once read somewhere that the great thing about using stories is that your followers can ignore them if they want to. 

    If you are worried about posting too often, think about using your stories instead. Additionally, stories can be grouped into ‘highlights’ which can be shown in little bubbles at the top of your profile.

    I have grouped some of my stories into ‘highlights’ with categories such as ‘pop-up shows’ or 'solo exhibitions’. 

    I even have a highlight about my studio sunflower! This is a great way of showing your followers events they may have missed and it can show a little more of your personality than a single post.

    We also spoke to PURE ART360 artist Richard Heeps about Stories and he said:

    Just go for it, they only last 24 hours and can be deleted if you don’t like them. They are a great opportunity to share other people you like and build your community.”

    They are both saying what we are all thinking. 

    So here are our top tips for Instagram stories: 

    1. As we highlighted in our previous blog post about the Instagram feed, the LOOK of Instagram is vitally important. Make sure to utilise ‘Highlights’ to save your stories. Make sure these are ordered, have structure and look good. This includes making the front image look professional and on brand, making sure the title tells you what is included, and making sure you include your most aesthetic Story posts in them.

    2. Stories on Instagram act as an easily accessible window to your account. Often people will discover you through stories, so posting on them regularly throughout the day can be a quick, easy and low stress way to stay engaged with your audience. Document your day, your studio, your trip to the art shop (or even shopping online during these times!). Stories take the stress out

    3.  As Hannah rightly points out, utilise stories to show your personality. Just as she has a story keeping her followers updated about her Sunflower, use these to show off your family life, your pets, your garden, whatever else you are passionate about. They flesh out the artist behind the perfectly curated Instagram feed. Your audience will love learning more about you and your life.

    4. Show off your exhibitions and where your work has been exhibited. Make sure to tag the galleries, other artists, people that visit and any press. This will lead them to you and ensure they revisit your work! Fingers crossed they will also share your artwork again to their audiences. It’s all about cross promotion.

    5.  Stories are a fantastic way to utilise those works in progress, those messy studio shots, or just those pictures you don’t want on the ‘portfolio’ of your Instagram page.

    6. Have fun with your Stories! Utilise the widgets, the pen tool and the different text options to make them more ‘you’. Play around with colours and make them as aesthetic and interesting as you can. Your followers will love them!

    We hope these tips are helpful, and that you enjoyed this blog post.

    Next time we will be discussing HASHTAGS # !

  • 20 Nov 2020 4:13 PM | Lesley Samms (Administrator)

    Cultivating a successful Instagram presence...



    For this blog post we want to talk to you about how to make sure your Instagram feed looks professional.

    Growing your Instagram following Is a marathon, not a sprint.

    The key features are consistency, quality and keeping genuine.

    The first step is to polish your Instagram. Always think of your Instagram page as the front cover of a book, or the best of your portfolio. You want it to be interesting, clean and on brand.

    1. Make sure you have a good profile picture for Instagram.

    • This should either be an image of yourself
    • An iconic piece of your artwork in your style
    • Your artist logo, should you have one

    Don’t underestimate the need for quality in your profile image.

    Avoid anything too small, intricate or blurry.

    Making sure you have the right profile picture to stand out from the crowd is also really important! People can then easily recognise you from a comment or a story!

    2. Make sure your bio is informative, interesting and up to date.

    • Use relevant emojis to add colour and keep it interesting.
    • You can use @tags in your bio but use these sparingly. ½ at a time. These can be used to tag a gallery you might be exhibiting in or something similar.
    • You can also use #hashtags, but the same rules apply. Use these sparingly to keep your bio neat.

    “Sorting out my bio was a huge help to my growth. Making sure that is was clear, concise and told people immediately what the page was about” Mollie E Barnes - She Curates (10k followers)

    3. We recommend using the word ‘art’ or ‘artist’ in your Instagram tag. This will increase people finding you through the Instagram search function.

    For Example, ‘@janesmith’ could gain more traction as ‘@janesmith.art’ or ‘@janesmithart’.

    4. Switch your Instagram to a ‘Creator’ or “Business’ account to ensure you are able to keep an eye on your analytics.

    5. Tidy up your highlights.

    Highlights can be quite addictive to keep adding to. We recommend making sure these are very tidy through:

    Consistency is paramount:

    • Have consistent titles e.g. ‘Studio’, ‘Works in Progress’, ‘Exhibitions’ etc…
    • Cover images

    Keep the highlight cover images consistent with your profile picture theme. Make it look on brand. You can create custom images through Canva or use images of your artwork that represent each of them effectively.

    Organise your highlights. It can be a long process, but make sure to sort out what is saved into each highlight.

    After these pieces of admin are sorted and kept up to date, we can look at the Instagram feed.

    Go through your Instagram feed, and make sure it looks consistent and on brand.

    You can go through the posts and use the ‘Archive’ function to save posts but remove them from your feed. You will be the only one to see these.

    This can make sure your feed looks beautiful, curated and on your artist brand.

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