Ah, a very valid question. It can often seem like the coolest creative cats have these super edgy collectives made up of other creatives who manage to work for the trendiest of clients (god this paragraph is starting to sound like it was written by a dad..). My point is, those who manage to source fantastic clients via Instagram can often seem to possess a secret that the rest of us aren’t in on. How do you connect on a professional level on an app like Instagram and how are some people producing exciting shoots using the app as a connective base? Wishu is here to help.
Scrub up your feed
If you are to send a DM to a dream client, you want them to click on your page and be inspired. Post your best work and make your page personal! A couple everyday pics of you at your favourite vinyl store or a date out with your friends and/or partner to an inspiring art gallery adds some flavour to your profile. Furthermore, your account should be registered as an Instagram business profile. Not only does this change provide your profile with a tag that indicates you’re using this profile professionally, but it also provides insight into the analytics behind your accounts. If you’re unsure on how to present your feed, look at similar artists for inspiration. For example, if you’re a photographer check out Sarah Van Rij or Nadia Lee Cohen, for illustrators check out Victor Liborio etc.
Use hashtags intelligently to grow your community
The days of using every hashtag under the sun are gone. You need to use hashtags strategically to help get your content in front of the right people at the right time. Do research on Instagram to see which hashtags your desired clients are likely to be using or following, and start incorporating those in order to be found. For example, many independent music artists simply hashtag their genre niche (eg neo soul or latin jazz) and are discovered by radio stations and brands looking to partner with such artists.
Engage in your Niche
If you’re an illustrator, your niche may be queer bodies, if you’re a photographer you may mostly specialise in vintage Yashica camera prints. Whatever your niche is, search the hashtags and discover those within that field. Collaborate with artists who have bigger or demographically different audiences. They may introduce you to their clients and vice versa.
Slide into them DMs girl!
Clients aren’t going to fall into your lap. The best way to find freelance clients on Instagram is to reach out to your followers who could benefit from your services. When reaching out over Instagram, try to keep your message short, conversational, and professional all at the same time. It’s unlikely that people will read your entire message so keep it to the point. As important as your message is, if it’s sent at the wrong time it’s not going to help convert a potential client. We recommend following a user for a minimum of a week and engaging with their content before sending over a message. As long as the user is active on Instagram, this will provide enough time for you to become recognizable to them.