How to Use Instagram as an Online Portfolio

Millennial Magazine- Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media networks. It provides an entertaining and engaging way to keep in touch with the lives of friends and loved ones, as well as keep up to date on current events and news. While a great tool for communication, many don’t realize the service can also be a powerful tool for visual artists and designers wanting to showcase their talents.

Graphic designers, artists, photographers, brand strategists, web designers, art directors, fashion designers, interior designers, animators, and film and video directors and editors are just a handful of visual artists that could benefit from using Instagram to advertise their work and services. Consider Instagram an online extension of your visual portfolio.

If you plan on using Instagram to house your work, be sure to follow the tips below to ensure your portfolio will be enticing to potential customers or employers:

Create a Cohesive Instagram Grid

Millennial Magazine- InstagramCreating a cohesive grid on your Instagram profile is easy way to show users your design aesthetic. If your graphics are usually vibrant and busy, your feed should reflect that. If you tend to shoot natural, moody subjects show it off in your grid. One way to ensure your grid always looks cohesive is to always use the same filters when editing your photos.

Put Your Hashtags to Work

Millennial Magazine- InstagramDepending on the subject of most of your photos, videos, or graphics, there is no doubt a group of popular hashtags surrounding the subject. Food photographer? There’s a hashtag for that. Logo designer? Yup, there’s one for you too. Interior decorator? Well, you get the point.

Do a little research in the app to find out which hashtags are getting the most traction and engagement, then start incorporating these into your copy every time you upload a new post. It will make your content easier to find, and in turn get your photos more likes and comments.

Don’t like the way hashtags look in the caption of your post? Neither do we. Simply add a new comment to your post containing the hashtags you want to use to keep your feed looking clean.

It’s also not a bad idea to track hashtags that are relevant to your profile. Engaging with other users who post similar content is a great way to network and build your Instagram community and grow your following.

Don’t Be Afraid to Show Who You Are

Millennial Magazine- InstagramYour feed doesn’t have to just be about your work. You should still feel free to use the app as you would if you only used it to interact with your IRL friends. Showing more than just your work adds a human side to your profile.

People love to learn more about the artist behind the camera/sewing machine/paint brush/computer/etc. So posting stills from your day-to-day life won’t hurt you. It will humanize you. In other words, a selfie won’t kill you or your chances at landing work.


This article was co-authored by Courtney Spritzer.

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Written by Stephanie Abrams Cartin

Stephanie is the Co-Founder & CEO of Socialfly, a social media marketing and influencer agency in NYC. She is passionate about helping fellow entrepreneurs and recently co-authored her first book with Socialfly co-founder Courtney Spritzer, "Like, Love, Follow, The Entreprenista's Guide to Using Social Media to Grow Your Business," available on the website.

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