Forbes looks at Nashville artist Shane Miller who makes 40% of his sales on Instagram. Miller gets queries, not straight purchases, through the social network but Instagram buy buttons are just over the horizon. Until then, Miller knows his success mostly a product of getting attention from influencers:
Miller’s ‘aha’ moment with Instagram came when he reached out to Instagram influencer Ruthie Lindsey, a friend with a large following in March 2017. “She had 90,000 followers and I asked if she’d trade a painting for a promoted post,” he says. “When we met up she brought a friend who had 1.2 million followers with her, and he liked my work and ended up showcasing it on his feed.”
Almost overnight, Miller’s following ballooned from 500 to 3500; today it’s a respectable 4279. “There was an influx of emails and messages asking about my work, where can they buy it, and I realized the benefits of this type of direct marketing,” he said. Some of his growth has been down to luck; when a celebrity chef Sean Brock visited Nashville and purchased Miller’s work, he got another deluge of attention, which converted into a large number of sales.