Mar 03, 2017 06:03 AM EST

An Artist & His Instagram Gallery: A Startup Success Story

For Jeremy Wolff, the decision to become a full-time artist was years in the making. Instagram helped him network and gain clients, making his startup JWolff Studios a success.

In an exclusive interview with Forbes, former marketing and sales officer Jeremy Wolff talked about how he was able to put up an online gallery on Instagram to gain clients. His startup began three years ago when he quit his job (after much deliberation) to become a full-time artist.

He told Forbes that networking and social media were the two core channels that he used to get his business up and running. He began by making commissioned works for friends and family, letting his reputation form and spread via word-of-mouth, and then used Instagram to his advantage.

Instagram, in particular, became his version of a gallery—an online one—where he meets clients and other artists like himself. According to Wolff, galleries are beginning to change and artists are starting to realize that they do not necessarily need a gallery to showcase what they have.

When asked how he uses the photo-sharing app, Wolff said that he spent a lot of time following his role models and their followers, liking their photos in order to get their attention. He follows the accounts that like the pictures of certain artists, identifying the former as his target market.

Moreover, he uses hashtags to find photos that are similar to his style or his art. Then, he likes over a thousand random photos.

"I am coming in contact with people who I know are already interested in art because I am finding them through other artist's accounts," Wolff tells Forbes. This increases his chances of meeting collectors, clients, and investors.

Wolff even calls the work he does on Instagram as "half his job." He follows and unfollows accounts too to give his own account a "comfortable followers ratio."

His startup is still young and has a lot more to accomplish. His current projects include a Forbes magazine cover featuring the richest cartoon characters.

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