An Artist's Guide to Setting Up Instagram Shopping and Selling Your Art (For Free!) - This Creative Nest Blog

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An Artist’s Guide to Setting Up Instagram Shopping and Selling Your Art (For Free!)


February 6, 2020

Ever wondered how to “attach” a product to an Instagram photo? You know the little white “shopping bag” icon in the bottom left corner of an Instagram photo? Usually, it directs you to an actual listing where you can make a purchase, right from the app. Today, I’m showing you how to set Instagram Shopping up for free!

artists guide to setting up instagram shopping for free

There are a few key components that you’ll need to make it happen. So if you don’t have those, you’ll need to get those in place first (but they’re very do-able, so don’t let that hinder your progress or keep you from getting started!)

In this post, I’m going to break it down in an overview – and then make it very easy for you with a step-by-step breakdown inside a free downloadable Road Map!

At the bottom of the post, you’ll find the downloadable Road Map. You can save it or print it for reference as you work through the steps. Having a guide will make it much easier too because while it is a fairly straight-forward process, there are a lot of steps!

And if you’re like me and tend to read ahead or get ahead of yourself, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So, to counteract that, I definitely recommend downloading the Roadmap at the bottom of this post so you can always know exactly where you are and where you’ll be going next.

First, let’s look at the five essential “ingredients” you’ll need to make this work.

1 – A Facebook Page for your Business

So this one might seem a little surprising since you’re trying to set up Instagram shopping, right? Why would you need a Facebook page at all for that?! 

Well, Facebook actually owns Instagram and the platforms are intertwined! In order to set up Instagram Shopping, you have to have a Facebook Page with a Shop and Catalog, and in order to create a shop or catalog, you have to have a Business Page!  (See, lots of simple ingredients, but plenty of things you have to have in order first to make it happen! Again, if you want to grab the free downloadable Roadmap to Instagram Shopping at the bottom, I lay it all out in an easy step-by-step format!)

2 – More specifically, a Facebook Shopping Page!

Like I said in #1, you need a Facebook page. But not any old Facebook page… a Facebook shop! It’s really easy to turn your Facebook page into a Facebook shop, it’s just a matter of changing the template for the page. Page templates have default tabs and buttons designed for different kinds of Pages (example: a Restaurants & Cafes template for restaurant Pages). You can change your Page template at any time. It’s a very simple option you can select here.

3 – A Facebook Shopping Catalog

Now, this is where it can start to feel overwhelming, but it really isn’t! It’s more a matter of not getting distracted by the less-than-stellar user interface that the Business side of Facebook has. If you head to the Business Manager side of Facebook, and go to the Catalog Manager, you’ll see where you can create your first virtual catalog! Remember the good ol’ days of getting a paper catalog from Pottery Barn or Victoria’s Secret? Well, you’re basically creating Facebook’s version of that. You’ll be creating Products in your catalog that will connect to your public-facing Facebook Business page and ultimately, your Instagram!

4 – An Instagram Business Account

This one really is simple – you’ll just need to make sure you have your Instagram account set up as a business account, and not a personal account. Not only will a Business account allow you to set up shoppable Instagram posts, but it will also give you great insights into how your posts and stories are doing, plus valuable analytics! Inside of the free Instagram Shopping Roadmap I go into the steps of converting your account into a business account, so be sure to grab that if you need it!

Once your Instagram Business account and Facebook Catalog are connected (which I show you in the Instagram Shopping Roadmap), you submit it for review, and usually the process takes a few days, but sometimes it can take longer. You can visit Shopping in Instagram Settings at any time to check your review status (if you’re impatient, like me!)

5 – An (Online) Place to Sell Your Art

Selling On Etsy:

Selling On Your Own Standalone Website:

  • Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Etsy and believe it is the very best place for artists to get started. It comes in with a built-in audience full of millions of shoppers every day! But once you’re established and have a brand, and a marketing strategy for getting people to your website, a standalone website is a great addition (obviously, I love my website here!) You can set this up through Shopify, Wix, ShowIt, self-hosted WordPress/WooCommerce sites and many other e-commerce platforms. But again, this is definitely not for beginners! They each often have their own listing fees or transaction fees, or sometimes inclusive monthly-subscription pricing structures, so you’ll want to explore this and decide what’s best for you. But if you haven’t gotten started or established on Etsy yet, start there first and use this free Starter Kit I put together, too! 

Opting to Use Facebook’s Built-in Checkout Feature:

  • If you’d rather not set up an Etsy shop or your own site, you do have the option of using the “Checkout on Facebook” feature. I can’t speak to it as I haven’t personally used it, but they do have a great guide and informational section about using it! It does come with its own fees and pricing structure, so be sure to take those into consideration as well. Also keep in mind, just like with a stand-alone site, you’ll need to build and send traffic there yourself. It isn’t a marketplace like Etsy with a built-in audience!

That’s it! Whew – way to stick in there with me!

I know it might seem like a lot of new terms and technologies, but it’s absolutely doable and I encourage you to commit to making it happen! Once you’ve committed, grab your free Roadmap below, follow it step by step like your favorite recipe, then enjoy the delicious reward of a beautiful shoppable Instagram feed!

Grab the Step-by-Step Roadmap to Setting Up Instagram Shopping Here!

Inside of this Roadmap, you’ll find a step-by-step checklist complete with pictures and screenshots of exactly what you need to click, type and set up in order to make all of this happen! Think of it as a visual walkthrough, on paper!

setting up instagram shopping for artists

    Cheering you on, friend!

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