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Demystifying Instagram Reels

I want to dismantle the belief that you need to be doing Reels to get anywhere on Instagram.  A lot of members of my community are really worried that they haven’t yet done a Reel. They seem to think that because they haven’t done a Reel they are somehow failing at Instagram. 

I’m here to set the record straight. I promise that if you never ever get around to creating a Reel, you can still be successful on Instagram. I know many large successful accounts as well as small but growing accounts that haven’t yet touched a Reel. And they are doing just fine.

Also there is nothing mystical or particularly special about Reels.  They are literally just 15 or 30 second videos. That is all.

There are some very clever Reels out there like this cracker by @glutenfreefi. There are also a lot of very rubbish Reels out there.

Instagram Reel featuring a cute baby.
This is a such a funny Reel by @glutenfreefi

I think a question that you should ask yourself is WHY DO I WANT TO DO A REEL? And if it’s literally because you think everyone else is doing them, then that’s not a good place to start.

Reels should be a way of enhancing your marketing message and demonstrating what you stand for and what you’re about. Don’t just post a random video of yourself dancing, pointing at text because everyone else is doing it!

However, you will get get good engagement and views on Reels at the moment if you do do them. This is because Instagram is promoting them, so if you’re up for it, go for it!

Simple Tips For Getting Started on Instagram Reels

Here’s some simple tips for getting started on Reels if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by them:

1) To create a no frills Reel

Record a 15-30 second video on your phone and just upload it within the Reels function. Perhaps use the video to talk to camera and offer some useful tips relating to your business. Click the link below to see one I did like this recently.  I did add text to mine when I uploaded it to Reels, but you don’t have add text if you don’t want to:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CF4wmhtA2PI/

Katya Willems Instagram Reel with bio tips.
My talking to camera Reel with Instagram bio tips

2) Do a day in the life video

Take little videos throughout your day on your phone. Maybe:

  • your morning cuppa
  • taking a break to read a business book
  • a behind the scenes of you at work
  • winding down in the evening with a glass of wine and Netflix.

Use the app ‘InShot’ to put the the pieces of the video together. Make sure it is under 30 seconds in total. You can trim the individual videos down within InShot very easily.  Then upload your final video onto your Reels and post it. By the way InShot app is incredibly easy to use.  Here’s a Reel I made using this method. I did add text within Reels though:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CFhEA5Tg_pX/

Katya Willems Instagram Reel in the countryside.
A simple Instagram Reel made in InShot app

3) Use videos that are already in your phone archive.

Pick an old video or several and make a Reel out of them. It doesn’t matter if they are years old. I did that here:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CKCZ4jbANcp/

Katya Willems Instagram Reel making granola.
A Reel made from archived videos in my phone

4) Use the screen record function on your phone

Turn then screen record on and record you flicking through your favourite photos on your camera roll.  Tidy up the look of the video with InShot app and upload to Reels.  This is what I did here:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CKCZ4jbANcp/

Katya Willems Instagram Reel of favourite photos.
A Reel made by screen recording my favourite photos

5) Check out @videobyvictoria

Victoria did a 30 day Reel challenge in September. With each Reel she created a correlating IGTV to explain exactly how she made each Reel.  It is super educational to watch.  I’m working my way through them all and learning A LOT.  Victoria is so brilliant at explaining all the functions.

Victoria Hutton Reels Challenge.
Victoria Hutton did a 30 day Reel challenge

It is true that Reels tend to perform better if you create them entirely within  Reels on Instagram and use a variety of it’s editing features (timer, text, speed, music etc). Instagram will reward you for using more of it’s features by showing it to more people.  However, you will still get good engagement even if you created it within InShot, because all Reels tend to do well. And we’ve all got to start somewhere, so don’t feel under pressure to create your Reels within the Reels feature.

If you would like to learn how to use the Reels functions to do all the fancy tips and tricks, I will be running a workshop in Feb.  Do email me if you’re interested in attending and I will contact you as soon as I have the date and the details.

And if you enjoyed reading this you might like to try What Content Really Works on Insta?

Looking For Instagram Help?

There’s a number of ways I can help you:

  1. We can address your specific goals with my one to one online coaching.
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  3. Attend one of my Zoom workshops.
  4. Get valuable feedback and suggestions with my Instagram MOTs
  5. .Sign up for my Instagram newsletter.
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