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Reels 101: How To Create Reels For Your Small Business

You’ve likely heard it before: Make Reels (or Tik Toks) for your business’s social media, or face certain doom.

No pressure. But no matter how many times you hear that, it doesn’t make this new tool any less overwhelming or confusing. You may not know the first thing about “short-form” video! And besides that, you have a business to run or work on. And even if you do know how to make a Reel, even posted a few, you still struggle to come up with creative ideas consistently. So, you’ve heard the stats, seen the views they get, and watched countless Reels yourself –– and it’s still confusing.

I just want to help get rid of some of that confusion, by explaining the basics. Forget complicated transitions, professional editing, and jumping on every trend – I want to help you begin with two things I think are most important:

  1. Simplicity

  2. Consistency

Your small business’s account doesn’t necessarily need the most complicated, intricate videos to be successful. Start with a simple iPhone video (or collection of photos). Some basic tips for taking good videos include holding your phone steady when recording, don’t move too fast, make sure to focus on your subject, and center it properly on your screen. If your location, whether it’s your store, restaurant, or home, has bad lighting, try to use natural light outside or next to a window. Focus on getting a clear, well-lit video of a subject or space.

Next, throw your video(s) or selected photos into a video editing app, or straight into Instagram; they even have templates now! If you would rather use a third-party app, which many people prefer, try VN or Adobe Rush (you can find plenty of free photo & video editing and effects apps in your app store). Make sure your final video or collection of clips is around 10 seconds, depending on the purpose of your video; 10 seconds or less is a good rule to follow, if you can. You can adjust your video’s exposure, brightness, and color saturation, if you want. In both the editing apps and on Instagram, you can remove the audio from your video and add an overlaying audio.

This part can be confusing to some, as audio depends heavily on what’s trending. If you’re not sure what audio to use, scroll through your account’s feed or check fellow business’s Reels and find an audio that fits with your brand. Click on the audio (at the bottom of the Reel) and make sure it’s been used by many accounts, whether it’s 5k or 150k.

Once you’ve chosen your audio, watch your final Reel to make sure the audio is long enough to play during your whole video (don’t want any awkward silence!). Next, don’t forget to write your caption (with a strong CTA), add hashtags, and choose a location. Post it, share it on your story, and watch your likes and views come in!

It’s important to note that your first Reel, or couple of Reels, may not get thousands of plays. But don’t be discouraged! This is where consistency comes in. If you post a simple Reel like this that appeals to your followers at least once a week, you will see results. If you are struggling and continue to see no attention, make sure the videos or photos you’re taking are well-lit, attractive, and genuine. BONUS: get comfortable showing your face! People love getting to know the face behind the brand, whether you’re the owner, manager, or employee who manages the socials.

I hope this sheds some light on how to get started with Reels if you’re a small business owner. Short-form video isn’t going anywhere, from Reels to Tik Toks to stories. It’s vital to use this tool to build your viewership, engagement, and sales.

Still not sure if you want to dedicate time to this tedious task? Shoot me an email! I’d love to discuss how I can serve your small business’s needs by creating content that represents your brand, so you don’t have to.

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