INSTAGRAM REELS – What you need to know (For Entrepreneurs & Bloggers)

INSTAGRAM REELS – What you need to know (For Entrepreneurs & Bloggers)

You must have heard a lot about Instagram Reels these past two weeks. It’s been all over your feed and all these big business instagram accounts and celebrities jumped on the bandwagon to showcase their dancing skills or favourite recent finds.

I did my research and I am all ready to spill some tips & tricks for you to make the best use of this new feature. Well, let’s dive into it and find what this whole buzz is about.

Origin

Facebook launched their own variation of rival TikTok on Instagram on 5th August 2020, called ‘Instagram Reels’.

The idea behind Instagram Reels came from the uprising success of Instagram stories where demand is growing every day.

Facebook had previously developed an app called Lasso which was available for download in the app stores. They have now introduced the same features inside Instagram to keep people from leaving the app! *Genius, right?*

What is it?

A new type of content for Instagram that allows you to create 15 second videos with audio and effects in a dedicated Feed and on the Explore page. 

The difference between Reels & TikTok  is that Instagram allows you to use effects, filters and tools that are already incorporated in their app – unlike TikTok where different effects are already established. The downside is that Reels doesn’t have a feature where you can upload your own music directly on Instagram and there is no duet feature, which is really popular on TikTok. 

How to use it for your business & blog

I keep saying that you should treat your blog as your business but some of us out there are skeptical when it comes to it, so I will list below a few ideas you can use to have a fun go at using Instagram Reels for your business and your blog:

  • To trick your way into the Instagram Algorithm, make sure you create engaging unique content on current trends
  • Adapt new trends to your audience
  • Choose trends that suit your brand and don’t be shy to twist them to show a new perspective on your brand approach
  • Use Reels to show behind the scene sneak peaks
  • Put together existing videos from your instagram grid to show progress of your business
  • Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials
  • Use Reels for video testimonials – read them out if your audience is camera shy
  • Create educational, tip-based content using overlay text onto video footage
  • Showcase your product – be creative!

Spilling the Tea – Reels v TikTok

TikTok has recently been in hot waters over privacy concerns and those waters remain muddy at the minute. It makes you wonder – has Instagram been planning for a replacement? 

The difference between Reels & TikTok  is that Instagram allows you to use effects, filters and tools that are already incorporated in their app – unlike TikTok where different effects are already established. The downside is that Reels doesn’t have a feature where you can upload your own music directly on Instagram and there is no duet feature, which is really popular on TikTok. 

The similarities are endless:  other than the actual content format which is similar in nature, there is a ‘for you’ page on the explore tab on instagram tab which is essentially a never ending sequence of reels videos – quite obvious right? 

The challenge for Instagram is to make Reels as addictive as TikTok is, which honestly can’t be that hard. Something that Instagram failed to incorporate (yet) is the removal of options to choose from but the ‘for you’ page on Instagram is making a move. If only it wouldn’t take me that long to find it. 

But I guess you can’t have them all right? 

In all honesty, I am excited by this new feature and you should head to our instagram account @zerotocontent to keep an eye out in the coming weeks. Something is brewing! 

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MY LOVE STORY WITH THE IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

I decided to write this article for my own sake. It all started by typing in the search bar various feelings and symptoms I have been experiencing for the past few years, since I passed some important stages in my life and career, to be exact. One thing led to another and I started to begin to realise that perhaps, it is something that I need to look deeper into and that I am certainly not alone in experiencing this.

Before I start barely scrapping off the surface of this huge not-enough-spoken-of subject, I need to make clear that I’m not writing from a professional perspective (actually, I welcome you to if you can), but from my own experience as a young woman moving countries to start a new life, study and earn a living on my own.

In easy to understand medical terms, the impostor syndrome is a psychological term that refers to a pattern of behaviour where people doubt their abilities and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud, even though they have the ability and skills to deserve their success. Though the impostor syndrome is not an official diagnosis, it is acknowledged by psychologists as a very real and specific form of intellectual self-doubt. Very encouraging.

Although men and women are both susceptible to the impostor syndrome, we tend to experience it more than men. It’s more common than you think. Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Maya Angelou, Lady Gaga and Emma Watson – all successful women – are in my own little club.

For me, it means that every time I get praised for my work, I believe it’s just a one-off exceptional occasion which came my way because I’m lucky. Sometimes I have to rehearse a whole dialogue in my mind before calling a client or even before calling my cat’s vet. It’s something I do because I have this constant feeling that I will be somewhat exposed as not knowing what I’m talking about.

Other times I remember how I moved countries and left all my friends and family back home to come and study here so that I could climb the ladder in a very tough industry. As a foreigner, the imposter syndrome is heartless on me. I always compare my English-speaking abilities to others, more often than not they are native speakers which of course is not fair.  I simply choose to ignore that I got through 5 years of academic learning with dozens of written and oral exams in English.

If I had a friend telling me the nasty stuff, I tell myself, trust me, I’d kick off. But when it’s your mind playing games on you, it’s a whole different story.  Things go way back, when I didn’t even know of this being a ‘thing’. Whenever I used to take an exam back in school, I would always worry that I will fail it for whatever reason and then get a really good mark. My colleagues used to think I’m arrogant. I always hated public speaking because I thought no one has anything to learn from me. Despite always being a high-achiever, I never took time to celebrate my wins.

When you’re constantly battling self-doubt, you learn to embrace it. I became a perfectionist, which I like to think it’s a blessing in disguise. I’m still over prepared, and my mind is trained to always be alert so that I can never be caught on the wrong foot. This proved to be an ace up my sleeve so many times.

I learnt to stand up to myself when things got nasty because, citing the wonderful Ru Paul, if I don’t love myself, how am I supposed to love someone else? Easier said than done, but as long as we keep moving, we’re making progress.

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HOW TO CREATE A VISION BOARD FOR YOUR BLOG

In the past few years, I poured my energy in a fair number of blogs on areas ranging from lifestyle, fashion, mindset, home-buying, law student life, etc. You name it, I must have written an article on it.

You must have heard those people claiming that you need to niche down and find what you are really good at in order to have a successful blog.

Well, let’s say I beg to differ, but that’s for another blogpost.

If you are just starting out, creating a vision board for your blog will save you a lot of time in finding your passion.

What is a Vision Board?

It is what is says on the label – a visual representation of your goals and preferences which helps you put things into perspective.

Some people are visual workers and can only make up their mind on something once they write it down or create a Pinterest board for it.  It happens to me all the time. I have a vision board for my dream house and my dream career.

 Visualising your goals is powerful. It’s motivating when you’re feeling low and it helps you keep on track, stay on brand and prioritise what you want so that you don’t spend so much time on overthinking things, when you can invest your time and energy in creating, engaging and taking active steps towards your goals.

How to create a vision board from scratch?

 I love Pinterest. It’s an amazing search engine of aesthetic pleasing and educational graphics.

Start by searching for a general word which you believe describes the general idea behind your blog. For example: lifestyle, OOTD, history graphs, skincare, makeup, etc.

The key is to keep it as broad as possible. Don’t overthink it. Go wild.

Create a Pinterest Board and save all items that you believe are most suitable for your theme.

Aesthetic vision board

Look into colours. What fits your mood? Do you think lighter tones fit your message? Do you like it to be dark and elegant, light and breathable or a mixture of both, perhaps some bright rainbows are best!

Look into fonts. Search for combination of fonts, so that when you get to design your blog theme, you can be as specific as you want.

Get inspired. The best way to get into your creative state of mind is to read what others believe on the subject, research how the information you want to share with your audience is set out by other bloggers.

For example, let’s assume you want to write a cooking blog because you just realised what an amazing cooker you are whilst in lockdown. The amount of cooking blogs out there is impressive, so there is competition on the market.

Use the vision board to set out what makes you different.

There is no time limit on creating your vision board.

You are in no rush to start your blog, but you don’t want to procrastinate. Enjoy the process. I take special pleasure in visualising what I want my brand to express. It’s satisfying.

Once you are happy with your board, you can use Canva to create a collage of your pins, so that you can have them all together.

Practical vision board

Another way to create a vision board for your blog is to jot down a number of post titles which you want to discuss about in a sketchbook, a journal or a basic planner.

Try writing prompts for days when your motivation is low. Short paragraphs. Long paragraphs.

The difference here is that you must spend more time on it to make it right.

Tips to have a productive vision board

Update your board regularly.

I know that in the bloggers rulebook there is an unwritten rule to have consistent content so that your readers don’t get confused about your message. I believe everyone changes and it’s more important to find what makes you happy to write, rather than keep up with some sort of duty to write on a subject that you enjoyed years or even months ago!

Your vision is what makes you unique. You are allowed to change your goals and adapt your methods to achieve those goals.

Make use of it.

I know this is pretty obvious but if you don’t reflect on your vision, you are likely to experience more stress than necessary. Use this opportunity to feed into content planning, once you decide what your voice is.

I welcome every one of you to challenge yourself and give your thoughts a voice using this little fun tool.

Share your feedback below and let others learn from your experience.