Supercharge Your Reels Creation With This Prep Checklist

by | Jul 28, 2021 | Content Creation, Digital Marketing, Video

If you heard a collective wailing on June 30, it was because Instagram’s CEO announced that the platform is moving away from its beloved square photos to focus on four things that aren’t photos: Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging.

I know we all hate change, but this should’ve been a big surprise to exactly no one. All that other stuff aside, video has been The Next Big Thing for a solid five years now. And ol’ Insta has been leaning into the trend for pretty much that long – think Stories, IGTV, Live and the behemoth that Reels has become.

So now is absolutely the time to give yourself a kick in the backside and make sure you’ve got your Reels processes sorted out. Why? It’ll save you a TON of time and hassle. You’re welcome.

Dial In Your Batching, People!

As someone who is ALL ABOUT THOSE REELS, you know my absolute top tip for speeding up and streamlining the whole shebang is batching your content. Yep, we’ve talked about it before, but I’m going to share it again because IT WORKS, YO.

Don’t know what batching is? It’s when you create a whole bunch of content in one go rather than in dribs and drabs. It saves you a ton of time, just like how baking a dozen muffins at once is faster than prepping and baking one muffin twelve times.

But before you can knock out all those videos, you’ve got to do the prep work. This is where your baker self looks at your recipe, pre-heats the oven runs to the store to get everything you need, and measures everything out ready to go.

Your Handy-Dandy Reels Prep Checklist

Here’s what to do, know and have figured out before you hit that “record” button.

  • Define your content buckets. Vary your content by defining different content buckets and assigning topics to them. My “buckets” are Informational, Instructional, Trending and Behind-the-Scenes, but you do what works for you!
  • Figure out your format. I use three main Reels formats: talking head, voiceover and text overlay. Mix ‘em up (or try something else!), using whatever’s most effective for your topic, theme or brand.
  • Know your recording style. Are you going to do this thing in IG, or save it to your camera roll for later uploading? This will affect stuff like retakes and editing.
  • Think about editing. Will you need to export your video to an external app to add special effects, images, fancy transitions or anything else? If you don’t have time or you’re not great at video editing, rethink your script to keep things simple – it’s amazing what you can do right within the Instagram app. (You can find my video editing faves here.)
  • Choose your audio. If you’re using the text option, pick a background song to jazz things up. You can easily find trending audio by keeping an eye out for a diagonal arrow on the Reels you’re watching. Grab that audio and repurpose it – there’s no shame in hopping on a viral bandwagon!

Here’s what that little arrow looks like!

  • Make sure your script is on point. Just like any Hollywood blockbuster, a solid Reel adheres to a solid, familiar format. Make sure yours includes:
    • Intro/hook
    • Meat of content (value!)
    • Call to action
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      • Have you implemented this?
      • Let me know how it goes!

Once you get in the habit of regularly recording Reels this will all become second nature, and your prep checklist will live in your head instead of printed out by your desk. Have more questions about leveling up your Reels presence? Send me a DM on Instagram, and let’s chat!