Whenever it was that Reels first arrived, I declared (via newsletter) that I had zero intention of participating in short-form video (Reels & TikTok).
I had good reasons that I still stand by: I didn’t want another excuse to spend MORE time on my phone, more time on social media. I didn’t see a clear line from “Reels/TikTok” to actual, bottom-line growth in business. To be a bit bleak, what I felt I was seeing was Big Tech creating another way to keep users on its platform, making billions of dollars in profit off of our attention.
I do still have hesitations about the format… but I also want to be realistic:
Short-form video is the “easiest” source of >> unpaid traffic << on the market right now. 
The arguments for why I SHOULD be utilizing Reels/TikTok began to outweigh my rationale for not participating:
  • The cost of Facebook ads have gone through the ROOF since the iOs updates rolled out this past Spring, so the paid ads we were running to free downloads are seeing lower and lower conversions… for higher and higher costs.
  • Instagram Stories aren’t garnering the sort of views they used to- I LOVE Stories. I’m good at teaching & sharing via Stories. But the algorithm no longer prioritizes that content- they’re giving more and more space to Reels.
  • Posts to my feed? They’re getting a FRACTION of the engagement I one saw. Why? Same reason as why my Stories views continue to shrink: the IG algorithm rewards users for utilizing the newest features by pushing video content in front of more viewers. 
I had to face it: the way I used to employ social media just wasn’t working anymore. So I’m changing my approach. Because that’s what we must do as small business owners- we adapt as the market changes!
Reels for brand photographers | Abby Grace
But I’m proceeding with CAUTION to make sure I don’t get stuck staring at my phone for hours every week!
Here’s what I’m keeping an eye on as I implement Reels into my social media strategy:
  1. Who am I trying to reach, and why? Is it for my clients? For my brand photography students? I’m being super clear about the target audience for any video.
  2. What do I want the viewer to DO after watching? Are we asking for a comment, a like, a follow, to read the caption, to download a freebie?
  3. Most importantly: how does this support my business? There’s a time & place for entertaining content (I mean, I posted a video last week poking fun at how old I feel using Reels), but you guys know me- what I really love is to TEACH! I’m viewing Reels as a workplace tool I can use to serve my audience- I don’t need a new way to waste time on my phone. Keeping the “tool” mindset helps me avoid the trap of scrolling for entertainment. If I can entertain WHILE I teach, all the better, but just entertaining isn’t my goal here.
If you’re frustrated with changes in social media and don’t want to adapt, trust me- I get it. I held out for a year and a half. But another part holding out was that I didn’t know where to start. I was overwhelmed. So if that’s you, here are four accounts I recommend following on Instagram for ideas & inspo
  • Ben Hartley– he started doing daily Reels sometime last year and it’s been bananas to watch his brand grow. They’re typically educational, always engaging, and usually leave me smiling! His consistency is really encouraging.
  • Corrin Jasinski– we actually hired Corrin to help with a handful of Reels this past Fall, and I learned so much! She gained momentum by sharing Reels for brides (and hitting MASSIVE numbers of views + follows), but she’s recently started sharing videos about how to produce Reels, which I’m loving.
  • Samantha Malizia– flipping hilarious. I love how silly some of her videos are, and her casual approach made me realize I’ve definitely been overthinking things. 
  • Virginia Kerr– she’s a video strategy expert who posts super helpful, practical tips that help you show up with confidence. This post especially– pure gold.
That’s all she wrote, folks. Let’s get to work!
Reels for brand photographers | Abby Grace

Alright, alright. I’m doing Reels- here’s why.

January 26, 2022

  1. […] like Facebook ads), and I knew it would be dumb not to at least TRY (read my analysis of why HERE). So I started posting a couple times/week, and I wanted to update you on how it’s going.  […]

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