Are there simple steps for batching your reels for Instagram?
Reels are short videos on Instagram that allow you to connect with and serve your audience. At 15-30 seconds long, they seem like they should be a breeze to make, right?
Wrong. Just like anything in business, creating valuable content takes time, and making a reel feels like it can take you hours. Which they can. However, I’m here to give you hope. You can start batching your reels, prepping 5-10 reels at one time so that you can make the most of your time spent in creation.
Before I start with the tips I want to start with this.
When creating Reels, keep it simple while providing valuable content and staying true to your brand.
Before batching your reels or anything else (this includes writing blog posts, social media posts, and emails) ask yourself, would my client care about this? How does this serve them? And even more importantly, does this feel authentic for you.
I could write an entire other blog post about the difference between feeling authentic and feeling awkward or afraid of creating video content. But to keep this short and get to how I batch my reels, I want to remind you that in the beginning it can feel awkward to get in front of your phone, filming yourself for video. I get it. That doesn’t mean you aren’t being yourself, it simply means you’re pushing yourself. The difference is when you create a reel that doesn’t align with your style, personality or beliefs.
Okay, now we are ready to get into the meat of this article.
Here are my simple steps to batching your reels for Instagram.
Batching Your Reels Step #1. Plan out content for 5-10 reels.
Before picking up a phone to create a video, have a plan! Come up with topics, outline what each reel will cover, list those 3 tips, or what the reel will feel like.
Having this plan will help you start to visualize what type of reel you’ll have, what types of video clips you might need, and if you’ll need photos to include or not.
Batching Your Reels Step #2. Write out your captions and text to go on each reel.
Taking the first step further, actually write out your caption along with what text you’ll put on the screen. (Bonus tip, text on your reel is very important, however, it needs to be short and easy to read quickly). Having everything ready will allow you to copy and paste later.
Plus, having the actual text written will help inform what you will need to film for each text block.
Batching Your Reels Step #3. Plan one day to film everything at once.
While you don’t have to “look your best” for a reel, you might feel the need to shower, put on make up and get ready to film your reel. Do this once, grab 4 or 5 shirts and film all the parts you’re in at one time. Save them as video clips on your phone or as actual Reel drafts in the Instagram app. One shirt you can create a few different intros (just swap your location in your home, or plan to share those sporadically, but trust me, no one is actually noticing your wardrobe). Change your shirt and film the next few parts.
This could be a great place to take a break. You have your intros, or everything with you in it, perfect. The next day you can tackle the next steps, or finding how much time you’ve saved already? Head to the next step.
Batching Your Reels Step #4. Film all of your filler clips.
Personally, I like to have a reel filmed all the way through at one time, so I will do these at the same time as the above step. Since everything is planned, it doesn’t take me long. However, there are times where I’m filming Reels in the middle of the day and need to wait for the light to be lower in the sky to show off some outdoor shooting tips (for example).
Then I will go ahead and film all those extra clips I need and add them in.
BONUS TIP: While on location, consider grabbing a few random clips of being on location, behind the scenes, or shots of a family during their session (who has given you permission, of course) to use at a later date. I will also use actual work time to film quick time lapses and behind the scenes shots to plug in when needed. Just save them into a folder called “Reel Clips” on your phone for later use.
Batching Your Reels Step #5. Create Video slideshows of your photos.
If your Reel requires photos (say for examples, before and after, etc), you’ll need to change them to video/slideshow to insert them (at least at the time this article was written). I use the Instories app to plug photos in and make them into videos. You could also use the app InShot.
Once prepped, add them into your Reel.
You’re ALMOST done!
Batching Your Reels Step #6. Create cover photos with a title.
Many Instagram experts will tell you that aesthetic doesn’t matter and that any cover will do. However, you’re a photographer. Your photos do matter, your grid does matter.
The title also matters. People don’t like to waste time clicking and waiting to find out what something is about. By having a cover photo with a title they can scroll your Reels feed and no what to expect and watch those that draw them in.
I use Instories to create a cover photo with a title. The photo itself doesn’t have to relate to the actual reel either. So select something you’d want on your profile feed.
I also make mine a video so I can add it into the end of my reel for easy selecting of a cover later when I want to actually schedule my reel. (Since you can’t, at the time this was written, select a cover that stays put if you save as a draft).
Batching Your Reels Step #7. Add text and a caption to your Reel.
Remember how you prepped that caption and text in the first step? Now you can just copy and paste that in super fast.
Don’t forget to include related hashtags. You can include them in the caption or in the first caption when you post. It makes no difference.
You’re ready to publish 5-10 Reels!
Now you’ve saved them as drafts. When you’re ready, just remember to select that cover photo that you want and hit publish! Add in those hashtags to the first comment and that’s it. You’ve done the work for several at a time, so each time you’re ready to hit publish, you just pull up that draft, select your cover and share it. That’s it!
Instead of starting from scratch each time, start batching your reels, starting with a plan and filming with purpose. You’ll see how much time
you can save, making it that much easier to show up in Reels regularly!
Want to step up your Reels game? Grab my free guide below.