What You Need to Know About Using Reels In Your Launch
Jun 13, 2022
Wondering how to use reels in your launch marketing plans? Laura Bitoiu of B Squared Social has ideas to help you get started and what to avoid if you want to grow your business with Reels.
In this episode, Laura and I talked about...
- what makes a great reel
- the surprising way reels can help your business growth
- how many reels we should include each week in our IG content
- ideas for using reels to increase your audience and grow your leads
- stages of awareness and what they have to do with effective launch reels
- how Laura uses reels during her launch to create interest and demand for her webinar or freebie
- Laura's top steps to create better reels
...and much, much more
Things mentioned in this episode
Learn More About Laura Bitoiu
Laura Bitoiu launched her social media marketing agency in 2018 after she experienced the power of
social media marketing for the restaurant she was managing at the time. While managing the restaurant, she had taken on its branding, web design, and social media presence in order to grow the business. Seeing her efforts pay off for the restaurant was incredibly motivating and inspired her to work with other small businesses on their digital footprint.
Laura has worked with clients who have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Inc, and Refinery
29. She's also worked with over 200 small business owners one on one and has over 1500 students and
members who have been through her reels programs. Her reels hit 15 million views less than a year after the reels feature was introduced to Instagram.
Laura lives in Ottawa with her husband and her Italian Greyhound, Henry.
Connect with her on IG: https://www.instagram.com/laurabitoiu/
Check Laura's Website: https://www.bsquared.social/about
Connect with her on FB: https://www.facebook.com/bsquared.social
Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing
Laura: And for launching that becomes really important. It's also a great way to build your audience so you know more traffic more of an audience and need more people to sell your offer to more people to get on your mailing list. But even working down the funnel, like it's just not just awareness, Interest, Desire action, you can really use reels at every single point of the funnel to hit a certain pain point or to nurture someone and get them down the funnel into eventually converting whatever that looks like. Maybe it is to become one on one client, maybe it's a course, maybe just to get them on your mailing list. Rails can be used at every single point quite seamlessly.
You're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the starts, stops and tools of transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster with more success and less burnout. Well, friend, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.
Sara: Today, I'm chatting with Laura Bitcoin, founder of B squared social all about Instagram results. Laura has worked with clients who have been featured in Forbes Business Insider, Inc, and refinery 29. She's also worked with over 200 small business owners one on one and has over 1500 students and members who have been taught through her reels programs, her reels hit 50 million views less than a year after the reels feature was introduced to Instagram. Welcome, Laura.
Laura: Hi, I'm so excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
Sara: So thrilled to chat with you about reels. I know it's one of the things we haven't covered yet on the podcast. And I have seen you do it so well with launching. So I'm so excited for us to chat about that. But first, I was thinking so you are an early adopter of reels .
Laura: Yeah. Yeah, I would say so the day they rolled out, I was creating my first real Yeah.
Sara: So what made you decide to go for and then what did you do for your business?
Laura: It's so funny. I love telling the story. Because I was like, miserable when I heard realtor being rolled out, I was like, this is another feature I have to learn. I'm not happy about this. And I had a client at the time who I like, I don't work with her anymore. But she's very like keen to try new things, loves trying new things, loves video content. And she heard reels are being rolled out. And she was like, we have to do this, we have to jump on them right away. And she basically tasked me with trying out reels and figuring out how they work. So I could report back to her. So I was super annoyed at this point. I had never done any video content. If you scroll back, like I had never gone live, I'd never did any video content. I never even showed my face on stories. So for this client to be like, you have to make a real I was like, Oh, I don't want to do it. So my game plan basically was I'm gonna make a real it's gonna flop and then I never have to do it again. This client is gonna be like, oh, yeah, realtor, not a big deal. And then I'm done with it. So that was my game plan. So I made my first real and at the time, I had about 4000 followers, and that real about 6000 views. And it was like half a day, 12 hours. And I was shocked. Because if you've ever looked at your reach on Instagram, you never reach 100% of your audience, like ever, like you are always reaching like a little portion of your audience, and then maybe some new people as well. But to see that reach that number right off the bat from a new type of content. I was like, Wow, maybe I wrote this off too soon. So I then started posting three reels a week for a month. And my accountant have grown really quickly from that. So I was not happy early adopter. I was a very big grudgingly early adopter, but it really paid off for me. And I'm glad that I stuck with that.
Sara: That's amazing. I think so many people can relate to that, like, not wanting to go on video and being very angry. That's yeah, yeah. So tell us from there. How do you work with online business owners with the reels?
Laura: Yeah. So there's a couple of ways I do that for awhile, I've seen one on one coaching. So that would look like a real audit, figuring out what the pain points are, where people were getting stuck with their reels. But I found that I was doing so many one on one calls. And I felt like I was repeating myself. So that ended up morphing into a course. And that was my course called Real talk. It is still available. And I update at that every quarter. So because reels are always changing. And then from there that morphs into my membership, because people had all this knowledge and information on how to do rails, that they needed the next step, which is the actual implementation. So that became my rails membership, where I send out trading audios every week, and then prompted how people can apply it to their business as well.
Sara: Amazing. And so Laura, what makes a great reel, in your opinion, right now as when we're talking about April 2022?
Laura: Yeah. So I think it depends on what your goal is. So I know it's kind of an annoying answer. But it really depends on what your goal is. So if your goal is to go viral, that a great reel is going to be one that gets a ton of views. So if you're looking to get a ton of views, your goal is going to be to get people to watch your reel the whole way through and to engage with that, because that's the type of signals to send to the algorithm that it's a valuable reel. But if your goal is to get people to sign up for something, get them onto your mailing list, then because we can't track website clicks on real so you kind of have to, you know, reverse those numbers and see where else the numbers could be coming from. But the numbers you're looking at there would not be the same as views like he would be for real, what your goal is to go viral. So it really depends but overall the things I look for Unreal instances, they start with a really strong hook and the hook is basically just the promise of what people are going to get from watching your reel the whole way through. I keep emphasizing watching it the whole way through because Watch time is something that they look at in terms of ranking for your car. don't get to see how valuable it is. Other things I look for providing value, whatever that looks like for you and for your audience. And then of course engagement, whether that be people commenting, saving, making their own real so clicking through to the audio you're using and they're making their own spin on that. Those are kind of the things I look at
Sara: And is there a secret to figure out like what type of content we should be sharing for our business?
Laura: I like to experiment. I think it depends audience to audience. I know for me, when I first started out on reels I wasn't doing dancing, or pointing my reels were very simple, just talking head style. And those really resonated with my audience. At the time, I was doing a lot of social media management. So I knew my clients were business owners, and how they were using Instagram is completely different to how my new my current audience is using Instagram. So think it depends on your offerings, your audience kind of have to adjust with what they're looking for. But I don't want to say there's like a perfect type, because I want people to always be experimenting and trying new types of reels and new types of content.
Sara: Right? And then for the you're saying about, like, what's valuable for our audience? How, how do we find that out? Or like, how do you suggest we go and kind of find out what our audience would resonate with?
Laura: Yeah, so if I'm starting from scratch with a new account, or the new client, even for my own accounts, and I'm so go look at my insights, and I'll look at which posts of mine have the most comments, the most saved the most shared, that usually gives me an indication of the type of information my audience is craving more of, I also like to keep track of comments, I'm getting questions, I'm getting the DMS I'm getting. And that gives me a good sense of what people are searching for. I also like to use Google Keyword Planner to look at trends and to look at the keywords people are actually using, what they're searching for, I think that can be really helpful. Instead of just creating content that you think your audience wants, it's what they're actually wanting what they're actually searching for already. So those are some of the places I draw inspiration from when I'm thinking like, Okay, what am I creating? What do I want to share with this reel?
Sara: I love that you brought that up, Laura, because on the podcast here, we often talk about researching and then like having that those finding those information from the conversations we have with clients all the time. I'm a launch copywriter, as you know. So that's a lot of what I do, right? It's having those heart to hearts, or doing interviews and surveys, and all those questions and things come up. But I love to, you know, identify like, also the questions you got, maybe it's your onboarding forms, the things that you're in your Facebook groups, and all those that seems like become fodder for great content?
Laura: Absolutely. Yeah. So my best performing content is stuff that I was like, this is boring, no one's gonna care about it. But then I did it. And it gets like 500,000 views, 600,000 views, like it's the type of content people actually care about. So it's interesting, especially as business owners, the further you get in your journey, it's like, the more disconnected you are from where your clients can be because you're so much further, right. So sometimes I'll do content that I'm like, Oh, this is so basic, no one's gonna care about it. But it becomes my best performing content. So I think it's important to remember what your audience is looking for and what they want and catering towards that instead of thinking like what I want to make for myself, if that makes sense.
Sara: Oh, my gosh, I love that you brought that up. That's something I see over and over again, when I talk to other business owners here. I'm like, you're probably so close to what you know, you know, your audience, I know, you know that. You're probably like 10 or 15% off exactly what they want to talk about, because we're not there anymore. Right. So we have to like actually have those conversations and ask, yeah, so true. So how can reals help our business? Like audience leads damage relationships, like, tell us, you know, what.
Laura: All of the above? Yeah, like, I think reels are really great for building the know, like, and trust factor, like way quicker than you can with a static piece of content, people feel connected to you very quickly if they see a piece of video content. So that's one thing I like to always bring up, especially when you want to sell down the road. And for launching that becomes really important. It's also a great way to build your audience. So you know, more traffic, more of an audience that needs more people to sell your offer to more people to get on your mailing list. But even working down the funnel, like it's just not just awareness, Interest, Desire action, you can really use reels at every single point of the funnel, to hit a certain pain point or to nurture someone and get them down the funnel into eventually converting whatever that looks like. Maybe it is to become a one on one client. Maybe it's a course, maybe just to get them on your mailing list. But rails can be used at every single point quite, quite seamlessly.
Sara: It's amazing. Yeah, is there a biggest myth you've been hearing from business owners about reels that you'd like to bust?
Laura: There's so many oh my goodness, if I can really pick what I need to change is like every day like there's always going to be a new myth. I've heard the myth that you cannot use cover images because the algorithm will diminish your reach if you use a cover image on your reels. That one's totally not true. What else there's like the myth that you have to keep your reels to only seven seconds. Those are the ones that go viral. Not true. I think there's always going to be a new myth. But I think like one of the myths I hear is that people think it has to be perfect and this is one that I've heard since the beginning like people have this crazy expectation of what they want their reels to look like and if they don't meet this like Steven Spielberg standard of like this perfectly edited video then they're not going to post it and that's not the case some of my reels have been like really on the fly and not just for me like for clients remembers the reels I even see their go viral. They're really like on the fly, like I said, and not perfectly curated. So I think just starting there and having fun with it and experimenting instead of thinking that your reels have to be a certain way because there's no perfect real I saw a really yesterday there was a lady talking and she was like she had like long acrylic nails. You could hear her nails clicking and she was just talking, but all you could see on the Video was her hand and that reel had like 3 million views. And it was, yeah, it was so funny to me because people think like, you have to point you have to dance like you have to do a ton of transitions. And you don't like if you have valuable content that makes people want to watch it the whole way through, and it means something to them. Like, that's a great place to start.
Sara: That's such a good reminder with that example there. And I think also you saying that we should just go out, essentially, from here, if you should just go out and do it. And we'll get better as we go get more comfortable, and it'll just improve.
Laura: Yeah, I mean, I had a bit of an unfair advantage. Because when I started on reels, there weren't a lot of people making them. So I had no one to compare myself to. So yeah, I thought that my like talking reels were like, great. I was like, these are fine, like, perfect. And then of course, as the feature develops more people jump on it, I started to get impostor syndrome, I was like, Oh, my reels are not that good. Because I see people doing like, the crazy transitions where they come out of a bowl of clothes. And you know, they do all these things on it. And they see feel like, Oh, I'm not good enough, my reels aren't good enough. So that's you, like, just don't scroll anymore and tap back into your creative energy. But I definitely had an unfair advantage when I started because I didn't see any of that. So I couldn't get in my own head about it.
Sara: I mean, that's so true. I know. It's something I can relate to. So I feel like I see all those ones that are more produced looking. Yeah. I don't have time for that. Like I have my business to record.
Laura: Exactly. Yeah. And your business is not making real. So does it make sense to spend all your time on that?
Sara: For sure. So in a week, how many reels should we be aiming for? And also, what other type of IG content should we be using with it?
Laura: Yeah, so if you listen to what Instagram says, they want you to be posting five to seven reels a week. Personally, I kind of like three to four week, that's kind of my sweet spot. But I do pair that with like static content, I pair it with a live at least once a week. So I am currently using video content in different formats. But I really like to do a weekly live and then three to four reels a week and then maybe one or two static posts as well.
Sara: Okay, and what do you think stopping people from growing their business with reels.
Laura: I think the fear of showing up on camera is a big one for a lot of people. And I totally get it because it is hard. And it's scary. And I didn't want to do it. The only reason I did it was because I had a client without lighting a fire under my butt. So I get it like it's not easy. But I think showing up on video is scary. For a lot of people, I'll probably be the biggest one, I think of it. If that's you, I want to remind Well, the nice thing about Rails is you can edit them afterwards. And you can record it as many times as you need to. That was kind of what I liked about Rails over stories is because of stories, I would record them so many times over and over to get one I felt like it was okay. But I knew it would expire 24 hours. And that kind of put me off doing stories at all. And that was kind of what led to me not doing video content for so long, because I was like, I can't edit it. And if it has to last forever, like it just didn't make sense for me to spend that much time on stories. But with reels they have a much longer shelf life. And like I said, you can edit them, you can add effects, you can clip, you can trim, you can do whatever you need to to get them to a point where you feel good about posting them, you're not gonna feel like it's the best thing ever. You know, not every real is gonna be the Mona Lisa, but you want to have like something up there. And you know, let go that perfection.
Sara: It's amazing. So is there been anything changing? For reals? Is there anything we should be paying attention to?
Laura: Yeah, I think what we're seeing is it a new variety of formats, which I'm loving. So, you know, for a while, they were all talking reels, and they were all lip syncing reels. And it was all like dancing and pointing. And I feel like we definitely go through stages. lately. I've seen a way more variety though, which I really like. So I'm seeing a lot of quote reels. I'm seeing me reels. I'm seeing lip syncing, I'm seeing tutorials, I'm seeing people responding to comments. So I think a variety is really going to help your content strategy instead of getting stuck into the pigeon hole of just doing one type of reel over and over. So I think more of a variety is what we're gonna see with reels. I'm also seeing Instagram getting better at their editing features. So it's a lot easier to edit directly and Instagram now and you can like shorten or trim a clip, you can reorder your clips, you can do a voiceover directly in the app, you can turn on the volume of the music you've added. They've also added templates there. They're rolling this out, I don't think everyone has it yet. But you know, you see those like collage style reels where the music change, or the photo changes in the beat of the music. Yeah, so they've added a template feature. Now on reels. Like I said, not everyone has this, but they've given you like the template where they will automatically sync your photos up to the beat of the music for you. So you just click your camera roll. Yeah, it's super cool, you'll just go on your camera roll, you'll select, I don't know, five to 10 photos, whatever the number is, and they automatically sync it up for you. So they do really want you to use real time they are trying to make it easier and easier to do. So I'm excited to see what that means for us moving forward.
Sara: I love that. And I think what you said, you know, what you said that really stood out to me was that there's all this different types of content. So we don't have to do like maybe we only do one with our face or appointing and then we do a mean one or quote one or something totally, absolutely probably like, you know, take standard production time as well.
Laura: It does say so the production time takes on the pressure because you don't have to feel like I have to do 10 You know videos of myself talking to the camera, it can be like one a week and then you know, like splicing it in with other content as well. It's way more doable.
Sara: For sure. So let's move into launching. How can we use reels for our launches?
Laura: Yeah, so this is something I've experimented with a bit over a few of my launches. There's so many ways to use them though. So one thing I've been doing is using reels for the lead up to like my webinar, or to a waiting list or to like a free challenge or a freebie. So using Rails for that to create interest and demand around that the Cool thing about reels, like I said is they do have a longer shelf life. So you can start prepping that content, maybe a month in advance of your launch. And then by the time your launch rolls around, you can change the caption to say It's open now or join now or like in bio. So that's one way I like to use reels. Another thing I've done with them is using them to create social proof. So doing testimonials, for testimonials, I will use reels for testimonials for clients or members and getting them to send a short video over, we're even just using like screenshots of their texts and saying like, this is how I love the membership, or this is why I joined the membership. There's lots of ways to use them, you know, even the lead up while you're launching to create that sell more or to drive people to actually the sales page or to checkout. And then when you're done, you do have to go back and change those captions facility I want to notice because reels have a longer shelf life, you do need to go change the captions afterwards. But you can really use them to do just about anything.
Sara: I love those examples that you shared.
This episode of the launch playbook podcast is brought to you by my free launch maps, your complete step by step map of all your launch assets. So you know exactly what messaging notes to hit, and when to share each piece of copy. Because I know that you have signed up for many freebies over the years only to be disappointed with the Canva PDF that Harley gave you any info. But I promise you the launch maps aren't that when I showed these to my OBM, she literally walked off the screen that I was giving away this for free. This is the exact launch Map Template I use for every single one of my one on one clients. And inside, you be able to personalize tweak and repeat a strategy for your messaging for each and every launch. From pre launch to post. Go and get your free launch map at WWW dot Sara vartanian.com/launch.map.
Sara: And you're talking about testimonials. Something that I've noticed that you've done on Unreal is as you do some of those fun collaboration ones where yeah, like you start and then someone else finished it through a transition. Could you do that with like testimonials? Have you ever tried that?
Laura: I haven't tried doing a combination of like a collaboration with a testimonial, but definitely could be done? Like, that'd be a great idea. You just have to get like a student or member or a past person who wants to be a part of that and get them to do the collaboration with you. That's a really great way to build social proof. I mean, I've done it with affiliate offers before we're I'm an affiliate for something, and I will do collaboration real with a person affiliating for? Or maybe they're an affiliate for me, and we'll do a collaboration real there as well.
Sara: And how can we get started doing collaboration reels? Like do we reach out and ask people any thoughts? And like, do you find a lot of people are pretty open to them?
Laura: Yeah, I think it depends. So I get asked to do quite a lot of collaboration reels. And I always want to make sure that it's a good fit for both people. So if someone who has like two followers, and their niche is like pottery, and they want to do a collaboration with real with me, I'm probably gonna say like, it's not a good fit. But thank you. So making sure that it's a win for both parties. I think that's super important. So you want to make sure you have an aligned audience, the size of the audience doesn't have to be, you know, one to one. But there needs to be a bit of a fit there as well, that makes it mutually beneficial for both people. I like to start with people that I know are going to be an easy, yes. So maybe people I'm already chatting with people that I know we have a really good connection with, or people where we know that our audiences are so aligned. And there's such an overlap and the interest there that it's a really like quick. Yes.
Sara: And when you post them does it show up on like the cat does it show up? I guess, because you'd have to type someone in it taught me a little bit about that how it works.
Laura: Yeah, so one person will post it. So either you or the person you're collaborating with will be in charge of posting it. And when you go to post it, you can do it says Add tag. So you go in to add a tag for someone, but you do add them as a collaborator. So you'll invite someone to collaborate. And they'll get a notification that says so and so has invited you to collaborate on your reel, do you want to review and accept it. But basically what happens then is your reel will show up on both profiles, and also in seeds of the followers of both accounts. So it's really good way to double your reach really quickly. And to show up in front of a new audience as a trusted resource right away.
Sara: That's deep. Thanks for walking us through that. Because I think that's a question that a lot of people don't know if they haven't done it yet. I can see those being really a great way as well, too. If you have like guest speakers in your program that you're offering to collaborate
with that for a launch as well.
Laura: Totally. It's a great idea. Yeah, I love that.
Sara: So how can we use real to sell more during our launch? And is there a mountain we should be using to sell like, is there like a limit talk to us about selling on reels?
Laura: Yeah, absolutely. So I do have less than on this in my membership that we go through like each step of selling with reels but like a quick overview is you want real speed at every step of the customer journey. So you have to think about the awareness of your product, creating interest around your product, desire for the product, and then of course getting them to take action. So I like to create a reel for each step of that. It depends also on how long my launch is or how long the campaign is. I usually do eight days from my launches. So I try to do like six reels for that. Usually I like to do static content and a real almost every day. Little days. So that's what I'm kind of following for in terms of how much but yeah, for the reals, like what I'm doing for each one is maybe I'm creating awareness that the program is open or the programs coming back. So that could look like addressing a specific pain point that my product or service is addressing. And saying, Oh, if you're stuck on this, then you need this. So that's right in the awareness phase for interest, that's where I'm showing maybe the templates that are behind it, or the action they can take from that product or service for the desire. I usually compare that with FOMO, or again, with another quick win of how they can use what's in the membership. And then for action, that's usually like the last call real. So that's usually where I'm saying closes tonight or closes tomorrow. Because of the time sensitivity with reels I like to do, I try not to do one on the last day or two of my campaigns. Just because I know by the time my whole audience has seen it, that it's like almost it's like stale. So I try not to do too much in the last day or two, I'll usually switch to like live or a story if I'm gonna do video content. And then I also will do videos in my emails. So that's another one that I've seen converts really well, for me, I will do like a video walkthrough embedded in the email of like what they get once they join the membership. And that has been a really big one for me.
Sara: That's really amazing. I love that and that timing tip around not to use Rails near the end. So helpful. So I hope everyone's noting that down when to use it. Because something, something I haven't thought about with Rails is like the trajectory of how they build up. Yeah, videos and emails, I have also been noticing and do really, really well, especially with walkthroughs of programs and things like that.
Laura: Totally! And I figured that out the hard way with the timing with the rails because I was doing a couple of brand partnerships, and they were time sensitive. There was like a conference I was promoting. And I would have people messaging me like a month after the conference, it'd be like, Hey, can I get the link for that conference? So you have to be really careful with those rules, because obviously, you want people to see them, but you have to remember that they're gonna get keep getting pushed out, even after the event. So that's when you want to go in and change that caption and say, you know, it's closed for this year, but hop on the waitlist for next year for next reopen.
Sara: Right? And can we change the caption just like we could in a static post?
Laura: Absolutely, yeah, just go into your real there's at the three dots, you tap the dots, and you hit Edit, and then it'll take you to that preview page like the one you see before you hit post. And in there, you just change your caption.
Sara: And is there anything we should avoid or mistakes you see people you make when using Rails to launch?
Laura: One thing I see is people will make them really long. And I get it because like when you're launching, you're excited, you have so much value when again, like you really want to show off your program. But one of the biggest things and I talked about this earlier is watch time. So you'd rather keep your real shorts, people watch it the whole way through and have that direct them somewhere else have that direct them to the sales page, or maybe to your stories or to anywhere else. But I have seen people with where they'll do like a minute long real explaining their launch, and it doesn't do well. So you want to make sure you're keeping those real short and sweet, especially when you're selling something because the attention span is like it's so bad. We're like goldfish, so keeping your real short and sweet, especially for launches is a really key point.
Sara: And you mentioned how our real could point to something else. So let's say we wanted to build on whatever's in that reel, would it be great to point them to like an Instagram live because then it would be in our feed afterwards. Or we better to dues point them to the replay.
Laura: For example, you can do that absolutely. Normally with a real I would point them to a story highlight, I'll say, if you're interested in this program, head over to my highlight titled rails report membership, for example. And they'll click through the highlight from whatever I'm pointing them to. And then the nice thing about highlights is obviously you can have links in there. So that's an easier sell than to send them to the Lincoln bio and have them like have to sift through your sales page. Because you know that they're interested at that point, they might not be ready to take that action, but sending them to the highlight where they can see like previous testimonials you've shared maybe or the link to the sales page, or maybe you've done a video showing them a walkthrough and sign them there that can be kind of the next step to get them to finally get over that sales page.
Sara: That's a really great point. Are there any kind of rules that you would love to see business owners embrace more?
Laura: I mean, there's so many I'd love to see people making trends their own, I think a lot of businesses are scared to hop on trends, because they don't know how to apply them to their business. Or they you know, won't even apply them to a bit their business. They feel like there's that FOMO or I'm missing a trend. So they'll hop on a trend that really isn't aligned for them. So like being aware that there's so like, there will always be a new trend last week, even I had trend FOMO. And so if there's a trend, and I want to record it, but I'm busy, and you have to let that go. Sometimes there will be trend FOMO and you're like to trend I really want to do but I don't have time for it, it makes sense to rebrand. Let it go. There'll be a new trend like tomorrow and an hour like there's always trends. So that can be one thing I see people will you know, they'll hop on a trend and it does end up benefiting their businesses, it actually hurts their business.
Sara: So speaking of trends, would you overall say that it aligns with our business? We should try to hop on it or is there a time when it's like you know, let's say too trendy, and we should ignore it?
What are your thoughts?
Laura: I mean, for me, the rule of thumb is I don't like to do reels that have over 10,000 uses for a sound but that's because I'm in social media. So of course there's lots of people in my niche who are doing the same thing as me. Yeah, if I was in maybe like a less saturated niche or a niche where people aren't as real savvy, I would bump that number up even to like 50,000 to 75,000 uses and that would be okay to use still for me. like to use things under 10,000 uses. Yeah, like I would say, if a trend makes sense for your business, hop onto it, but not at the expense of your business. Like don't drop your bookkeeping for the day because you want to hop on a train, like stick to what matters. And, you know, keep in mind, there will always be another trend for you to hop onto.
Sara: And so speaking of that, like no, not dropping what we have to be doing, how do you recommend we do the reels? Should we be batching them? Do? You know, do we do it a couple times a week? What are your thoughts?
Laura: Yeah, I like to do my reels weekly. So back to them once a week. That means they only have to do my hair and makeup once a week, which is really nice. But I do them once a week I will do. So I have my membership. So obviously, that's like super helpful, because I just use my own prompts. And so I use those, I'll record all of my reels, it usually takes me less than an hour to record four or five. And then I know what I've got posted for the week, or what I've got planned for the week, instead of you know, trying to record something on the fly constantly. So I found that very disruptive.
Sara: For sure. Was there ever a reel that you really liked for your launch or did surprisingly well that you didn't think would win or your launches?
Laura: I did a reel for like leading to a webinar candidate as an experiment, because at this point, I wasn't pointing anywhere else to the webinar. So I didn't have an email about I didn't have a static post, I didn't have a story. All I had was the real directing people to sign up for that webinar. I think I got like two or 300 signups from that one reel, which is super impressive to me, because I didn't know how it was going to do. Because the action I wanted people to take was so specific, like they had to, you know, get off of Instagram, get to link in my bio, go on to another page, put their information and sign up for something. So I wasn't sure how it was going to do. But that one did really well. And that was a trend that I did a twist on. It was that one it was that sound. It was like me doing a stupid walk for my stupid mental health. And it was like trolling. Yeah. And then it became over on Instagram. So I ended up doing my twist on it. And I said, me showing you how to use trends for your business. And it was like me trekking through like, knee deep of snow because it was so snowy here. I remember seeing that one. You know? Yeah, it's like that one actually did really well. And I wasn't sure how I was going to do because the real itself didn't have like a like I wasn't giving them tips or tricks on how to use reels. I was just saying. It was basically a commercial, it was saying like, hey, go head over here to sign up for this thing. So it wasn't sure how it was going to do. But it did really well. I was happy with the results of that one.
Sara: It's amazing. So we're all about taking action here, Laura on the launch playbook podcast. And so could you tell us a few of your top steps we need to take to make better reels.
Laura: Yeah. So I would start with looking at your insights and looking at what content people are already responding to that can be like a confidence booster, but also give you that momentum on creating content just to get you started. I think the hardest part with reels is getting started. But once you start, they become a lot easier. So I would say starting with something that you already know is going to work for your audience. Yeah, I would say start there. Practice a lot of practice, like my first reels were really, really bad. And I'd like to think they're less bad now. So I think practice makes perfect or not perfect. But practice makes it easier. And then don't be afraid to experiment and try new things and new formats. Even I got really stuck in like a rut of just doing trends and lip syncing because it felt easy. And I was scared to do anything else. And I have sort of branching out a little bit recently, and experimenting and doing different formats. And that feels kind of fun. So don't be afraid to try new things. If it doesn't work, and it totally flopped. Like it's not a big deal. You can do a new reel tomorrow and forget about that one. So just encouraging people to not get stuck on the idea phase and to actually take it to the next level.
Sara: And what about lighting? Where does that play into it?
Laura: As well. I just recorded a reel about lighting today because this is so important. So natural lighting is the preference if you have natural lighting, but the person I just did a real for was a response real. So they had like asked a question I was responding to their question, they were saying that their lighting in their apartment is really dark. And I can relate because my last apartment, the lighting was so bad. So you know, if you feel like you don't have good lighting in your place, you can do it in your car, you can do it in your backyard and a park outside, just getting creative with where you film your reels. And I also find that that makes your real sport interesting to watch as well. If it's an unexpected setting, I also recommend a ring light I have a really great ring light I bought off of Amazon, I don't know the exact name of it. But if you go to Amazon and type in like ring light, this one has three different settings. So it can be like natural lighting, cool lighting, and then warm lighting. So you can change the settings depending on how much light you already have that you're working with. And then yeah, I use that ring light with a tripod and that makes my life a lot easier. So natural lighting, if you have it is great. But in at the end of the day, all that matters is that the quality of the video looks good and lighting is a big part of that.
Sara: So I have a question about lighting because I have to wear glasses when I'm reading and things like that. And I've always whenever I'm using the ring light you know I can see the rings and it's gonna be really self conscious and not want to post those matters if you can see the ring lights like what do you what do you think? Or is there any do you have a tip for how to avoid that?
Laura: I don't think it matters. I know like if you look at some of my older reels because my apartment was so dark you could see the ring in my eye like the reflection of it which is funny but it's all about positioning as well if you position your ring light a little bit higher and not directly facing you like if you do it in front of you and kind of up yeah, that angle should help to not get that light directly in your face so it doesn't have to be directly in front of you. I can be a little bit harsh I found even if it's angled slightly above You and to the side that can still give you the light that you need. But you're not gonna get that reflection or that glare in your glasses.
Sara: Oh, my gosh, that makes so much sense. And it makes me think I know with my ring light, there's the piece for the phone in the middle. So maybe I had like a separate tripod for it. Yeah, and the ring light and I went to be so glaring. Yeah, that would be worth experimenting with definitely thought I had to ask for all the glasses. Were out there. Because it's something that I know. So when do we know, we're ready to try, you know, transitions and get more experimental with that?
Laura: Yeah, I think once you feel comfortable with your reels, and you feel like you're ready for the next challenge, that's kind of a good place to go. And then also, you need to feel comfortable with editing because transitions require a bit of patience that regular rules don't require. So if you feel like you're good with editing, you have a good handle on your reels, that would be a great time to branch out to transitions I really like in shot, it's an app I use for my transitions or cap cut is another great one. Editing your transitions in there, I found a little bit easier than doing it directly in Instagram, but you want to make sure like I said that you feel comfortable editing and you're not gonna get super flustered and just give up.
Sara: That's helpful. Thank you, Laura, if our listeners could only walk away with one thing from this episode, what do you hope it will be?
Laura: Keep trying keep going, you're never gonna feel like your reels are perfect, you're never going to be completely happy with them. Like, I think that's a good thing, you'll maybe be 99% happy with them. And that'll be that 1% is what's going to drive you to try new things and to keep experimenting. So just keep trying, keep going. Even if you don't get a ton of views on your reels people are still seeing them and people are still absorbing that content. And you don't know who is watching. And it's going to need that message. So just keep going. Yeah.
Sara: Oh my gosh, she gave her listeners so many great tips around how to make reels, but also really thinking about it for the launch. I love how you talked about moving them along the funnel. And the ways we can do the you know, the interest in the desire and all that is something we've talked about quite a bit on here. But never in terms of the social media content, the real content. So this is how to apply it. Yeah. Awesome. So Laura, where can our listeners find out more about you and working with you?
Laura: Yeah, so if you go to be squared dot social forward slash launch playbook. We do have a freebie there. It's a real checklist that basically guides you through what you need to think about when you're posting your reels. And then I'm over on Instagram at the square dot social.
Sara: Amazing. Thank you so much. Thanks for joining us today on the launch playbook podcast.
Thank you so much. Great to chat with you.
Thanks for tuning into the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes. You'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just a thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review on iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you
Want More Launch Inspiration in Your Headphones?