Let's talk about how to take your videos to the next level with these tips and tricks for shooting Instagram videos.

the set up:

  • Use Your Phone: The audio & video quality on your iPhone is great for filming.
  • Mind Your Surroundings: Make sure you are in a quiet place, with a non-distracting background. If you are planning a series, using the same background will help viewers start to recognize you and can help build a consistent viewership. Use whatever you have to make it a cozy space – avoid anything cluttered that can take the viewer’s eye off of you. 
  • Use a tri-pod: Keep the camera steady at all times. I use a tripod like this one – it also has a remote control so you can start / stop filming remotely.
  • Mind Your Lighting: you want the lighting coming from above you. This gives it a more professional feel. Avoid casting awkward shadows, and make sure your face is clear. You want it feel like you’re taking to a friend, and not some shadowy internet creature. Something like this is great, you’ll want to play around with the brightness / temperature until you get the look you are going for. If you’re filming near a window, make sure the sun won’t move directly into the window while you’re filming. 

the logistics

  • Check Your Settings: On your phone, go into Settings —> Camera. You can choose the frame rate. I recommend 1080 at 30fps (usually the default). This is a clear picture, good quality but won’t take up the maximum amount of space. I also recommend turning the grid on – this helps you center yourself in the frame.
  • Lock your screen lightingOnce in the Camera app, tap on the screen to adjust the lighting. Once you’re happy with it, hold. You’ll see “AE/AF LOCK” appear on your screen. AE/AF LOCK stands for auto exposure/autofocus lock. This will stop the lighting from changing as you film.
  • Do a test run: See how the video and audio look and sound. How’s the lighting? How’s the audio? Do you need a mic?
  • Film vertical for IG: it will crop slightly for the preview in feed so make sure you leave a good amount of room to add text / logo that won’t be cropped out. Check out a few videos to see what works well.

bonus tips

  • Mind your Time Length:  Video for your feed is capped at 60 seconds. IG TV videos can be 60 seconds – 10 minutes. Stories are sequences of up to 15 second clips, and Reels can be up to 30 seconds. 
  • Captions: Many people watch with the sound off so depending on your content, you may need to add captions. IG is supposed to roll out a captioning feature this year – in the meantime, there are third party programs that allow you to add captions / subtitles. 
  • Don’t zoom when filming. If you need to get closer, move the camera or move yourself. This will impact the resolution and make your finished product pixelated.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode while filming. This will stop it from buzzing with alerts or interrupting filming for a call. Do Not Disturb also works.
  • Tie it back to what you want viewers to do – include a pitch for your upcoming book, invite them to subscribe to your email list, book you for speaking gigs, etc. Give the viewer value but don’t be afraid to take it next level. If they’re watching until the end of your video, they like you enough they’ll want to continue learning more. 

Which IG Video Style is Right For You?

IG TV Videos

The longest of the three, IG TV videos appear in the feed for 60 seconds, giving the viewer the option to continue watching. You can film up to 10 minutes of content with most accounts. You’ll want a strong opening to hook the viewer into watching the duration of the video.  

IG Reels

Set to music or audio, these are fast, fun and addicting. You want them to be short & sweet, and show off your business personality. Great for giving quick tips or highly visual content. 

IG Stories

Stories are up for 24 hours* and each clip can be up to 15 seconds long. It’s great for time sensitive content, like behind the scenes footage or promoting an upcoming event. The best stories feel raw, natural and don’t need to be as polished as feed posts. 

*you can save selected stories to a highlight reel on your profile. 

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