If you have NO idea how to use Instagram reels to promote your handmade business, or you just want to learn more about them, don’t miss this episode!

I’m chatting with Kar Brulhart, who teaches entrepreneurs, creators, startups and influencers how to plan strategic content to convert followers into loyal customers, create genuine community, and navigate the often-changing world of algorithms.

She’s worked 1:1 with more than 150 entrepreneurs and has grown her own Instagram account from 0 to 45,000 building a 6+ figure business in less than 10 months organically.

With over 7 years experience in social, she’s created global social media campaigns for Apple, the United Nations, Michael Kors, and Google among others.

Kar knows her stuff, and she’s great fun, too! I hope you enjoy this one… (P.S. there’s a discount code for Kar’s course at the end of the shownotes below.)

You can listen to this episode below, or on your fave podcasting app!

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Highlights from this episode:

  • Kar spoke of how she came to work in social media, having originally started out as a tax accountant, before working in marketing for the United Nations on the World Food Program social media app Share the Meal. She then moved to New York and worked on her own ecommerce store, using Instagram to market her products. Kar worked for other companies until Covid-19 hit and she lost her job. She was then 9 months pregnant so took some time to figure out her skill set and what she wanted to do, and organically began helping others with social media management. 
  • “It has been so exciting to see that not only do my strategies work for my account, but they work across industries and across niches, not just for influencers but for makers, creators, and product-based businesses {Kar}.
  • Kar discussed why she chose to focus on Instagram Reels, as this was the surface that allowed her to grow her business so quickly. Kar went from 0 to 45,000 followers in 12 months and 75% of these have come from Reels.
  • Kar noted that posting the same material on both Instagram and TikTok does not work well, but recommended creators to have a TikTok account and use it for researching trending hashtags, trending sounds etc. This can help you find niches that may fit in with your area, or you can even follow other niches and see how they use video in different and creative ways.
  • “To get started, don’t get overwhelmed. Go and watch those videos and as you’re watching them, start saving or liking the ones that kind of resound with you or trigger an idea” {Kar}.
  • Captioning was discussed and it was suggested that text should only be used in an entertaining way, and in a way that adds value and movement to your Reel and keeps the viewer watching longer. Use text as supplementary and have it only pop up once in a while, or at the end of the video. For example, tell viewers to see the caption for more information and this is where you have all the additional details that will also help Instagram properly index your video.
  • Instagram is not just about aesthetics anymore, branding as a whole is also important. Kar suggested choosing three to five colours and two fonts maximum, and use these consistently so that viewers associate you with that brand. This is where Reels Covers come in, as you can choose a branded cover and this adds context to what the viewer is about to watch. 
  • Jess and Kar discussed the competitive nature of Instagram and the need for ‘hooks’, lines of text or catch phrases that appear on your reel and bring people into your video. For example, ‘Five ways to grow your Instagram’. You should also be sure to keep your video short to hold people’s attention, and use trending audio.
  • Kar outlined the best way to use trending audio. Start by switching from a business account to a creator account (unless you are a not-for-profit and require the fundraising options), as this allows you full access to the music library. If you need the music library and the business account, you can achieve this by changing the category to ‘Entrepreneur’. If you don’t have the library search option, type in the title of a song in the form of a hashtag and this will bring up all the photos or videos that use this hashtag. You can then click on the Reels post that uses this song, scroll until you find the song and hit save. Kar noted that she posts trending sounds each Tuesday to save her followers time searching for these themselves.
  • Jess suggested for those people who are camera shy or not used to being in front of a camera, you don’t have to show your face in your videos. Simply record the process of making a particular product so people can see that it really is made by you and you are a real person. This resulted in a spike in interest for Jess and her products when she posted a short 50 second video on Etsy. 
  • Transitions were discussed. This is the process of moving from one frame to the next, for example, a snap of the fingers and the video has moved to the next frame. These are more advanced, but they do often result in higher views. A good alternative for makers is to use stop motion instead of transitions.
  • Kar can be found on Instagram, @Karbrulhart, or at kbbrandmarketing.com for more information on her Reels Course. 
  • You can add the code CREATETHRIVE to take $100 off Kar’s power of reels course!

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