You might have heard that Instagram is “no longer just a square photo-sharing app,” as announced by Instagram’s founder, Adam Mosseri. Kathy, owner of Pineapple on Main, shared this announcement in the Master Shopkeepers group. And it sparked lots of discussions, particularly about how scary it can be to show up on video for your store.
Some Tough Love to Inspire You: Why You Should Show Up on Video
Karen, owner of Alluv Place, shared some inspiring tough love and a little nudge for the other retailers in the group. She commented the following on this topic:
“Ok, I am going to be the tough love in the room. I have been doing video for about 8 years. It’s hard, and I don’t usually love it. But it gets easier actually stepping in front of it and doing it the more you do it.
It truly is a muscle you have to strengthen every week. Every week. Let me say this again. EVERY WEEK. If you are not going live, doing a reel, a Tiktok, some connection on video, every week, you are not fully serving your customers.
Your customers want to know you, your staff, your story. You cannot convey your ‘you’ through pictures alone.
The know, like, and trust factor is far easier to get across through video.
Like it or not, social media favors the video. Download your live, edit it, and repurpose it for a story, a Pinterest story, a YouTube video. Hire a college kid to edit if you don’t want to do this.
But DO THIS AND DO IT NOW.
Remember, this is not about you. Truly it is not. This is about how to serve your customers. Get out of your head, what you think others think of you as you stammer through the first few times on video. What people may think of you is none of your business.
Your business is to serve your customers. And video is the next best way to serve next to in person. So go turn on that camera and put your face in it and start talking.”
8 Tips to Getting Started With Video
It’s understandable that video is intimidating for independent retailers. But as Karen’s comment shows us, it’s the best way to improve your connection with customers and gain new customers, too.
That’s why it’s so important to start showing up on video for your business ASAP. Here are eight tips to help you start:
#1. It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect.
Plenty of the videos I’ve shared to promote my store haven’t been perfect. But I’ll tell you a secret: I still published them, they still got a lot of views, and we still got an influx of customers coming in. It all works out. And remember, published is better than perfect.
#2. You Don’t Have to Appear on Video Every Time (Or At All!).
There are so many engaging video ideas that don’t require a camera pointed at your face.
Whether you film a behind-the-scenes of you working, a tutorial, or just add movement to a post with Canva, there are options! You can even create reels without showing your face on camera. Or, you can get creative with repurposing video from a live workshop or event at your store.
#3. You Don’t Need Any Fancy Equipment.
Take your phone out, prop it up against one of your displays, and press record. You’re on your way!
If you want to invest in equipment like a ring light or tripod, here’s my favorite from Amazon (affiliate link).
#4. You Don’t Have to Go Live.
It is a-okay to record, edit, and then publish your videos rather than going live.
I like to record on my iPhone, then edit in iMovie right on my phone. I didn’t need to watch a tutorial, but there are many tutorials on Youtube if you need some guidance (here’s a great one from Podia).
The benefit of recording your content in advance is the option to re-record if you don’t like it. I’ve done that many times for various projects for Savvy Shopkeeper, including our new Youtube channel.
#5. Consider Repurposing Your Content.
If you make one longer video, maybe you can turn it into five bite-sized videos. Or, you could send out a written version of the video to your email list. Or, you could repurpose a quote from the video into an Instagram post. Any way you do it, you’ll get more bang for your content buck by repurposing.
#6. Stop Thinking it Can’t Be Fun!
Even if the idea of recording makes you sweat (it does for me!), you can choose to have fun with video. Instagram reels are an especially fun way to create content for your shop.
Karen, who gave us the tough love above, creates fabulous reels for her shop, Alluv Place. Be sure to follow her shop on Instagram for ideas. And Kathy of Pineapple on Main has excellent examples of live videos that she has saved to her IGTV section on her shop’s Instagram page!
#7. Get Inspired By Other Accounts.
There are two above that you should check out. I also recommend creating a TikTok account, as there are SO MANY creative, talented, and funny creators to get inspired by!
Whenever you see a video idea that could work for your business, jot it down. You can even save the sound from the video so you can reference it later. Starting an ideas list doesn’t mean you have to record right away, but having that list to refer to when you want to record will be helpful.
#8. Take Steps to Make Video a Habit for Your Business.
Video isn’t going anywhere, and it’s one of the best ways to connect with your potential customers. It’s time to start flexing your video muscle and building the habit!
For some shopkeepers, it helps to have a weekly feature, like going live on Instagram or creating a new reel. You could have a Feature Friday where you share three new items in your shop, for example.
Long Story Short: Video Isn’t Going Anywhere
Video is clearly here to stay. On the Savvy Shopkeeper Retail Podcast, I’ve had at least six episodes that mention the importance of using video to promote your small business! If you want to learn more about why and how you should be using video, check out the resources listed below.
- Instagram’s recent video announcement
- Ep. 38: Shopkeeper Stories with Kathy of Pineapple on Main
- Ep. 36: Shopkeeper Stories with Karen of Alluv Place
- Reels that Karen has created for her shop, Alluv Place
- Ep. 3: An Instagram Blueprint for Shopkeepers
- Ep. 13: What Worked for Independent Retailers in 2019
- Ep. 23: Get Creative With Selling Online! (Coronavirus Episode)
- Ep. 45: Instagram Reels for Retailers
- Ep. 52: 2021 Retail Trends (social selling)
- Ep. 60: What Made 2020 Successful for Independent Retailers
- Plann’s article about using video to promote small businesses on social media
- Podcast Sponsor: Honeycomb Credit
- Podcast Sponsor: Tundra
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*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links or referral codes, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link or using the code. I make recommendations because I genuinely believe they are useful to shopkeepers. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
- [01:04] Shopkeeper Shoutout
- [05:41] Some Tough Love to Inspire You: Why You Should Show Up on Video
- [09:09] 8 Tips to Getting Started With Video
- [16:28] Long Story Short: Video Isn’t Going Anywhere