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Tips on Creating Reels or Shorts Without Being on Camera

instagram video reels and shorts videos tips on video content video marketing video marketing strategy Dec 15, 2023
Tips on Creating Reels or Shorts Without Being on Camera

If you’re already using Instagram, TikTok, or both to promote your design business, you know it’s sometimes good to create short videos where you appear on camera. If current and potential customers can see your face, it personalizes your business and encourages people to connect with you.

However, everyone has days when they don’t want to be filmed. Maybe you’re sick with a cold, dealing with a breakout, or just not in the mood to be on camera. (If you feel like this all the time, though, it might be worth exploring why you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera.)

Sticking to a consistent posting schedule is essential if you want to grow your business. Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to create relevant, meaningful reels you don’t have to appear in at all.


19 Creative Ideas for Reels (That Don’t Require You to Be on Camera)

Wondering how to create reels that your audience will love? Check out these ideas for social media content creation that doesn’t involve showing your face.


1. Workspace or Office Tour

One of the main reasons social media is so popular is because it lets followers get a glimpse into other people’s lives. Of course, your business social media accounts shouldn’t be overly personal. But giving followers a little behind-the-scenes glance — like a quick video tour of your workspace — adds just enough of a personal touch to really pique their interest.

This kind of reel is also extremely easy to film. You can just do a quick walkthrough of your office or workspace. If you want, you can narrate as you go, but you can also just set the tour to music.


2. Time Lapse of a Project or Job

Time-lapse videos are fun to watch — so much so that they’ll even intrigue people who may not have a particularly strong interest in interior design.

These kinds of videos aren’t difficult to make. There are plenty of tools out there to help you convert almost any video into a time-lapse. You can even hold your phone in your hand while filming to create a time-lapse from your point of view. Some tools have a built-in stabilization function that gets rid of any shakiness.


3. Stop-Motion Tutorial

If you’re learning how to create reels, knowing how to make a tutorial video is absolutely essential. However, you don’t have to film yourself showing your audience how to do something to make it a tutorial.

A stop-motion reel is short, artistic, and to the point. You might consider making a stop-motion video showing people how to style a particular area of their homes. For instance, you could create a quick stop-motion reel illustrating a few ideas for sprucing up the end of a hallway.

Rather than film yourself designing the space, you could splice together footage so it looks like a small table appears at the end of the hall, a vase suddenly appears on the table, etc.


4. Favorite Products or Haul

Wondering how to create a reel on Facebook that will really draw viewers in? It’s always fun to show off new purchases, but you can also create an engaging short video showing off some of the most important tools or products you use. Add engaging music and maybe a text overlay, and you have an attention-grabbing video that’s surprisingly easy to make!


5. Share a Process

As a creative person, you might enjoy learning about other people’s creative processes. Similarly, your audience (especially if most of your audience members are also designers) might enjoy getting a glimpse into how you strategize for and execute each project you take on.

That being said, your creative process is a pretty big thing to tackle in a single short video. Feel free to share another, simpler process instead. For instance, you might film your hands as you hold up different paint chips and talk briefly about how you select the right paint color for a room.


6. How It Started vs. How It’s Going

One great way to keep your personal brand relevant is to jump on emerging trends. For instance, the “how it started vs. how it’s going” trend became popular in 2020, with countless people (and businesses) illustrating various types of progress with before and after photos.

That isn’t to say you can’t create a reel based on a past trend. Although social media video trends move quickly, they last for several years in our collective consciousness.


7. Product or Space Zoom In/Zoom Out

You want the reels or short videos you film to be dynamic and interesting. Quickly zooming in on a product (or a space you’ve designed) and then zooming out again is an attention-grabbing move. It’s also not hard to do, so this is a great option if you’re just learning how to create reels.


8. Day in the Life

Creating a reel is a lot different from creating a YouTube video. Reels are short, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a story arc! Try assembling a series of short clips into a “day in the life” montage, or keep it simple and focus on a specific time.

For example, you might create a short video highlighting what you do when you’re in your office and take a break for lunch. It doesn’t have to be complex — even a quick pan around the room that ends on your desk can be enough.


9. What’s in My Bag

The “what’s in my bag” trend has been featured in several think pieces. Whether you like to ponder the subtextual meaning of the trend or just think it’s fun, posting a video like this is a great way to help followers get to know you.

If you’ve seen any of the countless “what’s in my bag” videos out there, you know that absurd items are a great way to catch people’s attention and make them laugh. You’ll want to make sure the contents you show are largely related to your work but don’t be afraid to include something cute or funny, too!

On a side note, if you do want to get a little bolder in front of the camera, filming short, low-stakes reels like this one can help you warm up to it a bit.


10. Product Packaging

If you create and sell individual products, you’ve undoubtedly put a huge amount of work into the aesthetic of the packaging. A simple video of the packaged product (under good lighting, of course) can be a great way to promote the product and your business as a whole.


11. Tutorial With Voiceover

The interior design business really lends itself to tutorials. Sometimes, you might want to film yourself as you show your viewers how to do something. But in many cases, just adding a voiceover is enough.

If you want to keep things more down-to-earth and authentic, you can just narrate the tutorial while you film. For a result that’s a bit more polished, you can always film the tutorial first and then add your voiceover later.


12. Meme

You might picture memes as still pictures. They usually are, but you can also effectively take GIF memes, customize them, and create reels in a matter of minutes or seconds. Figuring out how to create reels from memes might seem like a challenge, but there are plenty of tools out there (like Canva) that make it fairly quick.


13. Instagram vs. Reality

Social media is full of artifice. Influencers and ordinary people realize this, and “Instagram vs. reality” posts highlight just how different posts can be from the actual person or item photographed


14. Sync Photos With Music

Gathering tips for creating reels is a great place to start if you’re just figuring out how to use social media videos for your business. But many of the guides out there don’t mention the fact that you don’t always have to have actual video footage. If you have a lot of photos to share with your audience, you can sync them to music like an old-school slideshow. You can even add captions if you wish!


15. Cleaning Videos

There’s something oddly soothing — even hypnotic — about cleaning videos. Usually, they start with a messy beginning — like a disorganized desk — and then time-lapse forward to show viewers the beautifully clean end.

You don’t run a cleaning business, but you can still take advantage of the hype. If you have a room or an item that needs to be cleaned, get out your phone and make it a reel!


16. Write Down an Idea

If you’ve just learned how to create a reel on Instagram, you probably want to practice with some simpler ideas. There’s a learning curve when it comes to filming and editing.

This unusual reel idea combines the classic with the modern. All you need to do is write down a business or design idea (by hand) and film yourself doing it. It might sound strange or boring, but with high-quality footage, it really grabs attention.


17. Unbox a Product

Unboxing videos have been around since the early days of YouTube. You can still find lots of them there, but unboxing reels and shorts have proliferated across social media.
If you’ve just purchased anything related to your work, try filming an unboxing video. Some people choose to appear in these types of videos, but you can also film from your own POV, so viewers will just see your hands opening the product.


18. Show Off Your Collection

People have been showing off their collections (of almost anything) for thousands of years. It makes sense that people continue to do so on social media. This reel idea might feel more like one for your personal social media, but if you have a collection that’s at least vaguely work-related, it’s worth filming.


19. Educate With Text Over Video

You might not always include text in your videos. But if you do, you make your reels more accessible to people with hearing difficulties. You also make it easier for anyone who might be watching your videos in an environment where they can’t turn on the volume.

Because the text is the focus here, the video itself doesn’t have to be anything special. Even B-roll footage that’s vaguely related to interior design will work.



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