The Downsides of Instagram Reels for Creatives

jenna rainey

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The Downsides of Instagram Reels for Creatives

Business Resources

4/08/2022

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Jenna 

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Jenna 

Jenna 

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Have you dived into the world of Instagram Reels yet?

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of pros when it comes to creating and posting Reels on Instagram. I do them quite often actually! But the more I scroll through Instagram these days, it seems the more and more UNinspired I become. I miss the days of feeling excited and actually motivated creatively by Instagram. Nowadays, it almost feels like a whole circus act of pointing fingers, mouthing weird audio clips and trying to stay afloat on the content hamster wheel. 

You feel me?

The unfortunate thing is, Instagram’s biggest competitor is TikTok. Of course they want Reels to perform well, so the engagement and viewership on Reels is typically much higher than just a regular old video or IGTV. Because of that, I post Reels all the time! However, because I can’t bring myself to point and dance (no shame if you do!), I basically just create a regular video of my painting process, but do it in the Reel format instead of just a regular post or IGTV. Boom. Easy.

But, what are the downsides of Instagram Reels for Creatives? 

Time Suck

Reels are kind of a time intensive piece of content to make. There’s finding clips of videos you want, searching for the perfect audio or song, adding text and more. You’re not only the artist and maker of the thing, but you’re now a videographer and editor. If you don’t have an eye for editing video it can be even more time consuming to know how to navigate these videos and tools. That’s why I prefer keeping mine extra simple, not adding text and just making a soothing, ASMR type video. 

Content Creators instead of CREATORS

I get it. Our world is changing. Gone are the days of passing out business cards or door-to-door salesman stuff to spread the word about your work. Social media marketing is pretty important these days in order to build recognition and especially business. But I strongly believe there needs to be boundaries when it comes to how focused you are on “creating content” vs. actually just creating. I’ve been guilty of this! Feeling the need to post every single day, respond to the DMs and comments and just please the insatiable algorithm…it’s daunting! But it’s so crucial to not lose why you started creating in the first place. What’s at the center of your art and what you do? Focus on that vs. just trying to feed the Instagram gods.

Mind-Centered Work Instead of Heart-Centered

Kind of piggybacking on what I said above, creating content can totally consume your mind and shift your process as an artist from being a heart and passion focused process to “what type of content should I create today,” or “oooh this video should do really well if I post at X time,” etc. I’m not saying to completely eliminate all process of thought and understanding your analytics. I’m a HUGE fan of numbers, SEO and all things marketing. BUT if it’s all mind and no heart, you’ll find yourself in a creative rut real fast. Of course, Reels aren’t the only way this can happen, but because they are SO popular right now and it seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon (or hamster wheel), I think it’s important to be mindful of staying connected to your heart in your practice and everything you do.

Again, I don’t want it to seem like I’m saying you should never make Reels on Instagram…I do them and I think there are some great ways to create balance and not harm your creative flow! 

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  1. Colleen M says:

    I think the “time suck” and content creator vs. creator comment you make hits home. I am a great procrastinator, and I can see how Instagram can be perfect for someone who might want to avoid creating for whatever reason. Thanks for your comments. Now, there’s the truth staring at me in the face.

  2. Jossie says:

    Beautifully written! I enjoyed reading this!

  3. Kim says:

    Love what you are saying Here! And I AGREE. Art has to have Heart, and be from the inner self to be Authentic.
    Let’s keep First things, First.
    I don’t mind being Second.

  4. Crystina says:

    Really glad you are talking about this! I recently decided to take a huuuuuge break from “content” and basically not caring so I can juuuuust create. We need to hear this more!! <3

  5. Jeannine says:

    Thank you for writing this. As trying to restart my business again, the changes to Instagram and all the advice about the need for content creation just to be seen is very daunting for me as a solopreneur single mom with a special needs child to take care of. It’s been really discouraging.

    • Jenna Rainey says:

      I hear that! The platforms is continuously evolving so just do what you can and what feels right for you! Rooting you on Jeannine. xo

  6. Joanie says:

    As a new “artist” I enjoy seeing other’s work. A painting, progress photos, inspiration. A super fast reel of a painting that I can’t look at the finished product is so very frustrating to me. Just my two cents. At least watching a painting on YouTube I can pause it and look at the beautiful work.

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