How to Make Reels on Instagram like a Pro

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Video content is the new big thing. It can boost your brand and get more of your content out there! Instagram Reels is just one way to do this. But how do you make Reels on Instagram? It’s simpler than you think!

Instagram Reels are similar to it’s rival, TikTok, where you can record and edit 15-60 second clips, and add music, text, and effects to your creations.

Once your video is live, you can share it to your Stories, publish it on your Reels tab on your profile, and let Instagram push it into the Explore feed. 

Why is it beneficial to use Reels? First of all, it’s a way to grow your following without having to use ads. Especially if your Reel is pushed to the Explore tab. 

It is also a way to shop for products, as creators are using Reels as a way to promote and demonstrate products in a video format. 

Finally, it’s a way to gain more engaged followers. The algorithm shows you Reels based on you interests, so this is a powerful way to get your content in front of potential leads. 

Reels are a huge advantage to get your content seen and you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity! Get started creating your own Reels with our detailed steps.

how to make instagram reels

Want to add still photos to a Reel but not sure how to do that?

We will walk you through how to take images from your camera gallery and turn it into a Reel. 

The first option for creating a Reel from photos in your gallery is to pull an image directly. To do this you will go to Reels on Instagram. 

Select your gallery and find the image you are wanting to use. 

Then, you can adjust the length of the video using the still photo, and add it to the reel. 

You can add in more images at this point as well, and even select multiple images at a time. 

After choosing your images, you can add in text, music and any audio. 

This will turn your still photo from your gallery into an Instagram Reel. 

Use Instagram stories to pull an image

To use a still photo and turn it into video format, you can use Instagram story to do so. To do this, you need to select your image and add a music sticker. 

Try to move the music sticker so that it is out of view. Choose any song, as it doesn’t matter the song since you won’t be using it. 

Be sure to also choose the smallest design as you don’t want to be able to see the sticker. Drag the sticker to the edge of the image so it is hidden. 

Then download the image, which will turn it into video format.

You can then easily upload it to Reels as a video, and add any effects and text.

Add effects to still photos

Another way of turning a still photo into an Instagram Reel is by adding effects to the photo. You can do this by first adding the image you’d like to use. 

Then, choose effects and select an animated filter. This will turn your image into a video format once you download it.

Download the image with effects and then you can upload it as a Reel. 

Screen recording of photos

A final way of turning a still photo into an Instagram Reel is by taking a screen recording of your image. Use the function that is available on both iPhone and Android to start a screen recording while you are on the selected image.

This will result in a video of your desired image to upload to Reels. 

How to Make Reels on Instagram on iPhone Step by Step

Creating a Reel on Instagram with an iPhone is simple and possible for anyone to do! Here are the basic steps to creating a Reel. 

  1. Open up the Instagram app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Click the “+” sign at the top right corner to open the Camera, and navigate over to Reels from the bottom menu. 
  3. Here it will open up the Reels camera. From here you can either record your own video, or upload an existing video. 
  4. On the left-hand side, you will see different options to choose from to edit your Reel. 
    1. Audio: This tool provides access to all the music available on Instagram. It will suggest songs for you, or you can browse for a specific song. 
    2. Video Length: if you are recording your Reel, you can choose the length you would like the video to be from 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds. 
    3. Speed: Choose the speed of your video from 5 different options.
    4. Effects: Here is where you can choose from specific filters to use for your Reels and find out what is currently trending.
    5. Touch Up: Use the bar to add as much touch-up to your video as you’d like.
    6. Layout: Here’s where you can add multiple videos and have them side-by-side or on top of each other. 
    7. Timer: Use a timer to help you count down to the video starting and give you a heads-up when you reach the full length.
  5. After your video is recorded, you can add text, emojis, or stickers to the video. 
  6. Click the arrow at the bottom right to continue to the next step, where you will enter a caption, choose a cover photo, and tag people.
  7. Then you can go ahead and share your Reel!

How to Make Reels on Instagram Android Step by Step

Making Reels on Android will basically look the same, as the app for both types of devices looks the same. 

The only difference you may notice is the quality of the images and videos might be slightly better on iPhone. 

So here are the steps to making a Reel on Instagram on Android.

  1. Open up the Instagram app on your Android phone. 
  2. Click the “+” sign at the top right corner to open the Camera, and navigate over to Reels from the bottom menu. 
  3. Here it will open up the Reels camera. From here you can either record your own video, or upload an existing video. 
  4. On the left-hand side, you will see different options to choose from to edit your Reel.
    1. Audio: This tool provides access to all the music available on Instagram. It will suggest songs for you, or you can browse for a specific song. 
    2. Video Length: if you are recording your Reel, you can choose the length you would like the video to be from 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds. 
    3. Speed: Choose the speed of your video from 5 different options.
    4. Effects: Here is where you can choose from specific filters to use for your Reels and find out what is currently trending.
    5. Touch Up: Use the bar to add as much touch-up to your video as you’d like.
    6. Layout: Here’s where you can add multiple videos and have them side-by-side or on top of each other. 
    7. Timer: Use a timer to help you count down to the video starting and give you a heads-up when you reach the full length.
  5. After your video is recorded, you can add text, emojis, or stickers to the video.
  6. Click the arrow at the bottom right to continue to the next step, where you will enter a caption, choose a cover photo, and tag people.
  7. Then you can go ahead and share your Reel!

How to Make Reels on Instagram with Effects

Scrolling through Instagram and see an effect that you like? There’s a way to do that and use it for your own Reel. 

First, when you see a Reel you like, tap the effect icon. Now you will be able to see all the Reels that use that effect. 

Next, you can send this effect to someone if you’d like by tapping the messenger icon. Or, you can use the effect right away by tapping “Use Effect.”

You can also save a filter for later by tapping the save icon. To find your saved effects, you just select the Effects icon when you’re in Reels.

Swipe all the way over to the search icon, and you can search here for other effects or tap “Saved” to see the ones you’ve saved.

Now you are able to find, save and use any effect that you’d like!

How to Make Reels on Instagram with Music

Adding music to your Reel is important for staying trendy and gaining traction on the platform. So how do you find the right music and add it to your Reel?

We’ll answer those questions for you!

Finding trending music is not only great for engagement, but will help you build the theme of your Reel around the song. 

There are many songs on Reels that accompany a specific dance or content theme, and by jumping on these trends early you can expand the reach of your Reel. 

Here’s some ideas of where to find trending music: 

  • The Explore page: Usually this is the best spot to find what is currently trending, which may include some Reels with trending audios
  • Scroll through Reels: Swipe through videos and notice what seems to be popular right now and take advantage of this!
  • Look for the arrow symbol: You can actually see which songs are on the rise by seeing an arrow pointing up and to the right next to the song name.
  • Browse Instagram’s music selection: Usually there is music recommended for you, which can sometimes include trending music. 
  • Check out TikTok: This is where a lot of trending music is born, so it’s worth it to check it out, including the trending page. 
  • Look at trending Reels and Tiktok playlists on Spotify: Another great way to find trending music is heading to Spotify, as they have dedicated playlists just for these trending audios!

How to add music to your Reels

After you open Instagram and are ready to upload your Reel or film your video, it’s time to add the music. Tap the music note to open up all the audio options. 

Tap the “Saved” icon to view sounds you’ve added to your collection. You can browse songs that are trending, or view songs that are recommended for you. 

Use the search bar to look for a particular song or artist. 

Once you find the right song, you can tap on it. Slide the bar at the bottom to find which part of the song you’d like to use for your video. 

There’s a pink dot that indicates the most popular segment of the song, and the lyrics will show to help you find the best snippet. 

Once you’re happy with the selection, tap “Done” and you’ve add the music to your Reel successfully!

How to save music from other Reels

If you have no saved music in your folder, here’s how you can change that! Go to the Explore page or to any specific Reel you like. 

Once you find one you want to use, tap on the audio file at the bottom of your screen. The audio page will pop up and you can save it by tapping the “Save” icon in the top right hand side of the screen.

How to get full access to audios

Don’t have the full catalog of music since you have a Business account? There’s a hack for that! If you change your account to “entrepreneur”, this will give you access to all of the available music. 

To do this, you go into “Edit profile.” Scroll down to your account type, and select “Category”. Type in Entrepreneur and click the green check mark to save it. YOu can also have it hidden from your profile if you’d like. 

This will give you full access to all of the music on Instagram for Reels!

How to Watch Instagram Reels

Want to watch some Instagram Reels for inspiration? The first way to do so is by opening up your Instagram app, and clicking on the middle Play button in the bottom menu. 

This will automatically start playing a Reel, and you can continue to swipe through videos.

You will also see Reels while scrolling through your main feed, although they will not be full-sized. Watch it in full-length by clicking the small Reels button in the bottom-left corner. 

You can also find Reels on a specific profile. Just navigate to their profile, and click the Reels tab to see all of the Reels that they've posted. 

How to Make Reels with Existing Video

To create a Reel with existing video, it is very much the same as recording a new video. Click the “+” sign at the top of your Instagram app to open your Camera and select Reels from the bottom menu. 

Then select a video from your Camera Roll from the bottom-left corner. Once you choose the video you’d like to use, you can use the scrollbar to choose which part of the video you’d like to use. 

Then you can start adding effects, music, and text. Share your Reel and start having eyes on your content right away!

Finding trending Reels on Instagram is similar to how you would find trending audios. 

First, you can start with the Explore page. This is a great spot for some of the most popular content, but also content geared towards you. 

You may find trending Reels that fit your niche, or about things you’re interested in. But often, this is the best place to start to find trending Reels. 

Next, you can actually scroll through Reels where you’ll have a mix of trending videos, and some that are less popular. This can take time to scroll through to find what’s actually trending, but you will see a wider range of videos.

Another great way to find what’s trending on Reels is to actually start looking on TikTok. This is where trends tend to start, so you can really see what is popular by starting on this platform. Creating content around what is trending is the best way to boost engagement for your Instagram account.

A final way to find trending Reels is by simply following popular content creators and seeing their Reels pop up on your news feed. These creators may be up-to-date on trends and you can see what is currently trending by watching their Reels. 

Download Reels from Instagram

Want to download a Reel on Instagram? This feature is actually not available on the app, as you can’t download a Reel that you upload with audio and you can’t download a Reel someone else posted either. 

A way to get around this is to use a third-party app like SnapInsta to download your Reels. To do this you first will need to download the app to your device. 

Then go to the Reel that you would like to download and copy the link to the video. 

Take that link and paste it into SnapInsta and hit download. This will give you a download of the exact Reel from Instagram!

How to use Instagram Reels for Etsy Marketing

Reels are a great way to market your Etsy products and increase your brand exposure to potential buyers.

Things you can do to highlight your product are:

  • Create an unpacking video to show your customers what they can expect when receiving your product
  • Show the customer how to print out your printable product after they download it
  • Demonstrate your product being used
  • Show reviews of your products by filming yourself scrolling through the reviews of your Etsy shop
  • Make a video of your design process
  • Make a video of your work space and how you like to work

Making videos for your customers helps them to get to know you and earn your trust as a seller. People want to buy from people that they like.

How do you post on Etsy Explore?

Etsy Explore is a new video feature, for Etsy sellers, that is currently in the beta testing stage. You have to be invited to use this feature.

This feature is similar to reels, and allows sellers to upload videos onto their Etsy seller homepage.

Reusing your Instagram Reels through Etsy Explore is a great way to repurpose already created content.

You can also reuse your content on TikTok and through Facebook Reels.

Final Thoughts

Creating Reels is currently the best way to get your content out there and be favored by the algorithm. It is something that anyone can figure out and utilize for their profile. Just take time to research and find the trending audios and videos and use this to your advantage!

Check out the Gold City Venture's Instagram page. We give tips on how to improve your Etsy printables business and highlight student's from our E-Printables Side Hustle course!

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Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina is an Etsy seller and content writer who was formerly a teacher. In her own words, "Being a mom of two girls, I work hard at growing this business and helping others grow as well so I can provide for my little family.”
Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina Waardenburg

Katrina is an Etsy seller and content writer who was formerly a teacher. In her own words, "Being a mom of two girls, I work hard at growing this business and helping others grow as well so I can provide for my little family.”

Learn how to start a business selling printables on Etsy!

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Julie Berninger and Cody Berman of Gold City Ventures have made thousands selling printables and digital downloads in their Etsy shops and on Shopify. They help others start printable businesses with their programs and templates.

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