Creating content for social media is one of the biggest struggles business owners face. In this blog post, I will walk you through my process of creating an Instagram post from scratch.
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This blog post will be helpful for you if you don't really know how and where to start when it comes to social media posting. But even if you have done posts before it can help you to streamline your process and identify any few gaps you could fill.
The process that I'm about to show you is how I post for myself and also for my clients, so this is a proven process. That being said, you might need to tweak a few steps or do them in a different order than I do because it always depends on how your brain works and what's easiest for you. I always want you to try and see if something works for YOU. If it does, great! If it doesn't, no problem. I would hate to know that you are doing something that doesn't work for you just because I recommended it.
1) Define a goal for your post and decide how it fits in with your overall strategy:
A very common mistake is that business owners just post whatever they feel like posting, without thinking about what the goal of the post is and what value lies in the post for their audience. The result of that are posts that don't provide a lot of value and don't have an impact on their business's bottom lines.
A few examples of what your post's goal could be:
Promoting a lead magnet or freebie
Driving traffic to a new blog post
Driving traffic to a website
Having followers send a DM
Encouraging followers to engage with the post
Increasing your following
For this blog post, let's use the example that I want to promote my new blog post about the 3 tips to make meal prepping easier. The goal of the post is to drive traffic to my blog. The value to my audience is help with meal prepping.
2) Determine WHEN you are going to post:
You could also do this step first if you prefer to first decide how often and when you are going to post and then find topics for your posts. I personally always come up with a goal first and then decide when it would best fit into my content calendar.
For this step, it's crucial that you have a good content calendar set up. This will help you avoid forgetting any important dates or missing out on promoting any new blog posts/podcast episodes/YouTube videos etc. If you don't currently have a content calendar that works for you or you don't have one at all, I can recommend my new mini-course that I created exclusively for Teachable's Creator Starter Pack.
The goal of this mini-course is to guide you through the process of setting up your content calendar from scratch. You will also learn what should go into a good content calendar and how to keep it organised. The course cannot be purchased separately because it's part of the membership that gets continuously updated with materials from experts in their various industries. If you're interested in learning more, click here.
Back to our example:
Ideally, at the beginning of the month, you would have identified all important dates that need to go into the calendar. Now, you would see that this week, a new blog post is coming out and you could decide to make the post about that.
3) Identify WHAT your post is going to be about:
You could think of the "what" as a working title or topic.
For our example:
We could decide that this particular post will be including one of the 3 tips and we’ll also include a CTA (= Call-To-Action) that encourages the followers to read the full blog post if they want to see the remaining 2 tips.
4) Decide on the format:
By format I mean whether you are going to film a Reel, create a carousel post, just do a single post, or maybe you even create a set of stories. Each of these formats work well for different stages of the funnel and for different topics. This is something that I coach you on in the Profitable Instagram Academy, so I won't go into too much detail right here, but what I would like you to do is brainstorm different ways on how you could do this post.
For our example:
You could do a Reel that you start with a sentence like: “Want to start meal prepping? Here’s a tip for you!”. You can then go on talk about the tip and at the end, you could say "Need more meal prepping tips? Check out my latest blog post!”. There are lots of different options that you can choose from.
5) Make the content:
Depending on the format that you have chosen, this will involve different things but it can either be designing a graphic, taking photos, or filming videos.
When it comes to designing a graphic, you could use Canva or any other design tool that you know your way around. If you chose a photo, you can either take that with your phone or camera or use professional photos of your products/yourself from a photo shoot.
When it comes to filming videos, especially "talking head videos", write a short script for yourself so that you don't forget what you wanted to say and more importantly, so you don't ramble on about things that aren't relevant. Once you have the script ready you can film your video and upload it to your computer where you are going to edit it.
For our example:
We would first write a short script and then film our video. Ideally, we wouldn't film everything in one take but record different "scenes" that we then cut together. This helps to keep things more interesting for the viewer.
You only need to edit if you choose a photo or video as the format of your post. For a video, you would cut out any filler words and add closed captions. For a photo, you could enhance it with a tool like Photoshop or Lightroom.
For our example:
Once our video is filmed, we would then edit it in our editor of choice. I love using CapCut on my desktop or phone but if you already have a Canva subscription, you could also use that.
7) Write your caption:
Some people prefer to first write their caption and then put together the rest of the content but I personally prefer to do it this way.
When it comes to writing your caption you should always make sure that you have the three main components checked:
There should always be a captivating hook that encourages your readers to read the rest of your caption. This could be something like a provoking statement or a question.
Then you have the main body of your caption where you could talk about some tips or an experience. This is where the main value of your post lies (unless it's already in the rest of the post and you only write a very short caption)
And lastly, there should always be a CTA (= Call-To-Action) in your caption as well. It doesn't necessarily have to be "salesy". It can also just be a question for your audience or an encouragement to save this post.
For our example:
Since the main value (= our tip) is already in the video, I would keep the caption short.
8) Select your hashtags:
I like to do this just before I post because your hashtags should always be hyper-relevant to that specific piece of content and your account in general. I use a tool called Flick for this which saves all of my hashtags into different folders and makes it easier for me to find relevant ones. It also suggests new fitting hashtags for me.
For our example:
We could choose up to 30 hashtags that are relevant to meal prepping. For example: #mealprep #dinnerprep #lunchprep #prepping #healthyrecipes ....
9) Post your content or schedule it:
Our final step: posting the content or scheduling it to go out automatically. You can do this with Facebook Creator Studio or any other scheduling platform that works for you.
10 ) BONUS: Share your post to your stories & engage
This step is optional. I'm not the biggest fan of sharing each and every one of your posts to your stories because this can be a bit boring for your audience after a while and might not provide that much extra value to them.
If you do post it to your stories, please don't hide it behind a sticker because I can guarantee you that 90% of your audience will not bother clicking on it if they don't know what your post is about. This little "hack" is outdated advice and could be one of the reasons why your story views are low. I would recommend sharing it to your stories and saying something about it instead of just putting the post up without any context.
And that's it! That's how you come up with a post from scratch.