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social media secret sauce

Social Media Secret Sauce

In need of content ideas to help you get your secret sauce for your video content creation? We’ll cover all about TikTok and video content creation with the one and only Jera Bean. She is a social media coach, content creator, and absolute powerhouse. We’ll break down not only what your secret sauce is in your content and TikTok strategy, but some really great content ideas. I want you to leave this post with tons of actionable steps for your social media strategy!

The first piece of advice

When creating video content for platforms like TikTok or Instagram, you must overcome the fear of starting and confidently take the first step. Adopt a broader perspective instead of fixating on the perfect first video post or worrying about its immediate impact. Consider your video content and overall social media presence as a cohesive representation of yourself.

Approach your video content with a strategic mindset, similar to developing a social media strategy. Personal branding is a foundational aspect that cannot be overlooked. First, identify your “why” and purpose behind creating content. Understanding your purpose will give your videos more meaning and direction. Secondly, know your target audience and ideal clients. Tailor your content to resonate with them, speaking directly to their interests and needs. Finally, establish content pillars, key themes, or topics that align with your business and expertise.

By incorporating these personal branding fundamentals, your video content will have a cohesive narrative that aligns with your business goals and connects with your audience on a deeper level. This approach takes the pressure off individual posts to perform exceptionally and focuses on building a solid and authentic online presence over time. 

Content pillars

Understanding your ideal clients helps you create content that resonates with them. To achieve this, employ content pillars to structure your messaging effectively. The first pillar revolves around your business. It allows you to showcase what your company does, its services, and how to solve your audience’s problems. This pillar serves as an introduction, laying the foundation for your content strategy.

Next is the expertise pillars. These segments let you share various aspects of your knowledge, information, facts, and valuable advice. This helps you position yourself as an authority in your field, attracting like-minded individuals to join your community. However, the most remarkable and unique pillar is the “secret sauce.” This is all about revealing your true self and authenticity. Being genuine in your content brings about a stronger connection with your audience.

Emphasizing this aspect allows your personality and individuality to shine, helping you stand out from competitors. The application of these content pillars extends to all your posts, including videos. Engaging your audience through video content becomes more effective when it aligns with these fundamental pillars.

Four types of secret sauces

Developing a personal and authentic brand identity, often called the “secret sauce,” can be a powerful tool for individuals and businesses. It involves conveying your unique personality, values, and approach to your audience, creating a lasting connection with them. However, while the concept may seem clear, translating it into action can be challenging.

To simplify the process, you can categorize the secret sauce into four distinct buckets: foundational, professional, everyday, and lighthearted secret sauce. Each bucket represents different aspects of your brand identity and content, allowing flexibility in showcasing your true self to your audience. The foundational secret sauce lays the groundwork for your brand, capturing your core values and beliefs. On the other hand, the professional secret sauce focuses on what sets you apart in your field. It highlights your unique skills, strategies, and why clients or customers would choose to work with you. It’s for those who prefer to maintain a level of privacy.

The everyday secret sauce allows you to share daily experiences and relatable moments without delving into deeply personal aspects. Meanwhile, the lighthearted secret sauce adds a touch of humor and playfulness to your content, making it more engaging and approachable. Finding the right balance between these categories depends on your preferences and target audience.

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to share their personal life on Instagram, you might lean a little bit more toward professional secret sauce. There you focus on things in your business that you do differently than everyone else, or what’s a reason why someone would want to work with you? Or what’s like a catchphrase when you’re shooting your client? It can be detailed. 

For individuals with various interests

There can be crossovers between the secret sauces. An example of a bit of crossover with her secret sauce is Jera Bean’s armpit farting. She does it all the time in her stories, and when she had a big keynote event in the past July, she brought up armpit farting, and she did that on stage when she got a question from the audience about it. She couldn’t believe she was about to armpit fart in front of three hundred people. So that is a lighthearted secret sauce category and maybe a bit more personal. So remember that there’s that crossover. These four categories allow you to incorporate them all. You can pick and choose a little bit.

Foundational secret sauce and professional secret sauce go hand in hand as well. So foundational secret sauce is a way of looking at the past. The things that have brought you where you are today. It’s the pivots, challenges, achievements, the aha moments in your journey, those shifts in your life. 

So going back to the persona of someone who doesn’t want to share their morning coffee, kids, dogs, armpit farts, or whatever it may be, you could shift to the foundational secret sauce. You can say well, I used to work at a restaurant as a server, but now I’m a photographer, or whatever your twists may be. You can turn it into content that shares your story and shows who you are. All these sauces can weave together and create that fabric of your secret sauce.

Easy steps to creating video content

Creating video content might initially seem overwhelming, especially for photographers who worry about the time and effort involved in setting up cameras and editing. However, there are ways to make the process easier and more efficient.

One valuable approach is to leverage the assets you already have. This applies to photographers and everyone seeking to create engaging content. You don’t always need to generate fresh ideas or capture new footage for every post. Take a look at your camera roll, hard drives, and computers – there’s likely plenty of existing material that can be repurposed. For instance, think of these assets as B-roll footage. Videos of you walking your dog in the park or pouring a shot of coffee can be reused creatively to complement your new content. By tapping into what you already have, you avoid the need to constantly reinvent the wheel and come up with entirely new concepts, making content creation more manageable.

Photographers have a unique advantage when it comes to short-form video content. Utilize trends that showcase your photography work effectively. For example, create summary or portfolio videos where you showcase your best shots, client work, or the evolution of your photography style. These videos can incorporate dynamic elements such as intros, music, and swift transitions between images, leaving a powerful impression on your audience.

The beauty of repurposing and leveraging existing assets lies in your audience’s inability to tell if the content is fresh or from the past. By strategically reusing content, you save time, maintain consistency, and ensure a steady flow of engaging material without exhausting yourself creatively.

Use content you already have

Creating video content doesn’t have to be daunting. By using what you already have and tapping into your photography work creatively, you can produce captivating videos without feeling overwhelmed. One thing photographers say a lot is, “Well, I’m a photographer, and I want to show my photos. Well, show your photos; there are many ways.

You can leverage existing content like videos or pictures, use popular trends, or even invent unique templates. Secondly, showcasing photos from your phone or computer can be equally impactful. By adopting these methods, photographers can maintain an engaging online presence without the pressure of always needing to shoot or create new material. This flexibility allows them to explore various avenues to effectively display their art and connect with their audience.

Managing consistency

Balancing the demands of creating consistent content while running a business can be challenging, but there are effective strategies to manage your time and energy more efficiently. First, consider your content consumption habits, particularly on platforms like TikTok. While getting lost in endless scrolling to find inspiration or trends is tempting, it can easily lead to wasting valuable hours. To prevent this, allocate dedicated time for content consumption separate from content creation. Allow yourself to have fun and explore various trends without the pressure to create something immediately. Set a time limit for content consumption to avoid getting lost in the endless scroll.

Organize it systematically to ensure you don’t miss out on the content you find inspiring. On TikTok, use the “save” feature to create collections of content that resonate with you. Similarly, you can create a save folder on Instagram to keep track of inspiring posts. By categorizing and saving the content, you can revisit it efficiently when ready to begin. This minimizes the time spent searching for ideas and maximizes the time available for actual content creation.

Moreover, remember that original content is just as valuable as following trends. While trends can attract attention, unique content that showcases your individuality will help you stand out in the long run. So, prioritize creating original pieces alongside participating in trends. Original content allows your audience to connect with your authentic self and adds depth to your online presence.

In addition to these tips, know that time management is vital. Consider scheduling specific content creation sessions in your daily or weekly routine. By setting aside designated blocks of time, you can focus solely on content creation without letting it consume every moment of your day. Time management helps you balance creating engaging content and managing your business responsibilities effectively.

Safe and stretch goals

One valuable concept applicable to video content and social media is setting safe and stretch goals for your posting consistency. Many people commit to posting every day for a week, only to feel overwhelmed and eventually stop altogether. To avoid this, be kinder to yourself and set achievable expectations. Consider establishing a stretch goal, such as posting five times a week on reels, but recognize that this may be pretty demanding. Aim for a lower frequency that you can comfortably maintain for a safer goal. Allowing flexibility within this range will enable you to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with your posting efforts.

This approach prevents feelings of guilt and negativity that arise when you set unrealistic expectations. Finding a balance between challenging yourself and being realistic helps create a sustainable and successful posting strategy. 

TikTok content and Instagram content

Short-form video content, particularly on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, offers a dynamic and engaging way to connect with audiences. However, some people may hesitate about getting started due to the perceived complexities and differences between the two platforms. Let’s break it down to understand better how to approach TikTok and Instagram Reels.

Imagine short-form video content as an expansive ocean, with TikTok representing the depths and Instagram Reels as the surface layer. Instagram Reels is a more straightforward and approachable entry point where you can dip your toe into the water. In contrast, TikTok offers a more nuanced and intricate experience with a unique culture that sets it apart from Reels.

Secrets of TikTok

The short-form video content on TikTok is multifaceted, often collaborative, and self-referential. Trends emerge, evolve, and take on new iterations, making it an exciting platform to explore. While this may seem overwhelming initially, it presents many opportunities for creativity and connection with a diverse audience. When deciding how to approach both platforms, consider your content strategy. Repurposing some content for both TikTok and Reels can effectively reach different audiences on each platform. However, be mindful of the specific context and culture of TikTok.

Take the time to observe how creators craft content on TikTok. Familiarize yourself with the trends, styles, and collaborative elements that thrive there. This observational phase will help you gain insights into what works and what resonates with TikTok’s audience. As you become more comfortable with the TikTok environment, you can tailor your content to suit the platform while maintaining your unique voice and brand. Being open to experimenting and adapting your content for each platform will allow you to leverage the best of both worlds.

Short-form video content opens up exciting possibilities for content creators, and TikTok provides a rich and diverse landscape to explore. By understanding the distinctions between TikTok and Reels and remaining attentive to the unique attributes of each platform, you can engage with audiences in meaningful ways and tap into the creative potential of short-form video content.

TikTok trends

One popular trend on TikTok is Dueting and stitching. While Instagram has its remixing feature on Reels, it is not utilized like on TikTok. Dueting and stitching involve responding to or interacting with another user’s video, allowing for a unique format of collaboration and storytelling. For instance, if someone expresses their lack of confidence in front of the camera, another user can stitch that video and provide three tips for building confidence while posing for photos. This kind of interactive content brings about a supportive community on TikTok.

TikTok has specific content styles distinct from the platform, contributing to its depth and diversity. For example, the “put a finger down” trend, where users hold up ten fingers and respond to various prompts, is a storytelling format popular on TikTok but not as prevalent on Reels. This highlights the platform’s uniqueness in bringing about creative expression.

As a content consumer and creator, be aware of these distinctions and use them to your advantage. By recognizing that TikTok offers more than what is available on Reels, you can tailor your content specifically for the TikTok audience. This content should align with the platform’s culture and cater to the preferences of TikTok users.

Finding your style and niche on these platforms requires experimentation and trial and error. So, explore different content types, analyze audience feedback, and identify the content they enjoy producing the most. Over time, this process helps you find your groove and cultivate a distinctive style that resonates with your audience. Also, TikTok offers a unique storytelling format not commonly found on Reels. It goes beyond what you see on Reels, providing more depth and diverse content. As a content consumer, being aware of this distinction allows you to create exclusive TikTok content that aligns with the platform’s culture and style, setting it apart from other formats.

Diverse approaches

Recognize that in the ever-evolving world of content creation, there are diverse approaches that can lead to success. As a content creator, you may encounter many opinions from various TikTok influencers, marketers, coaches, and others, each suggesting different strategies for achieving success. It can be overwhelming to navigate through these conflicting viewpoints.

Some advocate for creating short and snappy videos to enhance viewer retention and re-watch rates, vital metrics for video success. The brevity of such videos allows for quick consumption and keeps viewers engaged. On the other hand, you’ll also find creators who achieve success with long-form content that features unedited, single-shot videos lasting over 60 seconds.

Take, for instance, a hairstylist who initially created TikTok-style content but later transitioned to posting simple consultations with clients lasting almost three minutes. Surprisingly, these unpretentious behind-the-scenes videos garner hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of views. In contrast, some creators focus on elaborate hair transformations, utilizing multiple cuts, locations, edits, and styles.

Success on the platform is not restricted to a single formula. Find your unique style and voice that aligns with your content and resonates with your audience. Don’t feel discouraged or pressured to conform to someone else’s advice or approach. Embrace your potential style, even if it diverges from conventional wisdom, as there is ample space for diverse content in the short-form video world. What matters most is authenticity and providing value to your viewers. 

The last piece of advice

There’s this concept when it comes to promoting your business on social media, and it’s important to look at it through the lens of a hard sell or soft sell. The difference between hard selling and soft selling: hard selling is straightforward, where you explicitly present your business, services, prices, and availability. Although some people may feel uneasy about this approach, it’s crucial to offer clarity to potential clients about what you offer and how they can work with you.

However, the beauty of social media, especially when it comes to video content, lies in the power of soft selling. Soft selling is a more subtle approach that informs your audience about your services without the hard push for immediate action. Instead of saying, “Buy now” or “Swipe up,” soft selling revolves around gentle cues, like showing behind-the-scenes shots from your current photoshoot, revealing what you carry in your camera bag, sharing client testimonials, or demonstrating how you pose your subjects. These snippets provide valuable insights into your work as a photographer without an overt sales pitch.

Whether through stories, reels, or TikTok, video content is an ideal medium for incorporating soft selling into your social media strategy. It allows you to engage your audience authentically and showcase your skills and personality. By adopting soft selling techniques, you create a connection with potential clients and offer them valuable information without feeling pushy or overwhelmed. 

While hard selling remains important, blending it with soft selling can strike the perfect balance in your social media presence. Embrace this approach confidently, knowing your audience wants to hear about your services and work with you. By avoiding shyness and openly sharing your expertise and offerings, you provide a valuable service to your potential clients while showcasing your passion for photography. This approach is acceptable and essential to building a successful photography business in today’s digital world.

You can find Jera Bean on her website, and on her Instagram and Tiktok.

social media secret sauce

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