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How to Get Comfortable on Instagram Stories

Let’s face it, Instagram Stories can be intimidating. You see polished, perfect snippets of people’s lives, and the idea of filming yourself (and your messy desk) feels like starring in your own personal horror movie.

But hear me out: Stories are actually a goldmine for connecting with your community on a deeper level — and converting them into paying clients!

Remember that blog post we talked about where we discussed building a winning Instagram marketing strategy? Well, mastering Stories is a key part of that strategy. Studies show that Stories can lead to a 86 percent increase in brand awareness, according to Later. That’s a huge jump in potential customers who are familiar with your brand and what you offer!

In this post, we’re going to break down how to get comfortable with Stories, even if the thought of hitting record makes you want to crawl under a rock. We’ll talk baby steps, overcoming your fear of the camera, and creating engaging content that won’t have you hiding your phone in shame.

The Power of Instagram Stories & Engagement

Here’s the truth: people tend to prioritize ephemeral content. Stories disappear after 24 hours, making them feel more personal and authentic. This translates to higher engagement compared to static posts. And because they feel so personal, it also means higher sales!

Marketing 101: For someone to purchase from you, they first need to know you exist.

Once they know that you exist, they have to believe that YOU are the person that can help them achieve something that they want.

After that, they still have to take the plunge and hit that buy button.

And after THAT, it’s up to you to make sure you knock their socks off so that 1 – they come back; 2 – they tell all of their friends. (That right there is the holy grail of marketing!)

To filter or not to filter

Before we dive in, let’s talk filters. They can be super helpful for slightly smoothing out your skin or hiding a zit (we’ve all been there!) Use ’em, for sure, but with a light touch. The goal is to look natural and approachable, not like a perfectly airbrushed stranger.

PRO TIP: Swipe right immediately after recording to access the Paris filter. It’ll give you a sweet, subtle glow that’s just enough!

Conquering Your Fear of Video: Step by Step

All right, let’s make those videos happen. Here’s a step-by-step approach to ease you in. Start with activities that feel manageable and gradually work your way up!

Comfort Level 1 (aka not comfortable at all)

  • Commit to 3 selfies with text overlays this week, or send a short video message thanking a customer.

Comfort Level 2

  • Talk to yourself! You can do it in the mirror, but talk about your offer while you’re driving the car or walking the dog to squeeze in some extra practice.

Comfort Level 3

  • Record a video message to a friend using the Marco Polo app and ask a question about their day.
  • Marco Polo is a video messaging app, so instead of picking up the phone or waiting till you both have time for a coffee (you know those days can be few and far between), video message each other rambly updates about your life. It’s silly, it’s fun, it’s great for your mental health and staying connected to your loved ones, AND it gets you comfy on video without any of the pressure.

Comfort Level 4

  • Film a non-face-cam video (your feet walking, your hands baking) with music and text. Practice makes perfect, so aim for 3 videos this week! Prop your phone on a nearby mug or candle and film away. Slow motion & hyperlapse mode are great fun, but keep it simple to start.
  • Now you’re comfortable using video without showing your face, which is a great skill for showcasing your product!

Comfort Level 5

  • Let’s step it up a notch and film a little boomerang or selfie with your actual face on it. The more you do it, the more it’ll start to feel natural.

Comfort Level 6

  • Record a voiceover for a reel or story. This way, you can get used to the sound of your own voice without being on camera.
  • (When I started posting on stories, ALL I SAW was my crooked bottom teeth and it took ages to get over it. At the end of the day though, the only thing that really solved it was to post, post, post, keep posting. Once you start getting positive comments – and better yet, sales! – those little things don’t matter as much.)

Comfort Level 7

  • Add a few Close Friends to your stories. They don’t have to be actual close friends — in fact, it’s better if it’s not! Choose a few folks from your audience that you DON’T know, and chat with them on stories just like the professional you wish you were

Comfort Level 8 and Beyond

  • The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become. If you’re at Level 7, you absolutely can do this – just keep creating and connecting!

We wish we could do this part for you, but we can’t. The closest thing? When you’re a client, we’ll coach you through every step of the way! Peep our Instagram marketing services right here.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Rambling: Keep it concise! Aim for 3-10 stories a day, each lasting 15-20 seconds. Once you get talking, it can be tough to stop.
  • Monotony: Our brains and ridiculously short attention spans love seeing a shared post, then a fun little video, then a photo. Or whatever order you choose… just don’t do ALL boomerangs, or ALL rambly face-to-cam, etc. Use features like polls, quizzes, and stickers so it’s easy to engage with your content!
  • Overthinking: Don’t get caught up in perfection. Just hit record and share your authentic self. Flyaway hair? A coffee stain on your shirt? Full on broomstache? I hear ya… but chances are nobody’s noticed but you (on the seventeenth replay). JUST POST IT!
  • One-sidedness: Balance showing your personality with clear calls to action, reminding viewers why they should buy from you. Stories are a low-pressure way to show your personality, so don’t be afraid of getting a little silly sometimes. But make sure that your community also knows EXACTLY how (and why!) they should purchase from you.

Remember, a key part of a winning Instagram strategy is using a variety of features to reach different parts of the marketing funnel (Attract, Nurture, Convert) as we discussed in the previous blog post. Stories are fantastic for nurturing your audience and converting them into paying clients, but don’t forget about Reels and static posts to attract new followers and showcase your brand!

So, take a deep breath, hit record, and get started! You’ve got this!

Let’s face it, Instagram Stories can be intimidating. You see polished, perfect snippets of people’s lives, and the idea of filming yourself (and your messy desk) feels like starring in your own personal horror movie. But hear me out: Stories are actually a goldmine for connecting with your community on a deeper level — and […]

I'm Doreen, and I know what it's like to scour blogs for the answers to my (many, many) questions. Much like yourself, I'm a scrappy, curious business owner.

There are less stressful ways to get your service to the people that need it most, so I'm here to bring you the practical, down-to-earth marketing advice that you need. 

Every day, I work with a team that shares my passion for helping you connect with your perfect fit clients — and every day, YOU inspire the crap out of all of us. Thanks for being here!