How to Add Text

Today we’re going to talk all about the importance of TEXT.

POP QUIZ: What percentage of people watch videos with sound ON?

A – 89%
B – 44%
C – 21%
D – 8%

The answer is actually D – just 8% of people watch with sound on!!!

That means that 92% of people miss what you’re saying in videos or just skip right through them…. UNLESS you use text to create captions!!

How to use text effectively on IG Stories:

It’s not just about captioning everything – there are ins and outs to using text effectively, and I’m gonna share those with you RIGHT NOW:

TIP 1: Use fonts well!

Instagram has actually just started to roll out some GORGEOUS new fonts, which come with a new interface. But for now, most people have just 5 font options to choose from, switching between them with the button in the top center. Here are some font tips:

  • Use all caps to make the classic font more sophisticated
  • Don’t put long chunks of text in the script (“neon”) font – it’s sometimes hard to read
  • Use 2 different fonts together to create engaging titles for your Stories
  • Tap the “A” at the top left hand side of the screen to add a background to your font (only 3 of the 5 fonts allow this)

TIP 2: Color it up!

There are 3 ways you can color your text in Stories:

  • You can select one of the colors Instagram includes at the bottom (scroll right for more options)
  • Tap and hold one of these colors to pick a custom one from the spectrum (this will let you choose a color that’s closer to your brand color)
  • Tap the dropper at the bottom left and then drag the picker to a color from your Story that you want to use
  • Some fonts also offer a highlight option, and you can choose colors for this the same way – depending on how busy your Story background is, it may make your text more readable
  • PRO TIP: you can make different parts of the text different colors by highlighting the words you want to color differently – great for calling out key words or creating gradient effects

TIP 3: Place your fonts carefully

Where you place your text can have a massive effect on how useful it is. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Center or right alignment (changed in the top left) might look better with some photos, but remember that people most naturally read left-aligned text, so longer captions may work better left-aligned.
  • Don’t place your text too low or too far to the left or right. Different phone screens will cut off text placed outside of the margins Instagram has defined. Usually when you’re placing your text, Instagram will bring up a blue box to let you know where those margins are.
  • So many people don’t know you can do this: Size your text up or down either when typing it, using the sliding bar on the left, or when placing it, by pinching in or out.
  • And this is my personal favorite way to use text: Split up your text – don’t put it all in one big chunk. If you have 3 sentences to add to your Story, separate them and use different fonts – this will create more visual interest!

TIP 4: Summarize, don’t transcribe.

Knowing how few people use sound, it can be really tempting to just caption out your videos word-for-word. And sometimes this is useful, especially if you’re adding a lot of value in your videos. But leaving something to the imagination can be just as effective.

Sometimes, if you put just the basics in the captions, it can actually get people to turn the sound ON, which is major for your engagement!

To see some of the ways I use text on my Stories, click here to follow along and have a look.

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How to get those “fresh photos with the bomb lighting”

When was the last time you took a REALLY FIRE selfie?

I’ll tell you what probably made it so good: THE LIGHTING. For real. Good lighting can be the difference between the best photos and the worst.

And it’s not just selfies – good lighting makes a difference for ANY photos.

So here are my top tips for how to get those “fresh photos with the bomb lighting” every time:

TIP 1: Find a window!

Seriously, nothing beats a good bit of natural light. Face the window, and that gorgeous sun will illuminate your face in the most flattering way. It makes your pictures and videos look higher quality as well, because your phone is designed to work best with natural light!

If you’re shooting something else, not a selfie, then try to do so in a spot near the window, with your camera pointing away from the natural light. This will give you the best image possible.

TIP 2: If the sun is too bright, diffuse that light!

If you’ve found natural light but it’s so bright it’s making you squint and casting hard shadows, try hanging a white sheet or curtain in front of the window. The light will filter through the fabric (called diffusion) and create a softer, gentler light with fewer harsh shadows.

TIP 3: Make your own flattering light!

If you can’t find good natural light or want to shoot something at a time where it isn’t sunny and gorgeous, then there are absolutely still ways you can get soft, flattering, appealing photos and videos. Here are some of the best dupes for natural lighting:

A ring light – these can run from $20 into the hundreds, so make sure you read reviews to get one that will work well for you. These are a favorite of vloggers and beauty artists for a reason!

Bounce light off white walls – If you’ve got a bright light, try angling it toward a white wall and then facing the wall yourself; this will diffuse the light and create a similar effect to the ring light.

Choose the largest light source possible – larger light sources will create less shadow and therefore softer lighting. This doesn’t necessarily mean overhead lighting, because those bulbs are still small. Something like a large lampshade may actually be a better choice.

Move a bright light further away – lights that are too close will be too harsh, so try brightening things but then moving further away. You may find that standing in the doorway of a lit room is actually more flattering than standing closer to the light.

TIP 4: Clean your lens!

Seriously, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve taken a “meh” picture only to realize it was because my lens needed a wipe! Get yourself some microfiber lens wipes to keep your photos and videos crisp and high-quality. (Or … just use your shirt to wipe any grease away)

If you try any of these tips, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram – I wanna see your results! You can click here to find me.

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