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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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Let’s Talk Filters

Today, I wanna talk about FILTERS.

We all loooooove filters, right?! Puppy faces, quizzes, and grainy presets make our stories so much more ~aesthetic~ and playful.

But have you ever seen someone else use a filter that you didn’t have? Here’s how you can save it so that you can use it yourself:

STEP 1: Tap the name of the filter you’re loving seeing people use in the top left corner…

STEP 2: You can either try it now, or save it to your filters!

STEP 3: Now it’s in your Story camera view to use whenever you want (just scroll to the ones on the LEFT)!!

THIS is how you build a library of fun, engaging filters to use in your Stories!!

Just a few benefits of using AR filters…

They give our Stories a more put-together look and feel, and allow you to build a brand aesthetic!
They make your stories MORE ENGAGING! People are more likely to interact with them, either to react, try the filter for themselves, or even DM you.


More engagement = more visibility, both for that set of Stories and your future Stories
They help make you more confident and excited on video, which is always a major PLUS!!

So the next time you see a fun filter on Stories, try it out for yourself!! And then use those filters to create more engaging Stories for your audience to interact with.

If you want more juicy Instagram tips and tricks like this delivered directly to your inbox join my VIP list.

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.

If you want more juicy Instagram tips and tricks like this delivered directly to your inbox join my VIP list.

My Top Instagram Profile Tips

Here are my top IG profile tips:

1) Your Profile Picture

Choose an on-brand profile picture! This could be your logo, but remember that people love getting to know YOU, so don’t be afraid to use a photo.

2) Your Account Name

Choose the right name! Your “name” section doesn’t have to be your actual name – and most of the time it SHOULDN’T be. If you say what you do + who you serve in your name, not only is it more searchable, but it means the FIRST thing people see will be all about what you do and what to expect from your account!

3) Your Bio Description

Keep your bio SHORT and SWEET! Don’t overcomplicate it. Be clear about what you do and who you want around.

4) Your Call-to-Action

Have a clear CALL TO ACTION (CTA)!! Whatever you’re promoting at the moment – whether it’s a freebie, a mastermind, a product, or anything else – make sure it’s linked in your bio, tell people what’s there, and then actually TELL them to CLICK on the link!! Don’t have more than one CTA, and make sure the link goes STRAIGHT to whatever you’re promoting.

5) Your Highlights

Have beautiful, simple highlight covers! Your story highlights are SUPER important for new profile viewers, so covers should be ON-BRAND and SIMPLE – a plain icon on a single color background is great. Use Canva for tons of highlight cover templates.

Edit the Stories in your highlights, too! If you’ve been using highlights for a while, you may have a few that have accumulated WAY too many Stories within them, so go through and clean ‘em up. Make sure you’ve got a social proof highlight too full of fabulous testimonials or reviews, and definitely one about what you’re currently promoting!

Follow these tips for epic, on-brand, compelling bios that CONVERT profile viewers and help your audience grow!!

Ready for SO MUCH MORE IG Stories value?? Join us for Double Down on Your DMs!

Click here to join Double Down on Your DMs!

Click here to add all the DDDMs events to your calendar so you don’t miss a thing.

And don’t forget to invite a friend by sending them here: http://doubledownwithalex.com/

How to use the #1 app to edit your Instagram photos

Here’s the truth: I get asked about which apps I use *all the time*. And not just in a professional setting – in a social setting, too. It’s hard for me to go anywhere without someone asking me how I do a certain thing they’ve seen me do on Instagram.

I decided to write this blog post to share the ONE app I believe everyone should have, *and* I’m gonna break down the ways I recommend you use it.

Because life is easier when you do most of your editing in ONE app.

And if you want to take your Instagram Stories to the next level, I’m hosting a 5 Day Insta Stories Challenge *very soon*:

You can sign up for free here.

 

The App: InShot

It’s free to download in the app store, but there are a few in-app upgrades that are available for you. They won’t cost more than a few dollars, and I think they’re worth it, so if anything in this tutorial isn’t available, keep in mind that might be why.

 

How to: First steps

When you open the InShot app, you’ll see the choice to create a video, photo or collage. Choose accordingly, but take note that it is possible to make a video with a still image, which can be really cool (the image will be still, but the effects will be moving). In this tutorial, I’ll be choosing video, but all of the tools in video and image are virtually the same.

How to: Change the width & height of the image or video for Stories vs. the feed

Having the ability to change the width & height of an image to make sure it perfectly fits as an Instagram Story (9:16) or as a part of your Instagram Feed (1:1) is incredibly convenient.

How to: Add a border around your image

Because guess what? Creating a border around your image or video is a quick & easy way to stand out from the crowd *immediately*. Once you’re done creating the border above, you can move on to changing the background color of the border below:

How to: Change your background color

There are soooo many options with this! So be sure to experiment & have fun.

 

How to: Do basic color editing

Yup, you can even do basic color editing from the InShot app. Tap the filter option (as shown above) and then you can scroll through the adjust options to see what’s possible!

How to: Add filters to your photos

And if you’re too lazy for basic color edits, why not just use some of their pre-made filters? They are way easier to scroll through, *and* they even give you the option to change the strength!

 

How to: Add a simple effect that looks *really* cool

I couldn’t keep this from you – it’s one of my FAVORITE editing tips that makes such a cool effect on my stories. It’s called “CONVEX” and it warps the edges of your image! It’s super subtle, but adds an X factor that I think is really cool:

 

How to: Create a VHS-inspired video of a picture

Cuz a VHS filter is sooooo 90’s, and I love it.

 

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial then you’re gonna *love* my FREE 5 Day Instagram Stories Challenge.

Every day for 5 days I’m going to be sending you a detailed prompt of *exactly* what to post to your Instagram Story that day in order to spark more DMs (aka CONVERSATIONS).

Because when *someone else* starts the conversation with YOU, that’s powerful. Because when that person already sees you as an expert and an authority in your industry, that’s profitable.

Making connections with people online in this organic way, using Instagram Stories, is awesome for business, and WAY easier for people like me who HATE any type of forced interactions with strangers. I’d prefer to let them unfold naturally.

After these five days my aim is that you’ll walk away finally understanding that Instagram Stories can be FUN, CREATIVE, and SELF-EXPRESSIVE *and* that Instagram Stories can be all of those things and *still* help you make more money in your business because of the authentic way you’re connecting with people.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s free … soooo there’s really no reason not to )

You can sign up for free here.

 

 

A NEW TOOL I LOVE …

Hey friends! 

As you know … I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to connect with my audience, and what I’m going to share in this post is one of them.

A few weeks ago I got an email from a company asking if I’d be interested in collaborating with them. Let’s be real: I get emails like this *all the time* and I have literally *never* said yes because I’ve never actually been interested in any of the softwares, products or services.

But when I looked into this tool I was blown away and immediately knew I would love it.

What is it, you ask?

It’s called Interact.

Interact is a website that allows you to create quizzes, embed them onto your website, and prompt people to sign up for your newsletter list at the end (if you want).

I’ve *always* loved quizzes but have never found a tool that I thought would work for me. Interact seemed perfect because not only do they have lots of options for the quiz and how the answers work, but it also has the function to make your quiz *really pretty*.

My FAVORITE thing about Interact, though, has to be the impact that I *know* this is going to have on my list-building.

I only just started using it yesterday, and I was BLOWN AWAY by the fact that more than 300 people completed our quiz in less than 24 hours!

PEOPLE CLEARLY LOVE QUIZZES hahaha. And if used properly, you could even create a detailed PDF with their results which they could get access to only upon signing up to your email list.

For the quiz I created, my goal was to build buzz around my new online course, Gram Slam. So I created a quiz to help them find their Ideal Story-Telling Type. At the end of the quiz, when they received their results, instead of prompting them to sign up to my email list, I prompted them to learn more about their Ideal Story-Telling Type by signing up for Gram Slam and sent them directly to the sales page.

I can see this being used in so many creative ways as part of my marketing strategy moving forward, I’ll keep you updated and let you know how it goes!

With love,
xoxo
Alex

P.S. Because I love Interact so much, I’m now an affiliate! So if you’re going to join Interact, make sure you join here!

 

 

 

It’s here: The Spark Lounge Holiday Gift Guide!

gift guide

Hey friend,

Christmas is around the corner, and I’m challenging YOU to do as much of your Christmas shopping as possible from small businesses, creatives and entrepreneurs!

In order to help you out, I created this “Spark Lounge Holiday Gift Guide”.

In it, 14 small businesses are featured, along with a suggestion of what to buy. The best part is that every product featured in this entire guide was either created by, or suggested by a member of The Spark Lounge! Pretty great, right?

Press here to download The Spark Lounge Holiday Gift Guide 2015. 

And hey – if you *do* end up completing the challenge and buying at least *one* product from The Spark Lounge Holiday Gift Guide, definitely take the time to let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

With love!
xoxo
Alex

For the days when you feel overwhelmed…

 

For the days when you feel overwhelmed because there’s just *so much* to do. For the days when you feel frustrated because you didn’t get as much done today as you thought you would. For the days when you wonder whether you’re moving in the right direction or not.

Just remember – take one step at a time.

P.S. I’ve been snapping a lot. Make sure you add me: thealexbeadon (that’s THEalexbeadon. Not alexbeadon. Just makin’ that clear ;))

Currently inspired by: Rachel Brathen

inspiredby
One of the most popular questions I get asked is: Who inspires me? So I thought I’d share someone with you today who inspires me on multiple levels: Rachel Brathen. Check out her TEDx Talk below. She’s incredible!

Comments made easy:

Answer as many or as few questions as you like:

  1. Have you ever heard of Rachel before?
  2. If so, how did you hear of her? And what was your impression of her?
  3. If not, who is someone who you follow on social media that you think is doing it RIGHT?