Tonje Lilleås

The road to YouTube goes through Instagram Reels

Are you dreaming of starting your own YouTube channel? Today I’m going to tell you why the road to YouTube goes through Instagram Reels.

You want to know more about how you make cinematic edits for Instagram Reels? Check out this post!

Starting YouTube at 35

When I started YouTube, I had been interested in filmmaking since I was a teenager. I made a few videos with my friends in school, and continued to make videos my first year away from home. Then I found myself without a camera for years, and my interest was pushed away. However the urge to create hadn’t gone far.

In 2010 my wife and I joined our friend for a vacation to Chicago. There we stayed with some friends, one of them being a photographer the other a designer. I was so inspired by them actually spending their time creating and doing things they were passionate about. And so I got my very first DSLR the same year.

Fast forward through years of photography, the urge to get back to filmmaking was present all the time. And when I found some of the amazing high quality YouTube channels, I suddenly saw a road back to filmmaking for myself.

Still I didn’t start making videos until I was 35. (Why I started at 35, I’ve written a whole post and made a video about before.) However even if I started at 35, two years later I really haven’t made that many videos. The reason is no doubt self doubt. I feel a bit uncomfortable in front of the camera. I feel that my skills aren’t there yet behind the camera or editing. And I’ve asked myself how to overcome it.

Enter Instagram Reels.

The road to YouTube goes through Instagram Reels

To me Instagram Reels is YouTube in short format. And to hone my skills, and make the threshold into filmmaking a little bit lower, it has been great. Through making reels, I get to practice my storytelling, camera movements, transitions, editing and being in front of the camera.

When you’re able to tell a story well in 15 to 30 seconds, you’ll find that it’s much easier to make great longer format videos as well. For instance you get way better at killing your darlings, only leaving in what you really need to be able to tell the story.

Want to know more about telling a story in 15 seconds? Check out this post on how to do just that!

Fine tune your message on camera

Another reason why the road to YouTube goes through Instagram Reels is that you are offered a great arena to help you fine tune your message. In front of the camera it’s easy to start rambling. To use more words and sentences than you really need to be able to get your point across. When you only have a very short amount of time, you have to make sure that what you’re saying and how you say it is to the point.

Less time to get to the finish line

Anyone who’s been successful on YouTube will tell you that the main road to YouTube is creating lots of videos. You just have to stick with it and make sure you finish your videos. If you like me find yourself in a world where time is an issue, getting in the amount of creating needed can be difficult. Right now I’m not able to make YouTube videos consistently. However that doesn’t mean that I can’t create consistently.

Making a reel takes less time than making a whole YouTube video for me. But I still get to practice the whole process of making a video. From planning, through shooting, editing and sharing it with the world. And I’m confident it’s making me a better filmmaker.

Want to know more about getting good b-roll for your video? This post will help you out wether you’re making reels or longer form videos.

Just get started

There are a lot of reasons not to start making videos. But if making videos or having a YouTube channel is something you really want, go for it. And your road to making longer videos on YouTube could, and in my opinion should, really go through making shorter form videos on Instagram Reels.

I hope you’ve found this post encouraging and motivational. If you want to see some of the reels I’ve created, please head on over to my Instagram. My longer form videos are available on my YouTube. And if you like what you see, you may consider to subscribe or follow me on there. It would be highly appreciated.

And if what’s stopping you from making videos is the lack of interesting locations or stories; remember that there’s always more to explore locally!



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