As I was coming up with my next little “sketch” for TikTok, I was watching a “cooking video” on Instagram and felt like I may or may not have a seizure.
Everything moves so fast, no wonder these kids go viral. You quite literally have to watch 3-4 times just to make sure you got all the steps right. As long as ADD is on the rise, so are the view times (which, incidentally, is the number one stat you need to succeed on TikTok/IG).
When I wanted to get into the food space from a media standpoint, there was basically only one goal: to get a cooking show on TV. That was really the only option you had. Now? You don’t need to be on TV to get recognized as a successful creator or chef. At this point, I’d argue that you can reach an even larger audience on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. In a way, it’s nice that you can get your name out there without an agent or without literally any experience, but man oh man has it left a large chunk of us sitting there like…WTF??
The thing that’s tough about this new age style of cooking for the internet is that you have to be somewhat skilled at making videos in order to succeed with it. Not only that, you have to make a lot of this content regularly, which takes a significant amount of time.
Most of the social media experts out there tell you to post 3-4x a day on TikTok and at least 2 Reels per week on Instagram, but ideally, the more the better. It’s…a lot. I certainly don’t have that kind of time, and some people have had a lot of success just repurposing Reels for TikTok and vice versa, so that’s a tactic I recommend everyone try. Why do double the work if you don’t have to? It’s usually not the same audience, so you don’t have to feel bad about it.
Back when I started this blog and eventually my Instagram, the cooking process was much more relaxing. Why? Because I got to enjoy the process of actually cooking! I didn’t have to film the entire thing and worry about angles, lighting, and the cleanliness of my stove. I just had to make sure I took some nice photos of it when I was finished. The idea of making a recipe now kind of stresses me out because if it’s a good one, I feel like I have to turn it into a video.
ALL THAT SAID, I always feel extremely satisfied with myself when I actually edit the damn thing and get it looking the way I want. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag of emotions. The perfectionist, over-achieving side of me wants to prove it to myself that I can do it (and I 100% can), but the lazy, stuck in my ways side is like “screw you, I’m not changing!”
The thing is, we can continue to fight this shit, or we can adapt and find ways to make it work for us. If this is part of your work or a big part of your marketing strategy, it would be wise for you to invest a little time and energy into at least learning the basics. You don’t have to be a full on film director, but if you can make some stories and take some photos/videos in the good lighting, then you’re on your way to bettering your content! And as always, practice makes perfect.
That’s why I started offering social media/photo training for my clients. Most people don’t even know that, but I spend a large amount of my time teaching people how to take better photos and the different angles needed for food photos. If you’d like to learn more about that, just shoot an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out my Lightroom Presets for food photography here. Lightroom is my favorite photo editing app, and these presets make it beyond easy to edit photos – one tap and it’s done. See below for a Before and After!
Sorry for the shameless self promotion, but also not sorry because I work for me and no one else is gonna do it 🙂
So let’s go, Misfits! Download InShot or CapCut and make a video, then post it to IG or TikTok, step back and say “you know what? I fucking did it. Baby steps.” You got this. Just have fun with it. For me, having fun means poking fun (at the industry).