Your reel needs a hook, narrative and call to action. On a basic level, that’s what it needs. It needs something in the first three seconds to grab people. It needs a story that’s about your work, it could be about you, it could be something personal, could be you as an artist, could be your inspiration. Ideally the narrative has some kind of connection with your work or some kind of personal story has a deep connection with your work because obviously your work is personal.

This reel from Andrew McCarthy, an amazing astrophotographer, has garnered over 19M views so far, and it’s still growing every week. How so? It has a great hook that draws you in as soon as you start watching it. The narrative is interesting, pacey, and has a good personality in it. It is a tour of Andrew’s work from last year. It screams that if you follow me I do loads of cool new things all the time, I did all of this cool stuff in just one year! So you’ll never get bored by my posts. That’s where the narrative becomes something that also encourages following.

The narrative can also be very personal and often that creates a lot of trust with your audience. Your narrative could be about how you made a particular piece. It could be something that’s happened in your art career. There are so many narratives!

No one tunes into your narrative unless you’ve got a hook. So the first thing you need is a hook. So what we’ve seen in the Facebook group is we started focusing on reels and great narratives and then we said that you definitely need a hook. You need something in that first 3 seconds that grabs you and it creates an emotion like mystery, suspense, surprise, empathy, humour or even confusion. And that can be done visually, with words, voiceover or all of the above. The hook is something that has to happen instantly. And then the hook leads into the narrative, which is a story you want to tell, and then the call to action at the end is the thing you want people to do, which is, follow me, sign up to my newsletter, visit my print store because I’m running a timed drop of this work.

Hook, narrative, call to action – every single post should have that, every single communication should have that!

Updated on 13 March 2024

Was this article helpful?