I know how terrifying being on camera can be. For years I watched my peers and people I admired giving confident, engaging performances in front of the camera BUT I didn’t feel like I could join in.
Then one day, I joined an Instagram challenge set by Sam Burgess and it included being ‘on’ stories every single day for a month. I tell you, I agonised about this. I filmed the 2 minute video about ten times. Agonised some more.
Sent it to my friend to check, managed to find the tech to slice the video into parts, then panicked I didn’t look good enough so turned it into black and white. By the time I uploaded it, I was exhausted! Literally exhausted.
But you know what? It worked. I was only on 800 followers but that didn’t matter because I connected with my audience. I got message after message from people saying they loved my videos, how they couldn’t believe I was a northerner and how I should do more – I was hooked!
Over time, I have grown in confidence (I hope) and I am nowhere near the finished article. BUT I was asked recently in the PR Zoom call I host with Laura Sutherland to share my tips for getting on camera.
It isn’t just for vanity reasons either, studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (HubSpot, 2018). Based on the 2018 State of Social Video Marketer Trends report, 73% of consumers claim that they have been influenced by a brand’s social media presence when making a purchasing decision.
So here you go, here’s my tips to getting over your emotional hurdles to get your face on video:
- Forget the tech
First up I’m going to share my own personal favourite hurdles! I made up at least a thousand reasons WHY I couldn’t possibly even film a video which included:
– a fancy light kit – a light ring, surely I need a giant light ring?
– a fancy camera – I mean, my iPhone can’t possibly be enough?
– a clapper board – surely I need some guy to run in and say ‘take 10’
– professional makeup – I mean, isn’t film makeup completely different to like, normal makeup?
Forget all of that. The phone you are carrying around is perfectly capable to get you started. There’s time for the light ring, the video course and the film crew later on.
2. Be yourself
Ok this isn’t rocket science, but don’t try to be someone else, try to be YOUR best version. There is room for everyone on Instagram, you have comedians like Celeste Barber to chefs like Jason Atherton and food / fitness experts like Joe Wicks and they will all make completely different videos.
Embrace your uniqueness, laugh, joke, don’t be scared to post the out takes – you’re amongst friends here and mistakes only make you more human and relatable.
3. Make Mistakes
Sorry to tell you this, but your first video will be terrible. It will. If it wins an Oscar, hell I will eat my hat! But expect it to be rough and ready, you know why? Because it is your first time. All these YouTubers with millions of followers have been doing this week in week out for YEARS. So cut yourself some slack and set the bar low, way low.
4. Feel comfortable
Although I don’t think anyone NEEDS filters, if this is your barrier to entry, hell lets all add some cat ears! Filters can be subtle from VSCO, or they can add butterflies to your face like Instagram stories. You can look like a dog, talk like a child, you can even wear a hat or hide behind a bush – whatever it takes to get you through your very first video, do it. Pro tip, just stand near a flipping window and look for the best natural light.
5. Start small and build it up
Don’t worry about feature length films. Just film 15 seconds for Instagram stories. Start as small as humanly possible. Even if you just do a voiceover while you’re looking around your garden, that is fine. The aim is to start and build up. Once you start posting, and feel the euphoria of your success, try to repeat this regularly as it will become easier each time.
6. Do it with friends
There are a lot of Instagram challenges out there, like the one I did with Sam Burgess, so hop on board one of those for a sense of support. Make sure you shout and support the other people doing it. If you can’t find one, how about joining with a friend, you can film stories together or just buddy up to post at the same time.
7. Practice, practice, practice
Just remember, Instagram stories are here today and gone tomorrow. They last 24 hours. No one but you knows how many views you got. Only you know your comments and messages from them. It is not going to be hanging around unless you want to add them to your highlights. It doesn’t matter, I promise, just post it, and then post some more.
Finally, if you feel like you need a little more help, think about a half day or day course to help you. I have taken two courses; Not About The Kids Courses and The Guardian Masterclass. But above all, marketing is about showing up, so let’s go get ’em!