Appear in a video? Noooooo!
Photo by Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash
I love showcasing small businesses, freelancers and charities through video! It's such a powerful medium to connect with your customers or users, build trust, and humanise your business or organisation.
However, some of us can find it quite daunting appearing in front of the lens. The majority of us aren’t used to seeing and hearing ourselves on screen and, quite frankly, it feels a little odd doesn’t it? For a start, you’re used to seeing yourself flipped in a mirror and hearing yourself partly through your head, and that isn’t the way the camera and other people see or hear you!
I’m not appearing in a video... noooooo!!! CRINGE!
I hold up my hands: every time I hear my voice on video footage, I usually exclaim, “My voice! How do my family live with me?!”
But be brave and try and push past your embarrassment and awkwardness, as there are so many benefits to appearing on screen.
From the moment someone is born they are naturally drawn to faces: this is how our brain works. If you appear in a video, then the viewer is naturally immediately responsive to your face and your emotions.
In fact, our brain is so hard-wired to faces that when they are not there we even look for them in inanimate objects: face pareidolia.
Social media statistics show that images and videos with people and faces perform better and are more likely to receive comments. Video is also more likely to be shared, it drives engagement and is brilliant for SEO!
Consumers love to see the people behind the business and hear their story. By appearing in front of the camera your audience can sense your personality, emotions and body language, and it helps build trust. Having this human connection does really help and a potential client can get to see the character and passion behind your business or organisation.
If you create videos regularly, the trust and familiarity grows and you gain more connection.
I always remind my clients to smile in videos. Humans mimic others' emotions: you smile, the viewers smile. They'll also think you are a lovely and welcoming person to work with!
Graphic Designer, Rebecca Scambler
Even if your video is showing a demonstration of your product, or it's a tutorial video, it's such an advantage for the viewer to see the person behind the brilliant product, service or tutorial. Again, you're achieving that human connection.
How do you pluck up the courage?
Spend some time over a few weeks taking video footage of yourself talking to the camera about anything and everything: the box set you're binging on, the meal you made last night, perhaps interview your cat…? No matter how painful it seems at first, you'll soon get more used to seeing and hearing yourself.
I don’t have the right kit! A smartphone or webcam is all you need, perhaps a clip mic too, and there are some free editing tools out there.
You're not a BBC presenter, and viewers are not going to expect you to be polished and perfect in front of the camera. In fact, they are more likely to warm to you and empathise with you if you’re not. Be authentic and be yourself.
After a long period of Zoom calls we're now very familiar with seeing people being themselves and we've got a little bit more used to being on screen ourselves.
I can guarantee your followers will love to see you in front of the camera and you’ll attract oodles of engagement.
I’ve worked with many people over ten years of freelancing, and some have been extremely nervous but all have done amazing jobs sharing their story.
Be kind to yourself, you are amazing so start telling people! Just have a go, get creative and have fun!