When I recently started doing videos, no-one was more surprised than me! I try to keep up to date with changes in social media so know, as you probably do too, that video is now king (or queen) across all social media platforms. It is the fastest way to improve your reach and interaction… yet I STILL couldn’t get over The Fear.
Fear of what? Fear of looking and sounding like a muppet, fear of trolls, fear of no-one giving a damn… fears you possibly have too! Like me, you may be a fairly confident person with no issues about talking to other people, you might be passionate about what you do… BUT like me, you are possibly just making excuses to avoid doing Scary Video.
What kind of excuses? I don’t have the time, I don’t have the right equipment, I don’t know what to say, and even if I do no-one will care anyway… sound familiar?
Now I am far from an experienced and polished video presenter, BUT I am trying to regularly do video and I am actually enjoying it, so if you want to do the same then here are my Five Steps to Getting Over The Fear of Video:
Step One – Research
Even if you have no intention of starting a video platform channel and just t use live streaming, it is still worthwhile doing some basic research. The key questions you want to ask yourself are:
Who is my audience?
The answer to this will pretty much guide the other choices you make about your videos. If you are a business owner, you should already know the answer to this, if you don’t, then do it now! It is pointless churning out content in any form if it isn’t what your customers or audience want.
What platform am I going to use?
If you are just going to stick to live video, then are you going to be using Facebook Live, Twitter Periscope or Instagram Live? The downside of only using social media platforms for your video content is that it is only accessible by people on that social media platform, but it totally depends what your content will be whether this will be a problem or not.
The biggest players for video platforms are YouTube and Vimeo, but they are not the only option. There are lots of smaller platforms available, so it is definitely worth researching which will work best for you, your content and your customers/audience.
What is my style?
Across all video platforms there are some basic styles that pretty much all videos fall into, you should spend some time working out which style suits you and your content, then make sure all your videos can follow that style.
- Talking Head – you are the centre focal point talking about whatever your speciality is, videos tend to be the same length, in the same setting and stick to the same subject matter.
Example – Zoella on YouTube
- Roving Reporter – a mix of you talking about and actual footage of what you are talking about, most often outdoors, travelogues.
Example – Vagabrothers on YouTube
- Screen Demonstration – you are never seen, videos tend to be educational content using screen capture software.
Example – Khan Academy on YouTube
- Hands on Demo – over the shoulder shot where your hands are visible doing an activity, unboxing videos.
Example – DisneyCollector on YouTube
- Talking Head/On Screen Capture – style favoured by most gamers, usually a split-screen combination of talking head and game footage.
Example – PewDiePie on YouTube
- How To – instructional/educational style demonstrating how to use a product, fix a problem etc.
Example – EHow website
Once you have found your style, stick to it! It is the consistency that attracts and keeps subscribers coming back.
Step Two – Plan
Guess what… time for more questions!
What are you going to do/say?
Hopefully you have decided on your style, but what about your content? The first thing to ensure is that you have a reason to broadcast. Try to think or ask your audience/customers what they want to see, what questions do they ask? Similar to blog posts (because you’re doing those too right?) your videos should add value for your audience.
To maintain consistency, it helps to plan ahead with your videos. Even most live videos should be planned in advance to gain maximum impact from them. If you feel more comfortable with one, write a script but remember to put it somewhere you can see it in line with the video camera so you can maintain eye contact.
When are you going to do it?
Daily (don’t fall over!), weekly or monthly? Frequency will depend more on what your customers want then what you want… sorry to tell you that! This is where planning ahead helps. I aimed to put one video out a week on my YouTube channel, but came unstuck when I had a really busy spell with work and literally have not have the time to edit and upload the videos that I’d already filmed. So remember to allow time to film the videos AND edit them… unless of course you can get someone else to do it for you! I now try to plan two months ahead with the videos I want to record, but am still working on finding a videographer who is willing to be paid in cake…
Where are you going to do it?
Now you have your lovely list of videos to film, you need to decide where you are going to film. Somewhere with as much natural light as possible is best, though you don’t want that light to be behind you or you will be a lovely talking silhouette! It is worth investing in a light to help enhance the natural light available to you, but this need not be expensive.
Step Three – Get Equipped
Now this is the point that provides a lovely excuse for delaying getting started, as people think they need all sorts of singing and dancing equipment… but not so! I use my rather crappy Samsung (counting the days until my upgrade!) to video. Obviously it all depends on what you want to film but don’t think that you absolutely HAVE to have a fantastic video camera to get started. The things you do need are some kind of tripod, a light and an external microphone. Unfortunately my lapel mic does not seem to get on with my phone but this is the tripod and light I have: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077GNCYM8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I find the clip useful as the height of where I am filming can be adjusted really easily.
The other thing you need to get sorted is editing software, but again there are many free options out there, so unless you are needing something really professional there is no need to pay out for anything.
Step Four – JUST DO IT!!
Yes, it really is as simple as that. You’ve done the planning, you’ve got the equipment you need… so just hit the damn button!! If you are not going live, it really doesn’t matter how much you waffle, or how many times you go wrong as you can sort it all out when you come to edit. If you are going live, keep it short and sweet for the first few times to build up your confidence.
Step Five – Promote and Keep Showing Up
Ok so this is actually the hardest bit in my experience. I got busy with work and messed up. I neglected my videos, and that is the worst thing to do. If you want to build that following you need to keep showing up! How do you feel if one of your favourite TV shows gets cancelled, postponed or shifted to a different time…? We don’t really like change, we like consistency. I have learnt from my mistakes, and I have planned to film all the videos I need for the next two months in the next two weeks, then make it non-negotiable time when I need to edit and upload them. So be realistic, look ahead in your diary, and make sure you give yourself enough time to film, edit and upload videos.
And once you have your videos uploaded, you need to promote them! Don’t expect people just to find you, you need to make it easy for them. Use social media and your website to promote your video content, but don’t forget that though Facebook loves video, it doesn’t necessarily love video content that takes people away from Facebook, so put links to other platforms in the post comments rather than the post itself.
Hopefully this has helped chivvy you on the way to starting your video journey, it really is fun I promise! Remember that though your first videos will most likely be a bit crap, you WILL get better. My first videos certainly aren’t brilliant… but I did it, I hit the button and it got me over The Fear, and has also started an exciting new chapter for my business, and it could for you too.