Today we’re talking about video – which is one of the big reasons a lot of people avoid posting to social media. We worry about how we look, how we sound, how our videos compare to everyone else. Avoiding video might be holding your business back from growing – especially if you’re hoping to grow on Instagram or with live events.
In this week’s episode, I’m sharing my years-long (literally) process of getting comfortable and good at video. You’ll also hear from human design + health coach, Naomi Nakamura, and Rebecca Simon, a business coach for online service providers. They’ll be sharing how they got comfortable and confident being on video too so you’ll have lots of options and tricks to help you get going.
Links + Resources
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I have a very distinct memory of my first attempt at video. Sometime around 2012, I think, when I was first starting my business, I was using my blog as my main marketing engine. I thought I would answer a few reader questions on video since YouTube was starting to blow up and I saw other people doing that.
The reason I didn’t dive into building a Youtube channel was because it was so damn difficult to make that one video and then it wasn’t even that good when it was done. Phone cameras were terrible back then so I think I was using my laptop webcam. I was recording at night because I was still working my 9to5 during the day so my lighting was all weird. I could not get through one sentence without screwing up and so I kept stopping the recording and restarting. UGH, it was awful.
I literally have a photo of me covering my face in frustration that I posted on IG back then as a reminder that the behind the scenes is often a mess. Honestly, sometimes my behind the scenes is still a mess but the process is easier because I’m better at editing out the awkward later.
That first video was so difficult and awkward it took me a long time – like years, to get going. It wasn’t until Periscope and webinars started becoming popular that I did more video because I felt that if I didn’t I’d be left behind or miss out on an opportunity to grow my business.
First – there are many different ways to promote your business and the one you will do most consistently might just be the best. Maybe it’s referrals or ads or podcast interviews. I also know that there are a lot of you thinking – I could do video, I should post reels, I should talk on stories – and not doing it.
The shitty thing is that the best way to get good at something is to just do it. It’s gonna be awkward and uncomfortable and you’re gonna second guess and hate the way you look, but the more you create video, the faster it gets easier.
I started making commitments to do things like webinars, joint webinars with other people, hosting challenges where I’d teach live every day for a week. Sometimes I didn’t really want to do it because I was nervous that something would go wrong and I’d look like an idiot. What I learned was that at some point something will go wrong and I can just laugh and do my best to fix it and everything will be fine.
If the idea of going live makes you want to barf, then pre-record all your videos. If YouTube trolls are scary, then host webinars where people have to sign up or even PAY to interact with you. Figure out the REAL thing you’re worried about or makes you anxious and then change. You are in charge.
Committing to things and just diving in is going to get you comfortable on
video quickest. I took the long way for a while which meant video was real uncomfortable and shaky and sweaty. On my first live Periscope, someone actually told me to slow down. I could feel so many people looking at me (because I had a sizable audience by then) and I started talking so fast to get it over with and get that attention off me. I’m glad they said something because it still helps me remember to slow down.
Now instead of trying to get it over with, speaking on video feels like I’m holding space for my audience, giving them info they want, entertaining a little. That anxious pressure to do everything perfectly and quickly is really gone.
I’ve actually gotten to the point where I don’t usually wear makeup on video (or if I do its leftover eye makeup from the day before), I don’t use filters to change my appearance. No shade if you do those things – you do you – but for me, it was causing me to hold back and post less.
I actually worked through that at a mastermind years ago – I talked about how I felt showing up on video and the women there convinced me that it would be okay for me to show up without makeup. Which DUH, but sometimes we need a reminder, so I tried it that day. We were at the pool so I walked back up to the condo we were staying at and went for it. Obviously, nothing bad happened. It was totally fine.
Then it was a process of doing that more and more until I stopped giving a fuck. (Also, probably a product of me getting older.) There was an intentional side to it, to let it be uncomfortable and do it anyway because I wanted that freedom of being able to show up whenever I felt like it without having to prepare and look a certain way. Or change the way I look so I don’t offend people with my wrinkles and zits. I don’t want to hang out with those people anyway.
Now, if you’re not into jumping in so fast – you can totally make videos that you don’t post publically. Or, make videos that are just for the people in your program or for your clients. Or, you could join a coaching program that includes video chats and start by hanging out there. Or, what about making your partner, friends, kids, parents cute video messages or facetime more often? What you really have to get used to is seeing YOURSELF on video and getting comfortable and confident with that.
Alright – I’m going to pass the mic to Naomi to hear about how she got comfortable on video.
Hi there. I’m Naomi Nakamura, and I am a human design and health coach, helping women create a life of freedom, ease and empowerment using the frameworks of human design and functional nutrition. Sarah asked me to share a tip on how to get comfortable on video. I’ve been a coach for seven years now, but when I first started my coaching practice, I was terrified to be on video, but I knew that it was something I had to learn.
One thing that I did was create a Facebook group of one. Yup. I was the only member of my Facebook group and I used that group to practice doing Facebook lives. It not only helped me learn all of the different features and functionalities of going live on Facebook, which if I’m being honest was half the reason to be scared and nervous, but it also helped me get comfortable speaking live on video.
Nowadays, I spend more time on Instagram than Facebook, but the same idea works there too. You can create a private Instagram account where perhaps the only follower is your main account, and you can use that private account to practice doing stories and Instagram lives and reels and videos and all the fun things that Instagram offers to not only learn all these new features and how they work but to also get comfortable on video.
So that’s my tip. Give it a try. Hope it helps! Back to you, Sarah.
Looove this idea! Worrying about the tech stuff was the scariest part for me too and making a private group or profile is such a sneaky way to get all that stuff worked out.
Okay, let’s hear from Becca next.
Hi, my name is Becca Simon. I’m a coach for virtual service providers and I help women launch, grow, and scale their online businesses. When thinking about getting comfortable on video, the first thing that comes to my mind is mindset. When I think about mindset, I think about overcoming the fear of posting. The fear of posting can feel so real.
Social media can feel like this never ending networking event. Sometimes it can feel like a struggle to make conversation, but just like an in-person networking event, the more you go, the easier it gets. Just like when you’re creating short form video content, the more you’re consistently showing up on video, the easier it gets, the more confident you’ll feel.
You’ll be able to pump out content quicker and faster than ever. Staying consistent is so important because showing up on video and getting comfortable, it’s a skill. The cool thing is, the more you practice and the more consistent you show up, the easier and the more comfortable you’ll feel in front of the camera.
Another tip I want you to think about is this – I want you to flip your perspective. I want you to remember that people are going to be more impressed that you’re showing up and talking to your audience than they are going to be critical. Remember, your followers might not see every single post that you spent hours creating and people don’t really watch you as much as you think they do.
Remembering why you’re showing up on social media is so important because you’re remembering that your audience is looking for connection. They’re not looking for perfection.
Your audience will be attracted to who you are, what you have to offer, and for the value you bring to them on video.
Another tip is to get an accountability partner. The most growth happens outside of your comfort zone. So, I challenge you to get an accountability partner and to really challenge each other, to step outside of your comfort zone.
Get on social media, get on short form video content and to really let your audience see your true, unique, authentic self.
Remember everyone struggles with imposter syndrome. No one is exempt and no one really knows what they’re doing when it comes to showing up on social media.
Remember imposter syndrome is normal, and over time you will develop the skills and really step into your confidence and get comfortable showing up on video. Like you’ve been doing it for years.
Thanks Becca! Love the reminder that people are going to be impressed just by the fact that you’re showing up on video. We end up in such a weird online marketing bubble that we forget that most of us are marketing to “normal” people who wouldn’t want to speak on video in a million years so they’re not paying attention to all the things you assume you’re messing up which means your video is probably more effective than you ever realized.
Alright – I hope you’re feeling more confident about video, or feeling as confident as possible. It’s your turn – I dare you to make at least one video this week. I don’t care what it’s for or what you do with it – post it or not! I want you to practice speaking on camera, looking at your own face, and figuring out some of the tech stuff, so you can start to break down any barriers that are holding you back from showing up.
Give it a shot and then tag me or message me on Instagram @daretogrow.co so I can give you a high five. You can do it!
Talk to ya next week.