by Lou Bortone
We’re talking about “videophobia:” Fear of video or, more specifically, fear of being on camera.
Most of us suffer some level of videophobia, and precious few actually relish the thought of talking into a webcam or smartphone.
After all, unless we’re actors, news anchors, or Kardashians, being on camera isn’t something we do every day. It’s outside our comfort zone. So, like any new skill, it has to be learned and practiced.
Ask 100 small business owners why they haven’t yet used video to promote their products and services, and 95 of them will admit that it’s fear of being on camera.
Of course, if we break it down further, we hear common concerns such as “I don’t like how I look on camera,” or “I’m afraid I’ll screw up and make a fool of myself.” Shooting on-camera video is akin to public speaking, and we know how most folks feel about that!
While these are all legitimate fears, they are certainly not insurmountable obstacles. Granted, women have it harder than men to get “camera ready,” but, believe me, us guys have our share of bad hair days and times when we’re just not ready for prime time.
The surprising part of all this is that many entrepreneurs avoid the camera despite the fact that they understand the marketing power of online video.
In fact, videophobia may be the only thing standing between you and the business success that video marketing provides.
So what should you do if you suffer from videophobia? Why should you miss out on the most powerful marketing tool available today? Here are a few remedies to consider if you are one of the many business owners afflicted with videophobia:
Practice, Practice, Practice
As the saying goes, all things are difficult before they are easy. But with time, patience and persistence, video does get easier. It’s often a matter of trial and error, so put in the time to practice and rehearse. Even the highest paid movie stars do a dozen takes to get a scene right, so why shouldn’t you?
Get Creative. Get Crazy. Get in Character
Despite my 20 plus years in the television business, I was terrified of being on camera when I started doing online video. I had always been on the other side of the camera, so suddenly being the center of attention was scary. My solution was to hide behind costumes and characters.
I put my kids in my videos, my pets or props – anything to take the focus off me! Ironically, this worked like a charm and I became known for my wacky “LouTube” videos and characters like Director Cecil B. DeMoron. Think outside the screen and see what you come up with.
Face Your Fear Head On
There’s always the philosophy of “feel the fear and do it anyway,” and “action cures fear.” There comes a time when you just have to suck it up and do it. Or as my friend and mentor Michael Port says, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Do an Interview
This trick works wonders, because it’s always easier to do video when there are two people involved. Having a partner or co-host takes a lot of the pressure off you, and can make the entire process more enjoyable. Google Hangouts (or even Skype) make it easy-peasy to do video interviews or “two-shots,” even if you and your co-conspirator are on different continents. Enlist a friend or colleague and have some fun with it.
Relax and Be Yourself
You do not have to be a celebrity or reality TV star to be on camera. YouTube has made it possible for anyone, anywhere, anytime to be on screen. People are watching videos to be entertained or educated. In many cases, they are looking to solve a particular problem.
That means that it’s your content that counts. Focus on your message. Share your story. Be yourself and do what comes naturally.
Of course, being on camera is not the only way to create great video. Even off-camera videos can be effective. Still, for making a connection and establishing that all-important “know, like and trust” factor, there’s nothing more powerful than appearing on screen.
So tackle your videophobia and start enjoying the benefits of online video today!
Make your intention real…Click the Tweet button below to let us know you’re going to take action and start making videos!
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.