Getting Over Yourself, and Getting On with Video

By Maya Middlemiss

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I read an interesting discussion this week on LinkedIn about video marketing, and why people aren’t doing it as much yet as they ought to be.  Video is so powerful, when it comes to personal branding, establishing authority and credibility, and simply building trust.  People prefer to buy people, rather than products and services – and putting yourself and your unique personality directly into the sales message has never been easier, whatever your business.  We are trying to do more and more of it here at Saros Research, so watch this space in 2014!

The tools to create video have also never been more accessible and affordable, and whilst there are many people who will try to persuade you that you need professional standard videos to market your business the fact is you can actually achieve amazing things with equipment you probably already have already – such as your smartphone, or your built in webcam.

making marketing video

This is obviously totally how I do it

So why are we still avoiding it? My feeling is that it’s simply about fear and insecurity.  And mixed in with that, hiding inside it, is a hidden dose of simple vanity.

I am of the generation that did not grow up with video, and in fact pre-digital – and pre-social-media – even photos were a lot less in evidence.  What I look like is something that I have had to try and get used to.  And if I can do it, so can you.

I don’t like how I look on camera – but that’s simply because its not something I am accustomed to.  I don’t go around looking at myself!  Photos always look wrong to us, because they are the opposite way around to the image you are used to seeing in the mirror – faces are not perfectly symmetrical, there are differences, which is why you see a photo of yourself and think ‘oh I look weird’ – whereas in real life as opposed to looking-glass-world, that is actually how you look!

So video is even worse, you get the chance to see not only how you look but how you move.  Do I really keep doing that with my hands, my hair , what is that weird eyebrow movement?  If this is supposed to be MY face why does it make me feel so uncomfortable to look at?  And that weird sound must surely be a product of the cheap mic distortion, because I cannot believe that is my voice..?

But you just have to get over it.  And stop conflating vanity with insecurity – one of the consequences of not growing up with video is that I have to get to grips with this in my 40s not my teens or 20s, but this is what I look like now, what I sound like now.

The one thing I have now that I didn’t have in my 20s (apart from the technological tools available) is my experience.  My expertise and my business credibility – that’s what my clients and associates need from me, and what I need to put into my videos.  This experience has been gained at the expense of many years effort, which has brought me grey hairs and some lines on my face!  But that’s OK because clients who are hiring me for my research and business skills could not care less about that.  If they want to look at videos of beautiful young women on the internet there are plenty of places they can go to, I dare say that if they are checking out something business related just now their motivation is very different.

Of course I do whatever I reasonably can to look OK on video.  A bit of make up and flattering lighting, well-chosen clothing and accessories all help to enhance your professional credibility and keep the focus on the business message, they can also help you feel confident and relaxed as you do what you do best – communicate your business message.  Have a look at Sarah and Marlene’s excellent series about managing Google hangouts  for some brilliant tips to help you present yourself and your business appropriately and successfully:  It doesn’t cost a lot or take much planning, to make small tweaks that bring big payoffs.

Then you can get out from behind your ego, turn our hang-ups into Hangouts and have some fun with it!

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Maya Middlemiss

I run Saros Research Ltd, the UK’s leading recruitment agency for paid market research events – such as focus groups, user testing, interviews and product development.I am also a mother of two, social media fan and productivity obsessive, loving location independence and flexible working – and sharing a passion for lifestyle and consumer issues both personally and professionally.