If you want to make sales, it’s important that you’re connecting with your community.
For online businesses, one of the best ways to make real connections with people is through video.
It’s the greatest way to simulate in person interactions, but online!
Not only will video help you to establish a relationship with potential customers, but it’s also a great marketing tool.
But, not all business owners are charismatic extroverts who shine in front of the camera.
For introverts, the idea of putting yourself out there for the world to see might feel incredibly daunting.
That’s why I’m going to dive into strategies that can help introverts get more comfortable in front of the camera!
Hi, I’m Mei Pak. I help artists, designers, and makers make a living selling their handmade products online.
I run a YouTube channel – so I know firsthand how to use video to promote and grow your business.
If you’ve watched any of my older videos, I’m not a natural when it comes to video.
I’m an extroverted introvert.
Meaning, that while I love being with people in small group settings, I’m not usually the person who’s talking and I overthink what I say all the time.
I was born and raised in Malaysia, where we had accents and we didn’t speak American English.
I had a lot of reasons to be afraid of video.
It’s something I’ve had to learn how to do so I want to share with you how you can do it too.
Video is a great way to build customer trust and loyalty and help set us apart from our competition.
YouTube has over 2 billion active users and Facebook and Instagram is always pushing its users to make more video content, which gets more views and engagement.
Video, when done right can be a fantastic way to market our businesses in an intimate and personal way, to a large number of viewers.
It's Not for Everyone
First and foremost, I just want to put the rumors to rest.
Not every successful business needs to be doing video.
I want you to release yourself from the idea that you HAVE to be on video to make a living online.
Yes, there are a ton of perks to video, and I know people say that videos are “where it’s at” right now, but the reality is that it’s not necessary for most businesses.
Making videos is super time consuming and not necessarily the best ROI.
So, if it really, really isn’t for you, don’t sweat it.
I don’t want you to force it.
There are plenty of other ways to build those connections with customers – like email marketing, for example.
If you are ready to take the leap into the world of video for business, then these tips are for you.
The biggest thing I’ll share, which sounds like a no-brainer but is really a huge part of how to do better with video, is practice.
Eventually, you will build up that comfort level – and hopefully once it becomes easy for you, you get excited to make your videos.
1. Pretend You're Talking to a Friend
My first tip to make video easier for you is to pretend you’re talking to a friend, instead of the internet, or even a camera.
Talking to an entire internet worth of strangers is intimidating – and it’s not going to feel natural.
Same with talking to a camera – we’re humans, not robots, and this type of talking is just not natural to us.
It’s really easy to get deep into your head when you’re trying to address the entire internet, which could make you lose your train of thought, or sound monotone or super nervous.
Instead of trying to address lots of people at once, imagine that you’re just talking to a friend.
Picture the person you trust most in the world, and just start talking, as if you’re out to coffee together.
This can calm your nerves and keep your tone natural, focused, and even excited.
Who doesn’t love sharing stories with friends!
You’ll feel more comfortable and familiar, and that’ll come through in your speech.
You can even invite a friend over to stand near the camera lens while you’re talking.
If that’s too much trouble, take a picture of them, print it out, and tape it near the camera lens – that can help to take the edge off.
2. Plan Your Video Content
Tip number two is to carefully plan your videos – so there are no surprises.
The better prepared you are for your videos, the better they will be.
This is just a fact of life that sometimes I wish weren’t true.
Planning isn’t the most fun thing to do.
But many of the most popular YouTubers out there go all out with a pre-written script and even rehearsals.
This way they know they’re going to stay on topic, make very few mistakes (if any), and have more confidence in their words.
As a result, their videos are high quality, professional, and rake in views.
There are also a lot of people who create videos without a plan – and they tend to end up stammering through tangents without ever really nailing down the point.
Often because they don’t even know the point of the video themselves.
Those videos get a lot fewer views and a lot more thumbs downs.
The better you plan ahead, the better you’ll feel, and the better the video will be.
Start with a clear idea of what your video will be about.
- What’s the goal of the video?
- What do you want your viewers to leave with?
After you have a really solid idea, list out your main talking points in an outline.
Think about what B-roll you might need to shoot.
Then, decide how you want to promote the video.
Remember, video is content marketing, and you have to promote your video after you publish it or no one will see it.
It might start to feel overwhelming – but trust me, that’s normal!
Every one of my YouTube videos easily takes 10 or so hours of manpower to produce – so if you’re working hard, you’re doing something right.
3. Use a Teleprompters
My third tip is to use a teleprompter so you don’t lose track of your words.
After all, what’s the point of a script if you can’t remember it.
There are plenty of teleprompter apps or software to choose from that allow you to read along with your script as you’re talking to the camera.
This is an amazing tool because you won’t have to memorize everything, and you also don’t need to try to read from a piece of paper or your phone.
You can actually look at the camera the whole time you’re speaking.
Teleprompter in the App store is a free, highly rated app that you can use.
In addition to the software or app, you’ll also need the teleprompter hardware.
Your options really depend on what you’re using to shoot your video, to begin with.
I’ve used the Parrot Teleprompter kit for my Canon Rebel camera and I can recommend that!
4. Keep Yourself Accountable
Tip number four is to figure out a way to keep yourself accountable.
People who get the most out of videos, whether that’s a YouTube channel or Facebook live, post content regularly, so decide what that means to you.
It can be once a week, or once a month, just make sure you’re consistent with that frequency.
Make a video content calendar to keep you on schedule.
There are habit and streak tracker apps like Habitica that incentivize you to keep going and stay on task.
If you’re not much of an app person, you can have an accountability buddy – a friend who knows your deadlines and will hold you accountable to meeting your goals.
You can also use a reward system for positive reinforcement.
For example, give yourself a treat like a trip to the ice cream shop for every goal you achieve.
This is what I do!
Every time I finish recording a batch of videos, I always feel so productive and I treat myself to a nice dinner!
Or, you can hold yourself accountable by promising to donate money to a charity you DON’T support if you fail to post – that should keep you posting pretty consistently!
Once creating videos and posting them becomes a habit, it will be so much easier to keep doing.
5. Don't Stress About Video Length
Tip number five is to try not to stress about the length of the video.
These videos don’t need to be packed with a ton of information.
Keep it easy for yourself to post regularly by making your videos simple, fun, and easy to understand.
Viewers aren’t looking for the most detailed information in the world anyway – they just want something clear, knowledgeable, and entertaining.
Short videos can be just as effective, if not more effective as long videos.
As long as you’re clear about the goals for each video and how you want that video to serve your audience.
Stay on point, keep it simple, and don’t overload the information.
6. Join an Improvisation Class
My final tip is a fun one – join an improvisation class!
If you’re not an actor, you might know about improv classes from shows like The Office, where Michael Scott takes improv classes after work for a few seasons.
Improv is a form of theatre where the scene, characters, and dialogue are all formed in the moment.
In an improv class, you basically play games with your classmates in which you enact a story that you make up as you go along.
You really have to think on your feet.
I know what you’re thinking – how is an acting class supposed to help me as a business owner?
Let me tell you, these classes are not just about performing on stage or being the funniest person in the room.
They’re actually a fantastic way to increase your confidence, learn key public speaking skills, and get used to thinking on your toes, and most importantly, get out of your own head.
In fact, improv classes like Second City offer classes specifically for introverts and business owners.
They help to train a part of your body and mind that just doesn’t get a lot of use these days.
And if you’re like me, you might get stuck in your own head too much or second guess every word that comes out of your mouth.
Most of the time, I don’t even trust myself to say cohesive sentences!
There’s just so much anxiety when it comes to speaking, especially to strangers, or you know, the whole internet.
Where I grew up in Malaysia, our sentence structure is flipped a lot of times, like in the Chinese language, so that’s how my head thinks, and it comes out sounding like broken English.
Improv has helped me so much.
It’s taught me how to get out of my head and be more comfortable with who I am – even celebrating the weird and goofy parts of me that I might’ve been self conscious about before.
My first improv class was a life changing experience for me and I recommend it to anyone who wants to do more video or if you’re just looking for a fun thing to do!
Making videos for your business is a lot of work – especially if you’re an introvert.
But, with the right preparation, anyone can make videos work for their business.
What are some of your tricks for speaking on camera?
Let me know in the comment section!
Check out my YouTube channel for more great handmade business tips!