The expression of pain on her face said it all. My client Lola and I were talking about marketing her business, and I brought up, again, the topic of video.
She grimaced, and looked away. “Yeah, I should do that… ” she said, as her voice trailed off.
I hear this over and over from my clients. When I do, I know it’s [eerie organ music plays] VIDEO ANXIETY. Aahhhhh!
Video anxiety can reduce the most capable business person to a puddle of indecision and inaction.
And I understand. I too suffer from this affliction.
But there’s hope! I’ve moved through video anxiety to the point where I’m actually producing my own videos. And you can too.
For months, I kept saying, I must do video. I know it’s good for my business. People can get to know me on a more personal level when they can see me. They can start to like and trust me, essential elements to making a sale.
And yet, I kept putting it off. Many of my clients, including Lola, do the same, sometimes for years.
Video has become essential to marketing almost every business. Facebook, a valuable marketing platform, prioritizes video. Having a video on your website has become standard. If you’re doing any kind of teaching, videos in courses have become the norm too.
Your ideal clients would love to find you! Video will make a big difference in helping them do so and connect with you, so that you can share your expertise and your products with them.
So how do you overcome video anxiety and reach the people who can really use your help?
Here are 5 ways to recover from and even cure this condition that’s been holding you and your business back:
1. Get focused. Let’s get right down to why you’re even considering video in the first place. Let’s get down to the core of your business: what impact do you want to have? What positive difference do you want to make in the world through your business?
Consciously or not, at the heart of every business decision is a decision about the impact you want to have, about how you are showing up in the world.
Will video help you make that difference, have that impact? (Hint: Chances are really high that the answer is yes!)
Your business only has impact if people know about it. So marketing is essential. And video has become an invaluable tool in your marketing.
Think about the business people you interact with online. Have you ever watched a video and felt so connected that you’ve been moved to buy? Would you have had the same response if you’d just read their marketing copy? Not likely.
Want to have impact? Video will be a big help.
2. Get organized. Engage your left brain, your thinking brain. For an issue with so much emotion around it, it helps to temper the anxiety with some thinking.
Let’s talk strategy and ROI (return on investment). Strategically, what’s going to allow you to have the most effect most quickly with the lowest cost? When it comes to marketing, video is right up there.
Technology for video is so accessible that equipment is no longer the obstacle. You already have everything you need. A smartphone, a computer. Even just a smartphone will allow you to produce your own videos.
Now let’s talk process (still working that dazzling thinking brain of yours!). If you know what to do, your anxiety is decreased.
So, map out your process! Whether it’s a bulleted or numbered list, or an actual map, or pictures, map out what you have to do in what order. Include makeup, hair, script, equipment setup, editing, and posting online.
This may require a bit of experimentation. Fortunately, experiments can be fun! They can even be playful. Experiment or play with the steps required to shoot a video.
Check out the Alchemy Assignment at the end of this article for a QuickStart process and resource guide on video making.
3. Get used to it. Practice will help you feel more comfortable. The great thing is, you can practice without even thinking about putting something online. Just set up your phone or camera and start talking. Or pick a topic and have a few prompting points to help you stay on track.
That ease in front of the camera doesn’t come to everyone right away. People who look comfortable usually do so because they’ve spent hours doing it. So don’t compare yourself to someone who’s recorded hundreds of videos. You have your own beginning – honor that.
It’s also helpful to practice the setup. That way, when you have a schedule for getting a video online, you won’t feel pressured. The steps will be familiar to you. You won’t have to occupy valuable brain and emotional power with mechanical distractions.
4. Bring in a friend. When I have another person with me, I often say things that don’t occur to me when I’m on my own. Videos can benefit from that too. Have a friend, colleague, or team member there while you’re shooting.
You can provide them with prompting questions, to help you get started. Let them ask you questions that occur to them too. You can edit it all down into an effective video afterwards. The important thing is to get it recorded.
This person doesn’t have even to be in the room. You can have them available to you online on video. It’s their presence that matters.
If you don’t have someone available, imagine the person you’re talking to, your ideal client, someone you’ve worked with, as the camera.
5. Go through it. At some point, you’re just going to have to do it. I know, I wish there was a remedy, something you could take or do that would just make the video anxiety go away. But it’s likely you’ll continue to have it, at least for a while.
Remember when you first started your business? You were uncomfortable at times, right? As your business grew, you continued to have discomfort as you did new things. Well, this is another situation where you just have to get comfortable with discomfort.
It’s not all bad. Your anxiety can be transformed into excitement. When you do your one-minute summary of your business or you stand up to speak, you’re nervous at first, right? Chances are, as you’ve done it more and more, you feel more comfortable. You may even start to enjoy it!
Get excited about the message you’re going to share. Focusing on what you’ll be doing for others is a valuable perspective that will help you not only on video, but in all of your marketing.
Use the 5 steps I’ve described here to help you overcome your own video anxiety.
It’s an evolution, your evolution as an entrepreneur. You’re continually becoming the person you have to be in order to have the business you want to have. This is just one more step in your ongoing evolution.
I still have video anxiety every time I set up to shoot. But it has definitely lessened, and when I remind myself of the things I’ve shared here, I can do it.
I know you can do it too! I look forward to seeing you show up online with your videos.