Does getting in front of the camera terrify you?
We make excuses to avoid doing it. Video content is complicated right? You need equipment, you need to be comfortable in front of the camera, you need to know what you’re doing.
But the reality is, we’re scared and we’re allowing that fear to hold us back.
Video isn’t hard. The mobile phone in our pocket is a powerful video camera and editor. People today are making quality video on their phone that would have taken days if not weeks to make on the equipment I used in college.
All you need is a smartphone and the confidence to start creating. And that’s what this post is all about. We’ll look at 3 tools that will slowly help you smother your fears.
So whip out your phone, free up a bit of space so you can download new apps and I’ll show you some tools you can use to help you feel more comfortable in front of camera.
3 Tools To Help You Confront Your Fear Of The Camera
1 Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Stories
The easiest way to get comfortable with short video is to use the function within story tools. Each video you add to your story is a ‘shot’ in a longer story.
When I started doing Live video I was terrified, there was something about that live, un-editable me that was scary. I used Snapchat to get comfortable. I figured if I could shoot a 10-second video of myself, eventually I’d feel brave enough to hit the ‘Live’ button on Facebook. It worked.
So give it a go, tell Snapchat what you’ve got planned for the day or about something you watched on TV last night. Don’t worry about what you look like or sound like, it will be gone in 24 hours and if you can conquer Snapchat you’ll be able to conquer all online video.
Story tools like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories are also a place to practice visual storytelling. Think of it like a blog post. What is the one thing you want people to learn from you? Look for visual ways of teaching that thing.
Here are some stories I made when I was experimenting with Snapchat:
Use Snapchat and other Story tools to practice video structure
Do you remember Vine? I was mad for it, a cool little social network where you could share six-second, multi-shot video clips.
The cool thing about Vine was its interface. You just hold your finger on the screen for as long as you want to record and remove it when you are done. Similar to how Snapchat and Instagram stories work today.
Vine was bought by Twitter and then closed down in 2016. You can still view some of the fun videos that were shared on Vine for inspiration.
Although Vine the social network has gone the tool survives. You can use VineCamera to create short videos and easily share them to Twitter. This is a great way to practice putting shots together to tell a story, it also forces you to keep it concise. Videos can still only be a maximum of 6 seconds long.
If you’re not quite brave enough for video yet start with photographs. Flipagram is a tool that lets you create video from a selection of photographs.
Just because you are using photos it doesn’t mean you should forget storytelling. Try telling a day in the life or the chronology of an event you attend.
Here’s one I made at a Sage Business Expert meetup back in 2015:
Yesterday Sage brought Small Business Experts from Ireland and the UK to Newcastle. It was great to meet so many great business owners. It was even nicer to travel with @eamonnobrien @charliemoos & @frederiquemurphy who made excellent travel companions. #sagebizmeetup #smallbusiness #sme #smallbusinessowner #newcastle #sage
Are you feeling brave now? Then hit the Live button on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and talk to your audience. After you’ve done it once you’ll want to do it again (probably).
The key to good video content
The key to good video content is the same as any content you create online. Forget about the tech and think about what value you can share with your audience? What can you give them that will help them learn or better themselves? If you know what you can teach them the video will make itself.
All of these tools are easy to use, so you’ve no excuse pick them up and shot yourself a video, it could be the beginning of something.