Camera Shy? Get Over Your Fears with These Four Tips

I am a true believer in the power of social media for B2B marketing, and I’m especially a giant fanboy of video on social media.

While I’m not really big into throwing a bunch of stats out in a blog just to prove a point, I do think some social proof is relevant when we’re thinking about how much video content is published online.

So here it goes:

  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

  • Views of branded video content increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook from 2016 to 2017 (But honestly, this one may not be 100% reliable given Facebook’s video stat inflation controversy).

  • Tweets with video get 10x more action than text-only tweets.

Alright, we’ll stop at three.

The important takeaway here is that video use on social media platforms is trending up, and if you’re invested in digital marketing for your firm, this is a wave you want to ride.

(I wrote recently about social media video trends for advisors, and you can check out that article at InvestmentNews here.)

So let’s say that you’re convinced you want to start publishing more social video. What I want to talk about today is how to get over your fears and actually do it.

Here are four ways to get yourself over your fears of being on camera so you can worry less and publish more.

Figure Out What You Want to Say

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but overthinking the content of a video is what stops too many people from every publishing.

First of all, focus on what you’re good at and go from there. Don’t get too broad.

If you’re a financial advisor, this is pretty easy, right? But think deeper for a second. What’s your specialty? Estate planning? College funding strategies?

Go with what you know. You can always expand out as the moment calls for it, but when you start keep a tight focus on what you do best to help increase your confidence.

It might help for you to create a theme for your videos. When I started publishing my Park and Talk videos, I felt like a theme would help me unify my thoughts and also help me to create a more consistent publishing schedule.

Putting myself in the same place for each video (my car, while parked..obviously) has done that, and as a result, recording a video is on my mind almost every time I’m in the car so it’s never too far from my mind.

Forget the Fancy Camera and Use Your Smartphone

I used to recommend a whole setup for people who wanted to create their own videos. I had a mic recommendation, a starter kit for lighting, a teleprompter, a DSLR camera...it was a lot.

And I’m totally over that type of rig for most people.

If you know how to set up lighting and you love your camera then by all means, go all out. But for 95% of advisors, all that setup is only going to increase the intimidation factor.

And here’s the thing—the camera in your smartphone is probably about as good as the fancy camera you have that’s collecting dust that you don’t really know how to use.

The latest iPhone XS Max has the best camera I’ve ever owned, and that includes some of the older DSLR cameras I’ve had in the past. The reason isn’t just the quality of photos, it’s how easy it is to use.

Here’s my workflow for shooting a video now:

  • Take phone out of pocket

  • Launch a video app

  • Record (a couple times...I’m no one-take genius)

  • Publish


That’s it. There’s no f-stop to figure out, no ISO to fiddle with. It’s simple and reduces the friction of recording video.

There’s also an immediacy and familiarity to using your smartphone. You likely use your phone for Facetime or video chat with friends and family. Filming a video for your business with a handheld look is the same experience.

Find an App You Love and Marry It

Variety is the spice of life and the death of anyone who wants to regularly publish content.

Always trying out new apps will kill your productivity faster than anything else. You need to spend your time on creating content and promoting it, not figuring out the tools you’ll need to produce the content.

I prioritize apps that give me real-time voice transcription, because 85% of mobile videos are watched on mute. If you aren’t including subtitles, you’re doing it wrong. (And don’t forget about how important subtitles are from an accessibility standpoint!)

Now, It’s time to reveal some secrets: I used Apple’s Clips app when I first got started, but right now I’m using the Clipomatic app (hat tip to new congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; I discovered this one through her Instagram stories).

Clipomatic has great accuracy in reading what I’m saying so I don’t have to spend too much time editing the text on my video. I can hit record, make a few quick updates, and then get the video online.

You may not want to be off-the-cuff with your speaking points, though, and that’s okay. There are some great teleprompter apps you can find that will allow you to upload a script that you can read on-screen, while looking at your camera lens, to help you through creating a video.

Practice Makes Perfect, but No One’s Perfect so Publish Instead

This last tip one is the most important.

The biggest fear for most people in publishing a video is that other people will see it.

But you want other people to see it, right?

If you need some work on your skills, then I suggest this strategy:

  • Write a script for your first four videos so you know your thoughts are solid.

  • Record these videos for yourself. No pressure to publish.

  • Do this routine for a month. Record as many videos as you want with no expectation that anyone will see them.

  • Watch your videos. This one is hard because we are all our own worst critics, but it’s necessary to identify your quirks and see how you can get better with hand movement or eye placement. Know that most of the weird things you dislike won’t be noticed by anyone else.

However, there is another route you can take.

If you’re someone who critiques yourself too much and you feel like a practice routine will stop you from publishing instead of giving you confidence, then go with option two, which I’m about to explain.

This is the strategy I took when I started Park and Talk. Here it is:

  • Record a video.

  • Publish it immediately.

I’m serious, that’s it. I knew that if I spent too much time practicing and thinking about it, I’d psych myself out.

So instead, as soon as I came up with my theme, I recorded a video and put it out. It wasn’t perfect. It’s still not perfect.

But the important thing is the videos are out there and they’re helping me better engage with people who follow me, and because there’s now an expectation that I’ll publish a video every other week or so, they force me to think more deeply about the content I’m creating and stay on track.

So there you have it. My four tips for how to stop procrastinating and start publishing more social media video.

If you’re using social media in your business, I’d love to check it out. I’m always looking for more financial professionals to study what’s being done and learn! Hit me up on Twitter with your videos.

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Featured Image: Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash