What is authenticity and how does it affect the way we should Conquer Camera Fear?
A very important part of growing a YouTube channel is overcoming fear in front of the camera. Your audience doesn’t just follow you because you give great information; they follow you because they like you, they like your personality. So if you are not yourself on camera, you are tricking them, you are robbing them of the chance to form a real connection with you.
Do you think Spielberg was born with a camera in his hand? Or that Oprah was born ready for her closeup? Heck no, we all have to start somewhere. So today, I’m going to help you get over your fear and get ready to be on camera to help you reach more clients because sometimes the only way to conquer your fear is to just do it scared.
As a digital coach with YouTube as a chosen platform, I know exactly how it feels to be totally intimidated by the record button. Too many of us are stuck in a cycle of ‘I’m not enough.’
I’m not young enough.
I’m not techy enough.
I’m not interesting enough.
I’m not charismatic enough.
But guess what? These ‘not enoughs’ are just your fears telling you big fat lies because you, my friend, are more than enough, and I’m here to show you how.
Now, let’s say you go down to the street corner, and you start passing out $20 bills to random strangers to say, “Hey, I’m turning 50 this weekend, and I have nobody to come to my party. Would you like to come? Here’s 20 bucks for you, 20 bucks for you, 20 bucks for you, 20 bucks for you”.
Not long ago, I hosted an event for almost 200 people in Florida, and over and over again, I heard from people in the audience that said, ‘I know video is important, I really, really want to do it, but I just haven’t been able to make myself start yet.’ So I pulled six unsuspecting people out of the audience and pulled them up on stage and asked them what was keeping them from making videos if they knew that it would promote their business, if they knew it would bring them clients. What was it that was stopping them?
Everyone’s issue was a little bit unique, but there were definitely some common themes.
So I coached each of them a little bit and hopefully inspired them to just take a chance and try it. In fact, Lisa posted in our private community not long after, made a video and shared it, and said that her knees were knocking the entire time.
But here’s the thing, I watched the whole video, and I could not tell that she was nervous at all, not at all. So here she was, completely terrified, and no one could tell, because guess what, she was the only one who knew that.
So let’s start with common fear #1: “I’m not very techy.”
I hear this daily. I’m sure you know that some of the biggest YouTubers out there started with their cellphones. That was their camera of choice – cell phone. And many of them are still filming only with a smartphone.
And as for editing, don’t let that be the obstacle. There are so many very simple, user-friendly editing programs out there. And if you really don’t want to do a lot of editing at all, work on being better on camera and not making a ton of mistakes. That way, you have far less editing to do in the end.
So how do you overcome this fear?
For me, when I’m filming these videos, I look at the camera lens, I say my line, I usually screw it up at least once or twice. I just stay in the same position with my hands in the same position. I take a breath, and then I say my line again until I get it the way that I want it. So now I know that the last take was the best. I don’t have to watch the previous takes. I just go straight to the end one, that’s the one that I wanted to use.
I’m not doing a ton of fancy transitions, I don’t have lots of music and all of that stuff going on. If I am doing the editing myself, I keep all of that stuff to a bare minimum.
Now, I outsource my editing. I pay for a company to do it for me. They can go crazy and do all the fancy stuff to their heart’s content. I mean, that’s what I’m paying them for, after all. But if I were doing it myself, oh no, oh no no no no, there would be no transitions. It would all just be straight cuts and jump cuts, and maybe a little bit of background music, but that’s pretty much it.
So it’s all about taking the first step. And if you’re scared, so what? Do it anyway.
The best part about having a brand new, small YouTube channel is that nobody’s watching when you first start. So you might be terrified, your knees might be knocking just like Lisa’s, but when you make that video, no one’s going to see it. You might get five, ten views. That’s fine because this is the point where we are working out all of the kinks. We are getting comfortable being on camera, and it’s good that no one is witnessing really how bad we are at the very beginning, right?
Common fear #2: Age and appearance.
I watched a video that showed up on my newsfeed, and it was called ‘Why I Started a YouTube Channel at Age 90.’ And this adorable woman who is 90 years old has decided to start a YouTube channel. If she can do it, surely we can all do it, right?
I’m in my 50s. I have gray hair, I have wrinkles, I could stand to lose five or ten pounds. Nobody is perfect, but that’s not why people are watching the video. The people are not watching the video because they think that you’re a glamorous movie star. They’re not watching the video because you’re wearing a gold sparkly bikini, or gentlemen, you know, you’ve got six-pack abs. That is not why they are watching the video.
If you’re making these videos to promote your business, you are trying to help people. You are trying to solve their problems, inspire them, educate them, entertain them, sure, but you’re trying to do something for them that will improve their lives. So just remember that they’re not watching the channel because of how you look. They’re watching the channel because of how you can improve their life.
And to me, this is like a huge weight off my shoulders. This makes it so much less pressure when it’s not all about me. It’s what I can do to serve my audience.
Now, do I still want to look good on camera? Yes.
So the days when I’m filming, I make sure that I put on makeup and I do my hair, and I’m not wearing a t-shirt with paint splatters all over it. I do get camera-ready. But other than that, I don’t worry about it too much.
This is what I look like. Not a lot I can do about it unless I’m willing to undergo the knife, which at this point in my life, I am not. I can’t change my voice, and I’m not going to change my entire personality because someone else doesn’t like the personality that I have now. I’m just going to be myself on camera. The people that like that will gravitate toward me and watch my content, and the people who don’t, that’s okay too. They can go watch someone else. There are millions of YouTube channels. They don’t all have to watch mine. But, you know, clearly you should.
So if you’re feeling insecure about your age or your weight, just remember, remember Marilyn Monroe was considered like the quintessential perfect woman that everyone should aspire to look like, and she was a size 12. She was a US size 12.
Girlfriend was not skinny. And men drooled over her. So there’s no reason why we need to feel this pressure to be a size negative four. We can be ourselves on camera, and either people like it or they don’t. That’s their opinion. It really is none of my business.
And that brings me to authenticity.
You have to be yourself on camera because what you put out there is what you will attract back. And when you are yourself on camera, you attract people with a very similar personality. The reason they watch you is because they feel drawn to you. They feel connected to you. They feel like they understand you, they feel like you understand them.
This is a very important part of growing a YouTube channel. They don’t just follow you because you give great information. They follow you because they like you. They like your personality. So if you are not yourself on camera, you are tricking them. You are robbing them of the chance to form a real connection with you.
The last thing I ever want is to meet someone in real life and they go, ‘Oh, you’re not at all like what you seem like on camera.’
To me, that would be a horrible thing to have happen. I love it when I meet people and they say, ‘You are in real life exactly how you appear on camera.’ To me, that is high praise. That is exactly what I want to have happened.
So if there’s something about yourself that makes you insecure, that you consider to be a flaw, is there another way of looking at it where instead of seeing it as a bad thing and it’s a flaw, that you could instead decide that it’s your strength, that it’s your superpower.
I have a friend, J Man Monero, who says that as a kid, he had ADHD. He was always fidgeting, he was running around, he couldn’t sit still, and he never shut up. Well, guess what he is now? He’s a keynote speaker.
He gets paid to come on stages and run around and have lots of energy and not sit still and never shut up. So the exact same thing that he was criticized for as a child in school is what he does to earn his living now. I just think that’s the greatest example.
You might not be happy about whatever it is about you and think that it is a detriment, but what if it could actually be a strength? What if that could be what people really enjoy about you?
I am 6’1″. I did not like it as a kid. I towered over every single kid in school until I got to high school. I was literally the tallest kid in school all the way through 8th grade. Not the tallest girl, the tallest person. Until I got to high school. When I got to high school in 9th grade, I was like, ‘Hallelujah, there are finally a bunch of boys that are taller than me. Thank you.’
I did not like being tall. None of my clothes fit. I was super skinny, so all my clothes were baggy. I had to buy them bigger to be long enough, but then they didn’t fit me. And this was back in the late ’70s, early ’80s with like tight Jordache jeans, and you know, none of my clothes fit. I felt very awkward. I felt like a newborn horse that’s like all gangly legs and knobby knees and elbows.
But now, I speak on stages all over the country about video marketing and funnels and all of the marketing things. And being 6’1″ is a huge asset for me. When I put on high heels and I’m now 6’4″, when I’m standing on that stage, every single person in the room can see me with no problem.
The people at the back aren’t doing this ’cause they can’t see me, and they’re trying to see the stage. No, that is not a problem that I have. My height didn’t change. The way I think about my height changed, and that made all the difference.
So if you’re saying, ‘I hate the way my voice sounds,’ start telling yourself a new story.
If you don’t like your accent and you’re telling yourself that people don’t understand you, and so no one’s going to watch your YouTube channel because they can’t understand what you say, try telling yourself a different story. ‘My accent is charming. Americans love a good accent. People are going to listen to my accent and think I sound so exotic. They’re going to love my content.’ Your accent’s not changing. The way that you think about your accent changes.
So, what is one thing that’s been holding you back from making videos that will promote you as the amazing coach or course creator that you are?
Is it your age? Is it your weight? Is it how your voice sounds? Is it the fact that you think you are too introverted and nobody will want to watch you? Do you think that you’re boring? Do you worry that you don’t know what to talk about? Everybody has something that is stopping them from making videos.
Did you know that I wrote a new book? I did. It’s called ‘Do It Scared,’ and it’s all about this idea that you might be terrified to make videos, but you know that video is so important. It is the way of the future. It is not going away. It is not dissipating and not being as valuable anymore. It’s only getting stronger every single day.
So I wrote this whole book, ‘Do It Scared,’ to help you see the camera as your greatest ally. It is not your enemy. It is your new BFF. You’ve got to learn to embrace the camera so that you can put yourself out there and make content for your ideal audience. And even if it scares you to death, doesn’t matter. Do it anyway because most people can’t tell the difference. But after you’ve done it 5, 10, 20 times, you won’t be scared anymore. It’s just taking that first step.
If you would like a copy of my book completely for free, click the following link: Do It Scared and just pay for the shipping. I will send you a paperback copy, signed and autographed by me, and I will get that in the mail to you ASAP.
Tip #1: Start small.
Tip #2: Write a script.
If you turn on the camera and you just don’t know what to say, write it all down first. I like to write it all down. I look at my script. All I do is memorize the first sentence or two, then I look at the camera and I say that sentence.
I’m not really reading it because I am looking at the camera screen. I’m not reading from a teleprompter. But if I screw up the line, all I have to do is go back to my script, look back at the camera, and then say it again. And eventually, I get the take that works well enough that I can use it.
This is great because I never feel like I just don’t know what to talk about, but I look very comfortable and conversational on camera because I am not reading from a teleprompter like I’m on the 6:00 news.
Tip #3: Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Even if you do screw up, remember, making mistakes are okay. Nobody is judging us. No one is saying, ‘Um, I’m giving this a B-minus because you tripped over your words three times, and you say ‘um’ an awful lot.’ Listen, we all say ‘um,’ we all say ‘like.’ I start too many sentences with ‘so.’ It happens to all of us. Don’t be overly critical of yourself. Nobody is perfect. The people who are perfect are in Hollywood making $8 million a film. That’s not us. It’s okay to be imperfect.
If your bloopers are funny, I love to put them all together and have like a blooper reel at the end of the video. People could stick around just to watch the bloopers if you’re funny enough. And if you do that for every single video, you start training the people to watch to the end because that’s where all the funny stuff’s going to be.
I figure if I’m going to get all gussied up for the camera—oh my gosh, I just sounded like I was 100 years old, didn’t I? I can’t wink with my left eye. I can’t wink with my right eye either, apparently. Ah, I messed up again.
Tip #4: Finally, let this be your mantra: Do it scared.
It doesn’t matter if you are nervous, if you are terrified if you’re just very uneasy. Do it anyway. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel, the better you will get. Eventually, you won’t be scared anymore at all. You might be terrified to hit record, but I promise you, you will not die. You will not die because you filmed a video and you uploaded it to YouTube.
You are more than enough to start making videos to promote yourself and your business right now. Give yourself some patience, some grace. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to be a beginner and to not be perfect from day one. Nobody is perfect the day that we start, but we get closer and closer to perfect with every video that we make.
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