The other day I asked myself if I’d never made a video before, what advice would I give my social media intern younger self without giving a vague answer like ‘just start’.
Before becoming the first content-related hire at VEED I was offering consulting services. I realized some people gave me a blank stare if I gave them too many lessons and things to do in one session. Too much information can paralyze you into a state of indecision and overwhelm.
So back to the original question, here’s what I’d advise my younger self.
Start talking to yourself as if you’re narrating your process while you work. Use your own voice or have fun and embody the voice of Morgan Freeman or Sir David Attenborough when narrating a nature documentary.
No need for pressure from a camera lens, no lighting setup, no mic - just you doing your thing, talking out loud, and maybe laughing at yourself a bit (because I know I have) 🤣 .
I think when I started making content, there wasn’t as much FOMO as today in regard to getting fancy with it.
- I didn’t have a fancy camera, good lighting, good audio
- was broke and couldn’t even afford to pay my phone many months (and was in a terrible living situation I was ashamed to show on camera)
- I didn’t have experience talking on camera
If you want to find buts you will find buts. Your brain is built for survival and survival doesn’t like taking risks. It like staying warm, cozy, and safe.
Confident or not…what I didn’t realize until I hit record is I’m good at what I do but was so wordy and full of ummmm thiss and ummm that in every sentence. I’d always been in the action but never stopped to describe it.
I’d edit videos and wrinkle my face as I’d cringe at the sound of every word that came out of my lips.
But talking (and listening) to yourself will help you become a better communicator in all areas of life. It’s a skill that will serve you on and offline to better sell your significant other on why they should give you a back massage tonight, it’ll help you more effectively recruit and train a new hire, or not be that friend who sends a 1,000 word text that could’ve been two sentences with an emoji.
I’ve been making videos of myself for about 4 to 5 years now. You WILL make yourself cringe but you will get better IF you…
- Hear yourself talk (many times)
- Take note of what topics you get stuck on so you can better dissect them before rolling the camera again
- Consistently try to get better at explaining things more clearly and concisely.
And forget the fancy camera if it’s a hassle. I still mostly use my phone even though I have a nice camera. Fun fact, one of VEED’s top traffic-driving videos was shot with my coworker Alec’s webcam!
Focus on what you have to say more and less on the gear.