Should You be in Your Own Video?

Appearing in your own videos can be a great way to build a relationship with your customers or clients, and adds a personal touch to what you do.

There are massive pitfalls however, and not understanding that can be to the detriment of your video and your audience retention.

First, let’s look at some of the reasons you should consider appearing in your own videos.

Does your confidence or personality sell your business? If your business needs you to show your capability and confidence, then of course you should do exactly that.

Recently I’ve been working with Eamonn O’Brien (@thereluctantsc) who’s business is public speaking. He should be in his own videos, it would be absurd not to showcase the public speaking skills of a public speaking expert.

Do you want to connect personally with your customers? For small businesses this can be a big reason people choose you over a competitor. Showing that you not only sell a great product or service, but that you’re passionate about what you do, friendly and approachable, helps to build a relationship of trust.

Do you have the experience or skill to effectively ‘sell’ what you do? Maybe you’ve taken drama classes, maybe you were in a few short films in the past or maybe you just love the camera and it loves you. If you have the talent to present what you do effectively and confidently, your audience will have a person to relate to directly.

Eamonn O'Brien

Eamonn O’Brien of The Reluctant Speaker’s Club is a great example of someone who belongs in their videos.

Now, with all that in mind, what about the reasons you shouldn’t appear?

Are you experienced in front of a camera? Actors, presenters and voice-over artists are trained professionals. You may be great, but don’t assume it just because you’re confident. It’s different in front of a camera, some thrive, some hate it – and it’s not always obviously confident people who thrive.

Try it out at home first if you’re not sure. If you can remember your script and still sound natural while
speaking to a camcorder, you’ll be fine. If you get really nervous it’ll be twice as bad with a professional camera and lights focused on you.

Being natural on camera is tough for some and easy for others. Find out which it is for you before you end up wasting money recording a video that you’re not happy with. Tell the video producer if you’re unsure about being on camera – they’ll know if it’s working or not.

Do you really need to be seen? Some businesses can let the product do the talking. If you’re selling a physical product, this is particularly true, unless you’re hand-crafting it. Show the customer why they should buy what you’re selling, not why they should like you!

Remember, the biggest companies rarely feature their top executives in ads. They can afford to hire actors of course, but if your aim is to be a huge business, act like it. It’s a bit like dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. Make video for the business you want to be, not necessarily what it is right now.

A final point to consider is voice-over. You may not want to be seen, but you could use your own voice. If you think that would work for you, record yourself and listen back. Would you buy what your voice is selling? Does your voice match the product?

If the answer is yes, then consider voicing the ad yourself. If the answer is no, you may want to look into hiring a professional. More budget-friendly though, is to think about who you know with a great voice or some radio experience, or ask your video producer to suggest someone.

If you have any doubts, you’re probably better off away from the camera, unless your business really benefits from having you as its face.

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