Increase Confidence on Video: Define your Brand Personality
When I was a copywriter, I had to learn to switch voices depending on which brand I was writing for at the time. To do this, I liked to visualize putting on a certain hat that matched the voice of the brand. In other words, does this brand wear a fedora, a baseball cap or a top hat? There is a personality in a brand. It provides a way for us to differentiate and show our uniqueness.
Video provides a medium to literally hear a voice and see a personality – and if it fits, perhaps wear an actual hat!
Here are a few tips to help you bring your brand personality into the video you create when you promote yourself and your business.
These tips fall into three categories: Physiology, Tactics and arguably most important: Messaging.
Express yourself – use your face, gestures, vocal tone, rate of speech and creativity to express who you are and the points you want to convey. All too often I see people on video (conference calls, content and live video) who don’t take full advantage of their facial expressions. Your face is prime real estate for branding your personality – use it!
Energy to engage – Even if you are a serious type of person and you are talking about a serious topic, you still have a duty to engage the listener in your message. Effective communication is a two-way street. To be effective, your listener has to get something out of it. For them to do that, you must get them involved in your topic – not just talk at them.
Use your whole self – Whether it’s a talking-head video or your whole body in the frame, it’s important to use your posture and clothing to support your message and not distract from it. Cameras don’t like stripes generally and a straight spine communicates confidence. Basic things we can pay attention to will mean a lot to the viewer.
Warm up your voice – You don’t have to be a singer to do vocal warm ups. The last thing you want to do is be clearing your throat or guzzling water when you’re on video. Before you speak, warm up your vocal cords by over enunciating the alphabet, practicing your script or even talking to yourself aloud.
Get eye-to-eye – When I was doing YouTube videos a few years ago I earned my first “hater.” It’s all good though because it was a learning opportunity. This person happily pointed out something like “Oh great, another YouTuber who is not looking at the lens.” I’ll never do another video without making eye contact with the lens. Thanks hater! 😉
Practice but don’t perfect: When I taught college students public speaking the text-book recommendation was to practice their speech 6-10 times. This way it became more natural and they weren’t searching for specific phrases to repeat from memory. And as valuable as practice is – don’t strive for perfection. You’ll drive yourself nuts with too many takes. Simply rehearse, record and publish.
Two key tech tips: When I worked on video production projects during my marketing career, I recall an entrepreneurial video pro telling me, “Video is about two things: audio and lighting.” How ironic that so many get hung up in camera specs and gear when – when, from that pro's view – gear didn’t make the list.
Messaging: (maybe I’m bias but this is really the sweet spot that helps you stand out!)
Bullet point your value – Experts look “expert” because they plan. If the point of content marketing (video or otherwise) is to create value and build trust, then you want to be sure your videos provide helpful information. To do that, you want to be quick and efficient. As Mark Twain said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” It takes effort to share value in bite-sized amounts. Bullet point the value of your message so its most helpful for your audience.
Use stories you know – A great way to make it easy to speak naturally on camera is to use real stories from your life. If you can speak from the heart, you don’t have to worry about remembering what to say. Think of stories that illustrate points that parallel topics you teach others about. It may be a client story, a first-hand experience or something from a former career path. Stories connect and bring your brand and personality to life!
When you hear big names like Gary Vaynerchuk and Marie Forleo what images come to mind? For me, it’s videos I have seen them do. Gary has long been known to unapologetically drop some F-bombs and continues to do so even with a more recent emphasis on empathy. Marie Foleo has a savvy business mind and can bring a sense of humor with her dance moves. They’ve used video to showcase their personality and in turn it has helped build their brands.
And we can do that too once we decide our brand personality. One way to start is to ask your clients one important question:
“What are three words that describe your experience of me in our last _____?”
(The blank represents how you worked with them last and will fit your business model.) For me it might be session, workshop, course, or coaching program.
Here’s what I heard recently after a workshop I conducted:
- Energizing. Thought Provoking. Creative.
- Valuable. Passionate. Charismatic.
- Innovative Ideas. Audience Engagement. Clarity.
It’s great to know people are picking up on my intention for my brand personality!
Have you defined yours? If not, I'd be happy to offer you some resources to help you do so - send me a note, click here!