Updated: Aug 22
If I asked anyone to describe me I am pretty certain the phrase 'shrinking violet' would be unlikely to come up. I was a precocious child, who became a preening teenager, then a somewhat pretentious adult. I was the star of the school play, the lead singer of the band, the host of the party. Why then did it take me more than three weeks after editing to post my launch video for Moore’s Lore Media?
Last December I quit my job and began planning for my new business, Moore’s Lore Media - Content Strategy & Storytelling Solutions, with every intention of launching it at the start of the new year. I already had the name but crafted a value proposition with the assistance of a few industry friends, translated it into a website and sales collateral, assembled my database, and created my content strategy which of course included video.
Sometime during that bloated lull between Christmas and New Year I penned a script then set up my camera, mic and some basic lights to record. Having had a fair amount of on-camera experience I got my message in the can in a couple of takes and edited it that same afternoon. Then I left it, sitting there, on my hard drive and went to work.
In January I sent out my launch mailer without any video. I posted my articles on LinkedIn, promoted my workshops and had plenty of meetings, but no video. I noticed that some of my contacts had clearly made a new year’s resolution to start posting more of their own videos, which were performing very well….but still I posted no video.
It’s not like it was my first time on camera. I trained as a drama student, was in short films as a teenager and had brief forays into presenting both children’s TV and news in my twenties (two very different ends of the spectrum). Plus I speak on stage all the time, which is said to be world’s #1 fear surpassing even death! So why no video? I know it’s the most engaging medium and achieves great organic reach on LinkedIn (for now); intellectually it makes perfect sense but emotionally it feels like a much bigger risk than writing a blog or posting a picture.
Finally, on 24th of January, I manned-up, swallowed hard and posted my video just before lunch (unconsciously choosing the worst time of day to post). I put my phone in airplane mode and ran off to the gym to work off my anxiety. When I finally switched my phone back on an hour-and-some later that little red disc, the one that magically delivers a tiny dose of dopamine into your brain every time it appears, was hovering ominously above my LinkedIn app. I had notifications. I tentatively opened the app, hoping for the best but braced for the worst, and do you know what I found inside? Not the ranting of deranged trolls but the best wishes of friends and colleagues happy to see my start on my new journey. What a relief!
So why did it take me so long to post? Thinking about it now I realise it’s the first time I have appeared on camera without being asked by someone else. There was no producer, director or editor I could blame for putting me on there, I was the producer, director and editor and it was entirely my choice to foist myself on the world through video. This doesn’t bother me in written form but on video one is so vulnerable because it's not just your thoughts that are up for criticism but your face, body, voice and attitude. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not everyone’s cup of tea but I don’t need to be told that in the comments!
It’s part of my job to encourage and train people to share their story with the world through content and that includes prepping them to appear on stage and on-camera. But I hadn’t appreciated until now that there is a difference between being asked to appear on someone else’s camera and appearing on your own. This will certainly add a new dimension to my workshops and training solutions. For now my best advice is; be prepared, be authentic, be brief and have faith that your friends and colleagues are far more interested in supporting you than strangers are in trolling you. And if you do get trolled remember, it reveals more about them than it does about you, which on LinkedIn is their liability.
Moore’s Lore Media - Content Strategy & Storytelling Solutions helps people and organisations find their narrative and share it with the world online, on-screen and on stage. Find out more at www.mooreslore.com.