As someone who markets video production to small businesses, I see the fear of being on camera as the most common worry for almost every business owner. But I couldn’t understand why people were nervous about it. They looked very presentable to me! But then one day I was asked to be interviewed for a small web show about startups. The invitation sent a shock of anxiety through me. “What am I going to say? I'm not camera ready. My communications skills are not polished. What if I say something that hurts the business?” Anxiety! Anxiety! Being in those shoes really helped me understand why the anxiety is such a factor for all business owners. So I asked myself, “What would it take to reduce my anxiety?” These are the 6 things I needed to hear to reassure myself I didn’t need to fear the camera, and I hope they will reassure you as well.
- It is the videographer’s job to make you look and sound your best. Know that it is the videographer’s career prime directive to coach you to look your best and come across in the best way that will help your business. They are trained to have a one-track mind for finding the best shots, and best messages to help your business. Videographers are always striving to develop their talent for visualizing how the audience perceives their video and finding the ideal techniques to captivate viewers. Not only do they bring out your best, they only use the best of the best in the final video edit.
- It is the videographer’s job to make you comfortable. The key to looking your best is for you to be comfortable on camera and videographers have a long list of ways they can help you relax. It’s easier to have a friend shoot your video than someone you just met. Videographers help you feel more at ease by treating you like a friend. If you’re interested, see the article, 10 Techniques for Getting Your Subject Comfortable in Front of the Camera.
- You’ll be covered by B-roll. Most of your speaking will be the background narration to shots of your business. Only for a few seconds will you actually appear speaking in the video.
- Review and retake. You’ll be able to view footage of yourself to see what adjustments you need to make. If you’re not happy with what you see, then you can always do another take. The most common adjustment is to raise your energy and liveliness to a level that might feel over the top.
- You have final say. Know that nothing gets published without your final approval.
- Audio Only. If being in front of camera still gives you anxiety, you can simply narrate the audio into a microphone and forego having your face appear periodically in your video.
- Don’t Narrate. Or if you don’t feel you are a good speaker, then have a pro, colleague, manager or employee narrate the video for you. Yet another option is to make a video without any narration at all. A video of just B-roll (action shots) without A-roll (narration) can still be helpful to customers.
A video simply captures what you regularly tell your customers. So if you are conducting business face to face with customers on a daily basis, you really have nothing to worry about. You’re going to do great because you’ve had lots of practice without even realizing it!
The process for producing a small business marketing video continues to be refined by a startup of 500 business videographers called Biveo.com What might take over 20 hours for an amateur can be done by a pro in about 5 hours, and be of better quality.
Having an effective marketing video produced can take less than a hour of your time and range in price from $200 to $2000 with a recommended target rate being $400 - $500.