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Honest or just couldn’t be bothered? Why you may need to stop being ‘authentic’ in your video posts

Honest or just couldn’t be bothered? Why you may need to stop being ‘authentic’ in your video posts

I want to be perfectly clear about something. I love authenticity. When you are posting on social or creating content for your marketing, you should always be yourself. People will respond to you, and you will create a bond that will do nothing but good for a potential on-going relationship as long as you are being yourself. Even if the opposite happens, and your potential customer hates you and decides not to do business with you, when would you rather that happened? In advance, or after wasting time on meetings and relationship building only to decide it isn't going to work.

OK so having said I love being authentic, I really think you may need to stop doing it – well at least in the way I regularly see it done. There is a very big difference between the authentic you posting video, and just looking like you really couldn't be bothered to do it properly. Authenticity is not about doing it badly; it is about what you have to say and how you say it. So, here are five things to think about before you make your video, that could stop you looking like you either didn't think things through or just couldn't be bothered to put the effort in.

1.Location, Location, Location – part 1

listening. The bottom line is you want to be seen and heard. Take a moment to listen to your surroundings and put yourself in the position of the viewer. If you have a trucks roaring past or you are standing under the announcement system at a trade show (both real examples by the way) then move. It isn't going to magically be okay, and you can't fix it later.

2. Location, Location, Location – part 2

look behind you. Many years ago I saw a rather lovely shot pan down some beautiful old wood panelling in a church to a presenter. Unfortunately, the inlaid gold leaf words behind the presenter were truncated by the shot and now read ‘Thou art the son of the Fat' above his head. I will spare you the description of a similar problem with the words' massive cocktail bucket offer'. Look around before you start shooting, or better still, take a test shot of where you will be standing and make sure there is nothing embarrassing in the background.

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3. Do not be over authentic

Do not be over authentic and just ignore bad mistakes or stumbles; it makes you look unprofessional. The bottom line is that we are rarely actually authentic as such. We play a part for everyone we meet. The authentic you that is on screen is not the authentic you that occasionally has a bit of a moan or forgets why they looked in the fridge. The authentic ‘screen you' is a planned persona that is a snapshot of the real you. It is the difference between presenting to a room (as you) and sitting talking to your friends in the pub (as the real you). Both are your real personality, but one is rehearsed and professional. Spontaneity, like being an overnight success, usually takes a lot of practice.

4. Get out of your car

No, really, get out of your car. I think I actually want to say that again. Get out of the car. I appreciate it's convenient because you have a phone holder. I know that it fills a few minutes while you are waiting for something to happen, and so does everyone else. I recently raised this at a network meeting, and the room unanimously agreed that they were totally sick of looking up someone's nose while they sit in the driving seat of their car making a video. As one person put it “If I see another ******* video of somebody sitting in their car telling me something I already know I am leaving LinkedIn”. I saw one recently where the presenter said: “I'm in the middle of a great training day, and I thought while I was sitting here having lunch, I would tell you about…” I never found out what because I thought ‘your client didn't like you enough to have lunch with you, so you decided to make a video about whatever went through your mind while you were munching on your corned beef sandwiches?' and I turned it off.

5. Say something or say nothing

If you are posting a video because it's time to post a video to tick a box on your social media list, then at least make some effort to be interesting or useful. Content is about engagement as well as hitting the marks for your marketing schedules. Ask yourself how many times you need a viewer to switch off after they hear you tell them something they didn't need to know before they stop watching you altogether. Make it engage their interest, and they will come back, don't, and they will leave forever. So say something and post it or say nothing at all and don't post it at all.

All of the above doubly so if you intend to go live. I saw a live broadcast a couple of years ago where a someone picked up the phone in the background and started arguing about an invoice not being paid. Live is dangerous if it goes wrong!

First thing in the morning, the authentic you probably rolls out of bed looking messy, bleary-eyed, and only cares about going to the toilet and finding coffee. You would never dream of putting that authentic you on camera. The professional you is no less authentic or real, but they make the effort to be a professional.

Do the same with your videos.

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