The toughest thing about creating a personal brand is just that—it’s personal.
So when someone doesn’t like you or how you present yourself, it hurts in a way that’s very different from representing a company or organization.
With video or TV appearances, it’s particularly tough because you are judged not just on what you say but how you say it, what you look like, maybe even how dangly your earrings are. I once had a top news executive look at my reel—his only suggestion was, “She should cut her hair and then get back to me.” Superficial but true.
No matter how great your video is or how amazing you are on camera, some viewers just won’t like you. Video is the most personal medium and everyone has an opinion. I’m not recommending you don’t take constructive criticism seriously but here’s why you shouldn’t let naysayers stop you from hitting record.
Watch this video about why I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will never win some of my audience over.
Here’s another example:
For a while, most of the reporters on ABC World News Tonight were white men with dark hair cut a certain way. Someone at the top must have liked that look and, whether the organization was conscious of it or not, the result was a pretty homogenous looking roster of reporters. I would guess that some journalists got passed over for positions because they didn’t fit the mold.
There might be some people who never watch my videos because they assume, based on my name, that I don’t speak English very well; or, if they do watch, they just don’t connect with me.
With a personal brand, it’s vital to prove yourself worthy of your audiences’ time over and over again. It can be tough on your psyche.
So, here are 3 things you can do to overcome feeling self-conscious when you go on camera or produce a video for your personal brand:
1. Watch yourself back but don’t do it on a big screen and don’t linger.
Without watching yourself you’ll never know that your lip color is all wrong or you bounce up and down while you talk or that, actually you are pretty good!
2. Observe your videos with an outside eye.
You may know that your front tooth is slightly crooked but trust me, no one else will notice if you don’t draw attention to it. They are probably ordering lunch while they watch you anyway.
3. If you find that you appeal to a certain segment of the population, go after it!
Don’t chase after a demographic that just isn’t that into you.
Whenever I feel like I’m putting myself “out there” too much I try to remember a line from my book:
“Modern technology allows a level of self-scrutiny that should be used for self-improvement, not for destroying your self-confidence.”
Go easy on you.
Manoush Zomorodi’s on-camera expertise comes from years of reporting and producing for BBC News and Reuters Television. For more tips and techniques, check out Manoush’s ebook Camera Ready: How to Prepare Your Best Self & Ideas On Air and Online and follow her on Twitter @manoushz.