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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

How To Be Cool on Video: 10 Ways to Make an Impact

Written By: Lou Bortone | Comments Off on How To Be Cool on Video: 10 Ways to Make an Impact

The biggest fear that most entrepreneurs have about using online video to market their business is not about technology or how to create the video.  If you’re like most small business owners, the biggest fear that you face is that you’ll make an ass of yourself on video.  You’re afraid you’ll look like a fool or a fake.  Or you’re worried that people will criticize your video or – even worse – simply ignore it.

I’ve given this common syndrome a name: VPA or Video Performance Anxiety.

VPA is widespread among small business owners.  Most entrepreneurs would rather have a root canal than appear on camera.  Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome Video Performance Anxiety and actually look cool on camera.  Maybe not George Clooney cool, but cool enough for your colleagues and prospects to respect you and want to work with you. 

I’ve come up with a list of 10 different ways to be cool on video – each of which should give you the confidence to go forth and share your message with the masses.  Pick one or more of these tactics and fire up that webcam!

  1. Be relevant – Be topical. Be timely. Share content that will resonate with your target market. Talk about or teach something that will strike a chord with your viewers.
  2. Be funny – Humor is not easy, but it’s very effective.  If you can pull off funny, go for it. Funny videos are the most popular and most shared videos that you can create.  Give it a shot.  The payoff can be enormous!
  3. Be engaging – You can talk at people or you can talk with them.  Think of your video as a conversation.  Engage your audience.  Reach out to them. Encourage feedback.  Ask for a response.  And be sure to include a call to action in all of your videos.
  4. Be real – Be yourself.  Be authentic.  Don’t imitate, innovate!  The real deal will always play better than BS.  Keep it real!
  5. Be bold – Say what you think. Arouse controversy. Don’t be afraid to piss some people off. Express yourself fully.
  6. Be different – If everyone zigs, it’s time to zag!  Lead, don’t follow.  Experiment and explore.  It’s okay to “go rogue” on your video. Different gets noticed.  Different is good.
  7. Be your brand – Think of each video as a building block in your branding. Use your video soapbox to develop and expand your brand.  Be consistent and focused.  Stay on topic and stay on message.
  8. Be generous – Share your content generously and frequently.  Give ‘til it hurts, then give some more. Video is the perfect tool to share your gifts and spread the love!  Provide value before you promote.
  9. Be moving – Emotion connects and real emotion connects big time.  If you can use your video to move and inspire your viewers, you’ll be more than cool on camera – you’ll be loved!
  10. Be money – Better yet, show your tribe how to make money!  Use your video platform to show your audience how to be successful.  Show them the money!

If you can run with even one of these 10 ways to be cool on camera, you’ll never again suffer the embarrassment of Video Performance Anxiety. The trick is to just get started. Like everything else, the more you do it, the easier it will become.

Did we miss any video tips? Do any of these work especially well for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Article written by Lou Bortone
Lou Bortone is an Online Branding Expert and Video Marketing Strategist who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners build breakthrough brands on the Internet, so they can have more visibility, credibility and profitability. Lou delivers innovative and creative online branding strategies, including video marketing and online video coaching/consulting. Lou has over 25 years experience as a marketing executive in the TV and entertainment industries. He’s worked for E! Entertainment Television and was Senior VP of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles. Learn more at