Call it whatever you want. I'm a big guy. I grew up bigger than most of my peers and have always been above average. When I started T Squared close to five years ago, I knew I would have to be in front of the camera, and it gave me anxiety to think about how others might perceive me. Would they think I'm lazy, unintelligent or unqualified based on my appearance? I didn't know.
The truth is that I've always been comfortable in my skin as an adult. But I knew that putting myself out there on social media, news interviews, and print editorials would make me subject to other people's opinions of myself. If you are the person in your business that has to be the face (and body) of your company, you know exactly what I am talking about. In this modern marketing world, it feels like a requirement to put yourself out there if you want to succeed. So the choice becomes do you fit in or do you stand out.
Trust me when I tell you, being who you are will always be your greatest strength.
Judgement is a hard thing to process.
It forces us to ask the question, do I subscribe to this idea of who I am? I'm no mental health professional, but I am a marketing guy. So here is what I know. Feedback will always come in positive and negative forms. And with more success, you will receive more feedback, and if you don't like it, you better close up shop now. It's part of the gig.
You need to set healthy boundaries to protect yourself from dysfunctional comments. Stop sending anonymous surveys if the data collected is unhelpful or hurtful. Turn off comment sections on blogs or posts if they are a source of negativity. You are not obligated to take feedback from every possible point of entry. You most certainly are not compelled to take abuse online. You absolutely wouldn't tolerate this face to face.
I'm not too fond of the term IRL.
In real life implies that what happens online is not real. It devalues the influence and power that online interactions have on us as humans and as businesses. What happens on social media is in real life.
Choose what serves you.
We all operate our business based on our available time and resources. We make choices every day that may not be perfect, but they are vital to our business's profitability. It's easy for us to take feedback personally, but we need to pull back and breathe. Take a beat, not a beating.
It's your job to protect all of your assets, including yourself. The notion that being on social media is a licence for people to treat your company, your hard work, like a punching bag is no longer relevant. So go ahead, call me Fatboy, but you just might get blocked.
Working with a professional photographer can be a considerable asset to your brand. It's essential to find one that matches the style and vibe of business. Be mindful that not all photographers are commercial photographers or content creators.
Communicating with your photographer about where the images will be used on social media will help them use the correct orientation. An IG story will need to be vertical, but a Twitter cover photo should be shot in a wide landscape format. If you don't know where the image will end up, let them know you need various options.
We could get very technical here, but for the sake of keeping it straightforward and informative, let's run down the key terms. Framing refers to what is in frame or what you will see in the final image. When planning shots, it's best to refer to them as follows:
Not all social media content is smiley. Let your photographer know how these images are being used. If it's for a blog about mental health awareness, you likely don't need an enormous grin on your subject. Make a shot list before the filming date and record all the shots you hope to achieve. Use basic descriptions to minimize confusion.
For example: 3-4 full and medium shot photos of a man looking concerned (header image for the blog).
During your photo shoot, you should trust your photographer. Standing over their shoulder, asking to see each shot over and over, or giving excessive direction is going to kill the creative process quickly. The time to plan is before the filming. Once you are on location, you need to give some freedom to the photographer. If you can't trust them, don't hire them.
Explaining artistic concepts can be tricky. Your definition of specific terms may not be the same as your photographer. Visual references are always helpful, like creating a Pinterest board. You can also reference other IG accounts and websites that inspire you.
With a little bit of research and some simple planning, you can be sure to create a strategy that will keep your project on track. Then you can enjoy the filming process more while the professionals do the work.
Everyone says video is the answer to everything, am I right? On social media, it has to be one of the most recommended formats. It performs better, it can convey emotion easily, and it builds trust. So here is why I wouldn't say I like it.
It's super hard.
The thing with speaking on video is that it's a learned skill, so it's not something that comes naturally to anyone. Like public speaking, there is a real art to it. You have to understand your intonation, control your breathing and know how your body posture is reading on camera. For many people, the idea of being on video causes a lot of anxiety. So much so that even with preparation, they buckle once the recording starts.
It takes planning.
Showing up for filming without a plan is the perfect way to set yourself up for failure. Thankfully you run the same odds of messing it up by over-preparing. Getting hung up on the perfect script can backfire if the nerves sneak up on you. With your shoulders creeping up to your ears and your tongue in knots, creating video content is never boring!
Putting yourself out there.
Believe it or not, very few people love putting their faces out there for the world to see. Gone are the days of drawing male genitals on your favourite realtor on a bus bench and welcome to the world of internet trolls. The fear of being judged or experiencing negativity can be very intimidating. We need to remind ourselves the reward is much greater than the risk.
Video is the best way to connect with your customers on social media. Be smart about it. Mix it up with other static posts that support similar content objectives. Video doesn't have to do all the work. Develop concrete strategies before you film. You won't get a better idea once the camera starts. Seriously.
Most importantly, get some sleep, eat a good meal, drink some water, and keep your head in a positive mental space. If filming late in the day is going to give you too much time to build anxiety, suggest a time in the morning. Give yourself the best chance to succeed by allowing yourself the time to breathe and come in relaxed. You are fantastic and believe me when I say you are going to do awesome.
Created by T Squared Social. We are a Saskatoon based social media agency with a focus on education, content creation and management. We love making great content and helping people with their social media.