We’ve all heard the Social Media Coaches go on, “the best way to engage with your audience is to show your face. Show them the person behind the business!”. But when you’re stood in your living room trying to find a quiet few minutes and a big bucket of confidence to ‘show-up’ on video in your Instagram Stories, it can be hard.
Imposter syndrome kicks in, flashbacks of a scary solo performance on your primary school’s nativity comes flooding back, and before you know it you’ve convinced yourself this is a no go zone.
But the truth is, those Social Media Coaches aren’t wrong. Face-to-camera video content on Insta Stories is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and build their trust in the person working behind the business. This is an obstacle I too as a shy business owner once had to get through, and so I thought I’d share some quick top-tips from my own personal experience.
1. Act Natural
One of the most appealing parts of Insta Stories is their informality. Unlike grid posts or blogs, there’s no way to schedule them, and after twenty four hours they’re gone – never to be seen again.
Try to remember this when you go ahead to film a piece for your Insta Story. People aren’t expecting a dolled up face and a perfectly rehearsed script, they just want to see you. Off the cuff, natural speak has a far better chance of connecting with your audience, and is the easiest to do too.
My favourite Insta Stories are those I see of someone caught in the moment. Whether it’s in the middle of working on a project, or when an idea has just popped up in their mind – it’s here I feel most connected to the individual, excited to have been given and exclusive insight to their world. Filming off the cuff rather than at a dedicated time also reduces any anxiety from counting down the minutes to do something.
2. Make the most of Captions
With 80% of people watching video content on their phones on mute, captions are an essential when uploading a video to your Insta Story.
But if it’s the idea of listening back to your own voice that’s putting you off from filming your first video, the solution is here! Instagram have just recently launched their Auto-Generate Captions feature! Just search for Captions after you’ve filmed your video and they’ll be added as written subtitles to your video without you having to listen back to yourself.
The feature isn’t available for Welsh-language video yet, so if you’re wanting to add Welsh captions, how about asking a friend or family member to type them out?
3. Utilise the ‘Hide Story’ feature
Did you know? You can hide your Insta Stories from people without having to block their account.
If it’s the fear of people you know watching you that’s putting you off from speaking to the camera, the Hide Story feature is a great tool to restrict certain people from viewing your stories.
To activate this feature:
• Head over to the account you want to hide your stories from.
• Click on the 3 dots on the top right hand corner of their profile
• Select ‘Hide your story’
You can disable this feature at any time too, so even if it’s just to give you the confidence to put up your first ever video – it’s a handy trick to try.
4. Focus on one person
It may be the golden rule you received before your debut in the school nativity, but it works a treat here too. Try not to think that you’re talking to a group of people, and rather focus your attention on one person. It can be an Insta Bestie that watches all your stories, or a completely made up person.
Speaking directly to one person is also great for making that vital connection with your audience, so there’s even more reason to give this trick a go!
5. Look into alternative solutions
If you’ve read through all the steps and the idea of switching that camera on is still filling you with dread, there are alternative solutions that enable you to ‘show up’ without switching on the camera.
Mwydro’s personalised GIF Character service is a great way of showcasing the person behind the business in a unique way, and it’s a service that spanned from resolving this very fear of showing up on Instagram.
The quirky characters, digitally drawn and animated by me to look like the business owners, come in a variety of movements and can act as your very own social media stand-ins. Add them alongside text, or use them as visuals along with a voice recording if it’s switching on the camera that brings out the fear.
Or, if you pluck the courage to put on your camera – GIF characters make the perfect virtual mascots to cheer you on and bring a fun, playful energy to your video content.
Get in touch!