Video is one of the simplest yet strongest ways to build trust - especially in this remote world when we rarely physically meet the people we engage with online. That's why I'm publishing five reasons why you (and I) should be on camera more often.
People know who you are with video
Almost as soon as the pandemic struck, Zoom meetings became the primary way many of us interact with colleagues, friends, and even family. Video calls are far from the real thing, but at least you can see people and connect with them more deeply than voice-only calls.
It wasn't until the camera on my laptop stopped working that I learned two interesting things about video:
- Video makes it easier to build connections at work. With my camera off, it feels like there's less trust built. I've noticed this especially with people I meet for the first time.
- Video leads to deeper connections and comfort. Turns out, after meeting people on video, I'm more comfortable just calling people. As in voice-only phone calls. There's something special and easy and intimate about phone calls that I'd forgotten. But I only call people I know and already feel a trust connection with.
This is my experience with colleagues and I reckon the same has happened with YouTube.
Have you watched the same YouTube channel or listened to the same podcast each week? Do you feel like you know the hosts? I find video especially helpful in establishing a bond with someone - even if that bond is one way. Video is intimate and lets people see you and feel like they know you. If you're writing or publishing content with the hopes of connecting with more people, video is a fantastic way to add intimacy and connection.
Make it easy for people to like you
Showing up on screen makes it easier for people to make up their mind if they like you or not. And at the end of the day you want to surround yourself with people you like and who like you, right?
No matter what type of content you publish, it's all about building a personal brand, growing a presence, leaving a trail for people to find you and learn about you. People will read your blog, but video builds a different kind of connection that I feel makes it easier for people to like you.
Showing up leads to trust
Much like a consistent blog publishing schedule helps readers build a habit of reading your work, for video to make an impact you have to keep showing up. And when you show up with something unique and generous, an audience grows and people develop trust in you.
Here's how I know this works.
The Simply Cyber YouTube channel has been around for less 18 months as of this writing. Gerry and I have known each other for decades, so I already love him and trust him like a brother. Most people don't have that relationship with him but he's a constant giver who wanted to share his cyber security passion and expertise with more people. He started Simply Cyber just to share and teach.
Simply Cyber grew from 0 to 14,400+ subscribers in a very niche field in less than a year. When you read the comments on his videos you can tell that his viewers trust him. That trust has built up because he delivers amazing material week after week. Had he published one outstanding video he might have reached a few people. But because he publishes every week he's built a trusting audience who not only follow him but tell all their friends about him. It's relevant here because Gerry is on camera every single week.
In The State of Video Marketing 2021 report, Wyzowl notes that 84% of people say "they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video." Video builds trust.
Vulnerability brings people closer
Jason Hsiao of Animoto wrote 8 ways to Humanize your brand & build trust with video. In that post, he quotes Zig Ziglar:
“If people like you they'll listen to you, but if they trust you they'll do business with you.”
The point of publishing online is to build a business in one form or another. Whether you sell directly or you're looking for a dream job, the pointy end of this publishing work is to grow your influence and do business. Jason's post highlights several reasons why video is so helpful in making that happen.
He says to "Be yourself" and "Speak naturally" to give people the opportunity to get to know you. Video allows you to be expressive and vulnerable. Your messages will resonate with people.
Jason also encourages us to "Let your passion shine through," and I can't think of a better way to do that than writing and recording your story. With Simply Cyber, Gerry talks about his experience as a student, a practitioner, and a teacher in cyber security because he loves what he does. He also openly recognizes areas where he doesn't know everything so he brings guests onto his channel to teach him and his audience new things. That kind of vulnerability is real, honest, and a hell of a way to build a connection with someone.
It's the easiest way to get started
Let's face it, you and I are probably the cheapest on-screen talent right now. Yes, your time is super valuable but if you want to start building an audience with video, the least expensive person to hire as on-camera talent is you.
Nina Froriep of Clockwise Productions graciously shared her story with me on the Dear Video podcast. In that interview Nina talks about how she posts a new video every single day. She keeps it simple and she calls it naked.
Nina's "Naked" video series, in which the only thing naked is the video, is a daily education on building better connections with video. Her short daily videos are often recorded in the same location, at the same time of day, with the same gear. She does only minimal editing and her goal is to simply press publish every day. She encourages others to do the same.
Now is the time to get started
The simplest way to get started is to turn the camera on yourself and hit record. If you're building a writing habit like me, you already have something to talk about. Turn your written posts into videos. You could even record yourself reading your own blog posts - the idea is to get started and you are the best person for the job.
To put my money where my mouth is, here's my video summary of this post: