Video is rapidly becoming one of the most powerful mediums for content publishing on the internet. In fact, it's already the largest source of data traffic on the internet, growing at a compound annual rate of 26 percent, according to a report by Cisco. By 2021, 82 percent of all consumer-related data traffic flowing through the internet will be video.
Last year, LinkedIn rolled out native video upload capability to its 560 million members. This year, Instagram announced IGTV, it's long-form video format.
One of the most effective and popular video formats for delivering content and building personal and professional brands is the "selfie-style" video, where you're talking into the camera and sharing your ideas and tips with your audience.
What if you want to start making videos so you can share what you know about a topic you're passionate about -- but just don't feel comfortable getting in front of a camera? What if you're an introvert who draws your energy from other sources, like reading, writing, or having a deep conversation with a friend?
That's what Sean McCabe addresses head on in a recent video he shared on YouTube. McCabe is the founder of Seanwes, an online community of creative professionals and creator of bestselling courses where he teaches topics such as hand lettering, copywriting, and how to price creative services as a freelancer. He's also a prolific content creator, with a recently published book on building a successful side gig, a popular podcast, a YouTube channel, and a widely followed Instagram channel.
McCabe is also an introvert who has successfully overcome his natural aversion to putting himself in front of a camera. Here are five tips he shares for making videos if you're an introvert like him (Quotes from his video have been edited for length and clarity):
1. Schedule it.
Given the inherent reluctance introverts have toward putting themselves in front of a camera, McCabe suggests a work-around: Carve out specific time slots on your calendar to produce videos.
"I actually did several calls this morning. I recorded two other videos. And I did a live stream. And you better believe, when I was just sitting down at my desk chair, I wasn't feeling like making a video. But I looked at my calendar and it said I've got to record a video...You can't wait until you're feeling it, because as an introvert, you're never going to feel like being out of your element."
2. Speak to one person.
Looking into a camera, you might feel like you're addressing a room full of people. But that's not how you should approach your videos, says McCabe. "The most common mistake I see is people saying, 'Hey guys,' or 'Hey all of you,' and it's really bad for introverts especially because it puts a lot of pressure on you. You feel like, if I'm gonna make a video, if I'm gonna do a live stream, I'm gonna be talking to all of these people...and that feels really scary, it feels overwhelming."
"Typically you don't have a hundred people huddled around a laptop watching a video at one time...Speak to one person...you'll feel like it's more of an intimate conversation...That's what helps it feel natural and it puts me at ease."
3. Charge up first.
Introverts draw their energy from different sources than extroverts. Whereas an extrovert might recharge by producing a video, the experience can be draining for introverts, who would generally prefer to stay off camera and focused on an activity that gives them energy, like reading or having a one-on-one conversation with a friend.
Since creating videos draws on your supply of energy, you'll need to store some up before putting yourself on camera, advises McCabe. "If you know you've got a video you have to make because you scheduled it...you want to make sure you have time to charge, you have time to sleep, you have time to rest and be alone."
4. Make a list.
Having listened to and watched McCabe's podcasts and videos for the past few years now, I know how much time and effort he puts into preparing his content. If you're an introvert like him, he suggests preparing a list of topics in advance so you're preparing going in.
"I knew I needed to record a video today, but I didn't just come over here, stand in front of the camera, and figure out what to say. I had a list...I went to the topics and it said, 'Make a video about making videos as an introvert.' This also combats the issue of not feeling like it."
Another practice McCabe follows when producing his podcasts and videos that he didn't mention in this episode, is sketching an outline of the key points you'll be covering in your video. You might even want to script out the entire thing and read it verbatim if that gives you the confidence you need to deliver your message.
5. Focus on the people you'll help.
For all the tips and techniques McCabe offers introverts trying to break-through their personal barriers to produce videos, he suggests one of the most important is tapping into your "why."
"Yes it takes energy to make videos, it takes energy to speak to people as an introvert, so you have to find a reason for doing it, a reason for showing up, a reason for sharing your message."
"I'm thinking about you the viewer specifically, one person individually who's going to benefit from this, who's an introvert just like me, who's gonna get something out of this and realize, you know what, I can overcome that feeling, I can show up, I can make a video anyway. This is gonna help you overcome that hurdle. That excites me."