First of all, Happy 2022 my Amber Babies!
With 2021 behind us and all the events, love, laughter, and lessons now in the past, I want to take this time to warmly welcome all of you into the new year and into a new mindset.
Years pass, technology changes, and we, as a society, adapt to these changes. Social media has changed the game when it comes to marketing, strategy, business, and personal brands. It's almost asinine to believe a business could thrive to its fullest without at least some measure of social media presence.
But how does that translate into our daily lives? For some entrepreneurs and brands, that means showing up every day, posting valuable content, and getting comfortable in front of the camera.
But not all of us are entrepreneurs or brands. Some of us simply want to get in front of the camera more, flex an ungodly confidence, and show the world who we really are, but even beyond that, most of us just want to share a personal, human experience that people can relate to.
Getting in front of the camera more, posting selfies, videos, reels, etc., it all requires a baseline level of confidence. It's intimidating to compare ourselves to some of the online talent nowadays, but with a few minor changes in perspective, we begin shifting ourselves towards being more confident and comfortable in the front of the lens.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Nothing will be perfect the first time around. Showing your face on camera isn't going to be the most glamorous thing. You're going to feel your insecurities push through the first time you post a reel, a TikTok, a live. A lot of content creators nowadays post content consistently, they've perfected their craft, they're confident in front of the camera, and this isn't something that happens with just a single video.
Being uncomfortable is just part of the social media game. And when it all comes down to it, you'd be surprised at just how much people don't care about your insecurities as much as you do. Remember, each person you meet, each person who sees you, is another unique version of you. No two people are the same, and what one person might notice, another person might overlook.
Try practicing in the mirror. Be gentle with yourself, repeat affirmations if you need to, remind yourself that you're strong, confident, and evolving at your own pace. Don't forget that being uncomfortable is an unavoidable step towards perfecting truly engaging content.
Not Everything You See on Social is Real
Social media has evolved. Long gone are the days of simply posting photos on Facebook and Instagram. Today, social media has shifted towards favoring video content. Where photos can be altered with photo-editing software like PhotoShop, videos can now be altered in the much the same way, and when it comes to showing your face, filters have become a huge sensation.
Filters have their pros and cons. But one of the biggest drawbacks to filters? They can present to us a major illusion on what beauty actually is.
For instance, some content creators only use filters on themselves or edit their pictures and videos to take out blemishes, acne, wrinkles, and even rearrange their appearance altogether. The result? A standard of beauty that isn't actually real. Social media users may begin comparing themselves to this "perfect" face or body, when in reality, the true face behind the lens may look completely different.
Don't compare yourself to someone else, especially to anyone you see on social media. This is such an unhealthy habit some of social media users experience, because when it comes down to it, social media is not the real world. It is a virtual world, and although it may be a fun pastime and creating content may generate followers, likes, and overall confidence, the way you carry yourself in real life and perceive yourself on a day to day basis is what truly matters. Ditch the virtual expectations, live in the moment, and appreciate the differences between people without expecting too much of your own appearance and dispositions.
Go Niche, and Go Hard
What exactly is your intention on social media? It seems like a silly question, but it's honestly one of the most important questions if you want true engagement.
Are you simply posting bits and pieces from your life? Are you into cooking? Beauty products? Poetry? Shopping? Understanding yourself and the content you'd like to generate more of gives you an overall understanding of the audience you're trying to cultivate. Not everyone using social media is going to be interested in the content you're creating because, put simply, everyone has their own likes and tastes. That's the beauty of curating an audience that enjoys the theme around the content you create. And it makes it easier for you to put yourself out there on social knowing that this audience is exclusively seeing you. There's less judgment and less pressure because you know that these people want to see more of you and what you have to say.
How is this accomplished? Don't be afraid to go niche. A lot of people on social are afraid to go niche because they feel like appealing to the mass audiences is going to generate more engagement, but truth be told, this just confuses your audience (and the algorithms) as to what you are all about. It makes it harder for people to find you on social, enjoy your content, and be a part of your content creation journey if you aren't creating a niche space for yourself in this virtual world. Narrow down your content themes. You'd be surprised at the payout.
Plan Content in Advance
Having a plan is a peace of mind that doesn't just apply to careers and finances. Sketching out and following a content strategy is an approach that's going to give you more leverage, more freedom, and more confidence in what you're putting out into the world.
Sit down and sketch out how you'd like your timeline of content creation to go. Maybe this week you want to focus on a specific topic, a DIY, or a tutorial. Maybe you'd like to post stories the next few days on something difficult that you've overcome, or a review of certain products or places you've visited. Maybe you're interested in trying out video collabs, following a trend on TikTok, or taking a stab at a live.
No matter how you want your content to flow, scheduling content gives yourself some comfort in knowing that you have a game plan. It makes it more fun, more appealing to get behind the camera, and more engaging for your audience because you've put in the time, energy, and effort to generate substance for them that aligns with something deeper within yourself.
Posting on social shouldn't be work. It shouldn't be stressful. It shouldn't be nail-bitingly terrifying. You should post on social because you want to, because you feel what you have to offer is unique, and because you want your audience to enjoy what you have to say and what you have to show them.
But the most important aspect of getting comfortable on social media is simply to have fun with it. Brainstorm ways to make generating content more fun for you. Perhaps try something out of the ordinary, a new shot, a new angle, a new place, a new spinoff that you haven't tried before.
When you're having fun, time flies. When you're having fun, it's easier to forget about insecurities, doubts, and low confidence. Having fun, letting go of these inhibiting beliefs, and finding freedom both in the physical and virtual world is true confidence. Love yourself, love your ideas, go with the flow, and enjoy your life. You only get one.