Be very careful. If this is not your style, then suddenly adapting it because you think everyone else is doing it is going to backfire on you.
Lately, I have seen some people produce content that has them jumping at the camera and using bigger sounds and more drama in their audio. I am all for adding one’s personality to whatever the content is, but doing it the wrong way can hurt more than help.
Let’s talk about a few examples.
More Inflection and Gestures
In writing, we have the added responsibility of putting our personality into our words so they punch a little bit and so that people can picture us when they’re reading our words. You want them to picture you when they read your words, don’t you?
You don’t want them to become bored when they read what you write. That is why you will continue to see so many suggestions about writing conversationally and to incorporate storytelling when writing or speaking. These practices help your words come to life, which is what you want.
In audio, we also have to use a little bit more personality, or what might be interpreted as inflection. Some are naturally a little bit more dramatic when they speak. Dramatic isn’t even a good word; rather they tend to use a little bit more personality when they speak. They don’t have to worry about adding that much additional inflection.
Then there’s video. What I’m seeing lately really concerns me. This isn’t with everybody, but I think this is happening with more people because they are watching Gary V., or Gary Vaynerchuk. You may have heard of him. Gary can be pretty animated. He can also be low key. He and other video marketers or video producers have a lot of high-energy practices they incorporate into their content. They jump at the camera, and they suddenly use elevated motions and sounds. Gary does this naturally and has done it so long that it is natural and effective…for him.
Come to think of it, I think Gary’s use of these motions has decreased over the years. Let me know in the comments if you have observed this, too. His style has evolved.
Some who are attempting to adapt his more animated style as their own make it appear as though they are saying “OH MY GOSH, everything is the BEST and the GREATEST, and I’m going to yell at the camera, or I am going to incorporate a jump cut here and a jump cut there.”
Jump cuts are very interesting. If you don’t know what a jump cut is, you see it all the sudden when you’re in the middle of a video and the video stops and jumps to the person’s next move or phrase. It deliberately cuts out space in between sentences. That is a jump cut.
Don’t Copy If It’s Not You
I’ve seen a few people I know who use this very effectively, but I’m also seeing some people try to copy some of these practices and going a bit overboard. Do you know what the problem is? The problem is that this is not them at all. I click on one of their videos or one of their messages and I last about two or three seconds and I’m gone…if I even open it… because they’ve begun to get a reputation for being overly dramatic and over-the-top. I’m someone that finds it challenging to watch or listen to people who are not being themselves or not being authentic in their delivery.
This Is Why It Happens
I know when we’re producing something like audio or video and even writing, we get into the mode of thinking we have to deliver something a little bit more than what we normally would in regular conversation because we’re in a marketing mode. We know we need to stand out from others by not being the same.
Instead, what we need to do is to practice regularly so we get to the point where we are just being ourselves and letting our personalities shine, letting our personalities enter the conversation, and using inflection when we normally would. Of course, if you don’t use any inflection, find a way to work it in naturally, or work with someone who can help you do that.
My Suggestion To You
- What I want you to do is to watch those people who are using these practices authentically and where it seems natural. That is the practice that is going to be most effective for you, not emulating actions that don’t match your personality or your brand.
- Show your passion and excitement, but don’t stretch it to the point that it is unnatural or not in agreement with who you are when others meet you offline.
- Don’t incorporate practices just because someone told you that was the latest and greatest editing practice, or because you think you have to jump out of the screen to get everyone’s attention.
- Please don’t start raising your voice because you think I am going to listen to you because that is likely not going to happen…at least not a second time.
This can really hurt you in the long run. If this is not your personality, then nobody’s going to listen, read, or watch. Then what have you accomplished?
Well, absolutely nothing but turning people away.
Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to maximize business development efforts to grow their practices. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement business development efforts that are more relevant to their current and potential clients. She also helps lead law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, voice marketing, flash briefings, and livestreaming. If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here. She can also be reached via email here.