The art of authenticity: How to be authentic in B2B videos

May 20, 2019
Guest post by LinkedIn Top Voice and Shootsta Video Evangelist, String Nguyen Creating the right video content for social can be tough, especially when it comes to nailing authenticity. But after hundreds of videos and several LinkedIn Live-streams (since February 2019 launch), I’ve identified 3 must-haves for being authentic in B2B videos, especially ‘talking heads’ pieces. These are tips I live by, and hopefully they’ll help you, too – because B2B doesn’t have to mean boring! Besides – as people, we emotionally connect with people. And business is all about people. The key to reaching them is authenticity.

Here are the 3 key things to be (and avoid) when striving for authenticity in B2B videos

Be charismatic, don’t be plastic

‘Sparkle’ comes from your confidence: in being yourself, at work and at home, online and offline. And while video ‘talent’ is generally associated with on-camera ‘personas’, it’s different on LinkedIn, as a professional platform – you need to bring you. It’s not enough to just be in front of the camera. On LinkedIn, you need to champion your authority, your brains and your in-real-life self in order to resonate. So one needs to have a personality for video that readily defines you as someone to watch. Having a charismatic personality is the ‘special sauce’ of what grabs people’s attention online and encourages them to engage with you on-screen. Now that LinkedIn Live is out, for example, having a watchable personality counts even more; it’s a different ballgame to uploading static, pre-recorded videos. Imagine talking for 25 minutes, seeming chilled, yet every effort is made to ensure you’re adding value for your audience non-stop. Not only do you need to be confident about yourself and what you bring to the table, but you need to be engaging, too. Being a content creator has its pros and cons; I love it, as I get to control my narrative. To have that inner self-assurance, one needs to have the core belief that what you bring is essentially worth it. So be you, and be as real as you’d be in person. Another really important thing is remembering your energy is limited. When you’re on camera, focus your energy by sharing your knowledge, skills and experience. Being fake or going against your personal values will only serve to drain you. Video is all about energy, and connecting with people. Don’t be fake. Be you! People will always admire you for being yourself and doing what you love. Stand out amongst the sea of storytellers – ditch the disposable, plastic content and contribute to real, impactful dialogues. Viewers want to see the new and refreshing, something authentic, and that can 100% be you!

Play the long game – ditch the candy

I’ve been creating video content for 10 years now, and I’ve noticed a common trend in emerging content creators… They get excited by eyeballs and end up playing ‘the candy game’. Such short-term thinking blocks longevity. The idea of the candy game is essentially the ‘sugar rush’ based on vanity metrics such as likes, views etc. Ergo, short-term wins… Usually followed by a crash. In this case, you end up not keeping real with yourself or your audience. Avoid riding the viral video wave. Otherwise, you’ll start releasing content for the sake of content. You’ll ask yourself, “How can I increase these views / likes (/ other metrics that don’t add value)?” You’ll compromise quality just to keep the momentum. And it eventually compromises you. Instead, build your content around your brand values. If your content aligns with what you stand for, your business will grow alongside it through your integrity. And instead of the eyeball game, set your KPI to leads or conversions. The long-term game tends to come with a lot of responsibility, both to yourself and to the work your brand wishes to be known for.  But it’s rewarding and results in content that’s effective, efficient, and much more evergreen.

Be passionate, don’t be boring

There’s a massive opportunity to stand out on LinkedIn with video. This platform, and B2B in general, have a weird perception around ‘professional’ equalling dry, dull and boring. I love talking about business – chatting with fellow entrepreneurs about their brands and what’s new in tech, marketing, video etc. The ironic thing is, most of our time is spent at work – so why do things that don’t add value or spark joy for ourselves? Why not be passionate instead? Again, it’s all about energy. On the other side of your video are people watching; they’ll tune into your frequency and be reeled in by your enthusiasm for your topic. So if you’re passionate about what you do, let it show. To quote Simon Sinek, “The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” Using videos for workplace communications or personal branding? There’s a higher chance you’ll hit the right note with your audience if your message comes from a place that’s real, that you really care about. Keep it focused and be intentional about what you want to say and why. Add value to other’s lives by sharing your experiences and your viewpoints. And above all, remember to be collaborative and kind.

Conclusion: Be you

Clichéd as it may sound, there is strength in bringing yourself, at work and at home, on and off camera. That’s genuine and authentic, and it’s how people connect with you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing It’s also sustainable. Imagine trying to wear a mask every day, just because you want to appear a certain way to others; at the end of the day, it’s just impossible to maintain. Gaining video confidence won’t happen overnight, but the more you practice, the more you’ll warm to being on camera and bringing your authentic self to your content. Have a little fun, make a few mistakes – but above all, learn… And enjoy the experience of making videos!   …And remember the 3 points above:
  • Be charismatic (not plastic)
  • Play the long game (no sugar highs!)
  • Be passionate (not boring)

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