In this digital age, video is one of the most used, not to mention the most effective avenues for education, marketing, and entertainment, especially for Solopreneurs just getting started to build their brand online. But not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera. If you think you will never be able to do it yourself, think again! In this episode, Video Coach & Online Marketing Consultant Ed Troxell shares insights on how you can overcome that fear, improve your on-camera presence, get that content uploaded, and take your business to the next level.
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The Reel You – Improve Your On-Camera Presence With Ed Troxell
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Our guest is Ed Troxell. Ed Troxell is a video coach and online marketing consultant. He helps real estate agents and solopreneurs get organized, and guides them towards success using video in their online marketing efforts. He breaks down all the tech and mindset barriers that hold people back from sharing their greatness and makes it easy for them to do business online. He is a former Apple Inc, employee. Ed brings a unique skillset to the table from sales, marketing, and strategizing systems and processes to teaching the importance of showing up on video so that you can stand out as an expert online.
Ed, welcome. I’m so excited to have you on the show. I loved your energy the first time we talked. I know Nina introduced us, who is also a video person, so you probably have a lot in common just different audiences.
Thank you so much for having me here.
This is great. You work a lot with real estate agents and we had an enormous conversation about real estate agents since I used to be one. I’m still a broker in California and an agent in Utah but I haven’t sold in years. It’s that mentality but a little bit of what we talked about with the real estate agent mentality is that way in the solopreneur world as well. Let’s talk a little bit about that. Are you a solopreneur?
I started out as one. You probably know you get excited that first day you are off work. You’re like, “I work from home. It’s amazing,” then you realize all it entails. By month 3 or 4, you’re exhausted. You haven’t showered. You haven’t shaved. Your dog is looking at you like, “Take a shower. You stink. You look tired.” The video piece is important because video is so easy.
It is very easy and it’s one of the most overlooked or underutilized pieces of marketing that you can use in your business. It doesn’t have to cost you a whole lot either. Obviously, it’s going to cost your time. For some, they want to increase their resources for it. What I love about video, where we’re at with it, and what I teach is how to use what you have, which is our iPhones. If you have an Android, Android. We have our phones and being able to embrace the technology, embrace who we are and be able to show up more as our authentic selves online so that we can attract the right audience and not a number of followers that maybe looks good on our profiles but doesn’t convert to anything on the business side of things.
That is so true. I want to address authentic. This is morphed over the years. We did these video productions where we went into the studio. The act of being in a studio, it’s very hard to be natural. It was ‘17 when I went to San Diego. I went to a studio and I did three shots. There was a script. I had all this heavy makeup on and I was dressed. I had to read the teleprompter and be myself. That’s not what people are looking for anymore.
No. That’s the beauty of where we’re at. I’m the same way that before I started this business, I did not want to be in front of a camera. I was always the guy behind the camera but I knew that being out on my own, I had to market myself differently. I knew that the only way to do that was to step in front of the camera.Embrace the technology. Embrace who you are. And be able to show up more as your authentic self online to attract the right audience. Click To Tweet
For me, at that time was going live. I was going live on Periscope and Facebook than all the different ones, but that is how I got noticed. That’s how I stood out, how I built up my confidence, and got comfortable with being myself online. I didn’t have that experience like you described. I know that when I do pre-recorded video, that’s how it feels where you’re supposed to be yourself but as you said, you have all this makeup on. You have a script that you’re supposed to read, supposed to memorize your lines, and look at the lights, even though they’re blinding you.
You’re in an environment that’s not comfortable. You’re probably also wearing clothes that aren’t comfortable either so nothing comes out natural. It comes out stiff if you can speak because I know that I’ve frozen on camera with those pre-recorded events because it wasn’t natural for me. It didn’t feel right.
I’m going to give you a great example of why you should work with someone like Ed. Periscope was brand new. I tried it and the first thing I ever did live, it was horrendous. I pulled away after that first one. I was in this mode where I was thinking about like, “Am I ever going to get on there again?” Do you remember how it used to ping you if somebody you were following came on? It’s so funny we’re talking about real estate agent. Real estate agents and mortgage brokers were going to try to do this show.
They get on it and one of the guys’ talks with his hands. They’re talking and knock the microphone right off the deck. You can hear them all underneath the desk go, “Where is it?” I remember thinking, “I was a rock star.” The point of it is you’re always going to be bad the first time but if you keep at it and you practice, it becomes natural. Is that what you do with people a lot?
A hundred percent, yes. It’s about what I call promoting video positivity. It’s allowing us to get comfortable with being on camera. Allowing our corks and our goofiness and you keep rolling with it. That’s the beauty of it. You get so comfortable with yourself in front of the camera that when things like that happen, I messed up in my verbiage there, the phone drops, or whatever happens, you go into this what I call survival mode. Your brain knows and so it kicks into survival mode. It fills in the blanks for you. You get so comfortable if you mess up that you either don’t even notice it or you make fun of it.
There was one interview that I did where I didn’t know it wasn’t going to be edited and I messed up during the call. They’re like, “We’re not editing this.” That’s a teachable moment. You get to include it there and people enjoy that because it’s relatable. They can understand. It makes it a lot easier for them to get the courage to do it themselves because what’s holding us back from showing up on camera is not the equipment. It’s the mindset and that’s what I work with first. It’s the mindset versus the tech because that’s the biggest barrier that holds so many back from even picking up the equipment to then go on and be on camera.
That’s so true. I’m going to equate it to writing a book, too. Sometimes, when you write a book and you get your reviews, you look at them and you go, “That was devastating.” One of the things my mentors taught me early on is to pull back and say, “I wonder if that person has ever written a whole book.” I think the people who don’t do it tend to be more critical as an audience than the people who do it.
Once you do it, you gain that appreciation. I have to tell you some of the best people who are able to pick up and get comfortable are those that have gone to comedy programs. I have a lot of girlfriends who’ve gone through the improv. I can’t even imagine getting up and telling jokes on a stage but they all say that it’s super helpful and being able to make a mistake, pick it up, and run.
You bring up such a great point tying that into social media because a lot of us are going to be sharing these videos and our books on social media, and that can be challenging for some. Again, we’re fearful of getting a negative comment or review and we have to, as you said, pull back and look at it. Take it with a grain of salt and also understand that you got someone to stop what they were doing.
They stopped their busy schedule. Not only look at your content but also drop a comment. We don’t even care what the comments said. The fact that they did that, congratulate yourself because you got someone’s attention. It also signaled to the platform, for example, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, that your content is getting engagement, which, therefore tells the platform, “We need to push this out to more people.” Again, it’s shifting our mindset around the things that we’re fearful of and understanding that while that comment maybe didn’t suit your liking. It still was a benefit for you, allowed you to learn something, and get your content pushed out there to more right people.
You have platforms now, and correct me if I’m wrong, they get priority algorithms to video. A lot of them do. Even though LinkedIn Live is in Beta, they give a lot of promoter weight to those videos.
Video across the board is your key to success online. When we look at statistics, over 82% of all internet traffic alone in 2022 is video-based. Right there, if you’re not creating video content on a regular basis, you’re already behind. It doesn’t mean you have to stay behind now that you’re reading this and starting to take your notes and go implement something.
You don’t have to do everything but you got to implement something, then you can start to catch up and start getting into the zone. You’ve got to start where you are and if your dream is to do that video production work, have the studio, and everything that we talked about, great. Understand that you don’t need to start there, work your way up there and also understand that you don’t have to ever get to that stage. You can stay where you are with your phone and still be winning.
Another thing I want to bring up here is everybody wants a VA. One of the things we are doing now is we have a course called I Love Content. We run it about every other month because book people is almost like this huge block. They won’t do content. They won’t create content. We’re starting to teach authors that they must have it to build the audience and build trust.
This is one of the easiest ways to get the content out there but one of the things that happened in our course this time was we had a whole section at the end on passing this off to a VA. Every good solopreneur knows that you need to figure out what your zone of genius is and stay in it. For most of the solopreneurs, it’s like, “How do I get clients and close the deals?” This becomes superfluous. With that said, should they learn how to do well this themselves, then be able to pass it off to a VA?
I held my breath on that one because that is a big yes. Anything that you do in your business is always a good starting point for you to make sure you know what the process is like. You’ve experienced it and you know it. When I first started my business, I started with web design and making sure that clients knew how to update their website if they wanted to prevent them from getting screwed over by other people later down the line.You're always going to be bad the first time. But if you keep at it and practice, it becomes natural. Click To Tweet
It’s the Wild, Wild West out here on the internet. It’s always good to have a basic idea, whether you’re going to continue to do it yourself or outsource it, of what that process looks like. That way, you can always make sure 1) You have your finger on the polls and 2) You have an idea of what people should be working on, what they should be charging, and invoicing you.
This is the beauty of video. When we talk about video specifically, you can outsource every other task in your business except video. Technically, you could but I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t. If you focus on creating video content, then you can send that video content to that VA, who can then create your social media posts, whether it’s video, audio, text, or images. You can also send that to whoever is running your ads or requesting XYZ from you.
You have all these people on your team that is asking something from you. If you can give them one video clip because they can do so much with that one video and it makes your life so much easier. Once you get comfortable with being on video and you start consistently showing up on video, it’s so much easier for the rest of your team, VA, contractors, whoever to pull from that and be able to do their job a lot easier and a lot smoother without having to go back and forth with you all the time. That’s the beauty of it.
It is. I’m going to give you an example of what he’s talking about. What we’re recording now, this is my show. It gets created into a show and it goes on 21 different platforms. The video is edited and it goes over on YouTube. I don’t even know how to get into my YouTube channel. Although, I do now because we’ve been doing the coursework and putting it over there. I know how to log in but I never touch it. It gets transcribed into a blog.
Typically, if you talk over twenty minutes on a video and have it transcribed, it’ll come out to over 6,000 words, which means the search engines are indexing it now and it’s on your website. It’s creating SEO. Your staff can take clips out of it. We transcribe some of the articles and have them rewritten for the magazine. We have social media posts. We have snippets of audiograms taken out of it. There are so many things that we do with one recording like this. It’s unbelievable. It takes the pressure off me having to create content more than once a week.
That’s the beauty. For so many who are reading, you’ve probably felt if not still feeling the pressure and the stress of having to always create content and post on social media 24/7. You don’t have to. You can do one video per week and have that dedicated time if you have the right strategy in place and be able to then allow that one video throughout the week to work for you in all those different areas. I love that you’re doing that with this show and you shared that example.
It opens up the doors for people to see all the possibilities. Again, for those reading, you don’t have to do all those things at once. You may not do any of those things later on down the line. Pick one thing that you can start with and get those reps in. It’s all about building up that muscle memory and being able to expand once you get to that next level.
To share with you guys a little bit about what we’re doing in the I Love Content, which you’ll appreciate hashtags and keywords is how do we do put together a content calendar. These are things that I found with my book people that not only did they not have content. They didn’t know how to do any of these things. Now, we took care of two of the things that you need to have together to build your author platform.
If you can start something as easy as what Ed is talking about on video with your phone. Put your phone on a tripod. I use Zoom a lot too. I open up, I use Zoom and talk. If you can start doing that consistently and before you say another word, don’t critique yourself when you’re doing it because there’s nobody who is your worst enemy more than you would when it comes to video.
It is so true. Here’s a little secret for everyone. If you’re going to watch your replays, which I do encourage you to at some point, know that you are not going to do it right away. That’s the key. As you said, we’re our worst critics. We’ll film something, we’ll watch it and we tear ourselves down. You got to give it some time. Let some time pass. I usually recommend at least a day to then go back and look at it and have an open mind. Almost 9.5 times out of 10, you were not as bad as you thought you were in that moment. It’s human nature.
When you go back to watch those replays, you’ll catch some things. Especially in the beginning days because you’re keeping an eye on it, which is good because you’re aware. That helps your brain understand, “We’re going to make a mental note and we’re going to fix that next time. We’re going to work on that.”
You also get to see, “I’m not that bad. I pat myself on the back. I did that.” As you said, you saw what happened to other people where the mic had dropped on a Periscope video. You were like, “I’m a rock star.” Again, it’s that positivity that we’re trying to promote and it’s going to be through video and being able to get more comfortable with yourself and the camera. It will open up so many doors to endless possibilities for you and your business.
I’m going to give you a little hint here. If you’re thinking that you’re going to record this and maybe use the audio, I had the most amazing conversation with a client who complained about a different coaching program. He said, “It bothers me because everything they do is audio-only.” I’m taking a course from those people now. I have the same experience but here’s the deal. In the video, what he was saying is, “I love working with you because I can see your face, I can tell you’re telling me the truth, I can see your passion and eye contact.” If you’re thinking, “I don’t want to see myself on video. I just want to hear the audio.” Scrap that idea. You need the video.
I love that you brought that up because so many people will ask, “Can I not show my face on camera?” You don’t have to show your face on camera. However, if you want to run your business, make it sustainable, and get seen out there, you have to show your business your face because your business depends on it. It is so important. We do business with people we know, like, and trust. We can only do that if we see your face. Not a logo or a stock image, but your face. Go watch the video because you can see how I light up and how goofy I might look on camera, but I don’t care because I am passionate about this. I love being able to see people embrace the camera.
Speaking of real estate agents, I had one of my agents who feared being on camera. She was doing it but she was not comfortable. It took us quite a few sessions before she finally started to record some videos. Now, she is a machine. She is putting out TikToks left and right. She’s smiling and having a good time. I can’t get enough. It’s so cool to see how that door swung right open. She’s getting clients and she’s having fun. She’s creating content.
All these boxes are getting checked but they also feel right and good to be checking those boxes versus, “I recorded a video, so check.” No, you’ve got to put your focus on it and understand that you’re going to be in it for the long run. It’s not, “I recorded a video,” and nothing happened. It’s not about the video now. It has a long shelf life. In fact, it’s longer than any of those social media posts that you’ve been putting out there. Video has a longer shelf life, especially when you put it on YouTube and your blog.You don't have to show your face on camera. But if you want to run your business, make it sustainable, and get seen out there, you have to show your face because your business depends on it. Click To Tweet
These are things that people are going to continuously come across. It’s important that you embrace it even if it doesn’t feel right for you yet. I guarantee you. Once you get over that fear and once you start working on that mindset part, it will come a whole lot easier and you too will start opening up more on camera.
Here’s the thing with video, too. It’s like books and podcasts. If you find one you like, you’ll go seek and listen to the others, read the other books, or listen to the other podcasts. Even though you may not get that instant gratification now, there may be someone who sees 6 to 7 months from now and goes, “I liked that information. I think I’m going to go back and look at everything else.”
I’ve even had that for years. Somebody had on my video for years and wanted to work with me. That’s the beauty. Real quick, you mentioned scripts when we were talking about being in a studio. As authors, what’s beautiful is you already have your outline. You have your content. Videos just bringing it to life. It’s not like you have to read the chapters or anything but you might want to read an expert out of there and say, “This is the title. You can give little snippets.” It’s not like you even have to think about what to talk about. You have it literally in your hands or on your computer.
Not only that. We had a client who would go out during the summer in his hammock at lunch and read a chapter on Facebook Live. The first time I saw that I died laughing. I’m like, “Your mother goose reading financial books.”
That’s a beautiful thing. You’re able to do what you love, share it, and you start attracting the people that are wanting to be around that environment or world that you’ve created.
I’m going to go back for a minute before we wrap up. For real estate agents, the other thing about video, and this has happened to me, as an agent, you get your picture taken then you don’t for another ten years. It’s all over your ads and business card. People walk up and there’s nothing that is less of a trust builder than, “This person in front of me doesn’t align with what I saw over there.” The video keeps people updated on what you look like too. I remember that happening to me and probably this agent hadn’t had her picture taken in several years. I was like, “She’s old.”
You bring up such a great point. When you said 10, I was like, “It’s probably more like 20 for most people.” That’s a thing. Again, I know probably people who are reading. That’s another weight on their shoulder. It’s about that video positivity and promoting who you are. Even I had to do that too, where I had to get comfortable with seeing myself on camera and understanding like, “This is who I am. This is what you get here.” As well as if we met on the street or I’m passing at the coffee shop. It’s the same person.
That is good because you want to have that trust. You want to have that familiarity. Remember, it’s like as many touch points in your business that you’re doing with follow-ups, connecting, and all of these things. It’s the same idea. You want to be consistent and you don’t want to have that huge, like, “You’re the person I’ve been talking to?” That has that trust broken and it’s hard to get that back.
Embrace who you are. Wear something that’s comfortable. Put on something that feels comfortable for you, whether that’s lipstick, lip gloss, hair, nails or jewelry. Find what it is and wear that. I used to have an old t-shirt that had holes in it that I would wear underneath a nice dress shirt to feel comfortable. Whatever works. As long as you’re comfortable and you get in front of that camera, everything else can start to flow.
Ed, where do we find you if we want to reach out and talk to you some more?
My website is EdTroxell.com. There’s a little chat in the lower right-hand corner on every page that you can connect with me. Video, ideally, or you can do audio or even a regular text message but message me. Let me know how you found me that you read this, and let’s get you connected with some resources, so that way, you can take the next step in your video journey and be part of that video positivity movement we’ve been talking about.
Thank you so much for being on.
About Ed Troxell
Ed Troxell Creative was officially born back in 2015 when I was working a full-time job about Apple Inc.
I was working at the retail store – sales, mentorship, workshops, support – and had my best year ever with over $1.7 million in sales, the next closest person wasn’t even close to $1 million.
While I felt the universe pushing me to quit and start my own business I didn’t listen until…
I had my annual review.
When my manager sat me down, congratulated me on my outstanding performance, and said, “You’re getting a typical 3% raise” I stopped listening – I honestly shut down.
It wasn’t until my next paycheck though when I had to call HR to ask them about my “typical 3% raise” because I didn’t see it on my paycheck. That’s when HR pointed it out, “It’s there. You see that $.26? That is your raise.”
That’s when I laughed, sat back in my chair at work, and said, “Ok universe. I hear you.“
So I took my knowledge and skillset – over 15 years of sales & marketing experience combined with my work with small business owners and nonprofits – and I quit!
I quit the full-time job with benefits and stock options which everyone says you need, took a leap of faith – this time going all-in as a full-time entrepreneur – and I started Ed Troxell Creative.
I started with web design and tech support services before moving more into general business and video coaching which brings us up to today!