As a self-proclaimed “camera hog,” I don’t have many issues with going in front of the camera. It’s the reason I have a degree in broadcast journalism, which I used for a decade before going into the real estate business.

  • Be you. If you try to fake it, you won't make it.
  • Short and sweet wins the day. Don't try to do a documentary on your listing or your topic.
  • Don't obsess over trying to make it perfect. Post it, and move on to the next one.

As a self-proclaimed “camera hog,” I don’t have many issues with going in front of the camera. It’s the reason I have a degree in broadcast journalism, which I used for a decade before going into the real estate business.

So it was an obvious transition for me to take on video in marketing homes. When Periscope — and now Facebook Live — came out, you can say I died and went to heaven.

But I’ve found so many of my friends struggling to take it on, and it left me wondering why.

It’s fun, it gets your name out there, it’s free — and now it’s easier than ever. (Hint: it’s all in the palm of your hand — no big cameras to haul around.)

But still, my friends and co-workers struggle with the idea of putting themselves out there for everyone to see. It has lead me down a new road: coaching.

I’ve been helping some of my favorite people get over their hurdles and take on the new social media trend. Here are five tips and tricks to help you tackle your own video woes!

1. You’ve got to own that shit

I’m quoting Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad here. (Although my hubby swears she stole it from me because I’m always saying it.)

You’ve got to own your shit! Be who you are, and own your excuses.

I frequently hear that agents don’t like the way they look or sound.

OK, new’s flash: No one likes their voice or their looks all the time. We all want to be perfect — I get it — but no one is, and that’s what makes us all unique.

If you’re 20 pounds overweight from your peak fighting days … not to be rude, but you are going to still be 20 pounds overweight tomorrow. So own it.

Put on your best-looking outfit, get a haircut and make yourself feel awesome, even if it is at 20 pounds more. (Oh, and if you are doing that, just a side suggestion: Update your profile and business card pics, as well.)

But suppose you have an accent, and you are worried no one watching will understand you — here’s how you “own it.”

Address it, straight out. “For those you who have trouble with my French accent, I’m supplying captions below.”

Making fun of yourself goes along way in the video world — and bonus, all the social media experts say we should be captioning our videos for the viewers who are watching it on silent.

2. Keep it comfortable

Here’s what I mean. The first videos should be done from where you are most comfortable, and you should be talking about something you are comfortable with. (Hint: it doesn’t have to be real estate.)

For example, one of my clients is a relatively shy person.

One day we were out on the golf course. While we were hitting the links, his entire demeanor changed, to the point I thought maybe he had had a few shots when I wasn’t looking.

He became outgoing and in control. Why? We were on his home court.

He grew up on the golf range; he knew the sport like the back of his hand. Boom, video time.

Start wherever you are the most comfortable. If that’s at home on the couch talking statistics on the housing market, then do it there.

I’m not saying this is going to guarantee perfection — because it won’t.

However, you will feel less silly holding your phone out in front of you if you are in a place of comfort. And you do have to realize that no matter where you do it, odds are it’s going to be horrible.

My friend and fellow Realtor, Eric Larkin from Cocoa Beach, Florida, lives and breathes video on a daily basis. He acknowledges his first videos stunk, but he learned quickly how to make them better.

“Set yourself up for success, talk about a simple topic you know well and are passionate about. Have three bullet points you want to cover and keep it simple,” Larkin said.

3. Go small before you go big

Don’t try to record a long video right out the door. And by long, I mean three minutes.

Statistically, you want to keep a video under two minutes — one minute if you can, so your viewers stay engaged.

Take out your phone and video tape quick little video blogs. If you are putting a sign at your vacant listing, take a second and go inside the home.

Find your favorite feature, stand in front of it on selfie mode and do a video. You’re biting off a chunk of the bigger video you might want to do later on the whole home.

One minute might not seem long, but when you are standing in front of the gorgeous fireplace, and that’s all you’re talking about, I guarantee you will likely run out of things to say.

Then go to another part of the home, and repeat.

Here’s a personal tip that worked well for me when I wanted to talk about a hard topic, and I wasn’t sure where to start. I created a private Instagram account with a very limited audience (you don’t have to have anyone if you don’t want), and I started video blogging about the topic each day.

I would choose what I wanted to talk about, and I wouldn’t deter from that individual topic for one minute sometimes less.

Then I forced myself to post it. Even if I looked horrible, I made myself do it.

It pushed my video skills to the next level and the support and feedback I got from those watching was incredible.

4. Focus on your fear

I’m going to call you out on this. Don’t tell me you aren’t afraid. We are all afraid of something; personally, killer whales freak me out, but that’s another story.

You have to look inside for the answer on this one and really understand it.

My friend and coaching client, Erika Alves with E-Loan Mortgages, realized she was worried about the “haters” out in her audience.

I helped her understand that no matter what, the haters are going to hate. (And I also told her it was time for spring cleaning of her friend list.)

“When you realize that those people would say something bad about you if you won the Nobel Peace prize, it is amazing how much easier it becomes,” Alves said.

For myself, my loving husband can make me crazy nervous if he’s around while I’m doing a video. My fear is that I’m embarrassing him in some way.

When I realized that and owned it, I could move through that hurdle. So whether it’s your husband or friends that follow you, your audience can be your biggest fear.

Here’s a piece of advice from Annette Portalatin, Realtor and a Periscope fanatic from Orlando, who felt big fear the first few times she did video live: “I did have one person say something negative to me about how I kept repeating myself during the video.

“It really bothered me. I almost stopped. Then I realized this person was critiquing something I was doing but that they themselves were too scared to try. And it really didn’t matter after that.”

On with the show!

5. Don’t watch the reruns

I very rarely go back and watch my videos over. In fact, I recently did an entire Snapchat story/show with a strawberry seed in my front tooth. I realized it on the last snap.

My first reaction? Go back, take them all down and start over. But then I realized, this is where reality TV has gone.

We used to watch all these reality shows because we thought they were “real people living in the real world,” then we found out there were producers behind it telling them what to do and where to go.

But we as audiences are still craving authenticity. Thus, the reason I think the Snapchat and Facebook Live platforms are doing so well.

We want real, because if you fake it, you won’t make it. We as the audience know.

So I owned it, and I made fun of myself in my last snap, “Hey did anyone notice this giant seed in my teeth the entire story? Thanks for telling me!”

My wonderful friend and fellow Snapchat MacDaddy, Chelsea Peitz (follow her if you are not already), gives this advice: “In the beginning, don’t watch yourself back. Just post it, and move forward.

“But to get better, you will need to go back and watch later. It’s important to make sure you have good eye contact, and you’re not starting all your sentences all the same.”

I hope these tips give you more confidence to get out there and just do it. I’d love to know what else holds you back from being part of the fastest growing trend on social media.

So hit me and share with me your video woes. Until then, happy filming.

Sue Benson is the Pink Lady of real estate. Find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @sueispinky.

Email Sue Benson.

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