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Be a Movie Star: Using YouTube for Personal Branding

When it comes to personal branding, there aren’t very many tools more powerful than YouTube. For a viewer, seeing your face and hearing your voice is much more impactful than simply reading your tweets or Facebook updates. On the other hand, branding through video requires more knowledge and time than simply using Twitter. And it can be intimidating—putting yourself out there for the world to see isn’t easy. Here are some tips to help you get started on YouTube:

1) Invest in good equipment. Nothing will sabotage your videos as quickly as poor sound or visual quality. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but make sure that your setup allows for a sharp picture and clear audio.

2) Don’t ramble. You want your videos to be crisp and to the point. Most people aren’t interested in watching you ramble on about every topic under the sun. If the purpose of your video is to give motivational tips, do so! It often helps to have an outline or a script prepared to help you stay on task.

3) Don’t stare down the camera. It’s a common tendency to ‘glare’ at the video camera while recording. Try and soften your look—pretend that you’re looking at a friend instead of the camera.

4) Minimize distraction. Be careful about your background—you don’t want much going on behind you. People walking around is a definite no-no, but even something as minor as a interesting picture on the wall behind you can cause the viewer to focus on the background, not on you. Also, be careful about wearing shiny jewelry or other distracting accessories. You’re the star, not your wardrobe.

5) Cross-promote. A great video on YouTube isn’t going to do you much good unless people see it. Use your other social network channels, including your blog, Twitter, and Facebook, to promote and share your video.

6) Reshoot. If you aren’t happy with a video, shoot it again. And again. There is no reason to upload a video that you aren’t completely happy with. A successful video could be seen thousands of times—so make sure you spend the time and effort to perfect it before sharing it with the world.