Monday Spark: You don’t have to be suave, super-confident and charismatic to succeed [VIDEO]

confidentYou may have noticed the same trend that I have been watching.

In fact, I have written about this before, a few months ago.

What I’m noticing is that the marketing of freelancers and solopreneurs is becoming more and more about looks, sound bites and high production values.

It used to be that we just took a headshot with our web cams and used those on our sites and as avatars. And when we made videos, we would just set up a camera in our office or dining room (which I still do).

But more and more, I’m seeing high-priced professional photos being used as avatars. I read a post on Google+ the other day about someone flying down to Los Angeles to test a studio setup for his upcoming series of videos. I’m also seeing a lot of work being done on grooming, lighting and makeup, to make good-looking entrepreneurs, male and female, look their best.

This all reminds me of a conversation I had with a TV publicist who finds experts to appear on TV shows. I asked how much the good looks of the guest counted towards who was chosen to appear on these shows. She said it was 90% of it.

This could sound kind of depressing for those of us who are not super-cute, or who don’t have the money to fly to California and shoot our videos in a studio.

But that’s only depressing if you buy into the premise that delivering true value to your audience is all about the surface and the glamor.

To put that premise to rest, watch this video of Paul Potts. (Unfortunately, I can’t embed it here, as the embedding function on YouTube for this video has been disabled.)

Paul isn’t beautiful, or glamorous. He isn’t brimming with confidence. Nor does he drip with charisma.

But he makes people leap to their feet, applaud, and wipe away their tears.

This is the difference between surface value and deep value. Surface value doesn’t bring tears to your eyes.

Focus on what you love to do, and bring that to your audience.

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

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3 thoughts on “Monday Spark: You don’t have to be suave, super-confident and charismatic to succeed [VIDEO]

  1. Nick,

    I agree with you re the ‘beside-the-point’ factor of high-gloss public image. I’d add, though, that story is important. I need to know who you are and why I should care before I give you my attention (let alone business). I think it’s important for freelancers to think that through and to communicate it (quickly and entertainingly) to potential clients when appropriate. Otherwise they’ve got a long slog in building credibility and trust.

    • Bob, hi. Absolutely, telling your story is essential. And yes, it can help if you are confident and charismatic. But…I just wanted to make the point that the surface glitter is not what it’s ultimately about.

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