Your First Video Will Embarrass You

general descript topic May 05, 2024

The Fear

One thing I always hear from new creators is: "is this good enough to release?"

Behind the question is insecurity and fear like the following:

- Insecurity about how your voice sounds on camera

- Insecurity about how your hair looks

- Fear that your friends will make fun of you

And it's natural. We're human. We all care deeply about how others perceive us. It's what has kept our species alive for so long.

But when that little voice telling you that you're not good enough stops you from releasing content, it's stopping you from the massive potential that comes from creating content online.

Aside from 'just do it,' here are some things I share with new creators to help them feel more confident about publishing that imperfect first project. And second one. And third.

Why It's Good You're Embarrassed

To anyone who has experience in creative or skill-based pursuits, perhaps you are already comfortable being embarrassed by your past work. If you are, you have a leg up on the rest of us.

For most of us, it's extremely uncomfortable to look back and see past work through the lens of our current skillset.

You see all your mistakes.

All the places you could have done things a bit more skillfully.

But, recognize that the reason you now see it as subpar work is because of all the growth you've had since creating it. That thing taught you lessons and increased your creativity, your skillfulness, and your eye for quality in some imperceptible way.

See How People You Admire Started Out

The first bit of encouragement I give people is to go back and look at their favorite Youtubers to see how they started.

There's an easy way to do this:

  • Go to a Youtuber's channel whom you admire
  • Click on the 'Videos' tab
  • Click to sort videos by Oldest
  • Watch their 3 to 5 oldest videos
  • Feel encouraged that we all start as amateurs

Here are some of my favorites:

So, like them, you need to start somewhere. And to start somewhere, you need to start.

Quantity vs Quality

There's a famous story of a college photography professor who performed an experiment on his class.

To half of his class, his assignment for the semester was that they turn in just one photo. The very best photo they could possibly take. And their grade would be based on that one photo.

To the other half, he assigned that they take as many photos as possible. Didn't matter how bad they were just that they take thousands and thousands of photos. Their grade would be based on the quantity of the photos they took.

The result was that the students who went for quantity ended up learning way more in the process of getting in way more reps. So by the end of the semester, the quality of the photos in that group was way higher than the students who were only going for quality.

So it is with creating content online. You could spend years crafting one perfect podcast or video. Or you could publish hundreds of pieces of good enough content, each time getting a little better, until eventually you're making content you're actually really proud of.

Be the quantity person. Eventually, you will also be the quality person.

You Never Know

I've been creating on Youtube for years now and I've learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to what people are watching.

What I mean by that is, the videos where I thought nobody would be interested and they'd never get more than a few views, are my most popular ones. Some of these were videos with minimal planning or scripting. I recorded some thoughts and threw it up.

Other times, I've poured days or weeks into videos that I think for sure will go viral...only to get 100 views or less.

And other times still, a video will get very few views for the first six months only to one day ride some algorthimic wave that suddenly has it getting hundreds of views per day.

Your Audience is Small at The Beginning

New creators have this feeling like everyone is watching them and that when they publish their first project, all their friends and family will see it and make fun of them.

Probably you have very few followers yet. The reality is, when you make your first post, hardly anyone will see it. And if it's bad, they aren't going to stick around to watch or listen to very much of it anyway. Let that be liberating.

Your First Video Will Embarrass You

Your first video or podcast made with Descript will embarrass you.

Publish it anyway.

Check out the Descript Mastery course - a project-based, hands-on course designed to take you from beginner to professional content creator without the tech headaches.

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