Model, actress and “role model”, Tyra Banks has a lot to say about success. Her intense attitude and deep insight into business and modeling has shown us what it means to be a powerful American woman. A true trailblazer in her field, Tyra was the first African American to appear on the cover of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. So, what sort of advice might Tyra offer online video publishers might you ask? While she has never actually commented on video-blogging personally, we can imagine what she might tell us YouTubers based on the example she has set in her field.
Tyra Banks certainly didn’t get to where she is by following every other model’s style. Instead, Tyra chose some very radical and intense looks that set her apart from the rest of the people in her field. Rather than just walking down the runway, she would give her performance the extra oomph it needed to rise above the other models. By now, there are thousands of online video-bloggers ranging from executives talking about their company to college kids talking about parties. No matter you plan on making your videos about, remember that no one wants another meek, boring personality. Become one of kind by being intense about your subject.
Part of Tyra’s charm and popularity comes from her ability to get personal with her fans, which can also creep others out. From up-close and revealing photo-shoots to magazine interviews about her personal life and philosophy, Tyra has never been shy about sharing her business with those who ask. Consider this strategy when making your online videos. If you are tracking the progress of a project you are putting together, try exposing some of your feelings about it rather than just sticking to the facts. If you want to start blogging about your personal life, don’t hold back in front of the camera. People are much more interested in seeing the real you than the censored, strictly business you. (Note no1: if the real you is going to cry about Britney Spears, maybe video-blogging is not for you).
As a judge on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra is brutally honest with her contestants. Banks holds nothing back, telling aspiring, young ladies exactly what she thinks they need to work on. In the same way that Tyra fearlessly speaks the truth (for better or worse) your online videos might come across as more powerful and trustworthy if you resolved to be completely honest. Don’t afraid to speak exactly what’s on your mind. After all, the Internet is tired of timid, video-bloggers who hold back.
It’s Never Too Early To Start
Banks began her career in modeling in 11th grade. Taking her chance when she had it, she catapulted herself into the modeling world and never looked back. Similarly, you may be waiting for your project to move further along, or the right ideas to come to you before starting your video blog. Sometimes its best to jump in early and give yourself the chance you deserve. (Note no3: If you’re a 12 year old girl who wants to sing rap songs into a hairbrush, you’re probably too young for the internet.)
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Tyra Banks got her start in television on the 1990’s comedy show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The hilarious-yet-goofy show gave Tyra the opportunity to show the world that she wasn’t always serious and intense (which we now know all too well). If you’re running a serious business, it’s okay to show a little humor online; in fact, a little bit of a personal touch can go a long way. People like to laugh, and you might appeal to a wider audience with a well-placed joke here and there. If you are just a normal guy or girl looking to record events in your life, don’t be afraid to show your funny side every now and then. The skill of making people laugh is one that will make your videos viral and gain you hordes of new viewers. (Note no4: if your only good joke is dancing like a fool to an obscure techno song, please burn your webcam now.)
To Be “All That,” You Have To Act “All That.”
Tyra Banks maintains a video blog on her website which aims to impart words of wisdom onto her fans. A recent video advises you to act like you’re “all that” if you want to be perceived as being “all that.” Even in 2010, this is great advice, especially when applied to video-blogging. If you look uncomfortable, timid or camera-shy in your videos, people aren’t going to perceive you as powerful, knowledgeable or charismatic. In order to achieve a position of power and popularity, you must portray the attitude that you’re already powerful and popular. Be confident on camera, and you will reap success.
Tyra Banks is a powerful woman not just because of her attitude and good lucks, but also because she isn’t afraid to flex her mental muscle in public. Throughout countless interviews, video blog updates and television appearances, Tyra has shown the world that she is more than just a hot model, but a deep thinking woman. Such an approach invokes admiration and respect from her fans, and cries for mercy from the rest of us. This strategy can work for your online videos as well. Don’t let the world see you as just another twenty-something with a webcam and a YouTube account, but a sharp observer with something of deep significance to say. Don’t simply tell the story of your weekend in the Pocono Mountains, but extrapolate some kind of deep meaning or personal revelation you discovered on the trip and apply it to your viewers. (Note no5: please don’t go over the top with this one. The last thing we need is another Nietzsche wannabe spouting nonsense on the web.)
Step Outside Yourself
When Tyra Banks announced that she wanted to do a talk show, people were skeptical at first. Rather than becoming indignant, she understood where the producers were coming from. Regarding the matter, she once said, “I think I’m very good at stepping outside of myself and seeing what I think other people perceive.” Coming from Tyra, we wonder how true this really is, yet nonetheless it is an important skill that video bloggers need to possess. The worst kind of video to watch is the one of the guy who thinks he is funny, but comes off as obnoxious, or the girl who thinks she is sexy, but comes off as a tramp. When you watch your completed video, take a moment before publishing it to the web and ask yourself how the world will perceive what you have just recorded. Try not to let your own bias come into play here. Don’t look at the video thinking “I am so funny.” Instead, think, “How would the average person who doesn’t know me personally see this?”
Be Bigger Than Yourself
One piece of advice that Tyra has given to aspiring models is to try to be bigger than themselves. Certainly this is advice that Tyra has followed in her own life. Tyra has taken countless risks and challenged herself in the extremely demanding world of modeling to become who she is. Perhaps this is pressure is what is causing her to crack, but regardless… Don’t put limitations on yourself, and don’t accept limitations that others try to impose on you. Instead of looking at the camera and thinking “I shouldn’t act that confident, sexy or powerful because I’m not normally that way,” stare the camera down and be the personality you know you can be. (Note no6: If that personality a Luke Skywalker showing off his sweet “Jedi moves” with a broomstick, me may or may not be talking to you)
Before You Film, Experience
Concerned about the apparent discrimination of overweight people in America, Tyra Banks tried a radical approach to gain insight into the problem. Donning a 350 pound “fat suit,” Tyra lived a day in the life of a fat person and describes it as “one of the most heartbreaking days of my life.” The Internet is full of video bloggers offering their “opinions” on social problems and trends that they have never actually experienced themselves. Often, these sorts of videos end up with people at the blogger’s throat in the comments, flaming the video or arguing furiously with the other commentators. Rather than just talking abstractly about subjects that interest you, go out and experience some of the subject matter first. Having real experience and stories behind you to back up your point of view makes you much more interesting to watch and adds a great deal of credibility (or craziness) to your message.
Grab People’s Attention
If its one thing Tyra Banks loves, craves and always manages to gain, it’s attention. Whether saying outrageous things on her talk show or flooding the magazines with awkward comments, Tyra is never short on ways to grab the public’s eye. If you’re getting into video-blogging, you should be keen at grabbing your audience’s attention. If this is not a skill you possess, consider leaving YouTube for some other hobby, like building model airplanes. Tyra is never shy about doing whatever it takes to have the spotlight put on her, and if you want to make your video blog a success, you will need to take the same attitude.