What if you could be your best self on camera–no matter what? Join video producer and strategist Sheryl Plouffe and I as we explore how to be your best self on camera. Sheryl is incredibly generous and shares through her engaging stories the structures and strategies for how to unlock your vitality through video. In this episode you’ll discover:
- How to position yourself as an authority in your niche
- How to approach video so you put your best foot forward
- What trips people up before they even get started
- The power of saying yes
- Universal Video Scripts to engage, educate, and enroll
Sheryl Plouffe is an entrepreneur, international speaker, and former Canadian TV broadcaster. She has been seen by millions over the course of her twenty-five-year career in news media, has produced thousands of videos, and has broadcast over 20,000 hours of live television. Sheryl lives and works in Ontario, Canada.
Heather Clark 00:01
Welcome to Unshakable Being, the podcast with inspiration and practical tools for purpose led leaders like you to relieve stress, build resilience, and unlock vitality in your life, body and business. I am Dr. Heather Clark, and I’ll be your host.
Heather Clark 00:18
Hello, and welcome to the show. Today we have Sheryl Plouffe. She’s an entrepreneur, international speaker, and former Canadian TV broadcaster. She has been seen by millions over the course of her 25 year career in news media, and has produced 1000s of videos, and has broadcast over 20,000 hours of live television. Sheryl lives and works in Ontario, Canada. Sheryl, welcome to the show.
Sheryl Plouffe 00:45
Thank you so much for having me, I’m excited to dive into today’s topic.
Heather Clark 00:48
Me too. Me too. And as per usual, I am going to dive in, because one of the things we’ve talked about is really how to be your best self on camera. And I’d like to know, from your vast experience, how does somebody get to the point where they’re showing their best self on camera?
Sheryl Plouffe 01:11
It really starts by being of service, I think. And I am speaking about this through the lens of people who are wanting to be positioned as authorities as resources as experts in their own industry or niche.
Sheryl Plouffe 01:29
But when you approach video, from the perspective of being of service, what happens is you start to put the emphasis on other people instead of yourself. So when it comes to how do you put your best foot forward on video, sometimes people get so caught up in their own perfectionism that it holds them back from ever even starting to do it.
Sheryl Plouffe 01:52
When you can put the emphasis on others of being of service and putting out the goodwill and putting out that good karma and helping people with their problems, challenges or frustrations. You put the emphasis on them and not so much on yourself. And that has proven to be a really great strategy for myself and for my clients.
Heather Clark 02:14
That That is wonderful. And I really like the vibe of that instead of how can I show up as the authority? How can I show up and look good? How can I show up and support my business? It’s how can I show up and be of service? And I really love the energy change around that?
Sheryl Plouffe 02:32
Well, I’m you know, listen, I’m not the only one who supports that theory. I think of someone like Frank Kern, who is one of the top direct marketing experts in the world, and many other experts gurus out there who are in the marketing space, and they say the same thing. It is how can you serve other people. And then if you start to get down to more spiritual realm, people who are more into the energy of the universe and things like that, they would say the same thing is when you put that out there into the world, good things come back to you in return.
Heather Clark 03:07
I love it. So. So let’s say that there’s someone out there, it’s like, I am ready to roll with this. I want to be of service, I have an idea of how to be of service. How do I bring myself best self to video? Where do I get started?
Sheryl Plouffe 03:22
Do you mean that from from the perspective of how you look on camera, or more from what it is you’re saying, because I view them that there are two different things there.
Heather Clark 03:33
There’s actually a lot of different things going on. Here’s the secret thing that I’m sort of hoping to get to. And that is sometimes people spend a great deal of time worrying about things over analyzing or just jumping in and moving on. But there is a little something that stops them before they even get to the point of what would I say? Like how are you finding there are something that stops people before they can even get going?
Sheryl Plouffe 04:00
It does stem from vanity. It is that superficiality I think that people are struggling with from the outset. And so that is the How do I look? How do I sound? How will people perceive me physically? What am I going to do? I hate the way I look, I hate the way I sound on camera. I hear this all the time.
Sheryl Plouffe 04:25
So let’s just deal with that thing first, which is the how to put your best foot forward from the standpoint of Look how you look and how you sound. Listen, you can change certain parts of how you look. But I would urge you not to be thinking that way. You know, you don’t have to have everything be perfect before you can get out before you should get out there and start talking about your area of expertise and helping people.
Sheryl Plouffe 04:54
You know listen, if you want to go to Sephora and get a makeover And it makes you happy than do that. You know, if you want to wear makeup, and it makes you happy, then then do that. But is it? Is it about you? Or is it about pleasing other people? It’s just like when we talk about when we start going down the, into the realm of plastic surgery, it’s the same kind of idea, you know, are you doing it for others? Or are you doing it for your own self, it’s the same kind of thing. Some days, I wear makeup, and some days I don’t, I’m not doing it. For other people, I’m doing it for my own self.
Sheryl Plouffe 05:31
That’s a very different conversation than when I was on television, when I was employed, as a broadcaster, I was expected to look a certain way, because I was employed by that company to look that way and to project that image for them.
Sheryl Plouffe 05:46
So that’s a different dynamic, that’s a different energy, when you are your own boss, and when you are your own business owner, you get to choose how you project yourself to the to others in the world. So I think that that piece around perfectionism is really the conversation, people are holding themselves back from doing the good service that they’re supposed to be doing in the world, because they’re putting too much emphasis on their looks, oh, well, I can’t do the videos yet. Because I haven’t lost the weight. I can’t do the videos yet. Because I need to get my nose done first, you know, or I my roots are showing, therefore I cannot do this video, what it ends up being are blocks that people put in front of themselves to avoid the thing that they’re afraid of.
Heather Clark 06:32
I see. So it’s really it’s an isn’t a true circumstance. I mean, that’s why I laugh. Like, it’s difficult for me to imagine some of this, like I cannot be on video until I have a nose job. But actually, that makes just as much sense as anything else is any of the other excuses that I’ve had, or maybe people listening to this have had. That’s it makes just as much sense. So it really feels like it’s more than just releasing the perfectionism it’s really connecting with what’s your intention behind this? Like, it sounds like once you’re connected with the service, then if you want to wear makeup do but if you don’t, like it’s likely to impact your message.
Sheryl Plouffe 07:10
That’s right. That’s exactly right. And that’s what I mean by do it for your own self. Don’t do it because of the judgment that you fear from other people. So same thing with so again, how far do you want to go, there are people out there who are not going to appear on video until they’ve got the hair done the makeup done, they’ve got the clothes, they’ve got the everything is perfect. And that’s, that’s okay, if, if that’s what’s making you happy, you’re doing it for your own self, not because of your, the perception that you’re afraid people will have.
Sheryl Plouffe 07:45
Because every because you don’t have everything perfected. So I mean, listen, there’s not really anything with regard to perfectionism. It’s not even an attainable place to be anyway. So I don’t support waiting until things are perfect in the first place. But I think that’s really what it is, is looking at doing the things that are gonna make you more confident on camera, if it makes you happy. But don’t let that be the thing that’s holding you back from sharing your message because you don’t have everything perfected yet.
Heather Clark 08:16
That is such a great point. Because I know somebody who many years ago now started a video series to interview people and really get it out there. And she set the bar pretty darn high for herself. And it looked great. It was visually engaging. That was wonderful. But what she discovered was her commitment to that level of perfectionism or that particular look, or whatever you want to call it tripped her up not very long after because she wanted to do kind of a run and gun thing. And she discovered that that it was now off brand. Then it brings up well, how do I market this? And how will people know about it? And what if you have an off day? And what if so I really liked that point. What I do have a question about is you had shared how especially in broadcasting, there was a certain look expected? And I’m wondering, do you feel like looking a certain way, at least depending on the context affects your credibility?
Sheryl Plouffe 09:16
Yes, I do in certain situations? Yes, I do. I don’t know that it affects your credibility, because I think your credibility is more so tied to what you’re saying as opposed to how you look, but I think it can have an impact. It’s not really about credibility, Heather, as much as I feel like it’s an alignment to the brand and you were just alluding to that a moment ago.
Sheryl Plouffe 09:36
The way that you present yourself physically needs to be in alignment with the image that you want to project. So if you are looking to attract people in the corporate space, you are likely not going to dress like a bohemian because now they see that as a foreign object. And so it doesn’t align to the brand that you’re looking to build. So I do think that how you dress can impact that. Yes. But I think it’s more about what comes out of your mouth, that’s probably more so important.
Heather Clark 10:12
I love it. So staying on brand is important and does contribute to credibility. And it sounds like what you’re leaving unsaid is, it’s an invitation to have a brand aligned with the natural you. So it’s much less effort to bring forward and easier to show up in the spaces that really serve people.
Sheryl Plouffe 10:29
Can I give you a real life example?
Heather Clark 10:30
Sheryl Plouffe 10:31
When I was a broadcaster, and I was on national television, I was expected to dress a certain way. I was, frankly, probably expected to be a certain size, and to look a certain way, and have makeup and hair, in fact, to the point where that was all provided to us so that we would achieve those levels. You know, so hair done every two months, all the makeup you could ever want. All you know, clothing, allowance, personal shoppers, all that stuff. High heels, the whole nine yards. Today, I don’t even remember the last time I wore high heels. Don’t wear them anymore. You’re for those of you listening to the audio, I know you’re not seeing this video right now. But for those you know, I’m wearing a sweater, sort of a cowl neck type of sweater. It’s very cozy. I’m a little chilly today. So I don’t have my nails done. My makeup is very minimal. Hardly done any makeup today, the hair is a bit of a disaster. So I just put it up in a clip real quick.
Sheryl Plouffe 11:33
Admittedly, I would not–this is not the image that I could have projected, when I was on national television. They would have sent me home. I’m not going on national television like this wouldn’t have been allowed. So it’s understanding that for me now, the image that I want to project is one where perfectionism is not necessary. So for me to come on your show today Heather to talk about this, this is a very appropriate look for the message that I’m trying to share, isn’t it, I could have I could have done my hair up fancy and all that. And sometimes I do for myself, I don’t do it. For other people, I do it because some days, I just wake up and go. I feel like throwing myself up a little bit today. I do it for me. And and so that’s the difference.
Heather Clark 12:25
I really appreciate that. And so many good messages here because this is really your best self. Whether or not you’re on camera. This is whether or not you’re on video, these these are excellent suggestions. And I really love this because I too have a lived experience of my branding was a little further away than who I naturally AM. And it was before I brought in any intuitive work into the business. And I got dolled up for headshots, because the white lab coat and the coiffed hair and the makeup done. And then I went to an event where I was in a coaching program with these people. We had not met via zoom, it was just via phone. But everybody had seen my picture, you know, Facebook, friends, all of that. And I felt like nobody knew who I was. And I was just like, oh, because the way to Heather normally rolls is with very little makeup. And not coiffed
Heather Clark 13:21
like, okay, I just thought, wow, since I don’t intend to continue to show up like that, I’m going to shift the brand back to what’s easier. And I really like your point, because for me, what it does is it allows me to just show up and be of service. And I love these points that you’re making.
Sheryl Plouffe 13:39
I do both, I will. And I think that is aligned to my brand. Because Listen, I don’t want people to forget that I was a broadcaster, which is exactly why I included in my introduction and that you introduced me that way I do want people to remember, I was on television all that time because it is a credibility statement. And it’s important for people to know that they can trust me that I’ve been there and I know what I’m talking about. But at the same time, I think that for me, when I make myself up.
Sheryl Plouffe 14:09
It’s part it does align to the brand I’m trying to build, I can dress myself up, I can dress myself down, I have done videos where I’m running and my face is blotchy red, and I’m I’m running down the street or something like that with zero makeup on and a baseball cap. And that’s also aligned for me. Each of us has to make the decision about what kind of brand we’re kind of image is it that I’m trying to portray. And is it aligned to my philosophy is it aligned to my point of view or my belief system and my values and that’s where it’s sometimes is not aligned to your point about the example of the headshots. I see this a lot where people get headshots done, it looks nothing like them. So then people are surprised. They’re like, Oh, that’s the it isn’t aligned. So you do want to make sure that there’s an alignment with with the collateral that you’re creating.
Heather Clark 15:02
And it really helps people. It removes the hurdles, I think, to really listening to what you have to say they’re not spending precious moments and brainpower on. What’s going on here. Who is this? What’s happening? It’s more like, Oh, no, this is what? This is what I’ve signed up for Hello. Love it. Yeah,
Sheryl Plouffe 15:19
yeah, absolutely. You want people to understand you, within seconds of them laying eyes on you.
Heather Clark 15:29
Well, and isn’t that one of the major advantages of video too? And I know that there’s a lot of people listening to the audio of the podcasts that are like, really I’m like, Yeah, really, advantages to audio as well. But with video, people tend to absorb a lot more information in a shorter period of time.
Sheryl Plouffe 15:46
I’m a big fan of both. I’m a fan of audio and I’m also a fan of video. And so coming back to what you asked earlier about the you know, the the hurdles and things that people face when they’re putting themselves out there one is the physicality one is that, that that initial How do I how do I look? And how do I sound on camera thing? But the second part of that, then is, what am I saying? How am I what kind of information or insights am I sharing with my audience? And that, too, leads to a stumbling block for people because they’re not sure what to say?
Heather Clark 16:21
Yeah, let’s get into that a little bit. Because I know that I have watched at least a moment or two of some videos where I’m like, I came here for one thing, and that’s either not on offer, or it’s on offer way down the line, and I’m done. How can people like how fast is too fast? To get to the point? How, like, what kind of information is there to share that can be done fairly succinctly, or are longer videos better, like just talk to me about content and length?
Sheryl Plouffe 16:53
When I’m working with people who are typically at the early stages of the development of their businesses, and they’re also usually solopreneurs. I like to recommend that it be educational content. That’s not to say that educational content can’t include some personality, or can’t include other elements like storytelling. But at the foundation of it. My experience has been that when you put yourself in a position of teaching, of mentoring, of essentially coaching, that that is what positions you as an authority. So the answer to the question of what kind of content that’s where I usually guide people to?
Sheryl Plouffe 17:40
The second part about length, I think, is more of a question of, there’s so many factors, it depends on who you’re trying to attract, where you’re trying to attract them, what the platforms are, what is the strategy, it might be too much for us to get into in the course of this conversation. But the length isn’t, it’s not a finite thing. It’s not to say, oh, make all of your videos a minute, 15 long, and you’re going to win, it’s not really like that. It’s more about the message that you’re sharing. Some videos are going to be eight minutes long, and some will be less than two minutes long. You know, I look at my YouTube channel, I have a nine minute video that as of the recording of this interview today just crossed crossed a million views. And it’s about a nine, just under 10 minutes, about nine minutes in some odd, I have videos that have, you know, that are less than than two minutes long, a minute, 45 seconds? And if it’s 52,000 views, and then so it runs the gamut. It’s not really about the length is what is about what is it that I’m sharing within those videos, that that makes them either reach those levels or not?
Heather Clark 18:53
I love it. So it always comes back to what’s the content? It sounds like it’s really about why are you doing this? What are you sharing? What is this in service to? And who is this in service to?
Sheryl Plouffe 19:05
Always, always about, again, coming back to? Who is it about? Is it about you? Or is it about your audience? Is it about the people that you want to serve, and if you make it about service, then you will be able to reap the benefits of that?
Heather Clark 19:22
Well, I think we all can feel the difference between that when someone is sharing, because it’s about them. versus when someone is sharing something about them but in service to the audience and the people listening. It’s a whole different vibe. And at least from my interesting point of view, it’s a lot more engaging.
Sheryl Plouffe 19:41
Here’s the difference. I believe that you should tell you can tell something through you but not about you. In the sense that I could have let’s say a story that I want to share. I’m not making the video about the story necessarily, I’m just using the story as a way to share the lesson learned from the story. So telling stories through your experience, as opposed to letting it be entirely about you, because people are dialed into a frequency. Pardon me? Can I cough?
Heather Clark 20:21
Of course, no, you can’t be human.
Sheryl Plouffe 20:29
To me, that was a human moment. When you are telling a story through you, as opposed to about you, you are able to inject insights and experiences. But the person that’s listening is dialed into the frequency of wi I FM, right? What’s in it for me? And you’re going on video and just telling a story about your trip to Italy? Okay, great. That person is listening to going. And so what does that mean for me, that that’s what’s going through their minds. So the difference being you might tell the story about the about going on a trip to Italy, and what you will learn about that to the benefit of the person who’s listening, or watching the video, that’s different. And that’s a different energy that makes it about them. You can tell the story through you, but not about you. I love
Heather Clark 21:26
- And then that way somebody it’s like they get to be do or have something different as a result of engaging. That’s right.
Sheryl Plouffe 21:34
Yes, that’s right.
Heather Clark 21:36
Tell me a little bit more about your origin story. Like how did you become to doing this work
Heather Clark 21:41
in the world?
Sheryl Plouffe 21:43
Well, I just wrote about this in Visibility, which is now an Amazon bestseller, I am part of that book. And in my chapter I talk about saying yes. And the idea being that when I was 15 years old, I really started saying yes, to opportunities that were coming my way, despite my shyness, despite, I think insecurities and coming from a broken family. And my mom was a mother on social assistance with four young children. And we had a tough time when I was a teenager, and I was 1000s of miles away from my father and didn’t see him for nearly a decade.
Sheryl Plouffe 22:22
There were a lot of issues in our family, financially, and maybe even emotionally at that point. But nonetheless, when I was 15, I was offered an opportunity to model in a local fashion show by one of my high school, high school friends, her mother was part of a, like a knitting guild and was looking for some models for this fashion show. I had no business getting up and modeling anything at that point.
Sheryl Plouffe 22:55
But I did it. I said, Yes, partly, I think because it wasn’t just me, I was going to be in the security of my friends who are also saying yes to this opportunity, but nonetheless, and I did it and it just led to the one thing led to the next to the next to the next. And there was something inside of me that really spoke about saying yes, and taking chances and facing fears in order to fulfill on what I think was in my heart and spirit in that. I wasn’t willing to let my circumstances define my future. So something inside of me just spoke to me. And next thing you know, when I was 18, I was hosting a local TV show. And that led to other opportunities. And I was involved in pageants and all kinds of different opportunities. I did a local commercial and I was hosting this show. All kinds of wonderful opportunities came from that and eventually, I was I worked in broadcasting it took me some time to land my first network TV job, but I ended up doing it. And lo and behold, here we are today.
Heather Clark 24:06
That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful
Heather Clark 24:08
in it. If I’ve understood correctly, it comes from starting with saying Yes, absolutely. Saying yes. Like, what is this an opportunity to say yes. Whether or without thinking about well, what’s this going to lead to? Should I shouldn’t I like no want me to say yes.
Sheryl Plouffe 24:25
I just said yes, despite the fear, but there was an internal nudge and a knowing that I was meant to do something more. I did always have that in me. No, I shouldn’t say I didn’t I didn’t always have that in me. I had that started to bubble up in me around that age, around 1415. And then this opportunity came and I thought okay, I will say yes. And that led me to other things that like I said, you know, pageants and those types of competitions, some in which I had to get Get up and sing in front of 500 people. I’m not a singer, not a singer. I got up and spoke it was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done is get up in front of 500 people in an auditorium and sing live with a microphone. And I ended up not only winning the talent competition, but I won the competition. And then I then for the following year, I was traveling around and hobnobbing with the mayor of the city and cutting ribbons and traveling and, you know, so here I was, girl from, I guess one could argue the wrong side of the tracks. And I’m living this one life where I’ve got a diamond tiara or, you know, a shiny diamond tiara and a sash and I’m roaming around the city wearing fancy dresses. But yet my personal life was the opposite of that.
Heather Clark 25:59
I’m just very present to how that was a conscious decision. And it wasn’t simply saying, Yes, it was saying yes. And then just moving forward, either through the fear or with the fear, and really finding that courage.
Sheryl Plouffe 26:15
Yes, yes, it was every step of that journey from the age of Oh, 15 to 19. Especially those were really formative years for me, that have led to the work that I do today. And a lot of it was digging deep and finding courage because I was scared every step of the way. Every single thing that I did, be it Toastmasters, getting up on stage, answering questions by judges, of, you know, modeling, you name it, all of it, singing. All of that entailed every single thing was about finding courage, even when I was the city’s ambassador. And I was in a parade with the mayor, I always felt like there was an imposter syndrome, for sure. I was I am I am I supposed to be here? Is this, like me? It was like living someone else’s life. But at the same time, I knew I was absolutely where I belonged. And I knew that that I was supposed to be there. So I was kind of living this. There was this duality in my head. It’s a part part of me was imposter syndrome. And then part of me was no, you are, this is who you are, and you deserve to be here.
Heather Clark 27:34
I love that. So that’s beyond courage. And I’m sure that the courage muscle that you’ve built serves you through probably every moment of every day. How, tell me more about that deep knowing you had that this is where I belong. Even though you had other voices in your head, oh, you know of imposter syndrome? Who are you to think this? Who are you to be here with the mayor? Oh, my God, where are we on a float all of that. Tell me about how you were able to hear that voice of No, this is where I belong.
Sheryl Plouffe 28:06
I don’t know where that came from. I think it was the hardship of the circumstances that we were in, that I wanted a different life, and a different outcome from that I didn’t want to be defined by those circumstances. I think I had terribly low self esteem. And I didn’t, that’s not who I wanted to be. But I recognized that that’s who I was. And had always been painfully shy as a kid. Even when I was in elementary school. When the teacher called on me in class, I would not love having all eyes on me. I did not like the attention I would cry. I was shy, and and insecure. And I had low self esteem. But I think by Listen, this was in the 80s. I would watch shows like Entertainment Tonight. And I would watch people like Mary Hart. I am dating myself here. But
Heather Clark 29:03
you know, I know I’m right there with you go oh, you know,
Sheryl Plouffe 29:06
and I would watch her and I’d be like, wow, Mary Hart, look at her, you know, Deborah Norvell or Mary Hart, or any number of female examples at that time, who were in the industry of broadcasting or entertainment, and things like that, that I looked up to them even, you know, someone like Erica m on muchmusic here in Canada. You know, it’s these were people that I looked up to and thought, gee, that’s kind of like what I would love. I would love to be able to do something like that. I would love to have that. That type of confidence and that type of self. Being that self assured. And that and having a career. I think that was really inspiring to me as well. Women with careers like I you know, I’d love to have something like that. I think that helped. But I don’t know exactly where that energy came from. It’s interesting when I was going through these competitions, these pageants, or you know, Ambassador competitions, the one that I really, really wanted to when I started doing this thing, where I would put up what I know now to be affirmations, but I didn’t know what they were at the time. And I never read a book about this, I don’t know where this came from. But I would take little pieces of paper and I would write on them, I am missing IMO, I am, you know, a speaker, I am a public speaker. And I would tape them with scotch tape on the wall of my bedroom. And come to know now after having done personal development, and having learned these terms, I was like, I was putting affirmations on my wall, where that came from, I have no idea.
Heather Clark 30:51
You absorbed it somewhere, and it’s really served you what I like about what you’re sharing, is this wasn’t a while I just needed to really get in tune with the inner voice that had me moving forward. It was it feels to me like you had simply made a choice and a series of choices that I do belong here. Yes. And I have another voice in my head that says I don’t whatever, and I belong here. And I choose these careers. I have models in my life, like the Mary hearts of the world. Why not? Why not me? And it feels like that was just a choice. And maybe this was your experience? Maybe it wasn’t. But once you really begin to choose towards Well, why not bad? It becomes just as easy to choose the Yes. Versus choose the no and choose the well, you know, I’ve got to wait until circumstances line up? Well, that’s a choice to be but what if the circumstances are already lined up? What if you already belong? What if it’s already yours, and it’s just a matter of moving forward to it.
Sheryl Plouffe 31:58
And the idea that it was a challenge also appealed, appealed to me. I do yeah, I had a competitive spirit, I think deep inside of me. And the idea of challenge and wanting to prove people wrong, I think was a part of the driving energy behind that. So it’s true. And I think what it was for me was the hardest part was starting, the hardest part was starting because what happens is once you build up the courage, and I often talk about this with regard to video, that you have to have courage, and that the courage is what leads to, you know, commitment. Like if you if you have courage and you’re committed, you will gain confidence. And that’s really what has been, in my experience, I found the courage to do it, I was committed to it. So that meaning that I was willing to face the fears that were ever present. And it was through those experiences that led me to the confidence. And then once you’re confident and you’ve done something the first time, it’s never as scary the second time, still can be scary. But now you’re you recall the fact that you did not melt the first time you did it. And you learn something from the experience, whether you won or failed, you learn something and it made you better, and it made you stronger. And then you go ahead and you do it again. So I think it’s that cycle of courage, commitment, confidence that I just kept repeating through my entire adult life.
Heather Clark 33:24
And especially since you shared I mean, you’ve written in a book called visibility, you have had a very visible career, you’re doing something that not only brings visibility to yourself, but to others. But then you shared about how you were very shy. how terrifying This is. And I just find that balance really, really interesting. And when things are when you’ve given that when you’ve sung rather in front of the group of 500 people, when you were a teenager, it’s not like the next time you sing in front of 500 people you don’t feel fear, right? It’s it’s just like, Okay, well, I didn’t die. And this is scary. And here we go again.
Sheryl Plouffe 34:09
I didn’t do it again. wasn’t willing to go there. But what I did do many years later, was I was in another competition and this time it was a swimsuit competition. That was terrifying, as well. Again, facing fears. I worked out pretty steadily to be confident enough to do that. But I wasn’t striving for perfection. I would just wanted to be able to get out there and you know, prove to myself more than anyone that I could do this because I didn’t I’ve never been an athletic person like I didn’t do sports growing up or anything like that. So to me it was almost like a personal choice and commitment to really get myself in great shape to prove to myself that I could. That was one of the big things. So I did good do this competition. And it was a little scary as well, I’ve always sought to find opportunities where I could grow from an experience or learn from it. And without expecting that any positive is it wasn’t really about winning or losing necessarily, of course, I would have tried to do my best. But I learned so much from those experiences. But that’s been a pattern for me for sure.
Heather Clark 35:26
And why not learn from them, I mean, really support a swimsuit competition or not, I can really see that that is a lot of certainly some physical hurdles, but a boatload of mental hurdles as well. And to be able to just show up, this is me, like it or don’t. And I’ve done whatever prep work is required for me to be confident, and then you’ll feel about it how you want to, I love that.
Sheryl Plouffe 35:52
Yeah. And, you know, it stems from an experience I had in junior high school, where our PE teacher, our physical education teacher would make us run five kilometres, she’d make us run up to the dam and do this five kilometer loop. And if you didn’t run it within a certain timeframe, and I can’t remember what that timeframe was, you’d have to do it again. So I did not want to do it again. So I was not again, a physically, I wasn’t into sports, and I wasn’t really into athletics. But I remember pushing myself so hard around that 5k loop, because I didn’t want to have to do it twice. When I came back to school, I went into the bathroom, and I was throwing up blood in the sink. And I pushed myself so hard. And so when it came time to be in this position, where I was going to be able to prove to myself that I could improve my physical fitness, and that I could, you know, accomplish certain things that I had not prior to that been able to accomplish. It was really intriguing to me, and that’s why I pursued it.
Heather Clark 37:06
Fantastic. Thank you. Um, to circle back to video, when people are looking like, okay, best self, best cellphone video, how can I unlock my vitality, really, through video, whether it’s my life, my body or my business? So we’ve got the definitely what are you in service? To? Who are you in service to? What is your message. And then once people kind of have their heads around, that they’ve released, their perfectionism they’re showing up, however, is authentic for them and their brand. What’s their next step?
Sheryl Plouffe 37:48
It depends on what the goal is, is the goal whether to monetize.
Heather Clark 37:55
Okay, for most people with businesses, yes, either directly or indirectly.
Sheryl Plouffe 38:03
It starts by having the right structure in place in the at the outset. So if the intent of getting out there and sharing your expertise and building that audience is to monetize them, and that isn’t always the case, because sometimes I talk to people who have ambitions, and maybe you’re working with a business coach at that moment to build their offers, and they don’t have that dialed in yet, doesn’t mean that it’s not the right time to start building an audience. I believe that the time to build an audience is yesterday. Because you, you know, when you have an audience, you’re able to build community, right? So but let’s just presume that the goal of it is to monetize, and you do have your offers in place, you know what you’re selling you maybe you’ve worked with a business coach, and you have that dialed in, it starts by having the right structure in place in the in from the outset, on your in your videos. And that is, and you may have heard this before, but a call to action.
Sheryl Plouffe 39:02
So I subscribe to an idea called the Universal Video Script is what I call it. And the idea is to engage, educate and enroll. And it’s a simple framework that anyone can use for any type of video, whether it be recorded videos, or live videos. And the idea I’d like the alliteration, obviously of engage, educate and enroll. But the enrollment part is really what’s known as a call to action. What is the action you’re asking people to take? You don’t have to have a call to action in every single video. There are certain cases where some videos might not work for a call to action. It could be let’s say you’re doing a very, very short, like Instagram reels or a tick tock video or something like that. These should be like micro short form videos, maybe not. But if we’re talking about a marketing video, it’s always a good practice to have a call to action. So what is that call to action? Is it different in every video? Is it this Same call to action regardless, where are you driving people to? How can they continue the conversation with you? And that does tie into your business, your sales process and having a clear understanding of what that process is.
Heather Clark 40:16
And that’s really helpful, engage, educate, enroll, why not just let it be that easy?
Sheryl Plouffe 40:23
Well, I like to pride myself on making complex things simple. As my friend, David Fagan says, that, that’s my approach to making it simple, because video is one of those things configure very easily feel overwhelming. So I like to put systems and processes in place to make it as simple as possible.
Heather Clark 40:46
Yeah, it can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of technical and logistic issues. And then there’s a lot of differing opinions in the marketplace, as well. So it’s, you know, quick google search, I’ll just google how to do this. And then you read five things, and you’ve got five very different points of view. And it’s like, Well, okay, I don’t know what to do now.
Sheryl Plouffe 41:09
At the core of it, though, is speaking. And speaking, video is just a form of speaking, video is speaking to an inanimate object. And speaking to a camera lens, an inanimate object, or that smartphone or that iPad, that little pinhole lens there is unnatural. And, and if you can help yourself, get over that. And if you can start to personify that lens as being a person, then you can really start to use video more effectively. But at the core of it, it is just about speaking, it is a form of speaking.
Sheryl Plouffe 41:49
And speaking is one of the best things that you can invest in investing in yourself to become a better speaker. And this is one of the things we pride ourselves on in helping people to be become world class speakers in their niche, right, stepping into their spotlight, and growing their own platforms. That’s where the opportunity is. So yes, it can be you can get bogged down with technology. Oh, no. What if I’d, what? What tripod and then you spend hours on Amazon researching every review under the sun for the right tripod? And then oh, no, now I need a camera. I need this fancy $3,000 DSLR camera otherwise, who am I in the world? And it’s really not about any of that. It’s really not because you have everything you need? Probably you’re in the palm of your hand. It’s more about the speaking aspect. Are you getting out there and speaking?
Heather Clark 42:46
I love it that really demystifies? A lot of things because it isn’t the focus on Well, what’s the tech that’ll make me successful? Like, oh, if I don’t have the right lighting? The nobody will follow my video like, Well, okay, probably not. It’s more it sounds like, Who are you? What is the message? How are you showing up? How are you speaking this into the world? How are you sharing it? And then how does it fit in with the bigger picture. But it doesn’t even sound like that part’s crucial. I mean, if you want it to work for you, I’m sure that you know, it’s very important. But if you’re just like, I don’t know, I just have the impulse to get on video then sounds like then get on video.
Sheryl Plouffe 43:26
I mean, listen, if you are doing a video and it’s dark, and people can’t even see your face, that’s probably a problem. You know, we do want to put at least our best foot forward, and and have some sense about how to make it as good as it can be for where we’re at for the level that you’re at. I think that’s one of the key things others, we have people who they watch their favorite experts or gurus. And let’s just say I’m just looking at my bookshelf here, Marie Forleo, for example, right? They see Marie Forleo. And her videos look amazing. She has a set and she has a team and they’re doing it on location, they’re in a studio, but didn’t start that way. It did not start that way.
Sheryl Plouffe 44:17
It started with her sitting on a couch with a brick wall behind her. And and in a very simple probably setup that she did herself and did it all by herself likely. So we tend to have a we tend to watch these people go, Oh, that’s what I have to have. No, you have to be building the system, the video system for yourself for the stage and level that you’re at right now. Not 10 steps ahead of yourself. And that’s where people get into trouble. Because they see those websites, they see those videos and they see all these fancy things but they don’t understand what what it takes to actually accomplish that. That it can take maybe teams of people 10s of 1000s of dollars and all kinds of equipment, they don’t see all of that, because the people who created that content, have done a good job of not sharing that. So now all of a sudden, people are aspiring for something that’s really not the level that they’re at right now.
Heather Clark 45:18
Where it appears effortless. And it is if you discount the 1000s of dollars, and the five people in the room and all of the support. Yeah, and it’s it’s like, you know, it’s just a different form of comparison. itis. Like, okay, yeah, they’re doing it differently than you are. It’s just throw in a different spot. That’s neither good nor bad. Yeah,
Sheryl Plouffe 45:41
you want your videos to look good. I mean, let’s be real, but you do want them to look good, but they do not have to look perfect. They don’t have to be broadcast quality. But they do need to be good. And that’s, you know, that listen, there’s the like, in our, in our program, we share really easy tips, you know, framing and lighting and positioning tips to be able to help people and some of these tips can take as few as five to 10 seconds, just to course correct. But until you it’s it’s a case of you don’t know what you don’t know.
Sheryl Plouffe 46:16
And so when you can have that type of guidance, now you can create videos that that look good. But more importantly, share your message with people who you can impact and really help them. So net. And that’s what drives growth. That’s what drives community and people following you and being interested and paying attention to what you say, over the course of time, it is about commitment. It’s not about one video, and then I’m done. I did my video. Good luck. It’s just like your show, Heather, right? It’s your you do the show consistently. And you’re committed to it. And you do this for your audience over and over and over again. And it’s over the course of time that things build. And people come to know like and trust you. I see too many people who go out and they they do a few videos. And then they give up they go. They create the say three videos. And they put them on they create a YouTube channel, and they do their three videos. And they and and the views are not gigantic, you know, they might have, I don’t know, maybe 25 views. They get 25 views on their first video, they get 32 on their next and then they get 47 on their third one. And they have a brand new YouTube channel like no one’s hardly subscribed, and they go, Oh, this YouTube thing I knew it’s just another thing that didn’t work. And then they give up. This happens all the time. There. I’m on calls with people all the time where I say okay, well let me take a look at your YouTube channel. And I can see it. I see. Okay, you don’t have very many subscribers. But you did three videos back in 2019. And then you gave up Why? Well, because no one was watching. Okay, but if you had 47 views, and your channel only has 11 subscribers, like they don’t see that as success to the to the trained I I see that as success because you have more views and you have subscribers. But it’s because the numbers are low, that people get up in their heads and they go I’m a I’m an absolute failure. And this is just another thing that didn’t work. But if they were committed, and they stayed the course, they would find that over time, it would grow.
Heather Clark 48:34
Yeah, cuz the numbers were low, but the trend was clearly up. You’re just you’re still overcoming inertia. I say and then I just have to be transparent at this point and say, and I’ve been guilty of saying things like that, well, you know, that didn’t work. And then I look back a few months later is like, Well, did you give it a chance to work? Maybe I didn’t.
Sheryl Plouffe 48:54
Maybe that’s the reason is asking for some commitment. That’s right. Well, here’s why people give up. Because they either don’t have a production system that makes it efficient for them to create that video. So what happens a lot of times is people on let’s use YouTube as the example here. They make a video and that video has to be usually a recorded video. And recorded videos require post production. In other words, it requires editing. And now you start getting down this rabbit hole of well, how will I get royalty free music and then you got to add that on. And then you want to add lower thirds like those banners that come across that show your name that slide in and out. And so it’s a whole process to learn how to edit videos. And so often in the example that we’re using here with our first three videos, it might have taken that person 10 hours, maybe 15 hours, who knows to create that one video. And so they’ve done it three times and then they give up and they go ha man this is not worth the effort, because it’s taking me 15 hours to create that One video for 25 views. Ah, this video thing is not for me, this is not going to work. And then they move on to the next shiny object, the next person who’s targeted them with an ad on Facebook about the next thing that they’re going to do to grow to to achieve their goals. And off they go, and they give up on that thing. And that’s a pattern that repeats over and over and over again, to the point where years go by they’ve done, they’ve tried all the things. We hear this all the time in marketing, right? I’ve tried all the things and nothing’s working for me. Okay, try speaking.
Heather Clark 50:37
Sheryl Plouffe 50:38
We just happen to specialize in a form and a format of speaking that’s video. But at the core of it, it is speaking. And the and the problem that most people have is that they’re just living in obscurity. They don’t have Grant Cardone talks about this, in his book, The 10x rule, the biggest problem that entrepreneurs have is obscurity, no one knows you exist. So how do you solve that problem, you get in front of more people. And there are people are not spending time on the right things. They’re not spending time on income generating activities, or getting in front of more people are speaking, and that’s where the energy needs to be spent, especially in the early stages.
Heather Clark 51:18
Oh, yeah, could really build up a lot of momentum with that, that sounds lovely, just really lovely. And, and as you’re sharing about it, it sounds accessible. Like, it’s quite simple. Like, you’re just like, what this is just what we do. Whereas when you don’t have that system, you don’t know, it’s just like, I don’t even know where to start here. Or you start and then like holy crap, for real estate, it took 10 hours to edit this 10 minute video
Sheryl Plouffe 51:44
had someone say that to me two days ago, they said, this whole, I made a video, it took me 10 hours or 12 hours to create it. It’s a common experience. That’s actually why when we’re working with people who want to create a spotlight and start their stage and get out there, we actually recommend that people start with live streaming. And the reason we start there is because that is the place where we can circumvent the post production, which is the part that takes the most time and skill. So starting with live streaming allows you to, to still do the speaking, you’re just doing it in real time. And you can get your content out there and published on those platforms more quickly, I do a thing I subscribe to a, I guess a framework, if you will, called plan, produce, publish and promote the four P’s. Well, the planning phase is crucial, because you do have to know who you’re talking to what are your videos going to be about. And there’s a planning phase, the produce and publish when you do live streaming, they happen at the same time, you’re producing the content. And when you hit Finish or hit end, it’s publishing to that platform. Right away. And then the promoting is the next phase, which is how do you leverage that video, maybe you’re sharing it with other people using it in emails, there’s other ways that you can use that content to leverage it. But the live streaming allows people to get their message out there and heard more quickly.
Heather Clark 53:17
Beautiful, and then it just requires that little bit of courage. Oh, but what if I make a mistake and I can’t edit it? I don’t know. It feels to me. Like, I know from my own experience, it’s a lot easier to forgive slip ups and baubles when it’s a live thing like oh, well, whatever. It’s live. It’s just easier. Yeah,
Sheryl Plouffe 53:36
yeah. Yeah. And it’s, it’s the way, the thing I love about helping people and supporting people to do live streaming is that through the course of live streaming, what you’re really doing is speaking, and it’s through the course of speaking and being again, having the courage and being committed to that process that builds confidence. And when you do it, the more that you do it, the better of a speaker you become. The more you learn, not only about your audience, but about yourself in how you say and how you express your ideas. So if you don’t have your frameworks completely built out right now, you would be amazed at when you start live streaming, it starts to become more clear because you’re gaining intelligence from people, your audience who are there, listening doesn’t matter if that’s a small audience or a large one. People are asking questions, and now you start to gain the intelligence that you need to make more educated decisions about your offers and how you build your business.
Heather Clark 54:41
Beautiful. Oh, this is lovely. Cheryl, tell me what’s it mean to you to be unshakable?
Sheryl Plouffe 54:50
I think to be unshakable means to have absolute resolve, and to have absolute certainty on the path that you’re on. It’s it’s to be unshakable, I think means that no matter what comes your way, and there will be obstacles, and there will be haters. And there will be people who don’t agree. Being unshakable is having the resolve to know that you’re on the right path no matter what. And that you’re doing the work that you’re meant to be doing.
Heather Clark 55:20
Beautiful, thank you. But tell me, where can people find you?
Sheryl Plouffe 55:25
The best place is to find me at my website, https://www.sherylplouffe.com. Or you can also just find me on YouTube. You can search my name on YouTube, my channel will come up there. I’m on LinkedIn and Facebook. I’m on Twitter, I don’t use Twitter a ton, but Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, at Sheryl Plouff. You can contact me through my website. And like I said through the YouTube channel, but we do have a public Facebook group called cash in on camera, which is our community that’s growing and that would be a great place for people to connect as well.
Heather Clark 55:59
Fantastic. Thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been such a delight to have you.
Sheryl Plouffe 56:05
Thank you so much, Heather. This has been a blast.
Heather Clark 56:09
Thanks so much for listening. I’d love to hear from you. Go to unshakablebeing.com and submit your question, comment, or topic request. May you be unshakable, unstoppable, and vibrant again. Until next time.