“I AM NEVER DOING A LIVE” – Says every micro business owner I have ever met!
The objections (fear, terror, don’t want to look daft or unprofessional, don’t know what to say, who’d watch anyway, personal issues etc) are almost always about that person and how they feel about themselves, rather than a lack of skill, ability or technology.
We know that live video (and video full stop) is a growing and ever-needed medium in our marketing toolbox.
The benefits of doing a live video are massive for our small businesses and include:
Showing your brand’s true personality.Real-time access to your brand.Building trust and rapport with your followers and fans.A totally cost-effective way to get seen (it’s free!).Increased engagement with people who know, or don’t know, your brand.It could even go viral!All businesses can benefit no matter whether they are selling to a business audience or consumers.
I could go on but hopefully, these reasons are enough to pique your interest to film a live video yourselves.
So how do we start?
1. Be yourself completely. To engage with your audience and show your true brand personality, you HAVE to be yourself.
People are not looking for the polished scripted version of you. They aren’t expecting perfection, they’re looking for ‘real’ and accessible brands that they can relate to.
Be open, honest and smile a lot. In all of my live videos, my hands start to wave. My hands also wave in training, when chatting to my friends and family and in every circumstance that I speak! I’d have to strap my hands down to stop it happening – so I don’t. Waving hands and an animated me is part of the Sparkle brand.
Be yourself, be authentic, that’s what your audience wants to watch.
2. Plan your live video content before you stream (especially as you get your first few done).
Most of us experience nerves when we think about, or go, live. For many of us, these nerves and anticipation (of it all going wrong?) stop us in our tracks. But there are things you can do to help …
Planning: think about where you’re going to sit or stand, what the light is like, what’s in shot around you, having a tripod so the camera doesn’t wobble, using a microphone if you need one, having a title and some written text to add to the Facebook post before you start recording and knowing where the lens is on the camera so that you look at your audience rather than yourself when you record.
Bear in mind what your business objectives are by going live: do you want increased engagement? To tell people about your latest offer to generate leads? Or just fancy a chat and spreading some joy?
By planning your session beforehand, you’ll be more confident about what you’re saying and why you’re saying it.
And with that in mind…
3. Remember who you’re talking to. Keep your audience in mind at all times. Who are they, what do they want to know, why is your live video going to help them?
4. Practise before going live. You can practise what you’re going to say whilst wandering around your home or office space before going live. You could also video yourself to see how everything looks before going live.
But do this with caution – you don’t want to seem scripted and false, and if you have a tendency towards self-sabotage when watching yourself on video or in photos (I hate how I look, sounds etc), videoing yourself may be detrimental and stop the live happening.
Practise however you need to.
5. Know your topic. I tend to practise the content of my live broadcasts a few times before I press record and the topics I talk about are frequently inspired by my delegates and the business communities I am in.
There are always great conversations happening around us and if you run a small business, and your customers are small business owners, chatting about what’s happening in your small business will attract those people to watch.
If you sell products and you’re as obsessed with them as your customers, this enthusiasm will resonate and people will watch.
If you’re interested and passionate about your topic, others will be too.
6. Promote your live before you do it. Easy – jump onto all your social media channels and give people a heads-up that you’re going to be live. You may start these communications the day before and you could even send out an email to your database to ensure everyone has the chance to be prepared.
You could also pop it onto your Facebook business page as an event and invite everyone along.
Give people the chance to join in.
7. Don’t worry about mistakes. Your audience will forgive you. We all love gaffs. Rather than harm our brands, they can help us come across as more human. Keep going if something goes wrong.
Tips – don’t chew gum live (done that), know how to end the broadcast when you’re finished (it took me a while to work that out), don’t drop the phone in your lap whilst you’re live (I’ve done that too!).
Just keep going and don’t worry!
8. Acknowledge people as they start to watch. I do love it when people start to watch my live videos, I get very excited and always say hello! People then start chatting throughout the broadcast (which can be a tad distracting) but it’s a great feeling when people choose to spend their precious time watching my live video.
Acknowledge your audience and make sure you have a great Call To Action at the end of your live – what can your audience take away or do next to stay part of the conversation?
9. When you’re finished, keep the live and publish it on your Facebook business page. This gives people who joined you halfway through the broadcast the chance to watch again from the beginning and all the people who didn’t catch it live in the first place the chance to watch it later.
10. Download your live video from Facebook and upload it onto your YouTube channel. Then a whole new audience has the opportunity to watch it and you can promote it everywhere!
We publish blog posts on Digital Sparkles with the video links from YouTube; reusing content creatively like this is a great time saver and also meets the needs of those people who aren’t on Facebook at that time (or ever, yes there are some humans that don’t have a Facebook account!).
11. Measure your performance. Check your Facebook analytics to find out which live videos work best, which topics engage your audience most and plan to include similar topics again. Reuse and repeat.
12. Have fun! We always want to watch a passionate person, enjoying what they’re doing rather than someone who’s visibly terrified!
Breathe deeply; Practise your content; Dress appropriately so you feel great; Don’t chew gum; Position your phone/camera on a tripod to stop the wobbles; Check for great light; Look at the lens when you’re speaking so that your audience knows you’re talking to them (don’t look at yourself on the screen!); If you need a microphone then invest in a decent one; Use humour; Embrace your mannerisms; Be real and be you.
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