As freelancers, the lifestyle of sweatpants and afternoon naps can sometimes get the better of us, so the thought of showing our faces live on video is enough to make our palms sweaty, knees weak and arms heavy (mum’s spaghetti).
But I want to help you get past the initial fear and change your perspective on how to look at the bigger picture when it comes to live streaming, your business and your personal growth.
Most of us are now au fait with the power of live video on Facebook and the various live streaming channels. For those that want some numbers to help convince them, let these staggering stats marinade for a bit:
- Facebook users spend 3x longer watching live videos than regular videos (source: social media today)
- 50% of marketers said they were going to increase their live video in 2017 (source: social media marketer)
- Facebook invested $50 Million to get celebrities and influencers to start using their live streaming feature (source: motley fool)
- Facebook users comment 10x more on live videos than regular videos (source: motley fool)
There are some of us that need to look past the numbers and consider some more intangible benefits, I want to talk directly to some of the questions (fears) I know you’re considering right now.
You don’t know where to start
Start where you’re comfortable. You can now go live (on Facebook) in a number of different methods. On your own personal profile, in a Facebook group or on a Facebook page.
Here is a recommendation, open your personal profile and go live to your immediate friends by reading a children’s book to them. Seriously. Try it. It helps you relax by visualising you’re reading to children and it’s a simple task to do. You don’t need to be overly entertaining, witty or worry about sound and lighting.
Once you have done your first Facebook Live you will want to do more (and more) so from there gradually step up to stream in new areas to different audiences.
You don’t know what to talk about
Consider what is right for your audience. Changing perspective to first put the benefits for your audience, helps you think about potential topics you can cover on Facebook Live. Here are 7 different ideas you could use:
- Demonstrate how to make something
- Cross-promote content
- Recap or Preview an event
- Interview others (or get someone to interview you)
- Teaching or education sessions on what you know best
- Give someone else access and do a ‘guest’ video
- Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions
I’ve gone into a bit more detail and have examples of these ideas here if you want to read some more.
What if someone gives you negative feedback?
Negative feedback is simply people inflating their own ego’s by putting you down and pumping up their own sense of self. It’s not helpful to you, so while it’s easier said than done, you need to move past it. Talk about it with someone else that aligns with your values instead.
Now constructive feedback, that is completely different to negative feedback. If people go out of their way to give you tips or you ask them for feedback (make sure they’re your target audience) then welcome it with open arms. You want to make sure what you’re presenting about on Facebook Live helps your audience because that’s what you’re there for in the first place.
What if you don’t get any feedback or no one watches?
It’s likely no one will tune in during your first (or second, or third…) live stream. Depending on how heavily you pre-promote, 99% of views will come after the fact. And that’s actually a great thing, because at first you can practice when you’re ready, in your environment and on your terms.
Sometimes I consider no feedback as good as positive feedback. The numbers tell me that people are watching and consuming it and that’s all that matters. I’m there to help the audience and provide them opportunities that align with their life.
What if you say something you didn’t mean to?
Facebook Live is not a representation of you as a person. It’s simply another medium for you to help others, bring value to them and an opportunity to greater align values you believe in with your own life.
Don’t overthink how people will react to everything you say. The more you think about it, the more it will restrict what you cover in your live streams and it prevents you from potentially putting your best stuff out there.
You tend to ‘waffle’ and people don’t want to hear you ramble
If that’s a natural part of your personality, that’s actually okay if it suits your brand. Otherwise, if you have difficulty staying on track then preparing before you hit the live button is key. It’s like creating any other piece of content you would do for yourself or clients. Think about how you want the session to flow, what you want to cover and some key phrases to emphasise your point. I usually keep another window open with dot points or jot some notes on a post-it note to stick on the screen out of sight.
As you do more, the intro and outro to your sessions will become second nature and you will simply flow into the main part of the live stream that has the good stuff!
You don’t have the right equipment
For starters, equipment shouldn’t be a barrier to stop you going live. You can now open the Facebook app or visit it on your desktop and start to stream straight away, no gadgets needed.
The great thing about live video is people tend to be more forgiving with the quality of the stream and expect it to be ‘raw’. The main reason they’re watching is they’re curious to what is happening in your life, right now, at that very point in time. It’s human nature to be curious and want to see the unexpected.
As you get better and more confident you can start to invest in equipment or programs that help stream higher quality but remember the key is always the quality of the content.
If you want to get into the details (it’s not my strong point) there are some good answers on this topic on Quora here: https://www.quora.com/What-equipment-is-necessary-to-live-stream-broadcast-HD-video
As you begin to do more live streaming and overcome these challenges, you will find the benefits of improved confidence will flow into other areas of your life and your business. You will become better at presenting in person, winning new clients, dealing with unexpected challenges and be more confident in your knowledge and ability to help.
But those results are down the track, at the end of the day, the best way to learn to master live streaming is by starting. Get comfortable, do it more often and stay consistent. It WILL have an impact on you as a person first, and your business second but just remember that it will be, what it will be.