If you are active on social media, you will know that the future lies firmly in video. Or to be more precise, live streaming video. But the very idea of live streaming video is enough to traumatize a lot of people into lifelong therapy. What if you do something wrong?
If you are one of those people, you can’t be blamed for being nervous. Since live streaming is…well…live, you can’t pre-record your video and edit out all the gaffes later. The viewers will see you in real-time, uncut, uncensored, and if you do a good job, they will love you for it.
If you are selling a product or promoting a cause, learning how to live stream can turn viewers into customers. But how do you get started without making a complete fool of yourself?
Choose a Platform to Live Stream
There are so many streaming platforms these days that it can be very difficult to figure out which one to use. Facebook and Instagram are the two biggest ones, followed by Twitter’s Periscope. Then there are the smaller platforms such as Twitch, Vimeo, YouNow, Livestream, and many more.
To keep things simple, I am going to go with Facebook Live in this article as it is the biggest platform. But you can decide if you’d rather live stream with one of the others.
Instagram’s IGTV is also becoming quite popular and there’s nothing wrong with having a second camera pointed at you running on another platform. But if you’re just getting started, best to keep it simple.
Get The Right Equipment
The three things to focus on if you’re first learning how to live stream are sound, lighting, and making sure your camera is steady.
Rather than repeat everything here, I will just refer you to the article link in the previous paragraph. But I will just say one further thing on this subject – a video app is not necessary as you will be using whatever streaming software the platform is giving you.
But whether you are using your computer webcam or your smartphone camera to beam yourself into peoples lives, you need to keep that picture steady. So if you are using a smartphone or tablet, be sure to have it attached to a tripod. I can’t stress this enough.
Decide In Advance What Your Show Will Be About
To gain a regular and reliable audience, you should build up a streaming show on one subject only. Going live to discuss any rambling subject is going to eventually drive people away. People watch streaming video to be informed and educated, as well as entertained. The only way to do that is to build a niche subject.
Mine is about the books I write and publish so I discuss that, as well as industry news. Right now, my audience is very small, but I am seeing the same people returning for the next show and the one after that, because they know my subject is something they will want to hear about. So figure out what YOUR subject is and stick to it.
Advertise In Advance & Build Up Some Buzz
As any good marketing expert will tell you, to get the audience in, you need to advertise and promote the hell out of your event. The finished video will remain on Facebook for those who missed it, but the “live” aspect is only good if you actually have people watching it live, asking you questions and giving you likes.
You can easily make an advertising image in Canva, GIMP, Photoshop, or any other online editor. The one above is one I made for a recent streaming event. Keep it simple but also add something catchy (like the bullet hole!).
Start Your Live Streaming Show
When you are ready to start your show, go to the page where you want to show it. In the status update box, you will see Live. Click on that.
A box will open up where you will be asked to grant Facebook permission to access your camera and microphone. Say yes to both. Then fill out all of the fields on the right-hand side.
When ready, click the blue Go Live button in the bottom right-hand corner.
There will be a 3 second countdown then you will be live to the masses. Good luck!