In 2019 I started doing something I swore I’d never do: video on social media! More than 365 days later, here are the lessons learned from a year of going live on Facebook.
You’ve probably decided to start sharing videos to promote your services, to share values. But you have been thinking about it for months, maybe even for years. And you can never actually do it.
You tell yourself: maybe tomorrow; I should get a professional camera; I don’t have the right lighting equipment; I don’t look good on camera; what am I going to wear?; I gained 5Kg, I can’t show my face!; I won’t remember everything I want to say…
While you might be hesitant, I felt very strongly about video: “I will never, ever be on camera.”
That was my statement.
And then I made a documentary where I was on camera most of the time.
“Whatever, but live streaming is way too nerve-wracking,” I’d add.
And then I started releasing a video a week, every week for a year.
All the pointless things I worried about in my first video
My first video was actually in September 2018. I went live on YouTube for a 15-minute training on effective communication for small organisations.
Looking back to it, it wasn’t that bad. But it took so much mental energy: I was worried about the background, the height of the laptop, red jacket or black jacket, my notes, etc … It took months to re-consider doing video again. And when I did, I opted to share them on Facebook.
Because of my experience with YouTube Live, I decided live streaming would keep me too on the edge so I opted for pre-recorded video. My camera equipment was good but setting it up took too long: my recording sessions fitted my young son naps. Hence, I recorded it with my phone and an external microphone.
From what I had read people really NEEDED subtitles so I went through the whole process of sending the video to my laptop, uploading it to Kapwing to create subtitles (and that lowered so much the quality of the image!). But then sometimes the program wouldn’t work, the internet wouldn’t work and the whole process would take me too long. I kept going but felt discouraged.
One experiment after another I found my minimum viable video setup and I now regularly go live on LinkedIn and Facebook. I use my laptop and a third-party tool to connect to two social media platforms at the same time. Through Streamyard I can add graphics, share screen and add another person. It’s so amazingly easy and efficient!
Why going Live
I know I could record super professionally looking video but I choose to go live because:
- Live videos are more interactive and engaging
- It’s a boost of adrenaline
- The learning curve keeps going up every time
- It requires less maintenance
Doing something I did not feel comfortable doing instantly improved my knowledge and skills and I wouldn’t like to run my business without that constant learning process.You must feed your mind with reading material, thoughts, and ideas that open you to new possibilities. - Oprah Winfrey Click To Tweet
Lessons learned from a year of going live on Facebook
Professionals never quit
Live streaming, like any other activity linked to your business, needs to be consistent. To be honest: I might have skipped a couple of live up until now but I made sure to communicate that in advance to my audience (even if I didn’t feel somebody was actually watching). When you are consistent, your audience knows where to find your valuable content and your learning also improves. Also, when you do something for a longer period of time, you can measure the success of it with more accurate information.
Content is the protagonist
The temptation with video is to focus on your clothes, your background, your makeup. All of those things are important too but not more important than what, why and how you actually share your content. Articulate your message with clarity and love.
Find comfort while being uncomfortable
Even after a year of doing it, going live, can still feel stressful because everything can happen. And also, because I want to make sure I deliver value in a way that my audience can understand. With time I discovered habits that ease my discomfort: limiting the tech, sticking to under 15 minutes for live, getting ready no more than 10 minutes before, standing up.
It’s great practice for public speaking
Going live is a great learning tool for improving your public speaking or even only, to improve how you present yourself and your business. You can experiment with your storytelling, be aware of your hand gesture, listen to your voice and check if your audience gets it.
Always, always ask your audience to do something
I don’t think I’ve done it enough at the beginning because I was rushing to end the live and take a deep breath. However, if you use video is so that people to learn, be inspired and eventually get in touch with you. Or at the very least, engage with the video, so ask them to do that. Put a call to action at the end of every video. For me it’s usually an invitation to join my newsletter.
Be visible, be audible
Although I said I don’t use too much tech during my live-streamed video, people still need to see me and hear me clearly. Whether you step in front of a window for more natural light or use a lavalier microphone or your headphones, make sure people can see your face and hands and that they can hear you well. It’s very frustrating to see a shadow on the screen and not being able to hear a thing.
Do test before going live
What if you go live and the camera doesn’t work? Easy fix, do a test before going live. Not before every live but at least before the first one or if you are going to use some new features or have to write some specific information. Most software and live platforms have a test option, Streamyard surely has one. Use it.
Have a routine before the live
Before every live, I relax and do some vocal exercises with Vanessa Van Edwards. I’m usually ready enough time before doing the exercises but not too early to feel anxious about the live. Find your own routine, something that will help to relax, feel ready, and focused.
As I said, I’m not a pro but I continue my live to share storytelling tips and to keep a space where I can have a conversation with my audience. I know next week, next month, next year I’ll be better. So will you. You just have to start.
Are you thinking of using video to share value? What has been holding you back? Write in the comment below.