Written by Michelle Kane
Have you been thinking about live streaming as a method to build your brand and develop new business? Not that we want to grant the COVID-19 pandemic any credit for being a positive force, but this crisis has quickly placed us in an environment where business is uncertain and screen time is up. It’s time to pivot your business development to including live stream.
Why live stream? Why not just pre-recorded video? Why do I have to be the focus of attention?
I get it. I am a self-described extroverted introvert. I have no desire to be the star of any show, but I do love sharing information with people when I think it can help them improve their businesses, their lives. That lights me up, and I’m pretty sure my fellow communicators are nodding “yes” right now. The beauty of live stream over pre-recorded information is twofold: you lose the ability to get too nervous and stress about getting everything just right, and there’s interactive energy and warmth to going live.
Your presence builds business.
Now for the practical, business-building reason: live stream conquers the “know, like, and trust” barriers, establishing you as the expert right in front of their eyes. The warmth of your voice and presence, the confidence you bring to the information you’re providing, it all works together to make you memorable to potential clients. Plus, going live is truly interactive allowing for Q&A sessions.
Leading up to writing this blog, I knew I wanted to refer to Mark Schaefer’s book, Known. Even better, he recently wrote a blog revisiting the reasons to build a personal brand, especially during this crisis.
Start with the platform where you have the most comfort using it. You can always promote the live stream sessions on your strongest channels and/or on those channels where your ideal audience is spending their time. If your strongest channel is also where you feel best going live, all the better.
- YouTube Live
- Facebook Live
- Periscope (Twitter chat element
Wondershare has compiled a list of the 10 best live streaming platforms you should know, which include some of the above as well as newcomers.
What tools do I need to get started?
Lights, camera, laptop, action! You don’t have to spend an excessive amount of money to have a quality, professional set-up. Here’s a breakout of the basics:
Microphone: The Blue Yeti remains a popular option at a good price point of $129.95. IGN provides their choices for best streaming and podcasting microphones.
Lighting: You can purchase a lighting set-up or create a home set-up. We’ve seen plenty of tricks thanks to journalists and talk show hosts (we see you, Jimmy Fallon) working from home. Here’s a fun tutorial.
Laptop, tablet, cell phone, and/or digital camera: Of course, you can live stream directly from your laptop or cell phone. You might also choose to use your digital camera, providing it has the capability to connect to your computer and/or Wi-Fi. You will also want to invest in a tripod. Keep it simple to start and work your way up to more elaborate set-ups, perhaps even including graphic overlays.
Make it Happen
Treat your live stream sessions as one of the staples of your editorial calendar. You might want to make it the main element from which all other content – blogs, e-books, social media assets – flows. However, you choose to approach it, take the time and do it. And make sure to visit soloprpro.com to let us know how it’s working for you. Let’s learn from each other.