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10 how to tips for starting out on Facebook Live

First of all, well done on deciding to use Facebook Live. Livestreaming is daunting at first. I should know, I’ve been doing it for 2 years and was involved in a record breaking 24/7 continuous livestream event. This guide is not about what kit to buy, what to say, but it is about those very first things you need to know when you are just starting out.

Safety First

Turn off location services or GPS

If you are at home or some other private residence and you are not playing tourist guide, then people have no need to know where you are when you use Facebook Live. Yes, I have seen people tracked down by their location services while live streaming. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it can also be beneficial. No, it’s not necessary to have it on while live streaming (unless you’re a tour guide and you are out and about).

I tell you this, not to freak you out but to make you informed.

Do NOT go Live and drive

Plane, train, bike, or any other form of transport (OK, if you’re a passenger and going Live that’s ok, just don’t distract the driver). Let’s face it, it’s illegal in most places in the world. There is nothing that can not wait for you to pull over and go live about. Yes, people have had accidents while livestreaming.

I will admit, I was once tempted to do it. It was early one morning, the roads were clear and the sunrise was stunning and then a massive F100 car ran a red light when my light turned green and had I not been paying attention, he would have cleaned up the driver’s side of my car.

Do not play the radio or other music

While not a safety issue, it is a legal one. People have at the least had their Facebook Live videos removed, at worst had accounts shut down and compensation orders served all because they played a song on a live stream.

Unless you own the copyright to a song or soundtrack, don’t play it. Copyright laws vary from country to country and what is ok in one might not be in another.

Technical considerations

Settings

It is preferable to use a wifi connection as Facebook Live uses a lot of data. Also, if you are using your phone, turn it to flight mode and turn your wifi back on to avoid calls and SMS interfering with or cancelling your Facebook Live.

Tripod

You do not need a fancy tripod, in fact, I started without a tripod. I used a set of boxes and books on a kids desk – that was my stand. A tripod can make it easier, but be warned that sometimes the mount for the phone actually pushes on the volume buttons and so it will take some careful manoeuvring to set up the right angle.

Microphone

Yes you could use a fancy lapel mic, but to be perfectly honest you actually don’t need one. I have only ever used phone headsets. Granted, mine are Senheisser and I bought them specifically for sound quality in live streaming; you don’t need anything more than the headset that came with your phone.

Lighting

Make sure you have ample light coming in from in front of you. This will light up your face, making you easier to see. While natural light is best, it’s not always practical. I use LED strip lights when recording my live streams.

Emojis

Don’t use them in the title of your live stream. Not all emojis for Android are on iPhones and vice versa. If you are using them to write a word or make your description understood and it’s not loaded on a viewer’s device, all they will see is an ‘X’ in a box and not your emoji. Not only is it frustrating for the viewer, it’s unprofessional.

Make up

This one is entirely up to you. Personally, it depends if I am using my LED lighting. If I am I will wear make up so I don’t look washed out. Otherwise, I go by the premise that people are watching to hear what I have to say or see what I am showing, not to look at my make up.

Scripts

Wow did I get this wrong at the start and yes everyone is different on this. I started out using a script and it was woeful. It actually made me more nervous. I have looked into the online teleprompter services and found them to be cumbersome. So, I have a few dot points, if that, and I go from there. If you have a goal for the live stream, that’s all you need. You know what you’re talking about so talk.

Have Fun!

In the end, don’t take it too seriously. You are using Facebook Live to build a connection with your clients and not deliver a high-end news broadcast. People appreciate honesty, authenticity, and a little fun. The nerves will pass, it just takes time. This is precisely why I encourage the members of my Facebook Group to hone their skills. It’s a safe environment where courage is encourage and small steps towards a goal are celebrated.

Take aways from TEDx for Livestreamers

On November 21st I took a step closer to my goal of speaking at TEDx, I attended the live event in my hometown. It was an exciting, adrenaline pumping morning – with a buzzing, bustling throng of people waiting to get into the event. After seven hours of speakers, I walked away with a full head & heart and the understanding of how I could leverage TEDx in my live streaming. You see, every time I live stream I inch closer to my goals of being on that stage.

I admit, the idea of getting up in front of 600 people scares the daylights out of me, but I remember a time when turning my phone on myself and livestreaming to the world had the same effect. How did I get over that gut wrenching feeling? I kept turning that camera on. What happened was that I learnt that when I spoke from the heart, as compared to a script, I had better outcomes. This was the same for the TEDx talks, when the speakers spoke from their hearts and told a story, the audience responded. The best stories were ones that were wound through the 20 minutes, engaging and leading us to explore, discover, & learn. The story was cleverly punctuated with anecdotes, small tid-bits of information, and punchy take-aways for the listeners.

These little sidelines were hand distractions, pauses, & thought provokers. The thing that the best ones did was to elicit emotions in the audience. We could empathise with the speaker, we could dig into our past and join their journey, we could see where they were headed. The best emotion came from the raw honesty of the speaker, pointed examples that hit home & chilled the audience. We felt how they felt. The speaker moved us.

But that’s just the thing… While all of the talks were incredibly valuable & worthy in their own right, the ones that made the story about the audience as much as it was about the story they wanted to tell were the winners. You see, unless you take an audience with you, they aren’t buying the story. You need to speak to their needs, values, & pain points to grab their emotions & win over their minds. When you can engage the audience where they live, you show that you understand, you care, & that you are really no different from them. This is a powerful & trusted position. In fact, it’s one reserved for our closest friends & family. Eliciting that understanding and intimacy, builds a connection that usually takes years to form. If you can grab that space where the audience lives, then you’re over half-way there.

When people tune in to TEDx talks, they want to learn & be inspired. Give them something that sticks in their mind – that they can carry with them. Make it useful for them, make sure it will make a difference in their life. Don’t assume that because it is important to you that it will automatically be important to them. Above all, don’t make them try to walk away with your entire 20 minute talk as a take-away, they can’t do it. In fact, best leave it to a maximum of three key points & chances are that they will remember the one thing which spoke the loudest to them at that point in their life.

To help the listeners to remember your key points, talk slowly & use silence to punctuate and reinforce your take aways. There’s power in silence. It gives the listener a time to ingest your message & align it with their beliefs and values. Give them that honour of allowing them to assimilate what you want them to take home, with what they already believe – they will remember it & you better for doing it.

These points you want the audience to remember are best when tied to emotions & not facts. To be honest, when you are listening to your fifth 20 minute talk, the last thing you are likely to remember is what was said, but you won’t forget how that person made you feel. Facts are great in small, interspersed factoids, but they shouldn’t be the back bone of an engaging piece; unless you can tie it to an emotion. If your fact will elicit an emotion in the majority of people, then by all means say it, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on it being remembered long after your 20 minutes are over.

If your talk is structured with a good story, elicits strong emotions & has some key takeaways; you won’t need slides. In fact, there was one speech where I wished there were slides, but only so that they were a distraction from the 20 minutes of facts and figures we were exposed to. Clear, key, punchy images, ones that made us laugh, helped to move the time along.

The main thing I walked away with was that I can do it. I have a story worth telling. When I allow others in to my story, I move them & inspire them. I do that everyday on live streams to the world, TEDx is easy!

Twitter basics for Live Streaming

When it comes to the Twitter basics for live stream, if you do nothing else, just do the first two steps and you will be set up & ahead of the crowd. These two steps are key as the information you provide, on Twitter, in these steps are pulled through to the Periscope & Blab platforms, this saves you time. Who doesn’t want to save time! Not sure if it’s worth your while spending much time on Twitter? Check out these stats.

Egg heads

I can not stress enough the importance of having a face to a name. When you are livestreaming you are putting your face out there, don’t hide it in your marketing – or make people guess when you want to go live. The best thing is that candid shots work just as well as polished professional headshots. You are building a relationship live, so make sure the photo is bright and inviting. People enjoy the authenticity of live streaming, so showing them what you look like before you engage with you starts that relationship. Additionally, one photo across platforms means that you have consistency in branding.

Description

This one can be a little daunting, but consider it a preparatory physical challenge before you jump headlong into Twitter. Your description/biography can only contain 160 characters. Now this includes letters, spaces, emojis & links. Before you say, why should I have all of those, let me explain why you should have them all.

Emojis will allow your biography to stand out on the Periscope user list. While you can edit your biography independently on Periscope, uniqueness and demonstrating your personality on Twitter gives you a point of difference and sets you apart from the noisy Twitter crowd.

While you can list your website in Twitter, having a distinct link on your site for your Twitter followers will give you the numbers on how many people have followed you from that platform. You can even give them a thank you gift for coming across.

Cover image

Your Twitter cover/header image is a valuable piece of real estate. It is you main & constant opportunity to advertise yourself, your brand, and your offer. I use Canva to design most of my advertising material as it has them preformatted to the correct dimensions. I can upload my own images & logo to use on them, or I can use the set dimensions and design it from scratch.

Title length

When you livestream, it is good practice to keep the titles to 80 characters. The reason is that when your streams are shared or tweeted the platform will add a link or other content. You want to be the one controlling the title & not relying on the person sharing to accurately edit your title.

Additionally, on Blab you should ensure that the first 40 characters of the title are carry the information. As you accept people on to the screen & your Blab is tweeted out, the platform will shorten the title from the end for the sake of including the twitter handle of all participants.

Promote the stream

When you are livestreaming, especially running a scheduled Blab, I suggest making a specific graphic to share on Twitter. In this graphic include the time, title, participants if it’s an interview, and a shortened link to the livestream.

Using a graphic like this means you then have the 140 characters of the tweet to add additional information, including relevant hashtags. It’s also more appealing to Twitter followers than straight text, statistics show that images are also retweeted more often. Using an image with the relevant details prevents retweeters from editing the core information.

I suggest retweeting the image in the lead up to the livestream, to capture audiences who may not have seen the original tweet. Another way to increase exposure is to pin your tweet to the top of your profile. Done the same way as on Facebook, this means that your livestream is the first tweet visitors will read when looking through your profile.

Conversations

As always, Twitter is a social media platform & that means that you need to be sociable. Thank people for tweeting out or sharing your livestreams. Interact with them if they joined a seat in your Blab. Take the discussion on to Twitter to deepen your relationship with those who took the time to spend time with you in your livestream. You can read more about using Twitter conversations to help build relationships formed on live streaming, here.

Fullscope.tv

If you are looking for ways to easily interact with your Periscope followers, then can I suggest Fullscope.tv. It is an analytics tool that shows you the statistics around your scope & also allows you to tweet to them from within the tool. So, you can tweet to your top sharers, commenters, or the ones who left the most hearts. You can also respond to particular commenters regarding something they said on your scope. This is truly a tool worth investigating if you want to leverage the power of periscopes on Twitter.

Twitter Basics Checklist

I understand that there are a lot of different things that I am suggesting. That’s why I have created the following Twitter basic checklist. It quickly covers all the things you need to do. Download it, refer back to this blog & video

Blab – Twitter basics for live stream

If you would like to see what I discussed on the Blab, or if you prefer to learn by listening, then watch the following video training on – Twitter Basics for Live Streaming.

 

Post Script (September 2017)

Blab is no longer available, thankfully most of my videos are and are available on Youtube.

Why I love live streaming

Live streaming is moving on from Google Hangouts to either one-to-many (Periscope, Meerkat, MyEye) or many-to-many (Blab.im, Appear.in). This shift has come with the adoption of mobile technology and the inability for Hangouts to start from a mobile device. Why is this important? The mobile (cell) phone is now more like a proxy computer than a phone. It is now a more popular way to shop and connect with people & brands. It’s convenient, and people have been looking for new ways to share experiences.

I moved to live streaming at the end of May 2015. I first jumped on Periscope as a way to connect with my favourite business coaches. From there, I saw how powerful it could be as a way to connect with and educate my own followers.

Connections

Through live streaming, I have gained three joint ventures, one social media client & exposure to an amazing collection of people and influencers. These business benefits have only come about through live streaming. These connections have resulted in ongoing income opportunities.

I have been able to build a group of friends that I can draw on from around the world. It means that I am likely to have someone to reach out to, face to face, at any time of the day. It removes the sense of isolation that business owners can have.

Further to that, the sense of community that exists is uplifting. I have found that the people I stream with are incredibly supportive & the incidence of trolling is low and not tolerated within the community.

Personal growth

Don’t worry if you are not extroverted either, as you are working from an area of comfort, you control your interaction. You feel like you are chatting to your camera, or chatting to a friend. In fact, you can do private Periscopes to help you overcome any nerves.

With practice I have become more forthright in all aspects in my life. I have learnt how to hold and project an opinion without being rude or opinionated. I have learnt how to become comfortable with talking to no-one or a lot of people.

I have learnt to love my voice and see the beauty my videos that people see in me every day. Personally, this personal growth has been worth more than the ongoing income. My growth in self-esteem & self-worth has allowed me to push myself & my business further than I have ever anticipated. By having to turn the camera on myself, I am now better positioned to notice self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours; in turn allowing me to grow quicker and further.

Show you walk the talk

Other than building connections, my biggest take away from others is showing that you ‘walk the talk’. I said earlier that I joined Periscope to watch and connect with some of my favourite Facebook influencers, I learnt very quickly that to succeed you have to be able to walk the talk. While there will be businesses who prosper regardless thanks to their following, more will fail on live streaming because they can not walk the talk. On live streaming, you will be seen if you read a script, you will be caught out for inconsistencies, and if you pass of the ideas of others at your own – watch out. Not to say that this is the ‘Wild West’ of social media, but the platforms are true communities and they value authenticity.

You will flourish on live streaming if you stay true to yourself and engage with the community.

And that’s why I love live streaming.

Dealing with digital overwhelm

Last week I wrote about FOMO and how social media changes our brain chemistry to elicit the fear of missing out.

This week I am sharing some tips I have used over time to reduce my feeling of overwhelm. As a social media manager, I need to be across the platforms my clients would use. This can mean a lot of digital information and notifications.

Email
Email was probably my introduction to FOMO. I have used a number of techniques to control it, from: setting email times, categorising emails, using folders to organise emails, turning off notifications for new emails. My favourite has to be for the subscription emails. I tend to use Gmail for the majority of my subscriptions. Subscriptions are collated into a daily digest and delivered as thumbnails in one email. You can check it out at Unroll.me .

Facebook
Ever feel that your Facebook Newsfeed is full of sales pitches rather than friend updates? Don’t forget that you can unlike and unfollow pages, removing them from your feed.
Friends constantly posting updates or stalking your photos? Create friends lists, add them to it and change the settings for the lists.
Speaking of lists, adding pages to lists gives you a way to keep up with their posts but without having to follow them and see them in your Newsfeed.

Periscope
Overwhelmed by notifications of new scopes or invitations to watch other peoples’ scopes?
When I first started on Periscope I followed everyone. It’s even recommended that you follow those on the Recommendations list from your Twitter. As numbers on the platform grew & I began to network wider, the numbers in my list grew and so did my notifications. It got to the point that it would take 5 minutes for me to go through my notifications from overnight. There were those I followed and their scopes and their suggestions to join a scope they shared. Let’s say there were a lot of notifications. So what did I do?
The first thing I did was block the person sending the most notifications, it’s ok you can now mute Notifications and it has the same effect – you aren’t notified when they scope or when they share. This means that you need to actively go into their profile to watch their replays. The next thing I did was to unfollow A LOT of people. Let’s face it, while it’s nice to be supportive, unless I am going on to their scopes and giving that immediate feedback – it’s not supporting.
I have also silenced all notifications, that way I only see a little periscope icon on my phone. I can then choose when I go in to watch them, rather than running like Pavlov’s dog to see what is happening.
Generally
I now have my phone permanently on vibrate. My screen lights up when a phone call is coming in & my phone is open next to me as I work. I no longer have the constant ping of notifications, which removes the distraction of FOMO and allows me to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

All of my actions are intentional. I do this to honour my time – my time for my clients, my family, and myself. I do this to respect my sanity and the influences on my brain chemistry. I do this to remove anxiety, thereby leaving me calmer to achieve my goals. I’m unashamed in this because my time is precious and I want to make sure that every action gets me closer to my goals.

FOMO and social media

FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a common phenomenon in our information and digital economy. Some people wear it as a badge of honour, whereas others it is the first step towards overwhelm and the gripping need for a digital detox.

Fear is an important emotion and it serves us when keeping us safe. However, when applied to non-life threatening situation, fear can become irrational and self-serving.

FOMO is not new, ‘Keeping up with the Jones’’ is something people have experienced for an extraordinary length of time. In this day and age, FOMO is moving from the tangible to the intangible. People are also fearful of missing out on the latest gossip, news, updates, snippet of information, latest development, top fashion, hit song, new movie, latest catch-up, latest breakup, and not to mention what the celebrities are up to!

This fear, or FOMO, is sometimes expressed as feelings of being addicted to a social media platform. Think of how people feel when they hear the ping of a new email, the notification of a new Facebook post or comment, a new Blab, Periscope or Meerkat, and the NEED to go and investigate what lies within.

It’s timely that I came across a Buffer Social article outlining the brain chemistry response to social media and how it influences our behaviour. In summary, they found two main changes. The first was a rise in Dopamine, the chemical responsible for want and need. Dopamine production, is stimulated in response to small snippets of information paired with a reward. That sounds like most social media platforms! Oxytocin was the second neurotransmitter, this is the love hormone and is incredibly powerful in maternal bonding. Researchers saw an increase in Oxytocin equal to what some would experience at their own wedding in just 10 minutes of social media use.

So with these strong chemicals on board, it is no wonder that people feel addicted to social media. With continuous hits of these strong neurochemicals our brains are becoming addicted.

Watch this video to see me discuss FOMO and your brain.

Using Periscope with Twitter to grow your business

So, I have been on Periscope since 16 June 2015. I decided that I would get on it because I wanted to be able to connect with my favourite female coaches. What I didn’t realise is the implications of being able to reach out to people.

So, I have been able to extend my reach to more followers, help more, teach more. I love the ability to be able to connect in real time to anyone around the world and interact.

Above all of this is the ability to connect with broadcasters. The benefit of Periscope is that, as a viewer, you have the ability to connect with the actual influencer. On other platforms, you are likely to be speaking with their VA or other assistant. On live streaming, it is THE person of influence.

Now, this isn’t about jumping on their broadcast and being a fangirl. To develop a relationship with these people, you need to add value. So you need to add value to their business, their scope, or their passions. Periscope is open and raw, and you need to be prepared to join in that philosophy to gain from the medium.

Adding value to their business

I am an Android user, so I have been able to connect with influencers by showing them how their scopes display on Android. This is important as most influencers use iOS, but most users are Android. By giving this advice, I have shown them how to connect and include more followers, allowing them to grow their reach and potential client base.

Adding value to their scope

I am happy to hop on and add comments and advice where relevant and useful. This is how I help influencers with their scopes. The thing is, it’s not always adding to what they are saying, it can add to the discussion in the comments. Comments fly past in the larger scopes & if you can answer a comment, that is really helpful. The other way you can help is by typing out website addresses or summarising the points they mention in their broadcasts. Doing this adds value to their users & is very helpful.

Adding value to their passions

This is where I have benefited as a business. So by sharing the values of a scoper/influencer I have gained a Joint Venture and I am in discussions with a major influencer in the US about working with them on a related charity. People, no matter who they are, love their passions and charities. If you honestly share those, then you have an amazing platform to develop an open and honest relationship with these people.

Periscope is all about relationships and connections, where you can add to these – you win. Tweet this

So how does this flow to Twitter?

If I am on an influencer’s scope & I am enjoying their content, I will share it to Twitter and use their Twitter handle to let them know I appreciated their content. By using their handle in the tweet, they receive notification that I mentioned them in a tweet, I am adding valuable content to my followers & I am exposing them to my followers. Their followers will also be notified that I mentioned them in my tweet (so I have access to their followers), but this is not my intention for tweeting them. By sharing to Twitter, users can then watch the broadcast in their browser and still benefit from the content and not have to have the Periscope app. I share to Twitter as there are more Twitter users than Periscope.

Most influencers thank me for sharing their scope, they might follow me, their followers might follow me, and I grow my fan base and social influence. Yes, it’s a lot of social back scratching, but isn’t that how life works?

If you would like to see more of my broadcasts you can watch them on Katch.me, on my Youtube Channel, or on my Periscope page. If you would like to learn more about how Periscope can help your business then please book a free 30 minute chat, if you would like Periscope training please sign up for the Newsletter to be alerted when it is going live.

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