Here is a cold, hard fact for you: Video is the future of social media and marketing.
I know you might not want to accept this, but it’s true. It’s inevitable and it’s happening. And it’s happening right now.
The number of videos on Facebook jumped from 1 billion in 2014 to 8 billion in 2015 (source). That’s 8x growth in just one year. And the way things are going for 2016, I predict an even bigger jump for videos.
In the coming years, video will dominate your social media feeds. You’ll see fewer links to articles and fewer static images. In fact, this is already happening in my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. When I open the Facebook app on my phone, the first few posts in my feed are Facebook Live videos. Facebook is giving preference to brands and businesses who are using this feature.
If you want to be competitive in your industry, you are going to need to include videos as part of your marketing strategy. Period.
But I know what you’re saying right now, because I hear it all the time when I discuss this subject …. “I’m too shy for video,” “I feel silly talking to my screen,” or “I can’t stand to look at myself on video.”
To all of that I say – it’s complete rubbish! If I can do it, you can do it.
Believe it or not, even though I do a lot of videos and live streaming, I actually cringe at the idea of being on video! I’ve always hated watching myself on video or listening to myself on recordings. I can’t stand the sound of my voice! Even after doing several broadcasts, when I’m live streaming and looking at myself on my phone I feel like a total goober! But I knew I had to overcome this fear if I wanted my business to continue to evolve and grow. So what did I do? I practiced. And eventually, I became more comfortable with watching myself on the screen.
I’ve been live streaming for over a year now (first on Periscope and later on Facebook Live), and if I had waited until I was completely comfortable on camera, I’d still be waiting.
Instead I’ve found new clients, I’ve grown my blog traffic, and I’ve seen major improvement with Facebook engagement, all thanks to live streaming.
If you’re nervous about getting started with live streaming, here are a few tips you can follow.
How to Get Started on Facebook Live When You Hate Video
1. Practice makes perfect. If you don’t like to look at yourself on screen (most people don’t, honestly), practice getting used to it by just flipping your phone camera into selfie mode and talking to yourself. Wish yourself a good morning, ask yourself how you’re doing, and answer yourself. Feel silly? Good, you should feel silly, because it *is* silly. Talking to yourself is ridiculous but it’s the first step in overcoming your fear of putting yourself out there on video. Because basically when you’re live streaming, you’re essentially talking to yourself. Most of the time you’ll be in your office or home, alone, talking to your phone. And that’s kind of ridiculous, when you think about it. So spend one minute every day talking to yourself. You don’t have to record it. Just flip the screen and start talking outloud.
2. Get on Snapchat. I know a lot of you have a resistance to Snapchat because it’s yet another social media platform to keep up with and you don’t want to learn another thing. But, if nothing else, Snapchat is a great “bridge” tool towards getting comfortable with live streaming. Snapchat is essentially a live streaming social network, where users share live photos or 10 second videos with their followers. Snapchat is meant to be spontaneous, quick, and real. Snaps disappear after 24 hours, so there is low-pressure to make everything perfect. Once you’re comfortable with Step 1, try talking to your followers on Snapchat. If you’re new to Snapchat, chances are you’ll only have a couple followers and they will likely be close friends and family, so it’s a safe space. (If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, you can read my new users guide here.)
3. Do what you need to do to feel comfortable. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and I generally don’t feel overly concerned about my appearance. But I feel more confident when I’m wearing concealer around my eyes and I’m wearing lipstick. I know I will do better on video, and therefore my viewers will have a better experience, if I do these two things. You don’t need to spend an hour on hair and makeup, you just need to be the real you. Live streaming is all about being in the moment, and viewers want to see the real you.
4. Do your first Facebook Live or Periscope to a test audience. Did you know you can select who can watch your live Periscope broadcasts or Facebook Live streams (personal profile only – Pages are always public)? You may feel comfortable doing a test broadcast to a limited number of people, or even just one person. If you’re feeling super brave, you can ask that person to give you feedback, which is highly recommended. Remember the viewer experience is ultimately more important than your experience, so take viewer suggestions and recommendations seriously.
5. Always have a topic. Unless you already have a huge following in the tens of thousands, you’re always, always, ALWAYS going to want to have a topic ready when going live. You can never rely on your viewers asking you questions or carrying the conversation. Why? Because it’s likely your first few broadcasts will reach a small amount of people, and those people may not be very chatty. Remember what I said earlier about talking to yourself? Here’s where that practice will come in handy. And it’s okay if you’re talking to yourself, because your video will live on in a replay and will reach people and provide value after the broadcast is over. So always have a topic and a few bullet points to discuss for that topic. Write them down if you’re worried you won’t remember.
6. Worse case scenario, you can always delete. Yes, if something goes terribly wrong and you hate everything about your broadcast, you can delete it. I don’t recommend you use this as a crutch, though, or else you run the risk of deleting every broadcast you do. I have done dozens of broadcasts and the only time I’ve deleted any is due to technical difficulties. Now I watch my earlier broadcasts and I can see how much I’ve improved.
7. Don’t compare. You can never compare your first broadcast to someone who has been broadcasting for years. And there will always be broadcasters who have a nicer set up, seem more confident, are more poised, etc. But, there is only one you. And your followers want to hear and learn from YOU, or else they wouldn’t be following you. So don’t compare yourself to others, especially broadcasts done by big brands with big budgets, or someone who has years of video experience.
By following these steps, hopefully you’ll become more comfortable with live streaming. The sooner you can jump on the live stream bandwagon, the better off your brand will be. You don’t want to fall behind your competitors who are already using this great FREE marketing tool to their advantage!
If you need further help with live streaming, I’m available for private consultations and strategy sessions. Please reach out to me!