My inner critique met with her cousin, “Insecurity.” After that, it took a lot longer than expected to hit the button to go LIVE finally. Beyond a long talk with myself to go for it, I also investigated the LIVE streaming world to discover more of whether I’m up to the task.
I can realistically share the blame for my summer-long hesitations with all the C-words. You know, like COVID, Colorism, and CHAOS, to name a few. But essentially, I was scared. And so, that talk from me to me continues…
Some key tips from the experts in my last post made me take initial steps and a few suggestions to heart. I want as polished a show as I can muster, don’t you? Other (also significant) steps I ignored, for now.
Ready to Go LIVE?
In this post, I’m reviewing for you what I did and didn’t do. I also tell you why for my tiny start in creating a LIVE streaming video rendition of the MIX/SIZZLE & SHAKE YOUR BUSINESS PODCAST. [MSSYBiz for short!]
My main objective is the same as it’s been since the first audio show in 2017. I continue to talk “everything business and content,” but I try to deliver massive value as a priority.
The steps in this post are an excellent overview you can use for producing your LIVE streaming videos. LIVE streaming videos let you show your biz value to the world. But the more significant point to LIVE is to create interactions directly with people.
This direct interactivity leads to relationships and future business and collaborations. It’s content and social marketing at its finest. More than that, it represents another touchpoint for content distribution and amplification, with a decidedly human touch.
Doing Things All Wrong So I Can Get to Right
The first thing I didn’t do is a proper launch or marketing campaign at all for that matter. My LIVES are secret, and that’s absolutely not how best to go about it!
But, for me, starting slowly and anonymously took some of the pressure off. It gives me a little practice time and some room for trial and error before ramping things up.
Don’t forget; there’s a lot more mileage you can get from your videos by recording the LIVE production. The #Replay value for your videos helps keep the conversations going and extends the views, allowing people to re-watch at their convenience. Not only will your video be seen more over time, but you can also repurpose it (and should) for a variety of platforms and content types.
You can use snippets for promotions, embed your videos into blog posts, and pull the audio track for use as an audio-only podcast offering.
Meeting audience and business objectives converges easily by thinking video content strategy as you develop, create, and produce. This tells you that haphazard content for LIVE work won’t cut it, and an organized plan to deliver value is always the goal.
Maintaining an audience-first approach is central to your success. I see this firsthand observing pros like Stephanie Liu, Ross Brand, Jennifer Watson, and Ileane Smith as they deliver regular LIVE content and multiple shows. Each of these well-known LIVE streaming gems has personally helped me by answering (sometimes dumb) questions, offering ideas or feedback, and more.
Heck, these guys have even encouraged me, both directly and indirectly, and it’s an excellent lift−while proving interactivity and human-to-human touch, all stemming from LIVE streaming!
I want to thank each of you😊!
Your Launch is a Party That Ends at Promotion
So yes, a good marketing campaign and the launch party is the optimal way to start the momentum for your LIVE streaming videos.
Promotions never stop and can never start too soon to create interest and awareness.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s so easy to market and promote things you know you’re great at, but a whole lot harder to market something you’re not feeling too sure about.
And yet, my inner marketer and perfectionist knew better than to skip it all and wing it. Although I launched in secret, I still put in some preliminary work to create a look and feel to suit my brand and kick things off with a professional flair.
This preliminary prep took a little time to clarify my thinking, approach, and core ideas and create the actual pre-production assets.
What’s in Your Show Name?
I know MIX/SIZZLE & SHAKE YOUR BUSINESS for my show’s title may, in hindsight, be a little long; however, it also expresses an accurate nuance to how I approach business. Further, the updated MSSYBiz abbreviation I’m using for the Podcast Website’s home serves well. Especially as I discover discussions around fewer women in podcasting and LIVE streaming, so shoutout to the female persuasion a little, right? I like it!
It probably doesn’t hurt, either, having the word “business” in the title for a show “talking everything business and content.” In retrospect, the topics and tagline are relatively wide-open. Still, in honesty, I think I’m good with it as I experiment and play my way into finding my place. My blog work was quite broad until finding a few sweet spots for audience interest and finding B2B projects.
The Pre-Show Checklist
Getting comfortable in the digital space is an ongoing process and always changing. I don’t know about you, but now more than ever, I’m allowing for evolving in business and staying open to content adjustments of all kinds.
One thing that’s always front and center for me is to keep an audience-first priority. Delivering HUGE VALUE is each production’s top goal and the key objective behind the content, in everything from topic to presentation.
So, I reviewed the notes (used for my last post) and decided to go with at least a few of the expert suggestions to make my LIVE streams pop! Let’s work from the list from Stephanie Liu, shall we?
Name: Title of Show
As you know, the MSSYBiz (MIX/SIZZLE & SHAKE YOUR BUSINESS) Podcast has been in existence since 2017, so I’m sticking with my (long) Show Title. I created a Title Visual for the LIVE show, updated the show thumbnail for audio, and created another background or end visual with the show’s title. I decided to work within (and around) my Write Mix for Business color palette for the podcast site and artwork. Branding? Think about this.
About What? (people want to know this plus this helps attract your target audience)
You know: “everything business and content.” I know—could be much better. I know. Getting as clear and concise as you can is the way to go. Think thumbnails.
Why Tune In? (expands on the last item)
For me, this item may be something for the show’s hook, or description, to draw people on an individual show basis. Also, if I’m doing a good job over the entire period of my online presence through my digital writing portfolio, successful contributor work, audio podcast productions, and more; then hopefully, an expectation that I DO deliver the goods is already established a wee bit, perhaps!
When and How often you’ll go LIVE: set a schedule for consistency and to build an audience excited to attend!
Ut ut oh, this one’s always a toughie for me because I live in an unscheduled flow and have for the bulk of my career. Plus, there’s another problem. And it’s a big one!!!
I am so extremely uncomfortable on video that the idea of winging it and doing it LIVE is more than daunting. It means a change from creative arts to performing art, and I am so not practiced at speaking, let alone in one take!! Oh my gosh, AND on camera! Geez oh, wheeze. So, I told myself, “suck it up buttercup,” and I kind of like the idea of going for it only once, and then it’s done.
Here’s the first LIVE I did solo:
I’d love to hear what you think about this first solo try! It took me one hour to hit the LIVE button once all set and ready to go at the computer that day!! Not kidding.
P.S. I did get some feedback for improvements to initiate as I move forward as well.
I hope someday to have actual LIVE viewers, but I decided to practice a bit, quietly. Secretly. Like a sneak in the night but on at least three social channels at a time. HA!
Note what happens if they miss the LIVE: remember, your show keeps on giving after you record it LIVE!
Here’s where Stephanie and other presenters gave me a little break for not promoting and planning a set time and day for my LIVE show, at least at first. Because, as was often pointed out, your show keeps on giving, on and on and on. Especially if you do it right and use it for other content development and repurposing as well.
You can even create social media posts with show clips. I love how Ross Brand pulls clips from previously recorded shows to summarize and draw interest for a new audience during his new LIVES on StreamYard Connect. Remember, promotion never ends!
P.S. If you’re using StreamYard or interested in going LIVE too, make sure to subscribe to Ross’s show and get all the latest scoops and live-streaming help like crazy.
The Pre-Show Checklist Starts to Grow
Going from straight-up audio to a video show production requires a few more touches. I hope these extra steps weren’t me putting off my first date to hit LIVE, but I’m so happy I did take time to do them. They came about from a combination of playing with the StreamYard software to get the hang of some of the options and back-of-house production details. And, from watching other LIVE streaming shows like Jennifer Watson for Agorapulse and others.
I HAD TO HAVE a video intro with music, please. I used Canva, Camtasia, and AudioBlocks from StoryBlocks and whaalaaa. It did take me a little time to produce, but already the feedback is so positive and thrilling. I even made a 10-second count-up timer in the video. StreamYard impressively lives up to their big company promises:
- Ease of Use
- Professional Look of Stream
- Stability of Service
Besides, it is kind of fun.
It’s fun because I feel like I’m pushing myself and learning. I bet it’s even more fun once you pop in to check it out. I’m planning to promote and grow it. But yes, at my own pace in this experimental phase.
Experiment to Gain Confidence
In July, I helped Ross Brand with a test on StreamYard’s new feature allowing up to 10 persons to be on screen at one time. Take a look:
I was totally going all out brave jumping on this one. But the funniest part is I didn’t learn till the end of the video (after an hour maybe?) how to get rid of a severe reverb and echo I was having the entire time!! So I learned something vital with that awful lesson, had fun, and helped in a small way.
In August, I was at it again (yep, I’m talking video!) with Ross and helping him test a new app, Answers RN. Off-the-cuff, I jumped on video via my phone to again act as guinea pig only to end up on a LIVE show. A pretty well-known (see me at around the 55-minute mark) show at that! Another brave step, video practice, and play for me all at once. Thanks, Ross:)
For the most thrilling news, Ross will be a guest on an upcoming LIVE streaming MSSYBiz Podcast Show. He’s going to share how streaming LIVE can power-up your social media marketing and help you gain new business. Get excited because that’s not nearly all we’ll learn from Ross in-person!!
Planning to have guests on the show adds to the fun, but takes some additional prep work, so things run smoothly. Learning about a guest in advance is also a good idea, but, in doing so, surprises may be in store.
Start by giving directions, or procedures, for doing the show so guests know what to expect for production as your first step to smooth sailing. You never know the technical abilities or equipment your guests are working with, so giving prior instructions for needs and requirements eases everyone’s expectations from the get-go.
You can eliminate surprises to a point by offering a Show Outline and potential questions to a guest before setting up a broadcast time. I usually ask for input for how someone would like me to introduce them and ask for anything they would like to highlight. Plus, it’s a good idea to confirm name and business spellings, topic ideas, and the event date and time with each guest in advance. I also ask for their avatar pic.
Besides allowing a guest to review the suggested Show Outline, I ask them for any changes or suggestions for accuracy or improvement. Because I am trying to do less scripting with LIVE video than when the show was audio-only, there’s likely to be ebb and flow from any exact plan during the LIVE Broadcast…and sometimes that’s a cool thing:)
Line Up or Mix Up
Some LIVE shows have a set agenda or programming set to add uniformity and consistency in their messaging or branding. Some change up the format. You have options. Segmenting your show to cover or feature regular topics or latest info or trends is fine, or you can freestyle.
Or, you can have something in mind but evolve as you go. Everything in the digital environment (as you probably already know) is quite fluid. And, starting is more important than getting things exactly exact. I keep telling myself that last line!
If you work to deliver value, know your audience, and continue to improve, you’re good to go, right? I’m wobbling, toppling, tip-toeing my way in, and promise to keep you up with how it’s going! Join me on this ride?
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