Live videos are hot. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube; all the big networks offer you live options and they really want you to use it. However, unless you’re an experienced TV host, the thought of having to talk live to an audience you don’t really know is absolutely daunting. At least for me it was. But as an experiment, I forced myself to do it anyway, and this is what I found.
Why Bother With Live Videos?
First of all, if you’re dreading it so much, why should you even do it? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First of all, as you’ve probably heard, for a long time Facebook has been favoring video content over other types of posts. This results in the fact that on average, video content gets pushed out more into people’s timelines than photos or text-only. In other words, if you post a video of you saying something, and you write a post with the exact same text, the video will likely be seen by more people.
In addition to that, you can basically take it was a rule that every platform wants you to use their latest features. They will reward you for doing so by giving you more reach.
However, beyond just increasing your reach, there is a more important aspect, and that’s one that has always been important on social media: it shows your authenticity. Surely you can write a great text and post the perfect photo including a flattering filter, but a video shows a lot more expression, body language, and other small gestures that get lost in a photo. And where pre-recorded videos allow you to re-do and edit as much as you want, with a live video you obviously only have one chance. You may lose your train of thought, you may find yourself in a weird angle from the camera, and about a thousand other things can go ‘wrong’. But you know what, that’s life, and it’s ok. It makes you human, relatable. And it gives you a chance to be vulnerable.
And with this authenticity comes something else; the main reason why you really should bother to do live videos. It increases your engagement. Not just in a more ‘likes-and-comments’-kind of way, but it sparks actual conversations that build connections. The first few days, I had people reaching out to me, encouraging me to keep going and telling me how they were inspired to now start doing something they feared as well. I said in the videos that I was nervous about it but that I did it anyway, and it led to others starting their videos or other scary projects. Later in the week, I had people reaching out to me, sharing their own experiences about whatever it was I talked to in my live video that day. One person mentioned she started to feel like she was part of an ‘inner circle’, which I think is a great compliment. After all, that’s what you want: that your followers feel really connected to you.
The way you can use this depends on what you do and what you want to achieve. If you have a coworking space and want to attract digital nomads, you can make them feel like they’re already a part of the community before they even arrive. If you’re a coach, people will feel like you already started helping them. When you’re a consultant, they’re already learning from you. When you’re a VA, copywriter or web developer, they already see your knowledge, experience, and attitude. In all cases, from there it’s only a small step for them to become a paying client.
How To Start With Live Videos
So where to start? It’s important to know your audience, because when you know your audience, you know what their biggest questions are and those are great ones to start off with. What I noticed is that from there, people will keep asking you more questions, which gives you content for the next live sessions.
If your audience is quite new to you, or if you feel like you’re running out of content, you could also simply ask your audience. Which questions do they have? Which challenges do they face? What are they curious about to know more of?
I realized already after one week that there was no reason to dread it so much. My audience was excited, interested and forgiving, and finding topics to talk about turned out to be a lot easier than I thought at first.
So I challenge you: consider what your audience wants to hear about, which advice you can give them, and commit to one week of daily live videos. And share your results in the Cowork7/24 Facebook group!