When you’re just starting out with live-broadcasting, the camera can seem quite intimidating. And developing a solid strategy? DAUNTING. What do you talk about? What if no one tunes in? What if you completely blank and can’t come back from it?
These are things that we all initially think, have no doubts.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would have my own regular schedule of two Facebook Live shows a week, I would have laughed hysterically. At that point, I hated the sound of voice on recording and I felt sooo awkward when the camera was rolling.
So, with all of that being said, how did I get comfortable with broadcasting live? The answer is easy, but might not be what you want to hear: BY PRESSING THE "LIVE" BUTTON. Many times. It took several broadcasts before I finally felt completely comfortable. It’s like I’ve mentioned in past posts; you need to talk past the camera! If you’re broadcasting alone, engage your audience. Ask them questions. Answer their questions thoroughly…this could lead to even more discussion!
However, there is a secret to expediting this process: host a guest!
Hosting a guest can break the uneasiness of the situation, simply by the contribution of a conversation. That potential for awkward silence falls away, and is potentially filled instead with laughter or clever banter. See the example below of my most recent "Midweek (ish) Talk" featuring Tim Lewis, Host of the Begin Self-Publishing Podcast:
Does this seem easier? I hope so!
So here are four added benefits to hosting a guest on your live broadcast, explained in detail:
1. Potential for a Longer Broadcast: Did you know that the longer you broadcast live, the stronger your potential is for a higher level of views, engagement and reach? On Facebook especially this can make a big difference, because as many of you know, gaining organic reach on Facebook is quite the feat. The longer you broadcast, the more likely people will be to just pop in for a few minutes, leave some comments, and then leave and go on with their day. Even if they don’t listen to the full broadcast, they’re still finding your content valuable enough to engage with, and they will be more .likely to return for future broadcasts. This can be especially true if you become really good at answering any of the comments that they post during your broadcast in a timely manner (and on-air.)
So how can hosting a guest increase your broadcasting time? Well think about it: if you have two people on your broadcast as opposed to one, you’re automatically liable to double your air time simply because there will now be two people talking! Come to your guest with planned-out talking points so that you’ll both be on the same page prior to your broadcast. This will increase your likelihood of a more lengthy broadcast and make the conversations flow more easily, thus preventing those awkward silent moments.
2. The potential for varying content: Who wants to listen to the same content over and over, week after week? NOBODY. How do you break up the likelihood of this issue? By hosting guests with varying specialties!
So far on the Backspace Live Happy Hour show (airing every Friday on Facebook at 4 pm CT), I’ve hosted a real estate business, a guest that specializes in social media strategy for local restaurants, a guest that specializes in event marketing and a guest that specializes in SEO and Inbound Marketing. This keeps the content on my show from getting stale, and it helps to engage different niches of Backspace’s online community.
So think about this: if you’re a church who is just starting to develop a Facebook Live strategy, specialists that you might want to include might be someone from youth ministries, someone from missions, an expert in Old Testament insights, an expert in successful marriages through faith, etc.
The key is to think about all of the things that your particular audience might be interested in hearing about, and then finding a guest who specializes in this topic. As Brian Fanzo often says, you need to "think like a fan." Find creative ways to answer their questions in your videos. This will show your audience that you have a genuine interest in bringing them value, and they will continue to come back for more.
3. Bringing in larger community reach: This one is pretty easy to explain. By bringing a guest onto your show, you need to account for the likelihood of them also promoting the upcoming broadcast to their own audience. So in addition to the community that you already have established, you could potentially have new attendees from your guest’s online community! This is a very exciting thing because it amplifies your voice that much more.
4. Potential to strengthen your own online community: This one ties in pretty directly to the last benefit. If you add enough unique value to your broadcast to truly complement your show guest, you might intrigue the viewers from their community to tune in more often to your own content. If this does happen, (and it most likely will,) you need to make sure that you continue to consistently bring that value in future content creation. Whether it be a follow-up blog post that addresses the topic, or even a produced video, keep finding clever ways to bring that value to those new community members. This will strengthen and build your own online community!
So, the main point of this post is to hopefully relieve any discomfort that you might have with broadcasting live. While it can be a challenging task initially, the payoffs can be truly amazing.
Do you have further questions or comments/thoughts about this topic? Feel free to post them in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading,