Social media is ever-evolving, and sometimes that change can be scary. Fear of live video and the camera is something I’ve heard more than once. "I’m just not comfortable on camera; I don’t like the way I sound; I don’t like the way I look." The list of excuses could go on.
The camera can be an intimidating device and live video can be even more intimidating. When writing, you can always delete. With pictures, you can take multiple shots to get that perfect image. With recorded video, you can record multiple times and even edit the video before you publish. However, when you are live on video, it is what it is. There is no editing available, and your fans and followers get the raw version of you.
Getting to see people in the moment, unedited is also what makes people so drawn to live video and why live video has become such a powerhouse on social media and why almost every platform is finding some way to incorporate live streaming into their service.
2015 was the big year for live streaming. It started at SXSW with the announcement of Meerkat and was quickly followed up by Twitter-owned Periscope.
Shortly after, Facebook jumped in the live market, but at that time, it was not available to the public. When Facebook Live first hit the market in August of 2015, it was only available to a handful of celebrities. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Serena Williams, Michael Buble and Martha Stewart were a few of the early users who helped to kick off a whole new movement.
YouTube is now trying to catch up with Facebook and add some competition to the live streaming market. Interestingly enough, YouTube has had live streaming capability since 2011, but it was never promoted and pushed for an everyday user to hop on and go live. The live streaming was limited to creators like Red Bull who shared with us Felix Baumgartner’s leap from space live on YouTube in 2012. YouTube is now in the process of rolling out live video creation ability to all of it’s users.
In the meantime, Facebook Live remains the most popular live streaming format.
So how does one get over that fear of being live on camera?
For starters practice, practice, practice. – I promise that the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be.
Watch your videos back! – You will learn from them and see things that you can do to help improve your next video. I tend to say "um" a lot. I had no idea until I watched them back. It can be hard to watch them, I understand. I HATE the way my voice sounds, but with each one, I learn something new to improve upon for next time.
Create a script that you can read over and practice numerous times before you go live. – Then from that script create talking points that will help to keep you on track. Keep those talking points nearby and this way you can make sure that you have covered everything you need to before you end your video.
Talk to the camera, just as if you were talking to a friend across the table. – Or even better ask an associate to do a video with you and you can talk back and forth. This creates a natural conversation that is easy to follow.
Make sure that you interact with your audience. – You will see a viewer count at the top of your screen so you will know how many people are watching your video. Sometimes your fans are just afraid to speak up. Ask them to say hi and where they are from. If they make a comment, respond back. This is a good way to start a conversation with your audience. Ask them questions, and make sure to answer any that they have.
If you are still unsure about going live and just not willing to take the leap on your page, create a private group on Facebook that has just you and a handful of select friends. Go live there, test out your videos in this safe space, but make sure to ask your friends for feedback on them. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at what they have to say. And once you have a few videos under your belt there, you will be ready to jump out on your page and start creating videos. You might even find that it is slightly addicting and you’ll be ready to create another before you know it.
So hit that LIVE button and get that first video created! – It is like ripping off a bandaid. Just get it over with, and once the bandaid it off, the pain of it is quickly gone.
Here is the live video I did on Facebook to talk about this blog post. You can also find it on my Facebook Page.