Small business owners are adopting live streaming video more and more, both for marketing purposes and in their services. I know: video is already intimidating. But now it’s going to be you, front and center — and live. Scary, right?
But the shift to live video is already happening. Case in point: This past October, the live stream of Redbull Stratos shattered YouTube records, drawing over 8 million viewers to watch Felix Baumgartner jump from space — live. This online event wasn’t just a gimmick from the viewers’ standpoint; it was about being part of something. All of us watching, communicating, in real time together. We shared the experience in our Facebook Newsfeeds and on Twitter, inspiring others to tune in too, a pattern that repeated throughout the event to viral proportions.
Small business owners can incorporate live streaming into their companies as a social experience — maybe in the form of a class, an online show, a flash sale or a launch. Even though you probably won’t do a space jump, live video is still exciting and engaging for those who need what you do, sell, or teach. And it doesn’t have to be scary if you prepare ahead.
After broadcasting live every week for the last year, and producing numerous other live events, I wanted to share a few pointers to prepare yourself (and your business) for your first live event:
1. Request to appear on the live streams of others.
Advances in products and technology are making live video possible for small business owners, though it may not make it feel any easier for you! Ease into video, and the idea of having it broadcast out live, by appearing on someone else’s live stream first. Partner with a friend or colleague who is hosting a class, request to be interviewed on someone’s show who has a similar audience as yours, or cross promote your product on another flash sale.
Pro Advice: Have an objective before you approach someone. Know what you want to accomplish from appearing live. For example, determine if you want more people to signup for your mailing list, purchase a particular product, contact you for an appointment or like your Facebook Page — and then gear everything you do in going live around that specific goal.
2. Build up an audience that’s excited to show up to your live event.
Part of the attraction of attending a live event is that you are around like-minded individuals. Understand what people in your target demographic have in common. What do they value, where do they live, what do they love to do? Take some time to analyze what they want before you prepare a live event for your community.
Pro Advice: Get to know your followers through Twitter and connect them with others they should know. And ask your email list to like you on Facebook so you can get instant feedback from them on what you share through your updates.