Livestreaming… it’s definitely a thing. Yep, a thing that small business owners can no longer avoid. The challenge of course lies in the fact that you can’t avoid it but more importantly, you can’t just get someone to do it for you. You have to be the one on camera engaging your audience. For some, that’s exciting. For others, it’s a little daunting and one of the big reasons for this comes from simply having no idea what to livestream about and how to showcase your personal side.
Let’s break it down with a few big ideas shall we?
Before we go any further, I think it’s important to point out how important it is to inject a mix of both personal and professional content on your live broadcasts. If you stick with professional only, you essentially create a business barrier that stands between you and your customer. In order to really connect, they need to see who you are as person. Be a user.
This doesn’t mean you have to share everything. You are always in control of what you do and don’t share on social media. It just means be a person, show your personality and know that it’s okay to have broadcasts that are more about you outwith your business. In fact, it’s these broadcasts that build the relationship and earn the interest to then go and learn more about what you do through business scopes.
By the same token, if you keep it 100% personal, people are going to be surprised and often a little resistant when you do go to promote something. They haven’t been educated on what you do and who you are trying to help.
It’s important to set the right expectation from the beginning. Having a mix is a good way to go and can help engage viewers regardless of whether they are new to your broadcasts or are already pretty loyal.
Side note: Context matters here to especially with regard to the platform you are streaming on. People are going to expect more of a personal approach when livestreaming on your personal Facebook profile versus your page. By the same token, people may expect more educational content on your page. It’s all about telling your story in the right narrative.
When it comes to the personal side of things, just be you. You don’t have to think too much about it, just be you.
I think Periscope’s tagline sums it up best, ‘
the world through someone else’s eyes.’
That’s exactly how to think about livestreaming. Show the world through your eyes. How do you spend your day? What’s on your mind? Give people that insight into who you are. Don’t forget, you are 100% in control of what you do and do not choose to share.
Have fun with it though. Think of it like a longer version of Snapchat. Invite people to be part of your journey.
Livestreaming is in the moment and this is a chance to share an experience with your community regardless of where they are or what they are up too. That’s incredibly powerful. You are making memories together.
Behind The Scenes / Business Lifecasting
We’ve spoken a lot about encouraging your community to become emotionally invested in you and your business. By bringing your users into your business and allowing them to be part of it, they will start to feel like they are a part of it. They’ll start to feel loyal and want to see you succeed. We love success stories and we love the rollercoaster journey. Bring your customers on that ride with you.
You can do this by sharing broadcasts that basically tells the story of your brand on a daily basis. Share the behind the scenes stuff that your community normally wouldn’t see. Show what you are working on. Share random thoughts. When things go wrong, show that.
Believe it or not, it’s this type of content that achieves big results because it’s raw, transparent and real. Trust is the foundation of all business relationships and that’s exactly what this content achieves.
People don’t believe or really support success stories that don’t include some form of struggle. It makes it really hard to relate too. We all go through ups and downs, it’s what makes all humans relatable. Ultimately, we all want the story to have a happy ending because it gives us hope when we’re going through our own challenges.
Adopt a mentality around lifecasting. Share your journey. Invest your trust in your community and they will reciprocate it. Better yet, encourage their input along they way. After all, they are the ones buying your products/services. They will tell you what to do and still give you the credit for the end solution.
A really easy way to come up with content is to simply answer questions from your community and your customers. Think about the most frequently asked questions and solve them for everyone.
Questions are objections to a sale. They are just in disguise. People buy with emotion then justify with logic. Think about the number of times you’ve said “Yeah it looks good BUT…” or “I would BUT…”. All those ‘buts’ are objections.
People don’t want to risk their money in case they don’t get the return on that investment they are expecting. That’s where it’s a great idea to adopt Marcus Sheridan’s “They ask. We answer.” mentality.
When you answer questions you achieve a number of things:
You show that you know what you are talking about. You’re walking your talk and removing that risk.
You are on the spot, in the moment, it’s real and transparent. That builds trust.
You aren’t avoiding customer issues, you are facing them straight on which gives you an element of authority. This is answering those tricky questions. Most competitors aren’t willing to do that. That means if you are, you win.
When you help provide a solution and make your communities lives better without them having to invest any money, they feel loyal to you. This is the law of reciprocity in action.
If you answer every objection standing between your customer and a sale, you essentially bring them to that zero moment of truth. To buy or not to buy? Either way you are providing value and even if you aren’t the right solution, they will be encourages to share your account or business with those who are.
Keep in mind that it’s not just about providing answers here. It’s about listening too. Hear what your community is saying. They will give you the information you need to make your business better.
Exclusive Content and Updates
Think about the type of content that you p robably wouldn’t share on elsewhere on social and use that to hook in your community on a particular platform. It’s all about that reason to visit and reason to stay. If your community feels important and valued, they’ll want to hang around. We all crave that feeling of belonging.
Make your community feel like they belong and you appreciate them.
Share exclusive content, updates and even flash sale discounts as part of your content strategy for a given platform. This doesn’t have to be anything huge. It can be as simple as taking a popular blog post, picking out one point then broadcasting to discuss.
You are repurposing content, sharing it natively within Periscope and making it unique. Naturally, the way these livestreaming platforms are set up, the conversation that is sparked could change the content completely.
It’s an important point to make and remember. None of the livestreaming platforms are about one way broadcasting. You are receiving feedback through comments so take that and use it. Use it to build on the conversation, go down different paths, add value.
It’s very easy to provide a unique experience for your community just because the way the platform has been set up.
Other exclusive content could be providing free resources or exclusive content. When you so this, set up a bit.ly link/ unique url around for the community on that platform to engage your viewers and it also allows you to track the results.
( <- This can even be a redirect)
Business Development /Market Research
People buy solutions to their problems. The reason many of us struggle with sales is because we think we are selling a solution based on our own opinion or very basic research. The easiest way to guarantee sales is to find out exactly what your customers want and then provide it for them. Better yet, bring your customers into they process and allow them to design the solution for you to provide.
Livestreaming can help you with both if you use it correctly.
As well ask answering questions, ask them. Then use the conversation and feedback to build solutions that you know your community are looking for. Again, this makes the conversion side of things a lot easier. It also ensures that you are putting together a strategy that adds real business value. This is information that is going to make to have a HUGE impact on the success on all of the marketing communication channels you are using. Well, as long as you implement based on the feedback received.
This ties into bringing your community into your story. It is okay to ask questions. It’s okay to take on your community’s ideas. User-generated content is hugely valuable for you and the audience.
If you listen and take action that is consistent with the feedback, it only shows your values, your intentions and why people should invest in you. When you deliver on your promise, that’s when you move people from being emotionally invested to financially invested.
Storytelling (Again, to reiterate)
As you start to develop and deliver products/services, tie in that brand storytelling. Be completely transparent and show what it’s all about.
Relate to people. We all want to feel like we are heard, understand, are accepted, valued and belong. This is your chance to make people
that through the stories you tell.
Please don’t underestimate just how powerful this is.
Emotional investment will naturally lead to financial investment.
When people buy into you, they’ll buy into your message and they will believe that you can make their lives better through the products/services you offer.
On another note, just to add another perspective, one of the biggest complaints by small business owners is that people don’t understand the work it takes to accomplish something. The truth is, of course they don’t and why should they? They don’t know what they don’t know.
Instead of complaining about it, share your story and educate your community. Again, earn the credit by showing, not telling.
Conclusion: Test, Tweak and Give It Time.
As with every social media platform, you’ve got to find what works for you.
There is no rulebook.
The people that set the rules on social media are the ones that have the guts to go out there, do their own thing and adapt constantly based on the feedback they receive through listening.
This is the technology and you decide how you are going to use it. It really does come doesn to taking action and figuring it out. Give it time because it is still a relatively new community but if something isn’t working, ditch it. It’s all good. You can move on to something else that might just be your sweet spot.
Hope it helps! If you have any questions, I’ll catch them in the comments.
Much love from my heart to yours.