6 Tips for Better Live Videos

Live video can be one of the easiest ways to add more video content to your marketing plan for the upcoming year. Personally, I find it much easier to live stream than to create a produced and edited video. I’ve been dabbling in live video for about six years now, ever since it was first introduced by apps Meerkat and Blab. I’ve made lots of mistakes in that time and learned lots of ways to make better videos. Here are a few really simple tips to help you make better live videos.

Position

The number one thing you can do to improve your live videos is to properly position your camera! This is such a simple thing that anyone can do. Stop looking down at your camera…that angle isn’t flattering to ANYONE. Move your camera up. It should be at eye level or ever so slightly above.

To accomplish this you can use a tripod for your phone, obviously, but what if you haven’t yet invested in a ring light or tripod to hold your phone? Or what if you’re using your laptop on a desk?

Books and boxes are your friends. I keep my laptop on a small stack of boxes and books to move the camera lens up to eye level. Sometimes I even build a shelf of sorts to hold my phone camera up to that level. Break out your Tetris skills and build a ledge! If you want something fancy, try a laptop stand (aff).

Another piece of “positioning” is to ensure your background and lighting are optimized. You don’t have to buy a fancy background, just clean up the area you have to work with. I had one corner of my office that was clean and decorated for videos…trust me, the rest of the office was not video-worthy.

You’ll also want to ensure any lighting is pointing towards your face, not your back and not the top of your head. Don’t sit under a ceiling light and don’t sit with a window behind you. Many of my videos have been made with no extra lighting beyond the window just a few feet in front of me. If you can’t arrange to have a window in front of you, an inexpensive ring light (AFF) might be a good investment.

Personality

The best part of doing live videos, in my opinion, is the way it showcases your personality. Next to a face-to-face conversation live video is the best way to really learn what a person is all about. Maybe other people can fake it on video, but I cannot. What you see is what you get when you come to a webinar or live social media training that I’m hosting. You’ll hear me make mistakes, forget my train of thought, recover, ebb and flow, PROVIDE VALUE, answer questions and hopefully make everyone feel comfortable that they’re in the right place. That is all really hard to do in a produced and edited video.

So don’t try to mask your personality in live videos…embrace it! Wear the things you’re known for. Talk the way you would talk to a colleague or friend. Tell the jokes as they come to mind.

Your personality while delivering valuable content will attract your ideal clients to you. And even better, it will repel those who are NOT the right type of client.

Planning

Plan content for better live videos

Just because the video is happening live doesn’t mean you don’t spend some time preparing for it! You need to plan your path through each live video. That doesn’t, however, mean you need to have a word-for-word script. In fact, I don’t recommend having a script.

The best way to plan for your live video is to write an outline and have a bullet point list available to you. This keeps you on track and focused, but lets you talk the way you would talk to friends. Nobody wants to listen to someone reading a script.

Promoting your live video

Part of planning your live videos is also in the promotion. You’ll want to schedule your live videos ahead of time to allow people to get them into their schedule to attend live. Even though on most platforms, they can watch afterwards, you want as many people as possible to attend live so you’ll have some interaction and feel the energy of having a live audience.

Be sure to announce your live video at least a few days ahead. Use scheduling tools on your platform if they’re available. If you’re collecting registrations, be sure to send remind them they signed up a day ahead, and one hour before. I sometimes even send a message as I’m starting because many people will forget in an hour!

If live-streaming is part of your content plan, you may also want to consider adding it in on a regular and consistent basis. Plan to have a live stream session once a week, or once a month, so your fans can get used to joining you regularly. Showing up on a regular basis builds your credibility and encourages your audience to view you as an expert in your field.

Patch Cord

If you can, hardwire your laptop into your internet, don’t depend on the wireless router. I don’t know about you, but my wifi isn’t always reliable. I had a microwave once that interfered with the wifi signal in the house! However, if you hardwire your laptop there won’t be any wifi issues. This could also improve your video quality, decrease buffering and any lagging issues you might be experiencing. This is why I choose to go live from my laptop instead of my phone for the most part.

Prepare to Engage

Livestreaming is different from all other types of video communications because of the ability to have a real-time conversation with your audience. From adding other people to the stream to answering questions in the chat, there’s nothing like a live session to get to know your community. If you’re planning to add live-streaming to your social media plan this year, be prepared to engage with your live viewers.

  • Welcome people as they join, by name if there aren’t too many.
  • Ask them questions and encourage them to respond with reactions, or in the chat.
  • Have a response for questions/comments that need to be answered another time, or later in the session so you don’t get too far off track.
  • Practice, practice, practice… engaging in real-time with the comments can be distracting, but you will get used to it the more you do it.
  • At the beginning of your session, and occasionally throughout as new people join, remind viewers how you would like them to engage and if and when you will respond.

Playback

If you can stomach watching your session back, do it. Yes, it’s difficult to watch yourself on video, especially if you’re new, but you will notice things you want to fix. And I don’t mean your hair or weight 🙂 I mean, you might realize your sound wasn’t as good as you thought, or the lighting was dark, or there was a weird shadow, or a strange background noise from the air exchanger. Maybe you’ll notice you use filler words like “um”, “uh” or my personal pet peeve “like”. You can train yourself to NOT use filler words…I did it many years ago.

Watch my Tips for Better Live Streaming on YouTube

This is the unedited video from a live training session in The Flawsome League. I cover the tips above and share a few more tidbits to improve your live videos.

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