Whether you’re a confident public speaker, or slightly more reserved, you are capable of holding a successful Facebook Live broadcast! All it takes is a little planning, a boost of confidence, and a friendly approach.
Here’s how you rip off the Band-Aid and go live for the first time!
BEFORE YOU GO LIVE
Learn Everything You Can
I don’t just mean articles and resources like this on the practicalities of going live, but also learn about who you’re talking to. Look at any data you can, whether that’s the demographic information for your page/group or your Facebook Ad results.
Go onto your website analytics, look at buying history, previous clients or customers or even those that are interacting with you now. Don’t have any of that? Think about who your target audience is and who you are aiming this to.
The more you can form a picture of who you’re talking to, the more comfortable you’ll feel when talking to them. It’s like talking to your friend. This helps you come up with the best plan and points you want to say.
Have A Basic Plan
Begin your Facebook Live adventure with a plan. Consider what you want to achieve from the first broadcast and the message you’d like to put across, then build a plan around those objectives.
I’d recommend creating a list of talking points that you’d like to touch upon during the Live. As well as guiding the discussion and giving it structure, it’s reassuring to have prompts available in case you need to get back on track during the broadcast.
That said, don’t be tempted to create a script for your Live. Viewers are looking to make a connection, and if your broadcast is over-rehearsed, it can be off-putting. Use your prompts as a guide, but keep it natural!
The final step of the planning process is to get your set and equipment ready in plenty of time. Your backdrop should be tidy and non-distracting, and all equipment charged and ready to go. Print off your talking points, and make sure that your seat – if you’re using one – is comfortable!
The best way to feel comfortable about going live is to practice in advance. There’s no need to feel silly – actors do this all the time!
You may wish to run through your broadcast a few times so that you become fully familiar with the content, develop a narrative flow, and establish a pace that allows you to cover everything in the time you’ve designated.
It can also be helpful to record yourself, play it back, and make adjustments where necessary. Again, don’t fixate on being completely polished – this is an exercise in building your confidence!
Don't Forget To Test
Don’t overlook the technological aspect of your preparations! Whether you’re using the webcam from your laptop, a mobile device, or several pieces of equipment, it’s important to ensure that everything works correctly ahead of time.
1. Test your settings
2. Confirm that the picture and sound are working by setting up a broadcast and selecting ‘Only Me’ as the audience.
3. You recruit a couple of friends to confirm that everything is working by creating a brief Live in a private Facebook group.
On the day, fully charge your devices and double-check connections.
Take A Deep Breath
You’ve made a plan, practiced your broadcast, and set up your equipment. You’re ready!
Now it’s time to go live. This can be the most nerve-racking moment of the experience, but it’s also the most invigorating! Take a deep breath and be confident in your abilities. When you’re ready, create a title and brief description, make sure the audience is set to public, then go live.
Welcome Your Viewers
Once you’ve established a literal connection, it’s time to develop an emotional link with your audience!
Welcome viewers to the broadcast, and give everyone a few minutes to join. Smile, be friendly and respond to any comments you receive in the chat.
Make sure to explain the purpose of your live, and reiterate what’s in it for your viewers. You may have to do this a couple of times as your audience gradually filters into the broadcast.
Encourage Questions And Answer In Real Time!
From the start of your broadcast, encourage the audience to get involved. Create the spirit of collaboration by asking them questions and answering any that they ask as you go along. Depending on the size of your audience and the number of questions that come up, you may need to filter them in-broadcast, but when you do spot a comment that acts as a springboard for a great discussion, embrace it!
Viewers appreciate you taking the time to engage with them directly, and it helps you to feel more comfortable during the Live. Asking for questions can also give you the chance to take a small breather and a sip of water, ready for the next phase of your broadcast.
Don't Aim For Perfection
Put perfection out of your mind. Even the most prolific broadcasters can find areas for improvement! It’s far more important for you to get your message out into the world than for it to be an award-winning performance.
In fact, viewers tend to find quirks and ‘real people’ endearing! So show them your authenticity. As I mentioned above, an over-rehearsed broadcast can prohibit the powerful connection that nurtures a customer relationship.
Simply focus on showcasing the main points from your plan, take your time, and enjoy yourself!
Know When To Say Goodbye
All good things must come to an end! You’ll most likely find that once you get into your Live, time flies! And when you have an engaged audience with excellent questions, you’ll be tempted to keep going for as long as possible.
However, it’s a good idea to set and stick to a time limit. I don’t mean suddenly cutting off the broadcast after an hour, but gradually winding it down once you’ve come to the end of the time you advertised. This helps you to stay focused, and it gives you the opportunity to encourage viewers to return for the next Live.
Speaking of which, it’s a good idea to have a date in mind for your next broadcast and to set it up as a Facebook event. You can share this with the audience before you end the Live and encourage them to add the event to their list.
Make Notes For Your Next Live
Congratulations! You did it! Your first Facebook Live is done and dusted.
At the end of the broadcast, you’ll be given the option to keep it. I’d encourage you to always do this. You’ll be able to review a broadcast before the next one and, while the experience is still fresh in your mind, take notes about what worked well and areas for improvement.
Plus, if you had any viewer questions that you promised to address after the Live, you can get started on putting your response together.
Ready to start adding live video into your business and don’t want to do it alone or you're totally sweating just thinking about it? Sign up for the Your First Time Challenge below!