The level of interactivity that live-streaming achieves is mind-blowing. You are sitting in front of a smartphone, laptop screen, tablet or other mobile device…recording yourself in real-time. From simply speaking on a single topic for 90 minutes straight to doing a makeup tutorial to preparing a recipe to selling products, the possibilities are endless. No filters. No editing. Just complete vulnerability…and hopefully a sigh of relief, confidence built, and a smile on your face at the end of each session.
As a blogger or entrepreneur, the authenticity and transparency of what you have to say, demonstrate, market or sell is magnified and verified by the real-time connections that platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope and Busker provide. The technology and opportunities to live-broadcast in this manner are new and constantly progressing; and I had the pleasure of attending an event that provided an awesome introduction, inside look, and blueprint on how to venture into the world of live-streaming videos – the Hello Live Interactive Live-Streamed Conference.
I can honestly say that participating in the conference has encouraged me to expand my blogging horizons, and really step outside of my comfort zone. As a freelance writer who has fully embraced a lifestyle centered on ‘being behind the scenes,’ live-streaming initially feels like leaping into a fiery pit of uncertainty and self-consciousness. I feel that I have an engaging presence (in person) in addition to having valuable information and insight to share, but I hate the sound of my recorded voice and I’m prone to ‘brain farts,’ so I’m not sure where that leaves me.
Anyhow, I learned a great deal from attending Hello Live, and while the amount of information is way too much to note here, I’d like to share the following speakers and takeaways that personally stood out for me:
Gina Luker (from The Shabby Creek Cottage & Blogging Over Breakfast Facebook group – which I joined right after her session ended) was the keynote speaker for Day 1 of the Hello Live Conference. I feel she provided the kind of success story that I needed to hear. Luker touched upon blogging, monetization, and building a successful Etsy shop (another avenue I am interested in). She was incredibly relatable, shared her roadmap to success (bumps and all), and presented a snapshot of how ‘someone like me’ can reach for the stars and basically create your own planet.
Benjamin and Kirsten Tyrrel are entrepreneurs that spoke about monetizing live-streaming through affiliate marketing, and touched upon live-broadcasting points in relation to Amazon FBA stores. I had absolutely no clue that you could set up ‘stores’ within your blog posts, and make money as an affiliate. I’ve been meaning to explore becoming an Amazon affiliate for a while now, and listening to the Tyrrels provided added motivation to get moving in the right direction.
Amiyrah Martin (from Four Hats and Frugal) put into perspective the various ways that people get ready physically, mentally, and visually for live-streaming. And, she eased my mind that you don’t necessarily have to show your face on camera. You can show your space (when applicable), like highlighting your creations from an Etsy shop…maybe share a particular crafting technique or artistic process. You just have to add value.
Mario Armstrong was a keynote speaker for Day 2 of Hello Live, and contributed high-energy, pre-recorded Facebook Live inspiration. Armstrong will become the host of the first, real-time talk show called Never Settle Show. When he uses Facebook Live to reach his audience, he noticed three times the engagement than with a regular pre-recorded video. I also learned of Roker Media happenings, and had no clue Al Roker had his hand in the future of live-streaming and other advanced media projects.
Armstrong also listed the five leading live-streaming platforms (as of right now):
- Facebook Live
How cool is it to communicate with the CEO of Busker, Lippe Oosterhof, who helped illustrate the differences between Facebook Live, Periscope, and his platform? This is where I learned just how new this form of technology and communication is; the features and changes planned for the future; and that you can actually ‘tip’ people during a live-stream.
Barbara Jones (from One2One Network) and Jyl Pattee (Mom It Forward Media) paired up to deliver an informative talk about getting chosen to do sponsored posts that incorporate live video.
From Shelly Coates and Savanah Poulsen (of How Does She), I learned the importance of a call-to-action, and the many different ways to present one – whether it’s saying ‘click on this link,’ requesting a ‘like’ on Facebook, or asking a question to illicit responses from viewers. Every video should make use of call-to-actions.
Emilie Daly (from Pick Your Plum) was an incredibly engaging speaker, and used QVC as an example of how to successfully blend content and sales through the way you speak, present information, repeat important points, and showcase your product/service/information in such a way that viewers see it as a solution to a ‘problem’ in their lives.
Holly Homer (from Quirky Momma & Kids Activities Blog) provided valuable insight into gaining and retaining followers, as well as building community. I enjoyed hearing her experiences, and learning how to deal with trolls…you know, those pops of negativity that can cause distractions for you and your audience.
How Was It Like to Be Involved in a Live-Streaming Conference?
Attending a live conference is pretty fun…you’re not physically present with the speakers and other attendees, yet still completely plugged in and able to engage with the speakers. The connection feels ‘real’ and authentic, especially when a speaker answers your specific questions and refers to you by name. The entire conference itself was like seeing a tutorial on live-streaming…unfold before your eyes. And, in this particular setting…it was quite intimate.
The live stream of Hello Live itself went through bouts of choppiness, no sound, stalls at the very end of certain sessions, and a few glitches, but it was a learning experience for all. Depending on the device you use, you may have encountered a different result. It wasn’t until the second day of the conference that I learned to switch back and forth from attending the conference on my laptop to using my Kindle Fire HDX. So, by the second day, I was watching clearer streams on the Kindle while responding to questions and commenting using my laptop. In the end, I found that all replays of the content presented during the conference were clear and free of visual blips.
Speaking of which, you can purchase a Replay ticket to the Hello Live Conference, and gain access to the same content, valuable videos, and information that I did. Your ‘ticket’ provides unending access.
So Yona, When Should We Expect to See Your First Live Stream?
Can I hold the attention of viewers? I hope so. Will I provide content that is valuable? Of course. Can I live-stream for more than 30 minutes? An intimidating prospect that only time and an extreme amount of practice will tell. At the very least, people might tune in to see a train wreck in the making…who knows? I’m willing to give it a try.
Practicing your live-streaming abilities is something that more than a few speakers stressed, but Mario Armstrong really eased my fears when he mentioned that you don’t have to necessarily do it in front of a “live studio audience’ – he said there is a setting where you can have the live-stream experience, but without inviting the entire world.
So hopefully (very soon), you will see me streaming live content. One thing is for sure, I definitely have access to all the right information, tools, advice, and inspiration that will help me along the way.
Share your thoughts on live-streaming below.
Disclosure: I received a discounted ticket to attend Hello Live. My opinions and experiences are 100% my own…and I really didn’t have to even blog about this, but I wanted to share my experience.