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At the beginning of May, I set a personal goal to finally overcome my fear of going live.
As an introvert, the thought of being on video, without the ability to edit things, really scared me. I like to think through what I’m going to say, and have the opportunity to ensure it comes off the way I want.
That’s part of why I love writing. I can go back and edit things and smooth out the rough spots. It’s where I thrive, and where I’m comfortable.
On live video? There are no redos or rewinds. Once the words are out of your mouth, they are out there. It’s way outside my comfort zone.
Each time I’ve tried video in the past, I always redid the parts I didn’t like. I scripted it. As in I wrote down EVERY word I wanted to say.
Then I sat in front of the camera and read it. It was totally unnatural, and you could tell I wasn’t looking at the camera completely. Then I’d lose my spot trying to make some eye contact, and I’d have to stop and delete that attempt. It was horrible!
But, I’ve heard so many great things about using live videos to connect with your audience. There are SO MANY entrepreneurs growing their businesses through video.
And I wanted to join them.Which meant, I had to overcome my fear of going live.
So I made a plan.
My strategy? To go live each Friday of May.
And while technology issues preventing me from always “going live,” I did share a video to my Facebook Page each and every Friday of May. A couple of them I had to transfer to YouTube to preserve the sound when my internet was sluggish.
While going live still isn’t something I absolutely love, I do see the value in it. And, I plan to keep it up. I’m much more comfortable than I was a month ago.
In case you’re struggling too, here are some of the strategies I used to help myself overcome my fear and hit that “Go Live” button.
Know Your Why
Why do you want to go live in the first place? Just because “everyone’s doing it” doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Don’t let everyone else be your guide.
Figure out your why instead. You’re much more likely to stick with it if you have a solid why in place.
So why did I finally take the plunge to go live? A few reasons…
- To try to grow my audience
- To connect with my audience in a new way
- Because I want to add video to my course and I knew I wouldn’t be comfortable with that unless I practiced first
- It’s a lot quicker to record a video than write. And some ideas are better shared audibly than through the written word.
Taking time to think through my why gave me something to think about when I thought about backing out. When I didn’t feel like going live on a Friday, I was able to think about my why. And it gave me the push I needed to hit the button.
Take a Class
A while back, I enrolled in Crystal Payne’s 10 Strategies for Mastering Facebook Live event. It wasn’t expensive, and it was worth every penny.
In this event, Crystal shared examples of how integrating live video has helped her build strong relationships with her audience. She provided great tips for overcoming fear and taking the plunge into Live video.
If you’re struggling to hit record, I highly recommend you purchase the replay of the course. I don’t know that I would have ever gone live without Crystal’s advice, or more importantly, her encouragement.
Get Comfortable with Your Equipment
Recording a video and having your camera tip over stinks. So does trying to hold your arm still enough the whole time you record so your video isn’t shaking.
If you’re too busy worrying about whether or not your camera is stable enough propped up on books, you won’t be able to concentrate on your content. Your audience will be able to tell you’re distracted.
So do yourself a favor and pick up a Tripod. For less than $25 you can get a decent one on Amazon.
But, you’ll also need a way to attach your smartphone to the tripod. Otherwise you’ll be really confused when trying to make it all work. At least I was!
Definitely pickup an inexpensive Tripod Mount for Smartphones at the same time as your tripod. Then you’ll have everything you need.
Once you have your equipment, practice using it. Make sure you’re comfortable extending your tripod to the right height, and able to securely connect your phone. Pay attention to which direction you attach your phone, so you don’t wind up streaming yourself upside down or sideways.
Play around with the video setting on your phone. Take time to find out where the lens is so you can make eye contact. It feels way more natural to look at the center of your phone and watch yourself, but your video will be better if you look at the lens.
Practice with Non-Live Videos
I recorded plenty of videos on my phone that never got an audience. Doing these practice videos helped me do several things:
- Learn how much preparing I needed to do before hand
- Find good places to record from
- Figure out the best time of day to record so I didn’t have kids interrupting me or distracting me
- Get more comfortable on camera
- Give me material to listen to so I could improve the quality of my video
- See how I looked on camera and find better ways to angle things
- Ensure I was looking at the lens and that my camera was at the right height
The best thing about these practice videos?
I knew they weren’t going to go online. So I felt more comfortable experimenting with them. I had no problem hitting delete, because they were just for me anyways.
I definitely recommend recording several videos just for practice. You can write down the things that work and incorporate them into future live videos.
Believe in Yourself
Do you believe that? Really, truly believe it?
Because if you don’t, you’ll have a really hard time going live. You’ll kill your efforts by worrying about being good enough. Or sharing something that people want to hear. You’ll psych yourself out before you ever get started.
Your audience can benefit from what you have to offer. So give yourself a self-confidence boost and believe in yourself.
Know What You Want to Say
As I mentioned earlier, I used to completely script my video attempts. I felt like I wasn’t prepared if I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say.
You’ll sound much more confident and experienced in the topic you’re talking about if you don’t over prepare. Pick a topic you excel in.
I picked minimizing decisions for my first attempt at going live. It’s a topic I know about and I care about. I even wrote an entire class to help other busy moms minimize their decisions!
Picking a topic I knew about helped. It allowed me to jot down a quick outline and “wing” the rest. I didn’t have to try and memorize anything because I already knew the important parts.
When you’re getting ready to go live, plan what you want to say. But don’t over plan. Find the sweet spot between scripting and completely winging it that works for you.
What really surprised me was that I actually did better in the videos where I wrote nothing down. I didn’t feel like I had to keep looking at my notes to stay on track.
So I spent 5-10 minutes thinking through my content before hand. I knew what my opening would be and how I’d end it. Then I thought about the best route to take to get my audience from the beginning to the end.
When I had everything figured out in my head, I went live. That way it was still fresh in my mind and I wasn’t floundering for the words.
You might do better with an outline to look at. Practice several different ways and use your videos as a guide to see what works best for you.
Don’t Let Mistakes Freeze You
Mistakes happen on live video. You’ll say the wrong word. Or lose your train of thought.
And my first instinct is to hit the stop button and go bury my head somewhere and try again later.
But, you can’t do that. You’ve got to keep going.
It brings back memories of listening in on my oldest daughter’s music lessons. Before her very first recital, her teacher spent time talking about the importance of keeping going. If she played a wrong note, my daughter was to move on instead of starting over.
Live videos are the same. You don’t need to start over if you make a mistake. Instead, push forward. Correct yourself if necessary and keep going.
Otherwise, you turn it into a much bigger deal.
This was hard for me. My first few videos have a much longer pause than they should after I misspeak. As I listened to them again, I realized doing this just pointed out to everyone that I’d made a mistake. It called attention to it.
So I started practicing making mistakes on my non-live video practices. I purposefully said the wrong word. Or jumped out of the order I planned.
I still don’t like making mistakes. Internally, I cringe. But, practicing has definitely helped me learn to keep going.
Make an Announcement
Announce to your audience that you’re going to go live. Let them know you’ll be going live each week on a certain day.
Telling other people about your decision helps motivate you to stick with it. After all, you don’t want to disappoint your audience.
You can also find an accountability partner to help hold you to going live. Ask them to text and check in to see if you have done it yet.
Share your decision and then honor your word by hitting the live button.
Figure Out When & Where to Go Live
For a busy mompreneur, this might be the biggest obstacle to going live. It’s so easy to say…
I can’t do that because the kids might interrupt me and make me lose my train of thought.
But, you can’t let your kids be your excuse. You can’t use them as the easy out.
Will it always be easy to find a time and place? NO! But, it is doable.
I found waiting until my husband got home was the best for my family. This gave me time to walk out in the property a bit and get away from all the household noise.
Of course, the chickens, cows, and cats were more noisy/distracting than the kids would have been, but they were easier for me to ignore.
Find a place where your distractions are minimized. Make sure your kids are engaged in an activity and share with them what you’re going to do.
You might go:
- In your car (I often do Zoom videos from our short bus!)
- To the backyard
- To your home office where you can shut and lock the door
- Completely away from the house (I had to do this once when my internet was really bad! I just waited until the kids were in bed and I could sneak away without them realizing it!)
- To the “back 40” if you have some property
You want a place where you are comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable, your audience will be able to tell!
As far as timing goes, think about your days. I’ve heard of mompreneurs going live:
- Early in the morning before the kids wake up
- While the kids are at school or busy doing independent homeschool
- During quiet time/nap time
- After their spouse is home to take care of the kids
- When the kids are asleep
- In the late, late night when the whole house is quiet
Do what works for you! There is no right or wrong time for you to get comfortable going live. Yes, you may not have a ton of viewers if you’re going live at three am. But, you’ll have people watch your replay!
Think Through Your Appearance
It’s not all about how you look, but your appearance will definitely play a part in how you feel about yourself going live. Take a few minutes to wash your face and freshen up before recording.
Run a brush through your hair. I typically get rid of my messy bun and either do something a big nicer, or leave my hair down.
Check your clothes. It’s easy for them to get stained during the day when the kids use you as a napkin. So put on something clean and check for lumps and bumps that you can smooth out.
Looking better will give you confidence!
Record and Delete
My very first live was horrible. I framed the camera way off and my face was super zoomed in. So I took a piece of advice from Crystal’s course, and deleted it instead of posting it to my page. Then I recorded a second video directly onto my camera and uploaded it to YouTube instead.
That experience helped me to figure out the best way to position things for a live. I learned how far to space myself from the camera, and where to look.
You don’t have to leave your video online if you hate how it turns out. Feel free to record and delete. Eventually you’ll feel more comfortable leaving them on there.
Just Do It!
You can think through and practice and plan forever if you let yourself. But none of those things will ever put a live video on your page.
So take a deep breath, and just do it. Be brave and put yourself out there.
You can do it!
Do You Have Any Tips for Going Live?
If you have other tips to encourage mompreneurs to dive into live video, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Let’s encourage one another and help each other. You can’t grow a business alone!
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