Wondering what live streaming is all about, Jennifer Quinn researched the topic and got hooked. Also known as JennyQ, in a short time she jumped from novice to maven.
Quinn has made herself the leading consultant, speaker, host and author in internet live streaming. She has conducted over 450 live interviews on internationally known live-streaming shows. Over the years, she has helped professionals experience how livestreaming helps increase their authority, credibility and top-of-mind awareness with their prospects and clientele.
She talked with digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar about the exciting journey of internet video live streaming, beginning with essential gear and audio equipment.
“Start where you are with what you’ll want to pay special attention to,” Quinn said. “It’s what I call L.A.V.S.: lighting, audio, video and stability.”
She broke down each category:
- Lighting: Daylight — sit in front of the window; Ring Light — clips onto your phone; Box Lighting — intermediate studio
- Audio: Earbuds with built-in mic, external phone mic, USB or studio mic
- Video: Cell phone camera, built-in webcam, USB webcam
- Stability: Prop phone up at eye level using books or boxes; tripod or mount; desktop or laptop, being careful not to bump
There are assorted platforms for live streaming. Each is a matter of personal preference.
“They are all good — YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter, Periscope,” Quinn said. “It depends on where your audience is and where your ideal client hangs out. Content and consistency are key.”
Sklar noted that Periscope allows broadcasters to add up to three guests onto the stream.
One of live streaming’s challenges is attracting an audience, especially in a production’s early days.
“It’s important to start your content the moment you go live, even if you have no live viewers,” Quinn said. “You are also recording video for replay viewers. The good news is that most views come from the replays, Don’t sweat it if you have no live viewers. Crush it anyway.”
Be succinct and create a video that delivers your message along with personality. Inform, entertain and know when enough is enough — making viewers want more.
“I tell my clients to broadcast for as long as it takes to share your content, and not one minute longer,” Quinn said. “Have a decent structure and know what you are going to say. Engage with the viewers. Then don’t be afraid to end when it’s over. Always close with a call to action.
“It’s especially important for professionals, businesses and brands to have structured content — the intro, bullet points and outro,” she said. “Practice before you go live so you have a general idea of what you are going to say.”
You’ll waste time trying to finesse the machines behind the curtains.
“People get hung up on gaming the algorithm, which is a mistake,” Quinn said. “Live video is about building trust, developing relationships and adding value. Focus on creating stellar content. Meanwhile, it’s good to test things and look at the data to make decisions.”
Live streaming once per week is OK, but however much you do it, be reliable and consistent. Create a schedule, and stick to it. Build your viewers’ expectations and exceed them.
“As a business or brand, it’s important to live stream consistently,” Quinn said. “If you can only go live once per month, do that, consistently. If you think you can do daily, I suggest you start with weekly. Then increase slowly. It’s easier to increase than it is to decrease.
“Remember, you’re building trust with your viewers,” she said. “Whatever you say you’re going to do, keep that commitment and show up.”
As with any other venture, mistakes are part of live streaming. Build from them. The missteps might not be as big as you think because viewers likely won’t notice them as much as you do.
“Mistakes always happen,” Quinn said. “Plan as well as possible ahead of time. Then when something doesn’t go as planned, handle it with humor and grace. The viewers are on your side and want you to succeed. Acknowledge it and move on.
“I usually say, ‘Welcome to Live video!’ and explain what just happened, and then move on,” she said. “I like when Bryan Kramer of #H2H says, ‘I just had a human moment!’ Then he moves on.”
For-profit, entrepreneurs need to monetize live streaming.
“Businesses must create video to remain relevant,” Quinn said. “Live streaming can be used for top-of-mind awareness, to sell products, as lead generation offering free PDFs or swag. But mostly it’s to build relationships by adding value.
“People ask me what’s the return on investment of video marketing,” she said. “I tell them the ROI is you get to still be in business in five years.”
Quinn and Sklar continued to discuss live streaming in a Facebook Live conversation.