Live-Streaming Mistakes That You Don’t Want to Make

Live-Streaming Mistakes That You Don’t Want to Make

Live-streaming is all the rage right now, and from the looks of things it’s definitely here to stick around. Everything is becoming more interactive than ever before, so that means that the days of only posting written content are long gone. In addition, from the way the trend is going, the days of just posting visual content are becoming short-lived as well. These days, you have to combine all three, live-streaming (or broadcasting), written, and visual.

Live-Streaming Mistakes That You Shouldn't Make | BlissandFaith.comPeople crave to be stimulated on all cylinders, and there’s no time like now than to start serving your audience in a more innovative, interactive, and engaging way, such as live-streaming. Nonetheless, there are some guidelines that should be at the very least considered as we migrate our way to these new platforms and explore unchartered methods of connecting with our audiences.

When it comes to live-streaming, it’s definitely something I’ll be incorporating into my business more. I want people to get to know the person behind the brand and blog more, and really start to connect more deeply to my audience. It is my goal to shows behind the scenes of my business, what’s coming up, and how things are going in a live, real-time format. I think it’s awesome that we have the technology to do this, and that many times, for free. However, what I don’t want to do is go about it the wrong way. I’ve seen all too often, whether it be on Periscope, webinars, Hangouts, etc. content creators go about getting in front of their audiences in painfully disconcerted ways.

I’m not talking about being nervous or even scared, but more so unprepared, not appearing professional or organized, and plain out wasting their audience’s time. As a business owner, especially in the digital arena, we can connect with our tribe’s in so many ways, social media, email, video, etc., but what we oftentimes don’t have is the ability to literally step in front of them and connect. Live-streaming allows that, but many don’t seem to realize that the same rules apply to communicating with someone via live-stream as they do when when we do so in person.

Would you step to a potential client in your pajamas? Go to an important business meeting not dressed professional?

My guess, probably not? Just you most likely wouldn’t post a super dark or overexposed picture to your IG if you can help it. I’m not saying your whole life needs to appear as if you just stepped outside of a perfectly styled stock photo, but presentation is key.

The number one live-streaming mistake I see all too often boils down to presentation.

Live-Streaming Mistakes That You Shouldn't Make | BlissandFaith.comMost often times it’s not how the person themselves looks, but rather the area around them. Here’s something’s that should be strongly taken into consideration before starting your live-streaming, from a setting standpoint:

How is the noise level? – Can you be heard?

Is there a lot of wind blowing or a storming brewing? Is there traffic or a lot of outside sounds that can be distracting? – Yes, this includes kids, family members, friends, etc.

  • A crowded cafe or coffee shop may not be the best place to stream. — Try a park, garden, or even your car (parked that is).
  • Don’t stream during bad weather. — Not only is it not safe, as you should be insuring that you’re cognizant of your surroundings in relation to the weather. 
  • If you’re a busy mom, try streaming during nap-time or when your husband, significant other, or another caretaker can watch your kids for a designated timeframe. — This will not only help your focus, but facilitate a distraction free experience for you and your audience. 

Be On Time – Early is on time, on time is late, and late is well…unacceptable (lingo from my old USMC days)

Live-Streaming Mistakes That You Shouldn't Make | BlissandFaith.comWhen it comes to scheduled live-streams, you must, I repeat, must be one time. There is no excuse for tardiness, and being late reflects poorly on you. Being late to your live-stream sends the message to your audience that you don’t care enough about them to show up on time.

In the case of an emergency, you need to let your audience know ASAP, and via multiple methods, such as email and social media.

Not everybody will be checking their email or on social media, but if you attempt to reach in both ways, they will appreciate your effort, even if they miss the memo.

You only have so many times to be late, before people loose faith in you. They will come to expect you to be late, so they will either show up late or not at all. Either scenario, it’s unfavorable to you and shows a lack of professionalism and consideration.

You will wonder why your audience shows up 15 minutes late and you’re sitting there wondering where everyone’s at. It puts the entire live-stream behind, which makes less time for you to provide your audience with value.

People don’t have all day, and they if they plan to show up for your live webinar, workshop, or master class, they’ve blocked off that specific time.

I can speak personally when I say that I have to do this, because of being a full-time SAHM/WAHM. My leisure (or rather learning) time is extremely precious and limited in regards to me. I miss out on a ton of trainings and live-streams, because I simply don’t have the time with my schedule and priories as a mom.

Many times, all I have is that hour or two to attend your live-stream. If you’re late, then I can’t and I hate that! Missing out on valuable content, when I’ve blocked my schedule off to learn about it is a real bummer. Your audience is thinking the exact same thing, don’t put them in this position. And definitely don’t rely on a replay to get the job done, watching a replay is no comparison to attending live and getting that real-time interaction and feedback.

Test Your Tech
Live-Streaming Mistakes That You Shouldn't Make |

Ensuring that you tech is set up and in proper working condition prior to your live-stream is crucial to its success. Improper setup of your tech, or not checking it before your start your live-stream can result in inadvertently making the previous two mistakes.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before going live:

1. Can my audience see and hear me okay? —

Check your internet connection beforehand. You want to make sure that you’re not coming across fuzzy, pixelated, or at a low quality. You can mitigate these issues by having a good and fast internet connection and using high quality equipment.

2. Are my settings correct on my recording devices? —

This goes for the audio and visual devices. Read the instructions, watch Youtube videos for how to properly and best set your settings for optimal quality.

3. Are lens clean? —

This is an easy one, but one that is missed all too often. A simple wipe of your lens can do wonders for the quality of your videos, because your audience will be able to see you clearly and crisp.

4. How’s my lighting? —

Yet, another thing that oftentimes gets overlooked. You must have good lighting. Everything about videography (and photography) revolves around lighting. If you can’t film during the day time with good natural light, invest in lighting equipment that you can use inside. More specifically, you want the focus to be on your face, so all of your lighting should be aimed at it. Remember your audience wants and needs to see you!

5. Is my recording equipment set up and positioned properly? —

Most of the set up of your equipment is going to be dependent on your setting, and on trial and error. In general, you can find out how to properly set equipment by searching Google or looking at Youtube video tutorials of people showing you how to do it, but adjustments will have to be made by you depending on your space, setting, and size of equipment. If anything, ensure you have plenty of room to set up your recording and filming equipment. This will make is that much easier when you go to arrange it for optimal recording and filming.

Have Your Slides/Presentation Ready – No editing during the streamLive-Streaming Mistakes That You Shouldn't Make |

No one is perfect and even after proofreading things twice over, we can still miss mistakes. I do it all the time when publishing blog posts, so I’m just as guilty as the next. However, unlike blogging, live-streaming is in the moment and the room to go back and fix things is small, like pretty much no existence. It’s actually one of the reasons that people enjoy the real-time interaction of live-streaming so much. It shows a more human side of who we are, not the over-edited IG image or thrice proofread blog post.

However, this is still no excuse to not be a thorough as possible when we are creating our presentations. Interrupting your stream to correct a mistake can totally disrupt the flow of the presentation and loose your audience’s attention.

A few ways to prevent interruption during your stream are:

1. Edit your presentation slide by slide as you create it.

You can catch large and small errors and shorten the editing process when your done creating your presentation. Editing as you go is also beneficial, because as you edit each slide, you’re still in the same mindset, so it’s easier to know if you need to add or take away information.

2. Practice and run through your presentation several times before going live. — 

Going over the presentation, whether it be by yourself or with someone else can help immensely when it comes to catching errors. 

3. Ask or hire someone to edit your presentation. —

Not all of us are great at editing, if you know you’re not, it may be best to outsource the task and hire someone. You will save yourself plenty of strife and energy, allowing you to focus on other things needed to make your live-stream go smoothly. This is the beauty of outsourcing, it can in turn allow you to be more productive, and more importantly prepared.

If you’ve been nervous about live-streaming, you’re not alone, I have been too. However, the only way to conquer that fear is to get out there and do it. In doing so, these mistakes are definitely one’s that I’ll be trying my darndest not to make.

I’ll be incorporating a lot more live-streaming, real-time interaction into the B&F brand coming up, because it isn’t just the way of the future, it’s the way of now. It’s imperative that we get in front of our audiences and allow them to really get to know us, all while showing them our expertise. Live-streaming and video allows us to do exactly that easily and at little to no cost.

Have you been thinking of incorporating live-streaming into your blog or brand? — If so, what are some problem areas you’ve encountered or experienced? If not, what’s holding you back from doing so?

5 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using For Your Business Connect Better With Your Audience & Network With Like Others

Social media isn’t just for fun and staying abreast of the latest gossip, it can be used to grow your business, connect better with your audience, and network with like others. I’m sharing my favorite social media tools that help run my business while being able to draw new connections and get in front of new audiences.

5 Simple Steps to Take Your Blog + Business to the Next Level |

In using these 5 tools lately, I have seen an exponential growth in my social media following, and in my presence on social media in general. I used to struggle with putting myself out there and using social media as an effective method to promote my business. More importantly, using these tools have made it possible for me to make connections and network with like others in ways that are fresh, new, and fun. I’ve become a part of new communities by using these tools, as well as expanding my own.

Periscope – Live-Stream Mobile Broadcasting

I’ll go ahead and say it, if you’re not on Periscope you totally should be. I shared all about how much I love Periscope in this post, so if you want to learn more about it give it a read.

Why I'm Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business |

Why You Should Be Using It:

1. Periscope is a true game changer when it comes to being able to connect with your following in real-time.

Think if Twitter and UStream had a baby, that’s pretty much Periscope. It’s instant, fast, and because of the fact that it’s owned by Twitter, you have a built-in network to reach out to when you “scope” (that’s what the cool kids call the live broadcasting that you do on it).

2. The ease of use of Periscope is one of the things that makes it so attractive and appealing.

All you need to do is download the app, hit the broadcast button, once you do that the app automatically sends out a status update to your Twitter following letting them know you’re live, and from there its all you and your followers interacting in real time. Periscope features a chat function, so people can talk directly to you as you’re broadcasting. It’s an excellent way to spread the world about a new product or launch, let your followers know what’s on the blog that day, or share a behind the scenes look at your business and life. The possibilities are literally endless on Periscope for what you can share, and there is no time limit, so you can broadcast for as long as  you want.

3. One of my favorite things about Periscope is that not only can you connect with those in your niche instantaneously, but you can learn so much because they can jump on and share business insight and even give tutorials.

The atmosphere is laid back, community-driven, and positive. That’s something you don’t get with many of the popular social media platforms these days. The block feature allows broadcasters and viewers to easily block trolls so that the conversation stays on track and everyone continues to have a good time.

You may not feel confident enough to broadcast on Periscope yet, but I urge to get over that fear and just do it! I’m still a little bashful on the platform, but I usually jump a minimum twice a week to broadcast. A great way to build your confidence to broadcast is to watch and interact on other people’s scopes. Once you realize how fun and valuable it is, you will begin to see how beneficial it can be for growing your following, creating community, and getting the world out there about what you do and your business.

Let’s connect on Periscope! My handle is @blissandfaith (just like on Twitter).

 Slack – Team Chat Communication

Slack is one of my new favorite social media tools. It’s basically the ultimate team chat communication platform, that lets you connect with others on a super clean and easily organized forum.

icon256Why You Should Be Using It:

1. It’s free! Whether you set up your own Slack team or participate in, it won’t cost you a dime.

When I was first invited to a Slack team, after signing up for Mariah Coz’s Your First 1K course, I had no idea what it was and thought it was yet another platform I’d need to pay for to be able to fully use. I was certain that the only reason it was free was because I had joined the course and that it was paid for through that. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it cost nothing to download the app and use it, and that I could also create my own team on it and that it was still free.

2. The interface alone makes it a breeze to use, not to mention that its available on desktop and mobile.

If you’re on iOS, you can not only download the app to your mobile device, but to your desktop device as well. No need to keep having to sign in and out of Slack via your browser.

3. Slack is easily navigable, not cluttered, and makes something so old school like a chat fun.

You can create and participate in chats in different channels that are specific to whichever topics you choose. This keeps conversations on point and easy to jump into. There is no limit on the amount of channels you can create as far as I know, and creating and joining them is done in pretty much one click.

4. 24-hour communication.

This may not sound like a totally exclusive feature, but it’s nice to know that any time I jump on there is either someone to communicate with, a question to respond to, or conversations to read through. The great thing is that everything is organized by time so the chats are easy to keep up with. Slack also allows you to @reply someone by just typing their name in (which it autofills) and it allows you to direct message them, so if there’s something you only want to say to them you can take the conversation offline, so to say, from the group chats.

5. Share files, images, links, etc.

Although Slack is at its core a chat platform, its extremely robust in features for sharing. You can upload files, images, and include links in your posts. This way is you’re mentioning something you can include supporting information or documentation to drive home your point or share. No need to gather emails to send these things to fellow team members, because you can include everything right there in the chat.

Twitter Chats – Instant Topic Driven Conversation

Twitter chats have been around for forever, but more recently they’ve become more niche-based. I remember when I first started to hear about Twitter chats, they were mostly used for promoting products via social media campaigns. Now, you can join in various Twitter chats throughout the week, that are run by some of your favorite bloggers.

Twitter_logo_blueWhy You Should Be Using It:

1. The beauty of Twitter is that it’s in real-time and moves fast.

It’s been around for a while, so it has millions of users, all around the world that are able to chime into these chats at any time.

2. Twitter chats are just plain fun!

It’s so awesome to be able to connect with others on a given topic and receive the different takes on it. You learn so much by participating in Twitter chats because so many people are chiming in that it’s hard not to walk away with so many new ideas.

3. You can always revisit a Twitter chat by searching the hashtag, so the information shared in the chat is always accessible.

Although the chats move fast, you don’t have to worry about missing something, because a quick search of the hashtag brings all of the tweets from the Twitter chat up and any new tweets that may have used the hashtag.

4. Twitter chats allow for immediate gratification. 

If you have a question or concern, you can put it out there and get an immediate response from loads of people that may have expertise on whatever given topic that your question or concern is about. During a Twitter chat, everyone participating in it is present, so their responses are instantaneous on you put your question or response out there.

5. Another great thing about Twitter chats are that they are consistent.

From the time they are scheduled, to the content that being relayed in them, they are consistent. You can count on most chat occurring at the same time, with the same host, and many of the same participants on whatever scheduled day and time its been set. In addition, you don’t have to worry about random or irrelevant information being shared, because 9 times out of 10, everyone participating in the chat is on the same page. You can trust much more what’s being shared because people who are actually interested in the topic are taking the time to engage each other and share valuable knowledge.

Facebook Groups – Constant Niche-Driven Communication & Networking

Facebook groups are probably the OG of all the tools listed, but not including them would have been a huge disservice to us all. Given that Facebook is still the number one social media platform, going over 10 years strong, and with over 900 million daily active users as of June 2015, it is a hub for all things business and personal in the social media world. Facebook is one of those platforms that everyone has or has had access to in some way over the past decade. This means the ability to connect with like others is vast and fairly straightforward.

icon175x175Why You Should Be Using It:

1. Given the fact that Facebook is such a large platform, that means that there is literally room for everyone.

If you’ve been looking for a group to join, rest assure, it exists on Facebook.

2. Many groups are closed or private.

This is probably one of my favorite features of Facebook groups, because unlike much of the platform, you can actually have a sense of privacy while interacting with others. These features also cut down of spammers and creepsters being in groups because members have to request to be added to them or manually added by admins. You can discuss things in the groups and not have to worry about your entire friends list seeing your post and knowing things about you that you prefer them not to.

Dream Makers Creative Facebook Group by

Webinars & Online Workshops – Real-time Education & Connecting With Like Others

Webinars and online workshops are nothing new, but lately, they’ve really burst on the scene as ways to teach, connect, and even sell to audiences. Live webinars and workshops are especially the ones that are most popular lately because people love to see and talk to people in real-time.

5 Social Media Tools | BlissandFaith.comWhy You Should Be Using It:

1. Webinars and online workshops promote teaching and learning in a way that is unique from any other platform out there.

They can be guided by one person or many people, and with the aid of other multi-media, such as presentations.

2. They are a great way to introduce a new product or service to your audience and give them a hands-on walk-thru of how to use it or how it can best serve someone.

This gives you the opportunity to gauge your audience’s interest and even pre-sell your product or service.

3. Adding features like a chat or poll can make webinars that much more fun and interactive.

Viewers can not only talk to the hosts, but they can communicate with others attending the webinar or online workshop. This way, questions get answered and feedback is given in real-time.

4. Webinars and online workshops allow for a large number of people to attend.

If you’re thinking about launching a new product or service, a webinar or online workshop is one of the best ways to do it, because you can get in front of hundreds or thousands of faces.

5. You can always repurpose a webinar or online workshop to become a product in the future.

People value solutions, and the main purpose of a webinar is to give people that. When people miss the opportunity for something free, they don’t mind paying for it as long as its value outweighs the price.

As a business owner, we have to use the tools available to us to promote our businesses. Even better, when we can cut costs and use free methods of doing so, it frees up our budget to invest in other areas to grow our businesses. Social media for the most part of free, it just a matter of using it effectively that will make the difference between you being successful on it or not and it benefitting your business. Once you implement using at least one of these tools in your business, I have no doubt that you will see some of the same results I’ve seen in growing my following and creating new connections within my niche.

In addition to sharing my five favorite social media tools that I use in my business, I’ve also shared why you should be using them in your business. If you notice one trend in all of them is that they all give the ability to communicate in real-time. We live in a world where instant gratification and contact is essential. When you give your audience or customers what they want; immediate access to you, your products or services, you’re serving them in the such a big way. They don’t have to wait and wonder, because being able to communicate instantly gives reassurance, confidence, and builds their trust in you and your business.

5 Social Media Tools You Should Be Using For Your Business |

Listen to the accompanying Branded Bliss Podcast episode for this post below:

What are some of your favorite social media tools that you use in your business? – How has the implementation and use of them benefitted your business?

<span class=Why I’m Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business" />

Why I’m Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business

Why I'm Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business |

Have you heard who’s the new Jan Brady in town? Yep, its Periscope, the awesome social media platform that lets you video broadcast and have a live chat with your followers simultaneously. Now you may be thinking that this is no new concept, since video broadcasting services like Ustream and Google Hangouts and such have been around for years. The thing that makes Periscope stand out is the fact that its connected to your Twitter, because its owned by Twitter, so it makes it really easy to gain a following and community.

Why I'm Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business |

The Coolness

Another really cool (and pretty) thing about Periscope is the somewhat rating system of giving hearts. Its kind of similar to that of Youtube, with giving a thumbs up, but there’s now thumbs down. You either are loving the broadcast or you’re not with Periscope, and the broadcaster can see you giving the love in real time.

Why I'm Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business |

I think one of the main perks of Periscope is that its completely mobile, so you’re either broadcasting or watching a broadcast directly from your phone. No need to pull out your laptop or jump on your desktop to interact. I really enjoy the live chat feature of Periscope in that not only can I connect with the broadcaster directly and they can answer me back right then and there, I can interact with everyone else watching the broadcast.

Finding New People

Its an awesome way to find new people to follow, who may be in your niche or a similar one. The integration with Twitter is literally one click across the board, from signing up for the platform, to finding followers (and being found), and posting notifications to it is ridiculously easy. If I’m viewing a Periscope that I want to share, I can do right within the broadcast, never leaving it or skipping a beat. When I go to share, I can tweet the broadcast out to all of my Twitter followers, just my Periscope followers, and even via email by copying the link to it.

Periscope = Business Growth, How?

So, I’ve told you all about why I love Periscope and how awesome of a platform it is, but what I really want to tell you is how I’m going to be using it to support and grow my business. One of the reasons I think that Periscope is so great for business owners is because its an immediate way to interact and reach out to your target market. I love the real time and conversational aspect of Periscope, and its an awesome way to let people know about your products and services, and actually show them that you know what you’re talking about. To me, broadcasts on Periscope are kind of like short, informal webinars that give you a glance into the person behind the brand.

I plan on using Periscope to grow my business by broadcasting more often, which will allow me to share my content, knowledge, experience, and brand as a whole in an entirely new and fun way. It will also further build my following, which means that I’m being found and more eyes are landing on my site, driving traffic to my business. This makes it so easy when it comes to making announcements, launching new products, and keeping my followers abreast and updated on new content on my site.

Scarcity & Insight

The best thing is that I can jump on it any time of the day, and my followers will be able to view replays of my broadcast if they miss the initial one or want to watch it over. Periscope only makes broadcast replays available for 24 hours, so there’s so scarcity built in that make it so that those who are genuinely interested in my content can get it during that time. I’ll be able to look back at my analytics and see who viewed my broadcast and how much they engaged me, whether it was giving hearts or being active in the chat.

The insight I’ll be gaining from broadcasting on Periscope will give me a really good look into what my followers want to see from me. They can tell me right then and there on the live broadcast if they’re interested in a particular topic or product or service. I can brainstorm and get ideas for creating even better content by asking them and getting that immediate feedback. I love the fact that you can do all this on Periscope in such a professional way.

I’ll also be looking at my Periscope analytics, combined with my Google Analytics to get further insight into what my audience is most interested in from me. The more you can look into how people engage your content, the better you know what type of content to create. I definitely want to create more of what people want and are interested in. It basically sets me up to use my time most wisely, creating the content that my audience will appreciate.

If you’re not yet on Periscope, download the app like yesterday and get on it! You can download it in the App Store or Google Play store, depending on your device. Even if you don’t plan on broadcasting, like ever in your life, its a great way to follow people and interact with them. I downloaded Periscope twice  and deleted it both times, because I didn’t see the value in it at the time. It wasn’t until I actually saw those who I follow broadcasting on it and realized that I could directly engage them, that I realized the awesomeness of it.

Why I'm Loving Periscope & How I'm Using It To Grow My Business | BlissandFaith.comIt took me a little while to actually broadcast, but I did and it was really fun. I can’t wait to broadcast more and really use Periscope to its full potential. Although I feel like a pretty earlier adapter, I wish it hadn’t taken me three times of downloading it to my phone to really see the value in it. Thankfully, third time’s a charm and I get to see some of my fave bloggers and business owners on it daily and they get to see me as well.

I’ll be doing a Periscope broadcast on Thursday or Friday, possibly both days, so be sure to follow me so you don’t miss it! You can find me @blissandfaith (same as Twitter) on Periscope. As time goes on, I’ll be ramping up my ‘scopes and you totally should too if you’re on Periscope. By the way, if you’re on Periscope, leave your name in the comments and I’d love to check you on and watch some of your broadcast.

What do you think about Periscope? – Have you used it to engage your followers or those your follow?