In the previous episode we discussed designing a checklist of all the critical steps you need to do before your broadcast. In this episode we're going to talk about all of the things you need to think about and do during your broadcast.
This is part of a free content series called the Definitive Guide to Facebook Live.
As we discussed in the last episode, most people would probably agree that checklists are a good idea, but over the last couple of months I’ve been putting a huge amount of time in my business into really taking all of the things that I do on a repeat basis and turning them into check list.
Then once I have those list of task, I can divide them out and determine which ones I should continue doing, which ones I should automate, and then which ones I should outsource to either a virtual assistant or another form of service provider.
In this episode you'll learn:
- Introducing Yourself and Your Topic
- Greet Your Audience and Ask for Shares
- Keep an Eye on Your Technology
- Deliver Your Planned Content
- Finish Your Broadcast With Calls to Action
- Download the free checklist below
- Modify the checklist to suit your workflow
- Use the checklist to prepare for your next live broadcast!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Hey everybody, Dave Ziembicki here, welcome to StrongStart.fm. My mission is to help you design, automate and outsource the technology of your online business. In the previous episode, we discussed designing a checklist of all the critical steps you need to do before a Facebook Live broadcast and in this episode, we’re going to talk about the list of things that you need to do during your Facebook live broadcast.
This is part of a free content series called the definitive guide to Facebook live which will be linked to in the show notes for this episode over at strongstart.fm/012. As we discussed in the last episode, most people would probably agree that checklists are a good idea, but over the last couple of months I’ve been putting a huge amount of time in my business into really taking all of the things that I do on a repeat basis and turning them into check list.
Then once I have those list of task, I can divide them out and determine which ones I should continue doing, which ones I should automate, and then which ones I should outsource to either a virtual assistant or another form of service provider. If you want a good primer or checklists and why they can be so important, I recommend you checkout the book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Guwande and I’ll include a link to that book over in the show notes at strongstart.fm/012.
When you think about going live on Facebook and you’ve gone through all of the preparation or pre-broadcast steps that we talked about in the previous episode, as you’re about to click the go live button and start your broadcast, there’s a couple of different categories of test that you want to think about. The first is how you’re going to introduce yourself and your topic. Then you want to think about how are you going to greet your audience and whether you're going to ask for shares and some of the things that you need to do to tee up the things that you want your audience to do during the broadcast.
The next thing is, and this is sometimes a challenge depending on your setup, is keeping an eye on your technology so we’ll talk about a couple of the steps in there that you’ll want to be thinking about. I mentioned one example before where for a variety of different reasons, I went live at one time and my audio wasn’t working properly, wrong microphone selected and things like that and so being able to pick that up very quickly by monitoring your technology and what you’re broadcasting, we’ll talk about a few things there that you could be doing during your broadcast.
There’s a set of things you want to do in terms of delivering your planned content. In the previous episode, we talked about broadcast timeline templates, breaking your topic up into different segments, having an introduction and a body and then a conclusion or a call to action in each of those segments. There are some things you want to be thinking about as you’re delivering your content to make sure that you’re working through that planned timeline. Then finally, we’ll get into a few things if you want to think about when you finish your broadcast in terms of calls to action for your audience.
Let’s dive into the details and talk about introducing yourself and your topic. In here, there’s a couple of things you want to be thinking about and have on your checklist to either remind yourself during or as you’re prepping for the broadcast. The first is to make eye contact with the camera as much as possible, just sort of basic on camera behavior. You want to introduce yourself, your background and some social proof, who you are and why your audience should listen.
This, you have to be careful with because you only have a few seconds really to hold your audience’s attention. I usually would recommend starting out with a quick sentence or two about your topic and then just a one or two line sentence about why folks should listen to you. So, “I’m a consultant, author, and entrepreneur.” Or, “I’m a bestselling publisher or book author,” or something like that. You want to have that sort of stock introduction for yourself that you can deliver very naturally, very quickly but also gives the audience a reason why they should listen to your content.
You do want to tell viewers what they’re going to get from the broadcast within the first 30 seconds or so. Again, you don’t want to just talk about, “Today my topic is X,” you want to talk about, well why is that important to your audience? In the case of this podcast or this particular episode, what you're going to get out of it is the ability to deliver your live streaming videos in a more consistent and flawless way because you have checklist that are going to make sure you don’t forget any important tasks during your broadcast. Obviously you can clean that up but that would be something where that’s an audience focused benefit, that describes the topic that we’re going to talk about.
The other thing you’re going to want to do upfront is mention your call to action or at least tease your call to action. Let’s say you’re going to give away a free piece of content. In this case, with this series of podcasts, I’m giving away the checklist that we’re talking about as part of the show notes. So basically, I could say at the top of the episode, “Be sure you stay tuned until the end because we’re going to be giving away a free set of checklist for what to do before, during and after your Facebook live broadcast.”
Okay, so it’s something you were talking about or teasing upfront, you’re not necessarily telling them how they’re going to get access to it because you want them to stay and sort of pay attention to your broadcast, you’re letting them know there’s a reason to pay attention and to stick with you as opposed to go off to the thousand other sources that are screaming for their attention at that moment.
So once you’ve introduced your topic and yourself, the next thing you’ll want to be thinking about is greeting your audience and asking for some behavior right at the front. What I mean by that is you may want to ask your viewers to share your broadcast with interested friends or colleagues. That’s something you might want to do upfront. Say, “Hey, we’re going live, if you think this would be an interest to anybody else in your friends or colleagues, why don’t you click that share button and let them know about the live broadcast.”
It’s just something that’s going to hopefully drive some additional traffic and views to your videos and it’s really not that much to ask the audience to do a quick click there, especially if you broadcast on a consistent basis. So maybe in your absolute first live broadcast, if somebody going to share it? Maybe not. Because they don’t know, “Yeah, does this person know what they’re talking about? Are their videos going to be good? What’s their content like?”
If this is your 10th or 20th live broadcast because you’ve been doing it consistently once a week or every couple of days or every day. You definitely want to ask for that share because the people that are repeat viewers, they’re going to be comfortable with you, comfortable with your content, they’re going to know generally the depth that you go to and so forth. They’re going to be the best judge of whether they should share that with their audience or with their friends or their colleagues. Nothing wrong with asking for that upfront.
Another thing that you also might want to do upfront is to ask your viewers to subscribe to live notifications for your broadcast. This is something that Facebook lets individual users control as to whether they want to be notified when you’re going live. Obviously, you want to be having as many people watching your live broadcast live as possible so you may want to remind them to go make sure they subscribe to follow and get those live notifications.
The next one is debatable, it really depends on your style, one of them is to say hello to anybody that’s joining your stream or commenting by name and respond to their comments live. Generally, that’s a good idea. I mean, the whole purpose of live is being able to interact with your audience there. Some people take it a little bit too far, one thing you have to think about is on Facebook live broadcasts in particular, once you click that go live button, some of your audience may get notifications that you’re going live.
But generally it take some time for your audience to build up, for people to get those notifications for you to show up on Facebook’s live streaming map where people can take a look and see who’s going live and my geographical region. So, generally, it takes a little while for people to come on to your broadcast. Now, some people fill that time by saying, “Okay, well I’m going to take the first five minutes and greet everybody and do some general chit chat and so forth before the broadcast begins.”
The problem with that is, for those people that did tune in pretty quickly, they have to sit through five minutes of fairly useless content while they’re waiting for you to get to the meat of your broadcast. There’s a couple of ways around that. One is, just don’t do it, dive right in to your content and that’s generally something that I would recommend you do, the second is some folks put up a basically a five minutes to go until the show begins type of graphic or something like that. They fill that initial five minutes but they don’t consider their broadcast truly starting until that countdown is completed.
There has been articles where Facebook is going to enable some more capability like that to have sort of a pre-broadcast timeframe where you can start building up and where those notifications and those announcements will go out and allow the audience some time to build up before the real broadcast start. But at least as of March of 2017, that capability isn’t available to everybody yet. There’s ways to do that with your broadcast software or just the way that you introduce your show there.
That one’s a fairly complicated one that you really want to think about, you can also try out some different things and see how your audience reacts but how you greet your audience and how you work through comments during your live broadcast is something that you want to be A, thinking about ahead of time. Then B, when you are broadcasting, you just want to make sure that you're setup to be able to do that. As you are interacting with your audience, especially because Facebook Live is an informal type of format and people expect a little bit more interactivity, you want to try to speak to your audience as if you're speaking to a friend or a colleague or something like that.
Again, this is something to think about ahead of time, how do you want to come across to your audience? Do you want to be presenting yourself as the big guru in the space and I’m going to teach you something? Do you want to go more with a, “Hey, we’re in this together, we’re learning together as we go.” Would you want it to really be a completely sort of informal thing, fire side chit chat with a group of friends type of style. You’ll think about that ahead of time but again, since we’re talking about during your broadcast here, you just maybe want to have some reminders in your notes to periodically go back and look at those comments and start interacting with the audience.
Now, one thing you need to be prepared for there is the lag between your video and audio and what people might be seeing or commenting on. Depending on technology and bandwidth and so forth, the comments and things that you see as feedback might be 30 to 60 seconds behind the live video and audio that you’re delivering. So that’s something that you want to think about, especially if you are going to do multiple content segments and you might be switching form one segment to another, you might want to leave a little bit of time there during that transition so that you can reply to comments from the previous segment so that way you’re not jumping around between topics.
The other thing just like as if you’re doing a live Skype meeting or something like that, you want to repeat the comments or questions for those that are only listening. What you want to think about is some people may not be recommended might be tuning in to your video while they’re riding in the car or something like that.
Or, you also have to remember a lot of your viewers are actually going to be watching replays of your videos so they may not be live. If somebody’s watching a replay a week after your live broadcast and you start answering a question but you didn’t repeat the question, that person watching the replay video may not be sitting there looking at the comments during the replay. They might just have it on as the background. You definitely want to repeat the comments or questions that you’re getting that you’re actually going to be responding to on the broadcast.
The next set of checklist items are all about keeping an eye on your technology. One of the things that you have to do during the live broadcast is, if possible, monitor the health of your outgoing stream. What that means is if you’re broadcasting from the phone, you're not really going to generally see too much of an indicator of the health of your stream other than if something’s going wrong, you’ll see that the stream has paused or worst case scenario, the connection’s actually been lost.
Obviously that’s a significant issue if you completely dropped connection during a live broadcast. You’re going to have to basically reconnect effectively start a new live broadcast and then start where you left off and hope that your audience that was tuned in stays on there and comes back.
If you’re in some of the higher end software, what I call the professional level. When you’re using something like Wirecast or OBS, those are generally going to show you stream health indicators. What that will mean is, you’ll have some form of indicator, in Wirecast it’s like a green and red flashing indicator that will determine whether you have a solid outgoing stream.
In Wirecast, that should show a solid green, it will also show you the bandwidth that’s being consumed. Are you at 3,000 or 4,000, which translates to three or four megabits per second upstream, it will depend on sort of your setting there. For Facebook live you’ll be broadcasting at 720p and that will usually range between two and four megabits per second upload.
In my particular case, since my internet is crappy, I actually tune that down. So if I’m going to go live in Wirecast, I bring the frame rate down a little bit and a few other tweaks to try and get that outbound stream under two megabits per second because unfortunately, that’s all I have in terms of bandwidth.
So it’s just something you want to think about because if you have dropped connection or if you’re really dropping a lot of frames, you just want to be aware of that and let your audience know that’s happening, ask them to sort of bear with you and to then also this will be a good time to remind them to check out your replay afterwards, because in some cases, be able to upload a higher quality version there.
So you want to keep an eye on that part of the technology, you also want to ensure that your desired camera shot and audio source are the actual live shot in your broadcast software is using. Again, this is a little bit more of a higher end scenario. If you’re just going and broadcasting through your phone, really, you just want to make sure that you’ve got the phone or the camera pointed at you if that’s what you want to be filming or pointing at whatever the subject material is and make sure your phone camera’s not flipped around.
When you get to the professional level and you’re talking about Wirecast or other software, there’s a lot of other things that can go wrong, those are things you need to be monitoring during the broadcast. An example of this is, you could have two different camera sources going when you’re broadcasting through Wirecast. You could have a wide shot, you could have a close-up shot of yourself, you could be switching back and forth between say a screen cast and a web cam and so every time, once you do one of those transitions, those software solutions usually give you the capability to preview your transition before you do it.
What that means is, you could click a button and say okay, I want to switch from camera one to camera two and if you’re not careful, you might not realize that all you did was preview that. You may not have actually done the final cut between one camera and the other.
Usually in those software solutions, you have something that’s called an output window and that will show you whatever it is being broadcast out live. You always want to make sure when you are using software like that. That that output window is visible and that every time you do a transition or a change between camera sources or microphones or live and recorded content. You want to make sure that those transitions happen in the output window in the live stream that’s actually gone up to Facebook.
Another one for your check list, especially at the higher end scenarios, if you’re using what’s called a green screen or a virtual set, you want to make sure that you don’t move either yourself or whatever your subject tis out of the shots. What I mean by that is that you can have — when you have a green screen, what’s happening there is you have a camera pointed at you, you have a green background and then in software, you’re taking out that green background and replacing it with something else.
Funny of things can happen there if you start to move your head or arms or walk out of the frame, you basically disappear from the shot or half of your body might be on the shot and half is out. So you may have seen this on bloopers or highlight reels or from weather broadcast or television broadcast and things like that where it looks a little bit funny.
Of course, if you’re trying to show a professional image or you're using a virtual set where you’ve replaced your background with something that looks like a news room or anything like that, it obviously interrupts the user experience if parts of you disappear from your live broadcast. So again, higher end scenario, probably only few people are going to be using that. But it’s just an example of the types of things that you want to have in your checklist and make these checklists unique to your particular broadcast or the content that you're delivering.
Of course as we’re talking about during your live broadcast, you want to deliver your planned content. If you listen to the previous episode, we had a bunch of things in the check list about preparing your content ahead of time; organizing it, breaking it into segments, making sure there are introductions and body content and then conclusions and calls to action. One of the tools that we talked about there was what I call the broadcast timeline templates.
That’s the idea of saying, “Well if I’m going to do a 15 minute show, I’m going to allocate a minute or two to introduction, I’m going to have two five minute content segments and then a one or two minute conclusion with some transition material in between them.” When I do live broadcast or even in this case when I’m doing podcast, I have a set of notes that are organized by those timelines and by those segments that have the content in there that have the certain items like the intro and the calls to action highlighted so that I can deliver that content consistently, quickly, and in a well-organized fashion.
So again, from the checklist perspective during your broadcast, one of the things to have on your checklist is to say make sure that your notes are prepared, organized and that they’re in front of you. Now, that could either be just on paper, in my case, during a podcast, I look at my notes in Evernote or OneNote as I’m delivering. Then if you're doing live video for Facebook Live, you may want to also either just use some notes that are sitting on the desk and it’s okay to look down at your notes periodically during your live broadcast or you could go with something like a teleprompter or something like that.
Some people just mount a white board on a stand somewhere that’s out of view or the camera that they can take a look at as well during the broadcast. So whatever you need to do to get your outline and your notes in front of you, that’s something you want to have on your checklist to make sure those are prepared. Obviously you don’t want to click that “go live” button, have people showing up to your video and then have to say, “Whoops, I left my notes over in my office, and I’ve got to walk over and get them and come back.” That would not be the most ideal of circumstances during a live broadcast.
We talked a little bit about making sure there’s calls to action throughout your broadcast. The thing you have to remember is that people are going to be coming and going from your broadcast throughout its duration. One of the reasons why we talk about having content segments is so that periodically throughout your video, you can reintroduce yourself and your topic and for anybody that might have joined late, yeah, they might not have the context of the pervious segment but you can, if you’ve broken it up into three to five minutes, you can make sure that every three to five minutes or on a periodic basis, you're going to be reintroducing yourself and your topic so that you’re bringing in to the full of those people that have joined your broadcast a little bit late.
Another big thing to be thinking about, and you may break this out into several checklist items depending on your particular type of broadcast, is if you're interviewing guests or you’re going to have any kind of guest interview, audio or video during your Facebook Live broadcast. There are a number of things technically ahead of time that we covered in terms of setting up for your broadcast. But during the broadcast, you have to make sure that your guest audio and video is coming through, that there’s no issues with that. You need to plan to give your guest time to actually answer your questions.
So the nice thing, while it’s a little bit complicated and there’s a lot going on if you’re trying to do a live broadcast with guest and interviews, the nice thing is, is when you do turn over to your guest and they start answering a question or providing their input, it does give you that time to do a quick glance at your technology and check those things while the other person is on camera. So that’s where you want to take a quick look at the comments, make sure the people aren’t saying, “Hey can’t hear the guest,” or, “Their video is not coming through,” and basically take that time to do a few checks of the audio and video for your guest.
The difficult thing is obviously you want to listen to what your guest is saying, so you can’t get too bogged down and messing around with your technology while they are speaking and then come back to them and ask them a question and then you don’t realize that they’ve actually already answered that already. So that’s why it takes time and practice to get good at live broadcast and especially live broadcast with any kind of interviews or guest.
Usually if you are going to have a guest like that on a prepared segment, you’ll have a little bit of an outline for what you’re going to talk with them. So you’ll have probably coordinated with them ahead of time on topics and some of the key points they want to make or anything like that. So again you would want that included as part of your notes to make sure that you are going through the content that you prepared for ahead of time with your interview guests. Unless it is the particular style of your show you don’t want to be surprising your guest per se with random questions. So again, that’s something to work out ahead of time and have that in your notes for use during the broadcast.
The same thing goes with pre-recorded content. So we did talk about that in the before you broadcast episode, but during the broadcast especially again if you’re in the professional or elite levels where I talk about where you are using Wirecast or OBS or other software. One of the nice things with those platforms that you do is mix live and recorded content. So what that means is that I can have audio and video clips and segments created ahead of time and during my live broadcast, I could switch over to that content. So it’s a neat feature and obviously if you’re going to do that, you want to make sure those things are set up ahead of time.
But during the broadcast again, that software lets you queue up those sources. So basically you can have the audio or video source pulled into your software already and it really just takes a click of the button to switch over to that source. There’s a few things you need set up like auto play and your transitions and things like that ahead of time that you are doing the software. But generally, again, as part of that broadcast timeline template and my show notes that I use, what I’ll do is put in there a highlight that says, “This is the point in time where I’m going to switch over to a pre-recorded segment.”
I’ll have maybe the title in there and also a lot of times ahead of time what I’ll do is write an introduction to that pre-recorded segment so that way I don’t necessarily have to think of one verbatim on the fly during the live broadcast. So if I am going to switch over to a pre-recorded interview or something like that, I’ll have that in notes there and so I can just read off that intro real quick during the live broadcast and then switch over to that source.
So once you’ve delivered all of your planned of content, the final set of things to have for your during the broadcast checklist is how you’re going to close out your broadcast. So if you use a standard closing line to signal the end of your broadcast, that’s one way to do it. A lot of people will generally do a summary or a wrap up and say, “In this live broadcast here is what we covered.” You can basically decide for yourself how you want to end your broadcast. It generally makes sense to do something consistent, because again what you are going for here is you want to build up an audience overtime and in some cases, it’s good to have some consistency there so that you’re audience knows what to expect.
So as an example, if you always close with a summary and a call to action, that’s actually something that might entice your audience to stay longer because if they’ve watched a bunch of your broadcast they know, “Oh okay at the end even though I might have had stepped away or might have gotten distracted during the live stream, I know at the end he’s going to take a minute to summarize everything and point me to a free resource or give me a call to action or something like that.” So that consistency can actually drive your audience to an end on a regular basis so that is something you definitely want to think about.
Just like at the top of the broadcast, you do want to ask for viewers to subscribe to your live notifications or like your page or follow you or anything that might make sense from a call to action there and then finally, you’d want to close with whatever you’re primary or most important call to action is. So in the case of this type of podcast, usually my call to action is to get you to go over to the show notes because there is a bunch of links and resources there that we’ve talked about and then also in all of my podcast episodes, just like any live video that I do typically, I’ll include a lead magnet or some piece of free content that I provide in return for somebody opting into my email list.
So whatever your call to action is that’s something you want to make sure that you deliver right at the end there. Because that last thought you want to leave them with is, “Hey, go take this step. Go take this action,” because the second they end the live broadcast, they are going to be off to the next thing and again, the other sources out there screaming for your attention. So you want to make sure you grab them and tell them exactly what you would like them to do and hopefully they will do that before they move onto the next thing.
So that is the list of things to be thinking about and having in your checklist during your Facebook Live broadcast. So to summarize it again, the first set of tests is introducing yourself and your topic. The next one was greeting your audience and asking for shares and turning on notifications. Then we talked about keeping an eye on your technology during your live broadcast to make sure everything is going great. Delivering your planned content, so working through that broadcast timeline template, going through your content outline and then finishing your broadcast with a consistent closing and call to action.
So again the reason for these episodes and talking about these checklists is you want to make sure you get these things written down, built into a system, and then use them on a daily basis as you are doing your live broadcasts. So like I mentioned, I’m a big believer in checklists like this. I’m spending a lot of time creating them. I am actually putting these checklist into some tools and some systems that I am going to be providing out as part of some of my membership programs, but I am also giving away all of these content in terms of the checklists that I use in the show notes and in my lead magnets and things like that.
So just like in the other episodes, if you do want to get a copy of this checklist as well as some of the others before, during, and after your broadcast, then what you want to do is head over to the show notes at StrongStart.fm/012. In the next episode we’re going to talk about what to do after your live broadcast and this is actually a super important set of steps there because your live broadcasts are hopefully really great content and whenever you have a piece of really great content, you want to get the maximum usage or value out of that to your audience.
So this leads right into the topic of content repurposing and basically what to do with that live video. It can range from posting it up to YouTube, breaking up into smaller videos. There is a range of different things that you’re going to want to do once you have concluded that live broadcast to make sure that your audience and you get the most value out of it and that’s what we’re going to talk about in the next episode of StrongStart.fm.
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