(Note to regular readers: I know many of you aren’t as interested in the blogging side of life, but every now and then I hear that you want to get started blogging, too, so if you’re in that boat, this might be beneficial. Others always want to know how we make money doing what we do…this will help them, too. And bloggers, well, this is gold for you, so enjoy!)
There are conferences every time you turn around in the blogging world…some big (Blogher, anyone?)…some small (ROAR 2014 will forever be my favorite for that)…some that require invites (the Disney Social Media Moms events) and hand out honors (Type A ‘We Still Blog Award is a lifetime highlight)…then there are those that you don’t have to leave your house to attend—like HELLO LIVE, the conference I just sat in on over the past few days.
The beauty of a virtual event is I can still be available as a mom when needed (there was no way I was missing my daughter’s first cheering event), while still getting to invest in myself a bit. I could say there’s the benefit of no travel, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have loved heading off to Park City, Utah, where HELLO LIVE was based, in a penthouse suite at a Wyndham Resort. Yeah, that sounds dreamy, but there’s only so much time in the day, and mom duty trumped my travel bug in this case.
So, in between running to games and a dinner out honoring a sad anniversary, I was on my computer watching—or on my phone listening to—experts in the world of livestreaming, sharing their secrets on everything from being camera ready to how to make some serious bucks through your video streams (yes, yes, yes!).
The videos were recorded, so I can go back in for a few weeks and listen to any sessions I want to hear again, or, you can buy the post-conference ticket and soak up the knowledge I just absorbed. This is the link for that: http://www.hellolive.us/buy-tickets/ (they brought me in as an influencer to attend at a much reduced rate for the event so that I could spread a little of the info to followers and friends).
My main reason for wanting to watch: I love hosting events and have considered something similar—a virtual meetup of sorts—but beyond Skype and the now-defunct BLAB (such a great idea—but with heartbreaking technical glitches), I haven’t made the leap. I wanted to see how it went for them, and find out if it was something I could duplicate in some way. There were technical issues along the way, and lessons learned, but I think this is the way events will be held in the future—and the organizers for HELLO LIVE did a fabulous job pulling this together. In my book, if I can walk away with any new info I can easily implement into my business, it’s an event worth my time and money. I got several things out of HELLO LIVE that made me glad I attended, and will—without a doubt—be working at least one new aspect into my business—an aspect that I think will be earning me big bucks by the end of the year. So, yeah, win. Thanks for that HELLO LIVE!!
I’m assuming by now you want to know what I learned. Well, I took a few notes to refer to later, so I’m going to give you the highlights on each session I watched. Apologies to the speakers who feel I might have missed their point–feel free to jump in the comments section with more details!
GROWING YOUR FACEBOOK FOLLOWING
Gina Luker – The Shabby Creek Cottage & Blogging Over Breakfast Group
This was supposed to teach me how to grow my Facebook following, but what I got out of it was more inspirational than informative, so that is my takeaway here. If you are not having fun doing what you are doing, stop doing it. Follow your heart and the money will follow, too. There are ways to do what you love AND make money if you are determined and willing to put in the hard work it takes to get there. Gina has a great story behind her success, but the nuts and bolts are that she stayed true to what she loved, and when she was feeling burned out, even though she was making money, she walked away from it…and you know what? The universe lined up in a way to bring her back to the thing she wanted most to begin with. I think that is how life works when you stay true to your passion.
HOW TO USE LIVE BROADCASTING APPS FOR MARKETING
Jesse Stay: When you create ads (for Facebook or anything else), know your when, what and why. I think we all know this, but it never hurts to be reminded. He shared some examples of things not to do, like showing a janitor cleaning a bathroom in a job listing. Unless you are looking to hire janitors, you will want to find another image.
Sean and Crystal Escobar: My takeaway on this was not to be intimidated when going live—to just share and roll with it. People are about relationships—building trust—and using social media to share your life and philosophies, especially via live broadcasts, makes building connections easier. Live brings a new level of authenticity. Do not be afraid. Make it happen. Commit to it—she did a periscope every day for six months. That will help you get used to it.
UNDERSTANDING THE LEGAL STUFF: FTC REGULATIONS AND MORE
Benjamin Lakey – Ben Lakey Law: Ben reminded us that even live video requires disclosures if you are going to discuss something you were given to promote. That is common with written blogs, but people may forget with a live videostream.
CONVERSION RATES AND ROI FOR LIVE VIDEO APPS
Jenna Wood – Hello Fab: Her main point was you need to focus on monetizing the things you love. If you invest hours into a blog post that pays $20, it probably is not a good return on investment. However, if you livestream, it probably takes less time than a blog post to put together. That is one more reason to livestream.
MONETIZING YOUR LIVE STREAMING:AFFILIATE MARKETING FOR LIVE BROADCASTING, AMAZON FBA STORES
Benjamin and Kirsten Tyrrel – Amazon FBA & Affiliate Marketing for Influencers: This is the session I think will make the biggest difference in my business. They teased us with a little info about how they have turned $150 into $1000, but if you want to know the details, you really have to sign up for their class. I think I will. I plan to poke around a little first, to make sure it is not info I can find for free, but I liked what they offered. This concept is totally new to me, so I would say this was my best takeaway from the event.
Lippe Oosterhof- CEO Busker : If you are doing a live video, be authentic and make sure you interact with your live audience. Cross-promote it before you go live. Entertain the audience. Offer something other livestreamers do not. If you have a talent, share that. If you blog about shoes, talk about that—whatever you are an expert in and do it on a regular basis, ideally at the same time. You can then turn it into a revenue stream.
CAMERA READY AND BEING CAMERA CONFIDENT
Amiyrah Martin – Four Hats and Frugal
Show off your style!! That means your personality, your special outfit, whatever makes you feel most confident. She stresses you need to be mentally ready, too.
A few tips:
- If you are getting dressed to go to the store, you are camera ready. You do not have to get fancy. An accessory is all it takes sometimes. Make it your own show.
- It is important to connect with people. You can share info about what you are wearing, etc.
- Do not stress too much about worrying about lighting, etc. If you take a picture with your camera before going live, you can see if you are washed out or too dark. If so, change your shirt or your background.
- If you are afraid of being on camera, focus on what it is you are talking about. Get the space camera ready instead.
- Being mentally ready is just about nervousness. Knowing what you are going to talk about will make it easier. Start with the things you are already doing well—on your blog or otherwise. The more you do it, the better you will be.
Mario Armstrong- Roker Media
He built a massive following on SocialCam. Which then shut down. Which taught him some very valuable lessons.
So, lesson #1: Do not chase platforms. Chase community. Figure out where your audience is. He says focus on the big ones: Facebook live, Periscope, Busker, YouTube, YouNow
- You need to collaborate intensely with the right intent. If you want to build your growth, collaborate. Work with others who are not competition. Make sure there is good energy. Have awareness and care about collaborating where you both benefit—and both audiences benefit, too. Remember, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
- Create consistently. Try more and you will fail less. Livestreaming gives you plenty of ways to experiment. Experiment more.
- Embrace transparency. Be comfortable being uncomfortable—it will lead to success faster. Be vulnerable. Do not worry about the trolls. Go into it wanting to share and give. Be the same person in the conference sitting next to someone as you are on camera. Find your lane and own it.
- Move audiences to something you own. Get them from the platform you do not own to something you do own. Get them to your newsletter, your blog site, somewhere where you can reach them if that platform fails. Text messaging list. Membership site. Think outside the platform. Learn from his mistake.
He shared some other really great news about a project he’s working on –NeverSettle.TV, but I need to look into that a little deeper before I say too much. I will say it’s exciting!
FACEBOOK LIVE + PERISCOPE + BUSKER… WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Lippe Oosterhof- CEO Busker and Emily Meyers– The Freckled Fox
Periscope was the first livestreaming option to take off with some people gaining massive followers. It is more about the connection than it is the content sometimes. It is an ongoing conversation with the viewers.
Facebook Live offers a similar option, but with your Facebook followers/fans. It is possible to grow followers in massive numbers. It offers a great way for followers to get to know the person behind the page.
Busker offers the livestreaming option with a way for the speaker to earn money from the info they are offering. It offers a tipping function. Another unique option is the ability to schedule livestream sessions in advance and promote them. And—there is a feature where you can give someone a minus-one if they are being a troll or negative during your broadcast. If they get enough minus ones, they are blocked for good. Busker is a great hangout for artists and people with a big talent who want to be compensated for their skills through what Busker calls tips, but will be offering more options in the future that will make it a money-maker to others. It links back to your business in a way that other channels do not. Expect me to be popping up on Busker quite a bit soon! (Also–he made a big announcement about an important feature coming soon that will allow you to use a ‘buy button’ in your livestreams–can’t wait for that!)
ROUNDTABLE WITH INFLUENCER AGENCIES: GETTING CHOSEN FOR SPONSORED POSTS & LIVE VIDEO
Barbara Jones– One2One Network, Jyl Pattee– Mom It Forward Media, Moderator: Jenna Wood – Hello Fab
Barbara and Jyl want you may already be under consideration for paid posts, etc, based on what you are already doing. Working with networks (such as theirs) will help you get on the company radar. Once you are hired, it is critical to know and follow the brand objectives. If it is to build a following on a certain social channel, you should stress that in your post or livestream. If you do not know their end goal, you cannot plan properly or deliver success. Understand and practice how to feature those brands. If you are doing livestreams for brands, put time and effort to making it as good as possible. Make sure your lighting is good, your audio is good, and there is nothing distracting or contradictory in the background. Practice in advance. Be a professional. Disclose the fact that you are partnering with a brand. And know the job is not done until you deliver the results back to the brand after the fact.
USING FACEBOOK LIVE: CONTENT AND SALES
Shelley Coates and Savanah Poulsen – They discussed doing Facebook live and the importance of planning for each broadcast. You should know what you plan to discuss and start by mentioning any special certification or passion so your viewers know why you are an expert. They also mentioned that FB viewers might not be as kind as your Instagram followers, for example. They also talked about being sure you are consistent about bringing quality content. If you can do that daily, great. If not, do it once a week or how ever often you can handle. They stressed how important it is to offer something of value and run with it! Your following will grow. Always have a call to action.
Emilie Daly – Pick Your Plum
Think about QVC. Now, follow what works for them, especially while livestreaming. If you are trying to sell a product—even if it’s you as an expert–repeat the message…present a problem, then sell them the solution. Sit and think about who is going to buy the product—then create the problem. So, for example, if you are selling a jacket, that leads to showing viewers a coat that is transitional from summer to fall and the issue of being cold in the morning, then hot in the afternoon, so they feel they have to have that transitional coat. Make the viewer think they discovered the solution. You create the problem. Then paint the scenario where they have a solution.
Create a problem for them—then don’t point it out—do it like you would to a best friend—you say everyone has the problem. Then, continue to repeat the same info over and over. Repetition sells. And so does humor. She’s a funny one.
SUCCESS ON FACEBOOK LIVE: GAINING AND RETAINING FOLLOWERS-BUILDING COMMUNITY
Holly Homer Quirky Momma & Kids Activities Blog
You are rewarded on Facebook based on engagement, so give them a reason to interact with you. Ask them questions—where are you from, are the kids back in school, etc–and go back to the comments throughout the broadcast and reference them in what you are saying. There’s a certain amount of selling yourself in the videos, so remember—every couple minutes say your name and recap what you’re doing and remind people they’re linked in comments. Reset what is happening frequently because they’re not watching the entire time—they’re coming in and out. The comments and likes will get it seen more on FB–and don’t be afraid to ask viewers to share it and tag a friend who might also enjoy the broadcast. She believes her readers now know who she is–the face behind the brand–because of her Facebook live broadcasts.
The big takeaway for the conference was that there are ways to make money doing this, that livestreaming is the future, and that it all boils down to being creative and being YOURSELF!!
Another event is planned for around the new year. I don’t plan to miss it. Hope you won’t either.