Hosting a Livestream can be a bit daunting if you're a newbie, but with our tips below and a little practice, you’ll feel like you’ve been doing this your whole life!
Here are some tips to consider before embarking on your first Livestream journey:
Let people know you're going Live
Ahead of time, before your Livestream, you’ll want to promote it. Let everyone know you’ll be hosting a Livestream by posting about it, including links if necessary. Tell people what your Live will be about and drop in a FOMO (fear of missing out). Let them know what they will be missing if they don't tune in.
How to look
The what-not-to-wear portion of this guide comes first. Try to avoid jarring patterns and bold colors unless your business aesthetic truly calls for it. You want to dress professionally (tailored jacket or cardigan or button-down shirt), and avoid open-chest shirts. Your clothing should command a sense of respect and reflect a calm demeanor, as you don’t want to attract attention away from what you’re saying. So, it makes sense to avoid wearing bright colors or loud patterns, or clothing that is too revealing.
If your live isn’t intended to be staunch, and you’re keeping things casual by wearing t-shirts and sweaters, this is totally acceptable as long as they don’t have offensive imagery or words on the front.
Make sure your hair is well kept. You don’t have to be fancy, but having your hair brushed out of your face and neat looking goes a long way. Feel free to wear makeup and jewelry, but keep it simple and not too flashy or bold unless, again, your business aesthetic truly demands that.
If, for example, your business is in the makeup industry and you want to test your products during your Facebook Live, you may end up applying some pretty bright and bold makeup looks. However, in normal Livestreams, it is better to avoid looks that are more suited for grander events.
Where to place the camera
Camera placement and lighting are important when doing a Livestream of any kind. The best placement is directly in front of you, with about two feet between you and your camera. Avoid angling the camera up as this creates an uneasy viewing angle! You want to appear approachable, friendly and professional.
Orientation of the camera is important, too. If you’re using your phone, its easy to place it vertically because that’s how we are accustomed to holding our phones, but flipping it horizontally will actually provide a better view and overall just look nicer on someone’s screen. (Tip: Adjust your angle for whichever platform you are using. Some platforms work better with a vertical view!)
As for lighting, you can bring in extra lamps and open up the blinds, but one key tip is to face the window. Facing away from the window creates a blindingly bright light that distracts the viewer while masking the presenter in shadows. By facing the window you are able to shine the light onto you directly.
Interact with People Live
Be interactive and conversational with your viewers while Livestreaming, because you want them to know that you are invested in what they’re saying. Answer their questions in realtime as they comment them, as that’s one of the perks to hosting a livestream.
Encourage your viewers to interact with you and ask questions and comment as you go. The point of going Live is to boost your business, so you also want to boost engagement with your followers and viewers.
When answering questions left in the comments, use that person’s name, and address them directly as you speak. This feels more personable and creates a stronger connection with your audience by showing that you value them as individuals.
The more interaction your livestream gets with likes, comments and shares, the more views it will get in those ever-changing algorithms. Most platforms will prioritize videos with high engagement and bump them to the top of everyone’s feed.
Have a Co-Host
Having a co-host to help you along, keep the conversation flowing, and ask questions can help liven up the video. It can also help to have someone on the side feeding you comments and questions left by viewers. You’ll be preoccupied with hosting, so you obviously don’t want to get too distracted by sifting through comments. Having someone do that for you is a big help!
Let Your Personality Shine
Being awake, energized and motivated will keep viewers on your video and is far more engaging than a monotone, sleepy sounding voice. You want to be upbeat and talk with a smile. But, don't forget to be yourself and act natural. Let your personality shine through, and feel free to make jokes. Something goes wrong? Laugh it off and make a joke about it! Just have fun with it and be personable. You’ll connect to your audience on a deeper level if you let them get to know you.
Provide a Call-To-Action When Signing Off
Conclude the video by saying “thank you and goodbye” and providing a call-to-action (CTA). Ask your viewers to check out your website for a deal you’re hosting or just ask them to follow, like, and subscribe. Include this CTA in your videos’ caption as well for the maximum effect.
Post-Promoting the Livestream
After the Livestream has ended, continue to promote it. Be sure to add a thumbnail and caption to explain to people who haven’t watched it what it's about. Pin the post to the top of your feed to gain traction even after its over. Make it a featured video to drive more engagement.
Learn from analytics
After you go Live, you can analyze how well your livestream did. After a few days, you can check out the insights to see how many views it got. You’ll also be able to gauge percentage of video completion by viewers, comments, reactions, shares, unique viewers, 10-second views and more. This will help you to determine if you need to change things up before your next Livestream.
We hope this guide to hosting a Livestream was helpful! Want more Livestream tips? Check out our blog about Livestream Topics for Your Small Business.
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