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The most critical step you must take to experience success doing Facebook Live deserves the most attention. It is at once simple and absolutely necessary. In the immortal words of Nike and Michael Scott, “Just do it!”
Step one: Get over yourself
Beginner’s tip: Make sure that your Facebook applications are up to date. You can use the regular Facebook app or try downloading Creator Studio. Here is a handy visual guide to what going live will look like on your phone.
There is no substitute for this step. When asked in a crowd of thousands at a Tom Ferry event years ago for a show of hands of those who actively use Facebook Live, only a very small number responded in the affirmative.
When asked why not, the most prevalent response was fear-based. People simply didn’t like the way they looked or sounded. Tom’s response was brilliant. He explained that this is exactly how we look and sound. What did I hear that day? Get over myself!
Step two: Practice makes perfect
If you’re still reading, I assume you’ve committed to step number one, and I promise that you’re well on your way to success. Next, with phone in hand, find a room, parking lot or backyard where you’ll be alone.
Get your camera ready as if you’re taking a selfie, toggle to video and hit start. Talk about anything you want. After 60 seconds or so play what you’ve recorded and check for basics.
- Eye contact: Are you looking at the lens or at yourself?
- How’s the lighting? Nothing complicated here.
- Is it so bright or dark that you’d be distracted?
- How about sound? Can your words be heard clearly?
Now repeat the process a few more times, mixing up the setting and message. Try a few short videos where you’re silly, serious or angry. Pretend to be speaking to your pet or boss or a huge stadium of people. No matter the topic and audience, the techniques remain pretty simple.
Step three: Choose an interesting topic
Once you’ve committed to step one — just doing it — and you’ve been practicing “selfie” videos, you’re ready for the next step.
Step three is to identify a few simple things you find super interesting about a house or building. These things could be as simple as a cool door, awesome porch, beautiful backyard, exquisite garden or even just the great location or how nicely the sun comes through the kitchen window. Once you’ve picked these items of interest — no matter how big or small — you’re ready to go live.
Hot tip: These steps are similar to the often-dreaded math classes of our youth in that each step builds upon the next. Keep it up. You’re almost there.
Step four: Go live and learn
The final step is a variation on the axiom “live and learn.” Using your items of interest, do a live post every day for a week.
Open Facebook on your phone as if you’re about to post and touch the LIVE button to begin. After a short countdown, you’ll want to begin with the camera facing you in a selfie position. As you’ve done with your selfie videos, look right at the lens when possible and just say hi and focus on this simple script.
- Explain that this is my very first Facebook Live, and thank anyone live or on replay. If you’re nervous? No problem. Who wouldn’t be?
- Explain that you’re jumping on today to share something that grabbed your eye.
- Describe the item of interest.
- Hit the button that flips the camera away from you and share the door, garden, or whatever it is you’re sharing. At that point, no one is watching you.
- Share how and why this item is so cool or interesting. It can be 30 seconds or 3 minutes – this is your call.
- At the end, flip the camera back to you and ask them what they think of your topic.
- Let them know you’re grateful for their interest and eager for their input. Wish them a great day and close.
Ask a few friends to come on and comment. Watch it yourself and identify what you like rather than what you don’t. With video, I’ve found that constant self-criticism is not constructive and most often leads to avoidance. Remember to ask yourself these questions.
- Do you like how excited you are?
- Can you identify the camera angle and lighting you like best?
- Can you see improvement?
Remember to take time and pat yourself on the back for working on this format of video content. This takes hard work and practice, and you should celebrate your first attempts, as this puts you on the road to better Facebook lives in the future.
Bonus Tips: These hints can make all the difference in your videos for your audience.
- People want natural not staged. Live video must be authentic.
- Practice makes progress, not perfection. People applaud, support and respect honest effort and pursuit of progress.
- Stick to these first steps until you’re comfortable seeing and hearing yourself and accepting that your opinions and observations offer real value to people.
Once you’ve done this a dozen times or so, you’ll be ready to learn, explore and experiment. The resources are vast and potentially limitless. Remember that with every video, you gain new knowledge and experiences that will help you improve. Grab your smartphone and “Just do it!” and you will see improved business results and confidence with each broadcast.
Brian McKenna manages two residential resale offices for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Blake. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. Email Brian McKenna.