I’ve been using live stream for over a year in my business and I can confirm—it’s the fastest way for me to build Know, Like, and Trust with my audience.
The people who tune in get to hear my voice, see my facial expressions, and most importantly, feel my authenticity and expertise in real time.
But that’s the catch: “The people who tune in.” If you create amazing content for live stream and no one catches your videos, it can never be the fastest way for you to build Know, Like, and Trust with your audience.
While there are many measures you can take to create engaging videos and convince people to show up for them, I can give you 5 right now that could make the world of difference if you’re trying to improve your existing live streaming routine.
Here are 5 engagement-boosters that live streamers often miss!
1 - Actually have something to say when you show up.
Too many live streamers don’t plan what they’ll say before they go live. How many times have you heard someone start their live stream with the words, “Hey, everybody—I’m just popping on for a quick Q and A. Ask me anything”?
Most people don’t turn up the volume on a live stream because they want the chance to speak, or because they just want to kill some time sitting around with you while you talk aimlessly. They turn up the volume expecting to hear or see something interesting.
When you go live, know exactly what your audience can expect to get out of it. Then do everything you can to focus your energies on delivering on that expectation.
2 - Let your audience know ahead of time when you’ll be online.
If you’ve got something interesting to say, then people will make the effort to tune in to hear you out, even if they have to do it at a weird time of day. Before I left my day job, there was one content creator whose streams I followed religiously, and even if she went live while I was at work, I’d find a way to tune in.
When you stream without telling anyone you’ll be online, you’re really taking your chances that your audience will see the notification that you’ve gone live. Your best bet to have people to tune in is to give as many people as you can at least 24 hours’ notice—announce your stream to your email list, your Instagram followers, you Facebook followers, and even your Facebook friends. Tell them the topic, where to tune in, and what time and time zone!
3 - Jump right into your content—no dilly-dallying.
According to Facebook, video audiences only give the video they’re watching about 8 seconds to get interesting before they click out—so you really want to start talking or doing something interesting right away.
Believe it or not, for almost any platform where you can live stream, most of your viewers are more likely to catch you on the replay than they are to see you live.
This is true even if you send out an announcement ahead of time that you plan to be live—some people won’t see the announcement, others won’t be on your email list, still others will see your content only because someone else shared it, and on and on and on.
This means that most people who watch your video will be watching from the beginning, rather than popping on a few minutes in.
So if, when you’re actually live, you just sit there humming to yourself until someone tunes in for you to talk to, the majority of your audience is going to see you doing that on the replay.
And according to Facebook, video audiences only give the video they’re watching about 8 seconds to get interesting before they click away—so you really want to start talking or doing something interesting right away, so that the people who tune in after the fact want to watch all the way to the end.
4 - Give your audience shout-outs and prompts.
Once your viewers understand that they can interact, how to interact, and that they’re encouraged to interact, they’ll start doing it on their own.
When a fresh viewer tunes in to your stream, give that person a quick hello and address him or her by name. Then ask, “Where are you tuning in from?”
This simple step of acknowledging new viewers (meaning, viewers who have just tuned in) is a huge engagement booster, because (a) it lets your audience know you really are live (many people are strangely suspicious that live streams aren’t really live), and (b) it almost always increases the time the person you’ve addressed stays on your stream. It’s like making eye contact with someone at a party and shaking her hand.
If you can, you should also ask easy, one-answer questions throughout your stream to get people to participate if they want to. Again, this interactive component compels people to stay tuned in longer, which usually tells a platform’s algorithm to pay special attention to the things you create!
5 - Smile.
Top-tier content creators like Amy Porterfield, Rachel Hollis, and Jenna Kutcher smile constantly when they deliver audio or video content. This is because research shows that when we as humans interact with someone who is smiling—whether we can see it or we simply hear it in the person’s voice—we’re inclined to let our guards down and even smile back.
Since smiling is the “universal language of kindness,” as the expression goes, smiling can quickly bond your audience to you, making you feel like a friend. This can excite them to stay on the stream with you, because you’re more deserving of their attention than, say, someone who feels more like a stranger at the next table who is talking to someone else.
As much as you can, smile, laugh, and make jokes so that your audience feels that you are friendly, someone they want to know.
There are a hundred other ways to make your streams more exciting and engaging—and I actually have 2 videos you can get right now (they’re free) if you’re interested. Check them out! Then let me know your results from these tips by snapping a selfie and tagging me @alexisthegreek over on IG.
Hello! my name is Alexis.
Coffee lover, day dreamer, foodie, and creative. Currently working and living in New Hampshire, I’m an eclectic mix of forward-looking and completely old-fashioned.