4 Min ReadBusiness 22 May 2020
Have you noticed how more than ever — as we look for ways to safely socialize at a distance — people are going "live" on their Instagram or Facebook? Whether for personal reasons or business, it's a big fear for a lot of us. I was terrified too, until I bit the bullet and finally clicked that "live" button. Turns out, it's not as scary as I thought! So I decided to put together a few tips that I thought might be helpful for getting over that anxiety and fear.
1. Look Good To Feel Good
Planning helps — and it also helps you stay confident.
First things first, we all know that when we are looking our best, we in turn feel better and are more confident. So take the time to ensure you're looking and feeling your best before even getting close to that camera.
2. Lighting And Location
These are super important. Now let's set the scene. Pick a cute, decorated area of your home that shows off your personality, preferably next to a window. Even grabbing a houseplant to have in your backdrop can be a nice splash of color! I recommend going "live" during the late afternoon for the best lighting. Natural light is always the best on phone screens. If you have a ring-light by all means, bust it out and set it up! And if you're serious and want to take your Instagram game to the next level, invest in one.
Whether you have a friend join the conversion or a dedicated guest, having that support can make things more comfortable — especially in the beginning of your "live" career. (Reassure them it's not that scary!)
No matter who you're going live with, even if it's a friend, do your due diligence and research them. You want to give them a gracious (and informed) intro. You'll want to be able to hype them up — they are your incredible guest, after all! The more research you do the less "caught off guard" you'll be, and the more professional you'll come across, and the more you'll have to gab about. It adds to the comfort level when you're well prepared.
5. Keep It Quick
Live streams can get boring super quickly. You've got one shot to grab the attention of your audience while live. My advice is to make it quick. Fifteen minutes, twenty tops! Go in with a plan, strategy, or even a script. Quality over quantity!
6. Mute 'Em If You Don't Want 'Em
The topic of "comments" could be the subject of an entire article. But for now, as it relates to this specific topic, if you don't want to see them or they become distracting to you, "mute" the comments. I had to learn this the hard way, so trust me. The bottom line is that there is a full spectrum of personalities out there and you should always expect some of the less-favorable types to join. So, if you prefer to not have that element in your live stream, just hit "mute comments".
7. Pin It
Another aspect of comments is being able to pin them. My recommendation is: before you go live, type out your room subject and copy it to your clipboard. Then "paste" it as a comment as soon as you go live. Once you've posted that comment as being the "Room Subject," hold down on the comment to "pin it." This lets everyone know what's happening and can even act as a call to action!
Don't forget to save and share when exiting the live stream. Follow up with a new post or story thanking everyone that joined you. And if you had a guest, shout them out again while letting everyone know that it's available for 24 hours! From there, you can add your live session to IGTV as long as it's not too long. Get the most mileage out of it while you can!
This has been touched on in a couple of the prior points, but I'm going to expand on it here. Have you ever asked yourself: How do they make it look so easy? Everyday, we watch our favorite people on Instagram and Facebook looking confident, speaking clearly, and looking cool. But we've also seen people staring blankly at the camera saying, "Ask me some questions guys" over and over. Planning helps — and it also helps you stay confident. Put together a script or rough outline of your intro, some questions you might want to ask, and talking points you want to touch on. It will be worth the time. Trust me. And make sure your device is fully charged!
10. No Shame In A Burner Account
This is a great way to test your backdrop, lighting, set up, script, pinning comments, and more without the added pressure of figuring it all out in front of your followers. Practice makes perfect! Reviewing everything in front of a camera is a great way to build yourself up, see what's working, get more comfortable, and edit your ideas. From there, you can ask a friend to join you for a test run to help you gradually meet your goals!
I was terrified too, until I bit the bullet and finally clicked that "live" button.
Social Media is here to stay and more powerful than ever with multiple platforms to navigate. And for business owners, it can be a tool that can help take your brand to the next level—even to the top. So embrace each one and everything they have to offer. Ready to click that LIVE button? If it helps, imagine me holding your hand off-camera to soothe your unnecessary fear! Go!
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HELP! Haters Wants to be a Dater
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
My gay best friend is becoming a frenemy, begrudging any success I enjoy and balking at giving me any of the support and help I need. I think he never quite accepted that we remain friends and not anything more. His bitchiness has gotten too grating, which I guess is too bad. Help.
Dear Yikes,It's too bad your best friend is antagonizing you. I'm sure it's also very hurtful. Perhaps there are underlying reasons for his sudden change in behavior? Maybe he wants out of the friendship and signals it this way? It would be wise to give yourself a bit of distance to determine what is going on. This way, if he comes back and wonders why you've been distant, than this would be a good time to initiate a conversation with him to get to the bottom of what going on. If he doesn't reach out after your MIA act, then good riddance. Have some tea and move on!
- The Armchair Psychologist
HELP! I'm chronically depressed
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I'm chronically depressed. I try very hard to be a productive person but my mother is extremely psychologically abusive. She makes me feel like I'm worthless, but she's my mother and I'm her only child? What should I do?
I'm sorry your mother is causing you such distress. It sounds to me like you need to create some distance between yourself and your mother. Many psychologists, including Freud, agree that a child needs a mother or caretaker through their development cycle in order to live balanced lives. However, women account for 56% of all child abusers and most cases are psychological abuse.
Essentially, whether you're stuck in a "Mommy Dearest" scenario, a movie in which Joan Crawford mercilessly abuses her daughter by attempting to strangle her and, in another famous incident, beats her with wire hangers because she prefers crochet hangers, or whether you're experiencing a quiet psychological hell, it's time to get some help. I recommend you reach out to a qualified professional psychologist because you're worthy of love and support.