I go Live on Facebook every Thursday at noon (PST), and I love doing it. Unlike ever before, I can, as an independent content creator, garner a live audience willing to watch or engage with me through social media actively. Live sessions on social media are a powerful tool for any content creator. Going Live on a platform means that you stream a Live recording of yourself, which allows your audience to participate in real-time by commenting, liking, and, of course, watching. They can ask clarifying questions, give positive feedback, and get a real sense for you as a person. It’s an excellent way to have a meaningful exchange with people who have found value in your content and want to learn more. If you’ve never gone Live before, I’m going to give you a guide to help you plan your next (or first!) Live Social Media experience.

The common thread in all of my articles will be incorporating your core message. Going Live is still a method of producing content. Before you go Live, you’ll want to consider what content you’re going to offer to your audience. My Lives on Thursdays always cover the topic of my most recent podcast, which ultimately serves my message. I release each new episode of my podcast on Sunday, and I go Live on Thursday. I do this because I know my listenership has absorbed the information in the podcast. Then, they can attend my Lives to ask any questions they may have, or show appreciation for my addressing a given topic. I also am consistent about recording my Live sessions. Last week, when the internet went out in my favorite coffee shop, I didn’t call off my Live session. I moved from the coffee shop to my car. Life sometimes hinders the way we make content, but it’s essential to stay as determined and consistent as possible.

Once you have your material or topic(s) prepared, it’s time to put on your filmmaker hat. You’re your director, actor, wardrobe manager, cameraman, and boom operator for your Live recording. You want your session to be the best possible representation of yourself and your brand, so you’ll want to consider your appearance for your Live. It’s good to look nice, but not too dressed up. Next, consider where you’re recording your Live. Find a quiet spot with either natural or full-spectrum lighting. If your audience can’t hear you, they won’t feel comfortable asking questions about your message. If you look sickly because of yellow light, they might be too concerned about your health to focus on what you’re saying. Lastly, you’ll want to plug in your phone or laptop or ensure that you have a charger nearby. Going Live puts an incredible strain on batteries, and it’s best to record on a 100% charged device. Now that you have your material, you look your best, and your equipment is ready, it’s time to start your Live!

How to go LIVE on Facebook

  1. If you’re on mobile, find your way to your Facebook app. On the Home Screen, at the very top, you’ll see the “What’s on your mind?” bar. Directly underneath that bar is a red “Live” button.
  2. Tap that and allow Facebook permission to access your microphone and camera, which will take you to a screen that has a blue button that reads “Start Live Video.” When you’re ready, tap this button and get started!
  3. If you’re on your laptop or PC, go to your Facebook page. On your Home screen, find and click on the “What’s on your mind?” bar. A prompt will pop up, entitled “Create a post.”
  4. Just above the button that says “Post,” there’s a button with three dots on the far right. Click that, and a panel of options will appear. Click on the red “Live Video” button. A screen of your face should pop up. When you’re ready, click on the blue “Go Live Now” button in the panel on the left to get started.

How to go LIVE on Instagram

  1. On your phone, find your way to the Instagram app. On the Home screen, in the upper left-hand corner, you’ll see a circle with your profile picture in it. Tap on it; this will bring you to your camera screen.
  2. On the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a bar of options with “Normal,” “Create,” and “Live.” Slide this bar over until “Live” is selected. The screen should now say, “Live on Instagram.”
  3. When you’re ready, hit the record button to go Live!

Once you get a few Live sessions under your belt, you’ll find that it gets easier and easier to do. You’ll see how many of your viewers are responding to your center spoke, what elements are successful, and what needs clarification. You’ll also get an incredible boost of confidence from the people most invested in you and your message. Here are a few more tips for going Live:

 

  1. Remember your manners: It’s important to express gratitude for your most active fans. Always thank your audience for participating in Lives, either in a general “thank you” or by calling them out by name. They’ll appreciate the attention you give them.
  2. Mind the gap: There is a slight delay between when you record and when your audience can see and respond through comments. It might feel a little awkward at first, but it’s good to respond to comments when you can.
  3. Testing, testing, 123: If you’re concerned about the quality of your video or audio, ask a friend to do a quick video chat with you before you go Live. They’ll be able to tell you if you’re speaking too softly or if you need a better internet connection.