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Connecting to your audience personally works for most entrepreneurs, but it is a must if you are a coach, consultant or an expert looking to monetize your expertise.
Why is live streaming so valuable for your marketing?
Social media and YouTube are where most people spend a lot of their spare time these days, and the rule of marketing is to be visible where most of your potential clients hang out. However, merely having a passive presence on those platforms doesn’t create desired results. and live streaming takes this connection to another level.
The way we build our trust with another person is by observing them, and relying largely on our gut feeling when evaluating the potential level of danger or trust at hand. There is an almost instant attraction or a complete lack of it. The first helps us build our audience, and the latter repels the ones who do not care. In a world of seven billion people, this means we can build a massive audience filled with people who are genuinely pulled towards us — with just one condition….
We must show up to let them know, like and trust us
It sounds so simple and logical, yet too many brilliant experts hold themselves back from tapping into the opportunity to connect with as many clients as they possibly can handle. I have mentored more than 150 entrepreneurs over the last two years, helping them embrace consistent live streaming and find the ease and the confidence to do it. When I interviewed them before we started working together, I found that most people have similar reasons that make them feel uncomfortable going live and seeking help.
Let’s have a look at the reasoning and the intelligence behind that resistance. And hopefully, help you push through the excuses and discomfort you may feel when considering going live.
Not feeling as comfortable speaking as writing
This is a very common reservation, but what you may not be considering is that written language and conversational language are two completely different forms of communication. If we spoke the way we write, listeners would get overwhelmed too soon to even comprehend the message we’re trying to convey. We use much simpler words and structures when we speak, and this is excellent news.
By simplifying and “de-jargonizing” our language, we become much clearer to listeners, and therefore, get to build much deeper, confusion-free relationships. They get to evaluate and experience us exactly the way they would in real life — with our nonverbal cues: accent, tone, gesticulation, laughter, mannerisms, the little quirks that are not transferable through writing.
The bottom line: When people watch our live streams, it’s not about the words we use that make the biggest impression.
Issues with appearance and not feeling ‘camera-ready’
May I ask you a question? How much attention do you pay to your appearance when you are getting ready for a regular meeting?
Depending on the general dress code of your industry, you will put on the appropriate clothing, and groom yourself to leave a positive impression. Would you even think about how your voice sounds when you speak? What your face looks like? What gesticulation you will be using?
These are things you just get on with and often doesn’t even cross your mind. You know you will be interacting with other humans — something very familiar to us, even when there is the pressure to “impress.” Yet, when you have to speak at your webcam, which is essentially a piece of plastic, your brain feels so unfamiliar and unsafe, it literally starts “talking you out of” following through, so you find yourself really uncomfortable and not feeling ready to go live.
Similarly, when you look at yourself on video, the chatter continues. You are not familiar with looking at yourself from the outside, so again, your brain will serve you every criticism in the book to justify your feeling of discomfort.
But here is the good news: All your brain is trying to do is protect you from what it perceives as the “unknown.” Some really deeply-rooted instincts of survival and self-defense are being triggered within seconds and before you even get to start consciously thinking about it, your brain starts focusing on the fear you are feeling, trying to label it for you. It often takes the form of self-criticism.
A simple solution to this is to allow yourself to feel that sense of discomfort, and channel the adrenaline that you feel rising in your body into being a little more expressive in your “performance” instead. Remember that most actors, public speakers, and presenters — even the most famous ones — feel that same anxiety before the curtains open, and they appear in the spotlight.
It is a natural feeling that is actually very useful when you understand where it is coming from and learn to manage it to your benefit.
Feeling disheartened at a lack of engagement
Too many coaches and experts shared with me that they fail to show up on video consistently because they feel like “nobody cares.” They do not get many live viewers, little interaction and engagement, and it feels like there is no gain from dealing with all other issues, if there is no visible feedback from the audience.
I have to admit, this is the worst part, and it does require addressing our own expectations before we can see the bigger picture.
Growing up, most of us have been involved in some form of performing in front of other people. It could have been in a school play, delivering a speech, performing a dance, or anything that was then followed by a round of applause. When we did well, we had a lot of applause. And sometimes we observed or experienced the complete opposite: the deathly awkwardness of little or no applause whatsoever. Therefore, we develop a connection between the feedback we receive and the quality of our performance.
This is why when we go live, yet there are no or very few viewers who do not seem to engage, it feels exactly like that childhood embarrassment of “not getting it right” to please the audience, i.e. devastating and disheartening.
The facts of what actually happens when we go live couldn’t be further from this assumption. The social media world is so noisy and overcrowded, people are too preoccupied to pay attention every time you go live. Most of the time, your live stream is not a performance that you give in front of people who’ve made arrangements to be there and watch you speak. You will get better attendance and engagement if you have done the preparation that every performance requires: set a time and date, and promote your appearance to your audience beforehand.
Yet, going live to market your business does not have to always be training that you should promote. It can be a quick check-in from behind the scenes in your business, a product showcase or just sharing a thought or a tip. It does not need to feel like a performance, as its purpose is to connect and allow people to observe you, not to evaluate you or validate your efforts.
Related: How to Project Confidence
This is exactly what I started with. Going live regularly is key to grow the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST factor faster, as you let your potential leads and clients see you as you are in real life, and remove the hesitation to connect to you and work with you.
Lastly, just think about the fact that for some generations, the concept of actively engaging with your video is not natural at all, as they grew up with the television culture. Watching a video passively is quite a normal behavior for them. More good news here is that for a platform you go live on, for example, Facebook, when a user watches your video even when they do not engage in the comments, the platform still records views as a form of engagement and will continue showing them more of your content.
I hope that now you are able to see the bigger picture. By creating video content regularly, you are increasing your visibility even when people are not used to engaging with your content using reactions or comments. Take into consideration also the fact, that most viewers will only become more actively engaged with you after they experience doing business with you. All entrepreneurs that successfully use video strategy in their marketing confirm it. “Lurkers” observe us from a distance, make up their mind when we make invitations to take the next step, and then come to us often fully committed.
Consistency and letting go of perfectionism will boost your visibility, and help grow the connection your audience feels for you, through observing you on video. Looking for external feedback just strengthens your insecurities, and holds you back from achieving success.
Which one are you choosing?