One of my favourite things about working with entrepreneurs and coaches on their speaking skills and communication strategy is seeing their confidence - and their audience - grow when they consistently show up and share their knowledge by “going live”.
Once they get clear on who they’re really talking to, and how this relates to the services they provide, they find it so much easier to create content for live streaming consistently - intentionally choosing how, where and how often they communicate, with clear strategies to attract and provide massive value to their audience.
This is one of the core areas we focus on in the Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs Community, as video marketing is such an important (and completely free!) tool that coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs can utilise to attract new clients and engage with their own communities.
However, even the most dedicated business owners can struggle to find time to create videos from their killer content. Common problems that we work on are;
- What to talk about, and what topics will really connect
- Procrastination, anxiety and fear of rejection masked as waiting for “ideal conditions” such as not going live until you have the right lighting, backdrop, or only filming when you’re having a good hair day (this happens more often than people would like to admit!)
- Developing the habit of showing up on a regular basis. Even if you theoretically understand the importance - it’s part of the marketing strategy on paper, at least! - there are so many other tasks that get prioritised, especially if going live is out of your comfort zone.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll delve into each of these areas. In this article we'll start with the most commonly asked question for new live streamers... “What do I talk about?”.
Yes, you can brainstorm and make a list. But if you want to supercharge that brainstorming session, you need to know who your client really is, what your goal is for the session and how it ties to your business overall.
If you struggle to create content and videos on a regular basis, it’s very likely that when you dig into these key considerations, you’ll find at least one missing from your preparation process. The good news is that once you do this research you can use a simple video outline (detailed below) week after week to quickly and easily create memorable videos.
Step 1: Your Client Avatar
Who is your audience? Where are they starting from and what do they need?
Often when we design our blogs, presentations, courses and challenges, we start by viewing the “problem” from our own base of knowledge and experience, not necessarily that of our audience.
For example, if you’re thinking about going live I could tell you about the best video length to gain maximum distribution on Facebook - useful yes, but perhaps you’ve not yet reached the point of pressing the “Go Live” button because you’re wracked with self-doubt. The next step for you will be different from an entrepreneur who’s thinking about maximising organic reach after having gone live dozens of times.
As we’ve already taken these steps, sometimes long ago, it can be easy to forget not only the practical steps and amount of direction needed but also the thoughts and emotions that your audience may be experiencing.
The first time I went “live” I remember feeling as though a million eyes were watching me (though no-one actually watched me “live”), and fearing judgement from people in my network. We have to remind ourselves of where our audience is starting, in order to speak to them about the things they really care about.
Dig deep into what keeps them up at night, their particular challenges, the beliefs that may be stopping them from moving forward, and also what they want and need more than anything in their business or personal life.
Ask your audience to share their thoughts with you on these “problems”, as well as their life beyond their problems - what are their interests, their hobbies, what information they like to read and watch - all of these elements will give you so much more ability to create content that your audience actually cares about.
Step 2: Your Objective
We’re on a journey and you’re the navigator.
Before creating any content ask yourself what your goal is for sharing that information, and what will your call to action be?
Common goals are to:
Raise your visibility - you simply want more people in your ideal target audience to know you exist, your areas of expertise and who you can help specifically.
Engagement - you’re now looking to start conversations, have your audience interact with you on videos, reply to your emails or download your lead magnet, to name just a few options.
Conversion - you’re ready to make an offer to your ideal client and want to share the details of who it will best serve, where they sign up and get some new clients!
If you can’t think of a good reason that you are creating this content, take a look at all of your products or services. Does your plan aim to build your visibility, build your email list, grow your community, or start more sales conversations? Does your video lead to a product or service that you actually offer?
Step 3: Your core products or services.
Stay in your lane (for now).
When you see other businesses offering similar services to you, it can be tempting to think... “I could do that too!”. And, you may well have the knowledge and skills to deliver on that idea. However, the more you divert from your core messages and services, the less likely you are to resonate with a particular group, as you try to be all things to all people. Stick to the core themes of your business, and expand your offering over time (if that idea still has legs after the initial excitement wears off).
Creating content is not an opportunity to show off everything you know (though you can weave your credibility credentials into your storytelling), it’s to start a conversation that leads to sales. As one of the participants in our recent Camera Confidence Challenge realised, we need to shift into the mindset of starting more sales conversations, otherwise, we just have an “expensive hobby”! That’s not to say you can never offer a different service or product - but what are you offering right now, and what do you need to focus on?
Step 4: Your Video Outline
P.S This becomes Step 1 the very next time you’re making a video.
Brainstorm as many video ideas as you can on the challenges of your audience (based on their starting point), beliefs that are stopping them from moving forward, and their goals. Keep this list somewhere you can easily build on it. Every time you hear a new problem from your audience that your product or service can solve, note it down.
Pick the one idea that best satisfies these 2 requirements:
- You can speak from experience and feel confident in your knowledge of the topic, AND
- The topic that will best help your audience overcome a challenge or get a quick win.
- Create a compelling title and brief description that you will use to promote your session. e.g. “Selling Out Your Next Launch Using FB Live”, is likely going to get more views than “Tips to Launch Your Next Offer Using FB Live”.
- Craft and practice your introduction until you are fluent - who you are, who you help and what you do. Then lead into what you will be talking about and why it’s important for your audience.
- Select a lead magnet you will mention in the video, or another call to action (visit group, register for the webinar, join the challenge etc)
- Select the 3 most important points on your topic and use exercises, your stories and client case studies to illustrate your points.
- Plan to ask if live viewers have questions
- Re-pitch your lead magnet or call to action
- Plan to answer any questions, and how you will respond if the question is outside of your area of expertise or not on topic
- Recap what you’ve talked about, why it’s important to your audience.
- Thank your audience for watching and following you, and if you have your next topic planned, drop in a teaser for your next live stream.
The aim is to create an outline, rather than a script, based on content that you know like the back of your hand so you can put all your energy into delivering value to your audience to help them solve a problem or challenge and create real connections in the process.
Now that you've done your research selecting video topics strategically becomes easier, and designing and delivering memorable live streams become the new normal. In the next article, we'll take a closer look at the vulnerability of visibility and practical steps to overcome public speaking procrastination, anxiety and fear of rejection.
If you’d like to see this outline in action and learn how you can apply this in your own live streams, you can visit the Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs community to learn more.