If you're a creator, you've probably figured out by now that live streaming might be part of the deal. Okay, not every creator live streams. But look at what Tik Tok stars, YouTubers, and even thought leaders have in common. It's that sooner or later they have to get on video. And sometimes, that's going to be live.
Live streaming is actually really powerful. Unlike its polished cousin, the pre-recorded video, live streaming is raw and energetic. You can schedule a live stream, or sometimes you can just surprise people. When the pandemic started, Chris Martin of Coldplay flicked on his Instagram live stream from his living room and started sharing messages of hope, and singing songs. He called it “Together at Home.” It wasn’t perfect, but actually, that's what made it great.
Because live streaming is REAL. And, ask Gen Z, the era of perfectly polished, pre-made videos is over. Live streaming is where it's at. In this article, we’ll share some ideas for how to make your next live stream fantastic. Plus, we'll share some of the top live-streaming creator platforms.
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In this article…
Live streaming for creators - 5 tips
1. Choose one platform
Yes, you can live stream across many platforms. You can stitch together YouTube, LinkedIn Live, Facebook, and probably others.
Here's why you shouldn't do that. Not all platforms are the same, and chances are trying to master all of them is not going to work well. Instead, focus your content on one platform, either where your audience already hangs out or where the people who you think would make a good audience hang out.
Focus your energy on getting better at building there, and forget about trying to be everywhere.
2. Pick the right time
Believe it or not, one of the hardest parts about hosting a live stream can be deciding on the time to do it. Most creators have audiences around the world. If you choose a time that works well for somebody in Europe or Africa, you might be alienating people in North America or Asia. You'll just have to make your best guess.
But this is where knowing your audience a bit can help too. If your audience is made up of working millennials in North America, hosting a live stream at 10:00 a.m. EST might make it difficult for them to get to. They could be at work or school. Maybe evening is best.
The way to figure it out is really just to experiment with times. If attendance is low, try shifting the time for the next one. You’ll find something that works.
3. Try branded live streaming
If you are an established creator with a large following and solid revenue, one great way to make your live stream sparkle is with your own brand on your own app! With Mighty Pro, we build totally customized, white-label apps that live under your brand and the App Store or Google Play store. We've built branded apps for creators like Adrian Mishler, YouTube's best-known yoga instructor, travel vlogger Drew Binsky, and mindfulness expert Marisa Peers.
While it's not necessarily for beginners, there's nothing quite like live streaming to your audience, with your own app, under your own brand. If you want to find out more, schedule a call with us and we'll show you what you can build.
4. Live stream to your own community
Even if you are not ready to think about a branded app, live streaming within a community that you own and run is a powerful thing. You build your own brand and space, grow your relationships with your members, and in many cases even earn income from your work. Then, when you live stream, you're streaming out to an audience you have grown that knows and loves you.
5. Have clear sound and video
Okay, moving to the technical side without getting too advanced. At a minimum, a live stream should have clear sound and video. With modern smartphones, this shouldn't be much of a challenge. Any phone camera will take great video if the light is okay (try standing with your face to a window).
The sound is a little bit trickier. Even a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone can help you get a much better sound quality. This puts a microphone next to your mouth instead of far away with your phone screen. But, if you're going to be live streaming a lot, it can be worth it to invest in a plug-in lapel mic for your phone.
6. Bring a guest
Live streaming doesn't have to be done alone! If you're tired of hitting the record button and feeling like you're talking to yourself, find a guest that you can bring on to the live stream with you.
Multi-speaker live streaming is awesome, and a great way to provide better content for your audience.
Here are some more great live streaming tips for content creators.
5 creator streaming platforms
Next up, we'll cover a few creator streaming platforms. Depending on what your goals are, there's something here for everybody.
1. Mighty Networks
Unlike traditional social media platforms that rely on followers, with Mighty Networks you can grow membership. Adding members to your Mighty Network means that you are cultivating your community, not just throwing out a live stream to anybody who might happen to listen.
The cool thing about this is that live streaming in a Mighty Network isn't really about building your following. Your members already know who you are, and they decided to join. Live streaming then becomes about serving them, offering value, and getting them excited about belonging to the community. And of course, you get a recorded video of your live stream that you can share with people who weren't able to make it.
As we talked about above, with Mighty Pro you get totally branded live streaming within your own app. This is awesome for established creators, meaning that they own their whole ecosystem instead of praying for the social-media algorithm gods to provide listeners.
If we're talking about creator platforms for live streaming, obviously YouTube has to be on the list. It's a video powerhouse, giving you a lot of functionality for live streaming either from a desktop or from an app. Subscribers who have the app on their phones will get a notification when you go live. And it has really powerful comment functionality for engagement.
Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube works on a search engine. Even after your live stream is finished, the recording will stay up on YouTube. You can add descriptions, keywords, and a great title, and people can keep finding it with search for years to come. Here are some great tips to monetize your YouTube channel if you’ve already started one.
Twitch is a great streaming platform. It’s best known by gamers as a spot to stream yourself playing a video game, but you’ll also find people streaming movies + just living their life. The platform is evolving a lot, although still favored by gamers and Gen Z.
TikTok is a great place to live stream. As it’s quickly becoming a social media monster. Since it’s video-focused, it’s not a huge surprise that live streaming will be part of your TikTok experience.
To go live on TikTok, you need to be at least 16 years old and have a minimum of 1,000 followers. You create an image and title for your live stream, then go live.
5. LinkedIn Live
Finally, LinkedIn Live has become a popular place to live stream for people in the business, marketing, or career space. LinkedIn is a professional network, so it’s no big surprise that the live streams tend towards professional conversations.
Although the tech for LinkedIn is really involved – you have to use a third-party streaming tool AND be approved to live stream, if you’re one of the creators with live stream enabled it can be a good spot to grow an audience.
Ready to go live?
We hope this short guide to live streaming for creators has given you some ideas for your next live stream, whether it’s your first or your 5,000th. Live streaming just gets better as you go.
And if you want to launch your own Mighty Network, and live stream to your cultivated audience, here's what people are saying about it!
Why not give it a try? It’s free for 14 days, no credit card required.