Have you gone live? Have you ever had that moment where you stared at the camera with that nervous energy, knowing that people are watching…in real-time?
Live streaming has become a pretty common way of engaging audiences online. Whether you’re live streaming on a traditional social media platform like Facebook, or live streaming to your own community with a Mighty Network, live streaming can add a feeling of freshness and excitement.
But before you hit that "Go Live" button, you might have some questions. One of these is probably, "How can I get the most out of this live streaming thing?"
In this article, we'll give you 10 live streaming tips for content creators. Whether it's your first time hitting that red button, or whether you've done it so much you don't even get the butterflies anymore, these tips will up your live streaming game. Ready?
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1. Say “um” sometimes
Okay, let's start with an unexpected one. Once in a while, say the word "um."
Not literally. Don't script it in.
But here’s what we mean by this. Give yourself permission not to be perfect.
Live streaming is a bit messy by definition. If you wanted something that was 100% perfect, you would probably record the video and edit it obsessively. But those little "um's" and awkward pauses are part of what makes live streaming real.
And believe it or not, that's why people love it.
2. Test everything
Before you press that button and go live, do make sure to test. Usually, this means taking a quick look at your camera, and listening to your mic and sound output, just to make sure everything's working. If you have a guest on, make sure to do the same for all their tech.
Doing the extra work upfront will make it less likely that your audience will have to wait while you deal with tech headaches. So, while it might be an obvious tip, it's an important one. Check everything
3. Use your windows
No, not your operating system. Use those glass things on your house or apartment that let in light.
One of the most important parts of a live stream will be your video feed. And one of the easiest ways to get a high-quality video feed is to use great light.
Now, for some creators this means fancy light rigs or even a ring light. And if you have those things, awesome. But in case you don't, here's a trick to get high-quality video.
Stand in front of a window. Don't stand in direct sunlight, but do let the window light wash over your face. Even on a cloudy day, the light coming from a window is perfect to light you.
Now put the camera on you. It's the best way to get high-quality video, even with low-quality equipment. And it will make your live stream way more professional.
Even the camera on your phone looks like Hollywood with some great lighting.
4. Record it
Okay, this one might also fall under the category of "duh." But let's say it just to make sure.
Record your live stream. Having a recording can come in handy for any number of reasons, but probably first and foremost is so that the people who missed it can watch it later.
But that's not all you can do with the recording.
You could split it up into video bites for your social media feeds.
If you are teaching something, you could chop it into lessons and create an online course with it.
Or maybe you want to use it as an opt-in for a sales funnel.
Whatever you decide to do with it, having the recording gives you options. So even if you hit record and never use the footage, do it. It’s better than wanting to use it and not having it. (Just as an aside, when you live stream in a Mighty Network we record the footage automatically :) )
5. Optimize for sound
We talked about the video above, but the sound might actually be even more important. People will keep watching a video that's fuzzy as long as there's clean sound. But when the sound is garbled, or even worse, if it hurts their ears, they will probably drop off the live stream.
Even a decent set of headphones that puts the mic right next to your mouth can improve your sound quality. At a minimum, make sure you and your guests are using a headset to improve the sound quality. Shouting at a phone or laptop mic from 2 feet away just doesn’t cut it.
6. Invest in a mic
And riffing off the point above, why not just invest in a mic? A good quality USB mic can make a huge difference for your live streams, and they aren't even that expensive.
If live streaming is something you're serious about, it might be worth it.
7. Add another guest
If one person live streaming is great, how much better is it if you add another person? Live streaming doesn't just have to be you as a talking head. Adding multi-speaker live streams gives you the opportunity to create conversations with other guests, do interview formats, or even let them keep the conversation going while you collect your thoughts.
8. Get your audience involved
Watching a live stream doesn't have to be a passive event. You can get your audience involved with the process.
This could mean pulling audience members into the live stream. But that's a big step.
Consider easy ways to get your audience involved, ways that don’t add any extra pressure on them. Try things like getting them to drop questions or feedback in the chat or having them answer a poll.
Anything that brings them into the conversation and gets them out of the passive listening role will make a huge difference.
9. Check your bandwidth
Check your bandwidth. No, not your emotional energy – although that's important too. We were talking about your literal bandwidth.
Before you go live, you can double-check that your internet connection is up to the task. It's easy enough to do, and there are a bunch of sites online that will check your bandwidth for you.
Just Google “bandwidth test.”
10. Hit “Go live!”
Last, but definitely not least, hit that button! It's never going to be perfect, and you're never going to be completely ready.
So at the end of the day, sometimes you just need to stop overthinking it and try. Like we said at the start, you’ll say “um” a lot at first. You might trip over your words. But let yourself make the mistakes and know that it's all part of your growth process, and each time you go live you will become a better streamer.
Ready to start?
We hope that this post has you excited and inspired for your next live stream. And if you're looking for a place to host it, come try Mighty! We've built a powerful cultural software platform that gives you the power to live stream to your own community. And our flexible Spaces let you mix in content, courses, community, and commerce.
And, you guessed it, live streaming is built in.
And if you are going to live stream, why not build a community and maybe even get paid for your efforts? Come see what you could create. You can try Mighty Networks free for 14 days, no credit card required.