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Taking part in my first ever Facebook Live

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Yesterday evening I took part in my first Facebook live with Sam Burgess over in the Small and Mighty Business Community Facebook group. I was nervous and thought that I would write a short post about my experience and what I did to prepare and how I found it and what sort of response I’ve had so far.

All of the Co’s over on Small and Mighty Co will be taking part in a live with Sam and I thought I better volunteer to be the first one as I really didn’t want to have more time to get nervous. I also really like video content like this and want to get comfortable with it as I see it as a big part of my own social media strategy. I hope that it will help my audience and if they want more bespoke help maybe they would consider my services.

Before the live

To prepare I thought I needed to get more comfortable in front of the camera, so I set myself a challenge to appear on Instagram stories every day for 30 days. Sam has said before that it takes 30 days to create a habit so I thought I would give it a go. I didn’t make it all the way to the end but it really helped me. I did it for 8 or 9 days and the first week I had around 30-40 takes per day, it was terrible, but I got lots of support for giving it a go and it was really lovely and encouraged me to do it again the next day. Already by day 7 I thought that it was easier, I didn’t need to mentally prepare myself for quite so long. This is partly the reason why I stopped, I didn't’ want to post something just because I felt like I had to, I wanted to post when I have something to say, and since I achieved my goal to not feel so terrible about showing up on stories I decided to only post on days I have something to say going forward.

The week before the live Sam and I had a video call to discuss what to talk about during the live, this was before we had many questions so we discussed what types of questions might come up and how to best answer them.

I then moved onto the Facebook group, I asked everyone what questions they had and to share their websites or Instagram handles, this really helped me prepare for what might come up during the conversation. I wrote down everyone’s questions and what their businesses were, I researched them all a little bit and made some notes. This helped me figure out who I was going to be talking to. I wrote detailed answers to each question and I studied them, even though I knew all the information and could have talked about them until the cows came home, I wanted to try to avoid silences and make sure I gave the most relevant information. I knew that I wouldn’t use this word for word, but it gave me comfort knowing that I had the information there just in case.

During the live

After a few technical difficulties, we got pretty much straight into the conversation. I wish I had prepared a better introduction for myself, I completely forgot this step and the beginning was the part where I was the most nervous. For my next live I will prepare something to say so it’s not as awkward. It’s something I always tell others to do so I feel very silly to have forgotten my own advice.

Once we got into the questions it was great to have Sam there to make sure the conversation moved forward and that I didn’t linger on each answer for too long. Also, when I lost my chain of thought Sam was able to jump in, which was super helpful.

I completely forgot about the time and didn’t really look at the questions that popped up during the live but focused on the questions Sam asked me. Had I been by myself in the live I think this would have been a lot more difficult and I think I would have had to prepare a presentation instead.

After the live

Straight after there were lots of messages of thanks and lovely encouragement and I really appreciated it. I had new followers on Instagram and today I’ve had lots of lovely messages from viewers that watched the replay. I haven’t dared to watch this myself yet but I feel like I should so I can improve for the next time.

I was nervous about giving clear answers that would help the viewer, not because I feel that I don’t have the answers but because when I get nervous, I talk too much and too fast. It’s something I know I constantly need to work on and why I always try to prepare as much as I can.

Taking part has made me realise that I can do this, and I am now planning on creating very short videos on a wide range of topics related to wholesale and post them on IGTV.

This whole process has also taught me a lot about what sort of things my audience has questions about and I will be writing more blog posts about it in the future.

My recommendations

If you want to host a live or appear on video more than I would recommend that you take the time to prepare as it will really help you feel more confident during your live. Research your audience if you can. I really liked how I was able to interact with the viewers beforehand and that I knew a little bit about them and their businesses.

Record yourself and watch it back, post stories on Instagram as it really helped me. They are short and are only available for 24 hours which makes it less scary, well at least that’s how I felt.

Consider hosting it together with someone that’s used to them and make it a Q&A as it’s almost like a regular video call and you soon forget that you have an audience. It’s really re-assuring when you stumble on your words and this is likely to happen but it's okay.

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