Okay, I’m going to be honest with you. Since becoming a soloist, I’ve gotten a little … well, scruffy.
On a good day I work in gym clothes, which is about as close as I get to actual exercise these days.
But most of the time I wear a scruffy t-shirt and pyjama bottoms. I may have brushed my teeth, but chances are I didn’t brush my hair.
And make-up? Ha! I don’t even make an effort.
Now that I have the freedom to work on my own, my personal grooming habits have deteriorated faster than the US presidency.
And I spend my time slumped in front of the screen like a down-and-out Womble*.
My husband, who also works at home, is too polite (or perhaps too terrified) to comment on my semi-wretched appearance. But I can see in his eyes that he misses those glamorous days when I wore a bra… and shoes.
But thankfully things changed for the better when I really got to grips with Facebook Live.
What is Facebook Live?
For those of you who’ve been living in a hole (say “Hi” to the Womble for me), Facebook Live lets normal humans like you and me stream live video from pretty much anywhere with an internet connection. They even created a little site to show you that famous people use it too.
When it first came it was a little… shall we say “sketchy”. But since then it’s improved a heap, and you can now:
- Live-stream on your personal page, business page and groups
- Download the video so you can use it elsewhere (e.g. adding it to YouTube and embedding it in your blog)
- Share your screen to give live demos
- Integrate it with other software such as BeLive, which lets you stream interviews and Group chats into Facebook
- Talk for AGES. A broadcast can last up to four hours (or however long your internet connection lasts).
How can Facebook Live help my solo business?
With Facebook Live, you can connect with your customers in a way that’s quite intimate (but without the candles and cheesy music). It puts you in front of your brand, and helps you build a real connection.
And that’s just one of its benefits. Facebook Live is also:
Cost-effective: We all know video content is a great way to get your customers’ attention. But video can get very expensive very quickly. Facebook Live provides a simple way to get started with video without needing a flash camera, killer editing skills or a hair and make-up team. (Thank goodness for that last point.)
A traffic driver: Sharing on Facebook can feel like shouting at your kids to get ready for school. You know they’re around, but they’re just not listening. Anecdotally, my Facebook Lives get around ten times more comments thank my regular posts, and this post backs up that statistic.
An authority builder: Using Facebook Live to talk about your business and share your knowledge draws people in. You’re no longer just a bunch of words on the page. You’re now a real person, which means they’re more likely to trust (and ultimately buy from) you.
How to use Facebook Live in your solo business
Here are just some of the ways I’ve used Facebook Live in my business:
- To promote upcoming events and launches. As well as creating buzz, it gives me a chance to answer any customer concerns.
- Customer care. I often use Facebook like to communicate with my group members and customers. It’s especially useful when you need to make an apology, or explain something complex.
- Sneak peeks. When you have a new product to launch, you can tease people by giving them a sneak preview.
- Book promotion. I’ve used it to read out snippets of my books, and let people hear it before they buy.
- Answer questions. I get a lot of questions about SEO, and Facebook Live is a great way to answer them so lots of people see the answer, rather than just the person who asked the question. And afterwards I can put the videos on YouTube, and even get them transcribed to quickly create a blog post.
- Audit websites. I offer free SEO website audits in my Facebook group, and this lets me pass on practical tips to hundreds of viewers while helping one individual.
My top Facebook Live tips
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into Facebook Live, what do you need to think about? Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
- Buy some lights. I bought an inexpensive LED ring light on eBay for around $150 that makes me look glowing and gorgeous, even when I’m actually looking tired and grey.
- Look at the camera, not the screen. Whether you’re use your phone or your webcam, make sure you’re looking at the black dot—not your own image. Looking at the camera builds more of a connection with your watcher. (It also stops you worrying about your dodgy fringe.)
- Position the camera slightly above you. It’s a great way to hide all the chins.
- Forewarn your watchers. Let your group members know when you’re going live ahead of time. Otherwise you’ll be speaking to a void, which feels awkward.
- Work out your intro. Chances are there won’t be anyone there when you first go live. But don’t just stare gormlessly at the screen. Make sure you have something to talk about. You may not have many people watching you live, but plenty of people will watch the replay.
- Write out some talking points. Make a few notes about what you’re going to say before you start. But don’t script the whole thing—it will sound stilted.
- Finish strong. Make sure you finish with a clear call to action. What do you want your watchers to do once they’ve seen your video—answer a question, comment, sign up for something? Whatever it is, tell them.
I know many of you won’t feel confident enough to go live on Facebook. But I really encourage you to push yourself. Yes, your first few attempts will feel awkward and a bit embarrassing, but your mum and your dog will probably be the only ones watching.
Believe me when I say that as time goes on your confidence will grow, and you will improve.
Okay, so how did it save your marriage?
So how did Facebook Live improve my romantic life? Well, I’ve become quite obsessed with it, to the point where I’m going live two or three times every working day. And it’s helped my marriage in two major ways.
- I make an effort each day to look less like a Womble and more like a human.
- The Facebook Lives have helped boost my brand and my authority, and I now see them as a key part of my marketing strategy. I think they were fundamental in selling out my course twice this year, which certainly took the strain off us as a double soloist couple.
Facebook Live has really worked for me. And if it worked for me then it can work for you to.
Over to you
Have you tried Facebook live? Did you enjoy it? Do you have any tips to share?
* To any non-Australians reading this, a Womble is a kind of fictitious mole from British TV.