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It’s easier than ever to connect with people around the world, and if you’re working on building a business or brand you’re probably wanting to dive deeper into producing great shareable content.
While it’s incredibly important to create and share evergreen content like videos, images, and blog posts, live streaming has been growing in popularity and is a great medium to connect with your audience.
This is even more important for businesses that are primarily online, because people are only going to buy from you if they trust you. How can you build greater trust if you’re hidden behind the walls of the internet?
On today’s show we’ll talk about the benefits of live streaming and connecting with your audience face to face, even if it’s through a screen.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- Build trust with your audience by connecting with them.
- Approach your brand as a relationship between you and another person.
- If the quality of your live stream isn’t up to par with your usual content output, see it as a connection between you and your audience.
- People are more likely to consume or purchase something when they feel like they’re part of it.
- Get engagement from your audience by gaining their trust.
- Give trust to get trust.
- When you effectively communicate while live streaming, you’re making the connection with your audience a two-way street.
- Authentically show up and be consistent.
- When you live stream, you put a face and a voice to the anonymity of your internet presence.
- Don’t hesitate to do great things because one or two people might be rude.
- 01:25 Kyle: We’re live streaming this show.
- 01:27 Cory: We are, and we’re going to be talking about live streaming. I’m excited about that. If you go to seanwes.com/conference, we have a great conference this year in Austin, Texas, and we would love to see you there. It’s a conference we put on every year. This is our second year doing the conference. We have a great lineup of speakers. It’s going to be really awesome.
- 01:55 You can save $500 on your ticket right now, up until May 25th, so make sure you register for the conference. Go to seanwes.com/conference and see the speakers that are there. It’s going to be legendary. It’s going to be so good.
- 02:18 Kyle: I just want to point out that the conference is the ultimate live experience. You’re in person.
- 02:23 Cory: That’s true.
- 02:25 Kyle: You see people in front of you. It’s weird for me, too, but there are people in front of you, talking to you and interacting with you.
- 02:32 Cory: Live streaming without the pixels. This is madness. I think this is going to be a fairly simple show.
- 02:54 Cory: You want to build trust, right? As you’re building your brand and the kind of brand perception you want to have, you want people to engage with your brand, buy products from your business, and all of that.
- 03:19 I want to talk about this idea of building trust and engagement with live streaming because the best way to build trust between you and your target market, your target audience, is to connect with them. You have to connect with your target audience in various ways, whether that’s on email, a website, Instagram, other forms of social media, going to a conference, or whatever. You have to connect with people.
- 03:46 I want to talk about this idea of trust, and we want to talk about the benefits of live streaming. That can be live streaming your podcast, which we’re doing right now. Kyle, did you know that we’re live streaming to a live audience right now?
- 04:00 Kyle: We are! We’re live!
- 04:01 Cory: It’s so fancy.
- 04:03 Kyle: Everyone listening that’s not in the Community has missed out on that entire pre-show we had. We have a pre-show and an after-show. I can’t explain it, but they’re different from the show.
People will buy from you if they trust you, so you need your audience’s trust.
Benefits vs. Down Sides of Live Streaming
- 04:18 Cory: It is different. Kyle, you and I are pretty silly in the pre-show. We have a good show when we’re doing it, and we’re still silly. We come up with great brand names for made up businesses that don’t exist. In the pre-show, we loosen up a little bit before we record a show that gets sent out to trillions of people. We have this time where we sit and talk with each other, and we stream that pre-show time.
- 04:50 In this particular case, we were talking about cookies and our various experiences with Oreo cookies, and the regrettable instances where we’ve eaten half or all of an entire packet of Oreos. The reason I bring that up is because the people who were listening in that pre-show now have a different relationship with us than if they just turned the podcast on in iTunes.
- 05:22 Kyle: There’s that interaction. There’s a difference when you’re just commenting on something—let’s say, a video. You see a video, it’s produced, the person got their thoughts out, and I wouldn’t say that they’ve moved on, because hopefully they made the video for a reason, but they’re in a different frame of mind. Now, you’re commenting on it, and they’re looking at it in a different time and reflecting on it.
- 05:49 If you’re live and someone comments or talks to you as you’re streaming something, there’s a different connection there. Not only can you respond to that and directly talk to your audience and have ideas for how to talk to your audience in the future, but there’s also something instant about it. I don’t know how to explain it. We get that here on the show. Somebody will comment, and we think, “Wow, actually, that’s true,” or, “We forgot to mention that.” Or, “Oh yeah, of course you should do things that way.”
- 06:33 Cory: There are more benefits than there are down sides.
- 06:39 Kyle: The only negative I’ve heard towards it is something I want to completely dispel right now. That is, if you’re a brand focused on quality, that live streaming with a phone or whatever equipment you have that’s not at the quality standard you typically set for yourself, in some way, that could be negative to your brand. You feel like it’s not keeping up with that consistent quality output. That’s true from a technical perspective—maybe you’re not streaming with your DSLR and nice depth of field and this really good setup that you normally have.
- 07:20 Maybe you could do that in the future or have that setup. If you just stream with your phone, the whole point of live streaming in pretty much every instance is to connect with your audience, to have that live, one-on-one time, to deepen those relationships. I wouldn’t say that quality doesn’t matter at all. There are live streams where you’re like, “I don’t want to watch this because I can’t even listen to it,” so you should strive to have something decent.
- 08:02 It’s not something you’re going to claim as a staple piece of content.
- 08:09 Cory: Right. There is just as much value in me walking down to the lower section of my house, finding my wife, and having a conversation with her, as there is in me writing her a love letter before I go on a trip and leaving it on the counter so that when I’m gone, she can read that. There are different kinds of value with those things, whether something is evergreen or a live interaction.
There are so many benefits to live streaming and no good negative arguments against it.
If the quality of your live stream isn’t up to par with your usual content output, see it as a connection between you and your audience.
- 08:40 Cory: The point we want people to grab out of this is that you need to build trust with your audience, your customers. It’s all about trust.
- 08:52 Then there’s the question, how do you build trust? I did a little bit of research on this, and there’s so much psychology. I found this article that was like 101 Ways to Build Trust. I’m like, “Who’s got time for that?” I just wanted something quick. This is about developing relationships. If you look at your brand as a relationship between you and another person, you’ll interact with it differently. You’ll do things differently. As with a relationship, there has to be back and forth.
- 09:26 That’s what communication is. Communication isn’t just, “Hey, I have this thing to say. Listen to it. Read it. Go about your merry way.” That’s not communication. Communication is back and forth, it’s dialogue. That’s what builds up relationships. I read this article on 3 Trust Basics, and again, there are more, but I thought these were really interesting.
- 09:56 The first one he said was, “Give trust.” I thought that was really interesting, because people usually say that you have to earn trust. This article argued something different.
- 10:11 That applies to live streaming because if I have my phone in front of my face, I’m automatically entering a vulnerable state. I’m showing you my life in this moment. I’m letting you enter into this moment with me. I’m trusting you to be in my space, literally. People who are listening to us live right now are interacting with our conversation, and we’re giving them trust to participate in that. I thought that was super interesting. When you trust someone else, they have more reason to trust you.
- 10:54 Kyle: There’s also the factor that you can do this in multiple ways. One of them is, let’s say you’re doing a live stream, and someone comments and says, “I really want to run something by you,” they have a question about something, or they want to take the conversation down a certain path. There’s trust in that, that they’ll follow through and help you get to the end of that conversation. You can reply to them, they’ll reply back to you, and you’ll get to a resolution in the end that will be valuable for the other people watching or listening.
- 11:30 If you put that trust in them, it’s another way to do that. Everyone likes it when they’re watching or listening to something, they interact with it, and they like to be recognized and to have someone say, “This person.” But they don’t want to say, “this person,” and have that person start being a disturbance in the chat, start going down the wrong path, or leave and not finish the conversation. You’re putting trust in them being there to support what they started.
- 12:06 Cory: Yeah, that’s really interesting. One of the trust basics was to give trust. Another one was to effectively communicate. That’s ultimately what live streaming is, especially if you have a way to actually communicate with the person who’s watching or listening.
- 12:29 One of the things we do at the beginning of every show when we first get on the live stream in the Community is I say, “If anybody’s listening in the chat, say, ‘Heyo,'” and people start going, “Heyo,” all throughout this chat. It makes it fun. It makes it interesting. It creates this different atmosphere. Then, I could sit here and go, “Look, Cecile said, ‘Pre-shows are like having a beer time with your buddies before the big show time. That’s so important for connecting and they’re so random about things in them. I love pre-shows and shows.'”
- 13:10 That’s awesome! Now I can sit here and read what she said, and we can have this back and forth. I can get input, and that can help shape the show, in our case. Let’s say you’re creating something, and you’re in the studio or the manufacturing warehouse. You’re like, “Hey everyone, I want to show you part of our process of making this product, this thing, what goes into creating this design.” You can answer questions and communicate with your audience. That’s huge. Think about it like a relationship.
- 13:53 Kyle: There’s something different about live streaming. Even if you go into that warehouse, that manufacturing facility, and you do a continuous video, you edit that together, and you upload it as a video, there’s something different about that and actually live streaming. People know that you’re live. If something happens that you don’t want people to see or hear, that can’t happen. There’s so much trust to be built there, because they know that this is authentic.
- 14:33 Cory: That’s the third point.
- 14:35 That’s one of the great things about if you’re doing any live streaming or live engagement—when you show up, especially if you show up on a consistent basis, if you do live streams consistently, authenticity is saying what you’re going to do and then doing that. It builds this connection between the person who may end up buying your product and yourself. This doesn’t even need to go for hours and hours.
You get engagement from your audience when you have their trust.
You give trust to get trust.
When you effectively communicate while live streaming, you’re making that connection a two-way street.
Authentically show up and be consistent.
Invite Your Audience to Be Part of What You’re Doing
- 15:15 Cory: If you’re making something or building something, there are so few cons to doing any kind of live streaming. It can be Facebook Live, getting on a Skype call with someone, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, or whatever. There are so few cons to doing that. You might think, “I’m just getting started. Only one person is going to watch.” Talk with that one person. That’s great.
- 15:44 There’s a side benefit to this, too. You’re streaming this thing and talking about this thing that you do, and one person asks a question that ten people may have. You have the opportunity to answer that question a lot of people have and have all of those people hear that answer. That will also help batch your time. That’s another great benefit.
- 16:07 Kyle: I’ve had this happen before. I join a live stream, and they’re talking about something—maybe a product they’re working on or something they’re trying to do—and you offer up a thought or an idea that comes to mind, and that becomes something they use. This is from the watching end, but they end up using that. They incorporate that. They’re like, “Wow, that is a good idea. I should mention that. I’ll be sure to include that.” Now, as an audience member, you’re so much more invested in that product.
- 16:52 You’re including your audience in what you’re doing, getting them into the workings of things instead of saying, “I’m going to produce this thing. I’m working on it. It’s out. Here it is.” You’re giving them that extra step of being part of what you’re doing. You could say that there have been places or companies that produce things for years and years that never did live streams or had events for things, but today, now, 2017, it’s so easy to do that.
- 17:27 There are no excuses for not using live streaming in this day and age. You can hop on a live stream whenever you want to. Many of the times, Instagram is a good example, it doesn’t even stay around afterwards. If you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, get on there, talk, do some things, and at the end of it, it’s gone. Nobody can watch it anymore, so you can move on, keep doing these, and get more comfortable. You have no excuses not to try it and see how it works out.
- 18:00 Cory: You can be creative with it, too. I would love if some of my favorite musicians hopped on Instagram and were like, “Hey, I’m just going to do a 20 minute show in my front room. Feel free to tune in.” If they just played some songs, how awesome would that be? My friend Daniela, she should do that. That would be awesome. I would sit there and watch the whole thing. There are so many awesome benefits.
- 18:49 Maybe they’ll buy from you. Maybe they’ll stick around for a long time. Maybe they’ll be brand ambassadors. There are all sorts of things that are great.
You’re more likely to consume or purchase something when you feel like you’re part of it.
Live streaming is a tool for your tool belt for building trust, so you can develop relationships with your audience.
Put a Face to Your Internet Presence
- 18:57 Cory: Also, when you live stream, you put a face and a voice to the anonymity of your internet presence. The internet is great, but man, it’s just this wall. You can have an avatar or a picture, but there’s something about seeing someone else’s face.
- 19:15 Kyle: I’ve run into that a lot. Recently, this isn’t necessarily live streams, although I want to do more, but I’ve done more videos lately and things where you see the person behind the brand. You see them and you can interact with them in some way, even if it’s comments or whatever. You start to understand who that person is, especially if you’re a smaller business. Maybe you’re the only one right now.
- 19:44 People know that you’re the only one, and you constantly put work or advertisements out there, or whatever it is. It’s not just you talking. Some of that is super healthy for your business to grow, because you start actually having conversations with your audience and you don’t just seem like this static presence online. That’s what I’ve been working towards lately. The podcast is that outlet a little bit, but I want to go directly to the audience my brand strives to reach and say, “Here’s me, here’s how I talk, here are things I do. Let’s have conversations and work on this stuff together.”
- 20:25 This is instead of me being in a vacuum, releasing work, and being anonymous, almost. It’s healthy to work on this.
- 20:35 Cory: Hannah said, “I’m so happy that Instagram has a live stream option now. I’m intimidated by live streaming to random trolls, and I like that on Instagram it’s your followers.” Yeah, that’s super cool. There will always be people who troll, like two people in a sea of five million.
- 21:15 Eugene says, “As someone who has watched a lot of Twitch, I think the audience appreciates the live feedback by the broadcaster to the questions and even the donations they give.” Donations are always wonderful. Having that kind of response and connection is so good.
Don’t hesitate to do great things because one or two people might be rude.