Why Your Livestream Video Isn't Attracting Viewers
High level livestreaming is the best way to build an online community that buys from you!
Putting on a good live performance means giving your audience a lot of energy, a fun and engaging show, in a place and time where they can interact with you as the host.
This presentation will cover:
- Livestream studio essentials.
- Live show planning, including our show flow.
- The apps that we use, including Streamyard, Canva, and Descript.
- Fun extras that add interest.
- Guest recording protocols.
Clean, Consistent, Quiet Work Environment
What you must have in place for minimal friction to put on a good show begins with your in-home studio. We recommend that you have a quiet, comfortable office space, preferably with a door. You need to keep out pets, kids, spouses, gardeners and all the noise that goes on around you, so you may work without interruptions.
If you can, put your studio in the part of your house that's the quietest. We've seen some people go on a livestream or live Zoom call and immediately the gardener starts up the leaf blower or lawn mower, and you can hear it on their audio. It’s very distracting, so plan to have a quiet time and space for your livestream work.
Keep your space clean and uncluttered, so when you enter your studio, you're ready to get to work. You shouldn’t have to move piles of clothes or your exercise bike out of the way. Walk into a clutter-free environment so it is easy to sit down and get to work.
Keep everything in good repair and supplied. It's not productive if you need to print out a script or show flow and your printer has been out of ink for two weeks because you need to order the ink cartridge or you don't have paper. If your studio room has a closet, keep your supplies in there such as laser toner, additional lightbulbs, and consumables. Purchase backups so that when a lightbulb burns out, you can pull another one out of the closet and not have to wait for an order from Amazon. Then refill your storage supplies in the closet. That's an important part of staying ahead of the game.
Having structured boundaries means letting everybody in the house know when I go into my office, I'm doing a show or I'm doing my work. Please don't disturb me unless it's an emergency.
Originally, we used a desktop in the living room of Toby’s apartment and it had a laptop and a camera on top of the laptop and table lamps for lighting. We started small and we've grown into it. Content creation has been a priority for us for the last five years. We've made a lot of improvements, but you don't have to start there.
You can start with a ring light and your smartphone. But if you can set up a studio in your home as we describe, you will want to livestream more often because it’s easy and fun.
Where is the best place to set up your in-home studio?
Livestream Studio Essentials
We have narrowed down the livestream studio essentials to:
- High-speed internet
- Quiet, dedicated space
- Computer and desktop
- Logitech webcam
- Headset and mic
All the equipment that we use and recommend is in our Amazon Home Studio kit which you can find at http://studio.agkmedia.studio If you would like to see our studio set up, watch the video of this presentation.
We recommend taking your time and making small investments as you can. A friend of mine is starting out with a small student desk in her closet. Using what is available to you and being creative with it will get you started sooner.
You can also find more information about setting up your home studio in our book, Livecast Life.
How much of this equipment do you already have?
Live Show Planning
We start with a live show and stream our content all at once to eight different locations, including Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. That gives us four types of recorded content to work with, including video, audio, text, and images.
It’s easy to put on a good show when we plan for it. Planning takes the place of editing. Editing is very time-consuming and labor intensive. Planning is much easier. The benefit to live shows is it means we spend a lot less time in post-production. It goes up as a live stream video, and it's recorded.
We've discovered that no matter what time it is, somebody will say it doesn't fit with my schedule. We have viewers from other parts of the world and they're in a completely different time zone. But the benefit is that once we live stream, it becomes a recording and you'll be able to see it the following day.
If you feel you're missing the communications part of it, use the comments or other contact points we provide, such as text messages, emails, or comments below the description box.
Topic, Title & Description
First, we come up with a topic that is appropriate for our show and audience. Then we put together an attention grabbing title and description. You may have noticed the title of today's post sounds a little negative. It may have caused you to wonder, are people not showing up to my live streams? What can I do about that?
This kind of title grabs attention and people want to find out what you’re talking about. It sparks curiosity, especially if it's a little negative because that makes viewers wonder if they’ve missed something important. They're going to want to tune in to find out about that missing ingredient.
We keep our shows positive, but sometimes our titles sound a little negative. That’s attention grabbing by creating urgent curiosity.
What grabs attention? A bright picture with a face will stop the scroll. We’re programmed as humans to look at faces. Remember that thumbnails appear small, so if you have words on the thumbnail, they should be big enough to see and only use a few words. The words on the thumbnail should convey a feeling. They don’t need to repeat the title of the episode.
Schedule the Show
We schedule our show on Streamyard which creates a social media post on all the platforms where it's going to appear. The post will let people know when the live show is coming, and they can click to get a reminder. Then they get some kind of notification on their phone or email to remind them to be there live.
Slides, Show Flow, or Guest
Next, we get to work on either a slide set, a show flow, or guest prep, depending on what format we’re following that week.
Usually, it takes about an hour to put together a set of slides using Google Drive. You don't have to use a slide presentation each time. The reason we use slides is that we want to stick to the topic and present it in a logical, clear fashion. We don't want to feel like we're disorganized, because that would negatively affect our ability to be focused and interesting to our audience.
We have a standard template for our slides that we use each time. We go over the slides together and discuss them before each show. The biggest advantage is we know we're talking about the same thing and we do it in a way that compliments one another, as opposed to stepping on each other.
If you're presenting by yourself, then it's a good idea to have a show flow if you’re not using slides. If you're presenting with a partner, your partner should have a good idea of what you're going to do in terms of show flow.
A show flow is a template we change every week, and that comes together whenever we have a link or idea to add to the shared Google Doc.
If we have a guest appearing on the show, then we gather up the links that we're going to be using for resources.
We always choose a call to action for every show that fits in with the topic.
What topic would you choose for your show?
Canva is an app that you can use online and they have a free version, or you can get the pro version. The pro version is $12.99 a month, which is still really reasonable for what you're getting. It's easy to use for designs of any kind.
You can use it for thumbnails or presentations. We like to start with a thumbnail template. We find something in Canva that we like and customize it. Then if you want to resize it for a square podcast graphic, or if you're going to put it out on social media, it's easy to resize your thumbnail. Canva uses a 1000 by 1000 square Instagram post size. Thumbnails for YouTube and Facebook are 16 x 9, either 1920 by 1080 or 1280 by 720.
When we use a show flow, we can have a more natural conversational style for our show.
We create show flow templates, which are like a performer’s set list, because they help us with planning and consistency. They manage our expectations and the expectations of our audience, and they provide an excellent communication tool. Toby and I use a shared Google Doc show flow and it helps us to know what we're going to be talking about at what point in the show.
Our show flow is in front of us during the show to check that we talk about all the important details. We can print it out or have it displayed on a second monitor during the show. It keeps us moving forward and on task instead of going off topic and getting lost. After the show is over, we have that one document with all our show information and links for that episode. We can use that to build our show notes.
Music and Introduction
A show flow might start with music and a recorded show introduction, which we do because our video goes out as a podcast. We want to make sure we have a nice, clear intro saying what the show is called, who the hosts are, who it's for, and what it's about.
We've put that at the beginning of the live show so that people have a couple of minutes to get there once they receive the notification that it's starting. Then when people are listening to it on the podcast, it's the standard opening that they're expecting, so it brings them into the podcast.
After the introduction, we start with a greeting and open chat to say hello to each other and to our audience. This open chat flows into announcements or breaking news in content creation or digital marketing.
Then we move into our training about content creation and content marketing. At the end of the training, we present a CTA, a call to action. We encourage our audience to take that next step, like purchasing our book, reading a blog post, or watching a different video that has a more in-depth explanation of something we covered quickly.
Tweaks and tools are next, or with our News and Views show, we ask a trivia question and give a prize to the first person to answer correctly.
We like to end our shows with something inspirational so everybody feels lifted and happy. That way, they remember our show as something positive.
How do we use our show flow? It is a shared Google doc that we can both access to make additions or edits. We fill it in during the week before the show starts, plugging things in as they come up. For instance, I've read a couple of good blog posts this week and I added those links to my show flow to make it easier to remember to share them.
In post-production, I'll add links for anything that came up during the show. I put the show flow information in the show notes and then create timestamps for our video. We can add the timestamps to the YouTube description box and break our show up into chapter segments. Once you add the timestamps, YouTube forms little boxes along the bottom of the description box. You can select those boxes to skip to the chapter you want to watch..
When your show notes for that week are complete, you start over again for the next show flow.
What are the sections you would add to your show flow?
You can add extra fun things to your show to encourage interest and excitement in your viewers.
Start with the basics when you're putting out a new show. The most important part is that you have your basics: the show name, time, day, who it's for and what it's about. After a few shows, you can adjust it with anything you’ve learned or changed your mind about.
We started our new show with the title Headlines, then changed to Headlines and Conversations, and now it's News and Views. We updated the thumbnail and banner. It was newspapers and coffee cups and now we've changed to a visually interesting purple background with a large microphone and it's more exciting and dynamic. We kept tweaking it a little each week until we got to where we're happy with it.
It’s fun to have segment transitions in our shows. We did this a lot with A Gypsy's Kiss. We play sound effects or show a short video when we transition and that prepares the audience for the upcoming change. Sometimes we display a GIF to celebrate a holiday or event.
Those GIF transitions and sound effects are fun for the audience and they keep you on track. After you've done your show a few times, these extras become easy to add.
You can get new free GIFs, overlays and backgrounds every month from Streamyard and they also give you several music choices you can use in your videos.
We have our logo on the screen, a background banner and a text crawl across the bottom with our contact information. Streamyard makes it easy to have these fun, dynamic extras that help our audience stay interested and informed.
Display your name in a brand colored bubble on screen. You can add in some overlays and short videos for your intro and outro. Create a different screen with unique assets for every brand or type of show you do. There is one brand set up for Messages and Methods, another for News and Views, and one for holidays. That gives us a chance to use different colors, backgrounds, intros and outros, GIFs and overlays.
Easily bring people's live comments onto the screen and highlight those so that everybody gets to read them along with you. People love having their name and comment read during the show and it adds to the engagement during a livestream video. People who watch the video later may try harder to show up live so they can get the same VIP treatment.
What live video features do you like best?
Descript for Transcription, Editing, and Audiograms
Descript is an app we use for transcription, editing, and audiograms. We simply add the audio file from our show into Descript and it writes out all the words and labels who said what. It looks like a script when it's done transcribing and it only takes a few minutes.
Descript is a transcription tool designed for people who are working with both audio and video. It's a comprehensive tool that allows you to edit your audio or video by editing the script. If you want it to move a paragraph from one place to another, it not only moves the text in the transcription, it moves it in the audio as well. That means you don’t need a separate editing app and you only have to learn one tool to do all your post-production work.
You can produce an audiogram in Descript that you can post on social media to promote your podcast or livestream video. You can also upload the audiogram to your YouTube channel as a short. We use the square format for social media like Instagram and Facebook and for YouTube shorts.
Descript will also allow you to clone and overdub your voice. That way, if you are creating an audiogram with clips from your show and you need to say something a little differently to give your sentence the proper meaning, you can type in the words and overdub them with your cloned voice. It uses artificial intelligence and the archive of your voice to create new audio for you that fits in with your sentence structure and tone.
If you are hosting and interviewing guests on your show, then you first need to find guests.
There are many ways to find guests that will fit in well with your show and provide value for your audience. Podmatch is a great place to filter guests by topic and schedule them for your show. We’ve also found people through live and virtual events.
To schedule guests to be on your show, give them a scheduling app link. We use Schedule Once, and we’ve used Calendly in the past. They're all very similar, they make scheduling much easier and many of them have free versions. Definitely get a scheduling app and give guests the link to schedule.
Set up an application to gather information about the guest, such as contact information and any links that they want to have in the show notes. You can use a Google form, JotForm or email them a questionnaire. This is also a good time to ask them to subscribe to your show and email list. Remind them to invite their audience to the livestream and share the published show.
If you have a guest on your show, get them to sign a talent release before recording.
If you record them and then later they say, take it down, I don't want it out there and they didn't sign a release; you don't have any recourse. You don't have a clear, binding method to say that's my content and I can do what I want with it because they didn't sign a release.
On our content library website, http://livecast.life, people can register to be a guest on our show. There is a form on that webpage that collects their information and displays the podcast guest agreement and release. When they submit this form, they have agreed to release any claim on the material we record together and we can use the media in any format, including video, audio, text, images, or as part of a book that we publish.
Get your own Podpage website and you’ll get the same guest release feature: https://www.podpage.com/?via=agkmediastudio
Learn From Other’s Mistakes
I was talking with a friend and she told me a story. She's a family sailor and has written a book on sailing with your family. This is big sailing, on a 45-foot catamaran, in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and places in between. Her family became the focal point for several other sailing families that were gathering together. She thought, wouldn't this make a great documentary?
She hired a professional videographer, brought him on the boat, and had a meeting in the Bahamas with all these other sailing families. All the moms had a wonderful conversation about their experiences sailing with their families. They recorded the interviews, along with more video recordings and photos of the families. The videographer had an assistant and a second camera. They worked for days on this project. They ended up with 20 hours' worth of footage they would edit into a documentary.
About three days after all the recordings were done, one woman contacted her and said, I just heard you're turning this into a documentary.
She said, yes, that's what it was all about. That's why we get together.
The other woman said, I don't want to be in a documentary.
She was in a lot of the footage.
My friend could cut out all the footage this woman was in, even though she may not be speaking, or blank out her face. Either way, there wasn't a good option that would preserve the footage needed for a good documentary.
My first question was you got a talent release, didn't you?
No. She had asked none of them for a talent release.
You can't do anything with that footage.
The same is true if you're live streaming and you're turning it into a podcast and then turning the podcast into a transcription, and then turning that into a blog post and book.
Make sure that every guest you have on your show or anybody who's going to become a part of your documentary or book has signed a talent release in order for you to use all that material.
Protect yourself, your time, money, and show. Get a signed release before you hit the go live or record button.
When we interviewed 18 women in podcasting at the She Podcasts conference, as soon as they sat down we asked them to fill out a contact information form and then read and sign a talent release.
If someone says they can't sign a talent release, we cancel their appearance as a guest. No hard feelings. Thank you for your time. Have a nice day. Goodbye.
Anybody who wants the experience and publicity that comes with speaking to an audience should know there's an expectation to sign a release. I don't know that we've ever had anybody turn us down. It's important to get it, especially if you have other plans for all of that content.
Some documentarians don't use releases. Do they have a risk? Absolutely. If they put the documentary either into the public domain or if it becomes a commercial product, they have to have talent releases. Otherwise, just one person in that documentary saying I didn't give you permission and they’ll get a cease and desist letter from an attorney saying take it down.
If you don't take it down, you'll be served with a letter of petition saying there's a suit filed against you. The courts are always on the side of the individual who didn't sign the talent release.
With our book, Women in Podcasting, we told all the women right up front: This interview is going to be a podcast episode and a chapter in our book. We had them sign the release. We fully informed them and secured their cooperation by signing a release before we ever started the interview. That's the best way to do it.
We published a book on Amazon called Livecast Life, the Content Creator Lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is performing at a high level to attract an audience. Using all the bells and whistles will come into play over time. It could be something that you have as a vision. I want to do a show like yours. You see somebody's show and some things they're doing and you want to do it too. That can be your vision and you can get there.
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That's all we have for how to put together your livestream show to attract viewers and add all the fun bells and whistles. If you have any questions or you'd like to learn more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watching isn’t the same as doing it. That's for sure. But once you've done it a few times, it becomes so much easier. It's just getting over that hurdle of trying it the first time that is the biggest obstacle to becoming a regular live streamer. If you want to spend an hour chatting about your vision for your show with us, we can walk you through some of these tools in more detail. Schedule a call with us at http://calendar.agkmedia.studio
If you have further questions, you can get our book Livecast Life at http://book.livecast.life and you can learn more. In the first few pages, you're going to find some free checklists to help you get through everything. That's a fantastic way to get started.