Orange branded image with a smiling Libby Langley wearing an orange t-shirt and a picture of Ian wearing headphones and a black top on the left-hand side with grey text on the right that reads 'top tips for going live'

Libby: Hello. I’m here today about to talk to Ian Anderson-Gray from the Confident Live Marketing Podcast, amongst other things, and we’re going to be talking about how to go live with confidence.

Ian: Hi! I’m Ian and I live just south of Manchester in the UK. I help entrepreneurs to level up their impact, authority, profits using live video. And the keyword is confidently – whether it’s with the tech, because a lot of people get scared about the tech, don’t they? Or and this is kind of actually when you dig under the surface a little bit, it’s usually the confidence and mindset of getting in front of the camera. A lot of people are scared about looking like an idiot.

Libby: Well, we are way past that, way past caring.

Ian: Exactly. The final thing is the content marketing side of things. What on earth do I say and how do I get people to watch? That’s what I do. I coach and work with some large video companies as an ambassador and I also do some live video production as well. This has been particularly a big thing over the last year as a lot of companies have gone virtual as well.

Libby: There’s a lot of that a lot of synergy between what you do and what I do. I work with small business owner doing the same sort of thing to help them be stress free when it comes to their social media. A big thing that I talk about as part of the overall social media marketing mix is doing video and live video as well. It’s definitely one of the secret weapons in terms of social media success, I would say.

But it’s not everybody’s immediate go to in terms of it doesn’t sound a particularly comfortable and joyous thing to do. I just want to talk through today our thoughts and feelings on it. And then maybe a couple of tips that would help people. One thing actually that it’s perhaps worth saying, which people might not know or believe or anything, is actually that both of us are introverts and don’t really like doing this sort of stuff all the time.

Ian: When you were on my show whenever it was last week or the week before, I just felt this sense of joy when you said that you felt exactly the same way. I think often we can beat ourselves up, well I do, a lot. Don’t get me wrong I love life. In my previous career, I was a professional classical musician. I used to go on stage, perform in front of hundreds of people, and I go off – what a weird thing to do, get paid for it.

But I always felt nervous and I went and did it again but just beforehand I thought to myself, why on earth did I sign up to this? Why did I do this? But I always got that buzz. As an introvert doing live video, I feel the same thing. I always ask the question, why on earth am I doing this? When I go live. Actually, it’s a lot better these days because the more you do it, the easier it gets.

I do it and I get that buzz. It’s an amazing experience because I’m communicating with my audience. There’s a community there which is great, but at the end of it, I feel exhausted. I’m a big believer in afternoon naps. I’ll probably go for an afternoon nap and that’s fine. I’ve come to realise that there’s a limit to how many I can do. If I do two in a day, that’s a bit too much.

I think you just need to realise what works for you. It might be that you can do two or three live videos in one day. By the way, you don’t need to do that. But just do what works for you. If you’re thinking about live video and it makes you scared, then don’t worry, because I was very much like that.

I used to call myself the reluctant live video guy. But now there are so many amazing reasons which we will probably go into which that mean that live video for me is an absolute joy and I wouldn’t do without it.

Libby: No, I would agree with everything that you’ve said. It was me that brought up about how tiring all this is. Most Wednesdays I actually do two lives, but they’re very different to me. I do a live conversation on Instagram like this, and then I go live into my Facebook group for my members. And I think because that’s members only, in a kind of closed community and we all know each other a bit it has a different feel to me.

Once that’s over on a Wednesday, that’s it, I can kind of relax. I get a bit, I start sort of wandering around the house and think, well, I can’t do anything else because I’ve got that live – it’s like a big thing in in my day.

I’m the same I’ve always worked in sales, marketing kind of side of things. I’ve always done a lot of presentations and a lot of teaching as well. I’ll talk to hundreds of people, classrooms of people and that just doesn’t faze me.

But it’s how draining it is. And people might be surprised about that when they first go live, that they afterwards once the adrenaline has stopped, they feel absolutely knackered and wonder if they’ve done something wrong. It’s OK to feel like that. It’s perfectly normal to feel like that because you have this build-up of nerves and adrenaline and stress and everything and do it whatever comes out comes out. Maybe making people aware that that’s perfectly, perfectly normal and even the most seasoned pros of us and still struggle with that.

Ian: Yeah, I think you can, you can almost have the blues afterwards. You can feel a little bit, not necessarily depressed, but you know because you’ve had that high adrenaline pumping through your veins it’s quite natural. You might find like the next hour after you do it, that you feel great and then you’ll have this dip afterwards. If you feel that, then don’t worry. It’s particularly a worry with live video, because then you can then start to beat yourself up afterwards.

I tend to always say to my clients, definitely look back at your live videos because you want to learn from them. You want to get better and better and better. But before you say anything critical, you need to come up with three things that you did really well. It’s so simple, but what did you do really well? What can you carry on doing next time? And then what are three things that you can do to improve for next time?

And the important thing here is that you treat yourself the way you would treat a client. If we were to treat our clients the way we treat ourselves, we’d get sacked in no time

Libby: Immediately, yeah. You’re absolutely right. That was one of the things that I wanted to discuss today with you. Some things you can look at the positives and some things to avoid.

But before we kind of go on to that, I think perhaps we should just start by saying why any of this matters, why live video? We’re both big advocates of it. But why? Why does it make a difference?

Ian: That’s a really important question. The wrong reason. And this is actually the reason why I started. I’m a complete hypocrite here. I started because it was something new and exciting and everyone else was talking about it but I’m so glad I did that. These days now that’s established, you need to have a much better reason than that and there are lots of reasons, really good reasons. The first thing is it’s much more difficult to get the trusted clients that we want or customers.

But the best way to do it is to build up that trust. Through video is great because people can get to know you, they can get to know your mannerisms, they can hear your voice, they can look at you. Pre-recorded video is great, but live video is even better because you can’t hide your flaws.

Libby: You can’t edit yourself.

Ian: You can’t edit yourself. This is good for your audience because they’re seeing the real you.

I don’t know about you, Libby, but I when I go through Instagram stories, I quite often will skip over some stories that I don’t I’m not interested in. I’ve looked back at why I did that. Why did I skip over that? And I realised it’s because it was too professional and too slick – I prefer the more the raw ones, where I can get to know the real person.

And this is why I love what you do. You just get on here and you just do it.

Libby: There’s probably a lesson in there as well that’s not necessarily how to do it. For me, I just I suppose I’ve been in business for ten years and teaching this topic for two years before that as well so I guess I’ve been doing this for so long that like I said, a whole career of doing presentations and teaching to people. I’m also of an age now where I care less than I did in my 20s. Quite frankly, I can’t change the way I am – I haven’t managed up to this point.

Ian: That comes across and that’s great. That from the customer’s point of view, is a big plus, but also from your point of view, I don’t know about you Libby, but I’m a recovering perfectionist. Creating content for me is a big process, I procrastinate like crazy. With live video, you’ve got none of that. In fact, it’s the perfect antidote to perfectionism or procrastination because if you schedule your live show for next Tuesday, you’re announcing it to the world so you have to do it. Even if you don’t schedule it, for example, today with Instagram live you said, I’m going live with Ian today – because you have me here, you have to do it. You’ve got no excuse. Once you’ve gone live and you’ve done that, you can then repurpose that into lots of other content – that’s what I do with my show.

Blogging changed my life, but the amount of effort and time that went into my blogs was ridiculous. Now I go live. It turns into a podcast, into a blog post, social media images, little video snippets. Yes, there’s some work involved with that and I’ve got a team to help me. But I can’t tell you how relieved that makes me as a person.

It means I can do other stuff, but it also means I can reach other audiences out there as well. That’s a big thing.

Libby: I think it’s easier as well. With writing, it’s something I’ve always taught people is to write in the way you talk, particularly when it comes to LinkedIn profiles and blogs. There has been two kinds of sticking points for that, because they’re much more seen as more formal areas but the thing about video, and certainly live video, is that you just you’re just talking. You just talk and we can all just have conversations and it does all the personality and all what you really think comes out.

Whereas when you’re writing something, you edit it, you tweak it, you go back, you change and it ends up being, or can end up being, such a diluted version of what you actually wanted it to be. If you’re going to do that, then you’re best to talk to camera first and then you descript or something like that. Actually, get a transcript of what you say, because it will be more natural and there will be more personality there.

I’ve got a question though, because we’re talking about video, really about live video how do you feel about audio only lives such as clubhouse? I did my first Twitter space’s yesterday to an audience. Actually nobody, but that was absolutely fine. How do you feel about audio only being a useful tool or do you think the visual makes is what makes the difference?

Ian: I think it’s there’s definitely room for things like clubhouse and Twitter spaces, but there is something about the visuals people like. I personally love the fact that I can turn my live shows into a podcast, because audio only is really important for people who aren’t in the position to watch. For example, if you’re doing the washing up, if you’re driving, not a good idea to watch a live video so you’re reaching another audience if you repurpose.

Now, I think clubhouse and Twitter spaces are in a different category because, yes, the audio only. But that, in a sense, is less important. The thing that makes those places different is the fact that they are in the now – there is no replay. I think that’s a good thing because it just it frees people up to say things they probably wouldn’t normally say and you can have these real conversations. Yes, I know you can record them.

There are ways to record it but the main point is it’s in the now these conversations. I wouldn’t really put them in the live video live streaming category. They are very different. Whether we’ll have a resurgence of live audio, you can technically do Facebook live audio on Android devices. Only at the moment, I don’t know why they haven’t done an iPhone, but there we go.

I think audio is definitely is the new exciting thing. And I’m really excited about the fact that we’re seeing much more in that space. We’ve been so focussed on video – I think we do need to focus on audio as well. But for the time being, I would definitely say live video. The great thing about live video from the creator’s points of view is that you can repurpose it into so many, so many other types of content.

You can’t repurpose audio into video if you don’t have the video in the first place.

Libby: Absolutely. I think we just we’ve got a comment – Pink Dragonfly Consulting – said she did a live in her group this morning and is now using that for her newsletter and blog for the week. Yes. It’s so adaptable. I think for me, I mean, it seems strange as a kind of an introvert to say it really. Because I’ve always loved writing, but actually I probably find it easier to talk. Particularly if I’m talking to someone else, like just now lots of things will come into my mind.

I always have many questions about everything that I’m doing and or involved with or seeing or whatever it is. I think that the conversational aspect of lives for me works really well. We could keep talking for four hours on this topic because you can bounce off each other. Whereas if you’re just writing something, then that idea loses that fluidity. It’s an interesting. A lot of psychology behind it.

Ian: I was just going to say when it comes to introvert extrovert, there’s a lot of misconceptions about this. People think that the introverts are the shy people, the extrovert are the really bold people, it’s not actually anything to do with that.

It’s to do with where do you get your energy from. Introverts tend to thrive on either being on their own, or small groups of people like we are now, this is just two of us. There’s lots of people watching and stuff, that’s great. But I think introverts, generally speaking, are quite deep thinkers. We don’t particularly like small talk. I can do small talk. I’ve learnt the super ninja skill of small talk, but I don’t enjoy it.

We tend to prefer just get to the meat and get in with a really nice deep conversation. I think what you say makes perfect sense.

Libby: No, actually, I find it fascinating. I do find it all really, really interesting. I suppose a kind of self-analysis on it. It’s pretty horribly unhealthy, but.

Ian: Well, we can overthink.

Libby: This is the problem isn’t it really. So back to live video then. Obviously, we are two masters of it, uber professional here. What should we be avoiding when it comes to live video? I will say the first one, and I know that I’m horribly guilty of this and it’s fidgeting. I’m a terrible fidget if I’m not rubbing my nose, I’m moving in my seat, and I know that’s an appalling habit and I’m very conscious of it, but I can’t stop.

So that’s something that you shouldn’t do, which I know I’m very guilty of.

Ian: Yeah, a kind of counter argument to that, you know, do embrace your flaws. There might be certain mannerisms that you have. We tend to when we look at ourselves, we can really look at and think, oh, I hate it, I hate when I do that. Don’t be too hard on yourself. But yeah, fidgeting.

Libby: All the videos that I watch back of myself, I say hello and then I shuffle in my seat. I think that’s a nerves thing. Even though I don’t necessarily feel nervous. I think it’s that I just need to maybe grab myself.

Ian: I think you definitely need to make sure you have a checklist that you go through everything, make sure that your microphone is working, the Internet is working, all those kinds of things. I think a lot of people will start without thinking about any of those things and then it can end up being a disaster. You need to do those things. Also avoid waiting for people to join your lives.

I’ve seen people that will just wait around. I’m just going to waiting for people to join me, OK? Yeah. Then it just ends up being really boring for your replay audience because they’re just watching. I mean, the first people that watch your live shows are always people from the future. Your replay audience. That’s really important to think about that. The next thing is losing focus of those different audiences, the replay and the live audience when it comes to comments.

There’s a balance now you don’t want to ignore your live audience. I see some people doing live shows who completely ignore the comments. That’s really bad because it makes your comments as your live audience not feel loved and why should they bother? What you’ve been doing there, because you’ve been looking at the comments and bring those on is good.

But then the opposite problem, is you spend too much time with the comments and then it becomes really boring for your replay audience. Also it doesn’t make it very good for your repurposing side of things, so there’s a balance and you have to have those different audiences in mind and it’s even more complicated if you are repurposing as a podcast, because you’ve got to think about your podcast listeners.

But how you structure the show is really helpful and how you think about those different audiences is also very helpful.

Libby: That’s a really good point actually, because I am conscious that the majority of the people who see this will see it on catch up, as I like to call it, like some TV celebrity. I think in terms of the structure and the focus, I mean, I’ve got just three lines on a Post-it note stuck on my light here as some sort of structure and order to the points that I wanted to talk about today.

And it can be as simple as that. It’s just the basic flow. This is this is the thing we kind of talk about to keep us on topic, because you can go wildly off topic and do that in another show. Stick to your one basic topic. Then if you go off on a tangent, make a note of that and do that and another one. That’s something that I would say try and stay focussed and make sure you’ve got some, even if it is just three things written on it.

Stick to your script.

Ian: Definitely. The other thing to say here, which is really important is the if you’ve never gone live before, I pretty much guarantee your first live video, even your first 12 live video, the first dozen isn’t going to be that great. So just be OK with that. Go live and just test it out. You’ll make all your mistakes at the start then remember what you did wrong. Next time you won’t do it or you’ll get better.

But the first few live videos that you do won’t be that great. And even when you get up to, I mean, my live show, I’m on episode, maybe one hundred and fifty now and I’ve had other shows before that, but I still occasionally will make like a really silly mistake. And that’s fine.

You know, we’re human, so don’t beat yourself up if these things happen, just learn from that experience and get on. It’s like a graph you can draw – at the beginning, your fear factor will be really high and the quality will be really quite low.

Over time it gets more and more You’ll have blips along the way that keep going and learn from it. Obviously, if you look at other creators out there, go back to their first video and you’ll see that though they might be amazing now, but their first video probably was really bad.

Libby: I completely agree with all of that. I think some basics leading on from that, I guess I’ve learnt certainly from going live on Instagram is different. If I do it on Facebook, you could do it from my computer, but sit somewhere where you’ve not got too much of a background. I have a space in my office without too much of a background. Plug your phone in because that is really fundamental. If your phone is charging, then you won’t get distracted when it’s draining your battery and it pops up with 10% left or whatever.

I have a light that I always use a ring light. I think those are the kind of three basic checklist items to think about really in terms of fundamentals. In terms of kit, I’m just using my phone. I’ve not got a microphone in because I’m charging my phone and I’m very low tech, whereas you have far more elaborate tech. But actually, you don’t need unless you’re serious about repurposing your content for podcasting. These kinds of things where the audio is much more important, it actually doesn’t matter.

Nobody should let not having the right tech be a barrier because you could do this if you were standing in a field and you had a half decent 4G, you’d be all right?

Ian: That’s the thing that so many people ask me. What’s the best microphone to use? Which is the best webcam to use? They ask me all these questions. I asked them, have you actually gone live before? And the answer is no, because they wanted everything to be perfect first before they go live then work on the other stuff like getting a decent microphone and webcam for not a huge amount of money.

That’s the easy job. But working on yourself, the mindset, the deep thinking, the planning, all that kind of stuff, that’s the hard bit. That’s the bit you need to start with first. Yes, there are lots of advantages, as you said, from a repurposing point of view, having a nice microphone and camera, lighting, all that and stuff. You don’t need it. I’m a big believer in bootstrapping your live video studio. Start off really simply either from your computer or from a phone.

There’s pros and cons with both, which we can talk about, but just keep it simple. Once you feel really comfortable with your sets up, it might be at that point you want to upgrade your microphone or upgrade your camera and do it over time. That’s what I’ve done. I mean, the gear I’ve today, I didn’t have that a beginning. I’m a geek, you know, what can I say? I love the gear.

I do it also for me, because I’m doing live shows, not just for me, but I’m also doing it for big companies out there, so I do need to have that professional kit. You might not need to.

Libby: I think we’ve had it in the comments – I sometimes do my walking across the fields, but that’s I think that’s OK. Yeah. If the moment strikes you then do it. As long as you’ve got half decent 4G, then, then it will be OK. If you’ve got 3G then it’ll just be horrible, it won’t work, you might not be able to do it. But absolutely, you’re far better to go live because the moments hit you or you’re in the beautiful location or something, rather than not because you’re thinking, oh well, my phone’s not plugged in my microphone and all of this.

It really boils down to the ceasing the moment and the confidence to do it. What you’ve said Ian is right. Take a deep breath and go for it is better than thinking about it, you know, sweating over it for an hour and not doing it.

Ian: Yeah, absolutely. You just need to you just need to get it done, just do it. I think the important thing is to have a plan. There are different types of live shows. I tend to talk a lot about live shows and I should probably clear that up a little bit so you can do like a traditional live show, which is a regular thing. It’s could be every Tuesday or whatever and you’re broadcasting to a particular channel.

That’s great. But there are also other types of lives. Just the impromptu live where you are walking across the field. This is a bit more like it’s like a day in the life of you. A friend of mine, Sam Ashton, came up with a great acronym called Blast.

‘B’ is behind the scenes live shows, live video. It could be, what you’re working on today? What’s your office like, what’s your family life like.

‘L’ is local – people are really nosy. They love to know what’s happening in your local area. Maybe you could highlight a local business person. You can highlight them on your live show.

 The ‘A’ is a day in the life of some people really nosy about what you do in a typical day.

‘S’ is sneak peek. This could be something new that you’re working on and it could be like exclusive content that you haven’t shared anywhere else. Your live viewers are going to feel really kind of special.

And finally, the ‘T’, which is the one I tend to focus on his tips and advice. This is the killer content that you create that you can repurpose into other stuff.

I think that’s a helpful acronyms for the different types of shows, all videos you can produce.

Libby: I would agree that’s excellent. Excellent advice.

I have to say, I tend to focus more on the on the tips side, the useful helpful interesting business stuff. I think that, again, comes right down to the introvert/extrovert because, I don’t want to let people into my life too much because I’m uncomfortable with that.

It’s the whole boundaries thing for me. But there’s a difference between, not live in the same way, but doing video that goes onto your feeds and then doing video and stories. Videos can often be more casual, more behind the scenes kind of stuff.

Whereas what goes in your feed, perhaps lives like this and IGTVs or Facebook or wherever you do, it can be the more business focussed side of things. You can do both if you do them in a slightly different way. That’s quite a nice balance actually.

Ian: Yeah, I totally agree. I think that’s good. I need to do more of this because this is a regular show for you, but more the impromptu lives when I’m going out and about. Being kind of in lockdown and being at home. I suppose I’ve not done that. But I used to if I went out on a walk, I’d probably share my thoughts.

The only issue I have with that I’ve got a very bad memory and so I have a perfect picture of what I’m going to say before I go live and then I forget. If I if I’m in my studio, I’ve got it all printed out. But if I’m walking about that’s maybe that’s part of the fun of it.

Libby: I think we’ve given some really super top tips that it’s been really helpful

So, people can follow you. I’ll tag you in this when I save this to IGTV people can follow you on Instagram @Iagdotme

Ian: Yeah. Go to iag.Me/podcast. It’s the confident live marketing podcast.

Libby: It’s important and it’s important that people understand why it’s important to do. And it’s also important that it’s OK to not be hugely comfortable with it lots of us actually aren’t. So super.

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