Booking events is more than half the battle of building a career as an event speaker. You can be an absolute expert in the topic at hand, but if nobody has ever heard of you, you’re not getting hired.
Enter livestreaming – a tool that allows event speakers to build their personal brand, get in front of decision-makers and showcase their speaking ability.
I’m a livestreamer and event speaker. It’s hard for me to say if I ever would’ve landed a speaking gig if I didn’t livestream.
This somewhat new technology has completely transformed the way that event speakers are discovered, meaning you should absolutely take advantage of it by deciding to livestream today.
Choose (and Commit) to One Platform
There are countless livestream platforms these days. Back in the distant year of 2015, there were one or two options for livestreaming. Now, there are dozens of options. Quite literally every social media platform has now launched a livestreaming side to their platform.
On top of that, you have YouTube and Twitch, two of the big options in the livestreaming game.
You’ve got your work cut out for you if you’re just starting out with your online presence. However, if you already have an existing presence, it might be a good idea to start with the platform with your biggest following.
Otherwise, look at what platforms people in your industry are using. If you’re a fitness speaker, Instagram is probably a good home for your livestreams. If you’re a political commentator, Twitter might the way to go.
Put in the time to examine your industry before landing on a platform. Once you do – commit to it. And only it.
Yes, you can broadcast the same stream to multiple services (you’ll need a third-party setup, but it’s possible). However, I do not recommend this for most streamers. It divides your attention between the platforms and diminishes the user experience. You’ll need to interact with viewers across all the platforms, which may confuse viewers on the other platforms.
So, pick one platform and stick with it. After a year or so, if you want to expand to another platform, don’t simultaneous broadcast to it. Do individual streams on each platform.
Build Your Personal Brand from Home
Event speakers are the poster children for personal brands. You are your brand. You don’t rely on a project, app or technical service. Your service is speaking, and you’re the speaker!
In the old days, event speakers would constantly attend networking events to find gigs. They would have to build their brands through one-on-one interactions.
Once the Internet was invented, this slowly evolved. Now business cards had email addresses on them!
Fast forward to now, and you can perform your skill (speaking) from the comfort of your home, as often as you want. You don’t have to wait for someone to hire you to show what you can really do.
With every livestream, you’ll be building your personal brand. People will get to know your personality; you’ll build trust and showcase your expertise on the subject matter.
Perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to spread your message and vision. Every speaker that I’ve met has a specific vision or message that they tie into every speech they give. Livestreaming allows you spread your message to a receptive audience.
Craft a Potent Topic Strategy
One of the most common questions that I receive is, “what do I talk about when I go live?” Well, the answer is to pick a topic beforehand and talk about that.
If you were just livestreaming for fun, I’d say talk about whatever comes to mind. But you’re livestreaming with the goal of booking events, building your brand and growing your business. It’s a much different beast.
So, instead of spouting off streams of consciousness, prepare beforehand. In fact, prepare your livestreams for a month (or more) at a time.
Sit down and write a list of topics you’d like to discuss that relate to your industry. What bothers people? What frustrates people? How can you inspire people? How can you motivate people?
Whether you opt for paper or a spreadsheet, write down as many ideas as you can. Then, organize them in a logical order. Ideally, viewers will keep coming back for more. This means each livestream should build upon the previous stream.
Once your list is written and organized, you’ll be ready!
Now, it’s worth noting that livestreaming is not the same as event speaking. Instead of giving a prepared speech, you want to create an engaging and interactive experience for the viewer. This means you don’t want to write a complete speech; you want to prepare a rough outline and have wiggle room.
Make Sure Production Quality is Amazing
You don’t need too much to create a top-quality livestream. It comes down to what I like to call L.A.V.S., which stands for:
I cover this concept thoroughly in other blog posts and in my book, so I’ll just touch on each here.
To begin, start with what you have. You don’t need to go spend thousands of dollars on equipment to get a professional looking livestream.
When it comes to lighting, daylight is the ultimate lighting solution. It’s as simple as opening a window or going outside. If you need a boost, spend a little bit of money on a ring light that will snap onto your phone.
Audio is a little trickier. The speaker on your phone isn’t made to pick up sound from an arm’s length away. So, you can simply use earbuds with a microphone and wear them during the broadcast. If you don’t like this look, you can buy an external mic that plugs into your smartphone.
Video is easy – use your smartphone camera. If your front facing camera is lacking, you may want to stream from your home computer with a USB camera. Otherwise, it might be a good time to upgrade your smartphone.
Now, stability. This one is big. If your stream is shaky, it doesn’t matter what you’re saying, people will leave. Stability can be gained with a tripod or simply setting your phone in an eye level spot while you stream. If you must walk and talk, consider a selfie stick, which will be a little more stable than just holding it with your hand.
Honorable mentions go to Internet speed. If you’re on your home WiFi you probably don’t have to worry about anything. However, if you’re out and about, run a speed test before you go live. A slow connection means horrible quality regardless of what else you do.
Quality is important, but don’t get too obsessed with it. People are a little more forgiving with live video than with other types of video. Aim for the best you can, but the content of what you’re saying is what really matters.
Consistency is Vitally Important
You absolutely must livestream with regularity if you wish to build an audience. People need to know when to tune in.
Pick an interval that works for you. The more often you livestream, the more you’ll build out your brand and have the potential to book new clients. However, you don’t want to overload yourself – plus you’ll need to save room for the event that you’ll be speaking at.
I typically suggest doing an hour-long livestream once per week. While that changes in some industries, it’s a good amount for event speakers. It gives you time to come up with new topics while still doing everything else involved with running your business.
Pick a time and day that you can always fit into your schedule and block it out. No meetings, no appointments – nothing is allowed on that day and time.
All that remains is livestreaming consistently.
Create Impromptu Networking Events
Once you’ve built up something of a following on your livestreams, you’ll be in a position to launch a digital networking event whenever you like. You’ll be poised to meet professionals from all walks of life who are interested in what you’re saying and may want to hire you to speak at their event.
It goes even further than that, though – your audience can even network with each other. Perhaps a web developer meets up with a lawyer in the comments of your livestream. You notice, and you can facilitate the introduction.
I truly believe livestreaming is one of the greatest tools at your disposal to build your career as an event speaker. Take advantage of it and watch your bookings grow.