Rob's guest for this episode of the Growth Moves podcast is Ian Anderson Gray, the king of live video.
Listen to discover how you can create loads more impact, authority and profit with the power of confident live video on the big, high traffic platforms where your prospects hang out: Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube…
Rob Tyson: Welcome back listener. Rob Tyson here. Now, in the last episode, I talked to B2B lead generation expert Sarah Hughes about four free ways to generate B2B leads in lockdown and beyond. So, be sure to catch up on that if you missed it. But I'm here today with Ian Anderson Gray. Now, Ian, I call the king of live video, and he helps entrepreneurs create loads more impact, authority and profits through the power of confident live video. You may have seen Ian around actually. He is an in-demand speaker and he speaks at events like Social Media Marketing World in the U.S., Content Marketing World, New Media Europe. So, he is a great person to have on to talk about this topic. But before we welcome Ian and get into all that, if you're listening to this show, chances are good you have professional expertise, and it could be you'd like to monetize that through an online learning program. Well, before you do anything else, take a few moments, because I've got a free web class for you that can save you a lot of pain probably, because I would like you to forget locking yourself away, creating content for months on end, only to find no one buys it. I'd like you to forget for the moment funnels, launches, and also selling your expertise for peanuts on a course supermarket. Instead of all that, you will get my rapid method for successfully selling high margin online learning programs in 2020. So, that is all free. And all you need to do to get that is pop along to robtyson.net/class for the details. So, that is, once again, robtyson.net/class. So, with all that said, Ian, welcome. Good to have you with us.
Ian: Well, thanks, Rob. It's great to be on your show. Thank you for inviting me on.
Rob: No, you're very welcome. And talk to us, so, why are you so enthusiastic about live video?
Ian: Well, for many reasons. Probably my favorite bit about it is the fact that we can interact with our audiences, or more importantly, they can interact with us. It's a really intimate platform, and I think we definitely need that. We can so get obsessed by communicating one-way. And this is a way that we can actually have communications both ways, be a little bit more intimate, and be raw and authentic. I know the word authenticity is probably overused, but I think with live video, it's one of the most powerful things. And also, the other thing I love about it is the fact that it is a way to get rid of that perfectionism syndrome that so many of us can get obsessed with, and produce content really quickly and easily, and then be able to repurpose that into lots of different pieces of content. So, that's something that I've found over the last year in doing a regular live video show. I've been able to create so much more content that's really valuable to my audience, and also be able to be a bit more real and engage with them.
Rob: Yeah, excellent. No, and you're quite right about the procrastination thing, because I guess if we tell the world we're gonna be doing a live video on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever at a certain time on a certain day, well, we just gotta do it, right. And it doesn't matter how we feel about it, we've gotta do it, or else we're gonna be embarrassed. And that's really powerful when you realize that you can actually harness that and make it work in your favor. That's a really, really valuable thing, I think, a forcing function like that.
Rob: So, Ian, you're gonna kinda take us through three steps to start and be successful with this. So, over to you, sir. Let's talk about those steps.
Ian: Well, I've spoken with lots of people around the world, my audience, and clients. And it really...the problems with live video are the....there are three barriers, I think, that hold people back from actually embracing live video. The first really is that confidence and the camera fear. So, people really struggle with pressing that go live button, because they, quite frankly, they're worried about looking like an idiot and stumbling over their words. Maybe they don't like the way they sound or the way they look. And so, that can be a big problem.
So, I suppose this is down to mindset. And the problem is that we struggle with so many different things. It could be, as I say, we don't like the way we look or the way we sound. It could be imposter syndrome. It could be perfectionism syndrome. It could be that we compare ourselves with other people. And I think we need to get beyond that. We need to start thinking about, sorry, we need to stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking about our audience. We can get a little bit self-obsessed. And actually, we forget that our audience are just patiently waiting for us to produce that content, whereas we're getting worried about getting in front of the camera.
So, there are a number of things that we can do to help that process. The first thing, that's so important, which is important in anything that we do, is to ask the question, why? Why are we doing this? Why are we actually going to be doing live video? And what is the message that we're wanting to put across? You need to have a really, really good reason to do that. Otherwise, it's gonna be very difficult to persuade yourself to press that go live button. You need to be able to plan what you're going to do. So, that's the first thing.
And then the second thing is to just do it. Just to practice first, and then just to press that go live button once you've obviously planned it. So, there's a... probably a good place to start here is with the likes of Instagram stories. Now, you might not be massively into Instagram, but Instagram stories are great, because they're only 15 seconds long. They're a great way for you to become more consistent with live... with getting in front of the camera. And it also means that you're going to be able to do that on a regular basis too. So, you have to commit to that. So, commit to maybe doing it every day for seven days. And the great thing about that is that, what's the worst that's gonna happen? Because Instagram stories only last for 24 hours before they disappear into the ether. So, you know, if you make a fool of yourself, it's not gonna be the end of the world. So, that's one good place to start.
And then another place to start is just to try it on Facebook. So, whether you're thinking about going live on Facebook or another platform, the great thing about Facebook on the mobile app is that you can change the privacy settings to "only me." So, why not just test going live on your personal profile, nobody else is gonna see it, and just play around with that? So, those are two practical ways. And then the other thing is just to warm up your voice, warm up your body, and to practice your breathing before you go live, because all those kinds of things can really help.
Because, the problem is, the camera is a little bit of an energy-sucking device. When we look at the camera, we tend to go all strange and we tend to, kind of, our energy levels go down and down and down, because the camera is sucking the energy out of us. As human beings, we're so used to interacting with other human beings, looking into another person's eyes. And a camera is an inanimate object. It's this very strange thing that I look at when I'm doing my live videos. But actually, there's nobody there. And so, actually, you need to instead of thinking about it as the camera, actually think about that as another human being. I know, some of my clients have actually printed out a picture of a good friend of theirs or one of their really good clients and stuck it just behind their cameras so that they can actually imagine they're talking to that person, and that can really help.
Rob: Yeah. And I can certainly feel that. I mean, I've never really thought about it in that way before, but yeah, I've definitely, sort of, felt that energy drain when you're looking at the thing. I mean, the other thing that bothers me sometimes, and I guess it depends on the platform, is if sometimes you're seeing yourself on there, that I can find a bit freaky. But so, getting over the fear is this first step, and to what extent, I mean, we may come onto this later, Ian, but to what extent should we be preparing? Because although they're obviously live videos, you know, I find with my stuff, the more prepared I am, the less nervous I feel. And so, what do you think is the kind of sweet spot between being spontaneous and being... but also being prepared? And, you know, maybe being prepared is just, "Well, I've got some clue what the beginning, the middle, and the end is of this thing." What do you think?
Ian: Yeah. Well, that's a great question because it actually depends on the type of live video that you're going to do. So, I went live just the other day on my walk, I was walking in our local park, and I was... the idea of that live video was it was gonna be a little bit more rough around the edges, it was just an opportunity for me to interact with my audience to have a bit of a chat. And so, there really was only one thing that that was gonna be, which was... I had a few ideas of what I was gonna talk about, but it was really more of a conversation between me and my audience. So, I didn't really need to do much planning.
But the kind of live videos that I tend to do more often, and the ones that I advocate more, are where you're actually sharing some of your expertise. And so, those you definitely do need to plan, particularly when you start off. You can... as you get more confident with these and you become more comfortable, you can get away without planning it quite so rigidly, although don't get complacent about it. Don't get complacent. So, what I would do with the whole structure, and this is more, maybe more kind of veering into my third... the third section, but I'll just talk about this briefly because it does tie into your confidence.
So, I always like to write down the first couple of sentences that I'm going to say, because it's funny what the brain does, but you press that go live button, and quite often, your brain will go complete to mush, because you're suddenly realizing, "Oh, I'm live." And so, actually writing down the first thing that you're gonna say is really, really helpful. You have to treat yourself like a complete imbecile, because your brain just can go to mush for the first few seconds. And so, make sure you plan the first things that you're going to say. Also, when you're going to be talking to your live audience, and when you're gonna be talking to your replay audience as well, and then you need to structure, well, what are the three points, if it's gonna be three, what are the three points that I want to say in this video? What is the call to action? And then, when am I next going to go live? You want to obviously tell people when you're next going to go live. And then, what's the final thing that you're going to say? So, I think you need to structure it. I definitely don't advocate writing it word for word, because then it can become really stale, really boring and robotic. And we don't want that. So, just to have a structure to it, I do that for all my live videos, because if I didn't do that, I would probably end up rambling on and forget what I was going to say. So, definitely have that. I would recommend having a Google Doc, or just write it on a piece of paper and have that very close to you.
Rob: So, you, and this is gonna be my follow up question. So, you would actually have that piece of paper there, or you might have, I don't know, post-it notes stuck up or whatever it may be, just some kind of reminder to keep you on track? You'd suggest that's a good thing?
Ian: Oh, definitely. I mean, I've done hundreds of shows now, and I still wouldn't do that. I still would not do without having some kind of show notes next to me, because yeah, I have done it without, and it's just ending up being really unfocused and tedious to watch. It kind of depends on you and your character and your personality. But I still even think... I think for most people, they will need that document, a structure, and also, you need to remember those key bits. For example, what is your call to action at the end? It's so easy to forget that. I've forgotten quite a few times to do that call to action, because you're so eager to press the end broadcast button and get it all done with. So, make sure you do that.
Rob: Yeah, yeah, I suppose it's a bit like, you know, you go and see the Rolling Stones, but it's a live show, but it doesn't mean they don't have a setlist, right. I mean, you know, they know roughly what's gonna happen. I mean, in fact, you know, I guess with something like that, I mean, that's pretty well-choreographed, isn't it? But...
Ian: Well, definitely. And then the other thing is that if you're going to be looking at repurposing your live shows, it's even more important to plan that as well, because what you don't want is... So, to give you an example of what I'm talking about here is, I tape my live shows, and the middle section of my live shows, I then turn into a podcast, and they also get turned into a blog post. And so, if my live shows are all completely unstructured, it's going to be very difficult to then take that bit and turn it into a podcast. It's going to be tedious for my listeners, because I'll be, you know, talking about the comments and talking with people that way, and then getting off on the side track, and it's going to lose that structure. So, I think it's important to have that structure so it makes repurposing for later much easier.
Rob: Yeah, that's a great point, actually. And so, talk to us a little bit about repurposing, because I think that's really valuable for people. So, you say, you just said then that with your live shows, you'll repurpose into a podcast, so I get that, so you're just, you know, I guess you're pulling a piece of audio content out of the live. But also the blog post, talk to us about that. I mean, do you use a... is that a transcription service that you use to... you know, you send that off and get that transcribed, or do you use it in a different way?
Ian: Yeah. So, I've been experimenting with different ways of doing this. And I'm actually in the process of changing that. So, what I'm hoping to do is actually to hire somebody to make that into a blog post for me. So, they'll listen to the podcast, and then structure that in a way, and then I'll go in and I'll edit it. I've done that on a few ones in the past. And I think that's, in my experience, has been the best way.
I have used transcription services too. So, I've used the likes of rev.com. There's also a really cool tool called Descript.com, which allows you to, basically, you could just put the video into the Descript, so you can download it from Facebook, put it into Descript, or you can just put the MP3, the audio into it. It will transcribe it for you. And then you could actually go in and just take out words from the transcription, and then it will remove that from the audio. So, instead of actually editing the waveform like you would normally do in an editor, you actually just edit the words. So, that's pretty cool. And that could be one way that you could make it into the podcast.
But also, at the end of that, you can then take that transcript that you've edited, and put that into the blog post. And so, what I've done there in the past is I've taken that transcription, I put headings in it, I've added links, I've added images as I've gone through, and that can work quite well too. So, it kind of depends on what you wanted to do, but I definitely see the power of creating blog posts from my podcasts and my live shows, because historically, my blog has been the main way I've actually got my business. It's been the way I've got lots of traffic to my website, and so, because of all the SEO juice that you get from it, and so, that's something that I really want to put a lot of effort into in the future.
Rob: Yes, I like that a lot. I think that's a really clever idea for people, just the idea that, yes, you can do the live video, but it doesn't have to end there, and actually, it could be that if you have some nice processes around what you do, it might be that you just decide, well, I'm going to do a live video once a week, but then it's got all these spin-off benefits because, you know, we can turn that into a written article that can go on the website and on and on. So, that's really good. Yeah. All right. So, that was step one, and so just getting over the fear, you know, as you say, it's not all about you, it's about the audience, just trying to remember that, and doing some preparation. Those are the main things, right, getting over the fear?
Ian: Yeah, absolutely. It's a mindset thing. But also, it's warming up your voice as well. So, actually [inaudible 00:16:52] back in the day, I trained as a professional singer, so this is... I've got a probably, [inaudible 00:16:57] about this, but it's making sure that your body is... your posture is nice and relaxed, the upper body, in particular, and warming up your voice. So, one thing is that I see some people do live videos and their voice can end up becoming a little bit of a monotone. So, making sure that you're going up and down, using different pitches in your voice is important. And also, something, what I call "heightened authenticity."
So, just very briefly on that, because authenticity is really important. People want to see the real you. And people can actually tell very easily if you are putting an act on. So, don't try and be anything other than yourself, but you need to put a little bit more energy into your live videos than you probably would do normally, because, as I said, the camera is that energy-sucking device. So, what I teach my clients is this whole idea of heightened authenticity. So, it's coming up with a phrase that maybe, it could be your tagline for your business, and then practicing it at different energy levels.
So, my tagline is, "Level up your impact and authority using confident live video." So, if I was just talking to you face to face, I would probably say, "Level up your impact and authority using live video." And if I was doing it speaking with a couple of people, maybe three or four people, a group, I'd be, "Level up your impact and authority using live video." If it was a workshop for, in front of 30 people, I would be, "Level up your impact and authority using live video." If I'm in front of a camera, I will want to raise my energy levels a little bit more. So, it'll be more like, "Level up your impact and authority using live video." And then, the really fun one is, imagine you're in front of 10,000 people, you're giving a keynote at a mega-conference, and you have to put even more energy in, it would be something like, "Level up your impact and authority using live video."
And the reason I ask people to do that is, and a lot of people feel really uncomfortable when we get to level five, because it just feels, it feels, like, over the top. But that's kind of the point. You need to make it more over the top than you feel... you have to make it more energy than you feel comfortable, because the fact is, when you get in front of the camera, you're probably going to... your energy levels are gonna go down. So, you need to give more than you feel you need to give, whilst being yourself. You don't want to be this, like, ridiculous over-the-top person, which is unlikely to happen. So, you need to get those two things in check.
Rob: Yeah, I love that. That's a great point. Many years ago, I read a book by a guy called Max Atkinson, called "Lend Me Your Ears" which is about public speaking. And he makes a similar point. He just says that, when you're up there, it will tend to come across as flat. And so, what you need to do is... it will feel over the top to you when you're doing it, but it won't to the audience, you know, it will just feel, you know, and if you don't, you know, turn it up to 11, sometimes people are just gonna be like, yeah, you know, this is kind of... this is flat, it's boring, it's dull, and as you say, a bit monotonous, so I like that. And I bet you find when you're getting... do you get people to, sort of, scream and that? You know, I mean, I bet you find when they've done that, when they've kind of experienced what it's like to do the, you know, the level five, as you put it, probably they feel a lot more comfortable doing the level three, right, I imagine?
Ian: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And there's loads of other exercises that I get people to do. So, there are things like lip trill exercises, just to get their voices using the different pitches. So, I'll do one, it's gonna sound really silly, but it's going from the low part of your voice up to the top. So, [vocalization], like that. So, you're really putting a bit of energy into your voice. And then, things like tongue twister exercises, like, make some up, so, [vocalization], really putting lots of emphasis on each of those consonants.
And then, you can even sing a song. So, I sing a song at a couple of conferences I've been speaking at and this is just to have a bit of fun. You don't have to be musical. You might have the worst singing voice in the world. But the song that I tend to teach people is, "Daddy's Got a Head Like a Ping Pong Ball" to the tune of the William Tell Overture. And the great thing about this is it helps you with your diction, with your energy, and with your pitch. And it also will, hopefully, put a smile on your face. So, it goes something like this, "Daddy's got a head like a ping pong ball, daddy's got a head like a ping pong ball, Daddy's got a head like a ping pong ball, like a ping pong ball." There you go. You probably didn't expect somebody to sing on your podcast, but there you go.
Rob: I've never heard that song before. But I like it. No, that's great. And I can see, you know, if you're doing these kinds of exercises, yeah, you know, it's just gonna make you feel good and help you get past that fear, for sure.
Ian: Exactly. Because you want to... when you press that go live button, it's really good to start with a smile and even start with a bit of laughter as well, and quite frankly, at the moment, we probably need a bit of that as well. So, it's good to have a bit of fun with your live videos, I think.
Rob: Yeah, that's right. I mean, it's, yeah. Although it can be nerve-racking, it shouldn't... if it feels like it's a death sentence, I mean, it's just, you know, you need to, you know, it doesn't need to be like that, does it?
Ian: And one final thing on that, just that I forgot to mention earlier, is that actually, I had a psychologist on my show to talk about this. And there's actually a lot of correlation between the emotion of fear and the emotion of excitement. And so, actually, if you... you might feel that fear before you go live, but actually, if you try and... it's a case of convincing your brain, saying to your brain, "Do you know what? You're not afraid, you're just excited." And so, it's doing these kind of vocal exercises that I talked about, having a plan, and then say, "Do you know what? I'm really excited because I'm gonna be delivering some real value to my audience."
Don't let any of those negative voices that are probably saying, you know, I don't know, that you're rubbish, it's gonna sound awful, and all those kinds of things. Don't worry about those. Just put that to one side and just be excited. And, you know, if things go wrong, that's part of the fun. So, I went live last week, and we had a power cut 20 minutes in. So, about five minutes after that, I managed to get my mobile internet on and I had a torch, and we carried on for about three minutes after that. But, you know, people loved it actually. They love when things go wrong. And so, don't let that faze you. You'll know for next time what to do, although, if it's a power cut, there's probably not much you can do about, apart from getting a generator or get the candles out.
Rob: Yeah, there we go. No, very good. So, that was the first step then, really, just getting over that fear. And just, I think, recognizing it's something that most of us have, right, I mean, unless we're a complete egomaniac. You know, we're probably all a bit afraid, but that's not a reason not to do it.
Ian: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, I'm a lot more confident than I used to be. But I'm still quite happy to have a little bit of that fear. It just shows that I care. But I need to kind of get my mindset in check before I press that go live button. I need to know why I'm doing it, I need to make sure that I'm warming up, and that I turn that fear into excitement.
Rob: Excellent. Okay. So, that's step one, was the fear and getting over it. Step two, we need to think about the gear, right. This is how you'd frame it?
Ian: Yeah. The tech and the gear. So, and this is, some people... depends on your personality. Some people get really excited about this, probably they... you know, and I can understand this because, yeah, I'm a geek, I'm gonna admit it. I love playing with gear and technology. But sometimes, I just want to, just to mention this, that sometimes this, we can get so obsessed or thinking about this so much, that we end up not actually going live. Or sometimes, we can use this as an excuse not to go live.
So, a quick story that happened to me about over a year ago, probably about two years ago now, is that I didn't go live for a whole month because I was concerned that my camera wasn't good enough and my background was boring. And so, I was looking for... what I was thinking, "I need to get... I need to upgrade my camera. I need to get somebody in to help me with my backgrounds." And I didn't go live for a whole month. And then it struck me. The real reason was actually I was just too nervous, or I was just... I didn't like the way I looked. And I was comparing myself to others. It was a mindset issue. So, just be aware of that.
So, when it comes to tech and gear, it doesn't have to be complicated at all. And I'm a big believer in bootstrapping your live video studio. So, start small. Unless you're totally committed to live video, you know you're going to be super confident with this, and you've got a big budget, by all means, you know, spend £10,000, $10,000 on your live video studio from the start, but that's not most people. Start small and build it up over time. That's what I did. And so, probably a good place to start is to just use your smartphone, whether it's an iPhone or an Android phone. That's a good way just to build up your confidence, because it's so quick and easy. You can go live to Facebook through the Facebook app. And you can also do that to Instagram Live as well. You can't do it to YouTube unless you have over 10,000 followers. And you can't do that on LinkedIn easily. You can't do that through the LinkedIn app.
But with Facebook, you can, and it's a great place to start. So, the two things you basically need to go live are first of all a device, whether that's a computer, a tablet, or a phone, a smartphone. And the other thing that you need is decent internet. And the important thing here is your upload speed. So, before you go live, it's always a good idea just to check your internet speed. There's a tool that I use. I'd recommend downloading this for your Mac or your PC or your Android or your iPhone, and it's speedtest.net, and it's... just check your internet speed. You should be looking for at least 3 or 4 Mbs upload. If you've got lower than that, you might be okay, but you might not, and there's nothing worse than going live and then it says your internet connection is unstable, and then people can't see or hear you. So, just check your internet speed. I would say 4 or 5 Mbs upload speed is a good minimum to go for. And then, yes, just start on going live from your smartphone.
The next thing that you could look at is upgrading the microphone. And so, if people can hear you really well, that is gonna allow... people are going to stay and listen to you. If your audio is poor, they're gonna switch off. So, the microphone I recommend is a lapel mic. You can either go for the Rode Smartlav+, which is a really good microphone. Or there's a much cheaper version of that, a cheaper alternative, which is from BOYA, that's B-O-Y-A, and it's the BY-M1 lapel microphone. Don't you love these names? They just slip off the tongue. BY-M1.
Rob: I do. Tell us those again, Ian, those two, just in case people are scrambling to write them down, please.
Ian: Yeah. So, the company of the first one is Rode, R-O-D-E, and the microphone is called the smartLav+ and it's a lapel microphone. And the other one, the cheaper alternative, is the BOYA, B-O-Y-A, and it's the BY-M1. And both of them are lapel mics. Obviously, if you've got an iPhone, you will need, and you've got one of the more modern ones without the headphone jack, you'll need to get an adapter for that. But that's a really good place to start.
Rob: So, just to clarify things. So, for example, just using your smartphone and, kind of, plugging one of those into it would be the next step up from just using the smartphone and the built-in mic, is that what you're saying?
Ian: Yes, yeah. It really enhances the quality of the audio. And I know actually quite a few YouTubers who use that BOYA microphone, and they've been doing that for ages and get a really good quality. So, that's just a little hack just to improve the quality. So, I suppose at this point, it's a good idea then to talk about, well, what are the pros and cons? Or what's the differences between going live from your phone as opposed to your computer? Because there are big advantages and disadvantages with both. And I think going live from your computer, that's leveling things up and give you a lot more features.
So, advantages with going live from your smartphone. Well, first of all, it can give that more raw and authentic feel. It's great if you're out and about and you want to be mobile. Obviously, you can't lug your computer around with you. So, that's really good. And it's just a nice, kind of, very easy way of going live. But the downsides are that if you want to bring anyone in remotely, if you want to do an interview show, you can't do that on any of the apps except for Instagram. And if you wanna share your screen, unless you hold the phone's camera in front of your screen and somehow do it that way, you can't do that. You can't schedule your live videos as well. So, if you're wanting to do what I do, which is I will schedule my shows on Facebook and YouTube, and then be able to then send the link to my email list and on social media, you can't do that if you're going live from your phone. So, that's the disadvantage.
So, if you go live on your computer, you can schedule, you can bring in people remotely, you can use more professional webcams and microphones, you can share your screen, you can save the video in a higher quality format for later for repurposing, and you can also highlight comments on the screen as well. LinkedIn live, if you're lucky enough to have been granted access to LinkedIn live, that only works on the computer, although there is an app called Switcher Studio that does allow you to do it from phones. But most of the time, it's just on the computer. So, and highlighting comments and all that kind of stuff is only available if you go live from your computer. So, if you want to start on going live on your smartphone, but then progressing to doing it from your computer is the next step. And I definitely recommend doing that. And it doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. There are some great tools out there that make that really easy for you.
Rob: Yeah, very good. And I get the feeling people do this less now than they used to. I mean, a few years ago, it was the norm if you were gonna do some video to, kinda, get to a green screen background and do all this kind of stuff. But my sense is people, they don't really do that so much anymore. It seems a bit out of fashion. I don't know, is that just me?
Ian: Well, it's... people are... you know, everyone has a different take. And there are loads of different types of live videos out there. So, I've seen people that use green screens and people that don't. I actually do use a green screen for some of mine. And the only reason I use it, well, I use my green screen for two reasons. The honest reason is that it solves my messy office...
Rob: It's terrible back there.
Ian: So, it hides that. And also, it can make it fun and interesting. And second of all, it's great if you're doing, "how to" videos, because you can actually just... it's a bit difficult to explain on the podcast, but you can just have your head superimposed on the video that you're showing. So, it can look quite good. But honestly, green screen is difficult to get right, because you've gotta have good lighting, you've gotta have a good camera. And so, I wouldn't recommend that for beginners. That's something that I've only recently done in the last six months. I would again, focus on audio first, get a nice microphone. So, the one I would recommend to start off would be the Samson Q2U microphone is a good one. But seriously, there are so many. There's also the Blue Yeti microphone is a very good one too. But yeah, get a nice microphone that's going to give you good quality.
And then, cameras. If you can, don't just use the inbuilt one on your laptop. Try and get an external one. At the moment, there's a total worldwide shortage of these, but any of the Logitech webcams are good. And if you want to level things up even more, and you've got a bit more budget, then you could get a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. So, this is what I've got. I've got a Canon M50. And then, if you have a Mac, you can plug that directly in. If you're on a PC, there's extra software you need to get called... what's it called again? I'm gonna forget the name of it. It'll come back to me in a minute. SparkoCam is the one for PCs. And you can plug that directly in there. And that will give you a much better quality. But again, bootstrap it, you know, you don't need to get all the expensive stuff right from the start.
Rob: You don't need it all on day one, no. And what about lighting, Ian? Because if I were to try, in my current office to do something at my current desk, the lighting is... the natural lighting, I should say, is all wrong for me. It's just in completely the wrong place. So, I look, kind of, shadowed out most of the time. So, I kind of feel like I could do with some kind of light on me, but what are your thoughts on that? Is that something we could... what I'm after is, kind of, you know, low level, like, I don't want it to be like Wembley Stadium, you know, but, you know, is there some kind of small light or something that you can recommend that we could use just to get a bit of something going?
Ian: Yeah. Lighting is really difficult, and I'm gonna admit, it's not something that I've... I'm still trying to work out the best way that I light my setup. But so, it's a case of playing around with the different solutions that you could have for your office. So, if you have... if you can get in front of a window, and you have good, consistent light, actually, that can work really well for you. Obviously, not in your case, because, depending on your office.
So, the other thing is to... you can buy softboxes very cheaply, on the likes of Amazon and other places. The problem with those is they're quite big. And although they're cheap, they're big. And they can also, they're very hot. And so, the ones I would recommend looking for are LED lights. So, I've got ones, they're by a company called Neewer, that's N-E-E-W-E-R, and they do have a variety of different ones. I've got, I think, what do they call this, the... forget the name of them, I think they're the 480 set. So, I think there are 480 LED lights on each one. So, you could probably get by with just one of those or two of those in front of you. And they're really good.
If you've got more of a budget, the ones that I absolutely adore, and I haven't got them myself, but I've seen... I've tried not to be too jealous of my friends who've gotten these, and there's a company called Elgato. So, definitely check out Elgato because pretty much all of the products that they produce are amazing. They're not sponsoring me, by the way, I just love what they do. And their light, they've got something called the Key Light. They've got two different key lights. They've got a desk one, so that just sits on your desk. And the great thing with this is that you can adjust the color temperature from your computer, so you can adjust it remotely and get the perfect light for you. So, you can either get one or two of these, and they are lovely. And if you buy, they've got these little programmable keyboards called Stream Decks. Bit difficult to explain, but every key has its own little display that you can customize. And you can use those to program the key lights as well, you could get really geeky. Which, I'd better stop before I go on too much. But yeah, lighting, the Elgato key lights are great as well.
Rob: That's nice. No, a lot of ideas there for us to explore if we're so minded. All right. So, that's good. So, we've talked about getting over the fear. And we've talked about the gear and how you can get going with a basic setup and some of the more advanced stuff if you're into that. So, we've got over the fear, we've got the right gear. Now, what do we...
Ian: Well, there is one other thing [inaudible 00:37:31] that I forgot to mention. [inaudible 00:37:33] is actually really important. If you're going live from your computer, you need a tool, you need a live video tool. So, you could use Zoom. If you're used to using Zoom, you can actually go live with Zoom. It's not the best, the most, the easiest solution or the most fancy one, but Zoom is good. If you're on a Mac, I highly recommend checking out Ecamm Live. It's a really easy-to-use streaming software, allows you to go live to Facebook and YouTube and all the different platforms. Sorry, Ecamm.
Rob: Is that E-C-A-M-M? Is that the one? Am I thinking the right one? Yeah.
Ian: Yes. That's right. Ecamm Live. Yeah. That's a really good one. And one that's available for Macs and PCs, because it works in the browser, is called StreamYard, StreamYard. And that has a free version and a paid version, so that works really well. You can bring in guests remotely, and that's a really good one. There are so many. I won't go through all of them. But certainly Ecamm Live, StreamYard are probably two of my recommendations for you.
Rob: No, well, you're absolutely right, and we'd have been a bit stuck if we'd forgotten those. So, that's good. So, with those, you know, with that software, and, you know, the camera, the mic, and all the good things that we talked about, so we're ready to go. And then the question, of course, is what do we say on our live videos? You know, what kind of content do we create?
Ian: Yeah. So, it really depends on this kind of live video that you're going to be producing. So, the format that I really like and see a lot of value in, and I've been doing regularly every single week, sometimes twice a week for the last year, is the show format. And this can either be a solo show, it can be a guest show, so you can bring in somebody remotely, that, who you're going to interview, or you could even do a co-hosted show, so there's two of you that you either just talk with each other, or you bring in a guest.
So, it kind of depends on what you're wanting to do. For me, for my show, I either do them solo, shows, or I bring in a guest. And so, my show is all about how to be more confident with live videos. So, that is the theme. So, I would say, what is the theme going to be for your show? And then you... it's like how you create any other kind of content. So, every time you go on, you're going to have your theme, but then you're gonna have a particular piece of content that you're gonna be talking about. So, what is that going to be, and then breaking it up into those two or three or four sections, and talk about that. And then within those sections, you can then bring in comments, answer questions that people have, so that you're not getting too distracted by those comments.
So, you need to, first of all, know what you're gonna be talking about. What's the theme? What is good, are you actually gonna be talking about per episode? And obviously, then you gotta think about, is it gonna be just me? Is it a solo show? Or am I going to bring in a guest, or is it a co-hosted show? And, I think for beginners, for people who are new to this, I actually think interview shows, or a co-hosted show, yes, it does have its own set of problems, but it's actually a good place to start, because it feels more like a conversation, like what we're doing today is a conversation. It's like, you know, we're not in the same room, but we're having a conversation with each other. That's a little bit easier than just doing it on your own, because then you really, really need to know your stuff and you need to make sure that you're not stuttering over your words and getting distracted. So, I would maybe think about doing an interview show first, and using a tool like StreamYard or Ecamm Live makes that very, very easy for you.
Rob: Yeah. And the other thing with the interview type format is, again, it's a kind of forcing function, isn't it? Because, you know, if you've booked a guest and, or you have a co-host, then that's a commitment in the diary that you can't easily get out of. Whereas if it's just, it it's the Robert Tyson show, you know, gosh, actually, I feel a bit tired today, maybe I won't do that. So, that's another benefit, I suppose.
Ian: Absolutely. Oh my goodness. And I'm laughing because I've been there. I think we all have, you know. And so, actually, if you have a guest, you've got to do it. So, and I think from the beginning, the first probably dozen videos that you do, I hate to say this, the first dozen live videos that you're gonna do, they're not gonna be that great. They're not gonna your best...
Rob: [crosstalk 00:42:10].
Ian: Yeah. Okay. Well, you're actually saying it how it really is, you know. It's true. And so... and your confidence levels are gonna be low. And so, I like to draw this graph which basically goes up. It has a few ups and downs along the way. Sometimes your confidence will go up. Sometimes you'll have a tech disaster and that rattles your confidence, but you've gotta keep going and get better. So, it's a good place to start with, with having an interview.
Rob: Yeah, I like it. And talk to us, you have a model, or a checklist, a process, The 5 P's. Talk to us a little bit about that.
Ian: Yeah. So, The 5 P's, I mean, this just takes you through all the elements that you need to think about. So the first element, we kind of talked about it already, is the planning. So, this also includes, you need to have a tech check... if I can say the word, a tech checklist, of all the things that you need to do. So, check your audio, check your internet. Make sure all the tools are working really well. Know what you're gonna talk about, so have a document that has got all the stuff that you need. So, that's the first thing that you need to do.
Second thing is pre-promotion. Let everyone know out there that you're going to go live next Tuesday at 2:00. If you're gonna schedule that live video, that makes it a lot easier, so you can send the link out to your list. You can send it out on social media. You can send that information to your guests for them to be able to do that promotion. You can create videos and you can create all that kind of information to promote your live show next Tuesday, because if you don't tell people about it, then, you know, no one's gonna turn up, or it's gonna be... you're gonna be very disappointed in your numbers. So, pre-promotion, really important.
Then it comes to the day that you're going to go live. And this is all to do with production. We've talked a lot about that before. It's how you structure the show, it's warming your voice up before you go live. It's pressing that go live button, knowing what you're going to say. It's being able to use the software confidently and making sure that you've obviously tested that before.
Then, once you press the end broadcast button, it's at that point that most people go and have a lie-down, and think that's the end of it. But of course, it's not. We want to turn that live video into a piece of evergreen content that's going to last for a long time. And so, it's at that point that you need to think about the post promotion. And here, it's down to getting people to listen and watch the replay of it, because you might only have 10 people watching your live, but you might have 30, 40, 50, even 100 people who are watching that live video later. And so, you want to get people watching that. You might want to, again, do, send people that from your email, through social media, get your guests to share it with their audience too. So, that's the post promotion.
And then the bit that I get really excited about is, which we've already talked about, is the repurposing of your live shows, turning that maybe into a podcast, into short little snippets to share on social media, into a blog post, into an infographic. And there's so many things you can do there, from that one piece of content. You can turn that into a plethora of different content that's going to, hopefully, explode across the interwebs and allow you to focus on running your business without having to worry about creating so much content, because it's a lot easier doing it from that one live show.
Rob: Yeah, I love that. And I suppose, would you agree, it's usually a smart choice if you decide that what you're gonna do with your content is have a few things in there that are going to be really evergreen, so that you can get the most mileage out of them, because I suppose this is one of the issues. If you're doing something that's very topical, you know, things change.
Ian: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I did a podcast many, many years ago. It was the "Social Media News" podcast, not the most exciting one. I spent ages editing it, and because I was talking about the latest that was happening in the social media world, it was out of date after a week. So, it's not to say that doing those kinds of episodes is a bad thing, because occasionally, it is a good idea to, if there's a hot topic to talk about at the moment, then, by all means, talk about that. But I am more into creating evergreen content that's gonna last for a long time, because it just means you're creating less work for yourself and it's going to last a lot longer for you.
Rob: Yeah, I think I'm in your camp. As you say, I mean, sometimes you can catch a wave with the really topical stuff and that helps you, but I think on balance, yeah, I'd rather be in the evergreen, evergreen gotta camp, you know, to the degree that I can be.
Ian: Definitely. Yeah.
Rob: Yeah. Well, look, Ian, this has been so good. So, there's... you shared a wealth of stuff with us. If listeners just took one nugget or piece of advice away, what would that be?
Ian: So difficult to say one thing, but it's really to press that button, to just go live. Obviously, plan and prepare and do all that kind of stuff, but don't procrastinate. You know, because I've been there. It took me, like, probably one or two years to actually get round to producing my own live show. Don't be like me. Just do it. And now is a really good time to do it, because so many more people are doing it. And so, yeah. That's what I'd say to people.
Rob: Just get it done. So, maybe, pick a date, pick a time, tell your network that it's happening, and just get out there and do it, perhaps.
Rob: Yeah. Awesome. Ian, as I said, it's been great. Where's the best place for people to get more from you?
Ian: So, the best place is my website. I've got loads of guides on how to improve your confidence. I've got tech guides and things like that. And I've also got my podcast, it's, "The Confident Live Marketing Podcast" which can be found, my website is iag.me, and my podcast is at iag.me/podcast.
Rob: Ian, I just wanna say thank you. This has been great. Loads of fantastic information for people. I do appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Ian: Thanks Rob, it's been great to be on.