In this show I talk to social media tools expert and regular Facebook Live broadcaster, Ian Anderson Gray. As well as being a tremendously nice guy he’s also a talented singer and musician. I talk with him about Facebook Live.
Tim Lewis: [00:00:29] Now one of the big things that people have been talking about for about the last year and a half in the marketing world is live video. This is where on a social media network you can press a button and broadcast live to all your followers everything you doing.
Tim Lewis: [00:00:46] Now there were two big platforms that are going this: Periscope which is Twitter’s live-streaming platform and Facebook Live. There are also a few other places you can do it as well. But those are the big two.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:00] In today’s show I talked to Ian Anderson Gray, who is a social media wizard when it comes to tooling and technical devices. And he’s been doing an awful lot of Facebook Live broadcasting both from his phone and from the desktop.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:17] Generally speaking while it’s possible to go live from the desktop just using Facebook Live now you have to use some third party software to do it. And Ian’s done a great course on the free bit of software called OBS Studio that can do this.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:32] So that’s why I decided to get more on the show today. Ironically after the show was recolded there’s just been a new software package called ECamm Live that’s been released.
Tim Lewis: [00:01:43] Which supposedly is very good for live streaming on Mac computers but sadly it’s not available on PCs so I won’t be using it. I’ve also done a life streaming recording of my hundredth episode. So if you’re interested in seeing what happens in that show before it’s released in three weeks time you can go to the Begin Self-Publishing Facebook page and I’ve shared the original live-stream onto that Facebook page.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:12] It was somebody else interviewing me for a change. So now over to the interview with Ian.
Tim Lewis: [00:02:17] Hi Ian. Welcome to the show.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:02:20] Hi Tim it’s great to be here.
Why Facebook Live over Periscope?
Tim Lewis: [00:02:22] So why is everybody very interested in live video now and why use something like Facebook Live rather than something like Periscope?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:02:31] Well yeah good question. I mean it is the big thing at the moment and I think those of us in the marketing world can get a little bit excited, get our knickers in a twist about all these new technologies that come our way and I think asking the question why is always in an important place to start.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:02:47] With live video it’s a way that we can get ourselves in front of the audience, and I hate to use this word but I’m going to use it anyway, show ourselves in a more authentic way to people.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:02:58] It’s not an edited performance. It’s a way of getting ourselves in front of people and also it enables people to ask questions and get involved and have access to you in particular.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:03:12] So I think there’s a real power with the whole live video thing at the moment. Now you say why Facebook over Periscope? And I think you need to look at your audience and see where your audience is.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:03:26] But I will say Facebook is massive when it comes to social networks we all know that it is the biggest social network and they are investing huge amounts of effort, time and money into Facebook Live platform.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:03:43] Now I don’t know whether your listeners will know much about the kind of the hope algorithm thing when it comes to posting on Facebook but Facebook doesn’t post your Facebook page posts to all of your fans. It chooses which of your posts will go to you for your fans depending on how popular your page is.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:04:03] But when it comes to Facebook Live it gives your Facebook Live posts a bit more of a boost so they will reach more of your fans. If you’re going live on your Facebook page and so that is definitely another advantage in using live video on Facebook and also I would say compared to other platforms such as Periscope, Facebook Live is just really very easy to use if you use your smartphone.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:04:32] You can also use really quite cool things if you add some extra technologies and tools and go live on your on your desktop as well.
Facebook Live on Desktop or Phone?
Tim Lewis: [00:04:39] This comes on to my next question. I’ve seen you go live on your phone and from your desktop from what situations would you recommend people use say a desktop or the phone? How do you make that choice yourself?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:04:53] Well the thing is it’s always best to start on your phone because it’s just so easy and if you’ve got an iPhone or an Android phone you just pick up your phone.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:05:00] Go to the Facebook app and when you post a new post you’ve got the option to do a live broadcast so you just type your post in there and then click live and you will then be live. It’s that easy.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:05:13] And I would always recommend just starting off that way if you’re a little bit scared about going live to everyone. Which let’s be frank about that I think most of us are the first time we do it. Then you’ve also got the option to choose only go live to yourself.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:05:26] So you can go live. No one’s going to watch. And then you can watch it later. So you’ve got that option. So definitely try it on your phone first.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:05:33] But going live from your desktop gives you quite a few more extra options or extra features. So I think it can look a little bit more professional depending on your set up.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:05:45] So you can use your professional webcam for example and microphone you can potentially bring guests in as well. That’s one really cool thing. I know you can do that now from your phone. Facebook are slowly rolling out this new feature where you can bring in guests if you’re going live to your profile.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:06:04] But there are far more options now on desktop. You can add your own branding as well depending on what you’re using to go line.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:06:11] But you can add some branding and share your screen. There’s loads of options.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:06:17] I know somebody who goes live from the desktop and they actually use 4 webcams microphones, mixer and they go live every Monday evening with their band and they do a live broadcast on Facebook Live and they bring guests in on Skype and they do some really cool things and get requests, ask for requests and do a performance every Monday. So it’s quite cool what you can do on desktop.
Screensharing on Facebook Live
Tim Lewis: [00:06:40] So you mentioned screen shares there. How do you do like a screen share and these more fancy effects on Facebook Live, what software you use?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:06:49] Facebook are slowly rolling out the ability to go live just to the Facebook website.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:06:53] And I think they will be rolling up the option to do screen shares. And this is your webcam. It’s fairly basic at the moment.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:07:01] If you want to do more powerful things like showing your screen and potentially for example what I do is I will share my screen but I’ll still have my webcam visible on the bottom right or top right of the screen so people can see my face while I’m demonstrating something.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:07:19] So there’s a number of ways you can do that. Probably the easiest way is to use a web app called CrowdCast. It’s not free. It’s relatively expensive. I can’t remember exactly how much it costs but that is an ability to bring in guests, share your screen and there’s even a chat room and you can get people to ask questions within that and also they ask us to Facebook Live.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:07:42] There is also Zoom and so Zoom is similar facility like Skype allows you to talk to people remotely and video and they also have a webinar feature which costs an extra 40 dollars on top. And that also allows you to broadcast to Facebook Live and allows you to share your screen.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:08:01] But I use one or two apps that enables me to do all of this and one of them is called OBS Studio which is completely free which we always like. And then the other option is WireCast.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:08:15] And that is the professional paid version which is around 500 dollars. And with those tools you can choose whichever one you want. Probably start off with OBS Studio because it’s free.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:08:25] It enables you to broadcast your webcam. You can set up lots of different scenes; so your first scene could just be your webcam; scene 2 could be your screen that you’re sharing with your webcam and you could bring in guests. For example you could have a video chat with somebody on Skype and then that could be scene 3.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:08:43] And you can transition between all these scenes. You can basically create a whole kind of almost like a TV show with different scenes. And that is a really really powerful setup and that’s what I use in my weekly life show.
Lessons Learnt by Ian
Tim Lewis: [00:08:56] So obviously you’ve done solo performances from the phone you’ve done desktop ones you’ve done doing the show with somebody else. What lessons have you learned from all these Facebook Live broadcasts that you’ve done?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:09:09] I’ve learnt a lot of lessons. I’ve made some mistakes but I’ve also come across lots of potential issues. The first thing I would say is expect things to go wrong. Sometimes it will go wrong. So you do need to test, test and test again.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:09:25] Don’t get complacent. One of my worst mistakes really is complacency because I’m just about to go live. I assume everything went well last week my life show so everything’s going to go right this week. I go live and it doesn’t work.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:09:37] So a number of things to think about. The first thing is if you’re going to go live from your desktop or from your phone you do need to have a really fast internet connection.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:09:48] So on your phone you need to be on a good wi-fi network. On desktop if you can plug in directly to your Internet connection then I’d definitely recommend it to do that.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:09:58] It’s the upload speed that is the most important. So I recommend you use an app called a speedtest.net. You can download that on your phone or you can go to the website and that will test your internet speed.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:10:10] You ideally you need to have an upload speed up of 10 megabits per second. Getting a bit technical here but it’s your upload speed that’s most important.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:10:19] But you can get away with five or possibly lower but you are going to struggle with the decent quality if you’re lower than five megabits per second. So that’s the first thing that’s really important.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:10:32] The second thing is if you’re going live on your desktop make sure you’ve got a good microphone set up and you have good lighting, good webcam and there are no kind of running children and noises in the background, like I was struggling with earlier today before we did this recording.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:10:52] And the other thing to think about is as well as the quality of the internet and your webcam and microphone you do need to have on a desktop at least really quite a fast computer. So I just about coped on my six year old Dell computer.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:11:08] But I was struggling a bit and really you need to have a quite a fast processor or lots of memory to go live on your desktop and if you’re on the phone then you probably need to have a good modern iPhone maybe one that’s two or three years old or a modern Android phone because otherwise you’re going to struggle with the connection.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:11:27] The resultant live broadcast is not going to be that great. The final thing I would say is make sure you have a plan before you go live. So be aware of people’s time.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:11:38] You’ve got to make sure that you get straight to the point and address your replay viewers first as a good thing to do because it will take a few minutes before your viewers join the broadcast. So welcome them.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:11:51] But then get straight to the point and don’t waffle on. That’s something, particularly if you’re nervous, you can end up waffling on and the broadcast ends up being quite boring. So just be aware of that too.
Overcoming Fear of the Camera
Tim Lewis: [00:12:02] So coming on to the the fear of the camera thing what is your top tip for people to get over that fear of appearing on camera?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:12:11] Well the first thing I’d say is don’t feel that you are alone here. I’m always nervous before I go on a Facebook Live broadcast or any kind of live broadcast or even a podcast interview such as this. It’s good actually to have a bit of nervous energy.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:12:27] So that’s the first thing I’d say. Don’t think it’s a bad thing necessarily. But then the other thing to do is I mentioned this earlier on Facebook you’ve got the ability on your profile, on your smartphone app it’s particularly easy just go and live to yourself.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:12:42] No one else will watch. And then if you can watch it back if you like most of us you will not like the way it went. Most of us don;t like looking at ourselves in a video. But try that out first.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:12:55] The second thing that you can do is go live just to your friends and you know your friends want you to do well so you’re going to be hopefully not as nervous as if you go public and do that but the best thing to do is to set aside maybe a week or 30 days even give yourself a challenge.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:13:14] So for example you can do a live challenge where every day you are forcing yourself to go and live. The first day could be just yourself. The second day to your friends, the third day can be public but you’re having to do that every day and that way you just have to do it.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:13:31] And people are expecting you to do it and don’t worry if it goes wrong because the great thing about live broadcasts is that it’s live and people understand that. And if the worst comes to the worst you can always delete it. I wouldn’t. But you can delete the blog post afterwards.
Is It Worth Advertising Facebook Live Replays?
Tim Lewis: [00:13:46] Would you say it’s a good idea for those people who maybe are into paid advertising and for them to actually promote their Facebook Lives after they’ve done them. Is that a good idea or is that something you’ve considered doing?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:13:59] Yeah I think particularly if it’s going well. You wouldn’t want to promote your disasters.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:14:04] But the great thing about live broadcasts is that it’s actually once you get a rhythm for it and once you get into the groove you can actually produce a live show relatively easily because it’s just a case of you talking your guests talking or if your whatever it is it’s just a case of producing that live.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:14:23] But the work doesn’t finish there, once it’s gone live, do then I recommend making that live video and post an evergreen piece of content. So go in and edit the post you make. Remember you could put in some show notes that you could put in some times of when you’re talking about certain things, so headings and say we’re talking at this at five minutes 30 seconds so people can go to about point.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:14:51] You know I quite often find that I get more viewers watching it in the replay than I do in its live. Even months and months and months ahead you can do things like embedding that on your website and doing lots of things there. So yes you’ve created this evergreen piece of content. And then why wouldn’t you look at promoting that using Facebook ads.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:15:11] Because we all know how powerful they are and over time hopefully if you’re being regular with your live broadcasts you will get more and more viewers watching you because the first time you go live you’re probably not going to get that many line viewers watching but if you’re a regular and you’re promoting it and you’re producing really good content then you’re going to find that you are going to get far more people watching you live because they know they got access to you and they’re going to ask you questions live on air.
Scheduled or on the Spur of the Moment?
Tim Lewis: [00:15:38] So talked about slightly there. But what’s your view in terms of people who say well they do live broadcasts just on a sort of ad hoc basis. So, like say, Ian visited the Chocolate Factory and suddenly thought I’d do a Facebook Live as opposed to doing say a scheduled show like you do with Julia Bramble where every week a particular time.
Tim Lewis: [00:15:59] What’s your view on the “I’m doing some life just because I can” vs. like having a scheduled show?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:16:07] Well I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to do that. That’s what I did to begin with, when I was trying to get used to the platform the idea of going live I did do it every now and again when I kind of felt like it. And yeah by all means do that.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:16:20] But I think there are two advantages in scheduling that, say if it’s a weekly show which is probably what I’d recommend or maybe every two weeks or a couple times a week.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:16:31] The first advantage is that you get used to doing it. It’s amazing you do it once and then you completely forget how to set up the show the next time. So that’s really important for you to get better and you will.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:16:44] The first couple of broadcasting you do probably won’t be amazing. You know let’s be frank my first broadcasts were pretty poor but I improved over time I learned from my mistakes and learn from what other people were saying. So that’s the first thing.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:16:56] The second thing is you know this is the same for a lot of pieces of content you know whether it’s a podcast or whether it’s blog posts. You want to kind of teach people to expect the next one. So if they know that you’re going live on a Monday a particular time or whatever day they will expect it the next time. And if you’re kind of a bit sporadic people won’t know when you’re next going to go live. So it’s important.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:17:20] And on pages and profiles you can actually schedule those broadcasts as well so you can get people to sign up for your next show and be notified when you next go live so that’s another top tip. Just to be aware of, get people expecting your next show.
Tim Lewis: [00:17:36] And I suppose the final topic is how long should people be doing their Facebook Live broadcasts, is there in your opinion an optimum length or is it basically just how long your thinking of talking for.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:17:50] Well that’s a hard one. I would say it depends. I know that’s the that’s a bit of a cop out answer but I’ve seen some live broadcasts that I’ve gone on for over an hour and they’ve really kept their viewership.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:18:03] When you go live you can actually see how many people are viewing at that one particular time and it can go up and down. Hopefully you can gauge the interest level if the numbers go down you’re probably starting to bore people.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:18:14] The other thing to remember is that not everyone is going to watch for the whole thing. You’ll get people that probably bob in and out. And that’s absolutely fine because you know the thing about broadcasters that you know not everyone can stay for the whole time.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:18:26] Some people might be doing something else. So you need to just be aware of that and hopefully people will watch the replay later if you make it interesting.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:18:34] So I would say test it. I would say to begin with maybe go for a five to 10 minutes. Keep it simple for you and then maybe try some longer ones as well and just test it out and see what works for you see what works for your viewers.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:18:48] And the only thing I would say in terms of the length it does take some time for people to end up watching it. They may be notified of it a minute or so after going live. But sometimes it will take them a little bit of time to see your notification.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:19:06] But they were in the middle of something else so they may end up joining five or 10 minutes later. And quite often I do this I join just as the broadcast ends and I found this with my live show with Julia Bramble that quite often we try and keep it to about 25 minutes to 30 minutes.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:19:23] We try to keep it no longer than 30 minutes but quite often we’ll get people coming in live into the broadcast at 25 minutes or 30 minutes and we are just saying “Thank you for watching, see you next week.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:19:35] So maybe we’ll experiment with slightly longer broadcasts as well. But the main thing is just to test them and see what works for you.
How do you do get people to do things from a Facebook Live Broadcast?
Tim Lewis: [00:19:44] And there’s another question that’s I think telepathically has come through from my listeners to me. Which I suddenly thought, oh yeah, I did not really ask you this or address it. In terms of getting people to do something. So the call to action. So you’ve got this great live show that you want presumably people to do something like buy a book or sign up to an e-mail list or buy a course or do something. How do you go about doing the calls to actions on these live broadcasts?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:20:15] Well that’s a good question that comes back to the why are you doing it question. Your why are you going to be doing this Facebook live?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:20:20] And you know for some people it may just be for awareness, brand awareness, so in a sense there isn’t a call to action apart from watch us next week.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:20:31] So this comes down to the planning stage. You need to probably write up bullet points of what you’re going to say in the broadcast. So I mentioned before the first thing you should probably say is welcome the replay viewers because they’re the people that have been watching it from the start of the video.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:20:48] Tell them what you’re going to be talking about in this video. Then you probably want to have a call to action right at the beginning or at least say what they’re going to get out of it and where that can go. So it depends on what it is. But I would say you probably need to have that call to action maybe two or three times throughout the broadcast so maybe the beginning, middle and the end.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:21:10] Certainly not everyone is going to be watching all the way through. So you probably want to have at the beginning, the middle and the end but you don’t want to take people away from the broadcast either.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:21:21] For example maybe it’s an e-book that you want people to look at, so you could say going to be talking about this topic in today’s my broadcast and I’m going to be giving you access to a free e-book that’s going to tell you about this date at the end and then I will give you that.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:21:37] I mean if the broadcast is short then you could get away with that. So yeah there’s probably not a definite. I can’t really give you a definite answer. It kind of depends on quite a few things how long the broadcast is.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:21:48] But I would say just make sure that you plan what that call to action is and work out whether you want to give that middle, beginning and end or whether you at least want to mention it beginning, middle and end.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:21:59] But where do you want people to go and when are you going to say about within the broadcast.
Tim Lewis: [00:22:04] So I think we just about covered Facebook Live how can people find out about Ian Anderson Gray and the things you do?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:22:13] The easiest place to go to is my website which is Iag.me. So that’s that stands for Ian Anderson Gray, iag.me and you can also find me on Twitter as well. So that’s @iagdotme.
Tim Lewis: [00:22:28] I believe that you’ve got a Facebook Live course haven’t you?
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:22:33] Yes, so this is specifically I mentioned a tool called OBS studio and the OBS studio is available for Mac and PC and it gives you that ability to broadcast from your desktop to Facebook Live using your microphone and your webcam.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:22:49] You can bring in guests using Skype or Zoom. And that course specifically covers how to do that and you can find that out just by going to my Web site there’s a big banner at the top that tells you where to go and find out more information on my Facebook Live Course.
Tim Lewis: [00:23:03] It’s very good to have you on the show today Ian.
Ian Anderson Gray: [00:23:05] It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me on.
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