I’ve always known Facebook Live is about the most powerful marketer’s tool out there.
And it’s not even just about the audience you can reach (although in some ways it is).
It’s more about how ridiculously easy it is to create live video content any moment the mood takes you.
All you have to do is lift your phone, tap the Facebook button, tap “Go Live” and you’re on.
Everyone could do it if they wanted to.
I mean, it’s not physically beyond the means of anyone that has use of at least one elbow.
So why don’t we do it more?
I can only speak from my own experience, which is probably similar to what most people go through, and the old inner critic that tries to stop you from making progress.
“Nobody wants to listen to me.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“Lords of Property will just make fun of me.”
“You look tired, fat, ugly… “
This is probably sounding familiar to a few of you and as you know, the list goes on.
They say the only way to get over your fear is to continually expose yourself to it, so my coach challenged me to do 30 live videos in 30 days.
The thought of it filled me with the kind of dread you feel when someone says you have to exercise for 30 days straight.
Or, worse yet, no wine for 30 days or something like that.
Thirty days feels like it could be forever.
But having been in my own business for so long, I know that feeling of dread to be a signal saying to me “actually this is an opportunity for personal growth”.
So I thought, yes! I will accept this challenge.
But then I got sick, lost my voice, and was able to make a ton of other excuses about why it just wasn’t the right time to execute it.
Eventually, I had to acknowledge that it was my own lizard brain still trying to keep me safe and even I had to acknowledge to myself that I was completely uncomfortable with this challenge.
So I switched my internal language around and called it a marketing experiment; I mean everything is a test until it’s not, right?
And I knew that we had another Transform Challenge starting on the 26th of October, so I really wanted to be able to speak with a bit of authority and experience on the topic because everything changes in the social media world so often.
So on the 9th of June I hit the live button for Day 1 of my 30-day Facebook Live challenge; and yes, I did see it through to the end.
Here are some of the things I learnt:
1. YES, YOU CAN GET OVER YOUR FEAR
So, it’s not like I haven’t done my fair share of live video in my time, as people that have done Transform will tell you.
But it was always in the safe space of groups or training sessions and not in the public domain where I might be judged by my family and friends (which, by the way, is a way scarier proposition than being judged by people I work with).
And I have to tell you, I absolutely regretted saying yes to the challenge and it felt super painful to put myself out there for the first two weeks.
But you do get over it.
Hitting the live button day after day is a little bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day – you do get used to it.
And eventually a bit desensitised to it.
So my advice is, don’t wait until you feel confident, do it until you feel confident.
Even now, when I go back and watch some of my videos you can definitely see that my confidence grew over time; but more on that in a moment.
I did quickly learn to focus less on what I couldn’t change (what I had done), to what I could (or what I was about to do).
2. YES, YOU CAN WORK THE ALGORITHM
The answer to the question about the effectiveness of live video is this: It gets way more reach than anything else, including video you upload.
It is super clear to me that Facebook wants you to stay and play in their sandpit and will reward you for doing so, sometimes up to 600 per cent more than regular posts.
But if you play in the sandpit, the pay-off might not come in likes, shares or comments.
People don’t seem to do that, unless they are your cheer squad (and I need to publicly thank my cheer squad of Chris, Claudio, Kathy and Claire).
But many ‘silent’ watchers will private message you in some way, and yes I got a lot of that.
However, weirdly – and unrelated – during this challenge I had people emailing me or texting me or calling me asking me for advice on random things that had absolutely nothing to do with anything I was saying during each live video.
I put that down to just having my mug appear on Facebook Watch more than usual, which made me more top of mind than usual.
From a marketing standpoint, that can’t be a bad thing.
3. YES YOU CAN BE A CREATOR, EVEN IF YOU DON’T THINK YOU ARE
My confidence grew when I started ‘fixing nervous with service’.
I got to about Day 18 and had no idea how I was going to fill in the next 12 days.
So I got out my notes from a course I’ve been meaning to write on email marketing, and I took 12 actionable things out of those notes and talked about them.
When I found I was talking about something I knew a fair bit about, and also enjoy, that is part of my job, that I knew others would find valuable everything got that much easier.
I think the thing is to have a strategy and plan ahead, and create content that either educates your audience or entertains them.
And that means letting people into your life as well; I actually think the most engagement I got over the 30 days was the day I went to Kmart to buy a dog bed!
I’m pretty certain that would transfer straight across to real estate.
So my advice is, pick a topic that you know well, that you can speak passionately about that other people are interested in and talk about that.
Then repurpose like crazy – at last count I think you can repurpose one video into about 30 pieces of content across the various social media platforms, which is more than enough to get you found, followed and invited in.
There’s a lot more I could talk about here, but apart from the digital stuff, the biggest lesson I learnt was about accountability.
Going back and thinking about those first few days on video, if I hadn’t set my intention publicly, and not had accountability buddies, then I may not have followed through with it.
But there was no way I was going to back out when I had the world holding me accountable.
I’d say that works for quite a lot of things.
So doing something like this challenge is not something I would do again, but I will use the new skill I have learned in other ways.
And here’s why: It could take me all day to make 100 phone calls.
Or it could take me five minutes to make a live video, repurpose it a few times and reach 1000 potential customers in less than one hour.
I know which option gives me more leverage in my business.