A few weeks ago, I went live on Instagram for the first time. It was one of those things I wanted to do but never got around to. I didn’t want to go live and broadcast an event like a concert or another activity where I would passively turn the live feature on and hold my phone up until I couldn’t feel my arm anymore. I wanted it to be an opportunity for me to connect with my tribe and share content that would be of interest to them. I had a lot of ideas but for my first IG Live I settled on doing an unboxing story. If you are not familiar with unboxing videos, simply put, they are videos where influencers / bloggers will open up the pr and brand packages that were sent to them.
I love watching unboxing stories and discovering new products and brands. I also enjoy shooting them and sharing my real first impressions with my @ConsciousNChic fam! For those of you who were there, I had a blast getting to know you better and I can’t wait to do it again!
Instagram Live is a great tool to connect with your community. If you haven’t used yet, I highly recommend you do so. To help you get started, here are the 7 things I learned by going LIVE on Instagram for the first time.
1. There is no ideal time to go live.
Unless your audience is local, the exact time you go live will always leave some of your followers out of the loop. I am thankful for my community. It is diverse and represented all over the world. I have people messaging me from France, Denmark, the UK, Canada, Australia, the US and other countries who are a part of the @ConsciousNChic family and connecting with each of you is a privilege I don’t take for granted. Unfortunately, I am aware that when I went live on a Saturday at 1pm EST some of you might have been sleeping or having dinner, etc. This is not something we can control. However, in order to reach more people, I made my broadcast available for an additional 24hrs, which I will cover below.
2. Announce it!
This might be a controversial opinion but it is my own. When going live on Instagram, you should announce it on your feed as well as in Instagram Stories. This will give viewers the opportunity to make themselves available to attend. Of course, one can’t always predict when they will have something worth going live for ahead of time. But whenever possible, I suggest you let your audience know in advance. This save-the-date can be as simple as a 30-minute heads up. I don’t know about you but whenever I get notified that someone started a live video, it is more disruptive than exciting unless I already know I like to listen to this person live. This is why I feel so strongly about this.
Lastly, you should notify your audience because of the value you will be providing with your broadcast. Remember those you are serving and how invaluable the information you prepared can be for them. You wouldn’t want them to miss it so let them know it’s coming.
3. Check the WiFi! *Palm to face*
This is very important because it will affect your connectivity and the quality of your video. When I went live, I had access to two networks but didn’t check which one I was on at the time of the broadcast and the worst happened. The connection was lost for about 30 seconds. These were the longest 30 seconds of my life. I didn’t panic however instead, I patiently waited for the connection to reestablish itself, which it did.
4. Be yourself.
That’s the only way I know how to be so this was easy for me. I thrive in improvised environments and am a people-person. Even though it is my default, I wanted to include it in this list for those out there who might feel like they don’t have that “it personality”, whatever “it” is. If you think that you would need to put on a persona in order to be “Instagram LIVE” material, I’m here to let you know that you don’t. Your tribe wants to get to know the real you. People love authenticity and gravitate towards people who are not afraid of being themselves, flaws and all. People are smart and will eventually see through the charade. And at the risk of sounding preachy you should also be and love yourself because God made you with a purpose and your unique characteristics whether you value them or not serve that purpose. Faking the funk is not sustainable so don’t do it!
5. It’s a 2 way street!
Welcome dialogue! Don’t just talk, talk, talk talk, talk. Foster conversations by paying attention to the comments and acknowledging what is said. Also take the time to answer questions. Being able to have a discussion with those who attended was special. However, be aware that the comments come in with a 10-second delay between when they are posted and when you see them on your end. I realized this when I watched the playback. Not cool, Instagram!
6. Focus on the 1.
The size of your audience during the broadcast doesn’t matter. Of course you want the entire world and universe to watch but even if only one person tunes in they still deserve your best. I didn’t know what to expect when I went live. I didn’t know how long I would have to wait to go from speaking to the camera to speaking to an actually human being. I’m grateful for my tribe because they didn’t leave me hanging. They started tuning in and engaging the moment I pressed, “Start live video”. However if it didn’t happen that way, I had already decided to give 110%. I also knew that I would make the video available for the next 24hrs and others would be watching it. Which brings me to my next point…
7. Go 24hrs.
Instagram allows you to publish your live broadcasts for an additional 24hrs. Take advantage of the feature because it makes your content available to more people. When your broadcast ends, Instagram will ask you if you want to publish it for the next 24hrs. Yes, you do!
I will be using Instagram Live again in the near future. Make sure you connect with me on Instagram to know when. Also, feel free to make suggestions on the topics you want me to cover. I love connecting with you and Instagram Live gives us the opportunity to do so!
Special message to Instagram
Hi Insta people,
Hope this message finds you well. I have a special request for you. I recently went LIVE for the first time on your platform and I loved it. I had the opportunity to do something different and engage with my community in a way I had not experienced in the past. We were there for about 30 minutes and when the story was over and it was time to say goodbye, I published it for 24hrs, which is a great feature so, thank you! However, I was really disappointed when I realized that I couldn’t download my live broadcast and immortalize the moment. If you don’t mind, could you make that part of your next update? We have enough face filters, now we really want the option to download our live videos.
Please and thank you!