Live streaming is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. It's also probably the fastest route to growing as a communicator. So how do you step out of your comfort zone and start doing it?
Wednesday's episode with Emily D. Baker reminded me just how powerful going live can be. Her streams breaking down the legal side of trending pop culture stories regularly attract tens of thousands of viewers. At one point, she even had 370,000 people watching in real-time. That's wild!
You might also remember that I went live on YouTube every day for a whole year during the pandemic. (Shout out to the Income Stream!) I'm so grateful I committed to that because the lessons I learned have influenced everything I've done since.
In this episode, I want to share that knowledge to help you get into streaming with the right mindset and tools to succeed. I talk about how to prepare in advance so you always have something to say, the common mistakes to avoid, engaging a live audience, building a story bank, and more.
Grab something to take notes with, and let's dig in.
SPI 704 Go Live (Yes, You)
Announcer: You're listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that's all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he believes in long form content and its ability to generate superfans. Pat Flynn.
Pat Flynn: This past week, we had an amazing interview with a good friend of mine, Emily D. Baker. She is a lawyer on YouTube. You should find her because if you see any of her live streams, you'll see that she has hundreds of thousands of people, especially in big court cases. What she does is she goes live and she assesses court cases and things that are happening, especially court cases around public figures, like the Johnny Depp case and such.
Like she, she blew up a lot during then. She was already big and then that thing happened and then, wow, like she's in the stratosphere now. To a point now where when she's live, she can often have over 100, 000 people in the room on YouTube watching live. And that's crazy, dude. That is, that is an unfathomable amount of people, like, literally watching you.
That's like if you were going into the Tennessee Vols stadium, which is a college football stadium, and every single person who was in that seat, like, it was full capacity, and every single person in that seat was watching you center field on the 50 yard line. I mean, that's, that's insane. Yet, Emily knocks it out of the park every time. I know we're switching sports. That was football and now it's baseball, but just stay, stay with me. She's so smooth. As with anybody, my story, her story, everybody's story, who's live. You know, it doesn't always start out that way, and the only way to get better is to go live, right?
Now, I went live for 365 days straight during the pandemic starting in March of 2020. Shout out to the Income Stream, that's what it was called. It wasn't initially called that. I was only going to go live for a day just to kind of check in with people. Then they loved it and said, hey, can we meet again tomorrow?
And so I said, okay, and then, hey, can we meet again the same time tomorrow, and it just kept going, and then I just kept the streak going. It turned out to be an incredible community that was built over there. I want to thank everybody who, who had become a part of that family. You know, whether you watched one or all 365.
There were a few of you who watched every single one. Remember, what else were we gonna do? We couldn't go anywhere, right? So, this is why going live then, even more important now to think about this idea of you going live. Yes, you, the listener in your car or on a walk right now. I want you to think about going live in front of an audience online and you might do this already, which is great, but I want to offer some tips for you now that I've done this thousands of times literally and I continue to go live now on my other channel I do go live on SPI every once in a while mostly for trainings and we are gonna be bringing back the Income Stream in July so by the time you hear this I will have done another one. But I do want to bring the family back together I have a family reunion for the Income Stream every once in a while Maybe once per quarter at least because I just love that community Everybody from Grandma Goody to Kathy.
I mean, there's just so many amazing people. Kathy Walker. It's just, sarah. I could go on and on and on, but I won't. Because I want to give you some tips, because I want you to go live too. It's such an amazing exercise. It really helps you kind of just force yourself to get out of that box and communicate.
Which is the number one way to, you know, other than meeting a person. In person, like in real life, live, going live in front of a, a group of people online is a, is one of the best ways to communicate with, with people, even if it's just a few people, right, which it will be when you first start out, but over time you start to grow and, you know, maybe one day you'll be as big as Emily and have hundreds of thousands, which is scary, but also exciting, and of course, with that comes great responsibility, with great power comes great responsibility, when you have that much attention and when you can say something Like, Hey, everybody, I like this product. You should go check it out too. And then everybody does that. That's wielding a lot of power. But I think for most people, when you start out, there's a few things to just keep in mind. And that is number one, having somewhat of a plan going into it can be really helpful, right? With the Income Stream, I had at least a theme of the day that all my conversations were round and that allows you to stick within a lane, right?
If you had it about. all kinds of things and it might be pretty difficult to sort of navigate through that and as a result hard for an audience to navigate as a consumer or listener. That said a great way if you already have a built in audience to go live and practice is to do Q&A. Q&A is a great great opportunity to practice when you already have a live audience or excuse me an audience or a subscription base where you have you know even five to ten people watching you.
You are able to field questions and interact with people and I have some more tips about doing that, but let's go back to the beginner having a theme going into a live stream can be really great because even if literally nobody was there, you could still chat, talk as if somebody were watching. And guess what?
In most cases, especially on social media, if you were to go live on Facebook, if you were to go live on Instagram, maybe one day go live on Twitch, which I don't think it's going to happen or not Twitch. Sorry, that sounds kind of, you can't go live on Twitch. I meant Threads. I don't know why I said Twitch, and I could totally edit this and just go back, but I'm not.
Because I, I like, this is what live is like. It's speaking your mind and being okay with making mistakes, just like I did, right? I didn't mean to, and you don't mean to make mistakes, but you will. And you just keep going. You don't fuss too much about the mistakes that you make. When I started learning about speaking, I think it was Michael Pacione who said, or somebody, a coach, or maybe a book I read, or a YouTube video I watched where, and it really struck me and it made sense because I remember when I was in college and presenting in front of my classes there or at work as an architect, there were times when I would fumble or get something incorrect or forget to say something, and I would kind of just apologize profusely about that and go back and start over and try to like get it perfect.
And the truth is, if I hadn't called myself out on it, most people wouldn't have really known that I made a mistake. I could just keep going or breeze over it or people will forget about it really quickly. But when you make a big deal about it, then people guess what are going to make a big deal about it or at least think about it in that kind of way.
So keep going over those mistakes, and just correct yourself and just move on, just like I am now. So, going live on a social media platform is great, because it's easy, you can just click a button, having a theme going into it, even if nobody were to be watching live, people can still watch the replay. And this is gonna take me to my second point, which is, when you start a live stream, whether it's on YouTube or any other platform, please don't start like this. And we're live! Okay, I'm just gonna wait a few minutes here for people to come in, and let's see, do do do do, yep, the signal's good, okay Johnny, what's up, Johnny? Tell me where you're from, thank you Johnny. We got Mary in here, amazing, thank you so much, like, I've already wasted 30 seconds of time, right, and people who come in early are still gonna be waiting, people who watch the replay are gonna not watch the rest of the replay because it doesn't feel like it's for them, you wanna start with a thought, a story, a point in mind that yes, some people will miss because they're coming in late, but you're already going, there's something already happening, people are going to be intrigued.
And, guess what? You can retell that story, or you can share it again later for the new people who came in. Especially if you have a theme, right? If the theme of the if you call it a presentation or the live stream is when you beat the world record for Rubik's Cubes, right? Like in your story about how you got involved with Rubik's Cube.
I don't know why I said that. Actually, I do know why because I have two Rubik's Cubes sitting right in front of me as I record this right now. And maybe I'm just telling that story right from the beginning. So, hey, I remember picking up my first Rubik's Cube when I was six years old, and I had no idea what to do with it.
There was no internet. Da da Tell the story, and people are coming in, and then I might propose a question. Hey, when did you get involved with the Rubik's Cube? Or do any of you have a Rubik's Cube? And for those of you just coming in, I just told a story about how I got started with the Rubik's Cube, and I'll retell that later, but I want to go into what the Rubik's Cube means to me right now.
You just keep that conversation going and flowing and moving from one thing to another, but you can always bring it back. And when you bring it back, you don't tell it the same way. You tell it in a different way, just because you're telling it live. It's not scripted normally. You shouldn't script anything that is live, obviously.
And it makes it more real. And that's what makes it more relatable. That's what makes you more relatable. That's what makes it easy to follow you and subscribe to you because they want more of you. Not some pre scripted thing that you've practiced and now you're just an actor. Right? And if you want to make a true connection with somebody online, a great way to do it is to go live and connect.
A way to connect with your audience is to ask questions. Questions are great. Also, ask for the answer. What I mean by that is, if you know the answer to something, but your audience doesn't, then guess what happens? You position yourself as sort of like a teacher. Now, any good teacher is not just going to say, Hey everybody, so here is the answer.
They're going to say, Hey class, Here's the scenario. Now what do you think is the right decision here? A, B, or C? Or, hey, I had a choice, and my choice was to go this direction or this direction. If you were in that scenario, what would you do? Tell me in the comments, and I'd love to read a few of those out for everybody.
And saying it in that way is great. People will be encouraged because you're going to select a few people. Now, in the beginning it might be easy to read everybody's comments, but later on down the road when you grow bigger it's going to be more difficult to do that. But, just the fact that you're addressing the audience and getting them to know that you're going to be looking at a few select people in there, that's great.
That is, oh, he's paying attention to us too, versus just a one sided conversation. And even if nobody's in the room, you could still propose that question, don't wait for the answers to come in. Keep talking, and then when the answers come in, you can go back to them, right? If there are people there. If not, you just keep going, right?
So the way I might do it is, So, hey everybody, so this is what happened, and I had a decision to make. I could go down Road A, which would lead me here, or Road B. Now, I know what happened, because I did the thing, but I'd love to hear from you. If you were in the same scenario as me there, and you had that choice, would you go down Road A or Road B?
And I'm going to be interested to see what you say, and I'm going to read a few of your answers out. But, here is the decision. I went down Road C, which was a road I didn't even see behind me this entire time, right? Or, or something, I'm just making, I, this story doesn't really mean anything, but I'm, I'm telling you the execution, the, the, the, the way to engage and tell that story, and then if you say, Okay, and I went down Road B, let's say you say that, and I went down Road B, and yeah, Johnny went down Road B too, Karen, you went down Road B, Josephine, you went down Road A, now I was thinking about going down Road A just like you, Josephine, but, so, do you see what I did there?
I'm sort of interacting, I'm calling people's names out, and that's really important. There's a book by Dale Carnegie called Stand and Deliver, which is really key, and that's a great book to read for presenting, but that's not the book I actually meant to say. See, this is semi live, I'm not editing, and so I made a mistake, but you know what, that's a great book and you should totally read it.
The book that I'm referencing is How to Win Friends and Influence People and there's a chapter in that book that's all about the most beautiful sound to a person is the sound of their own name. And so when you are live, definitely use a person's name or screen name. You know hey, 026 Gonzo, I appreciate you saying that.
Even just saying that real quick and moving on can be great. And again, this takes practice, but when you do this, you begin to learn the art of engagement live online. And this opens up so many doors for new relationships to be built to new companies who might want to get in front of this audience because they see the connection that you have and loyalty that they have to you.
It might open up speaking opportunities. It might open up the ability for you to become a better speaker and communicator on a podcast. Just like I have gotten much better over time as a result of. These kinds of things and people noticed a very clear difference in my podcast. I've had people say, Pat, before the Income Stream in 2020, your podcast was, was pretty good.
But after, you just seem to be able to tell story much better and you seem to be able to communicate much more clearly and tell story in a way that was more engaging and more thrilling or more involved as a listener and that was one of my favorite comments coming out of the pandemic was the fact that I had used that opportunity to become a better communicator to learn how to go live and then of course there's the video aspect of it too which you can get pretty advanced and I was testing a lot of things during the pandemic and during the income stream with different camera angles and all that kind of stuff to further enhance the engagement, but you don't need any of that fancy stuff.
If you are engaging with the audience that's there, you're telling great story, and that's the final tip that I want to offer you is when it comes to that theme that you have, or even in the Q and a's that you have, if you have a story bank, which I've talked about before, a bank of stories that you can pull from a file cabinet in your mind about, Oh, if a person asks me about this, I'm going to go into that particular cabinet, pull out this file, you know, retell that story. And no, you don't script it out, but you have bullet points or at least something in mind so that you can tell it in a way that's engaging, that's a perfect answer to a particular question. Or if you're just in the middle of a themed live stream, you have these stories.
Maybe on a post it note or on notes on your computer so that you can just have something to go to. Write down three or four different moments or stories that you could potentially talk for three to five minutes about each. Each of those are going to become opportunities to then lead into other things that you don't even know or can't even plan for because of the audience or because of just what your mind's thinking around that time.
But having those stories in mind and being able to, even if nobody was there, or even if it's sort of, you've finished a topic and you're like, okay, what's next? Well, hey, let me tell you the story about the time that I broke my arm as a kid. And actually, it's a pretty ridiculous story because it all happened because of a girl.
You know, and again, I've told that story many times before, mostly in personal conversations. And the quick story around that is, I had tried to impress a girl and do a flip on the monkey bars. In front of her, and I slipped, my elbow hit the concrete footing of that monkey bar, and then I ended up in the hospital and had to get everything you know, realigned, if you will, and I had a cast after that.
And, oh, by the way, I was in second grade. Rachel Geller, that was her name. Yes, Rachel Geller, just like from Friends. Anyway, I appreciate you for listening all the way through, and I want to encourage you, I want to encourage you to go live. Facebook. Instagram live, super easy, very low friction, very low expectation from your audience often as far as like perfection and people will come and go, but when they come in, say hello, interact, say their name, tell a story or two, and things will be amazing, I promise you, and it's going to be bad, it's not going to be great at first, but you, as I often say, it's going to be okay.
As I got this from John Lee Dumas, by the way, because people are crediting me for this and I don't want it because it's not mine. You gotta be a disaster before you become the master. So go be a disaster. And I mean that in the best of ways. I appreciate you, I love you, and I look forward to serving you in the next episode.
Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at SmartPassiveIncome.com. I'm your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!