Should I Do Live Video?

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The last time I went live on Facebook was for an interview with a boutique shop owner. It was for my Style Stop series, which was designed to showcase creatives, designers, and business owners, and to provide a platform for the New England community to learn a bit more about their local retail shop owners while featuring their products and pieces.

Some of the people I interviewed were individuals I had gotten to know over the years due to past collaborations, and others were new to my circle. Style Stop was born out of my appreciation for their shops and their vibe and I wanted my community to get to know the talent and passion that were behind the storefront and find out about their latest, fashionable clothing and accessories.

As a stylist, that particular project gave me so much joy, primarily because it made me feel a deeper sense of connection with and commitment to this particular group of business owners. Secondly, Style Stop was an opportunity for my clientele to know that they have other options in terms of shopping and looking for unique items.

Now as an entrepreneur, don’t we wish that the perfect dose of excitement, raw authenticity, passion and honest work would be all you need to yield some sort of ROI. It should be that simple, right?! Although that would have been pretty sweet, ultimately that wasn’t the objective of my Live videos.

What I was looking for was connection and engagement with my audience (current + new), to provide information on where to shop locally while giving them an opportunity to know the person behind OliviaRStylist better. Did that work? Yes to a certain degree.

The videos did get my followers to engage in the comments while attracting new people to the OliviaRStylist Facebook page and new visitors to my website. Additionally, going up live twice a month gave a voice and personality to my brand and got my face to show up on Facebook feeds.

But here’s where the “to a certain degree” comes: There were a few factors I hadn’t considered as I eagerly plowed through my calendar of potential interviews and approached shops to appear on Style Stop. First off, small business owners wear many hats, which means their time is hellah precious. The idea of promoting their work and themselves through a Live video (which added an extra layer of terror for some of them, and understandably so) wasn’t necessarily on their priority list of tasks to get done - even though it was on mine.

Second, was Style Stop enticing enough for followers to feel the desire to not just connect with the designers and boutiques on social media, but be enthused enough to peruse the shops and buy from them when the time came. Which brings me to my third point - most of the small local shops don’t have an online shopping site, and that presented a bit of a challenge. Actually, it felt like a Dead End. Here I was - featuring awesome stories and products but was unable to connect people to them physically. Even though Style Stop attracted new/first-time viewers, its value was short-lived and limited.

So earlier this year, I decided to try a different strategy and join the YouTube community, and so far I have published two styling videos with the assistance of Brittanny as my videographer and production partner. Throughout this project, I got to learn important lessons along the way in terms of what it means to integrate videos into your content marketing, whether you choose to do Live videos and/or recorded videos.

  1. Get clear on the value you’re looking to provide to your ideal clientele/followers. What is the current void that your service/product is going to fill?

  2. Anticipate the pros and cons, and the challenges you might encounter. Will the videos support/help move your business goals along?

  3. Can you invest and commit your time, energy and resources to making videos on a regular basis? (Consistency is key. That is how you’re going to build trust with your audience and grow your following.)

  4. Create a content calendar to keep you ahead of the game. Lay out your theme, topics or products, and plug them into a calendar as a guide.

  5. Figure out how you want to share the videos once they are published and how to use them for promotional use (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, your e-newsletter etc..)

  6. When you do launch your FB live/videos and get in a rhythm of producing new content, you absolutely going to need to remind yourself of the importance of the long game, beautifully written by Patsy.

And if you’re still on the fence whether videos are right for your business, here are some fun facts to ponder on:

Here at The Branding Edit, we know that videos are going to be an essential part of how we share bits and pieces of our work and our combined knowledge. We’ve officially been running for about 6 months now with a focus geared towards creating a solid foundation as we welcome new clients to our TBE community. Videos have been on our minds since day 1, and like you and every other business entrepreneur we talk to, intentionality and purpose are important to us.

But even more important than intentionality and purpose is the real value of our content - that is what matters most (based on these stats).

So if you offer a service or a product, you are already halfway there, friend.

Let’s pledge to make 2018 the year of videos!

{Here's a behind-the-scenes with Brittanny and our youngest staff member. Enjoy!}.