In November of 2016, Instagram’s live video rolled out for all Instagram users. Instagram Live is for people who want to share moments in real time for up to one hour. While this may seem like it’s something users want to use to share the concerts they’re at or panels at comic-con, this feature can be beneficial to your brand.
Going live on Instagram allows you to share behind-the-scenes with your followers (whom are your customers and readers), you can hop on for five minutes to talk about something you’re hosting or a product you’re launching, or you can host a thirty-minute Q&A. Of course, you can always just hop on to talk about anything you think would be valuable—there doesn’t have to be a big event around it!
Doing this lets your followers get to know you better, and in turn, fall in love with your brand more. It’s a tool you don’t want to ignore because you can get quick comments in real time and interact with your most loyal followers. Not only will you benefit, but they will also get value out of what you share.
The problem with going live on Instagram is that you might be afraid of using that option. It’s undeniably terrifying to go live because you don’t know what embarrassing thing you’ll do. However, if other’s have overcome their fear of going live, you can too.
How to overcome the fear of going live on Instagram
1. Have an outline
While we don’t recommend having an entire script, it’s a good idea to have an outline of what you want to talk about. The reason you shouldn’t have a script is because you don’t want to sound too robotic. You’ll sound boring and people will leave. Going live is about being present and in the moment, so you don’t want to sound like you’re acting.
Having an outline, however, is great for beginners. Write down the notes you want to cover and have that piece of paper beside you. This way you don’t forget anything that you want to cover, and you’ll feel confident that you won’t have anything to talk about. If you finish talking about something, you’ll know what to move on to.
Even if you rush through your live by accident, nobody knew how long it was going to be, so it doesn’t matter. Try not to do this, of course. You don’t want your followers to miss anything!
2. Be in the moment
On the flip side, if you’re going to be going live at some event you’re at, there’s no need to use a script. The best thing to do is to just take out your phone and start. All you have to do is say hi to people, tell them where you’re at, what you’re doing there, and any other information you want to give.
The great thing about Instagram Live is that people can comment while you’re live, and you can see all the messages. If you feel like you have nothing to talk about, read the comments, and answer people’s questions. Show the party, zoom into the desserts, or have others say hi to your followers.
Remember, you don’t have to be on for a long time. Sometimes people go on for three to five minutes, and then they sign off.
3. Do something that relaxes you
If you’re going to talk about something or do a Q&A, and you’re nervous, do something that relaxes you. Vanessa Van Edwards calls this “fueling.” Fueling is when you set time apart (anywhere between ten minutes to an hour) before you have to do something you’re nervous about or dreading.
During your ‘fueling session’ you do something that you enjoy to relax. Whether you meditate, read, watch something that’ll make you laugh, or just take deep breaths. Find a way to calm your nerves and dissipate your fears before going live.
4. Stop focusing on yourself (people don’t care about your mistakes)
Remember that the reason you do what you do is because you want to provide value to others. Take the focus off of you and realize that people want to hear what you have to say. Don’t think about the things that might go wrong, but think about the people you will help.
Let your goal of changing the world (or your industry) lead to go live. Believe it or not. Your followers are waiting for you to go live. They’re anticipating you, and they want to know what’s going on in your life. They’re fans, and fans care about who they follow.
Your followers will not care about your mistakes. They don’t care that your hair is messy, or that you’re stumbling on your words. They might notice, but it will leave their minds because they’re focusing on what you’re saying and/or what’s going on around you.
The ones who do point out your mistakes and make fun are the haters. The great thing about the bullies is that you can ignore them because you don’t want them following your brand anyway.
One of the best ways to build confidence before going live is to practice. Using that outline you wrote, say the thing you want to say (who cares if you don’t remember it all when you’re live?) to your camera. Practice the way you had to practice speeches, presentations, and readings in high school and college. This way you know what to do. If you stumble, go with the flow.
Practice your intro. Look into your camera, and say what you’re going to talk about. Try enunciating your words, find good lighting, and set up in a good place to go live.
6. Just click ‘start live video’
Just click the button. Once you click, commit to talking. Then keep going. As Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Even if no one watches, keep going. Instagram saves your live on Instagram stories for 24 hours, so people can watch later! If you have one person, that’s one human, not just a number. That person wants to hear what you’re saying, so don’t leave them hanging.