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Episode 76: How To Instagram Live Like A Pro (Minisode)

We're back with another minisode!

This time Iris explains how to nail your first (or hundredth) Instagram Live. It's a little more work than just pushing a button, but it can make all the difference in creating successful live video content!

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Episode Transcript

Lisa: Hi, Iris.

Iris: Hi Lisa.

Lisa: What are you going to teach us about today?

Iris: Today on a very special minisode I'm going to talk about how to Instagram live like a seasoned professional.

Lisa: Why are you qualified to teach the people about that?

Iris: Well, not only have I done an Instagram live before. [laughs] But, um, I am essentially a social media manager and study, uh, all the different social media platforms. And live video has been a trend for a while and it's incredibly useful for brands, but still really underutilized and not always done correctly. So we wanted to share how to nail it so you can do Instagram live like a pro.

Lisa: And you're a genius and I'm really happy that you're at WHEELIE.

Iris: I don't know if that's true, but, okay.

Lisa: Yeah. So that's why, everybody listen to Iris. She's got, she teaches us about the internet. She keeps us cool. And, uh, here's what she has to say about Instagram Live.

Iris: So if you've been on social media in the last, I don't know, month or so, you've probably noticed that everyone is going live these days.

And it's on almost every platform. Even YouTube offers live video and Facebook and TikTok. If you didn't know, I'm very famous on TikTok and there's live video options on that. Um, but probably the most popular one that brands choose to participate in is Instagram live. And it's pretty easy to do, but there are some tips to help you do it better and more, more effectively for your business.

So first off, you want to decide why you're going to go live, because not every situation is fitting for the live experience. So if you're trying to show off, like, a new brand video or, um, go on like a long- hour-long rant about something. Um, Instagram live isn't really the place for that. What is the- what it is the place for is, um, things that are very collaborative. So having people on watching, commenting back and things like… maybe launching a new product or a new product line, you're showing off your new yoga pants that you're launching. Um, maybe taking people behind the scenes of your manufacturing or out of your office, um, doing some sort of Q and A session or webinar, um, or interviewing like your CEO, something like that.

And then also doing collaborations because you can go live with someone else at the same time. So you can do a collab with one of your brand partnerships and talk about what you do together. And those are all really good reasons to go live.

Lisa: Yeah, they are.

Iris: So if you have... if your purpose aligns with going live, um, you don't want to just jump on and hit go live right away.

So, um, before you go live, you want to schedule it out and announce it beforehand, because if you just pop on live no one will know that you're there. And it's not as fun to go live when there's zero people watching and you're like, “Hey, let me know your questions.” And no one is there commenting.

So, um, one of the best ways to do this is Instagram's countdown feature. You can set up a little countdown button in your stories to be like, Hey, Lisa and I are going live at 3:00 PM. MST tomorrow. We're going to be answering all your questions about podcasting. And then if I'm interested in watching that live, I can click on the little countdown and have it remind me when it's almost up.

So you want as many people to be watching live as possible. Another idea for this is to go live at, a, like helpful time. So if a lot of the people you want to watch- you want to be watching your live video are like working day jobs, maybe do it at 6:00 or 7:00 PM when they're free to watch a long video or maybe on a lunch break, something like that when you know your followers are going to be available to watch your video.

Um, another way to do this is to announce not only on Instagram, but on Facebook, on Twitter. Um, using your email list, send out an email right before the scheduled time, “Hey, we're going live on Instagram right now.” Um, and get as many people as possible to join the live because that's the special part of live video is that it's live!

Lisa: Damn straight.

Iris: Yeah. So the third tip is to find a good space. So Instagram lives aren't like polished and they're not like highly edited video and all that. They're just lives coming through a phone. But it does help to have some sort of professional experience. So you want to like make sure your background is not cluttered.

Like right now there's a million things in the background of my space right now, so I would not be Instagram living from the middle of my kitchen. And um, you want like a white wall, something like that, and make sure that your coworkers or your family is not going to disturb you while you're going live for that set amount of time. Um, because you don't want to go live and halfway through have to abandon it because your phone is ringing or someone's trying to talk to you or there's someone at the door. So make sure that you have the time and the space. And set up a little tripod for your phone, like leaning against some books or a tall water bottle and do it in portrait mode, not landscape, because that's how everyone's holding their phones.

And now you're finally ready to go live. So you push the button and you go live and you're ready to go. So while you're live, Instagram, once you push that button will notify your followers that you've gone live. So wait a few minutes, do some small talk. Say hello to everyone who's hopping on so you can get as many people as possible before you start. But don't wait for too long like a minute or two is fine.

The best thing to do here when you hop on live is to pin a comment. So you want to type a comment into the comment section, and then if you hold down, it'll give you the option to pin it. And that's a great way to let people know what's happening in your video. So I click on your live video, it pops up and it says, “Lisa is answering your questions about podcasting.” Then I know exactly what's happening here, and if I start in the middle of the video, I know what she's doing. She's talking about podcasting.

And then as you're going live, um, encourage people to comment, say hello to people as they hop on. It'll tell you, um, everyone's screen names as they join the live and make it back and forth. It's Instagram live because you're talking with people, not just talking at people. So answer questions, respond. Tell jokes. Say hi to everyone. Um, because it's a back and forth conversation.

Lisa: That's wonderful.

Iris: Maybe your first few times on live, there's not too many people joining. You might not get a ton of questions. That's okay. You can encourage people to DM you if they've watched the replay. Or just let them know that you're always open to messages and answering questions on this topic at any time.

And then when you're finally done, wrap it up after 10, 20 minutes, something like that. Um, don't go on Instagram live for two hours. No one wants to stick around for that. So get in and share your knowledge and then wrap it up and get out. And when you end your live video, you'll have the option to save your video and post to stories. And you're going to want to do both of those things.

So share it to stories, and then it'll be available on your stories for 24 hours. Um, when people go to your profile, they can click on your little profile image and then it'll give you the option to watch the live video. Let all your followers know that if they missed the live presentation that they can go find it for 24 hours. And then that saved video, you can share on IGTV, put it on Facebook, put it on Twitter, put it in your email list, and get the most use out of your IG video as possible because you made this content so you might as well share it.

And that is how to nail an Instagram live video.

Lisa: Nailed that. Thanks, Iris. I think that you teach me about the internet every single day.

Iris: Yeah. And Instagram live is underused by a lot of brands, and so if you do it every now and then, you'll get more and more comfortable and just be yourself and be real and have a laugh and have a good time.

Lisa: That's right. Thanks for being here.

Iris: Thanks for being here. See you next time.

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