Once upon a time I did a twice weekly Facebook Live show. Then a weekly Facebook Live show. Then it went on a summer hiatus. And then it just . . . disappeared. That old Facebook Live show is now being resurrected and repurposed, and I want to share with you what I learned from the experience and why I’m changing things up.
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Hey there. Did you see the announcement I made on Facebook yesterday? If not, here it is!
I admit, this post is a touch self-indulgent, but only because I’m so damn excited to give you the news. I promise there is some specific value for you at the end if you stick with it. But first:
BS’ing with Brandi is Back, Baby!
On June 25, 2018 I livestreamed the last episode of BS’ing and announced that I would be putting the show on hiatus for the summer.
If you’ve been with me since then you may remember that over the summer I completely revamped my business and changed my signature service from offering social media coaching & training to doing business systems consulting and tech integration.
As the content of BS’ing was focused specifically on social media, it just didn’t fit with my new direction. I didn’t have the time to pivot both my service and my show, so BS’ing kind of got left in the dust as my client roster filled up.
So Why Bring BS’ing Back Now?
It’s been percolating for months
I’ve been wanting to bring it back for awhile since the brand and the concept got such an amazing reception from my audience. I had people who had been on my email list for 5 years and never said a peep suddenly telling me how much they loved it. I went to networking events and new people would tell me that a mutual acquaintance told them about BS’ing. I had family members who normally don’t say a peep message me with “What the heck is going on here?”
That’s how I knew I’d hit on something special.
I Just Couldn’t Find the Time
I had a great plan for 2019 but I couldn’t execute on my marketing strategy because it took me longer than anticipated to get the right team in place to free up my time enough for me to be able to refocus on marketing my new service effectively.
As of today I have 4 team members behind the scenes and they are super patient with me as we rewrite workflows and procedures like mad since in the last month I transitioned my project management software from Trello to Plutio AND my email marketing from ActiveCampaign* to Kajabi*.
In addition, Barb from Above The Fold is cooking up something wonderful for The Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, and behind the scenes we would be doing a lot of the same process and technical work so we teamed up to brainstorm and share the research to save us both a bit of time.
Video was supposed to be part of my 2019 marketing strategy
This one is two-fold.
I needed to do more to emphasize my new service because I’d been so effective at marketing myself as a social media “expert” that people are still telling people I do social media, still asking me to help them with their social media strategy, and still referring clients who need help with their social media.
In addition, I probably could have carved out the time for BS’ing if I’d been really determined, but last year (after thinking all of my health woes were almost solved) my skin went absolutely bonkers. Over the course of 2019 my acne got so bad that I stopped going on camera unless it was absolutely necessary. Thinking about my face was emotionally and mentally exhausting.
Happily, my skin is clearing up and I’m excited to get back on camera on a regular basis :)
It’s the Perfect Time
It’s kind of the perfect storm of coincidences - my skin is clearing up, I have another entrepreneur I can lean on for questions and support during this relaunch, my team is coming together, and it just so happens that yesterday (June 25, 2019) was the 1 year anniversary of the last episode of BS’ing.
What will BS’ing with Brandi Look Like Going Forward?
In it’s previous incarnation I would go on Facebook Live and spend 20 minutes answering a viewer question that had been submitted ahead of time. I’m not going to do that this time (for more on why not, keep reading for some lessons learned in case this is the direction you’re thinking of going).
The format is definitely going to evolve as I get the process streamlined, but here is what I’m intending it to look like going forward:
I’m going to pick my topics and pre-record videos which will be launched live using Facebook Premier
I’ll be hanging out in the comments to engage with people who show up whenever I can
While topics may be inspired by questions or comments I get, I’m not going to be soliciting topics
Obviously I’m not going to be talking about social media unless it has to do with tech or workflows. You’ll also see/hear me talking about what tools to use and how to streamline other parts of your business, like your blogging, your outsourcing, your online course, your graphic design, your . . . you get the picture
The audio will be repurposed into a podcast and syndicated everywhere I can get it to
So what was the thought process behind these changes? I’m going to walk you through my lessons learned from doing a FB Live Show so that you have a better perspective on whether or not this is right for you.
5 Lessons Learned from a Facebook Live Show
1. You have to show up (duh)
I started out going live twice a week, which I thought would be manageable since each episode was only 20 minutes and I didn’t have to create content, just hit ‘broadcast’ and answer the question.
The key thing I forgot to consider when doing all of this planning what to factor in how I like to work. And I don’t like being tied down to specific time slots on a regular basis. For example, yes, this blog updates every Wednesday like clockwork but that doesn’t mean I write it on the same day/time every week - it gets written on any given day before it’s due that I am in the writing flow.
So having a set appointment with Facebook Live that I had to show up for twice a week quickly lost it’s novelty despite the great reach that you get with videos. It wasn’t long before I cut back to once a week.
But even then I had days where I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m sure that came across in those particular episodes.
The idea of relaunching a livestream made my tummy hurt. I need to market in a way that fits more with my personality and my energy.
Why my new plan is better (for me): I can batch record videos when I’m feeling it and schedule all of the premiers. Plus pre-recording the videos ensures that I can have a format that will translate well to a podcast and I can avoid or edit out awkward pauses, randomly saying ‘Hi’ to people, waiting for them to comment with follow up information, or having to rely on FB Live working that day.
2. Promotion of Live Events Can Be Exhausting
So what is the point of having a regular live show on Facebook if you doing get live viewers each week? And to get those viewers you have to promote the shit out of that thing.
For someone who was already doing a weekly email, adding in promos for 2 weekly shows was a lot of emails. Constantly sending out posts to ask people to click ‘get reminder’ or educating users on how to get notified when my page went live was not really the content that lit a fire under anyone. And I had to do it week after week.
Why my new plan is better for me: instead of promoting a lot ahead of time I can put more effort into promoting the video after it’s already published - this is easier since you’re promoting the actual content instead of the promise of content.
3. Q&As Don’t Always Work on Facebook Live
This totally depends on what kinds of Qs you are Aing. If people are asking your opinion on something and you can easily get across your point, a talking head livestream is perfect.
However, about 50% of the time I’d get a question that was challenging to answer without being able to show and tell. This meant that I had to spend time writing a detailed answer to make sure I got all of the steps right if someone was following along with my video.
That probably wasn’t the best experience for the person asking the question and it completely defeated the purpose of me not having to create content ahead of time.
And once in awhile I’d get a question that was so specific to the person’s needs that I’d question if anyone else would be able to get any value out of it.
Why my new plan is better for me: I have 100% control over my topic, which means that I can create content that works when it’s just being described (and this is what also makes it transferable to a podcast format), and I can create content that best showcases the expertise that I actually want to be known for.
4. Facebook Lives Don’t Always Make Great Evergreen Content
I am all about evergreen content. If I am creating a piece of content and I don’t think I can get at least a year out of it, chances are I won’t bother at all.
Because of the specific info I detailed in some of my shows, the content was likely to go out of date more quickly - there is still a chance of this happening with informational content but it’s less likely to go out of date as fast.
And if the live had technical issues or some sort of interruption that doesn’t make for quality replays either.
Why my new plan is better for me: Again, because I have 100% control over my topic I can purposefully create content that will have a longer shelf life. And if I need to, I can make any edits to my video ahead of time so that once it’s published it’s good to repeat (if I created the content live, then had to download/edit/upload in order to continue promoting it I know it wouldn’t happen).
5. It’s Difficult to Create a Facebook Live Format That (Easily) Translates to Audio
I always wanted to turn BS’ing into a podcast, but the nature of livestreaming can make it difficult. The main culprit: engagement.
Engaging with your viewers is one of the keys to a successful live broadcast. But who wants to listen to a podcast where someone is constantly stopping to say “Hi and welcome” to new viewers, pausing while waiting for people to comment, talking about things that are being shown on camera, etc. If you wanted to have a really engaging live, and a really easy-to-listen-to-podcast then you had to do a lot of editing to your audio file afterwards.
That was, and remains, pretty high on the list of shit I don’t want to do.
Why my new plan is better for me: pre-recording the video and publishing it as a Premier means that I can still engage with people live in the comments, but the video structure itself can be created to fit into an audio format.
So What Would You Like to Do with Facebook Live?
There are people out there killing it with regularly scheduled Facebook Lives - some of them are even doing it daily!
But that’s just not for me, and it might not be for you either.