Live video is a powerful tool that can boost your online presence, engagement, and revenue. Jereshia Hawk, an expert in live video content, shared her experiences and insights in a recent interview. She described how she built a thriving online business using live video, leveraging its potential to foster interaction and drive sales.
(This interview was previously on a podcast that no longer exists, but I’ve kept the transcript here!)
Embracing Live Video: A Personal Journey
Jereshia Hawk is a passionate advocate for live video. Her journey started with a simple realization: writing was not her strength and podcasting was still a distant concept to her. Video, on the other hand, seemed more familiar and played to her strengths as a speaker. She threw herself into the world of live video as a process of elimination, but also as a choice that matched her strengths and capabilities.
For Jereshia, live video was not just a platform for broadcasting but also a way to create meaningful, engaging content. She used live videos to answer questions from peers, share her journey, and provide value to her audience. It wasn’t about perfection but rather about being real, authentic, and documenting her journey.
She made a commitment to a sustainable content creation strategy, starting with one video a week, and gradually increasing the frequency as her capacity expanded.
The Impact of Live Video on Business Growth
Live video played a significant role in Jereshia’s business growth. She attributes around 80% of her revenue to the leads she gained from her live videos. Beyond that, live videos also allowed her to:
- Attract high-quality clientele
- Qualify leads before getting them on a sales call
- Increase her close rate on sales calls
- Convert more clients consistently
Jereshia also emphasized the value of live video in understanding her audience’s needs and meeting them where they were, rather than where she wanted them to be. Live video allowed her to listen to what people were asking and create content that addressed those queries.
She used a series of eight live stream videos to guide potential clients through the psychological buying process. This strategy resulted in over $60,000 in sales in one month and was a key factor that led her to commit to her online business full time.
Live Video as a Cornerstone of Content Strategy
For Jereshia, live video is not just a standalone tool but the foundation of all her content creation. She repurposes her live videos into various forms of content:
- Transcriptions of live videos become high-value thought pieces for email copy.
- Quotes from live videos are used as content for her Facebook group.
- The most popular and engaging live videos become episodes on her podcast.
Live video also served as a testing ground for messaging and positioning, providing crucial feedback to fine-tune her strategies.
The Far-Reaching Benefits of Live Video
Jereshia’s success story demonstrates how live video can open up various opportunities beyond revenue generation. Her live videos have led to:
- Features in prestigious publications like Forbes and Black Enterprise
- Numerous speaking engagements
- Podcast guesting opportunities
In essence, her live videos served as her speaker reel, showcasing her ability to engage and captivate an audience.
Exploring the World of Live Video
The rise of live video is a testament to its effectiveness as a tool for engagement and revenue generation. From social media giants like Facebook and Instagram to streaming platforms like Twitch, live video is being prioritized, offering immense opportunities for growth.
If you’re new to live video, here are a few resources to help you get started:
- Know what you’re livestreaming about: Have a plan in advance and know what points you want to hit and what your goal is for the stream. It could be attracting an audience, engaging followers, nurturing leads, delighting customers, or some combination of these.
- Don’t over-rehearse or read from note cards: While you can have your key points written down somewhere for reference, you should avoid reading them like a script. Be your authentic self with a mission and some key talking points.
- Control your environment as much as you can: Make sure you’re recording in as controlled environment as possible. This could be in a studio space with the door locked or partitioning off your booth at a convention for an hour to stream.
- Be clear about your topic: Ensure that your headline and description accurately depict what the livestream is covering.
There are also some strategies to grow your audience while creating a live video:
- Stream on-trend: Stream about topics that matter to your customers but also attract new viewers who care about similar topics. Make your stream about topics relevant to your industry and the world abroad, and use proper hashtags so new viewers can find you.
- Stream at events: If you’re at a big convention or industry-wide networking event, livestream it! Followers at home are likely to tune in, and you’re guaranteed to pick up some new followers if you tag it properly and engage with anyone asking questions about the event on social media.
- Interview expert guests: These could be influencers in your industry, or researchers and expert thought-leaders with special insights on a particular niche issue. By interviewing guests on your livestream, you can attract some of their followers trying to see more content of their favorite personality, or those attracted to the conversation around which your expert is speaking.
Key Components of a Live Video
In response to my query about the length of her live videos and whether she pitches her services in them, Jereshia emphasized that every piece of live video content needs to do two things.
1. Captivating Title: Your live video title should make it clear what value viewers will get by watching it. It should address what problem it solves, and what topic it covers. A vague or absent title can lead to losing potential engagement.
2. Call to Action: It’s essential to have a call to action in each video – whether it’s to join your Facebook group, download a valuable resource, or schedule a call with you. Each video should have a clear goal, making it easier for your viewers to make a decision about your services or products.
Tailoring Content Based on Purpose
When conducting an intentional lean launch, Jereshia revealed that the call to action in every video is to schedule a call with her, allowing her to close a client on the phone. This strategy changes when it comes to ongoing content, where the call to action varies between inviting viewers to her Facebook group or downloading a targeted opt-in, which ultimately leads to a sales call.
The Right Length for a Live Video
When asked about the length of her videos, Jereshia responded that her videos generally run between 10 to 30 minutes. While some may argue that videos should be shorter, she believes the duration should be guided by the depth of the topic or problem being addressed. The key is not to get caught up in the video’s length but rather focus on delivering substantial value to the viewer.
Overcoming Internet Stage Fright
Understanding the very real fear of public speaking, Jereshia suggests business owners consider the potential revenue they could be missing out on by not going live. She recommends having a framework or method to follow, just like following a recipe while cooking. It’s a way to boost confidence and guide the structure of your live stream videos. It could be as simple as deciding what to say in the first 6 to 10 seconds of the video, to welcome viewers and introduce the topic.
A Note on Viewer Engagement
It’s important to understand that the majority of viewers will watch the replay of your live videos, rather than the live broadcast itself. So, don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate engagement. What’s more important is delivering valuable content, solving a specific problem, or triggering a mindset shift.
To conclude, as Jereshia advised, the first step to conquering live video fear is to just start – get that first video out of the way. After all, if it doesn’t work out, you can always delete it and try again. With some practice and the right approach, you can make live videos a powerful tool in your business arsenal.