Today’s article will be an illumination for all of you and a tempest of WTFs for those who’ll realize they’ve been doing it all wrong. Jumping on IG live or FB live, or YouTube live, or Tik Tok live, or whatever else out there allows you to have a voice in realtime, does not intrinsically mean you should randomly engage in it. Your words hold value and your face holds power. When you abuse the two, aka have no intent or purpose behind your live stream, you start losing both. Do that enough times and soon no one even cares what you have to say. Here are 5 questions you must answer before doing a live stream on ANY social media platform.
5. What do I want out of this stream?
The number one question that one simply can’t afford to skip is what do you want from this live session? Do you want to promote your one-year EP anniversary? Do you want to promote an upcoming song? Or maybe you want to announce a tour? How about merch sales? Brand collaborations? Whatever there is that you’re trying to sell at that moment, that should be the end goal of your stream. Don’t say “I just want to connect with my fans.” You’re already doing that by existing and by replying back to messages and comments. Live streams hold a special value and if you have nothing to promote, you’re showing you’re not about your business and you’ll lose your credibility. Slower in the beginning, faster after 3 streams or so. I mean… Ask Cardi B. She went live so often to complain about things that now we just don’t bother anymore. Now we’re waiting for the gossip columns to report on what she said. Your live streams should NOT fulfill the role of a therapy session. They are a tool in your BUSINESS.
4. Do I have my script and time estimate right?
If you don’t do your homework before going live, it shows. Artists who eat Cheetos and stay silent during their streams instead of talking like there’s no tomorrow are the ones who are instantly deemed as boring, uninteresting, and unprofessional. We’re not even going to talk about those who drink or do drugs on camera. Prepare a mini script in advance. Have some strong reference points as it is very easy to get distracted by the live comments, questions, and heart emojis from fans. If you don’t plan your road in advance, any passerby will stop you. As for the time… Act like it actually means something. Never hold streams longer than 30 minutes but also never less than 10. Less than 10 when you are not famous will equate very low engagement and attendance numbers. Give the opportunity to your fans from all over the country and the world to tune in but never overstay your welcome. You have to be precious in your appearance otherwise why should I bother seeing you now when I know your streams are long as hell and I can catch you next time?
3. Are my visuals on point?
There are three things you have to check off the list before hitting that Live button: 1. Clean phone lens; 2. Decent background; 3. Nice clothes, or at the very least, clean. Again, when you show up, you are selling your brand image and working for or against your credibility every single second. So put in the time and effort to look and feel your best. Also, clean up those damn clothes and baby wipes in the background. And it goes without saying if you have a phone of the latest generation but your photos look blurry, clean the damn lens!!!
2. Do the people in my house know that I’m about to go live? What about my friends?
Nothing says unprepared as going live, looking fly, and having your mother walk in over you asking what are you doing. For the older artists, that might happen with their children and spouses. Going live is an event. A major one at that! So make sure your household KNOWS that you’re about to stream and does not bother you for anything in the world in that 30-minute frame. And even more common from what we’ve seen, is artists going live and have a bunch of people call them, text them, disrupt the entire event. We advise you to connect to a Wifi network and set your device on Airplane mode instead. That way you won’t have any notification sounds while staying connected for the live stream. You can’t possibly make an announcement to all of your friends not to call you but you can definitely mute all incoming distractions.
1. Is this in sync with my legacy as an artist?
If you answered all of the above questions, congratulations! You only have left one big, fat elephant to address. This one though, is mental. Truly and sincerely ask yourself the following question: “Will I be okay with this stream should it go viral?” The chances of that happening are very slim but… It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even when you think you’re not famous and no one cares if you say F this and F that, there are some very unconventional people out there who record and screenshot and make entire archives of what they consume online. And if one of these individuals happens to come across your live stream, you best believe they will record it and save it on a drive somewhere. Then they wait until you are famous and sell those recordings to gossip columns. Don’t believe us? Ask again the queen of live streams herself, Cardi B. Nobody cared about her past until she, with her own mouth, said she used to drug and rob men. Funny thing though, she said that on live stream THREE YEARS BEFORE she became famous. So watch your mouth very closely and think a thousand times before revealing personal details or the struggle and sacrifices you had to go through.
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