You are welcome to listen to Ross Brand on audio while reading our article, or you may scroll to the bottom and watch Ross in action!
I have learned not to make any assumptions, for this article we will not make the assumption (or mistake) that people who live in the digital universe entirely understand the value of live streaming. The main benefit and value of live streaming video production, as opposed to on-demand video production, is the real-time interactivity and engagement between publishers (prosumers) and their audience (consumers). The real time engagement allows producers to personalize the experience in a raw and real way that is simply not possible with on-demand video.
I am going to make a statement that is blatantly obvious, may offend a few people but it needs to be said. The absolute first prerequisite to monetizing a live stream (or any other digital asset for that matter) is you must be offering to sell something. As ridiculously obvious as it may sound, I have (unfortunately) been involved in way too many “how to monitize live streaming” conversations with people who have nothing to sell and no vision of what they will sell in the future. The “I will figure it out later” strategy is not an effective (or responsible) strategy.
Don’t ask me why, but these conversation remind me of a clip from Tommy Boy, “Why I suck as a salesperson?”
Other prerequesites include;
Unless you are an incredibly gifted sales professional, trust me when I say this, people will NOT purchase from you just because you have a pretty face or speak well in front of the camera.
Trust is imperative, people will purchase from you when they trust you. When they trust that you will deliver what you say you are going to deliver, they will purchase.
Credibility is also critical for doing commerce in live streaming, digital and social channels. People can trust you, but you need to be positioned as a credibal authority for the goods and services you represent. Credibility can and will take time, it can take years. Great examples of credibility are in the coaching and consulting spaces, people can trust you but you must have substance and credible examples of being a subject matter expert at whatever it is you are coaching or consulting!
Supporting documentation is also a necessity, before doing business with you many people will demand that they read and research anything and everything about you and your business. A solid website, blog, Google Business page, Facebook Page and reviews/ratings go a long way in telling your story and positioning your brand, goods and services.
How do I get started? You better be able to answer that question, immediately! Whether it’s a product/service on your website, a landing page or documentation how to send you a payment, when someone asks this question they want to purchase. You absolutely must have a clearly defined, simple and user friendly means for people to purchase whatever it is you are purchasing. NOTHING is more frustrating than losing out on an opportunity because your sales/checkout process is not prepared or documented.
For this part of the conversation, we are going to share and discuss recommendations from a Facebook Live Video by Ross Brand of Livestream Universe. Ross is widely recognized throughout the live streaming community as a leader and pioneer in producing live content.
Ross discusses Direct Selling as one of the paths to monetization, citing Lularoe vendors and suppliers as people using Facebook Live as a vehicle for direct selling. Attached below is a video by Megan Lewallen discussing the process to monetization and how she is using Facebook Live Streaming to grow sales (this is a GREAT resource, Megan discusses the do’s and don’t of selling on Facebook Live).
This path is more akin to an indirect sales method, a collateral marketing and sales content plan that supports your business. This is great for service based industries or niche products. Ross mentions a few phrases, “value add” and “stay top of mind“, in summary this path leverages live streaming for you and your business to discuss the value your business, goods and services offer to the marketplace while building strong(er) relationships with potential customers.
This path is all about positioning and having a strong ‘repurpose plan‘. A repurpose plan simply means that for each Facebook Live video you publish, have a plan of collateral placements that will act as a Force Multiplier for your content. YouTube and your website or blog are GREAT places to repurpose your content. The website and blog are INVALUABLE placements for this content, a Facebook Live video will receive 90% (or more) of its views within 24 hours of publishing, a BLOG or article on your website will attract a constant stream of visitors and consumers!
Live streaming as a technology is evolving, innovative businesses like Facebook, YouTube and Periscope (Twitter) are constantly developing new technology that provides more and more capability for live streamers. As live streaming becomes more mainstream and accepted as a form of media, great opportunities will be presented to innovative and creative thinkers. The Facebook roadmap is filled with evolving technology that will present even greater opportunities, including a live streaming service and potentially Facebook TV. Click here to read more about the Past, Present and Future of Facebook Live (from 2016).
Ross Brand applies his background as a radio host to conduct interviews and lead livestream conversations that inform and entertain. He is the founder and editor of Livestream Universe, covering the latest and greatest in livestreaming and online broadcasting.