Go Live: How to Get Comfortable Going Live on Instagram

Go Live: How to Get Comfortable Going Live on Instagram

Published on 2nd of April 2024

You may have heard it before and dismissed the idea, but going Live on Instagram is a proven way to drive engagement and grow your base. Some people continue to resist going Live, making other kinds of content instead for fear of messing up or being unsure they can successfully navigate the format. But if you’re avoiding Live because you’re not comfortable with the format, you’re missing out on huge benefits.

Going Live causes anxiety for many content producers because of the format’s open and potentially unpredictable nature. Anything could happen, and you cannot edit out mistakes because your followers are seeing everything in real-time. But there are ways to make going Live a more accessible and more comfortable experience. You can increase your chances of engagement and growing your audience with Live videos by learning techniques that will make you more comfortable in front of the camera.

Even if you are shy or introverted, you can improve your chances of producing great Lives and minimizing your anxiety. Here are a few tips to try to make your first or your next Live a breeze.

Get a Good Live Setup

Side view girl putting on makeup

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much equipment to set up a great Live video. You’ll see some people go Live while holding their smartphone; while that definitely works, you may want to design a more structured setup until you’re less anxious about the process. Invest in a small tripod to hold your phone and some good lighting, or set up in an area of your home or office that has excellent natural lighting. The goal at first is to become more at ease with going Live, and having a tripod to hold the phone camera steady and good lighting to make what you’re doing more visually appealing is essential.

Practice Your Live Ahead of Time

The spontaneity of a Live is what many people love, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a few practice runs before going in front of your audience. You can record yourself saying or doing what you plan for your Live and watch for any issues. It’s a great way to see if there are any lighting problems and to take notes. You might be speaking too slowly or too quickly, and you may need to practice looking at the camera. It may help to place a visual cue like a large sticker near the camera, so you naturally look there.

Additionally, most people benefit from knowing exactly what they’re going to do or talk about before turning the camera on. Creating a detailed outline so you don’t miss any critical points helps you stay on track and on topic. You’ll find that by using an outline each time, you’ll gradually become more comfortable and eventually rely on keywords to keep you on topic.

Pretend You’re Talking to a Friend

Full shot friends eating ice cream indoors

Going Live is your chance to communicate something to your audience in an authentic way. Many people on social media want to feel a personal connection, and that’s a big part of the value of a Live. But it can take practice to be at ease in front of the camera, so try pretending that you’re not talking to a smartphone but rather your good friend instead. When people engage with their friends in person, they smile, look at them, and tend to have a more conversational and less instructive tone.

Better Late Than Never

You may have started your Live and gotten halfway through when you start to receive a lot of questions from people who joined the Live late. If you prepare, you can handle latecomers without getting distracted from the point of the Live. At the beginning of your Live, take a second to pin the title or short description by selecting ‘pin comment’ and adding it there. And when you are planning your Live, occasionally take a moment to briefly describe what you’re doing in the Live. Think of it as singing the chorus of a song between the verses.

Get Your Audience Involved in the Process

Portrait of woman recording for personal blog

You can get your audience more engaged in the entire Live process, from well before the camera turns on to long after it has ended. Help followers feel invested in your Live by:

  • Asking them what they want to see, hear, or learn from you
  • Tell everyone ahead of time the when, where, and what of your Live
  • Demo your most popular product or service, or do your Live based on what people said they wanted to hear
  • Allow a few moments in the beginning as a buffer so people have time to hop on and join the Live
  • Acknowledging comments and replying or having a helper reply to comments as they come in
  • Say hi to users you see, especially if you recognize your most active followers
  • Ask the viewers to share the Live with their friends

When your audience is involved, it can help you stay more focused on the Live and less on your nervousness. Better audience engagement also helps avoid those uncomfortable silences. And if you want to acknowledge and shout out your most frequent viewers, tap the ‘eye’ icon at the top during the Live to see who’s hanging out with you. You’ll begin to recognize regular viewers and keep notes so you don’t forget to say hi during the next Live.

Phone a Friend

Sometimes, having a pal around can help calm the nerves. You don’t have to go Live alone—start a Live Room and add up to three friends who have requested to go Live with you. You can plan your Live to include a few friends or you could ask a friend or two to be on standby in case you get nervous or falter. As you become more comfortable with Lives, you can bring on guests from the audience or do interviews.

Whew—you made it through your Live! But what to do next? Save your video to your camera roll so you can go over things later and look at your metrics so you can compare them with future videos. Finally, don’t forget to add that Live to your Stories for people who couldn’t make it, and answer any direct messages you received. You can do it!

Article by Blastup

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