As a small business owner, do you need to break out of your comfort zone? One surefire way to do so is to host a Facebook Live Q&A.
I did one recently, and while I was nervous at first, if I do say so myself I think it went really well!
The questions were great, but what really stood out for me were the conversations that flowed in the comments.
Attendees bounced off one another and shared ideas and insights, and the content evolved as the chat evolved. I was able to watch relationships develop, and gather information about what other small business owners are struggling with.
It was an excellent learning experience for me, and if you’re interested in trying one yourself, here’s how I prepared.
Prepping for a Facebook Live Q&A – Part One
The Facebook Group I launched recently, The Game Plan for Small Business Growth, has really taken off, and I couldn’t be happier! But I wanted to take it to the next level. And even though I’d never done a Facebook Live before, I took the plunge and committed to a date. Then I panicked.
Ok, ok, not really “panic,” but I was aware just how easily a live broadcast could go wrong. Whether it’s fear of the unknown or a touch of stage fright, most of us get uncomfortable doing anything live. Would you do a webinar or give a speech at an event without prepping? Probably not. And you shouldn’t dive into a Facebook Live Q&A without doing so either.
So, here’s what I did: Once I set my date and time, I promoted it within the Facebook Group, and asked people who were interested to add their questions in the comments section. This allowed me to get a handle on what people’s concerns and questions were in advance, and ensured I could deliver quality feedback to attendees.
Prepping for a Facebook Live Q&A – Part Two
Superficial or not, the visual aspect of a Facebook Live Q&A is important. And you don’t have to have a dedicated home studio or fancy lighting to achieve a quality set-up.
If you can, opt for a plain, light coloured wall as your backdrop, and don’t be afraid to pretty it up a little with accessories. Yes, use that piece of art hanging there to create visual interest in your background, or position yourself in front of an occasional table and a vase of flowers!
As for lighting, here’s a tip: generally, a light source that brightens your face from the front (not above, and not the side), tends to be most flattering. Grab a desk lamp and play around!
The key is to be sure when you sit down, that everything works within the boundaries of your framing – you don’t want a palm frond sticking out of the top of your head! Which brings me to Prepping Part Three!
Prepping for a Facebook Live Q&A – Part Three
If you can, do a run-through with someone you trust to give you real solid feedback. In other words, an underling might not feel comfortable saying “Actually, what you said there didn’t sound right.” or “Yeah, we really need to tweak that lighting!” LOL
I’m lucky enough to work with someone who produced TV for many years, and she brought her experience to the table. Having that extra set of eyeballs—someone acting as your audience—before you go live, is invaluable.
We tweaked chair placement (see above re: plant head!) and framing, and made some adjustments to phone/camera positioning. It’s best if you can have your phone slightly elevated above your eye level. This tends to be a flattering angle, and it ensures you are looking up into the camera, rather than down toward notes.
If you don’t have a fancy phone holder, don’t worry about it. A pile of books and something to lean it on will work fine.
Once you’re happy with your shot, do a quick read-through of your questions and answers. The more comfortable you can make yourself before your Q&A, the better!
Bottom Line? Just Be Yourself
The most important thing with a Facebook Live Q&A is to just be yourself. Be relaxed and natural. These events don’t have to be buttoned down and business-like (unless that’s your audience, of course).
If you are at home, and the kids are there, let your audience know. Did your dog just bark at the mailman? Have a laugh about it. By making it fun (while informative) and welcoming your audience into your space, you’ll end up with a community eager to return!
I hope this piece has helped you realize how easy it is to set up and perform a Facebook Live Q&A. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about prepping for one. Head on over to the The Game Plan for Small Business Growth and let’s chat!
What do you think? Have you done a Facebook Live event yet? Have cold feet, maybe? I would love to hear about it, so drop your thoughts in the comments.