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JENNA KUTCHER

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How to NOT Freak Out About Going LIVE on Instagram

Does the thought of going LIVE on Instagram *sort of* make you want to pass out? It can be intimidating, especially your first time or two, that’s for sure. BUT—it can also be a massively powerful way to connect with your audience in real-time and address questions or thoughts they might have for you!

It gives them quicker access to you (i.e. not having to comment, wait, and hope for a response sooner or later on a post or in your DMs), and honestly? We all have a little bit of voyeur in us, and IG LIVE gives people a whole new level of behind-the-scenes action with you.

It’s also an added place to provide them some sort of deeper value, and you can use it to elaborate, educate, inspire, or entertain when done well! I don’t know about you, but during quarantine I’ve noticed so many more people taking advantage of Instagram LIVE.

“It’s a place to provide some sort of deeper value, and you can use it to elaborate, educate, inspire, or entertain.”

 

Maybe it’s out of sheer boredom—or maybe, just maybe, people are finally able to push past the fear of showing up, sharing their face and voice, and connecting with their followers in a new and intimate way. In a way that is SO NEEDED, in these times especially.

My #1 trick to nail going LIVE on Instagram

And yet, there are all kinds of things to think about… Do you make an announcement to everyone that you’re going LIVE and when to tune in? Should you wear something other than the sweats you’ve likely been living in for the past few months? And what if you don’t have a cool “Instagrammable” corner of your home to film in? What if you have kids or a partner or barking dogs?

And… what in the world are you supposed to SAY?! Don’t you worry about a thing. You know I’ve got you. And I’m going to share my sneaky little secret with you to totally nail IG LIVE… SCRIPTS.

Whoa, have you ever considered reading from a script? I know it sounds like it might seem rehearsed or look obvious that you’re reading from something. But it can always be more of a loose outline that you reference, if that makes you more comfortable.

Plus, if you prop your phone up right by your notes on your computer screen, you can stay on track with the content you want to share and actually deliver value, without getting lost. The last thing you want is to become distracted and freaked out by trying to keep up with comments or how many people are tuning in the whole time.

“Using a script for IG LIVEs will help you to stay on course without rambling, keep the content time-conscious, and allow everything to stay on track.”

 

While it might take a little getting used to, prepping and using a script or outline for IG LIVEs will help you to stay on course without rambling, keep the content time-conscious, and allow everything to stay on track, interesting, and easy for viewers to digest and implement. It makes all the sense in the world when you think about it, really.

So… you ready to rock your Instagram LIVEs?

My top tips to remember when going LIVE

Let’s get into everything you need to know to prepare for success time and time again.

01. Determine the MAIN GOAL of the LIVE

Mapping out the topic or goal when you go LIVE is important for a few reasons. It lets viewers know what they’ll walk away with afterward, it will keep you from rambling on about everything that pops into mind, and it’ll help you frame the stories and takeaways you want to be sure you mention!

Follow almost the 5-part essay format (you know, the one from elementary school?) but for video. So start with a brief introduction, get to the 3 to 5 main points, close it up, and leave with a call to action (or CTA). You can pin a comment to the top if you’re directing people to do something or visit a site.

If you’re going to repurpose it for IGTV, remember that the comments won’t stay there or be visible on the video, so it might be best to just jump into the content and then answer questions at the end. You can download the IG LIVE and upload it as an IGTV. Feel free to edit out the beginning if it takes you a bit to get into the flow or if you’re waiting for people to join.

02. Treat it like a convo with a friend

Your followers are kind of like your internet friends, so don’t get all huffy about having perfect hair and make-up and cleaning your house from top to bottom beforehand. Have fun with it and just be casual!

Speak to your followers like you’re having coffee with a friend and sharing some advice or telling a funny story that happened to you. Dress in something comfortable that makes you feel confident, and try to set up in a space that’s fairly quiet with a background that isn’t distracting to viewers.

03. Write your script like you talk

Maybe you’re not all that anxious about going LIVE and just need a few bullet points to stay on track—you go, girl! But I’ve literally gone on video with a legit word-for-word script in front of me, including “stage notes” to myself to check in for comments or questions from viewers, or to just say hey to new people who pop on every once in a while.

Pick whichever method you’re most comfortable with (bullets or word-for-word), and then write the script in the same way you would actually talk it out. Be sure you test-read the script/notes at least one time through so you know it feels natural as you make your way through it!

04. Keep transitions in mind

When you’re talking by yourself, basically TO yourself, it can start to feel like you’re rambling if you don’t have a few points you hit and transition to and from. You just want to make sure you’re not jumping around from topic to topic without connecting them organically. A transition can literally be as simple as a sentence or word that connects one topic to the next naturally. It will be more conversational with smart transitions.

05. Do your research

If it’s a more technical topic, I always try to find some compelling stats, research, or studies to share on top of my own advice, experience, and stories. It lends greater expertise to the topic and gives our point of view even more credibility.

06. Open with something captivating

How many times have we heard stories/LIVEs start with, “Hey, just popping on here real quick to…”?! Kick your LIVE off with a relatable story, a compelling question, or an anecdote that viewers will relate to will hook their interest and encourage them to stay on and engage! 

07. Close with a call to action

Wrapping up the video with next steps for the viewers is essential! You have their attention, so now what? Do you want to direct them to a freebie or blog post that goes with the topic you spoke about? Do you have a program that delves deeper into what you just shared? You could even ask for them to leave a simple comment on your most recent post. Just be sure you get into the habit of pointing people to something else so that they’re clear on the next steps for learning more or interacting further!

Sooo, how are we feeling?! Ready to rock your LIVEs and start engaging with your audience in a whole new way? I promise, they can be SO fun and rewarding once you get the hang of them, and with these tips, you’ll be a pro in no time.


Want more simple tips to show up better on IG?

Grab my complete guide to the ‘gram in this tricky social media season for less than 50 bucks.

by Jenna Kutcher 

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