During the COVID -19 pandemic, some SMB focus is shifting to remote work. For many small businesses that means learning a new norm including live streaming from home. Small Business Trends contacted Jennifer L. Jacobson, Founder of Jacobson Communication, to get some pointers.
Jacobson recently published a blog titled How To Be On National TV From Your Living Room.
Look Good Live Streaming
She started by highlighting some advantages to consider given the pandemic.
“In the time of social distancing, video conferencing can help you have more open and engaging conversations with customers than simple emails do,” she writes.
“For brainstorming with your team, video conferencing can also help you connect and communicate in ways emails don’t allow for, because they are fluid and live.”
Choose a Tool
If you’re brand-new to video conferencing, selecting the right tool is the first step. Jacobson says you should pick one that’s popular.
“Try and use one that other people already have, like Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.,” she says. “And remember to skip free trial versions, as they can limit call time.”
Position Your Camera
She also points out your camera needs to be at eye level. It shouldn’t be above or below you. Jacobson writes in her blog you can even put your monitor or laptop on some books if you need to.
She also stresses you should look at the camera and not the screen. That way it looks like you’re making eye contact.
You’ll also need to remember there’s some differences from other tech meetings.
“A live stream is not the same as a conference call,” she writes. “It’s a live video of you doing something. Looking good on camera in a business-related live stream can help your customers feel comfortable working with you.”
Practice A ‘Script’
With the live stream you need to keep it going and professional.
“To avoid long pauses, practice your key points ahead of time. And have a simple checklist off camera that you use to organize your thoughts as you deliver the live stream.”
Choose the Right Locale
It’s better to live stream from your computer and not your smart phone. This type of videoconferencing looks more professional from a quiet place. Picking the right location in your home means a place away from pets, the kids and other distractions. You might want to fashion a home office location if you haven’t already.
Play to Your Base
“Like any media, the best tip for getting started is, ‘know your audience,’” Jacobson says. “As a small business owner, you know your audience. You know if they prefer professional or funky. You know if they’re stay-at-home parents, or on-the-go people. Cater your video content and video conferences to your audience and be willing to test different tactics until you find what works for you.”
Finally, small businesses need to remember the differences between a live stream for national television and one for your client base. A national news appearance is all about understanding different factors like the short amount of time you have.
“A ‘live stream’ for your business might go on for two hours while you assemble a car engine. A news segment might be over in one minute. They’re very different animals.”
Related reading: Video Conferencing from Home: Tips to Become a Pro
More in: Coronavirus Biz Advice
Rob: I want to do livestreaming with my smartphone (iPhone 6S Plus) or my iPad Air. Do you have any recommendations on tools for these mobile devices?
Hi Martin. I’d look for software with video analytics. That will help you decide where to make any tweaks.
You need to prepare and you need to know who you are talking to. This way, you can design your set up in a way that will target your market.
This is a great checklist to go through just before you hit record. I’d just like to add that purchasing a simple webcam can make a HUGE and EASY difference for both audio and video quality. It takes essentially zero effort and it can be more easily adjusted for those that have dual monitor set-ups.
Thanks a lot for the blog.Really thank you! Really Great,keep posting.