Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Live video marketing with Melanie Howe

September 13, 2021 Julie Ball Episode 91
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Live video marketing with Melanie Howe
Chapters
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Live video marketing with Melanie Howe
Sep 13, 2021 Episode 91
Julie Ball

#091 - In this episode of Subscription Box Basics, Julie is joined by Melanie Dyann Howe to talk about live video marketing.

Mel is a self-proclaimed tech junkie who shows you how to look and sound like a pro without breaking the budget and getting over the overwhelm of tech and software.

Summary:

  • Introduction of Melanie Howe (00:01:52)
  • Why should we go live? (00:09:36)
  • What do we talk about when we go live? (00:11:57)
  • Recommended tech for newbies (00:27:52)
  • What to do about fear? (00:34:29)

Links:

Show Notes Transcript

#091 - In this episode of Subscription Box Basics, Julie is joined by Melanie Dyann Howe to talk about live video marketing.

Mel is a self-proclaimed tech junkie who shows you how to look and sound like a pro without breaking the budget and getting over the overwhelm of tech and software.

Summary:

  • Introduction of Melanie Howe (00:01:52)
  • Why should we go live? (00:09:36)
  • What do we talk about when we go live? (00:11:57)
  • Recommended tech for newbies (00:27:52)
  • What to do about fear? (00:34:29)

Links:

Julie:

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun! Hey everybody, and welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. I am super pumped today because I have a guest that we featured in Sparkle Hustle Grow and was by far my favorite guest expert of the entire year. So far, it helped me take the most action in my business. So I was, I was like, I have to have her on the podcast. So today you get to meet my friend, Melanie Diane Howe , and we will call her Mel cause we're friends like that. Mel is a self-proclaimed tech junkie who shows you how to look and sound like a pro without breaking the budget and getting over the overwhelm of tech and software. So she is going to talk to us today about live video marketing. Before I let you introduce yourself, I have to tell everyone. Now she told me in her bio that she wants to live in a world where small businesses thrive, craft beer flows, like tap water and women are empowered to make their dreams become a reality. I felt like that was just like I had to, I had to read that with some emotions . So Mel, welcome to the podcast!

Melanie:

You're hired. You're hired. I love it. It's fantastic. Thanks, Julie. I'm really excited to be here today with you. This is going to be fun.

Julie:

Okay, so live video marketing. There's a lot to talk about. We're going to talk about, you know, why do we need to do it, how to do it, what to do about fear, but first will you give everyone a little bit of peek behind the scenes and who's Mel?

Melanie:

Sure. Yeah. So I have been, yeah. I mean, where do we start? Right. Like where do we start? Uh, so I, the bio is funny. My, one of my really good dear friends who is much better at copywriting than I am wrote that piece she actually wrote just cause she knows me. Right. So , you know, I really am very passionate about helping women really just do more. I mean, you know, we're, we have to work harder. We all know that right to make our dreams become reality. And I am just all about it when I see a woman overcome stigmas or I'm also a big fan of the underdog. And I feel like so many times us ladies, we're like the underdog in this world. So I love seeing women do great things, but I really especially love it when a woman can feel connected to herself, feel comfortable, feel confident and really put herself out there, especially like using social media because it's such a great way to make connections whether it be with people like peers or network themselves or with their customers. And so I love using live video personally because I think that it actually is the most impactful way that you can make that process happen for you, but it speeds that process up. And also just, you know, you can send somebody, you can send someone a text, right? You can send them a text with a picture or a gif. You can send them an audio message, but if you sent them a video, it just has a lot more power. And I think that with social media using live video is just another one of those things that we need to all be embracing and doing and using. And so that's what I've been spending my time doing the last few years is learning about live video, really leveling up my own live videos. I kind of get obsessed with software and apps and tech, and I really enjoy all of those processes and of like literally exploring that stuff. And most people don't because they're just like, I don't have time to figure this tool out.

Julie:

Yeah.

Melanie:

And I really love it. And I got to the point where I thought, you know what, that's, that's my jam. Like I'm going to spend the time figuring it out and then make it easy for everybody else by just pointing out the things that they need to do. And I think that, you know, that's, I don't know. I just am feeling really connected with what I've got going on right now, but I've been self-employed since 2014 and it's been an interesting journey. You know, I've kind of ebbed and flowed with how I've helped people and how I've served people, but it all comes down to helping people do their own marketing, doing it themselves, DIY style and all around really just about putting themselves out there. The consistent thing I continue to focus on is embrace your personal brand and put yourself out there and use social media to do it. So that's, that's kind of the thing and , you know, personal stuff, I'm a single mom. So I, you know, I got my little girl and she just started middle school. And so we're running that right now. That's, that's gonna be interesting.

Julie:

Yeah, mine just turned 10.

Melanie:

Whoa. Yeah. So, you know, I love being self-employed because it does give me not only creative freedom for what I get to do, but also I get to kind of own my schedule and figure things out and I'm able to, you know , just be focused on her and my family and all the other fun things. So there you go.

Julie:

Awesome. I think the subscription box basics audience is really going to resonate with you because you talk about how to DIY. We've got a lot of bootstrappers, we've got a lot of people that are trying to launch a business on a budget, and I know you talk about getting scrappy. So I think they're really going to resonate with you.

Melanie:

Yeah. Scrappy is where it's at. I kind of feel like I specialize in scrappy for a lot of reasons, but, and, and I think we hear that as entrepreneurs, right? Like, Hey, you have to be scrappy. You have to be scrappy. You know, you hear all the time successful entrepreneurs are the ones that take action. They're the ones that don't overthink things. They just take action. They go, go, go. And that sounds great. But the reality is there's a lot of us that are perfectionist for a lot of reasons. And so they tell us, be scrappy, be scrappy. And I'm like, yeah, but scrappy, like also can be kind of amazing. And so I always say, "Hey, scrappy, doesn't have to be crappy." And so don't think of it as you're just skipping steps or not putting out quality stuff. Like you can be scrappy. I mean , I'm pretty, pretty scrappy when it comes to certain things. So, and I like to pride myself on that. So...

Julie:

There you go. I love it. Okay. Before we get into it, I have to tell a really quick story about how you and I met. So a couple of years ago, I was at an entrepreneur experience with Amy Porterfield. Mel was on stage. She, I think you introduced Amy at one point, right? Cause you're one of her course DCA students, right?

Melanie:

Yeah. Yeah. They did these kind of , you know, minutes of motivation from students. And so I got to go on stage and talk a little bit and then introduce her for her next segment.

Julie:

Yeah . So that was the first time I ever saw you. And then you received a box, a Sparkle Hustle Grow box as a gift, right? Yep . And you went live and you were talking about it and sharing it on social media. And so I jumped into DNS and I just said, Melanie, thank you so much for sharing about Sparkle Hustle Grow. And you know, we just started having this conversation in the DMS and that grew into this relationship, this friendship, where we featured you in Sparkle Hustle Grow. And so the reason I'm telling you the listeners, this is you just never know who you're going to connect with, whose hands your box might show up in and how they might share it on social media and to take advantage of every single opportunity to connect with your subscribers or your gift recipients. It was, it was so fun. The trajectory of that conversation, Mel.

Melanie:

It really wasn't honestly I've , I I've used that example even in my own podcast a couple of times, because you know, again, same thing I went live to basically, first of all, your subscription box, just the experience as, as someone receiving and I received it as a gift, it was just so great. And I was like, this is freaking awesome. First of all, I love subscription box. I love the concept of it. I think there's so many unique creative ways that people can have these subscription boxes. So to get this as a gift, I was just, I loved it though. I was , I opened it up and there were so many things that you did and did well. And I, I was like, this sounds so familiar. And so it was interesting because I knew I had heard of you before. And it was of course, you know , through the Amy Porterfield circle, but I didn't, I'd never actually met you and we didn't have a relationship. We had no connection whatsoever. And I, I was like, I went live for my own audience. I went on live video and it had this video in particular, had nothing to do with, it was all about, "Hey, this is how you deliver an exceptional customer experience." And I had kind of like looked at your business. And I was like, "She's doing so many things so well." And so I just went on and I just shared what it was like. And I talked about the things in the box and talked about how, you know, you are marketing yourself and using live video even to talk about things. And I just used you as this example that I was sharing with my own audience. And then to get that message from you, I literally was like, "She's doing everything I tell my people to do. She's reaching out to me. She's not texting me." She's sending me an audio DM, which is like, I totally preach about this, but it made me feel so special and connected. And so I love that you went that extra mile and sent me that. And then of course, like you said, fast forward, and next thing you know, you're presenting me with opportunities. We're helping each other. We're collaborating. We have this friendship now. And also just also the like even outside of the friendship, it's an opportunity right here. I am on your podcast. That's an opportunity for me to expand my audience. And that is actually because I went live, I went and created a live video. If I had just made a post and said, "Oh, this box is so fun, blah, blah, blah." You get those all the time. You get hundreds of those every month, you would not have reached out. Most likely you may have like sent me like a heart or, you know , something pretty simple. But because I did go a little extra and I went live, you were like, whoa, but you also got to hear my voice. See my face. You got to see how excited I was. You probably felt connected to me and felt compelled to reach out. And then again, fast forward, here we are. And so again, that's the power of going live. That's the power of video. Yeah.

Julie:

Yeah, it's funny too 'cause I was going to the first question in this interview was going to be, why should we go live? And we just kind of told a story of how it has this ripple effect. It creates opportunities. It allows you to connect with people. So I mean, I think we kind of answered that first question. Why should we even go live?

Melanie:

I mean, really it boils down to this, Julie, we're creating, we're not using social media to sell, right? So you guys are not using social media to sell your subscription boxes. Now some people are like , speak for yourself. Here's the deal. You're really not like, you know, you're using social media to make connections, to share points. Yes. The ultimate result you want is to get more subscribers, to make more connections with audience members, right. To build your list, whatever it is you're doing. But we're using social media to make those connections, to share content, to tell the stories, to again, get people to like us, or maybe they don't like us like, "Hey, let me tell you something." Everybody that arrives in my world, they may or may not like me. They may be like that girl is way too much for me. Her lights are way too crazy. She is not my style and that's okay. Right? That's okay. So people need to make that decision and they use social media. They hear about you so they're going to go stalk you. So they're going to look at your social media content and then it'd be like, who is this chick ? And they'll look you up looking at , look here around, okay, she's kind of my style. Subscribe. I'm going to keep following her. And then they're going to decide, you know , they're going to get to know you and your social media helps them get to know you. And then of course, when they trust you is when they become a customer. And so that, that whole like know and trust factor of social media is why we use it. But with live video, you speed that process up. You also are like refining it so you can, I can post pictures and I can put texts and I can, you know, have things right. But when people literally hear the words I use, they hear how I say things. They see my face, they can hear my voice. It's such a faster connection. Right? And also that process of do they, am I a good fit for them as a person they want to follow and kind of hang out with, or am I not? And they can make that decision a little bit more wisely when they actually are again, watching you on video. So the power, the reason live video is so powerful is because of that authentic factor that you can create and how you can actually show up online. You really can't compare it to any other type of social media content.

Julie:

And I think it's even more important now that in-person events have really been scaled back over the past year, year and a half. And we still are able to connect with people on a more personal level by doing video. And so, yeah. So we're going to now answer some questions that I know everybody's wondering in their head. And the first question is, what do we even talk about when we go live?

Melanie:

Yeah. So this comes up a lot, especially for people who are new to this concept, or maybe nobody's really new to live video. Meaning most people have heard, Hey, live video is a thing you can do in your social media content. So most everybody knows about live video, but I mean, you can go live on Instagram of course. You can go live on Facebook. You can go live on YouTube. If you're approved, you can go live on LinkedIn. You know, there are other platforms as well that support live video. So live video is everywhere. In fact, technically when you're in a Zoom call, it's really live video, right? If you're in a video meeting, it's kind of like, it's live, you're live right there. It's not prerecorded or edited. So, but you make a great point about the virtual stuff too. And I think that, you know, everybody's getting used to live video, but people always say, okay, great. I'm sold. Okay. I'll , I'll explore it. I'll think about it, but what, what, what, what do I do in my content? It's cause it's, it's longer, it's longer than a, you know , two paragraph Instagram posts, right? So here's the thing. There's a ton of ideas that you can come up with. But I have some that I kind of thought about for, you know , subscription box businesses specifically. First of all, you can go live about anything. If you tell me you've run out of ideas, then I'm going to tell you that you're, what you're doing is you're overthinking. And you're putting too many filters in place because you can go live all the time about stuff. But the first thing I want to say before we start talking about specifically ideas is that don't just go live when it's time to promote something. Right? It's the same thing with social media content. Don't just post something. When you have something to sell.

Julie:

When you're launching .

Melanie:

Yeah. You should be posting regularly because again, you are nurturing your audience. They are getting to know you, they are making deeper connections to you. And so think of your live videos no differently. And so don't just like , be like, okay, well I'm going to go live every time I launch a box or every time, you know, do whatever. I want you to go live consistently and regularly. And ideally that would be once a week, same day, same time each week. That's ideal. Now that doesn't fit, everyone's schedule, right? Somebody , you know, they're just like, my schedule is different every week. I get that, I already said, I'm an entrepreneur. I like to be flexible with things. I like to have that creative freedom. I resisted this for a long time, Julie. All the experts tell you do it the same day, same time each week. Same thing with podcasts episodes release it on the same day, every week weekly. Right? I resisted this for a long time because I was like, I didn't want to be boxed in like no pun intended, but I just didn't want to be boxed in. Finally about little less than a year ago. I finally decided, you know what? I want to make sure that I don't skip any weeks. I want to do this. I'm going to go all in. I'm going to be consistent. So I put it in my schedule Tuesdays two o'clock Eastern time. And I put it in as a reoccurring meeting, just so that I would more, as a reminder, didn't really know how long I was going to keep this up. And what I started to see were people coming and coming and keeping coming live. So people were showing up. More and more people were starting to show up live. And my existing audience was like, I love that you're doing it the same day, same time each week . I don't have to look around or wonder when you're going live. I just know Tuesdays at two o'clock. Our brains are wired that way. If you think about your favorite TV show, your favorite TV show that comes on, right? You know, the day that it comes out and the time that it is going to be on. So you're either going to make sure you get to sit down and watch that for your favorite TV show at that time. Or if you happen to not be available, what do you do? You know, you missed it because you know, the day and time it was on, and you're going to go watch the replay, you're going to go watch the recording. Right? So it's the exact same thing with live video. So that's the first thing I kind of wanted to say. So then naturally the question is, is Mel that's 52 videos a year.

Julie:

Yes, it is.

Melanie:

Yes, it is. So here are a few ideas for everybody to think about. So I want you to be thinking about, like, how can you showcase the stories behind the contents or the concept of your subscription box? So I know that there are so many cool subscription box there's, you know , pet subscription boxes. I know I was just listening to one of your podcasts. You were talking about niching, right. Niching down. And you're like, don't just be a pet subscription box, be like a particular breed, like, so pet subscription box, right? There's pet supplies, there's crafts. Maybe you're making the stuff in the subscription box. Maybe you're collaborating with other makers for the products in the subscription box. Maybe you're going online and you're buying things at mass quantity, and you're, you're hand picking things to go in that box, right? Either way the box contains these things. Well tell us the story. Like, why did you select that particular maker to partner with, for your box? Tell that maker story. Are they a single mom who, you know , this is their side gig. They go to work every day. And then every single night they paint these handcrafted ornaments. You know, that you're picking these to put in your box, tell her story. Right? So you can do that by you showcasing it or be bringing her on as a guest. So there's so just tell the stories behind the things in there. Obviously you can do that as you are building up, getting ready to ship your box whenever it's going to be. The other one was kind of similar. Take us behind the scenes. Behind the scenes, it doesn't matter what business you're in. Anytime you go behind the scenes and show people how you're doing something or what the reality of something is, or again, you know where you're going to acquire these supplies, take us behind the scenes, take us on that journey with you. People love behind the scenes. They just like it.

Julie:

They do.

Melanie:

Yeah. It's like, you're pulling back the curtain and it's like, Ooh , I get to see a little, a little something else there. You know what I mean? So, no matter what business you're in, you can find a way to take them behind the scenes. So for example, if you are making the items in your box, okay, if you're a crafter or a, you know, a painter or any of those types of people, then, okay, what would behind the scenes look like. Behind the scenes looks like, go live to turn on your camera, go live and be like, today I am, you know, setting up, you know, all of my paint supplies so that I can start the process of painting all of these ornaments. We're going to , we're going to stick with ornaments for now. So yeah. So, but like for them, get to get to see, "oh, wow. I didn't realize she used only used 10 different colors and then she mixes them and wow, that's quite the pro." Like they instantly now feel more of a connection to that ornament. Right? So that's just one example about going behind the scenes.

Julie:

And behind the scenes of packing the boxes every single month. Yeah. If you're putting those items in there, show a little sneak peek or don't, you know, just tease them with it, but they love it by far our behind the scenes social posts are the most engaged.

Melanie:

Yeah. I mean, and that's the thing. I always tell people too, when you just, so when I say behind the scenes, you're revealing something, there's an element of mystery. Whether someone like here's the deal, if you're like, okay, you're you , you know , okay, we're going to show the shipping process. We're going to be packing the boxes that may not sound sexy or fun. And maybe your audience isn't literally like, you know, knocking, banging down the door with the question of how do you package this? You know, they don't, don't don't feel like that behind the scenes has to be something that they are asking you for. People just in general are just genuinely interested in that kind of stuff. There's like I said , there's a pulling back the curtain, you know, and they get to see something. I mean, it's, it's just , the way we're built as humans, I guess wired. So behind the scenes always perform well, they always do, and you're bringing them in. So we talked about trust, right? When you share behind the scenes, you're bringing them in you're, you're actually creating a little more trust because, "Hey, I'm showing you my garage" with it's not all fancy and organized and you know, and maybe it's a little dusty and whatever, but like you're letting them see this. So again, you're building trust when you show behind the scenes as well. So that's kind of a bonus one there for sure. Now I talked about creating connection. I think ultimately the reason why I get really jazzed up about, you know, your, these businesses using live video is because again, that connection. So the type of connection that I think you should ultimately be striving for is when someone's box arrives. Okay. When that box shows up and they go out to their mailbox or they go out to their doorstep and they get that box, they are already kind of knowing what's in it. And they're already anticipating they already, when they open it up, they know there's going to be an ornament in there. And they know that you use 12 pink colors and you mixed them up. And that's how customs thing is. Like, they feel so much more connected to that ornament that they're going to then go hang on their tree this year, next to the one from last year. And the one from the year before that you send them or whatever it might be. And, but they now feel this connection. They actually already are anticipating they're there . They're feeling ready for it. And so if you go live up, you know, leading up to their shipment of your particular box, whether it be you and your business, or whether it be the items specifically in the box, create that connection, let them feel connected to it before it even shows up. So that when it does show up, they're like, "Yay! I can't wait for this box. I already know what's in it. And I already know that this piece, you know , this , this custom painted ornament is made by Mary and she's a single mom, and she's a friend of this person." And like, think about that, think about that. So your ultimate goal with a lot of this should be creating that connection. And I do think that live video is such a fun way to do that. So those are just a few, obviously you do a really fun thing, Julie in your own subscription box where you do kind of give us a tease. You give people a little bit of a tease about what's going on, and then you do an unboxing. And I love that whole unboxing thing. And the reason I liked the unboxing is because you're creating a little bit of FOMO. Right? And so...

Julie:

We are. Yeah, and we're teaching my customers how to use the products too, because there are so many ways that you can use different products. And when I share, oh, this is where I put it in my office, and this is how I use it. So many of them are like, oh, I never thought about that. And the more you can teach your customers how to use your products, the more valued they'll get out of it.

Melanie:

I love that idea of like, especially, you know, if that is a particular... Yeah. I mean, a hundred percent like show them how to utilize the items that are in there . You have picked them or made them or whatever, give them the reasons why, but then also help them utilize those items. Because again, like one, you're also going to potentially eliminate, you know, disgruntled customers who maybe don't see the benefit of something that you're going to share something that they maybe didn't think of before. You also may be eliminating some of your support, you know , types of questions that come in as well, because you're teaching them. And then again, just again, they're feeling connected to you when they go, I mean, Julie, every time you see this thing, every time I use this thing, which I'm not right . So those of you listening to the podcast, I'm holding up this rapid storage plastic thing. Yeah . It holds my headphones. I wrap up my headphones in this thing and I, but you can do so many other things with it. You can organize different cables and whatever with it, but every time I use it, I think of Julie. So I don't, I mean, I do, I think of Julie and that again, that's that connection that you want. So you want to create those connections with the products, because that is going to keep people as you're going to maintain them as your customers. But the other thing you're going to do, which is the ultimate sweet spot is you're going to create somebody who's an advocate and they're gonna do what I did. And they're going to go share about their experience. And then that person's going to say this ornament is so gorgeous. I love this thing. I got it in this particular, you know, holiday subscription box that I'm subscribed to. And this comes in the Christmas box. And I know that this woman named Mary painted this ornament and she's a single mom. And every time I look at it, I think of Mary and I think of her kids. And I think of how she's helping pay for college, whatever. If you , if you can create a connection like that, and somebody goes like, shares an advocates for that on social media, you probably just earned yourself like another big batch of customers. So...

Julie:

Yeah,

Melanie:

You can post a picture. I could post a picture of this cable management thing, not as sexy as me talking about it and showing like how I've got my headphones wrapped in it. Right. So again...

Julie:

Right . And if you're listening and you're like, you're thinking, well, I have a surprise box. That's okay. You probably have other things you can share, for example, a theme. So for example, when we did The Level Up with Live Video, we could talk about online video, what live video does for your business. So maybe you have, we'll talk about that dog box. I was saying, if you have a pet box for a very particular breed of dog, well, maybe you talk about what the theme is and how that's going to help your dog have more fun this fall, or, you know, maybe it's going to, I don't know, you just share something about the theme and you talk about that and that will help them make that connection, but also make sure that they renew to get that box.

Melanie:

Absolutely.

Julie:

So you're using some of that FOMO that you had mentioned earlier. That's why we share a sneak peek to be very honest with you. Like we share at least one sneak peek and we share the theme and we want to draw them in and say, this is why, why you need this. And this is how it's going to help you. I've heard this saying before, when it comes to marketing "lead with the transformation". So if you're talking about something that's going to be in that box or, or the theme for that month's box, what's the transformation someone's going to go through when they receive it or get that particular product.

Melanie:

Yeah. Like start with the outcome, talk about the outcomes that can happen. Yeah. I love that. The other ideas I shared were a lot of like previewing style, like, you know , leading up to a box, maybe shipping or arriving so that you, I want you your audience to also flip that. So, okay. What can you do after the box has arrived? And so one example would be like, you talked about show them how to use the items in the box, but I love there are some really cool, and I would hope that there are people listening and , and in this that have the type of subscription that is maybe it's a weekly craft or a monthly craft kit for kids, or it's a , you know, your own ornament making, you know , kit, whatever. It might be ship the box, but then each week, like maybe the week after it arrives, you go live and you say, all right, here's how we're going to, we're going to do this. Like, think it, like, remember, like when Bob, the Bob Ross paintings and all that stuff, he literally would paint a whole painting, but you could literally follow along and try to paint that painting if you want it to yourself too . Right?

Julie:

Yeah. That's a good point. Yes.

Melanie:

Yeah. So maybe think of it that way. Like actually literally go through it on the live video, but well, that's one week's worth of content. Right? Well then the next week, you know, find one of your happy customers, bring them live with you and have them talk about or showcase theirs that they did. So, you know, one of the things with technology these days with these live videos is it doesn't just have to be you, right? You can bring on guests on your live videos. There's applications, Stream Yard is the application that you and I both I know, use and love, and it makes it so easy to invite somebody to come on live with you. They don't even have to have like a Facebook account. They just follow the link. They come on they're live with you. You're both talking, you're having a fun conversation. And it's it's again, when you have a guest on your show, you're actually creating more interest and it's a lot more fun for your audience because you're mixing it up here . It's not just you. Right. So bring on people. How can you showcase other people in your shows too.

Julie:

And the makers, the vendors, you know, if you're going to a market and you're shopping like the Atlanta market or something, take your customers with you on live video. So that's , that's a good segue into, we want to talk a little bit about the tech stack. Like what technology do you use and what technology do you recommend for newbies? And we're going to make this super simple, right?

Melanie:

Oh yeah. I mean, here's the deal. It is crazy simple here. If you want to get started with live video, then you could literally pause this podcast right now, or finish to the end, grab your phone that you're probably listening on because you basically have a thousand dollar camera in your hand, right? I mean , essentially grab your phone and you can go live like you really can. And so the absolute bare minimum that you need is a mobile device to go live video. So if you , if you're like, I don't want to spend a bunch of money or whatever, you don't have to, you probably already have a live video making machine right here in your hand. And so I always tell people just get started with the phone. Now you're going to go live right there in the apps . You're going to open up Facebook. You're going to go to create a post. And one of the options is going to be live video. Well, there you go. That's all you need. Instagram, same thing. They're all very easy. YouTube, you have to have a certain number of subscribers to be able to use the mobile app to go live. But that's the basic way. Now, if you're wanting to, you know, level up a little bit and do the things like I talked about with guests and maybe even some other fun things, then there are applications out there that make going live super easy. Right? And Julie , I know we're using StreamYard.

Julie:

StreamYard. I love it so much

Melanie:

So much. And there are so many out there, but StreamYard is app . In my opinion, I have used all of them. In my opinion, stream art is very user intuitive. It's very simple. The free plan that they have is very generous. They have paid plans that let you do lots of really cool things like add custom videos, you know, add custom overlays. If you want to really customize the branding experience, you know , bring on more guests and then multi streaming. If you want to go live on YouTube and Facebook at the same time, then you can use these platforms to do that, which is exceptional when it comes to growing and expanding your audience. And so, yeah, if you want to do that, then all you need is you can actually use those applications on an iPad or on your phone. So you can totally use the mobily . But if you wanted to, you know , really level up, you can actually use a computer and have a webcam, whether it be a USB webcam , a and then a microphone, and that is all you would need. And so if you're wanting to create these really neat videos of you showing you making are assembling your box or making the products in it, you could totally use one of those applications and put the camera on your hands, show the process of how you're doing something. And also do things like display comments. So the possibilities are endless, but to get started, all you really need is a phone or a webcam and a computer, a decent, you know, set of headphones with a mic on it, right? Or a USB microphone that you can get anywhere from 50 to $200 and lights. You need some decent lighting. And if you don't want to buy lights, then find a window or something in your house or in your , your studio and face a window. Natural light is actually an exceptional light resource that you can use. And if you have a ring light already, cause maybe you're taking pictures and doing things for your , your business as it is, then use that. So, you know , those are the basics to getting started. You can, you can, I know people that are multi millionaires who just use their phone to create live videos and they're not doing anything.

Julie:

We have no excuse.

Melanie:

Yeah. I mean, there's, you, you can't sit there and tell me, well, in order to really get results, I need to have all these fancy things. You don't. There are people, you know, that are keeping it super simple and super basic, and they are very successful. You know, and they're just using their phone or they're just using a basic web cam and StreamYard and they're like global, like billionaires seriously.

Julie:

That's awesome. And one thing that you taught me was to find a spot where you're comfortable doing that and that's doing your live video and having it set up there on the regular, that didn't require any big expenses. I used mostly things that I had already, and I created a nice little background and that gave me so much more confidence to go live. And it seems so silly, but it's like, it's just part of my business now. Like it's there, I sit down, I do my video. Sometimes I do videos on the go, but that is like, it also almost like my home base for my live video.

Melanie:

Yeah. I love that you brought that up because honestly, people, one of the other barriers or resistance that I get when I tell people to go live 52 times a year, if not more than that, I hope you could live more than that. But is that they're just like, oh, it's such a process. Well , I'm like, well then reduce the process. And so whole point is, is if you you know, get a dedicated space and now it doesn't have to just be for your live videos, you know. Where I'm sitting right now is where I sit and create all my live videos. It's also where I sit and work. I mean, this is my office, essentially. So a lot of people will , you know, actually set up a corner in their studio or in their office. And they'll just have that be their space for it. And the whole purpose and point of this is that when you sit down and you're like, especially as you get started with live video, you might feel some nerves or, you know, a little bit of anxiety about creating the content or going live. So you want to eliminate anything else. That's going to kind of create a barrier for you. And one of those barriers is going to be, oh, I got to get my camera set up. I got to move this light. I got to move this chair. I gotta put this up over here. You know, you want to remove all that stuff. And so the whole point of creating a dedicated space is so that you can literally go live. Like you sit down, I'm ready to go turn the lights on. Boom, let's go live .

Julie:

No excuses.

Melanie:

Yeah. And it will actually, it's kind of like, there are people that will sleep in their workout clothes and they put their workout shoes next to their bed because they are going to get up at 5:00 AM to go for a run. And they say the process of getting ready for the run makes me dread it and kind of, I have time to talk myself out of it. But if I sleep in my running clothes, my shoes are right there. I get up, I brush my teeth, I grab my headphones to put on my shoes and I go run. And I'm out the door in three minutes. That is kind of a similar example. And so you really want to kind of just make it so that at any moment you could be ready to go live within five minutes. The other reason for it is that you might have a moment of spontaneity where you feel inspired or motivated, or you just, you just got something in you're super excited. You want to be able to just go live and stuff actually will also help you create more spontaneous live videos, which I also suggest sprinkling in as well.

Julie:

Nice. I think that's a great analogy with the workout clothes. I'm much more likely to do that if I wear my workout clothes before going to bed. So I love that analogy. Okay. So the last thing I want to talk about before we share some links to some goodies is what to do about fear, because I think that was one of the biggest things that held me back from going live. And I see it, and I hear it from a lot of my Sparkle Hustle Grow community is like, we're really nervous. So you and I, when we were working together and your guest feature, we did a live video challenge where you could go live in the Sparkle Hustle Grow group, just to practice. And I know one of the tactics that I've used to practice is I have a Facebook group and you have, you've suggested this as well. I have a private Facebook group where I'm the only member and I just go live in there to test the technology, to see what things look like, feel like nobody else sees it. I'm just going in there to practice. So other than that, what are some other, or maybe what's your top tip for the fear involved?

Melanie:

Yeah. So here's the thing, the fear, the fear may never go away. Right? And so you, a couple of things I have to say about it, the only way that you are, let me back up actually. If you wait until you're ready, you're never going to go live and never that's the whole point, right? Like you, you're never going to feel ready. You're never gonna feel equipped. You're never gonna feel skilled enough. You're never gonna feel like I got this. It's going to be perfect. And it's going to be amazing. Like when you're just getting started with something like this, you're never going to feel the way you desire to feel that's going to help you click go live. So the best advice I can give you is just hit the button.

Julie:

I love it. Just do it.

Melanie:

I mean, I mean, honestly, it is. And I know that I actually get tired of that kind of advice for people like, well, just do it. It's like, it's not that easy. It's not that simple. It's difficult. I don't know. But here's the thing. I think people get afraid. I'll talk about what they're afraid of. People are afraid that they're going to not look good on video. Most people don't like how they look on video. So join the club, right? Most people are also afraid of making a mistake or sounding foolish and it's live. So they're just like, "Oh no." Here's the thing. That's actually what people are going to expect. And you know what? It makes you that much more human and create a deeper connection that we want. And here's the other thing I'll say about live video. The expectation is a lot lower than a prerecorded video. If it's prerecorded and edited, it better be good. And it probably should not have any mistakes in it. If it's live, people expect you to fumble over your words or, you know, starter, or, you know, maybe you need to take a minute to look at your notes or whatever. Have you watched TV in the last 24 months? Like look at all of the people they're aren't studio interviews anymore. These people are like, you're talking to like celebrities and they're using like a built-in webcam on a laptop and they're using headphones and they're talking to like the newscasters and they're , it's , it's just live and raw. And do we, do we care? No, we're not like, well , that is a crappy looking weird. And it's like, kind of blurry. And like, that's not very fancy. Like nobody cares. You care about the person on video and what they're saying. And that's exactly what your audience cares about too. And so again, I think we put these fears in our heads that it has to be perfect, or we have to look great. No , you don't. Just go be yourself, show up, which is what people want. And just understand that live video while it seems scary and maybe harder is actually easier because you can't, you can't be a perfectionist. You're live . You're doing it. And also your audiences .

Julie:

Nobody expects you.

Melanie:

Yeah. Nobody expects you to be perfect. No, and , and again, you're being more human and people are actually going to respect you and like you even more. And so there is a lot of power in that, but so the fears, you know, everybody's fears are different and based on different things, all I say to the fear is it's okay to be afraid. And it's the thing is, is that most people are. And so don't feel like you need to work on the fear before you can take action because, and you know how I feel about this. We always think sometimes that we have to wait to be courageous, to take the action. It's actually the other way around action actually creates courage. So if you think about when you're scared to jump off a high dive, if you stand at the bottom of that height , I mean, what can you do to get ready to jump off a high dive into a pool? Nothing like, what can you do? Is there a training you can do? Is there like, no, there's nothing you can do. The only thing you can do is walk up the steps and jump off the diving board into the pool. So, okay. It's the same thing. Go up the steps, jump off the diving board. How do you feel when you get out of the water? You feel ready to go again?

Julie:

Amazing.

Melanie:

Ready to go do something else, or it did that now. I feel good. I'm ready to move on. Like if you wait to be courageous, there's nothing you could do to be more courageous. The only thing that makes you more courageous is to take action. Now, with that being said, that applies to many things in our lives and in our businesses. So, but I , I will say this be careful about the size of the action that you are saying you will take, because as I just said, the only thing you need is this little mobile phone in your hand to go live, don't sit there and say, well in order to take action, though, Mel, I got to go buy a camera. I've got to go buy lights. I got to go to this . You know , the little actions start with the little actions. So yes, action creates courage, but watch out for those times when you try to make that action bigger than it's supposed to be. So like I said, you don't really need to do anything to get ready. You just need to hit the damn button. So...

Julie:

And that's really good advice. I love it and just do it, creating that courage through action. But the one thing that I do before I go live it's one of the things I'm afraid of is I'm going to forget what I was doing or forget what I was supposed to say, guys, I make a quick little bullet list of the major points. So like, if I'm going to go live, there's these three things that I definitely need to cover on this live because that's the purpose of it. But sometimes like nerves can get the better of you. And you're like , what was, I forget what I was about to say, just make a quick bullet list. If that's, what's going to save you, if that's, what's going to take some of that fear away. And then like Mel says, hit the damn button.

Melanie:

Yeah. I mean, that's really the best thing you can do inside of my live video bootcamp. We there's a whole entire module about prepping for a video. And I very much encourage what you just did. Like just write down those key things that you need. Don't script it out though. Right? So I, you know, I, I provide like a template, like, Hey, here's how you can prepare. And here's the thing you don't have to. The better, the more live videos you create, you may find that you don't need them. And so, but definitely having a bit of an outline for your live videos is 100% going to empower you to feel more prepared, which is going to again, eliminate some of that barrier of entry into clicking the button. So I do love that tactic. I love that tip for sure.

Julie:

Thank you. Sometimes I also listened to a song or two if I need to get like hyped up. But that's just a normal part of my day.

Melanie:

Same, same.

Julie:

Exactly. Okay. So we have a couple of goodies for you. So now , first of all, where can they find you and follow you online and then tell them about the freebie you have?

Melanie:

Yeah. I can pretty much be found anywhere @MelanieDyann and that's spelled D Y a N N. So I'm on YouTube. I would love to see you guys come join me over on YouTube. And I have a Facebook group called DIY Marketing with Melanie. So if you are wanting to learn about marketing yourself in the DIY style, we've got a lot of other DIY marketers in there too, and it's a free community where we just kind of hang out and again, I like to help people and serve people in there. But yeah, so I know that again, going back to the question of what should we talk about? One of the challenges I run into when I work with my students in my programs is they always say, I can't come up with ideas. I don't have any ideas. I can't. So I came up with a list, essentially, 50 ideas. Now, some of these ideas, you may read the list and say, oh, that that idea doesn't apply to me. Whatever you can pretty much take any one of these ideas though, and you can tweak it or pivot it in some way to apply to you. And so if you, and it's really, the whole point of the list is to generate creativity. But also some people say, Mel , I just grabbed the list and I just pick one. And then I make that next week's video. And I just, I don't even do the , I don't even, I just pick one and I go, so that list is super helpful because I don't have to think about it. I just pull one and I pick it and I'm like, there you go, that I'm doing a guest next week. I'm going behind the scenes next week, whatever. So you can get that at MelanieDyann .com forward slash fifty. And I'm sure that Julie, you'll put that in your show notes and all this stuff there too. And you talked about StreamYard earlier. So I know that you'll also include a link for people to sign up for StreamYard. And I know that because you're a partner, you can offer them a 14 day free trial to get started with stream yard. So I definitely would recommend that's another resource. I always want to push to people because it does. If you have a, like I said, a computer and a webcam and a mouse, you can create some pretty dang awesome videos when you use StreamYard.

Julie:

Yeah. Even with the free plan that they have. So , yeah, we will definitely put all those links in the show notes. Thank you so much, Mel . This has been so fun. I love talking shop with you and you always have so much good usable content to share. So thank you so much.

Melanie:

You're welcome. Thanks for having me. This was fun.

Julie:

So listeners, if you are going live, be sure to tag us so we can be there with you. We can comment and engage with you and cheer you on. I would love to hear about any live video you are doing. And if this episode was inspiring to you, then I would encourage you also to rate and review and subscribe of course, to the podcast so that more people like you can find it. So thank you as always for listening and we'll see you in the next episode,

Speaker 4:

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