Instagram Live: Five Tips to Get Started

Social media is constantly changing. Instagram Live is one of those newer changes. Below I’ll talk about how to get started using Instagram Live so that both you and your business reap the benefits. 
If you’re not sure how Instagram Live can help you market your business, check out this article that puts the benefits in plain terms.

1. Consider how you’ll hold/prop up your camera

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

If you are planning on broadcasting your message for any extended period of time, you might consider using something to prop your phone up. If you know you’ll be doing this often, you might invest in a ring light that will hold your camera up and light up your face from the front. I like this guide for ring lights. Ring lights are great for sitting and talking but if you need to walk around, consider #2 in the aforementioned guide. This selfie ring light will allow you to move while still keeping your lighting on point. 

2. Consider Your Surroundings

Ask yourself: 

  1. Am I willing to have my audience see inside my home and potentially see personal items? 
  2. What can I clean up in order to make my surroundings appear more professional? 
  3. Does my background contribute to my brand or does it detract? 
  4. Is there a lot of noise? Will people be able to hear me clearly? 

3.  Write a script, but don’t rely on it

I mention this in my “5 Tips for Making Your Blog Content, Vlog Content,” article. It’s important to be prepared with a script you can refer to but you should never read from this script. You should always be prepared enough that you can refer to your script to make sure you are on the right track and you are hitting all your points, but you should never directly read your script. The more you can make your Instagram Live feel like a conversation, the better.

4. Choose who sees your Instagram Live

When you are on your homepage in Instagram, you’ll see a camera icon on the upper left side of your screen. Click on it and your camera will open up and you’ll see a plethora of options at the bottom of your screen. Before going live, click the settings gear wheel on the top left hand side of your screen when in camera mode. From here, you can choose who you want to “Hide Story From” or alternatively, you can share just with a set list of “Close Friends.” This is handy if you are trying to surprise someone or would like to keep something personal and limited to a select few individuals. From a marketing perspective, this is also handy to market specifically to a target group, rather than blasting your message to all of your Instagram followers. 

5. Open Your Camera Icon

When in camera mode, if you scroll all the way to the left, you’ll see “LIVE.” Click the circle once you’ve scrolled over to “LIVE.” Your screen will begin connecting and then you’ll be live. It’s really that simple. Make sure you are ready before going live. Go through steps 1 through 4 to ensure you’re representing yourself professionally before going live and you’ll be golden. 

I hope these tips were helpful. I challenge you to give Instagram Live a try this week. Make sure you come back to this blog and let me know how it goes in the comments! 

Cheers! 

Caitlin 

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