As humans we have an inherent drive to connect. The moment we connect, you have my attention.
As an online entrepreneur, you want the attention of your audience – the people you know, and those you don’t know, yet. So the natural question is, “how do I position myself so I can connect in the best way with the most people?”
When I’m asked that question, I promptly answer, “Video!” Live video, specifically. And, it’s never been easier to broadcast a live, online video show.
Now, you’re thinking, “I’m an entrepreneur, not an actor or talk show host. Why in the world would I want to do live video???”
Let’s start with the fact live video helps you create intimacy faster than any other medium and accelerates engagement with your audience. Not only that, it will create trust and connection with the very people you want to develop as fans who will buy your products and services. And, that is how you build your platform…Live video helps you create intimacy faster than any other medium and accelerates engagement with your audience.
With so much competition for eyeballs and dollars, you need to do something unexpected to get attention and create a highly visible presence on the Web. You need to step up and do what other entrepreneurs in your niche don’t want to do and won’t do. You need to go beyond the blog posts and chit chatting with people of Facebook. As your marketing mentor in this moment, I’m advising you to go big and stand out by incorporating live video into your marketing mix.
Add Live Video to Your Marketing
The fastest, easiest way to add live video is to take advantage the best tool Google has developed… the Hangout on Air, also known as HOAs.
An HOA is live streaming video, broadcast publicly and simultaneously on Google+, YouTube and your website, if you choose. If you think about it, you can take advantage of the power of the biggest search engine on the Web to create content that is not only broadcast to large audience in real time, but also posted automatically to the second largest search engine, YouTube.
You get to interact in real time with your fans plus give them a later viewing option via the recording. Your content is indexed quickly by Google and can also be found on YouTube and Google+. There is no other platform that can offer you that kind of findability and visibility.
Hangouts also offer some advantages that written-word content simply cannot equal:
- The sense of immediacy
- The sense that your attention is focused solely on the viewer, for his or her benefit
- Live, face-to-face contact with your clients, customers and fans
- Allowing you to showcase your personality
- Increasing your authority, celebrity, recognition and acceptance
There is no substitute for seeing a live face – smiling, talking, animated and interactive.
Broadcasting Hangouts can provide you with a wonderful toolset to help grow your online platform and cement your reputation… but don’t just fire one off here and there without a strategy.
Create a Strategy for Your HOAs
Like all marketing strategies you want to give some thought to why and how you’re going to integrate HOAs into your mix. Consider the following questions and write down your answers:
Why do you want to use Hangouts?
What goals do you want to achieve, using Hangouts?
How they can best help you grow your platform and sell more books?
When are you’re going to broadcast (how often)
Who is your audience?
What content does your audience want? (Ask them!)
What is your format (interviews, discussion, book club, Q&A)?
Once you know what you want to deliver, then it’s time to dive in.
Getting Started Doing HOAs is Easy
The investment to get started is minimal. All you need to broadcast an HOA is a Google account, a Google+ profile, a YouTube account, a webcam and a microphone.
If you decide on hosting a regular show vs. an occasional event with your fans, then you’ll need to set your schedule and do a couple of test runs to familiarize yourself with the technology. I recommend you create a pre-show and post-show checklist so you don’t forget promotion and follow up tactics when you develop your show strategy.
Some things to include on your list are:
- Purpose of Show
- Title of Show
- Date & Time
- Guests or not
- Public or Targeted Audience
- Description of Show
- Call to Action
- Images you can use to promote the show on other social networks
- Set up an event page on Google+
- Promote on other social networks
- Promote to your email list
If this tactic appeals to you as a way to build a more intimate bond with your fans, then I encourage and support you to jump in with both feet. HOAs tend to be casual, fun and informative. You can build rapport with your fans very quickly and they will appreciate having access to you in a way most business owners don’t allow. You have a huge opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
If you’re ready, then your first step is to find and attend some HOAs so you can get a feel for the experience (if you haven’t already). Use this link to peruse the list of scheduled HOA events, find a couple that intrigue you and RSVP. Hey, you can attend my monthly show Adventures in Visibility, to see how I do it, too!
Once you’re comfortable, go for it. Schedule an HOA and invite your fans. The best way to learn is by doing! With every Hangout you broadcast, you’ll find your fans showing up time and again as well as sharing and inviting their friends. And that is how you build your platform with Hangouts on Air. Oh, and please invite me when you go live so I can support you!
I helped Melita Noel Cantu start her Hangout Show. I can help you too. Click here and let’s talk.
Note: this article is modified from the original version which was published on Write Non-Fiction Now.