Why and how to use live video for your beauty business
I started experimenting with live video last summer - June 2018 - after seeing so many business owners use it successfully, but I was terrified! And I felt like I had no clue what I was doing.
When the big day finally came, I had some technical trouble going live. Oops! I had to start a new live stream, and I was flustered the whole time.
But I have to be honest: once I pressed “End video” that day… I was absolutely hooked! Not only was the whole thing a massive adrenaline rush, I also got a huge amount of engagement on my video. People were actually watching and participating, as I was talking!
I could answer their questions as they were asked, say “hi” to people who were on my broadcast, and watch the number of people “watching” go up and up.
Before, I had built up this huge idea of what live video was in my head: this massive scary thing that I could probably never do because I was too terrified.
And in the end it wasn’t such a big deal at all.
I’ve now gone live every single week since January 2019, and I’ve gotten so much better at it. I’m more comfortable, more fluent, and I get better engagement each time I go live.
And look at some of my stats from my broadcasts!
Live videos seriously do work to get better engagement and they’ve also helped me to build my business. That’s why I’ve made a commitment to do a live video every week - something I never thought possible just a couple years ago!
In this blog, I’m going to share with you my secrets for doing fabulous live videos for your beauty business. I truly believe that live video is the future of marketing, and if you want to get more engagement on social media while branding yourself as a beauty expert, this is exactly what you need to be doing.
Why you should absolutely use live video in your marketing
First of all, live video simply gets better reach on Facebook. Facebook wants to promote videos, especially live videos, and so these posts tend to get more organic views than other posts
Also, Live videos get lots of attention because they’re an “Event” that you can invite people to, and your audience will make time to show up for. The fact that your audience can be there live with you turns a social media post into a special occasion, and it makes them feel included.
And since live videos are an exciting event, they get HUGE engagement. More than any other type of post! In fact, live video gets 35% more engagement than pre-recorded videos (link). If you want to connect with your followers and get them truly interested in what you’re posting, live video is the answer.
Most importantly, they help you connect with your online audience in a way that regular posts don’t. When you see someone respond to your comment, right after you wrote it, you feel that they recognize you and appreciate you. You feel like they’re a real person instead of just someone behind a screen.
And, related: live videos allow you to respond to questions real-time. If you want to do a beauty FAQ, answer questions about a new service you’re offering, give advice about skincare, talk about what’s going on in your salon for super engaged fans - this is the place to answer all their questions in one place.
Plus, as a bonus, live video takes less time to create than recorded video. Recorded video you have to edit, perfect, and practise for. Live video is a natural, easy way to make videos without too much prep and nothing to do afterwards!
Finally, live video helps you to feel closer to your social media audience and clients as well. You start to look at them differently, and you get more confident that they genuinely want to hear from you on social media, too. If you’ve ever wondered “does anyone even care what I post?” - this will help you feel sure that they really do.
In this guide I’m going to show you step by step how to plan for going live on Facebook, how to make your live video fun and engaging for people to watch, and how to make sure that people join in with you and watch your video!
Step 0: Get in the right head space
I wanted to include this extra step, because I know from first-hand experience that usually the thing standing in our way of doing live video is not that we don’t know how… it’s that we’re terrified of live video.
We’re afraid of messing up, making a fool of ourselves, and totally blanking. We’re scared that no one will show up, that no one will care or participate.
If you feel that way, it’s totally normal. Fear is our brain trying to protect us from dangerous situations. But I promise that there’s no danger here.
If your video isn’t perfect… that’s perfect! Seriously! One of the reasons I love live video is that you don’t need to be perfectly polished. It’s okay to say “ummm” a bunch of times. It’s alright if you totally blank and then apologize. It’s fine to stumble over your words. That’s what live video is all about!
And if you’re worried that no one will care about your video, think again. Your clients see a certain side of you in person, and they truly do want to see another side of you through your live video. They really do want to see the “behind the scenes” when you’re not doing their hair, nails, facials, etc. They want to see you as a real person, and connect with you.
We’re so tired of seeing impersonal, anonymous posts on social media from businesses. We want to see things that help us connect with people. And that’s why we love watching live videos.
Your first video might not have a ton of viewers or engagement. You might mess up your words a few times. That’s okay! Live video takes practise. But I do promise that if you follow this guide, when you finish your video you’ll think “Wow, that wasn’t such a big deal!” and you’ll be ready to do more of them!
Step 1: Decide what your live video will be about
If you’re feeling daring, fun, and casual, you might just want to pop onto a live video without even planning what to talk about. Those can be fun hangout sessions, too!
But most people, especially just starting out, want to know what they’ll talk about. And honestly, having a clear plan for what your video is about will help get people interested in it, too.
You want to choose a topic that you’re passionate about and that your audience and clients will care about, too.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Business updates about your salon.
Live video showing the new design of your salon, introducing some of your new team members, answering questions about some big changes you’ve made - for example adding a membership and how it works, new pricing structure, new location, etc.
You know that everyone loves watching beauty tutorials, right? Well, how about doing a live video showing an easy beauty tutorial, explaining how you do it, especially something your clients could try at home? This could be hair styling, nail art, makeup application, or anything else that’s visual.
Ask me anything about microblading. Let’s chat about CBD in skincare products. How to properly care for blonde hair. How to stop nail biting. There is so much education you can provide, and people would love to ask you questions about these topics! You can also do interview style where you interview one of your team members.
The last type of video you can look at doing is a personal-style video. This works especially if you work by yourself and want to build up your personal brand. You can talk about your business journey, the story of you opening up your business, what your day to day life working at your business is like. This is great for helping your followers to connect with you, and you’d be surprised how much theye love watching this stuff!
Once you’ve decided what your topic will be, make some point form notes of what you’d like to go through. You should NOT write out a script, but just write down a few ideas of what you’d like to show, talk about, or go through. You might also want to write down some questions to ask your audience, as that will help get more comments and push your engagement up.
Step 2: Schedule your video on Facebook
Facebook encourages you to do live videos on the fly, without scheduling them, but I highly encourage you to schedule your video ahead of time.
When you schedule a video, you let people know ahead of time that you’ll be going live on a certain date and time, and they can click “Get Reminder” to get a notification ahead of time as a reminder.
You can also take the link for your scheduled live, and then share it with people off of Facebook to get more people to join you. I’ll show you how to do that later on.
I recommend you schedule your video a few days before going live so you have a chance to promote it and get ready.
Instead of scheduling your video right on Facebook (trust me, I made that mistake only once!), use the Be Live app to schedule it. Be Live has a pretty good free plan, and it’s actually super easy to use.
On your computer, just go to Belive.tv, set up an account, connect to your personal Facebook page, and then press “Start Broadcasting”.
Then you can choose the date and time of your video, add in a description, and choose a preview photo. Make sure that your choose your business page as the destination for your video.
For your description, I would include a fun paragraph where you say hi, tell them what your video is about and why they should be interested (what they’ll learn, what questions you’ll be answering). Tell them to press the “Get Reminder” button below to get a notification when you’re going live.
For the preview photo, include a high quality photo of you at your salon if you have one. Otherwise, any photo of you or you and your staff is great. Don’t just post a photo of your salon, as that will be too impersonal. Remember, we want people to connect with you!
To easily resize your photo for Facebook, you can use the free app Landscape, which is so handy!
Once you press “Save”, your scheduled video will show up on your Facebook page. It’ll look something like this:
Pretty cool, right?
For full instructions on how to schedule your video with Be Live, read this guide.
Step 3: Promote your upcoming Facebook Live
When you schedule your Facebook live, many of your Facebook fans will see your post, get interested, and click “Get reminder” to show up with you.
But you want to make sure that you’re sharing the news of your upcoming broadcast everywhere, so even more people will join you!
Here are some ideas for promoting your broadcast:
Share it to your personal page! Your friends, family and clients will give you so much love and encouragement if you share your upcoming video with them! I highly recommend sharing it on your Facebook and Instagram with a link.
Send an email to your list the day before you go live with a screenshot of the video preview and a link to join on Facebook. Tell them that you’d love to have them on the live and to bring their questions.
Share a link on your Instagram feed, stories, or any other social networks you use.
In the days leading up to your live, make multiple posts about your live with photos and text telling them how excited you are and you hope they’ll make it.
People often need to see a post multiple times to really “get it”, so don’t be afraid to invite your audience many different times to your live feed!
Step 4: Going live
So the big day arrives and you’re feeling super nervous. Don’t worry, it’s going to be great!
You can stream to Be Live on your computer. Make sure you’ve got enough battery power, that your computer is help steady (no one loves watching shaky videos!) and that we can hear you well (headphones help with this).
Get ready 15 minutes ahead of time to make sure that everything is working well and you’re ready. On the Be Live app, press “Start broadcast” to get into the studio, then select the stream you’ve already set up.
You’ll be able to “Go live” at the time you’ve scheduled the live for.
Even after almost a year of doing live weekly videos, I still get nervous right before I press the “Go live” button. I think of it like jumping into a freezing cold lake from the dock. You just have to close your eyes and jump in without over thinking it.
And don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing you’re going to say. You’ll figure that out on the fly as soon as you're live. Your brain helps you figure that out stuff while you’re going.
Here are some tips for a great live video:
Have an outline written down (just point form notes) of things you want to go through. Don’t read off of a piece of paper, or you’ll be unnatural and not as engaging. But when we go live we tend to forget what we want to say, so having some notes helps!
If you feel awkward going live for the first time, or scared shitless, mention that! It’ll help break your tension and help people feel more of a connection with you if you’re being honest. Plus it adds some humour and light heartedness to the whole video.
Ask simple questions! When you go live at the beginning, ask some questions like “if you’re watching, pop into the comments and say hi and tell me what you’re up to today!” or “who here has NEVER had a facial before?” or “When was the last time you had a bikini wax?” You can write these questions down ahead of time so you don’t forget. And remember that live videos are often up to 60 seconds delayed, so give time for people to respond and don’t move on right away if you haven’t gotten a response yet. Many people will respond to your questions when they watch your replay, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get lots of responses right away.
Don’t watch your “number of people watching” number! It’ll make you nervous and distracted. Take a glance up at that number near the end just to get an idea of how many people there were live, but don’t look at it during the live!
If you forget what you want to say, stumble on words, blank out etc… don’t sweat it! I do it ALL the time, and that’s fine, because live video is not meant to be perfect! You can even say “sorry, I just totally blanked out there” and people won’t mind.
Don’t make the live longer than it needs to be. 5-20 minutes is the perfect amount of time, so prepare enough “talking notes” ahead of time for this, and don’t feel like you have to drag it out.
Be smiley and funny and put in some personal details into it. It’s great to talk about what you’re up to today, how you’re feeling, what the weather’s like, what’s new in your life. Live video is all about making connections with your audience, and people love when you put in those small personal details!
When people join you live, you’ll be able to see their names pop up on the feed. You’ll also be able to see when they comment. Be sure the respond to every comment and call out the names of people watching. It’ll make them feel special and valued, and they won’t forget it!
When you’re setting up your live, make sure that you’ve got good lighting and decent sound. Check these things ahead of time.
Have some pre-prepared questions ahead of time if you want to do an “Ask me anything” style video.
Say goodbye at the end of your video and press the “End broadcast” button to finish up. And then yay! You’ve done it!
Step 5: What to do with your video after you’ve gone live
Congratulations, you survived your first live video! That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Once you’ve finished up your live video, it’ll be saved to your Facebook page so anyone can watch it whenever they want.
The first thing I would do is go into your comments and reply back, thanking people for watching and maybe even replying to their questions through an additional comment. Even if you answered their question on the live, it’ll help everyone else to easily see your answer in the comments.
Next, press “edit” on your video and give it a nice title and choose a thumbnail. I’m not sure why, but Facebook usually takes a really awkward moment in your video and turns it into the preview photo. Choose something more flattering!
After that, you can promote your video using Facebook ads to have more people see it. You can show it to your Facebook fans to get more reach, or you can choose a fresh audience of women 25 - 45 in your city, for example.
If you want to read my guide for setting up Facebook ads, you can check it out here:
You should also share a link to the recorded video in your next email to your list. They’re sure to absolutely love it.
Once you have more people watching your video, you’re also likely to get more comments, so regularly check the comments to make sure you respond back.
Facebook Live videos have absolutely transformed my business, and helped me connect with my audience in a much deeper way
They’ve also helped me to get better reach and engagement on social media, and made me more confident. They helped me to see that people actually do care about what I have to say, and they want to see more of me.
It’s true, your first Facebook live video might not be perfect. But you’ll get better over time, and the more videos you do, the more your audience and viewership will grow.
Live video is the future of marketing, and if you want to be on the leading edge, now’s the perfect time to start!