Live streaming video platforms like Periscope offer professionals an excellent way to add value and build new relationships around the world. This guide is designed to help you quickly start and properly use the Periscope platform.
Please keep in mind that there is usually more than one way to do many of the things I describe in this post. Because this is a quick guide and I want you to get started as fast as possible, simply follow my specific instructions to avoid complicating the process. After all, I want to see you “live” on Periscope sooner rather than later.
First Things First
Before you download and begin using Periscope, there are a few things you need to know when it comes to engaging on social media and the live streaming platforms. While I could write an entire chapter on each of these items (actually I did here), I think I’ll save sharing the full logic behind this specific advice for an upcoming live stream show. For the time being just remember to:
Be honest and truthful
Professionals need to leave the attitude back at the office and show their human side on all the social and live streaming platforms. Relax, relate to and engage your audience as you would a good friend or neighbor.
Feel free to follow me and watch my Periscopes if you want to see how I try and do this. I try and model some of the best Periscopers in the world and while I don’t always get things right, I do try and keep improving on a daily basis. I’m @MitchJackson on Periscope.
Periscope is owned by Twitter, and the two platforms go hand in hand. Although you don’t need a Twitter account to use Periscope, I think using Periscope without Twitter is like driving a Lamborghini all day in first gear (what’s the point right?). I’ll explain in more detail below.
So, to help you get the most bang for your buck, make sure your Twitter account is up-to-date. Your picture should display a big smile, and your bio should be short, unique and not too serious.
If you don’t have a Twitter account, set it up and use your name and not your company name. People enjoy connecting with people who they know, like and trust, as opposed to a company. You can take a look at my profile (@mitchjackson) as just one possible example.
Another reason I’m recommending that you start with Twitter is that when you go live on Periscope, it will allow you to share your new live stream on your Twitter feed. People on Twitter will see it, click the link and join you on Periscope. Others may re-tweet and share with their audience. Connecting Twitter with Periscope is a great way to amplify your efforts.
Using your smartphone, go to the app store and download the Periscope app. Follow the steps to get things set up. Connect using your Twitter account. If you already have the app downloaded on your phone, download the latest update before the next step.
Periscope will pull your Twitter name over and use it for your Periscope account. As with Twitter, make sure to set up your profile with your smiling picture and a short bio. Include a link to your website or other social media platform (see how I did this with a link to my new book, “Overnight Success.”
Get Familiar with the App
The four main icons at the bottom of the screen relate to the following from left to right:
Live streams of people you follow
Live streams from around the world
Your “go live” button
Your administrative button (who you are following, who is following you, who you have blocked, your past broadcasts, recently watched, Superfans, Groups and more). Tapping any of these will open up related menus and choices.
It’s perfectly OK to use the default settings to get started. If you want to change your settings to mirror mine (allows me to maximize my engagement with others), check these:
Notifications: turn all buttons on.
Address Book: Sync your contacts (optional). I’m unable to do this because I have confidential clients in my address book and do not want to upload them for privacy reasons.
Your Broadcasts: Enable video stabilization; Enable Auto-Save to Camera Roll and Disable Auto-Delete After 24 hours. You’ll be saving your Periscopes to your smartphone to use on the other social media platforms and your blog posts. You are also turning the auto delete off so that people can visit your main Periscope page to view past episodes (more on this below).
Comment Moderation: I want to moderate-Turn on; Moderate my broadcasts: Turn on (Off is fine too).
Now that you’ve set up your Periscope account let’s take a look at how it looks on your laptop and desktop.
Periscope on a Desktop
Spend a few minutes checking out the desktop version of Periscope. With the latest update, Periscope now allows you to watch, comment and heart other people’s Periscopes directly from your desktop.
The desktop mode provides an easy way to see how other people are using the platform. Use the search and channel buttons to watch other live Periscope shows.
While this is an easy way to watch live Periscopes, to go live and do your own Periscope, you must do so from your smartphone or tablet.
Tip- I bought and redirected the domain mitchjackson.live from Rightside.co to make it easier for everyone to find my Periscope page. I’m a big fan of the new right side of the dot domain options and encourage you to take a look at this option.
Your First Live Periscope
Before you press the “go live” button (third button from the left on the bottom of your smartphone Periscope screen), let’s go over a few things and discuss strategy.
Understand that two big assets for most people in today’s busy and noisy world are time and attention. Before you go live, have a game plan to share value respecting these two items.
I’ve found that the best Periscopes are either (1) a live broadcast of an exciting live event or (2) an instructive type of live stream that shares 2-3 useful tips. When it comes to information oriented Periscopes, some Periscopes will start and build upon a common theme over the course of a week. Each day’s show will lead to the next day’s show and so on. Other shows are independent in and of them self. Whatever approach you take, a small amount of planning and preparation will increase your chances of long-term success.
One approach that’s worked well for me over the past year is to write down the 10-50 most often asked questions I’m asked each month. Then I try to answer one question during each Periscope.
Generate Pre-Show Interest
Before each show, pre-promote your Periscope by sharing posts on social media. Use a related picture if possible (pictures increase attention on social). The idea is to get people interested in your upcoming Periscope. Some will re-tweet and share with their audience.
Also tell your family and friends to tune into your new Periscope show. Although not required, many Periscopers focus on doing a show at the same time each day to develop a consistent presence on the platform. I use to do this but now I use Periscope when my schedule allows and that works well too.
As an example, let’s say you’re a dentist interested in doing a Periscope explaining the process and advantages of teeth whitening. To help promote your upcoming Periscope, you may post and share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, website and your email newsletter something like:
“Join me on #Periscope next Tuesday at 2 pm ET to get your teeth whitening questions answered” http://Periscope.tv/YOURUSERNAME
And then 30 minutes before your Periscope:
“Join me on #Periscope in 30 minutes (2 pm ET) to get your teeth whitening questions answered” http://Periscope.tv/YOURUSERNAME
“Three teeth whitening myths exposed today on #Periscope. Join me at 2 pm ET today!” http://periscope.tv/YOURUSERNAME
Another approach is to write a blog post about teeth whitening and then offer to answer questions in a follow-up Periscope. There are many ways to use this mobile live streaming platform so have fun and be creative!
Before You Go Live
While Periscope works well with just your mobile 4G service, it works even better with a strong WiFi signal. Depending on your service, you can Periscope while standing with your toes in the sand down at the beach or from behind your desk at the office.
One of the major advantages of being able to Periscope using your mobile phone is that the only limit to your “studio” location is your imagination. Just to shake things up, I’ve Periscoped from the courthouse, the beach and while flying my drone. This approach has allowed me to be unique and keep the attention of my audience. The same approach will work for you too.
Before going live, pay attention to how you look and what’s in your background. As a professional, I think it’s best not to Periscope while wearing an expensive suit or while standing in a professional setting. At least for me, being casual works best. After all, your goal isn’t to try and impress anyone (you won’t). It’s to connect with others as a human being.
I’ve gone live on Periscope from my law firm and I’ve scoped in the middle of a long beach run early on a Saturday morning with messy hair and before shaving. Without exception, my casual everyday scopes are always more popular than a formal professional setting. I’d encourage you to let your hair down and try and do the same thing. This ski season I plan on live streaming often from many of California’s ski resorts!
Another good tip to help show your human side and build relationships is to Periscope from your community service organization events. Instead of telling everyone about last weekend’s food drive, Periscope live from the event sharing interviews and activities. Going live for a few minutes before your son or daughter’s soccer game is also a great way to connect with clients, potential clients and others in your audience.
While doing all of the above, be aware of what’s in your background shot and always respect other people’s privacy.
I like to keep things simple. Mobile live streaming is real, usually on the go, and rarely do you need professional studio lights to Periscope. I’ve found it best to simply have the window or sun facing me at about a 45-degree angle. Periscope will let you see how you look in the camera before you go live so just make sure the light compliments you.
When it comes to Periscope, sound is just as important as the video. For most Periscopes in a quiet location, the built in mic on your phone or table will work just fine. My personal preference is to attach and use the mic and earbuds that come with my iPhone6 because it makes the audio a bit more loud and clear.
The only accessory I recommend getting is a handheld/desktop mount from Arkon. You can use it as a tripod on your desk or hold it in your hand. While I often just hold my smartphone in my hand (and this works just fine), the mount makes things easier. [note- after I shared this post, Arkon reached out, said thanks (not necessary because I believe in their products), and shared a 20% discount to all my followers. Just use the code “theshow” at the checkout page. How cool is that!]
There are hundreds of audio, video and lighting accessories that you can add to your smartphone and tablet to make your Periscope a bit more professional. To get started, I wouldn’t worrying about any of these gadgets. There’s plenty of time for all the fancy stuff later.
Warning: Please don’t try to use Periscope, or any other social media platform, while driving. You’ll be putting your safety and the safety of others at risk. Click here to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving .
Time to Go Live
Open the Periscope app and press the go live button. Don’t worry; you’re not live yet.
Wait for the Internet connection signal level to confirm you have enough bandwidth to Periscope. Type in a short description of your show into the description area towards the top of the screen.
(Tip- You can plan ahead and type the description into the notes app on your smartphone. Then copy and paste into Periscope when needed).
If not already selected, tap the location arrow and Twitter icon. When you go live, Periscope will automatically share your Periscope on Twitter. People will then see it, click the link and join. Others will re-tweet and share with their audience. Sharing in real time to Twitter is a powerful function of Periscope and the reason why I started this guide off with making sure your Twitter account was correctly set up.
When you go live, Periscope will first start the video feed pointing away from you via the camera on the back of your smartphone. Make sure you’re pointing your phone at something interesting because this initial image will be the thumbnail for your show once it’s recorded and shared with the world.
Press the red “go live” button and you’re now live. If you’re Periscoping an event then you’re good to go. If you’re the main topic of an informational Periscope, tap the screen after 3-5 seconds and it will rotate to the front camera (like a selfie).
Immediately begin speaking and engage your audience. Instead of starting off with introducing yourself and what you do, spend the first 20 seconds with a captivating opening. Ten different ways I like to start my Periscopes can be found here.
While you’re speaking, allow your eyes to naturally shift from the front camera lens to the comments you’ll see on the left side of your screen. Also permit yourself to stop with your presentation and engage people and their comments. Answer their questions and engage in a back and forth conversation. With practice, you’ll be able to incorporate the comments into your main presentation without missing a beat.
Now and then, remind your live and recorded viewers (remember, your Periscope is going to be watched later by other viewers) to share your Periscope with their audience and also to follow you. Ask them to “swipe up on Android” and “left to right” on their iPhones to share. This will remind people to share and over time, get more people into your Periscope. Ask them to tap the little icon on the bottom right of the screen to follow you and get notified the next time you go live.
Occasionally remind people that if they’re enjoying your scope, to tap the screen and heart it up or show some love. One of the fun things about Periscope is the hearts, and you’d be amazed at how many people are not even aware of how to show their appreciation of what you’re doing by giving hearts during your broadcast. A simple reminder is all it takes to get the heart party going. Along the same lines, never beg for hearts. Just let the entire process happen naturally.
A good example of someone who does an excellent job of doing all of the above is my friend, Alex Pettitt. He lives in London and is a live streaming professional. In fact, Alex is one of the top Periscopers on the planet. Click here to see how Alex makes Periscope both fun and interesting.
At the end of your Periscope, thank everyone and remind them how they can stay connected with you. Share your Twitter handle or website address. Let live and recorded viewers know when your next Periscope is going to be.
Tip- Ask questions during your show. In our example about teeth whitening you might ask, “How many of you have tried teeth whitening products?” “Did they work?” “What was your favorite?” Engage your audience over and over. It’s a conversation and not a lecture.
Tip: Your goal is to build relationships with Periscope. I recommend against trying to sell anything or using any other call to action. Simply share value and start the relationship dance. When done (5-15 minutes), tap the button towards the top of the screen and end the Periscope.
Congratulations. You’ve just completed your first Periscope!
After The Periscope
I like to jump on Twitter and go to my notifications. When people share your Periscope with their audience, it will show up in your notifications. I spend a few minutes to “like” and thank people who took the time to share my Periscope. You can do this publically with a retweet, or you can privately direct message them. Either way, works.
Repurpose Your Content
You can and should also repurpose your original Periscope on the other social media platforms. Take the video of your Periscope that was automatically downloaded to your smartphone and upload it to YouTube and Facebook. Share your YouTube link with a description on the other social media platforms during the next 7-10 days.
You can also go to your Periscope account on your desktop and share the unique episode URL on social media and your blog posts. Sometimes I’ll use a screen capture tool like Jing to take a screenshot of the Periscope video filled with comments and hearts and then share it in a blog post with a link back to Periscope or YouTube. For an example to see what I’m talking about, see my post, “How to Protect Yourself Against Internet Scammers- Six Tips from a Lawyer.”
This is an easy way for any professional to get started on Periscope. Keep things simple at first and focus on being human, likable, and consistent.
Do one or two Periscopes a week to get started. Eventually, increase your frequency to one or two Periscopes a day. Remember, you’ll be using your mobile device so you can “go live” from almost anywhere and at anytime.
Social media and live streaming apps like Periscope have truly allowed my previously well-known Southern California law firm to become well known around the world. It took time to build an audience and in the beginning, I only had one or two people watching my Periscopes. Over time doing all of the above, the views and engagement increased substantially.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is building an audience on social media takes time, effort and patience. The entire process is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s important to be patient. I’ve also learned that if you go about things the right way and put in a time, embracing and using social media and live streaming apps like Periscope can be a game changer for your business or practice.
Enjoy Periscope and your live streaming journey. Connect with me on the platform and reach out with any questions.
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you on your next Periscope!
P.S.- Watch and follow other Periscopers. Engage in the chat and tap your smartphone screen to share your appreciation with hearts. What goes around comes around on Periscope and being an active member of the community will be appreciated by all.
More About Mitch
His new book, “Overnight Success,” will be rolling out in early 2017 and you can get on Mitch’s pre-release list for freebies and updates at Human.Social. If you’d like to connect with Mitch on social media, you can do so here Mitch.Social.