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Recently, I’ve been hooked on live streaming.
I’m not necessarily seeing it as a business opportunity, though I’m always happy to make a return on my efforts. But it’s something I look forward to, and at the end of the day, when I’ve completed my work, I often feel the urge to stream.
On a recent live stream, where I streamed a video game called Cyber Shadow, I ended up earning $5.55 in donations.
I recognize that this is not a lot of money. And yet, what I learned through that experience kind of surprised me. And, of course, once you’ve broken that barrier of $0 to any amount, there’s always the opportunity to scale.
So, I thought I would share what I discovered.
When Your Ask is Specific, You Increase Your Chances of Getting it
No, you did not read that subhead wrong. I’m taking some creative liberties here.
Anyway, on my live stream, I clearly stated that my goal for the night was to “raise $5.55 for the telethon.”
Basically, I made a joke out of it.
I did not use any flashy banners to get people to donate (although I did tell people where they could donate). I didn’t have a progress bar either. I just mentioned it a couple of times through the stream.
And what do you know? When I asked for $5.55, I got $5.55 on the dot.
It’s a simple thing, but it occurs to me that we often forget to ask for what we want. Or even when we do make an ask, we don’t ask for something specific.
We say, “I want to be famous,” or “I’d like to be super rich.” Those are not specific asks! They are completely open to interpretation.
Whatever you do for fun, just go with the flow. But if there’s intention behind the action, have a goal, and be specific.If there’s intention behind the action, have a goal, and be specific. Click To Tweet
Also, not caring whether you reach that goal (I honestly didn’t expect to make any money), puts you in a power position.
Relationships Are Key – They Help You Start a Grassroots Movement
I only had two viewers on my live stream the whole night, and one of them did not engage once.
But it just so happened that the second viewer who popped on was a long-time friend. Not someone I’ve seen or even hung out with in years, but a friend, nonetheless.
I was live streaming a newer game called Cyber Shadow, and my friend is into gaming, so perhaps I should not be surprised that he showed up. But the stream was spontaneous (not scheduled in advance), and there was no promotion behind it, so I’m betting the only reason he was notified was because he was subscribed to my YouTube channel.
Oftentimes, we underestimate the value of a grassroots following – just a few well-placed advocates who already know, like, and trust you and are willing to support you.
A following is much easier to build when you have a few advocates who will show up when you do something crazy like host a spontaneous live stream. It gives you a bit of social proof and makes you “safe” in the eyes of those who might happen upon your stream.
I guess you might call these “plants,” but even well-known comedians and musicians use them. So, you might as well have a few plants for those times you publish articles, host a webinar, do a live stream, or otherwise.
You Can Earn Without Always Being in “Selling” Mode
I’ve done a few talking head style live streams as of late.
During these streams, I would share about my latest eBooks, read from one of my books, or let viewers know where they can subscribe to my podcast – stuff like that. Which is good to do.
But all that “selling” maybe resulted in one sale, sometimes none. Either way, I felt spent after a 60-to-120-minute live stream.
What I realized is that you’re better off just being yourself, putting the focus on the viewers, and entertaining them to the best of your ability.
There are plenty of publishers whose business model revolves around engaging an audience on an inspirational or informational basis. They make money on the backend with “unrelated” products like natural supplements.
Meaning – even if you’re in the health or supplement niche, you don’t need to live stream about health or supplements. You could talk about news, politics, or personal development – something you’re interested in and passionate about.
Or, in my case, just because I’m in the music business doesn’t mean I need to talk about the music business all the time – I could talk about travel, food, video games, other things I like.
Assuming it’s not a bait and switch, it’s something your audience is also interested in, and people know what you’re about, you’ve got free reign.
Sometimes, we can’t see the forest for the trees.
Occasionally taking a step back to gain clarity on what you’re trying to accomplish is critical. I’m beginning to see a clearing for the things I’m looking to create in life, and though it looks different than I thought I would, I can see that it could take me to goals much faster than the path I stubbornly insisted on.
Where do you need a mile-high view in your life?
Is the path you’ve chosen taking you to where you want to go? Or is it time for a course correction?
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