📺 Revamp Visibility, Video Podcasting with Paul KingMar 12, 2023
Start a weekly live on YouTube, they said. It'll be fun, they said. Well, alright. This is the sprout of a show we've been affectionately calling Stoned Fruit Roll.Up. Ah-dorable.
It’s Day 14 of having a live show and the mountain of things we don’t know about having a weekly live show is ever revealing itself.
How's my lighting, background, how do I sound? What are all the things you had to do before the start of this episode to be ready to (fruit)roll at 9:30am EST sharp? You're a video guy; why go live at all, what are the benefits? When should I "go live" and when should I do pre-recorded stuff? Speaking of "going live," we're currently on other people’s streaming applications, and that's not sustainable, what are our options and why do you use this one? Oh, and what's your opinion on what makes a "good" show? Is the programming? It's the programming, isn't it?
These early development days call for support from the brightest masterminds in our network.
Leaning in on years of collaborative “colleaguery,” our baby of a broadcast welcomed Paul King from King Productions to the talking table.
Paul did not disappoint. He had us out of the gate on our third episode with custom graphics, big interactivity, and a jaw-dropping POV of his own live streaming studio. It was lit. Literally.
For folks following along at home as we build out a weekly live show, completely from scratch and totally by the seat of our brand-pants, or for anyone else interested in how this particular cool kid is doing it, here is what we learned:
12 Paradigm-Shifting Things We Learned About Video Podcasting from Paul King
🍒 Advance Work and Show Prep is Positively Paramount
Part of what made a live show particularly attractive was the lure of an unscripted, spontaneous experience for the audience, yourself, and/or your guests. It was tempting to fall under the false illusion that meant the lift of production would be relatively light. While it is a freeing medium—no one is toiling over scripts or editing—a good show requires more input than simply showing up and showing off. <Rebecca says “drat!”> Paul spent a great amount of thinking about the packaging: the cover card, both of our logos, and a great title. He made it his job to ensure we both looked good, the show had a professional feel, and all the assets were ready for social media. By the time he clicked “LIVE,” we had tested our gear, had a pre-show huddle and gotten clear on timing.
🍑 Promotion Starts at the End of Your Very Last Show
Just like romance, seduction starts as soon as you end your last date. It isn’t enough to post the morning of your show and cross your fingers for good viewership. <Rebecca says “double drat!”> The lifecycle of a live stream requires a continual prioritization of planting the seeds of enchantment and teasing the viewing experience. Take the time to develop a robust punch list (create an event, post on social media, ask your business besties to help fill in the conversation in the comments, send a post-show love note to your guests) and treat it like any other to-to mandate; soon coordinating the workflow will be easy muscle memory. And while you’re at it, keep looking for opportunities to sustain the show top-of-mind in natural conversation with treasured clients, potential clients, and possible guests. It takes a long time to earn loyalty; it will take many touches before it “takes.”
🥑 Visibility Is On You, Brah
If you’ve been hammering away at your business for a while, you may have come to that inevitable time in your entrepreneurial journey when you’ve exhausted most of the low-hanging fruit from your personal network, and you find yourself with a sales funnel that leaves a lot to be desired. It is at this point that your esteemable business coach and your own seasoned instincts lead you to understand that what you have before you is a big ol’ visibility problem. Not enough of the right kind of people who need exactly what you have to offer are aware that you are even a thing. Take the internet by the horn, friends. When it comes to building a book of business, inspiring action, and activating inspiration, visibility is vitality. You must own yours.
🥥 Get Great About Graphics
A single glance at our YouTube channel, and one video stands head and shoulders above all of the others this one. Is it because it has the most compelling title or the most views? No. It is because the thumbnail image is practically a Seth Godin Purple Cow. Bright, clean, and exciting to look at, this cover art is the first thing you notice. It also looked HOT! as LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Paul’s cover card exudes professionalism that no one could challenge. He was also ready with logos and PMS colors, preloaded into the platform, instantly dressing the viewer window with a branded experience. Paul gave this budding show, Stoned Fruit Roll.Up, some real visual gravitas and we don’t think we can ever go back.
🫒 Onboarding the Guest Experience is Personal
When it comes to interacting with King Productions, the experience is "white glove." You will receive written instructions, helpful links, and easy-to-understand production plans. If you’ve ever been a guest on a podcast or livestream, these beck practices may seem like an industry standard. And while most folks do have some formal onboarding, rarely is that a real-life 1:1 experience. Paul excluded a calm affability as he personally set me up for success in pre-show, testing my connectivity and lighting, making sure that we both looked and sounded great. What a quality-of-life upgrade to have someone taking full responsibility for assuring an anxiety-proof experience. 10/10, would recommend.
🥭 Illuminate Your Visual Vibe with Lighting
Apparently, Paul finds the lamp in our up-til-now background quite triggering. “The stem is coming right out of your head!” he exclaims. When it comes to your “behind-you” aesthetic, the man has a less-is-more attitude. He advocates for deep and soothing colors, illuminated by a soft lamp. As for that front-facing light, get it under control. That is to say, if you sit in front of a window to maximize natural light, something as simple as moving cloud cover or extreme sunshine can cause your webcam to continuously correct for a light fluxation, resulting in a flickering focus that drove Paul to near madness. (Luckily for us, it only takes one good “Dad Joke” to turn it around!)
🍒 Life Hacks for a Poppin’ Host Persona
Everyone is looking to you to set the tone for how the show plays out. For Paul, that is 100% about audience engagement. This means giving your guest the support they need to feel connected to the conversation, eye contact, and social cues. This also means giving your live viewers as many opportunities as possible to participate actively. He encourages hosts to actively ask for comments and ask often. Take the time to read the comments out loud and include commenters intimately in the discourse. In other words, let’s make something we all can enjoy.
🥑 Structure Isn’t for Suckers
As Paul and others have noted: an hour is a long time. You can’t run 60-minutes, week after week, on beautiful banter alone. <Rebecca says “triple-dipple drat!”> Do the work of planning the program around a sensible story arc, something you can easily parse into chapters for the recording’s future timestamp will empower your audience. “For the first half of the show, we’ll be talking about this, and at about the thirty-minute mark we’re going to take a look at these,” Paul coached us. This is an easy journey on a lazy river, not <checks notes> a rocket-powered raft ride down Class 5 white water rapids.
🥥 There is No Perfect Platform
Boy, did it give Paul a chuckle to hear our early foibles of trying to figure out exactly how one “goes live.” We’ve been “couch surfing” this show since Day 1, first on Taylor’s Zoom and then on Gill’s Riverside) and we needed some solid advice. Turns out, there are benefits—and limitations—to all of the currently available Live Streaming software. We get a sneak peek at his clear favorite, Restream, and it is downright adorable watching him geek out about it.
🫒 Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose with Purpose
Live streaming is GOAT, IMHO, because there are so many amazing things you can do with the content. Full-length recording on YouTube, check! Now break that bad boy up into snackable content, ~2min videograms, reels, or TikToks. Curate playlists, strip out the audio and make a podcast, create a “best of” show. The combinations—and possibilities—are endless. We can surely get behind this concept: do this big, dense thing first and then find a thousand ways to break it into an infinite amount of shorter-form content. #TeamFractals Not only will you soon find yourself with an abundance of fabulous video and audio assets, but everything will be highly coordinated and concentrated, on brand and on message.
🥳 Fan Favorites! Timestamps, Live Links, and Tech Show n’ Tell for the Win
If you haven’t seen a virtual audience nearly gasp when the tech bells and whistles come out to play, it’s a real treat. In this episode, Paul enchanted the live audience with a delightful, nearly 3-D link delivery that popped into our viewer when he wanted to share some tech or a resource. He also turned us on to the idea of Chapter TimeStamps on YouTube (which we are definitely doing with the recording of this very special episode of the Stoned Fruit Roll.Up just as soon as we can, lord-willin’ and the crick don’t rise.)
🤟The Connection is in the Comments
We contend that community is built in the comment section. And while some platforms are more friendly than others, amplifying comment conversations goes a long way toward relationship marketing and making people feel connected to the host, guest, and topics. Do not sleep on the spiced advice, best practices, and authentic cheerleading that happens there.
A good show: I’m of the mind one characteristic of a good show is one that covers something an inch wide and a mile deep.
I have a boilerplate PSA ready to copy/paste explaining on why folks should ALWAYS have/use headphones, explaining the concept of audio feedback loops, audio leakage, and a 5 second example to send them.
love this question, I've been considering Speechify for some video, voice over situation
JC, look into Descript for your needs, it’s INCREDIBLE.
Big ups to our friend and colleague Paul King from King Productions for showing us just how incredible live streaming can be for everyone. He’ll be a tough act to follow.
Check out the Positioning Statement we co-created with Paul in 2021. It still rings true today.
For nonprofits, higher ed, and community-centered organizations who need to spread the word about their people, projects, and places King Productions is the full service video production company and branded storyteller that delivers relevant/relatable video engagement campaigns and easy-to-execute brand strategies that raise money and/or awareness because connection content is King.