How to Live Stream: The Creator’s Guide to Live Streaming
Live streaming is a powerful tool for building a loyal online community and making more personal interactions with your fans. Thanks to the internet, just about anyone can go live, so it is no surprise that this media distribution method is used by brands and creators from around the world.
Today, we’re going to cover how to live stream on a variety of budgets. We will share the step-by-step process, detailing everything you need to know from making a plan up until the start of your stream.
Before we get into the step-by-step tutorial, we’ll briefly discuss what live streaming is and why it is valuable to creators.
Table of Contents
- The Basics of Live Streaming
- How to Live Stream
- How to Choose a Live Streaming Platform
- Tips for Successful Live Streams
- Live Streaming on Maestro
The Basics of Live Streaming
Live streaming is a media distribution method that is used to deliver content over the internet in real-time. The term “live streaming” is often used to reference video content, but it can refer to audio content, as well.
The size of the industry presents plenty of room for creators who want to jump on board. With the forecasted growth, there’s even more opportunity to go around.
One of the biggest benefits of live streaming is that it makes it easy to engage with your audience in a way that feels lifelike and personal. It helps to build stronger connections with your viewers.
There are various ways to use live streaming, but one of the most valuable use cases is creating premium experiences for your core audience. Some of the specific use cases of live video streaming for creators and brands who want to better connect to their followers include:
- Virtual event streaming
- Meet and greets
- Q&As and panels
- Demos and tutorials
- Coaching and training
- Live vlogging
What’s nice about live video is that you can get as creative as possible to make it work for you. There are no constraints on what you can or cannot do with live streaming for your brand.
How to Live Stream
Now that you know the “whats” and “whys” of live streaming, it is time to get into the “how.” Here is how to live stream in five simple steps.
1. Make a Plan
Adding live streaming to your content creation strategy is a great way to add a layer of dimension to your brand as a creator. It is important to start this journey with a plan of action.
Start by identifying what you want to accomplish. Is your goal to become an influencer? Do you want to create a subscription to your content?
Next, think about what audience you want to create content for you. Do you have a niche in mind, or are you still figuring it out?
Identifying your goals and target audience will help you make decisions regarding your streaming setup.
2. Choose a Platform
Now that you have a solid plan for your live streaming efforts, it is time to choose a platform to host your streams.
There are a couple of different types of platforms that you can choose from, including free streaming platforms and professional-grade platforms. We will dive a little deeper into how to choose the best live streaming platform for your needs a little later in this post.
3. Round Up Your Tools and Equipment
After choosing a platform, you’ll gather the tools you need to live stream. Here are some things that you’ll need to host a live stream:
- Camera: Webcams work for basic streams; professional-grade cameras are available as an upgrade
- Microphone: A lapel mic is an optional but inexpensive tool that can improve your sound quality; more advanced microphones are available, as well
- Internet connection: WiFi or tethered internet is ideal, but cellular data or a hotspot can suffice
- Streaming software: Encoders, mixers, production tools, etc.
- Streaming accessories: Some optional streaming accessors include tripods, gimbals, lighting equipment, and green screens
We’d like to point out that it is also possible to host a very simple stream on a social media app with just a smartphone. However, streaming on those apps tend to be quite restrictive, so leaning into a slightly more advanced setup is worth it if you’re building a business and brand as a creator.
A good practice to follow here is to explore integration that your video hosting platform supports natively. For example, if you need production software, see if your platform of choice has any partnerships that you can leverage. This streamlines the setup process and makes your life a whole lot easier.
4. Arrange Your Setup
Once you’ve gathered all of your equipment, you can arrange your streaming setup. Connect your video source and various streaming software to your video hosting platform.
The setup for each tool will vary, so check out the documentation for each tool to learn the best practices for a seamless setup.
5. Go Live
Now is the time to go live. Take a deep breath, click “Start Streaming,” and away you go.
The first stream might feel intimidating, but getting started is important. You have something special to share with the world, so embrace it and do your best.
How to Choose a Live Streaming Platform
Choosing a platform to host your live streams is an important step. You need something that meets your requirements and helps you reach your goals.
As you assess different platforms, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does that platform include third-party branding on streams, or is it white-label?
- Does the platform support live streaming, on-demand video streaming, or both?
- Can I customize the streams with my own branding?
- What video monetization tools does the platform offer?
- Is the platform in my budget?
We mentioned before that there are both free and professional-grade platforms. Free platforms, such as YouTube or Twitch, are sufficient for most beginners. However, once you start to grow your audience and get more serious about video monetization, a professional-grade platform, like Maestro, might be a better option.
Tips for Successful Live Streams
There are a few tips that you can keep in mind to maximize the success of your live streams. Let’s check out some of the top tips.
Test and Test Again
Nothing puts a damper on a viewer’s experience than a live stream that skips or cuts out mid-broadcast. That is why it is so important to test your stream before you go live in front of an audience.
Throughout your testing, look out for potential snags in the system. Is there any equipment that has a short battery life? Will any of your systems time out? Are there any other issues that could interrupt your stream?
Identifying any potential roadblocks will allow you to prepare to better avoid these issues and create a better user experience.
There is no real dress code for live streaming, but it’s important to dress in a way that fits your brand. If you’re doing makeup tutorials, for example, loungewear is probably fine. However, if you’re doing workout videos, athletic clothes are the way to go.
Our main suggestion is to think about is the color of your clothing. When you’re on camera, solid colors are the way to go. Try to avoid patterns because they could morph on the stream.
At the end of the day, it's important that you are comfortable and confident with whatever you’re wearing.
Be Mindful of the Background
As you set up your stream, be mindful of what’s going on in the background. If you’re recording at home, maybe pick up any clutter that is in view or put away aunty items that you’d rather not be seen by the public.
Make sure that there aren’t any light sources in your background, such as a lamp or window to let in sunlight. This can throw off the lightning in your video.
Also, do your best to minimize any background noises that are annoying or distracting.
Engage with the Audience
Making your streams interactive can help engage the audience and build more genuine relationships. Ask questions and encourage people to participate in the chat.
Some more advanced ways to promote engagement are to host giveaways, invite fans into your stream, and incorporate feedback from your viewers.
Relax and Be Confident
When you present in front of a live audience, whether it be online or in-person, attitude is everything. Your audience will feed off of your energy, so if you show up excited and ready to go, they’ll mirror that.
If you remain confident throughout the stream, your viewers will take you more seriously, which is certainly a plus.
Live Streaming on Maestro
Live streaming is a great way to interact with your audience on a deeper level. With the right tools, live streaming can be easy, fun, and profitable.
If you are looking for a professional-grade streaming platform that is creator-friendly, Maestro could be the option for you.
Our platform is equipped with a wide range of valuable tools for steamers. Some of our top features include flexible video monetization, support for customization, enhanced engagement, powerful analytics and reporting, and an innovative community dashboard.
Maestro is super easy to use. In fact, our innovative Onboarding Wizard can set up your customizable streaming site after you answer three simple questions.
Are you ready to add live stream shopping to your streaming workflow? We invite you to try Maestro risk-free with our 14-day free trial. Sign up today to start streaming in no time!