As content creators we work to build a loyal audience and grow our brand, but the question of how to gain credibility and expose our content to new people becomes equally important. A great way to do both of those things is by inviting high-quality guests to your live streams.
A well-known subject matter expert, or a celebrity who is adored by your target audience, can do more for content and brand than almost anything else. Having these respected folks join the stream gives it a lot of credibility and legitimacy. You and your content become “cool by association”. Better yet, this will help expose you to many of the guest’s fans who may not have known about you previously. With luck, they enjoy your content and become a fan of it, as well.
Let’s dive in and see how to make it happen, and how to get the most from it.
The key is to identify your target audience. Who are they, what do they like, and most importantly … who do they like? Try to make a list of folks who are popular with your audience.
One important factor to remember when looking for people to invite is that you need to be realistic. For instance, it’s unlikely Bill Gates will accept an invitation to be part of your live stream. This doesn’t mean you should never attempt to reach out to A-list people, but don’t waste too much time on it. Instead, start your guest search locally. While it’s easy to book guests and broadcast your conversation with them via Skype or other video chat services, a guest who is physically in the room with you will always look better. That’s why, if possible, focus the majority of your guest booking efforts on people in the local area.
From personal experience I’ve learned local folks tend to say “yes” to a guest invite a very high percentage of the time. This ranges from local business owners and university professors to a Congressman who agreed to be my guest, without hesitation.
Sometimes though, depending on your location, niche, or goals, you may not be able to book many people from your area. When determining which non-local guests are likely to say yes, look at their network. How big is their following? How does it compare to yours? You have a good chance of successfully booking people with a similar or slightly larger following than you. Then as your audience and brand grow you can move up the ladder, so-to-speak, and book bigger-named guests going forward.
Interestingly enough a huge percentage of guests will say yes without much of a sales pitch from you.
Host: “Want to join me for my live stream Tuesday?”
That being said, you’ll also want to book people that have so many other things going on that they need to hear the benefits they’ll be gaining, before they agree. Focus your pitch on them. Approach them when you know they have something to promote. Did they just launch a new project? Are they holding an event? Are they passionate about a cause? The whole reason you do this is to reach new people. Frame your pitch to the guest as something that will help them promote whatever they have going on to new audiences.
Also, you should frame your pitch to show the appearance is not just helping create content for yourself, but for the guest as well. The beauty of live streams is that they are available to watch again anytime, essentially for forever. This is content the guest can use and share across their channels for no cost. That’s a huge benefit to them.
You can even offer to stream live on their channels, as well as yours. Using a service like Switchboard Cloud you can easily broadcast your live stream simultaneously to multiple places.
One quick thing to note: Never pay someone to be a guest. Ever. Some people will search you out and offer to be a guest for a fee. Others might request it in response to your invite. Turn these people down. If free promotion and free content creation aren’t enough for these folks, you don’t want them.
Okay, so the guest has agreed to come on. Now you want to get the most out of their interview or performance, for yourself and for themselves.
The first thing to do is promote their happening. Target promotional posts at the guest’s followers as well as your own. Tell them where and when to find this upcoming live stream. Create a little buzz around the guest spot before it happens.
Getting the guest to promote their involvement before and after it happens is huge as well. One thing to note, while you should ask your guests to promote the appearance, not all will. It helps if you ask them to tell their audience they’ll be on your live stream. Provide links in advance, if possible, so people know where to find it. After the live stream, thank the guest and ask them to share the video across their social networks. This is one of the best ways for the guest to expose a large portion of their fans to you.
Following the live stream there are a few more things you can do to promote it and get the most views going forward. Highlight clips are always great. Take a few 30-60-90 second clips from the appearance and share them on their own. Use them to encourage people to watch the full video. These clips can also work great as a boost for advertisement of your content and brand.
Tip: After a number of good guests, compile the best clips into a demo reel for your content. This can serve as more great advertisement for your content as well as something you can send to other potential guests in the future to prove your legitimacy.
Lastly, don’t forget the power of an old-fashioned press release. If your guest is a newsmaker or industry leader and they tell you something newsworthy or controversial, you should tell the press about it. Frequently news organizations and trade publications will pick up news that came from people giving interviews. If your guest says something unique it could go viral and take your content with it, providing additional exposure to your stream and giving you something to attract guests in the future.
Having good guests on your live stream can make the difference between a boring video people scroll past and something folks watch, share and interact with. Good luck and happy streaming!