Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
now browsing by day
Santosh sustained head trauma and has been kept in a medically induced coma since last week’s crash.
The post CS Santosh to be flown back to India for recovery after Dakar crash appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.
Formula One has issued a revised 2021 calendar, with the planned season-opener in Australia postponed until November and a race at Imola replacing the Chinese Grand Prix.
The post Revised F1 calendar: Imola returns and Australian GP moved to November appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.
You may be surprised by what you don’t know about your business credit cards credit score. There are so many things misunderstood about business credit in general. What it is, how you get it, and even what it means are all areas of confusion for many business owners. It’s no wonder. With terms being thrown around such as personal credit, business credit, credit report, business credit report, fundability and more, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that true understanding is just out of grasp of many. Let’s clear it up by debunking the 5 most common business about business credit.
Do You Really Understand Your Business Credit Cards Credit Score?
There are many myths surrounding business credit. These range from how you actually establish business credit to how much your business credit cards credit score actually matters.
Myth #1: Just Because It’s a Business Card, Doesn’t Mean It Affects Your Business Credit Score
One of the most prevalent myths about business credit cards credit score is the idea that if you have a credit card that is designated as a “business” card, it is helping you build business credit. In reality, this may or may not be true.
It’s actually more about the information on the card application than the card itself. If you apply for the card with your personal information, it is going to report to your personal credit. Even if you use your business name, or a DBA, but your personal contact information and Social Security Number, this will still be true.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
That leads us to our next myth.
Myth #2: Business Credit is Built the Same Way as Personal Credit
You have to intentionally separate your business from yourself as the owner before you can build business credit. Just using credit cards with your business name on them will not do it. This is, of course, contrary to how personal credit builds.
How do you separate your business from yourself?
Separate Contact Information
Your business needs its own phone number, address, and email address. You don’t need to get a separate phone line or even a separate location. You can still run your business from your home or on your computer.
In fact, you can get a business phone number that will work over the internet instead of phone lines. It’s called VoIP, or voice over IP. The phone number will forward to any phone you want it to so you can simply use your personal cell phone or landline if you want. When someone calls your business number, it will ring straight to you.
You can use a virtual office for a business address. It’s a business that offers a physical address for a fee. Sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services. Some offer meeting spaces for those times you may need to meet a client or customer in person.
Get an EIN
You need an EIN. This is a number for your business that works in a way similar to how your SSN works for you personally. You can get one for free from the IRS.
Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is essential. It lends credence to your business as one that is legitimate. It also offers some protection from liability.
The best thing to do is talk to your attorney or a tax professional about which option to choose. Just do it fast, because some lenders consider your time in business to start at the time of incorporation.
Open a Business Bank Account
This is also something that needs to be done ASAP. The main reason is, if a lender does not consider incorporation to be the starting date of the business, then they will consider the date the business bank account was opened. A separate account for business transactions will help you keep track of business finances. It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances for tax purposes.
There’s more than that too. There are several types of funding you cannot get without a business bank account. Often, lenders and credit card companies want to see one with a minimum average balance. Also, you cannot get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. That means, you cannot take credit card payments.
While your credit score is definitely important, it isn’t the only thing that lenders look at. In fact, it is only one piece of the picture. Lenders look at the total fundability of a business. Here are some things that they may consider in addition to credit score.
Continuity of Business Information
Lenders are looking for a great credit score. Unfortunately, it’s not all that hard to fake one and commit fraud in an effort to get a loan. For this reason, lenders tend to throw out any application that throws up any red flags for fraud, including those that have high credit scores associated with them.
One of the most common of these is inconsistency in business information. Something as small as using an ampersand on your business license and the word “and” on incorporation papers or even insurance documents, can cause you to be denied. Be certain also any address changes are changed everywhere. Phone numbers can cause the same problem if they change. All business information has to be consistent across the board.
Both your personal and business tax returns need to be in order. Not only that, but you need to be paying your taxes, both business and personal.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
It is best to have an accounting professional prepare regular financial statements for your business. Having an accountant’s name on financial statements lends credence to the legitimacy of your business. If you cannot afford this monthly or quarterly, at least have professional statements prepared annually. Then, they are at the ready whenever you need to apply for a loan.
Often tax returns for the previous three years will be all you need. Get a tax professional to prepare them. Other information lenders may ask for include check stubs and bank statements, among other things.
There are several other agencies that hold information related to your personal finances that you need to know about. For example, FICO. Your personal FICO score needs to be as strong as possible. Almost all traditional lenders will look at personal credit in addition to business credit.
In addition to FICO reporting personal credit, there is also ChexSystems. In the simplest terms, this keeps up with bad check activity and makes a difference when it comes to your bank score. If you have too many bad checks, you will not be able to open a bank account.
Even things you may not ever think about in terms of lending approval come into play here. Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Do you have a bankruptcy or short sell on your record? How about liens or UCC filings? All of this can and will play into your ability to get a loan.
First, consider the timing of the application. Is your business currently fundable? If not, do some work to increase fundability. Next, are your business name, business address, and ownership status all verifiable. Lenders will check into it. Lastly, make sure you choose the right lending product for your business and your needs. Do you need a traditional loan or a line of credit? Would a working capital loan or expansion loan work best for your needs? Choosing the right product to apply for can make all the difference.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Myth #4: If You Have Good Personal Credit, Business Credit Is Pointless
While you may be able to fund a business on personal credit alone, it isn’t a good idea. There are a few reasons for this. The most obvious is, if your business goes belly up, you are personally liable for the debt.
That means you could lose your house or your car. There’s still more however. If you use your personal credit to fund your business, you are likely going to hover near your credit limits. That will increase your debt-to-credit ratio substantially. In turn, your personal credit score will take a serious hit. That will impede your ability to buy things like a home or car.
If you have business credit, you will be able to fund your business without any of that debt being reflected on your personal credit report.
Myth #5: Paying On-Time is All that Matters
When it comes to your business credit cards credit score, paying consistently on-time is definitely key. However, it isn’t the only thing that is important. For example, if you do not have your business set up as mentioned above, there will be no business credit file to report payments to. Also, most business credit cards will not extend credit on the merits of your business alone without you first having a business credit score. This makes it difficult to build a business credit cards credit score without having a business credit score in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle.
There are certain vendors, called starter vendors, that can help with that. They will extend invoices with net terms, and then they will report the payments on those invoices to the business credit reporting agencies. Once enough accounts are reporting on-time payments, you have the start of a strong business credit score.
Also, you need a D-U-N-S number. This is the number that Dun & Bradstreet uses to enter your business into their system. Since D&B is the largest and most commonly used business credit reporting agency, if you aren’t in their system, you may as well not have business credit.
Business Credit is Often Misunderstood
There are many myths about business credit. It is hard to wade through all of the misinformation and get to the truth. Hopefully, this will help you better understand your business credit cards credit score.
The post 5 Myths About Your Business Credit Cards Credit Score appeared first on Credit Suite.
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Starting your own business is the dream, right?
It’s also easier than ever, thanks to the golden age of entrepreneurship we currently live in.
Almost anybody can start up a business – all you need is a great idea, the right systems, and the drive to see it through.
No college degree, huge bank balance, or business experience is needed.
Moreover, everything you need to do has been done a million times before.
So, even if you’re starting from scratch, you won’t have to waste a single moment wondering what to do next or try to reinvent the wheel.
Since you’re already searching for ways to learn about how to start a business, odds are you already have the drive. What you need is how to start building your future empire.
In this article, I’m going to discuss the exact steps to start a business.
Excited? Let’s get down to business!
Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet
Don’t want to go through the whole thing? We have compiled everything in short here–this isn’t as detailed, though.
Refine your idea based on the needs and demands of your target customers, along with your preferences.
Next, you’ll create a business plan. This is a crucial part of the whole process, so you have to get this right.
After chalking out your business’s entire framework, do market research, and collect feedback from friends, mentors, and family.
Then work on the legal stuff. This includes deciding your business structure, registering your business, getting the necessary license and permits, and setting up bank accounts. This step is going to be long and tedious.
At this point, you have your idea and a plan to make it come to life. You can then use it to arrange for the required capital to launch your product or service. Follow this up by building your team and finding a location if you’re opening a physical store.
Finally, focus your efforts on generating more sales and growing your business, which is also what you’ll find yourself doing for most of your career.
That was the gist of everything.
Now, let’s talk in more detail.
Step 1: Come Up With a Business Idea
Every business begins with an idea. If you already have one, congratulations! You can proceed to the next step. If not, you need to start brainstorming.
Here are a few tips to come up with a great business idea:
- Think of ways to get ahead of the curve. Think of how your product or service can change the business landscape, especially with the constant technological advancements.
- Solve a problem you identify. After all, your customers would prefer more of a good thing and less of a bad thing.
- Try to bring a fresh perspective that helps you gain a competitive edge over your competitors.
- Think of ways to make your approach better, cheaper, and faster if your business idea isn’t new.
At this stage, you can also conduct surveys and collect perspectives by meeting people and asking for advice. Researching ideas online is another excellent way to come up with business ideas.
Step 2: Conduct Market Research
The whole point of conducting market research is to understand typical consumer behavior, pain points, and relevant market trends in your chosen niche. This is a sure way to determine how your potential startup might fit into the existing industry landscape.
Given the current economic climate and the changes brought forward by the coronavirus pandemic, this step is especially crucial right now.
Try to find the answers to the following questions while doing market research:
- What product or service is currently in demand in your given market?
- What is the market size, or how many clients make up your target audience?
- How many competitors share a similar concept to your business idea?
- What is the price that customers are willing to pay for products and services in your market?
- What’s the typical consumer engagement in your market? Did your competitors move online during the pandemic? Can you replicate their sales process or do it better?
One of the best ways to gain genuine insights is to speak with consumers directly. Take surveys, make questionnaires, and do one-on-one interviews.
Step 3: Work on the Legal Stuff
I always make sure to get the legal stuff out of the way early. This way, I don’t have to worry about anybody else taking my big idea, ending up in a bad partnership, or getting sued because of misinformation.
Determine your business structure first, as it’ll dictate the legal and tax requirements you will have to meet. Your options include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.
Enlist a tax professional’s services, as every structure has its own set of tax requirements, or use an online business formation service.
At this stage, you’ll also have to choose a business name and register your business. Find out whether your chosen name is available for registration in your state and within the digital space. You want availability as a:
- Business name in your state
- Domain name
- Social media platform usernames
If a specific name isn’t available, you can always consider permutations of the name. Make sure your domain name and business name aren’t impinging on any registered trademarks.
There is a quick checklist of other things that you’ll need:
- Federal tax ID
- State tax ID
- Permits and licenses (as needed)
- Business bank accounts
- Trademarks, patents, and copyrights (as needed)
It’s best to consult a lawyer to cover everything you need. You can always work out things on your own, but sometimes it’s best to ask an expert.
Step 4: Write Your Business Plan
Many people question the purpose of creating a business plan. After all, if you already have a vision for your business, why write it down?
When you create a business plan, you describe every aspect of your business in a formal document. You put everything into words.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “There never was a good knife made of bad steel.”
It’s precisely why a business plan is such a crucial part of any business. It defines your thoughts and research and exactly what you need to do to make a business a success.
This helps put things into perspective and allows you to identify areas to streamline future processes.
Let me clarify: Your business plan doesn’t need to be 100 pages long. It only needs to be readable and include the main components. Such as:
- Pain points your business solves
- An elevator pitch about what your business does
- A list of your target audiences
- An idea list of how you’ll promote your business (your marketing strategy)
- The financial plan of how you’ll raise money to pay and how your business will make money
- Financial documents
Do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of your business, too, to gain insights and identify ways to achieve your goals.
As the industry and market are always changing, you’ll find yourself revising your plan frequently. Periodic revisions and refinement of your business plan ensure that your business remains competitive in the long run.
Step 5: Raise Capital for Your Business
There are many ways you can get the resources to start your business. Below, I’ve discussed some of the best ways I found raising capital is easy and effective. You can choose one or more that work best for you.
Start at Home
Bootstrapping your business is a long process, but it gives you full control over your business. You can also leverage personal relationships by asking friends and family for a loan or to invest in your business.
There’s no disputing the power in numbers, especially when it comes to raising capital. Crowdfunding gives you direct access to small investments that can add up to something massive. Check out Kickstarter or Indiegogo, or Google a list of the most popular crowdfunding websites. Crowdfunding is more for a physical product than a service.
Reach Out to Venture Capital Investors or Local Angel Investors
Venture capitalist investors look for proven teams that require a capital investment of $1 million or more, which is why you need some traction before approaching them.
Apply for a Small Business Grant
Grants.gov is an online directory of more than 1000 federal grant programs that can supply you with the capital to kickstart your project. Although the process is long, you don’t have to give away any equity.
Get a Bank Loan or a Line of Credit
Applying for a bank loan is easy, but you should do so only if you really need a bank loan and if you’re eligible. You can head over to the Small Business Administration to look for loan opportunities.
Step 6: Develop Your Product or Service
Nothing feels better than seeing your idea come to life. The only problem is creating a product takes a village–if not a city.
You’ll have a different set of requirements based on your product or service. For instance, if you want to develop an app, you want someone with the technical know-how, whereas if you’re going to mass-produce an item, you’ll need a manufacturer.
Product simplicity and quality should be your top priority. Rather than creating the cheapest product, focus on developing something that catches someone’s attention. You can further streamline the process by keeping in mind the following tips:
- Avoid handing over product development to someone else or another firm, and if you do, make sure you supervise constantly.
- Implement regular checks and balances to reduce the level of risk involved. For example, if you decide to hire freelancers, hire multiple people so that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Enlist specialists instead of generalists. A jack-of-all-trades isn’t what you need right now.
- Always operate within your budget.
For service-focused entrepreneurs, the game is slightly different.
Your primary focus should be to have the necessary certificates and educational requirements. Search online job portals and freelance working platforms to find opportunities. Upwork and ProBlogger could be great places to start.
Step 7: Build a Reliable and Responsible Team
What’s the best way to scale your business and achieve all your organizational goals?
Have a good team.
One of the critical aspects of a growing business is delegating responsibilities to other people, whether a partner, employee, or freelancer. Here are a few tips to help you find the right team members:
State Your Goals Clearly
When your team members understand your vision and their role in helping you achieve it, they’ll make fewer errors.
Establish and Follow Hiring Protocols
Welcoming people to your team involves several processes, ranging from screening people, carrying out interviews, and having proper forms. This will help you create a more competent team.
Create a Strong Company Culture
Great company culture is all about respecting and empowering employees through training and mentorship. You don’t need futuristic decor or ping-pong tables (if you can afford that, that’s great!) but you do need a positive atmosphere where everybody feels welcomed and appreciated.
Step 8: Find a Business Location
One in four businesses that starts within the next 12 months will have a 100% remote workforce. But if you decide to open a brick-and-mortar retail business, you need to focus on getting the right location.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Demographics: Think about your customers and how they interact with your location. Does your target clientele frequent the potential location? Does your location reflect the image you’re trying to project?
- Foot Traffic: Monitor the foot traffic outside a potential location throughout the day. Do you see a couple of passers-by throughout the day? Or is it away from the public eye? Is there parking available?
- Business Community: The business community refers to the other businesses nearby that can bring you foot traffic. Is there a mall nearby? Are there restaurants where customers can go after shopping at your store?
- Competition: Contrary to popular belief, having competitors nearby isn’t always bad. Whatever your stand, you should be aware of whether or not you have competitors nearby before deciding on a location.
Research the history of the location as well. If other businesses have tried and failed in the space, find out why. And of course, always keep the cost in mind. Expenses like rent, cleaning services, insurance, and parking fees need to be considered.
Step 9: Work On Generating Sales
Start by listening to your potential customers to know their wants, needs, likes, and dislikes. Next, learn the art of asking for a commitment without being too pushy. In other words, don’t force your customers into buying goods from you, or they won’t return.
Moreover, you have to prepare yourself for hearing “NO“ too. Sad, I know.
People listen to your elevator pitch despite having no intention to buy simply because they’re polite. If they don’t end up buying from you, don’t get disheartened.
Grow your customer base and put out advertisements to find an audience to fit your business. At this point, you’ll also have to figure out the right sales funnel and strategy to generate leads and convert them into paying customers.
Sales and marketing are critical to building a successful business.
Step 10: Expand Your Business
You must have a growth plan if you want to earn and scale your business. Luckily, there are about a million ways to grow your company.
I’d highly recommend utilizing the power of social media through organic, influencer, and paid campaigns. Email marketing works equally well to create and nurture a dedicated customer base.
One of the key aspects of long-term growth is to have a dedicated customer base and reduce customer churn. All the efforts you put into nurturing your existing customers can be useful in the long run when they act as your repeat customers, ensuring revenue in the long run.
We’ve covered everything you need to know to start a business. Now you can prepare for the exciting adventure in front of you.
Taking the first step can feel a bit scary, but don’t fear. Take the plunge and launch your business–it’s a lot of fun!
Of course, you’ll find challenges and roadblocks along the way, but as long as you remain dedicated and driven, you can learn from your mistakes and climb higher up the ladder.
Don’t wait any longer!
YouTube Live is a vastly underutilized tool that should be in every marketer’s arsenal.
It’s easy to look at your Live video options and think that Facebook is enough, but that just isn’t so — not to say that Facebook Live isn’t important. It definitely is.
But people watch billions of hours of YouTube every day.
That means not using YouTube Live is like holding onto a winning lotto ticket until it expires. You wouldn’t do that, right?
Live video is such an effective marketing method that I believe everyone should be using it.
So I’m going to show you how to set up and effectively use YouTube Live to grow your business and convert viewers into leads.
The good news is that you can start producing effective Live content in a matter of minutes.
But first, you need to understand just how powerful Live video can be for your business.
Why Use YouTube Live Video?
Live video has been around for a few years, but many marketers still stick to the “tried-and-true” digital marketing methods like blog posts and social publishing.
This means they’re missing out on a huge stream of leads when they neglect live-streaming services.
80% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog post.
You’ll also notice that 70% would prefer to watch your Live video on YouTube.
So why aren’t you using it yet?
Most likely, you’ve found that YouTube Live isn’t quite the plug-and-play system that services like Facebook offer.
Facebook is easy!
Your audience is there, so it definitely doesn’t get any hate from me.
But you haven’t tapped into that 70% demographic yet, so you can see where the room for growth is.
There are a few more steps involved in YouTube broadcasts, and then comes the problem of figuring out how to actually drive leads.
Let’s start by getting you set up, and then I’ll show you how to start increasing your Youtube leads.
How to Use YouTube’s Live Video
To get started, log into your YouTube account and find your Live dashboard.
If you haven’t created a YouTube account yet, this guide will walk you through it.
Once you login, look for the Youtube broadcast button — it looks like a camera with a plus sign.
This will take you to YouTube studio — but you might not have access to the feature if you haven’t verified your account.
Use your phone number to get your verification code through text or an automated call.
Then enter the 6-digit code:
Once you verify, you’ll see your YouTube Live dashboard.
Don’t be overwhelmed.
There’s a lot of information to digest and optimize, so I want to walk you through the most important steps before we get into the tactics you’ll be using.
There are three ways to go live: mobile, webcam, and encoder. Here’s the difference between the different YouTube broadcast types:
This is a step-by-step guide to setting up your stream and going live.
You’ll start with encoding software, which is the biggest difference between YouTube and other popular streaming services. You need to find a third-party software to go Live.
Encoders compress your video and audio into a format that’s compatible with YouTube’s platform.
The added benefit is that this makes your content available to as wide an audience as possible. Whether your audience is on mobile, desktop, or tablet, they can see you!
YouTube has a recommended list of encoders that will allow you to stream everything from your Wii U to your smartphone.
Note to go live on mobile, you’ll need at least 100 subscribers — if you have less, then you’ll want to choose webcam.
If your goal is to stream some of your gaming, you’ll need to use an encoder rather than a live screen share on your PC.
The encoder you use depends on what you need, and you have plenty to choose from.
For example, let’s say you want to record an interview-style video from your webcam. Simple enough.
You’ll want to use an encoder like the open-source system calledOBS.
It’s easy, intuitive, and free.
There are more flexible options out there, but this is a good introduction to YouTube Live streaming.
A paid alternative would be something like VidBlasterX. Depending on what version you get, you’ll be able to stream in HD and have access to robust community support.
But let’s install OBS to keep things moving. Download it and go through the typical installation process.
Then click through a few more boxes until you get to one that looks like this:
Make sure you optimize for streaming. If you accidentally click the other option, it’s not the end of the world, but you want to make sure you’re ready to go with as little fuss as possible.
The next window to look for is one that looks like this:
You’ll need to make sure you set your stream type to Streaming Services.
The service you’re using is YouTube, obviously. And you’ll want to make sure you’re on the Primary YouTube ingest server.
Once you’ve settled all that, it’s time to click back to your YouTube channel and acquire your Stream Key from the Live Stream dashboard.
You’ll notice that my Stream Key is protected, and there’s a good reason for that.
You can actually stream on any channel you have the key for, so make sure you keep your key protected.
Now, you’ve set up your encoder, but you’re not quite ready to stream just yet.
You still need to add audio and video sources.
Otherwise, your audience will be watching a blank live stream while you’re fumbling to figure things out.
So, how do you add sources?
That’s easy. At the bottom of your encoder, you’ll see a toolbar that looks like this:
You’ll want to click on the plus icon in the box to add your audio and video sources. The results will look like this:
You’ll also be able to share a variety of items like images, text, or even screen share.
Before you click play, though, you’ll want to make sure your live stream’s information is optimized for your viewers.
Go back to your YouTube Dashboard and scroll down until you see this:
Input the proper title, information description, and set the category appropriately.
You likely won’t need to fiddle with the advanced settings just yet, so leave those be for now.
Now, after all that, you’re ready to get started!
On the right-hand side of the encoder toolbar, you’ll see a small menu:
The first option is to start streaming.
Click it, and then head back to YouTube.
If you’ve done everything right, you’ll see this:
That means you’re live streaming!
Share the link on your Dashboard to watch your audience grow.
How to Gain YouTube Leads with Live Video
You’ve set up YouTube Live, but now you need a strategy and content that will convert viewers into leads.
You still need to create actionable content, or else you’re just wasting your time.
Any content you create relies on the resources you pour into it; video is no different.
Plus,creating videos is an effective way to establish thought leadership, teach users about your product, and boost social proof.
But how do you do that with Live Video?
YouTube Broadcast Option 1: Host a Celebration
Who says business has to be boring? You have plenty of things to celebrate!
Maybe it’s your 10,000th customer, you just hired your 10th employee, or you’ve been in business for ten years.
Whatever the occasion, you can use Live video to spread the celebration to the world.
How does this work?
It’s pretty formulaic, so I’ll share it with you and then show you an example:
- Build excitement with announcements and social sharing.
- Plan the event. Coordinate what you want to say and share to keep everything engaging.
- Build a buzz. Share stories, failures, and successes. Build rapport with your audience.
- Broadcast. Go live!
- Post the highlights. Share your video in the following days and weeks with your followers.
Take this example from Results Fitness.
They built excitement with posts like this:
They even shared a four-part series of posts with success stories from their gym members over the years.
Then they went live for the pre-party before their official flash mob to build excitement.
They saw an immediate increase in membership sign-ups following the event. Pretty cool, right?
Just from sharing a big celebration, they were able to grow their bottom line and push into their 17th year with a win.
YouTube Broadcast Option 2: Be Interruptive
If your audience is used to reading your blog posts a Live video will come as an interruption to the pattern you’ve created.
If you’re doing the same thing every time, people get bored.
When they get bored, your competition will find them and steal them from you.
Instead, catch your followers by surprise with a live stream.
You’ll grab their attention like never before. You can also provide little touches, like including the office dog in your video, to keep the momentum going.
A great example of this is when Jason Carr, a news anchor from FOX 2 in Detroit, started live streaming from the back of a Cadillac on his way to a new job.
Only, his audience didn’t know he had a new job yet! As Carr said it, he was on his way to “parts unknown.”
It wasn’t until later that his audience realized that he was walking into a new job to meet his coworkers.
So use Live video to be interruptive and spice it up this week.
YouTube Broadcast Option 3: Engage Viewers
When you go Live, no matter the reason, do your best to interact and respond to comments.
I once watched a Live stream where a trusted professional was explaining a very technical and widely-discussed topic.
But he ignored the comments.
It was so infuriating to watch all the questions and inquiries go unnoticed and unaddressed. It made me want to turn the video off.
What if one of those questions leads to a sale?
Even if you need a moderator to help pose questions, it’s worth it to engage with your audience.
Or you can promise to go back and answer any unanswered questions after the fact.
Your goal is to keep the conversation flowing. Do that, and you’ll find yourself with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, workspace, and engage in future Live events.
YouTube Broadcast Option 4: Get Personal
Your audience wants to connect with you. That means your Live video shouldn’t be stuffy and formal.
Find ways to be open and honest about mistakes, or show them something cool about what you do every day.
Callaway Golf has a great example of a very personal Live video. They decided to live stream a walkthrough of the office of the famous golfer, Arnold Palmer.
They showed off some really cool memorabilia like this honorary jersey and an entire wall stuffed with golf clubs.
What a cool way to keep things personal, right? Keeping it real will help your audience listen to what you have to say.
Being open and honest about mistakes you’ve made will make people want to engage with you more.
Statements like “I tried to only rely on blogging, and it nearly killed my business. I want to share with you…” are golden.
You’re showing vulnerability. Your audience will love the highs and lows, and ask you to share more.
YouTube Broadcast Option 5: Offer Private Access
Our final way to drum up interest in your YouTube Live event is to share something so cool that your audience just has to be a part of it.
Like, send a rocket into space.
SpaceX has taken to using YouTube Live services to broadcast their highly-anticipated rocket launches, including sending Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster into space.
There’s nothing more exciting than getting to T-minus one minute and waiting for a rocket to blast into space.
Why not give people direct access to that event?
To make it even better, SpaceX includes a simple timeline to show you how far into the launch the rocket is.
Isn’t that just awesome?
I realize you probably won’t be launching any rockets into space.
But you do have your own exclusives and cool features that you can give your audience access to.
Start a stir about your new product launch, or offer exclusive info and require an RSVP from your followers.
Do what you can to create a community around your Live event and metaphorically boost your brand into space.
Then go Live and offer valuable, actionable content. Rinse and repeat.
YouTube Broadcast Option 6: Call Your Audience to Action
If you’re getting traffic, why stop there? Keep the momentum by asking your audience to do something.
I noticed when I was watching the SpaceX Live video that just before launch, when viewership would be at its peak, a small animation popped up that looked like this:
At the height of anticipation, they were asking me to Like and Subscribe! It was perfect, and I had to share.
There are plenty of ways to call your audience to action, though.
One great trick I like to use is to have a specialized landing page for my Live video.
I’ll invite my viewers to visit that specific URL to get something in return, like a consultation or helpful guide.
I also share that link in the video description and the chat section, just to make sure they can find the right link.
I do everything I can to keep momentum in a forward direction. If people like your content, they will want more.
Keep your audience moving with well-placed calls to action.
If you’re not using YouTube Live to generate leads, you’re missing out on a powerful tool for growing your brand.
Even if you’re using other live-streaming services like Facebook, you’re failing to tap into the millions of viewers that flock to YouTube every day.
This guide will help you set up YouTube Live and start streaming in a matter of minutes.
Use your new live-streaming capabilities to celebrate with your community, and remember to keep your persona approachable and honest. Disrupt your normal flow of content creation, or give your fans access to an exclusive or memorable event.
Above all, don’t forget your call to action. Your audience needs direction, and it’s up to you to give it to them.
What’s your favorite way to generate leads when you go Live?