Online video is a terrific way for doctors to connect with patients and potential new patients. One of the best ways today to do this is by going on a live stream.
Video is great as it allows you to create a human connection. Live-streaming takes it up a notch more.
Here are a few tips to prepare for your first live-stream video.
Choose Your Platform
For most physicians, Facebook should be the platform of choice for live stream video.
You’ll want to spend a few minutes becoming familiar with the interface, buttons, comments, etc… before going live for the first time.
It’s helpful to spend some time watching the live streams of others to get some useful ideas.
Prepare Your Topic and Conversation Flow
I don’t recommend creating a script, but putting together an outline of your main points will help you come across like a pro.
If you’ve been building your online marketing platform already, you should have several ideas of topics to cover. Just like with creating blog posts, I recommend addressing frequent questions your patients ask you.
Don’t feel pressure to make your live stream last a long time, or go into a lot of detail. It’s more about sharing some helpful information and providing an example of your knowledge and expertise. This helps establish a lot of trust and credibility in the minds of patients.
Start with Selfie Streaming
Many professional bloggers/vloggers have very expensive setups. But as you’re getting started, your smartphone will do just fine. The audio and video built into most of today’s smartphones are more than adequate for what you need.
The selfie stream is the easiest way to get started, and that’s really the goal.
Another advantage of just using your smartphone – it creates a more personal and authentic feel, which is great for establishing connections.
Schedule Your Live Stream Video
The most important part of this is making sure you actually go live. So schedule some time when you know you won’t run into a conflict. I recommend blocking off 30 minutes to be on the safe side.
Once you have the time planned, use your email and social channels to let people know when you’ll be going live, and what you’ll be covering.
This is the fun part! Once you make it through your first live stream, the next ones become much more comfortable.
Right before you go live, you’ll want to check a few things like lighting and the phone battery to make sure you’re good to go. It’s also a good idea to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode when you go live (don’t ask me how I learned this).
Once you go live, don’t sit and wait for the first person to appear. More people will end up watching the replay than your live video. The last thing you want them to see is you sitting awkwardly staring at the camera in silence for a minute.
Go ahead and start the live stream by introducing yourself, talking about your day, etc…, and then get into the actual topic within the first 60-90 seconds, regardless of how many people you have on at the time.
Feel free to open it up for Q&A, as that’s a great way to connect with people. But I recommend waiting until you’ve gone through your topic first.
When you’re done and ready to wrap it up, you’ll want to thank everyone for showing up and end with a smile.
You’ll then want to save the video of your live stream so that you can repurpose it later.
Have an Experimental Mindset
If you’re just getting started, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a lot of people on the live stream at first. It takes time and consistency to build up a good viewership.
The best way I’ve found to address things like this is to have an experimental mindset.
Commit to doing live video for a specific amount for time, no matter what. For example, I will do a live stream every week for the next 12 weeks on Thursdays at 7 PM.
Once you reach the end of your experiment, you can decide if you want to keep going (and if you’re serious about digital marketing, you’ll want to keep going).
The first several live streams may feel awkward, but once you get through them and establish traction, you may find that you really love it. But even more important, your audience may, and it will lead to even more patients.