“Level 3” Live Streamer Guide
First, let me go over a few basics. Then, we’ll cover the equipment you need to get started!
The 4 Levels of Live Streaming
There are 4 Levels of quality when it comes to live streaming video.
Level 1: The Selfie Stream
This is when you handhold your phone in a selfie style manner. It’s up close and personal, which is great, but you often get that “shaky cam” footage which can be disorienting to the viewer and not professional. We use this level ourselves when we are out and about, and for quick off the cuff streams.
Level 2: Mobile Plus
With Level 2, you can still use your phone, but you’ll add some gear to it so you get a more professional looking and sounding video. You’ll have better, more stable video, better audio, and better lighting.
Level 3: The Desktop
When you want to step it up another level, you can go LIVE from your computer, which is what we’re covering in THIS Guide. You’ll be able to have widescreen video, add images and pre-recorded video into your stream, add lower thirds (titles), graphics and more. If you want to do interviews on your show, this is where you start!
Even though you’re at Level 3, you should ALSO use Level 2 for your “random” streams (keep reading to learn more).
Level 4: The TV Show
If you’re REALLY serious about live streaming and have the budget to take it to the highest quality possible, then you’re ready for Level 4, which is TV quality streaming. You use a dedicated machine and can do everything you see on traditional broadcast TV. Without the massive studio and million dollar budgets they have!
Live Video Strategy
The most effective strategy for your live streaming is a 3 Part LIVE Formula.
Part 1: Consistency & Commitment
You need to think about your live streaming as both a “Know, Like & Trust” builder, and a marketing strategy.
When you do a consistent weekly (or monthly) live stream (known as a “LIVE show”), and you focus on VALUE and give to your audience.
You also want to be “YOUniquely You” to open up to your audience and allow them to connect to the HUMAN side of your brand/business.
Part 2: Life Streams
With random streams in addition to your LIVE “show”, you create a relationship with your followers and customers. You just “hang out” with your community.
This 3 Part LIVE Formula is a long term strategy that will deliver a COMMUNITY of people who trust you and are loyal. And who are going to be more likely to buy your products or services without you hard “selling”.
Part 3: After LIVE
This is your repurposing strategy. Your LIVE video is not ONLY live. It lives on after the live part is over. And you can do so much more with it to promote and repurpose!
There are multiple platforms available to you to go LIVE from. Including:
- Facebook LIVE (can use with Level 3)
- YouTube LIVE (can use with Level 3)
- Instagram Stories LIVE (can only use with Level 1 or 2)
Each offers its own benefits and drawbacks. If you already have a strong existing community in one of the platforms, then consider making that your LIVE home.
If there’s not a clear answer, start with Facebook LIVE. At this time, it offers the most advantages, and the most control over your streams.
Level 3 Equipment & Software
Remember, Level 3 is the ability to go LIVE from your desktop computer. You’ll be able to do online interviews, add words on your screen, do split screen or PIP, play recorded videos, etc.
You can use a PC or a Mac (depending on which software you choose).
Recommended Minimum Requirements:
- 3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
- 16GB RAM 1867MHz LPDDR3
- Dedicated video card Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 (or similar)
- 10Mbps or better upload bandwidth (call your ISP to increase)
Keep in mind these are our RECOMMENDED system specs. If you have a computer with LESS than these specs, you MAY be able to run the software required for Level 3. It CAN be done.
However! Realize that….
- You will be taxing your computer
- The fan will run constantly
- You’ll most likely max out the CPU… in other words, it’ll work harder than is good for it – which is bad for the computer’s life.
- It could even shut down in the middle of your LIVE stream.
- If you work your computer too hard too often, it WILL die a premature death, and you’ll have the expense of a new computer anyway.
It’s like asking a 30 year old man to work 100 hours/week for a year. He will wind up in the hospital.
Our goal is to help you run a SUCCESSFUL LIVE show! For a long time consistently, without many of the issues that come up randomly (and often) with less powerful hardware.
We recommend using Wirecast software. It’s available for both PCs and Macs. It’s also going to be the most stable and feature rich option at Level 3.
You can also use OBS, which is free and open sourced. But like anything you pay “free” for, you will experience frustrations sometimes. For example, it may not always work the way you want it to. It may not do everything you want it to.
And one day… if Facebook or Periscope changes something on their end… it may just plain not work. And then you can’t deliver your live stream and you’ll have to scramble to figure something else out.
Want a Countdown Clock in Wirecast or OBS? Here’s a tutorial on how to do that, with a Free Download of a countdown clock we created for you!
You may also hear about free or paid web-based options like Be Live, Huzza, or BlueJeans.
WORD OF CAUTION:
The same issues I described above are true of these web-based platforms.
If you want a PROFESSIONAL stream you have full control over, and that you can brand as YOU, not some third party company, and you want to stand out from the crowd of people doing the minimum they can to get by… you need to invest in Wirecast.
Now that you understand the basics of what it takes to live stream at Level 3, you have the gear and software you need to make it a more professional looking stream to stand out from the crowd, and you know what the possibilities are when you’re ready to upgrade…
Step 1: TAKE ACTION!
- Too many people learn, think, but never put the knowledge into action
- Start going LIVE immediately!
- Order the gear you need, but don’t wait for that to come
- Don’t wait for everything to be perfect
Start with Level 1 (the Selfie Stream) while you’re waiting on your gear to arrive.
Get used to the act of hitting that “Go LIVE” button!
(yep, that’s a little cue from Nike’s awesome #JustDoIt slogan!)
Step 2: BECOME A PRO!
Our goal is to make you a LIVE Streaming Pro! To help you learn how to take control of your LIVE marketing efforts and:
- Get more exposure
- Become known as an expert in your industry
- Get more engagement
- Create loyal customers
- Get more sales
We’ll teach you how!
How We Can Help
When you’re ready to take the next step and dig into the HOW of LIVE video, here’s how we can help:
We have self-guided courses that you can take at your own pace. All the information you need in one place.
- Coming Soon!
Apply our training with very specific advice to YOUR business and YOUR unique situation.
Coaching calls can be booked here.
Let us do it for you
If you’d rather concentrate on what you do best, and not worry about the technical stuff, we’ll:
- Come to YOU
- Get you situated with a proper “set” (in whatever space you have)
- Setup the right equipment and teach you (or a staff member) how to use it
And if there’s something you think you’d LIKE, but isn’t listed here, just email us and let’s talk (firstname.lastname@example.org)!