8.1 Before You Go Live
Over the last few years, I've become more and more passionate about developing and following "systems" for all of the tasks I do. If you're anything like me, you're constantly bombarded by external incoming requests (emails, phone calls, texts, event and booking inquiries, social platform messages and comments, assigned tasks from your spouse or family and friends, home management, etc.) while desperately trying to keep all of your "creative brain" thoughts and ideas organized and executed.
The insanity of it all became too much for me, so I became a disciple of organization.
(Note - being organized was not an innate trait for me! I converted, because life became more manageable once I did.)
Some basic systems you can easily implement, but that you'll thank yourself for later: checklists, templates, and Standard Operating Procedures.
While I think it's worthwhile to develop procedures for everything you do regularly (at least until it becomes an ingrained habit), business systems are particularly helpful.
After learning, the hard way, what I often forget or overlook for my streams, I created a pre-show checklist.
(In this lesson's video, I mentioned testing your upload speed for peace of mind before you stream. In the past I have used an app for this on my mobile device called Speedtest)
I'm attaching mine below, which is probably only specifically relevant to me. It might be helpful for you, however, to review - and might serve as an example for one you could make for yourself.
The checklist keeps me on track when I'm running late, on little sleep, or am feeling resistant to meeting my weekly commitment to engage with my fans on Facebook.
Sometimes I'll get all set up and ready to go, have everything positioned just so, and realize I didn't draw down my curtain or bring my capo in from my guitar case from the shed in my backyard. So then I need to get up (putting everything away temporarily) to rectify the oversight, and then start all over, which delays the start of the stream and heightens my frustration.
Maybe you'll want to create a "promo" checklist for your livestreams.
Since I know many of us are Austin, TX Musicians, here's one I've been working on for myself:
- post to FB Page
- create a FB event
- send a mailing list broadcast
- post with relevant links to other social accounts
- post event to Austin 360 Virtual Concert Listings
- post event to Sun Radio "Sound of Our Town" Listings
- submit event to StayAtHomeFest Listings
- submit event to NPR Virtual Concert Listings
If you have fans in other time zones who might want to watch your stream, you can include this time zone converter link in your promo to help them calculate the time difference:
(If you're not in Austin, hopefully this will still help or get you brainstorming about finding online resources for virtual concert listings in your own community.)
Having these procedures and checklists created will make this undertaking more efficient and enjoyable, so I highly recommend you create some for yourself!
Here's my "FB Live Show Sheet" Template, which includes my pre-stream checklist as well as fields to fill out data for each stream. I use one of these each time I do a stream.
Here's my monthly recap template for 2019, to show you another way I track growth over time