Planning for a Launch
This is going to be a big year for me. I’ve found my focus and developed some really cool programs to help me get my ideas out to my community.
I’ve spent most of First Quarter working on my marketing plans and how I’m going to launch all these new programs. I’ve done my research and watched all the people I love to follow as they’re launching their offers and I noticed a big change in how things work for small businesses.
A marketing plan is no longer about just looking for ways to grow your email list. It’s not about how many promotional emails you send telling them how your program solves their problems.
And it’s definitely not about how many messages you post on your fan page or tweets you send out to your followers.
It would be easier to go that route if we had thousands of people on our email lists or a million followers who click Like and comment to every post we put out in the social world. But it’s just not that easy for small business owners.
I know that we’re all out there on our social sites, doing our best to post relevant content and stay engaged but these days, you just need more than scheduling 10 tweets per day and chatting with folks in Facebook groups.
You need to work harder at getting yourself out there and engage in person. Gone are the days when you can just connect to someone because of a post you put up on your fan page.
Now that ‘know-like-trust’ factor is based on whether your community met you online. If they got a chance to see your smiling face doing some sort of live streaming thing, talking about who you are and what you do.
I know that I’m not the only one who gets this – think about the increase in videos that you’re seeing on Facebook. It’s nothing fancy with a studio background and graphics that fly into the screen. Folks are just sitting in their offices recording themselves with their phones in their hands.
The ‘know-like-trust’ factor is now about engaging in real time.
I get this. And as I’m moving through my launching process and learning about the best ways to really move people through my sales funnel, I totally get this idea and why it’s so important to the growth of my business.
And for this reason alone, this is why I am so excited about learning how to use Blab!
What is a Blab?
If you haven’t had a chance to watch or participate in Blab, let me start from the beginning.
Blab is a live streaming program that’s like a social media version of a visual podcast.
You’re able to video chat with up to four people at one time. Viewers click into the Blab to watch your live stream and they can actively participate in the conversation by leaving comments on the left hand side of the desktop version or below the screen in the Apple-based mobile version.
And if one of the seats is open during the Blab, the host can bring in a viewer to participate in the conversation. They can ask their questions and engage in an exchange of ideas, all in real time.
This screenshot is from a Blab where I was the guest in the Badass Branding Blab with Dre Beltrami and Lou Bortone – Let’s talk Pinterest. If you want to see the whole interview, check it out here.
It’s really pretty cool how Blab has put the social back into the interactions you can have with your community. This program takes your engagement so far past the usual Like button or the ‘thanks for the share’ tweet.
It gives your audience an opportunity to really get to know you. They get to see you in real time and watch you talking about what you know and how you can help them.
How to Blab
Having only done a few Blabs, I’m still working through the learning curve myself of how this whole Blab thing works. From what I’ve seen so far, this program is super easy to use and it doesn’t take much to get your Blab up and going.
Let me share with you what I’ve learned about how to Blab:
1. Set up Your account – just like any other social program, you’ll need to set up an account to be able to use the live streaming features. And the easiest way to sign in is to use your Twitter account. Blab is connected with Twitter and allows your Twitter followers to be integrated with your Blab account.
2. Check your Blab bio – if you sign in using your Twitter account, you’ll want to view your profile in case you need to make any changes. Blab bios have a smaller character count than Twitter and if it pulls in your Twitter profile, some of your message could be cut off.
3. Test your audio and video – before you spend anytime thinking about what you’re going to Blab about, test out the program by clicking the Start a Blab button in the top right corner. Since you didn’t promote this, no one will be watching this but you. So spend some time clicking around the program, hit the record button and see how the whole thing works.
Once you’re done testing your mic and video, stop the recording and watch the replay of your test. Watch to see if you need to make any changes with your mic or if you had any issues with your webcam. Once you’ve reviewed your test, you can delete or – as the program refers to it – hide your Blab from your subscribers.
To hide your Blab, just look for your Blab in the Replay section. Hover your mouse over the Replay image and you’ll see a white circle with three dots (…), just click this and select Hide Blab. Once hidden, you’ll see the message, “This blab is currently hidden and only visible to you”.
4. Schedule your Blab – when you’re ready to start your Blab, click on the Start a Blab button in the top right corner. You’ll see a screen where you can set up your Blab, using the following steps to help others find your event:
- Type in your Title – be sure to use keywords as your title will also be your URL for people to find your Blab.
- Add in tags – these tags or keywords will help your Blab show up as an option when someone runs a search for your topic.
- Add a custom image – you can use a custom image as the cover image for your Blab. The dimensions for the cover image are 1000px x 1000px.
- Public or unlisted – unless you want to have a private conversation, you’ll want to hit the Public button.
- When do you want to go live – click on the In the Future button.
When you’re ready to schedule your Blab, click on the purple button and you’ll see the areas to add in the time and date of the Blab. If all looks good and you’re ready to go, click the purple Schedule Blab button.
5. Pre-Promote your Blab – as with any of the marketing you do, promote your Blab to let people know they can join you for your live streaming event. Here’s some ideas to help you get the word out:
- Tell a little bird – remember that connection that Blab has with Twitter? Blab makes it easy for you to tweet out your Blab by clicking on your Blab’s ‘Tell a little bird’ link. This will go out to your Twitter followers so don’t forget to use your top hashtags and add in the date and time of your Blab.
- Twitter – don’t just use Blab’s twitter feature. Make sure that you schedule in at least 10 tweets a few days before your Blab to get the word out to all your followers.
- Facebook groups – make a smaller version of your cover image and use that to promote your Blab to your Facebook groups.
- Send an email to your list – this is the best place to reach your most targeted fans. Send them a message to let them know you’ll be live on Blab where you can answer any of their questions or connect with you outside of your weekly newsletters.
6. Blab tips for going live – before you jump into the Blab, make sure you do the following to ensure that your time online goes smoothly:
- Make sure you have an agenda. This was a BIG thing that I learned with my first couple of Blabs! You’ll be surprised at how quick the time goes when you’re doing a Blab so it helps to have an agenda written out to keep you on track and to make sure you hit all the points you want to talk about.
- Let your audience know what you’re going to talk about, how they can ask questions and when you’ll do a live Q&A with the people subscribed to your event.
- During your Blab, don’t forget your viewers! It’s great to welcome people at the beginning of the Blab, either on the air or in the comments section.
- And don’t forget the reason that you’re doing a Blab – encourage viewer participation with you and if you brought on any guests. Ask your viewers questions, even something simple like where they live and they can answer in the comments section.
- If you’re up to it and want to take your engagement to the next level, invite one of the viewers into an empty seat so they can interact live with you and ask their questions.
- Make sure that you have an end time and let your viewers when you get close to wrapping up your Blab.
- And don’t forget to include a call-to-action link at the end of the Blab where the viewers can get more information about how they can connect with you after the Blab has ended. Great options for a call-to-action include a link to your email opt-in, contact page where they can schedule a Discovery Call with you or the link to your latest offer.
As you can see, there’s quite a lot of stuff that you need to do when you host your first Blab.
But if you spend a little time pre-planning your Blab, you can make sure that your live streaming experience runs smoothly. Your audience will get some great value while they get a chance to engage with you leading your connections into that ‘know-like-trust’ thing that we’re all looking for.
PS What if you could find a way to grow your presence in your social sites? And what if it didn’t add hours to your already crazy day? What if it took just 30 minutes a few times a week?
Click here to learn more how to manage your social sites with the 30 Minute Social Sessions workbook.