The most amazing thing about live streaming is how the tools empower me. I’m able to broadcast a studio-type show with little effort.
Back when I worked for ABC, I worked with millions of dollars of equipment and large production staff. No one speculated that we’d one day have the power of a broadcast station available to us for a few thousand dollars.
I’ve even broadcasted online using my iPhone. The power and quality in my phone exceed that of WLSU-TV’s studio, where I cut my teeth years ago at university. The equipment we have is marvelous.
But having great equipment at my disposal doesn’t alter the one thing that can’t be bought. An audience’s interest.
Finding Your Audience
We can all create content. But if no one is on the other side of the broadcast, why produce?
There is a big warning on the opposite side of the spectrum too. Altering your content to draw in an audience will dissolve your passion for the project. Too often creators shift what they are doing for the sake of numbers.
They soon realize their work lacks the innate message that energized their beginnings. Creators lose sight of what got them out of bed in the morning. They forget the importance of why they launched their show.
If you have an audience of 500,000 fans, you can create most of the moderate projects that pop into your head. Half that number of viewers have launched many careers. But how do you find the people that support your dreams?
Dreaming in a Bubble
I’ve written 14 books and published five. My first book sold two copies. Two people I didn’t know bought my book. It was my most heartfelt work and none of my family or friends bought it.
The book failed. It took many hours to write from the depths of my soul and I couldn’t find more than two people interested in the topic. The book came from my heart, not from the needs of an audience.
I realized that there was a fine line between writing what you know and finding the right audience.
With live streaming, you put your heart into your show and then wonder how to get it to the right audience. Where do they exist? It makes me wonder if I dream dreams inside of a bubble.
Social Media Marketing
Some suggest I step up my social media push. The experts tell me that I need to publish promotions 40 times per week. That effort would take me 3-times more effort than the creation of the content.
There are shortcuts to trim back the amount of time required. But I struggle with spending twice the production time on promoting a show. Especially since I’m a creator and not someone who wants to spend more time selling.
A few folks get a satisfying break. One of their social media clips goes viral. Overnight several million people know their content exists.
Somehow the audience found them. Life changes and they can hire a staff to handle social media marketing. Their proverbial train soon heads down the track at faster and faster speeds.
They have to consider creating what’s in their heart or derivative content for the audience.
Fun vs. Life-Changing Content
I’ve talked with dozens of streamers who make 6, 7, and 8-figure salaries. Few of them held tight to their passion and content. Most changed directions for bigger paychecks.
One woman was passionate about her dream content. She believed the ideas were a gift from God. She made $120,000 a year promoting what she called her “life-changing” content.
Then, one of her off-the-wall videos went viral and life changed.
She now produces off-the-wall videos and makes over $3 million a year. When I asked about her early passionate content, she clarifies that no one supported it. She now focuses on what people support.
You can bet that I will never write a deeply passionate book again since only two people bought my first book. It doesn’t make sense to put in hundreds of hours for two people.
Find A Supportive Audience
This is where life gets tough. Lamont Boyd and I have been “helping” fathers for three years. We’ve been sharing on our live streaming show, “Just 2 Dads Talking.”
I’ve also worked with Christine Crow and Marty Jalove. We’ve been creating a show to help develop good communicators and leaders. The show is “Brown Bag’n It.”
Neither show has broken even. Both shows will get canceled by noon on Christmas Eve. Well, unless we get enough funds to extend the shows.
But, finding donors or sponsors within the next two weeks seems unrealistic.
We weren’t able to build a sizable audience with our mere start-up funds. Nothing we did went viral to catch the attention of supportive fans. Nor have the fans spread word about the shows.
Surviving in this media-rich society is all about building an audience. You either find your audience and they support you, or you don’t. We did not.
This is my last entry on my live streaming journey—unless a miracle happens before noon on Christmas Eve.
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