So You Want To Do A Live Show? Part 2

selective focus photography of gray stainless steel condenser microphone

I covered a few things in an earlier post, but more things came up recently that I’m going to go over here.

I’ve been doing my YouTube channel for about two years now. As of this writing, I’ve done approximately 153 videos and live streams on my own channel. I’ve also done approximately 148 (and counting!) videos and/or live streams on other people’s channels. I’ve done almost as many videos and shows with other people on their channels as I have done my own videos and shows on my own channel.

Here’s some things I have learned along the way and mind you, your experience and mileage may vary with what I have to say:

  1. Be a good host when hosting your own show. Ask your guest(s) beforehand what is okay to talk about and what isn’t. You would be surprised with what is acceptable and what isn’t. It’s a no-brainer, but if they don’t want to talk about something, for whatever reason, don’t go there. Same applies when you are a guest. If there is something you would rather not talk about, bring it up with your host(s) before the show begins.
  2. Be a good guest on your host’s show. Most likely, if you’re “doing it right,” the host approached you and asked you to be on their show. When people approach me to be on their show(s) whether it’s a one time/one shot deal, or if I’m asked to return on a semi-regular basis, or even to become a co-host with somebody, I always try to keep in mind that it is their channel, it is their show. Personally, I want to be the best guest I can be for them. I want them to have enjoyed having me on their show and if they so desire, it would be great to have another opportunity to be on their show again. Their show is about them, even when I’m the guest.
  3. Do the work. Yeah, you’ve heard guys saying this one all the time, but when it comes to having guests, I normally like to know what I’m getting myself into. Do you have content I can check out? Do you have a channel of your own? Have you been on other shows that I can watch you in and see how you interact with others? When I first started my channel, nobody wanted to have me on and that’s because nobody knew me. I had no content, no presence, no nothing. Why would anyone really want to take a chance on me? So I created content. A lot of content. Not because I was hoping to get on a show, but because I liked doing it. I would still be doing it right now, even if nobody ever asked me to be on their shows. But I have content. I have videos that anyone can go and check out and then they have a good idea of what they are getting themselves into if they decide to have me on their show. They know I swear. A lot. If that’s an issue (see #2) I’ll tone it down to the best of my ability. Some guys have zero issue with me swearing and I’m free to “let it all hang out.” Sometimes they would prefer I take it down a notch or two and so I try and accomodate them. I’m on their show right? Their show, their rules. While I’m at it, research your host(s)/guest(s). See who they’ve been on with in the past. What was good about them together? What was their dynamic? What can you take from their interactions and use for yours at a later date and time? Remember, some shows are very loose, relaxed, and fluid. Others are more structured.
  4. Have a good resolution camera, a solid internet connection, a good microphone, and ideally a good background. (See my prior post for more information.) You want your potential host and/or guest to take you seriously? You need to take them and yourself seriously in turn. At least when it comes to gear and etiquette.
  5. If you want to remain anonymous and not show your face, that is fine. However, you better know your topics and you better bring something more to the table. Most people when they watch a live stream want to see your face. They want to see you laughing, rolling your eyes, you rubbing the bridge of your nose, or drinking a beer. In short, they want to connect with you. It’s hard to do that with only a voice and an avatar to go off of. In all the time I’ve been doing and being a part of shows, there’s only been two guys who can truly pull the anonymous thing off brilliantly. That’s Carl from BlackLabelLogic, and Tim Keefe. Unless you can talk about things like they do, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Not saying it isn’t possible, but doing the anonymous thing is a handicap, so keep it in mind.

Now that I’ve covered some essential “do’s” let’s cover a couple of essential “don’ts.”

  1. Don’t ask or beg to be on a show. Showing up in the chat and publicly asking to be brought on looks needy and desperate. Same goes with private messaging that person about being on their show. If they want to have you on, they’ll ask you. If they don’t ask you, it’s not always personal. It may not be about you. Maybe they have certain topics or guests that they want to have on and having you on at the same time would be disrespectful to the other guest(s) or a conflict of interest. Maybe you don’t know enough about the topic in question. Then again, maybe you haven’t done enough work. I’m not trying to brag or flex, but I’ve never asked anyone publicly or privately to be on their shows. They’ve all reached out to me. I figured if they wanted to have me on, they’ll reach out to me and eventually they did. But I never asked them first.
  2. Don’t become “overly familiar” with a guest or a host. You were asked to be on a show? Great! You follow each other on social media? Fantastic! That doesn’t necessarily make you best friends, and that doesn’t give you carte blanche for their attention. Guys that I’ve met in real life, guys I’ve sat down with, broke bread with, and had drinks with in the real world? They’ve got “time in.” They did the work, they did the “heavy lifting” with me. They’ve proven themselves to me. Those guys could ask a lot from me and I would most likely do it. The thing is, those guys wouldn’t ask me to do something that they could do themselves.  Unless I’ve met you personally, or had you on a show with me multiple times, or I’ve been on your show with you multiple times, dude, I don’t know you. I’m not your personal messenger or your personal errand boy, and I’m not your personal army. You want to get in touch with someone that I know? Do the work and reach out to them yourself. I’m not here to pass notes along like we are in third grade. We’re all adults now, so put on your “big boy panties” and do the work and reach out yourself if you are looking for their attention. Don’t drag me into whatever it is that you are hoping to do. It’s off-putting. Don’t get me wrong, I may like you and think you are okay, but don’t assume we are “besties” because we ain’t. Just do the work. “Put the time in.”

So there you have it. Try these things out and see how they work for you. and if you’re doing the things that are “don’ts,” you should probably stop doing those. If you are in this for more than just a laugh, realize that it takes time, lots of work, lots of content, and it probably won’t happen “overnight.”

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