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It can happen that fast.

“Going live in 5… 4… 3…”

Never were more terrifying words spoken! The idea of being on a live video, in the next five seconds or the next five months, can be daunting and even terrifying. I always encourage preparation to help soothe those pre-live jitters.

That said, the time will come when you know you’re ready to start a livestream broadcast. The content is gold, the timing is ripe, and the audience is ready. So if you know you need to get a livestream up and running in short order, you absolutely can! There are really only about four things you’ll need to get off to a great start.

4 Things

  • iphone-smartphone-apps-gif-livestream

    Your smartphone and its apps is your primary tool for livestreaming on the fly.

    Smartphone. Those wondrous mini-computers we hold in our hands not only give us access to the world wide web; they also are fully-fledged mobile studios which you can use to create content. Just make sure your battery is fully charged and that your cameras (on both sides) are clean.

  • Wifi. To broadcast in real-time, your phone will need access to the signal which lets the broadcast be carried forth. Livestreaming apps will typically not allow you to start a broadcast unless the signal is strong enough to at least get started.
  • Apps which allow livestreaming. The most popular apps you can use to instantly livestream are Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, Instagram, and Busker. For each, you’ll need to create a profile (free), and then the apps walk you through how to start a broadcast within just a few steps.
  • Earbud microphone. You’ll hear me say it repeatedly: your audience will forgive a crappy video if the audio is decent. After all, many people may start a livestream and then simply listen to what is being said, so use the microphone your cell phone carrier included in your smartphone package to be heard loud and clear.

The Helpful Extras

  • Selfie stick. Your arm is a perfectly acceptable means of holding and positioning your smartphone’s camera, but a selfie stick gives you so much in leverage and range. You can shoot your video from more extreme angles, plus save your arm the fatigue of being extended at length for your longer broadcasts.
  • aaron-roth-rachel-moore-selfie-ring-light-arkon-mount-denver-livestream

    Aaron Roth (left) and Rachel Moore (right) livestream in a dark bar using the selfie ring lights.

    Ring light. You aren’t always going to be in pristine daylight (or even good lighting for your subject), so having a quick fix for a dark or dim environment can save a broadcast. I adore my selfie ring light from Arkon Mounts, and you will, too! (Use REALLYSOCIAL to get 20% off their website.)

  • Tripod/Mount. If you don’t need to hold your device for the broadcast, use a tripod or device mount to create a steady shot while you roam free in the shot range. I always love the octopus-style mounts, which you can attach to just about anything to create an effective angle.  (Arkon is also a great resource for these helpful items.)

The more comfortable you get with livestreaming, the more you’ll want to add on the extras for a superior broadcast.


If you’re in Denver this October and want to learn more about how to livestream, don’t miss our workshop: “From Broadcast to Podcast!” A few seats are still available, so sign up today.


What are your favorite tools for going live? Comment below!


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