I’ll be telling my stories on Sundays

telling my stories

By Mark W. Schaefer

The hottest social media trend is live-streaming video. It seems like everybody is trying to figure out how to give behind-the-scenes peeks and on-the-fly insights. It’s a great new technology — I’m a big fan of Blab and have done a few Facebook live and Periscope events.

But with this opportunity comes a new pressure to “perform” on camera. The most successful live-streaming folks seem to be part news broadcaster, part entertainer, as they find ways to be witty and interesting on a little screen.

I’ve always been a social media enthusiast (obviously!) and love figuring out how all this stuff can be used to benefit a business. I’ve found that to teach and really know social media, you need to DO it, and streaming video is no different.

But I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. I’m not sure I’m a streaming kind of guy.

Islands in the stream

The other night I was attending a concert with my wife. We have a spectacular venue here in Knoxville, TN, and I was excited about seeing one of my favorite artists, Ben Harper. All the ingredients for a great live-streaming story, right? It would have been cool to show people where I was, what I was doing, and the buzz and beauty of the concert hall.

I turned on Periscope and pointed my smartphone at my spectacular surroundings. But I could not push the “record” button.

What was I doing? I was turning my attention away from a nice night out with my wife … to do what? I was pushing myself out of the moment. Instead of enjoying the experience, I was about to perform. It just did not feel right.

I also was self-conscious. People around me were taking photos and selfies of course… but it seemed strange to walk around through the crowd talking to a smartphone over my head.

It’s just not me.

And that’s OK.

Telling my stories on Sundays

Every Sunday morning I get up about 6 a.m. and put on a pot of coffee. The house is quiet and I’m undisturbed. I crank up the computer and start blogging. This has been my ritual for years. In about three hours I can put out a couple of good posts from the ideas I’ve gathered throughout the week.

Alone in my soft leather chair, I don’t have any pressure to perform. I teach in my own way, on my own time, without worrying about entertaining a live audience or finding a way to be goofy.

This is how I tell my stories. In fact, this how I love to tell my stories.

Writing is not only my love, it’s also my gift. And how many people find those two things in one place? I’m a lucky guy.

The point of this post is that it’s OK to not do everything, to chase every shiny red ball. In fact, chasing every new technology might be the biggest waste of time in the social media space! Recent shiny red balls: Meerkat, Ello, Quora, Path. If you spent time becoming the experts in those areas, you’re probably regretting it today.

I think we all need to know enough about the opportunities and pitfalls of new platforms to assess the relevance for our internal and external customers. I’ll continue to experiment with live video, especially Blab and Facebook. But for now, I’ll still be telling my stories on Sundays.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Cameron Bathory

 

SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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  • maryroselyons

    But aren’t you mixing up the personal and the business? I’d frankly not be that interested to see what you’re up to with your wife of an evening (!), but I’d be interested in your Sunday morning thoughts as your business self. One you’d be pushing out on your FB profie, the other on your Page?

  • maryroselyons

    But aren’t you mixing up the personal and the business? I’d frankly not be that interested to see what you’re up to with your wife of an evening (!), but I’d be interested in your Sunday morning thoughts as your business self. One you’d be pushing out on your FB profie, the other on your Page?

  • RandyBowden

    “If It Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit”

  • RandyBowden

    “If It Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit”

  • MaureenMonte

    To thine own self be true. We value your Sunday stories!

  • MaureenMonte

    To thine own self be true. We value your Sunday stories!

  • This post came at just the right time. I’ve been on the road for three weeks (NOT usual for me!) and am behind on everything. I usually start my Monday feeling ready to get going and instead I’m feeling overwhelmed. So thank you for the reminder that we don’t need to out run locomotives or catch bullets in our hands. Okay, I’ll stop before I start singing, I gotta be me. LOL

  • This post came at just the right time. I’ve been on the road for three weeks (NOT usual for me!) and am behind on everything. I usually start my Monday feeling ready to get going and instead I’m feeling overwhelmed. So thank you for the reminder that we don’t need to out run locomotives or catch bullets in our hands. Okay, I’ll stop before I start singing, I gotta be me. LOL

  • You and me, both, Mark. I tell my stories on Sundays too. I do believe there is a time and place for Facebook live video, especially if you’re one to crave being in front of a camera. But as you mentioned, why not enjoy your time with the people you are with and have a much more meaningful experience?

  • You and me, both, Mark. I tell my stories on Sundays too. I do believe there is a time and place for Facebook live video, especially if you’re one to crave being in front of a camera. But as you mentioned, why not enjoy your time with the people you are with and have a much more meaningful experience?

  • Pingback: Keep pumping… | Silence the Mind()

  • Beautiful sentiment Mark. And a nice reminder to not let ourselves feel pressured into being active in all the latest marketing trends. Getting ourselves out of our comfort-zone a bit can be good… but if it’s not a comfortable fit, it probably won’t be a successful platform for you anyway.

  • Beautiful sentiment Mark. And a nice reminder to not let ourselves feel pressured into being active in all the latest marketing trends. Getting ourselves out of our comfort-zone a bit can be good… but if it’s not a comfortable fit, it probably won’t be a successful platform for you anyway.

  • I am the brand. Just one me. But your point is well taken.

  • I am the brand. Just one me. But your point is well taken.

  • I’ve never been comfortable in a “me me me” setting : )

  • Very true and well said Jacqui!

  • I’ve never been comfortable in a “me me me” setting : )

  • Very true and well said Jacqui!

  • Thanks Mark!

  • Thanks Mark!

  • I just had this conversation at SMMW with two other social media marketers – I, too, am a writer first. When I want to share an experience or teach others, it isn’t natural for me to whip out my phone, hit record and start talking to myself. I write. My ideas flow on paper. Don’t get me wrong, I can talk your ear off with ease…but using FB Live & Periscope put me out of my comfort zone. After attending the conference, though, I have decided to make more of an effort to utilize these options for myself (and for clients), but my go-to will always be writing. *Oh, and on another note, I am notorious for the “wait and see” approach to new media. It puts me behind the others that jumped on it during its infancy but it saves me a lot of time & effort if it bombs…I thought I was the only one but it appears that I’m not – HA! Thanks for sharing this insight & for the opportunity to introduce myself to you in CA – I appreciate your time!

  • I just had this conversation at SMMW with two other social media marketers – I, too, am a writer first. When I want to share an experience or teach others, it isn’t natural for me to whip out my phone, hit record and start talking to myself. I write. My ideas flow on paper. Don’t get me wrong, I can talk your ear off with ease…but using FB Live & Periscope put me out of my comfort zone. After attending the conference, though, I have decided to make more of an effort to utilize these options for myself (and for clients), but my go-to will always be writing. *Oh, and on another note, I am notorious for the “wait and see” approach to new media. It puts me behind the others that jumped on it during its infancy but it saves me a lot of time & effort if it bombs…I thought I was the only one but it appears that I’m not – HA! Thanks for sharing this insight & for the opportunity to introduce myself to you in CA – I appreciate your time!

  • Chris Handy

    Great post, Mark. Especially that you got to see Ben Harper. He’s fantastic. I don’t ever want to be watching life pass me by through a viewfinder or worse, watching it later on a saved stream. Living in the moment is key. I have all but stopped trying to document concerts (and other life events). That being said… I really like co-hosting a weekly Blab show because it keeps me accountable for content creation on a weekly basis even when I get busy. It happens on a certain day, at a certain time with another person. I think Blab is currently in its own category; and FB, Periscope and the others are in another. The latter are currently more focused on the type of experiential content or one-to-many content that you describe.

  • Chris Handy

    Great post, Mark. Especially that you got to see Ben Harper. He’s fantastic. I don’t ever want to be watching life pass me by through a viewfinder or worse, watching it later on a saved stream. Living in the moment is key. I have all but stopped trying to document concerts (and other life events). That being said… I really like co-hosting a weekly Blab show because it keeps me accountable for content creation on a weekly basis even when I get busy. It happens on a certain day, at a certain time with another person. I think Blab is currently in its own category; and FB, Periscope and the others are in another. The latter are currently more focused on the type of experiential content or one-to-many content that you describe.

  • So glad you’re here. Thanks for commenting Krista! As I said in my closing keynote, it makes sense to wait and see.

  • So glad you’re here. Thanks for commenting Krista! As I said in my closing keynote, it makes sense to wait and see.

  • You know, I truly love Blab. I hope it makes it. Solves a lot of problems. Thanks for sharing Chris.

  • You know, I truly love Blab. I hope it makes it. Solves a lot of problems. Thanks for sharing Chris.

  • I feel and enjoy the same passion with live streaming. Social offers something for everyone and it’s a fun adventure isn’t it? Great chatting at #SMMW16 🙂

  • I feel and enjoy the same passion with live streaming. Social offers something for everyone and it’s a fun adventure isn’t it? Great chatting at #SMMW16 🙂

  • maryroselyons

    You’re in the same sitch as me so… I am me on Twitter, never bothered to create a work me… so people need to take the weekend stuff with the weekday… that just evolved as I was using Twitter personally before it became a business tool… but maybe you could use FB lists to make different audiences, and broadcast to your business audience using Live… ?

  • maryroselyons

    You’re in the same sitch as me so… I am me on Twitter, never bothered to create a work me… so people need to take the weekend stuff with the weekday… that just evolved as I was using Twitter personally before it became a business tool… but maybe you could use FB lists to make different audiences, and broadcast to your business audience using Live… ?

  • An awful lot of fundamentals have been forgotten in the wake of the user-generated content revolution. A prime example: most people simply aren’t videogenic.

  • An awful lot of fundamentals have been forgotten in the wake of the user-generated content revolution. A prime example: most people simply aren’t videogenic.

  • Another thoughtful post that shows that you’re a mind reader. Well, my mind anyway. I may be the only one, but I don’t find myself watching much live video because I prefer to consume content that is more carefully created and edited (like your blog posts and podcast). Seems like SO much of the live video is just not that interesting and worth my time to consume.

  • Another thoughtful post that shows that you’re a mind reader. Well, my mind anyway. I may be the only one, but I don’t find myself watching much live video because I prefer to consume content that is more carefully created and edited (like your blog posts and podcast). Seems like SO much of the live video is just not that interesting and worth my time to consume.

  • Nick Zurovski

    I have been helping Real Estate Agents utilize live streaming when showing their open houses and neighborhood secrets/insights. Periscope and Facebook Live are very useful tools in marketing for all businesses. I highly recommend them for any business looking to create stronger customer connections and a larger reach. Good article!

  • Nick Zurovski

    I have been helping Real Estate Agents utilize live streaming when showing their open houses and neighborhood secrets/insights. Periscope and Facebook Live are very useful tools in marketing for all businesses. I highly recommend them for any business looking to create stronger customer connections and a larger reach. Good article!

  • Thanks Mitch

  • Now that’s a fact.

  • Thanks Mitch

  • Now that’s a fact.

  • Good to know I’ve fooled you all these years. : )

  • Good to know I’ve fooled you all these years. : )

  • You had me up until “highly recommend for any business.” : ) Need to be careful recommending tools before determining the strategy and need. Thanks Nick.

  • You had me up until “highly recommend for any business.” : ) Need to be careful recommending tools before determining the strategy and need. Thanks Nick.

  • Konrad Sanders

    I’m with you on this Mark. Maybe because I haven’t taken the time to think up a truly creative, unique, authentic and TCC-branded concept for a valuable live streaming show (and I hate merely following trends without giving them my own spin). But in general, I like taking the time to create epic, well-crafted, original, impactful content. And I worry that live streaming just won’t cut it.

    In fact, I only lost my live webinar virginity last week! Rebekkah Radice deflowered me on a Postplanner interview about influencer marketing 🙂

    Anyway, enough about me.

    This is a great and well-delivered post. Thanks for being open and honest and for telling people that they don’t need to jump on the bandwagon with every channel and form of content. If you’re a small business owner, in fact, I think that it’s essential to focus on just a couple of social media platforms (while still having a presence on most of them) and just one or two channels/types of content. With limited time and resources, don’t stretch yourself too thin, otherwise none of your methods will be as fully-developed and thoroughly-executed ad they need to be. Instead, make sure you dive head deep into ONE or TWO forms of content creation to start with, and truly master them. Then reap the benefits.

    And probably – as you’ve mentioned Mark – this should be the form/s of content that you are most comfortable creating (as long as your target audience consume & engage with theseveral types).

    That’s my two pence anyway.

    Over and out!

    Konrad

  • Thanks for the amazing comment — a great blog post in its own right sir.

  • Konrad Sanders

    You’re too kind (#blushing). Looking forward to some more Sunday storytelling from you mate.

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