And now for the super long script from today's show!
I’m RJ Redden, a Productivity Coach and member of the Dojo. The Dojo is our FB group, where we level up our productivity every day of the week, and have a livestream mon - thrus at 2PM CST. If you’re feeling like you’re making a millimeter of progress in a million different directions, then do join us in the Dojo.
I’m doing this show today because we have a lot of dojo members who are thinking of doing livestreaming, and want to know which product is best for them. This tour is focused on small and solo businesses. We’re going to go over the things that matter to people like us.
Before we begin, a note about BlueJeans:
The company itself is a livestreaming platform for enterprise. They have huge clients, like Facebook and LinkedIn. So it’s no surprise that the interface is very much like most webinars you’ve ever been to. If you’ve ever attended a Go To Meeting, you can find your way around this one.
Before we get into the features, here are some things to do in advance.
First, you need to go to https://bluejeans.com/site/facebook-live and sign up for the 30 day trial. You will get an email that will ask you to sign up for a training session. Sign up for one of these bad boys as soon as possible. It affects who they accept into the trial program. If you attend their training, you get moved up on the acceptance list.
After you get done training, you’ll get an email with your credentials within about 24 hours.
Pricing: we don’t know what it will be at this point. The company didn’t realize that this software would get such an incredible response. They are currently getting our feedback (at the end of the training session) for how much we would pay and how we plan to use the product. They hope to have pricing out by then end of next week, or at least before our 30 day trials run out! :) Do us all a favor - give thoughtful answers to both questions. It will affect how they develop BlueJeans in the future.
There are a few things that most other platforms have that BlueJeans does not.
- For example, you can’t embed video on your website. Workaround: download the recording, upload it to youtube, and embed it from there.
- It also does not have social sharing features (for example: Tweet this or share this on LinkedIn). Honestly, I’ve never gotten much out of those features anyway. Very few people that I don’t know directly have ever randomly popped into a livestream just because the title looked interesting.
- Also, there’s no way for people to pay for an event through BlueJeans. If you have a workshop coming up, then you will need to set it up so that you can accept payment on your website, and then send your people a li nk.
What BlueJeans does have: it will beam straight to Facebook Live.
Take that in for a minute. For the former Blabbers: what did we love about Blab so much? For me, it was the community. People really welcomed each other with open arms. It didn’t matter how much time you’d spent broadcasting, or what you wanted to talk about. Everyone was exploring, and exploring together was fun. It was more than software. It was also discovering and learning with your friends.
Friends, right? Like… the people you’re connected to on Facebook? Connecting with Facebook Live recaptures some of that feeling, at least for me. I’m not broadcasting to a hostile environment. I’m not broadcasting to empty space. I’m broadcasting to a friendly environment again. If the broadcast is shared, then I may get to meet more new people that might be interested in productivity.
You see, it’s the perfect storm. You get to craft a message to a group of people who already know you, and presumably some of them even like you. :) You don’t have to teach anyone how to use the controls. You don’t have to get anyone to go anywhere but Facebook. In fact, all you have to do is show up consistently and produce quality content that your people are interested in. You can focus all your energy on content creation. How cool is that?
We won’t spend time today on content creation (that’s Thursday’s show, actually) but let’s spend some time outlining what can be done on the platform, and then let’s start our tour.
Different things you can do:
- Product launches (mine is this Wednesday, you coming?)
- Q and A (or Ask Me Anything)
- Online classes
- Broadcast to different places on Facebook: your personal profile, your Page, your group
- Broadcast to different places in the same session (backstage passes, afterparties, special paid Q and A sessions)
- Focus Groups for marketing research
- One on one coaching sessions (broadcasting to FB not required).
Let’s get on with the tour.
Enter with Browser or App? This is the first question you’ll see. Many people have not noticed a difference between the two. And when they say app, they mean a piece of software you download to your desktop, as opposed to a mobile app. I chose to download the desktop app, and I’ve had no problems with it so far.
Here’s the main screen.
Go the the upper right hand corner first and unmute yourself, and activate your video.
Now, go to the cog on the lower right. Some of you have more than one microphone and webcam installed. Pick the one you want: the setting will stay until you choose to change it.
Look at the column that the cog is in. All of your controls are right there. Moderation, inviting people, sharing videos. You name it, it’s in the right hand column. If you get confused, this is a good place to return.
Let’s go to the top and take a look at these.
The first is the hang up button. This allows you to leave the meeting. Note that you have options here, to just leave and end the meeting for everyone or to let others go on without you.
Next one down: attendees. Who have you got in the room? Note - Attendees that aren’t presenters will not be able to see fellow attendees names. Sometimes this is confusing for people. Presenters (those on camera) can see everybody’s names.
Next one down: who wants to go live? If you have a show where you invite people in, this section is of interest. Attendees (aka the cheap seats) can ask to be promoted to Presenters (aka the hot seats). You can also broadcast and ask to see if people want to be promoted, when the information part of the session is over and you want to take questions.
Next one down: the event chat. Here is where you will spend most of your time. Most of you are used to dealing with this. Links show up as live, so you can drop links in for materials, sales pages, etc. No photos, emojis, or GIFs at this time. For which I am really grateful.
Next one down: The moderator chat. Moderator is a special role that exists within BlueJeans. Moderators have the ability to oversee everything that’s happening, and boot people when necessary. You are automatically a moderator, as the event creator. In this area, moderators can chat with each other in a private channel.
Next one down: the icon looks like a stack of photos. This is the Content Sharing section. If you want to screen share or share a video, this is the place to go. One tip: do a dry run of your presentation beforehand. You’ll be a lot more confident in the moment if you do, trust me.
There is also a dedicated Q and A section. This is nice to have if you also have a cohost. If you’re by yourself, you might want to encourage the audience to put their questions in the chat. Let’s face it, most people do that by default anyway. And the last thing you want to do is shift your attention to another tab on the side, if you don’t have to.
Next one down: the icon that looks like a graphic equalizer is the Moderator Controls Section. The first thing in this section is the layouts - I encourage you to try them all in a practice run. Hint - if you want a Blab like experience, go for Constant Presence. Also, you can change these at will during the livestream.
There’s also the ability to broadcast a message to your attendees. Take into consideration that the note will only be seen inside BlueJeans - you FB Live peeps aren’t going to see it. For simplicity’s sake, you might just want to verbally invite people.
Next one down: This is where you can invite other people to attend. Note the three categories - all of them have different permissions. To be on the safe side, and to avoid being BlueJeanJacked,
- invite only people you know onto BlueJeans.
If you really want to get to know other people, then
- invite anyone you’re unfamilliar with as an attendee.
- If you see them participate in the chat, it’s a sign they might be a good guest.
- If they ask to be a presenter, you may also choose to qualify them with a few questions first, before you promote them.
Ok, that was a lot of info. Remember this: if you’re doing a solo show, without a cohost/moderator, you’re going to spend most of your time in event chat, because you’ll be keeping an eye on BOTH the event chat and FB Live chat. (Don’t let it scare you. You get used to it.) If you have a presentation, then you’ll spend a little time in the Content Sharing tab. If you invite people in, you’ll spend a little time approving them. Those are the important places to remember.
Sidenote: BlueJeans is looking into what it will take to import the FB Live chat, so that it will all be on one screen. More on that as it comes available.
All right, almost finished. Let’s gaze at the top bar for a moment - there are two buttons to discuss, Record and Broadcast. Record is just as simple as that! Note: you can also set up to auto record everything when you set up the event. THIS IS EASIER. If you have it set up to auto record, skip the record button. The event will auto record when you hit the next button over, broadcast.
Broadcast is where FB Live lives. You’ll have to login every time unless you check a little box that keeps you logged in. Do this. It takes a second.
Choose on the next screen where you want your stream to go. You have plenty of options. The next screen will give you a chance to put in a title, etc. Note that you are mirrored - which makes it much easier to read any text that you might hold up, or any banners that might be in the background.
Now, take a deep breath, As soon as you hit go, the screen will disappear and you are live on FB.
BlueJeans will do a ten second countdown - ignore it. Your peeps will see and hear everything you do when you dismiss that final window.
So why does that happen? My guess is that it is for the ten second delay. At any rate, ignore it and start talking. There will be a voice that comes over the broadcast as well, saying the event is recording now. Ignore that too.
During the time you’re Live:
- Either pick a cohost to help you monitor and respond to the FB chat, or get a second screen.
- Use your phone if you have to, just make sure you prop it up on something steady.
An alternative is to just tell everyone in the FB chat that if they want to ask a question, they have to come into BlueJeans with you. This isn’t my favorite option, honestly. It will discourage people from participation (which is the magic ingredient of livestreaming). If you have to, you have to.
Optional: Drop an invite link into the chat every once in a while to make sure your FB Live peeps are invited to join you in BlueJeans. People hate to scroll, so do it more than once.
When you’re done, hit the broadcast button again and pause the broadcast. That’s it.
If you want to, you can continue the session in a group, on another page or in your personal profile. This is where you can hold an afterparty, or a special session for VIP’s, a post show recap, or whatever you want to do. It’s up to you.
Comparison between Zoom, Crowdcast, Huzza, and other products I’ve played with: for discoverability, there is nothing better than FB Live. Nothing.
The other products as a whole have a bit more friendly interface. However, if you’ve worked with GoTo Meeting before, you’ll be fine. This product lacks some of the style of the other products, and some of the niceties. Are those niceties something you can do without?
The reach of BlueJeans is so much better than the others. The company is also large and been around a while, so the product development is more organized. This has been a major concern for me in the past, especially during the Blab implosion. From what I’ve seen so far, my concerns have lessened.
Can someone new to broadcasting try BlueJeans? My answer is yes, if….
- If you are willing to do a dry run before every presentation until you feel you have it, and
- If you are willing to continually develop your show as time goes on.
Trust me, the show I started with is not the show I have today. There were several… iterations. Be willing to iterate, and you’ll be fine.
That’s the tour - let me know if you have any questions!