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Live video streaming is the number one marketing tool of 2016. Video, of course, is not new. It’s been around for years. But now it’s been taken up 10 notches—or 100—and all you need is a Smartphone!

With Meerkat debuting as a live stream app in early 2015, it was only a matter of time before the big boys jumped into the arena.

Twitter launched Periscope a few months later, and even despite all of its challenges with trolls and spamming, it’s been wildly successful in the live streaming space.

But now, the big daddy of them all launched its own version of live streaming. Facebook’s “Facebook Live” has recently been opened up to the public and is expected to explode with success this year.

So why is video, and in particular live streaming video, so powerful and how can it apply to you and me as professional photographers?

Enter in the KLT factor, aka the “know, like and trust” factor. We all know that the most important ingredient in a business relationship is trust. It’s also the most critical ingredient in the sales room.

Live streaming allows us to peek into the real-life of the person we’re watching. It’s the fast-track marketing tool that allows you to attract your target client to you! How? By sharing yourself,  the person behind the brand, your true personality, in real-time. It’s deeper than pen-and-paper and it’s authentic.

It’s pretty hard to hide your personality on video. If you see me on video, you can quickly determine whether you like me or not. You can easily sum up within minutes whether or not I’m someone you want to get to know better through my social media chanels.

Simply put, video is a shortcut to credibility.

We pretty much “consume” most of our info in “live” mode these days! Newspapers are old news…social media is current. So it only makes sense that the live streaming space has been accepted so easily these days.

So now that we know the impact of this powerful tool, what exactly can we do with live streaming? Lots. Here are a few ideas.

INTRODUCE YOUR BRAND WITH A BIO VIDEO: We all have our Brand Statement or 10-Second Elevator Pitch, right? Share it on an Instagram video or Facebook LIve! Feel weird doing that when you’ve been on the platform for awhile? Say “I have a lot of new friends here lately so let me introduce myself!”. Make it attention-grabbing and to the point.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Snapchat is perfect for this. But now, you can step it up a notch and do it…live! Also, you can download your Snapchat story and create a collage by piecing together snippets of video clips and still images for a BTS post on FB or Instagram.

LIVE Q&A: This can be a perfect way to interact with your audience. If you’re afraid that you’ll throw a party and no one will show up (aka, no answers being asked, live) have some ready to answer from other questions you’ve received that will be relevant to teens or moms.

PRODUCT OR PROP REVEAL: This is wildly successful on all platforms, but take it…live. Reveal a new product while you’re unwrapping it; have someone hold your phone while you’re hanging a new canvas; video a new background/chair/outfit for the style closet that you just picked up. So many things you can video (either as a snap story, IG video or live stream).

RAVE REVIEWS: Get that client testimonial in video format! Record it live! Prep your clients to share something authentic and get it on your FB or IG feed.

Your goal should be to get enough information out there via video so that people can determine if they have something in common with you—it’s that simple! Don’t over think it. Just know that if you are authentically you on live stream or video, you’ll be attracting “like” people and thus, your ideal client!

I challenge everyone to create one clip of a video for IG, FB and/or Twitter this next week! Even it you are using the IG or FB video tool rather than live streaming, get it out there! Start using the most powerful marketing tool that’s we have available to us!