**This is a guest post by Daniela Uslan from DanielaUslan.com**
If you’ve been paying attention to social media lately, you’ve probably noticed a little (getting bigger by the second) app called Periscope.
If you haven’t heard of it, Periscope is a live streaming app that allows anyone with a smart phone to turn their lives into a television show.
I’ve scoped from the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, from South Beach in Miami, and from my parents’ backyard. (The most memorable moment on any of my scopes was when, in the middle of my talking to my younger sister, she turned away from the camera and let out a loud belch. It was her first time on Periscope.)
Periscope isn’t just a fad. It’s a powerful way of growing your brand and connecting to your audience.
1. Periscope lets you get up close and personal with your audience.
More than any other medium, Periscope allows you to get to know your audience on a personal level. While blog posts have the power to spread great ideas, they lack the personal quality of Periscope, because there’s no real contact between you and your readers, other than the comments section.
When you do a scope, you are getting vulnerable (in a good way), showing your readers a slice of you, unedited, and in the moment. And when they see you in all of your day-to-day glory, you become a real person instead of just a photo on an About Page.
Many of my most loyal customers are also my most loyal scope-watchers. Watching my scopes has helped them know, like and trust me, and as a result, they want to buy from me, as well.
When people see you live, and hear you answering their questions and speaking directly to them, they can tell without a doubt that you care about them, and they feel like they know you personally.
2. Periscope gives you the opportunity to find out what type of content your audience is craving.
Let’s say you’re thinking of what to make for dinner for you and your partner. Since you know your partner fairly well, you automatically have ideas for things to make that he or she will love.
Your content marketing should be the same way – you should know your audience so well that it’s a cinch to come up with delicious blog posts, courses, and email newsletters they are dying to gobble up. However, most brands don’t know their audiences as well as they should.
With Periscope, you never have to wonder if you are making something that your people will grab up like hotcakes, or that they’ll ignore like the nerdy kid in the back of the room.
Try this: Hop on and get feedback before you make your next thing.
A few questions to ask:
-When you think about [your focus], what tool do you fantasize about having?
-What really frustrates you when it comes to [your focus]?
-If I could make a gift specifically for you, what would you want it to be?
Sure, you could ask these questions in a survey, but you wouldn’t get the same real time responses as you do on a scope, and you would lose out on opportunities to respond and go deeper.
If you don’t have a huge audience and don’t want to start asking questions to an empty room, email the people who are on your list and let them know you are doing a feedback scope.
Or, do some relationship building before you scope by going into other scopes, commenting, and following people. The Periscope community is new, and most scopes are eager to support each other.
3. On Periscope, you can repurpose your content to reach a different audience.
Periscope is a great way to repurpose your blog content and get in front of more people. Take your latest blog post, write down the main points, and turn it into a scope.
Some benefits of creating a scope from your latest blog post:
A. It doesn’t take much additional time on your part – just 10–15 minutes to write down the points and do the scope.
B. A lot of people prefer to watch videos as opposed to reading, so you will be able to reach a different audience than you do on your blog.
C. In doing the scope, you may think of additional content to add to your blog post, so your scope will not only grow your audience, but will improve your other content as well.
D. By making a scope from your blog content, you are, in essence, creating a mini-course for your audience. (Video + blog post = multimedia course.) Now you can put your scope on YouTube, or you can make it into a minicourse that people can opt-in to watch. Boom. You’ve now shared your content on 2 new channels and found a way to build your email list.
4. Periscope gives people a sneak peek into your world so they feel like they know you.
As I mentioned in the first point above, Periscope is a great way to get up close and personal with your audience. This doesn’t just mean them seeing your face and hearing your voice, it also means showing them snippets of your daily life.
Think about it: Sharing experiences with your friends makes you feel closer to them, right? Well, sharing your life with your audience helps them feel closer to you, as well.
If your office isn’t too messy, do a scope showing your audience where you work.
Going on vacation? Do a scope letting your audience experience your trip with you.
One of the most popular scopes I ever did was in Evergreen, Colorado. I was standing on a bridge right next to a gorgeous lake. Instead of giving blogging tips, I told the viewers 20 things they wouldn’t know about me otherwise. They loved it.
Why? Because they were getting a glimpse into my life and into who I am that I don’t share on my blog or anywhere else.
5. Celebrate your audience
This is one that most people don’t talk about, but one thing I love doing with Periscope is focusing on my audience, and giving them a chance to shine.
Just because you’re the one on your scope doesn’t mean it has to be about you.
You can do scopes where you invite your viewers to promote their own scopes and build connections with each other.
You can highlight someone else’s blog post or material and what you’ve learned from it.
And even in a traditional scope where you are teaching something, ask questions and read your viewers’ answers out loud to show them that you care about what they have to say.
I often pause in the middle of a scope to talk about how awesome one of my viewers is. By doing this, I show them that I value them.
It’s a real relationship building tool, not just a broadcasting tool.
A few basics to get you started on your first scope:
- Write a catchy headline so that people want to stop what they are doing and come watch. Add a hashtag or 2 so that people can find your scope on Twitter (hashtags aren’t clickable on Periscope).
- Focus your camera on something specific for the first few seconds of your scope (like your website, for example). This will be used as a thumbnail on Twitter. You can also thank your replay viewers while you wait for people to come into your scope.
- Welcome people when they come in. A trick I’ve seen and then adopted is to ask people to write their first names in all caps so that you can say hi.
- When sharing content, be deliberate. I find it useful to have an outline written down before I scope.
- It’s okay to ask for hearts, or to thank people who give you hearts. (You give hearts by tapping the screen, and you can see a stream of them on the right side when you scope.) But don’t go overboard.
- Ask questions, but know that it takes a few seconds for people to respond, so instead of waiting for the responses in silence, continue on with your scope. Then when people start responding, read their answers out loud.
- If you encounter a troll, don’t acknowledge them. Instead, tap on their name to block them from the room.
- Don’t forget to end with a call to action, whether that’s to check out your website, follow you on Periscope, or sign up for your latest offering.
One last thing about my personal experience with Periscope:
Scoping has helped me feel more comfortable getting out there in front of people. It’s let me drop my worries about showing my face and about being on camera. Because of it, I’ve had the confidence to start doing webinars, which have really grown my business.
So if you feel nervous about getting in front of people live, even more reason to do it. If I can do it, so can you! (And if you leave a comment letting me know your Periscope handle, I will be sure to follow you and cheer you on when you do your scopes!)
I hope to see you on Periscope soon!
Daniela Uslan is a blogging teacher who helps bloggers identify their superpowers, define their voices, and build successful blogs. Join 2,000+ other bloggers in her awesome Facebook group!