How To Go Live On Instagram | Atlanta Photographer


Going live on Instagram can be an awesome brand-building tool when it’s leveraged correctly. It gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience in real-time, unlike posting to your feed and stories. It also allows you a chance to position yourself as an expert in your given field by educating your audience on a specific topic.

I know the idea of going live can be daunting, especially when it’s your very first time. But once you get the hang of it, it’s actually really fun to do and you might even find yourself searching for reasons to go live.

Below I’m going to give you 8 helpful tips to keep in mind before you go live for the first time:

1.      Have a specific topic to discuss

I highly recommend knowing what you’re going to talk about before you hit the “go live” button. Having a pre-planned topic encourages people to plan to attend in order to learn about a topic they’re interested in and be a part of the discussion.

If you’re a celebrity or “insta-famous” you can go live for absolutely no reason at all and have hundreds to thousands of people tune in solely to watch you breathe, and that’s awesome.

However, if you’re not a celebrity then pre-planning your topic will help you stay organized in your thoughts and keep people tuned in to what you’re talking about.

2.      Outline your talking points and keep them nearby.

There’s nothing worse than having your mind go blank in the middle of you carrying on a discussion. Especially when you’re the only person talking, as will be the case during an Instagram live session. The good news is that this is avoidable with some appropriate planning & preparing.

Make sure to jot down the major talking points that you want to make sure you hit and keep them in a notebook nearby during the live. Also, make sure to note anything important that you don’t want to forget to mention. For example, I often use analogies to illustrate my point so I make sure to jot those down as well.

You don’t have to be super detailed by writing down every little thing you want to say. Write down just enough to jog your memory at a glance. It would be a waste of effort if you look at your notes and don’t even understand what you’ve written down, so make sure it’ll connect for you in the moment.

3.      Practice your talking points beforehand

Practice makes perfect, and it’s no different when it comes to a live session. You don’t have to rehearse 1000 times over, because this isn’t a speech and you do want things to flow naturally during your session.

However, I do think it’s helpful to practice your talking points a few times so they stick and the examples you plan to use will roll off the tongue a bit easier than if you have to dig in your memory for exactly what you want to say.

4.      Have a reasonable amount of talking points

 Let’s be honest, no one wants to hear you talk about the 20 different types of light you should use during a family session. NO. ONE. That’s just too many. By the 8th point you’re going to have people losing interest. Instead, keep it to around 3 -5 concise points that will keep people engaged in the conversation the entire time.

 You can also use this opportunity to drive people to your website’s blog after the live discussion. If you have 10 points you want to make, discuss 5 of them in your live and create a blog post that includes the remaining 5. Then tell your audience that after the live ends they can head over to your blog to read the remaining 5 helpful tips.

5.      Announce you will be going live beforehand, several times

Let people know when you will be going live and what you will be discussing BEFOREHAND. Instagram alerts people once you’re live at different points throughout your session, so some people won’t even realize you’ve having a live session until you’re already 30 minutes in.

Letting your followers know what will be happening ahead of time gives them the opportunity to attend even if Instagram doesn’t alert them right away.

Here’s the bigger tip: TELL PEOPLE SEVERAL TIMES. I’ve had people say they’ve only seen one post out of 6 or 7 I’ve done in a week. ONE OUT OF SIX. That means if I only tell people one time that I’m going live on my feed, a good majority of the people will miss that announcement. Instead I make sure to announce it several times within my stories as well.

Don’t worry that you’re annoying anyone, because chances are they probably won’t even see it the first few times you mention it. And even if they did see it, they will more than likely appreciate the reminder if they do want to attend.

6.      If you’re nervous, ask one or two good friends to attend your live session

This is another huge tip. If you’re afraid that no one will attend your first live session, rest assured that your fear might just come true. Just being honest, it really might happen. But I promise, it won’t be the worst thing in the world.

If you’re truly afraid that no one will attend, reach out to two or three of your dependable friends beforehand and ask them to attend. AND REMIND THEM SEVERAL TIMES because dependable friends can sometimes forget, too.

7.      Show your personality and don’t hold back

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, because that will show. If you’re goofy, allow yourself to be that. If you’re more straight-laced, that’s okay too. Whatever your personality is, relax and allow it to shine through. Your audience will enjoy that more than you trying to put on an act.

8.      Have fun!

At the end of the day, it’s all just social media so don’t think too much into it. If you give going live a try a few times and ultimately decide it’s not for you, that’s okay too. As long as you have fun throughout the process, that’s all that really matters! 

Have you ever gone live on IG? If you have, how was your experience? If you haven't, why not? 

Give it a try and let me know if these tips prove to be helpful!