In this installment of Meet the Pros, we’re chatting with Stephanie Liu.
Stephanie is an energetic online marketing strategist, live video trainer and self-proclaimed 90s beat scholar (and yes, she explains more on that…) She’s also the host of Lights, Camera, Live – a weekly Facebook Live show and a huge Ecamm Live fan and supporter. You can find Stephanie at www.lightscameralive.com
To try Ecamm Live risk free for 14 days (no credit card required), visit www.ecamm.live
Key takeaways from this episode
- Setting scenes up in advance is a huge time saver (and changing between scenes and away from your guest can let him/her take a sip of water or scratch an itch on their face…)
- Always promote your live stream videos across multiple platforms. Ask users to send in questions and use Ecamm Live’s scheduling feature to let people know when you’re going live.
- Never challenge Stephanie to karaoke.
Our favorite quote
Lights Camera Live is a weekly show where we shine a spotlight on the best and brightest marketers in the industry. That way you can go ahead and take your business from unknown to unforgettable. Lights Camera Live really came about because when I was leaving the ad agency world and I wanted to position myself as a digital marketing strategist, I came to realize that everyone else was calling themselves a digital marketing strategist and instead of wanting to tell people what I do, I wanted to show them. So live-streaming gave me the opportunity to really pull back the curtain and show them exactly how it’s done.
What’s in Stephanie’s live video kit?
You can find out all of Stephanie’s favorite tools, apps, gear, and equipment right here.
Read the full transcript
Ken: Hey everybody. Welcome to another Meet the Pros live interview. This is part of our Meet the Pro series where we bring on our Ecamm Live users to talk about what they do, how they use the tool, and their experience with the product. We’re going to learn a little bit about them, get tips from them and basically hear about how they use the product. We have a really special guest here today. I am really excited to introduce Stephanie Liu. She is from Lights Camera Live and I’m going to bring her in right now. Stephanie, welcome to the podcast.
Stephanie: Hey, what’s up?
Ken: I am so excited to have you Meet the Pros, that’s what’s up. We love Stephanie because she’s so energetic. She is an online marketing expert, she is the ringleader of online marketing groups like 360 Marketing Squad and she hosts a weekly live show called Lights Camera Live. And she does a lot more than that. I’m gonna let her tell you a little about that. She’s also a huge fan of the app and an awesome supporter. And you’re joining us from California right now?
Stephanie: I sure am. Sunny California.
Ken: Yay! Nice. So first question I was told something about 90s beats scholar. Tell me about that.
Stephanie: Yes! So any type of 90s hip-hop and R&B. If you, Glen, Midori, and I went and did some type of karaoke, I would throw down on that mic.
Ken: That is amazing because we just got a karaoke machine at my house and I’m like what songs do I know? My wife knows the lyrics to like every song, but pretty much I could just do like the Humpty dance.
Stephanie: OK, we’ll have to figure it out the next time we’re all at Social Media Marketing World. It’ll be a thing. The Ecamm karaoke bus will be going around downtown.
Ken: Absolutely. That would be amazing. I’ve never done karaoke like in front of people in a club is that what you do?
Stephanie: Well, when I went to VidCon and I had like Rob, Brian Schulman, and like the rest of the LinkedIn live-streaming crew… yes it was the thing. You just have to make sure that you have enough vodka.
Ken: OK, we’ll have you on again at some point and we can do some live karaoke.
Stephanie: Oh none of your viewers want to watch that. None of my viewers want to watch that.
Ken: So that aside, tell me about Lights Camera Live, your weekly show that you do.
Stephanie: Lights Camera Live is a weekly show where we shine a spotlight on the best and brightest marketers in the industry. That way you can go ahead and take your business from unknown to unforgettable. Lights Camera Live really came about because when I was leaving the ad agency world and I wanted to position myself as a digital marketing strategist, I came to realize that everyone else was calling themselves a digital marketing strategist and instead of wanting to tell people what I do, I wanted to show them. So live-streaming gave me the opportunity to really pull back the curtain and show them exactly how it’s done.
Ken: That was obviously successful for you. How long have you been doing it?
Stephanie: My goodness. I’ve been doing it for three years now, which is kind of cool to say.
Ken: Yeah, that’s crazy.
Stephanie: Yeah and it’s been it’s been impactful for sure because now after every live broadcast I’ll get a new referral or if I have someone that calls me up and says Stephanie I saw your show. I saw that you covered this. It’s become one of the best lead generating marketing tactics that’s helped me out throughout my entire career.
Ken: At what point did you start live streaming?
Stephanie: When I first started live-streaming, I was using OBS and I was like I love OBS. With the idea of live streaming, you guys have to build it the way that you want it. I don’t remember how I found out about you, Ken. Oh yeah. I think I do. It was Leslie Samuel. When he did his first live stream and he was like oh my god and the comments are coming up on the stream and that’s when I tested it out and then ever since then I’ve never looked back at OBS. I could take my whole entire setup for for OBS and move it over to Ecamm and that was it.
Ken: That’s a great story. I remember that live video that Leslie Samuel did. For those of you who don’t know Leslie Samuel, check out his Facebook. But he we had just launched the product (this is a couple of years ago, actually) and we were just trying to get it in front of people who might think it was cool. We didn’t know a lot of people in the live streaming space and we just found this video of this guy and he’s hysterically excited and I know this is just his personality, but yeah he was like laughing and he was ecstatic because I think you’re saying is that Ecamm Live doesn’t make you just sit there and build it from scratch. It’s automatic. He was just so funny. We played it a hundred times because he was so happy. He was hilarious. I think I even sent it to my mom. I sent it to everybody. And then we actually got to meet him later at Social Media Marketing World. And we got to meet you, too, Stephanie. And a really great group of people there.
Stephanie: Yeah, it was fun. Leslie Samuel has the best reactions. You know, the entire time he was like… he just couldn’t believe it. I was just like what are you doing? What are you experimenting with and he created this huge curiosity in all of us in terms of Ecamm Live and what can you do with it. After that yeah it was just “thank you, Leslie. You rule.”
I’m sure you guys you know once you released a product and you got to see someone just enjoying it and loving your product it felt probably amazing.
Ken: It did. It really did. So you started using Ecamm Live a couple of years ago after that video. So you’ve been using the app for a while now and you knew all the features. How does it improve your show? Specifically what are some of the features that you like the best about it when you’re producing Lights Camera Live?
Stephanie: Yeah, so for Lights Camera Live, what’s really great is that I could set up the different scenes the way that I want them to be. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Lights Camera Live, there’s an intro with me sitting inside an actual desktop so it looks like I’m in your computer. It’s really cool because that really got people to stop look and listen in the newsfeed. When you’re in the newsfeed, you’re competing with with all the noise that’s out there so Ecamm gave me the opportunity to really stand out from the rest and that was cool.
So I’d have my intro scene and then I could have dedicated scenes. Like if I wanted to bring a guest on the show, that could be a separate scene. What was nice about it was when I first started I could just use a hotkey and just switch the screens pretty easily. I wasn’t bumbling like I was with OBS and it just made it pretty seamless.
Ken: Scenes are great. I have three scenes set up right now. I have just
myself, just Stephanie, and “two-shot”. That’s what the scenes are called. You’re able to create the scene and name them whatever you want to call them and switch between them really easily with either hotkeys like you’re saying or in our new version (which you were saying you want to check out), we have support for a device called the Stream Deck. It is basically like a little hardware button bar that lets you control the app by hitting these buttons on this little button bar. What’s so cool is that we were able to create a native integration to it so the name of your scene and a little thumbnail of the scene actually shows up on the button on the little button bar. And you can use it for that. We added a feature almost just like for fun to allow you to trigger sound effects into your into your life. So if you have like a laugh track or just like a sound effect that you want to play, you can program the buttons to do that and tons of other different things that you can make the buttons do.
Stephanie: So, I mean, even just having the Stream Deck integration has been super helpful because I manage four different shows, so it’s not just mine. I also have the 360 Marketing Squad and more. So for the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference, when I had to help out it was awesome because I could check in with her show – and what was nice is that with each arm not only can you build your scenes, but you could export your scene. So if you want to go to a different laptop computer when you’re on site, you could do that. This one time I couldn’t do a show for EM DMC, so I had Mike Allton as my backup remote live producer. I was like hey here are the files you could just import them easily into Ecamm and then you can run the show for me and he was able to do it. So it just gives me a lot of flexibility to do what I love to do.
Ken: Wow. So that was almost a disaster when you when you couldn’t do it yourself. Have you ever had any kind of real disasters happen with live streaming that you’d like to tell folks? It might be fun to hear.
Stephanie: That specific one wasn’t a disaster, per se. It was more like I was going on vacation and I forgot real quick you’d be my Batman. But yeah, I’ve definitely had some scenarios where interesting things happened on the show. Like I don’t know if you guys know who Bela Vasta is, but she is like the Queen of Facebook groups and when I had her on the show everything was going well. Everything was going smoothly until I realized “oh my goodness. I forgot to plug in the adapter” and I knew that if I didn’t plug in the adapter that the battery was going to die. So imagine you’re like you’re watching … you’re looking at the DSLR camera and you see the flip out on the LCD and you see the battery light just flashing and I was like oh my goodness. I was like “so hey Bella… something really funny happened and you’re like yeah and so then I switched the screen, had it on her, and she knew that that was her cue just to talk and in the background can you could hear me like shuffling and crawling underneath my desk. I had to plug it in there. It worked out and it was probably just like 30 seconds of the live stream and then the show went on. So that was probably like my first hiccup.
Ken: One thing that’s great with the Ecamm scenes is that if I had to like go down under my desk I could flip to the “just Stephanie” scene and go down under the desk while you’re talking and come back and be like “hi, nothing happened”. Or, you know, if you’re coughing or something, you can just switch the screen and let that person take over for a little bit. One of the buttons that Glen added on the Stream Deck is a cough button. So basically you can mute yourself from the Stream Deck and then unmute yourself. It wasn’t something I knew about, but I guess people who come from an audio background know that there’s always a button you can hold down while you clear your throat or cough.
So you are interviewing some pretty high-profile people. Who do you think is the most interesting person you’ve ever talked to and don’t just say me.
Stephanie: Wow, way to put me on the spot.
Ken: I mean we don’t have to rate them, but who did you enjoy speaking with?
Stephanie: I really enjoyed speaking to Ian Anderson Gray because he’s another livestreamer and he uses different live streaming platforms and it’s so interesting to see how people are producing their shows, what their flows are, and learning from them. So I feel like whenever I have any other live streamer whether it’s like Owen or Molly Mahoney it’s always nice to learn from them because then you start to just geek out and you try not to go down this rabbit hole, but they’re all amazing.
Ken: Speaking of learning from people, you are super experienced in this and well established. You’ve interviewed Ian Anderson Gray, you’ve interviewed the Prime Minister of Argentina… you must have some tips for our viewers for how to put on a successful live stream. What to do and not to do. Let’s start with before the interview happens. How do you prep?
Stephanie: How do I prep?
Ken: Like okay in 30 minutes we’re gonna go on-air. This is what I have to do.
Stephanie: Yeah, yeah… okay. So usually what I do is if you walk by my office can like you will hear the most girly powerup gym playlist ever the whole entire world and that’s just because like you got to get yourself hyped up and if there’s anything that I’ve ever learned from my client master chef Claudius, it’s the fact that when you’re on camera you have to 10x your energy because if you don’t then it’s gonna come across kind of flat and boring on screen. So to do that like my husband just knows as soon as you start hearing like Beyonce or even some Whitney Houston (hello – beats scholar, remember?) he knows like we’re gonna be on air soon. So that’s definitely the first thing that happens.
The other thing is, if you have a show where it’s structured and you have different scenes, you’re going to want to test it out. Whether your show is weekly or every other week, you’ve just gotta make sure that you didn’t mess up your buttons. Maybe you’re like me. I have a four year old and my four year old loves to do karaoke, too. So Ken, she’ll come into my office and she’ll get the little mic and she’ll start singing. Like this morning was “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands”. So I just have to make sure is the audio working and all of that good stuff and once I’m all set…
Ken: So cute. It’s like a little mini you.
Stephanie: She is! You know like sometimes like when she sees her reflection she’ll just be like tell me in the comments that I’m cute. Like no one is looking at you right now
Ken: So cute. So I definitely agree that you need to test it out. Nothing ruins your energy that you just built up with the Beyonce then going to do that live and finding that that your camera’s out of focus or your microphones not plugged in or you’re getting tons of background noise from who knows the air conditioner in the room. Right Glen?
Stephanie: Yeah I remember this one time Mike Allton was saying that he had the house cleaners come by and they moved something on his sound board and he didn’t realize it and then he went on air and then the audio was completely off and he was like okay moving forward I need to put a post a note that says do not touch my studio settings. You live and you learn.
Ken: What are some what are some tips that you have for us for interviewing a guest?
Stephanie: You know, what’s really helpful is when you have a guest on the show, if you can, before you go live try to do a tech call. Ken and I did a tech call too and I realized that I was using my husband’s Skype handle because I was like “where’s Ken? How come I’m not getting a call from him?” So it’s always helpful if you can get your guest on the show probably like 15 minutes early so you can check their lighting, check their audio, and make sure it’s good to go. Sometimes you might have a guest that goes “surprise! I’m in a hotel room and I’m not using my usual mic”! You’ll have to troubleshoot it and if for any reason like they’re running late then it’s nice that you could go in and you could also push the time without having to break all of your promotional efforts.
Ken: Yeah, we scheduled this live and that kind of gave us a hard deadline so we made sure that I connected to you beforehand and then Stephanie’s thinking I’m on Skype, just call me and then it says I’m offline.So instead of changing her Skype login, she can just Skype me from whatever other account and we’ll be good to go.
Stephanie: I would also say if you can create your scenes in advance, that’s good too. Create one with just you, one with both of you, and one with just them because sometimes they may need a sip of water and you want to be able to give them that little buffer to take a sip from their glass without having to be on camera. Like sometimes with the 360 Marketing Squad, I see Jen Herman and I see Mike, but when there’s all four of us on the screen someone will start like digging on their eye and I’m like “oh my god. You’re on camera right now.”
Ken: Yeah, so having scenes set up is super helpful. So I’m switching to myself right now. The second I switched to you, I was totally digging at my eye. Good idea. So we had a question come in here. I’ll just put it up because it was a great question. He asks, can you share with us about your team? Do you have team members there helping you with your live stream? And, if so, what are their roles?
Stephanie: Lights Camera Live is a one-woman show. It’s me and my Stream DEck and my DSLR and Ecamm Live. That’s my team. Sometimes when I’m live streaming for clients and I’m on site, it’s usually just me… for this one client, we were doing product demos for like five different products and we had to connect eight different cameras, so I actually had two additional people on site to help me with that just to make sure that the connections were happening and I could maneuver the camera. So one to three people.
Being the only one there can be tricky. Even getting your camera pointed at yourself can be a little bit of a challenge sometimes, especially now that like my my ankle is fractured, but I think once you have it all set up… like I know where my fill light needs to be and then the DSLR is right there and then I’m good to go and you don’t really have to worry about it too much.
Ken: Yeah, we keep the same set up from show to show, but we’re always moving stuff around the office here so whenever we want to do anything we have to set everything up the right way, including deciding and setting up which camera we’re going to use today. I mean I went to go live… and this is an example of why you have to do some testing, because I connected our new Canon RP to the Mac. Now this Canon RP has a USB C port on the side of it — it’s brand new. This is the future USB. See, you know the little Opel one? I’m like I can’t find it. My MacBook Pro is the old one and it doesn’t have USB C. So I said, do we have any USB C – regular USB cables around here? We’re looking, we’re looking and I finally find one and I connect it and it didn’t work.
Stephanie: Oh no.
Ken: And I’m like what the heck? And then Glen’s like try this other one. It’s the same cable, but it’s like different looking and that one worked. So I don’t know if this cable here is just cheap and there’s no data lying in it. I think this is the cable that came with our GoPro or something. It’s just like, we get people asking and saying that it won’t work but sometimes it’s just that a cable is a little funky and you need another one. And if you’re rushing and you’re there by yourself and you don’t have anybody helping that can be stressful. Especially when you’re testing out new gear.
Another good question. She says tell us about your timeline for planning a live interview.
Stephanie: Oh yeah. So I usually try to plan it out at least two weeks in advance. So usually like the week before I’ll have like my Facebook event because in the Facebook of them that’s where you could have like a really nice Facebook event cover photo with you and your guests and you can invite your guests as a co-host and they could go ahead and invite all their family, their friends, their followers, and so on and so forth. Then from there, you put in your description so usually for me it’s the why, what, how, and what if. Like what is the show about, why do you need to know about it, how is this going to change your life, and what to do if you can’t tune in live. From there, as we lead up to the show I’m gonna tease that out and I’m gonna build buzz with it. I’m gonna say if you have any questions about LinkedIn Live, drop them in the comments here and then I could go ahead and ask Rob and Brian that are jumping on the show on Thursday.
So that’s usually the first thing that I do. The second piece and Ken mentioned it before is you want to do your scheduled broadcast and Ecamm Live makes it super easy for you because you could put in your video title, your description, and you could even put your scheduled image for it, right? Then, with that, you could go ahead and promote that across all of your social media, and emails, and send it out to your guests and have them promote it as well. So that’s going to be super helpful. That’s usually like two weeks back. And then the show hits and you do your wonderful magic and then after that you’re gonna go ahead and make your video into short social media clips and just keep repurposing that content and go from there.
Ken: It all changes so fast. It seems like you’re an early adopter of things. You were saying that to me earlier that you were experimenting with going to LinkedIn Live. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that experience?
Stephanie: Oh yeah, absolutely. So LinkedIn Live is, as you guys know, it’s probably one of the most affluent networks that are out there. If you wanted to reach decision makers, you absolutely can. So when LinkedIn Live first rolled out they’re saying well there’s certain platforms that you have to use and I was like well no I’ve already set up my scenes in Ecamm, and I don’t wanna have to rebuild this into another live streaming platform and so what I realized is that you could actually use Ecamm Live and go out to LinkedIn Live through the integration with Restream.io, which also gives you all these amazing connections where you could go live on — you know, Twitch and all these other platforms. Well, LinkedIn Live is one of the platforms they go out to, so having my scenes already in Ecamm Live, I connected over to Restream and I went live on LinkedIn so everything in terms of like my scenes and being able to engage with people, I was able to do that through Ecamm and it was easy.
Ken: Are you going to just to LinkedIn Live or were you multi casting?
Stephanie: So I wanted to do something specific for LinkedIn Live that they wouldn’t be able to find on Facebook or on YouTube. I wanted it to be specifically for the LinkedIn audience — only for them. It was a tutorial on how I make my promotional videos using shakr.com, so if you guys missed out on that…
Ken: Oh, tell me about Shakr.com
Stephanie: So you know how Canva has all of these templates and you can drag and drop your different your different images? Well, it’s kind of like the same thing except Shakr makes these really badass video templates. So I could take my different video clips and I’ll have all these different transitions. I could change the text and it’s easy and it’s simple and it looks different from everything else that’s out there. In fact, I think if you’ve ever watched any other promo videos that I’ve created it’s with Shakr.
Ken: How cool! So that’s your secret to these awesome videos? Okay, we have one more question here coming in. It’s from Leslie. He says: question for Stephanie. Does your audience know that you are the sickest breakdancer?
Stephanie: Come find me at Social Media Marketing World at club night. I’ll be there in the middle of the dance floor sporting like my AgoraPulse hoodie and then I will break it down for you guys. Leslie, you’ll have to do like a collaboration with me next year. Maybe we could do like a flash mob thing.
Ken: I’m imagining a really cool edited video using Shakr with you guys breakdancing and maybe some beat scholar kind of stuff mixed in there
Stephanie: Oh yeah, we could we could do the whole Ecamm club karaoke over to the and then Leslie and I will shut it down. Right Leslie?
Ken: Absolutely! All right, I’m going to thank you so much for being part of this. This is Meet the Pros. If you haven’t seen it before, go back and look at all the other ones that we’ve done. And if you’ve enjoyed this, we’ve got some really cool guests coming up in the future. I don’t know if anyone will be able to top Stephanie. She is awesome live and a great person to interview. Stephanie, do you have anything else you want to add?
Stephanie: I’m gonna be heading out to Japan and Taiwan October 1st through the 14th and I just discovered that you could actually go live with your GoPro.
Ken: Oh wow. So that is something new and fun that I’ll be testing out and in a different country.
Stephanie: So if you want to follow along with that and what the setup is going to be, then go ahead and find me on lightscameralive.com.
Ken: And that’ll be October 1st through the 14th? That’s going to be a long trip.
Stephanie: Mm hmm. It’s going to be a long trip. It’s basically going to be eating all this food, maybe like a little mukbang.
Ken: I’ll tune in! Well, thank you very much for being with us again. We got some questions in and learned a little bit about your business and got some awesome tips. And I’m sorry I didn’t give you the chance to take a sip of water.
Stephanie: No, it’s good. I actually did hear someone in the background and I was like “there’s a cough button.”
Ken: That’s probably clean anyhow. Thank you, again everyone! Bye Stephanie!