This guest post is by IFBC22 sponsor Ecamm Live
Kathy Hester is a home chef, cookbook author, blogger, and digital marketing expert. Over the last 14 years in the industry, she has sold over 150,000 cookbooks.
Kathy also teaches live streaming and video production with a focus on finding your authentic self and pushing past feelings of fear and shyness. Five years ago, if you had asked Kathy to go live, she likely would have told you “heck no.”
In fact, she did.
“I remember my business coach, Jenny Melrose, telling me to just go live. And I was like, no. Finally, I agreed to pitch live streaming to a company I was working with and they said yes! Since I had never done live streaming before, I had nothing to show them. But they wanted four live stream broadcasts, so I had to learn how to go live.”
Like starting a blog, or writing a cookbook, Kathy decided to jump in with both feet and just give it a try. And do you want to know a secret? Those first four episodes weren’t perfect, but they were impactful.
“I honestly believe that there’s just X amount of crap that you have to go through and get out of the way to get to that good spot. I’m not sad that I had to do the live streams that way. It forced me to just start and go live. Now my studio is set up in my kitchen and I’ll go live at the drop of a hat. You’ll never really succeed unless you’re willing to fail.”
One of the biggest selling points of getting started with live streaming is that it’s raw and authentic. When you’re live, you’re not able to hide behind fancy video edits or tweaks. It’s what you say is what you get – ums and all. That authenticity is what builds a viewership and community behind you and your content. It’s also what can be scary and uncomfortable when you’re getting started.
“It’s like learning to cook. I can tell you that I’ve messed up some stuff in my life and that’s OK. Your homemade pasta and sauce is always going to be better than box pasta and canned tomato sauce, even if it’s not perfect to you. Video is the same way. You can do a great job even if your lighting isn’t there or you don’t have the best camera… you can still have that connection with your viewers. We all need to get comfortable with uncomfortableness.”
Live streaming helps Kathy welcome her readers and fans into her kitchen to spend time with her, ask questions, and learn something new. Sometimes she’s walking through a recipe, other times she’s testing out a new kitchen gadget, or making a spice blend. Her community shows up to each live stream because, to them, it feels like they’re coming over for a visit with her.
And that’s the goal.
When Kathy became a vegetarian back in 1983, you couldn’t even buy tofu in a grocery store. There was no real support for that diet and lifestyle So she taught herself how to cook. She developed not only recipes, but also the process for how to be successful as a vegetarian. Through her food blog and cookbooks, she’s able to share recipes with everyone. Live streaming allows her to welcome those people into her kitchen and give them the opportunity to know her better and learn her approach to cooking – it’s more than just the recipes.
About five years ago, Kathy attended a plant-based food conference. While she was there, she met some of her cookbook and blog readers. After just a few minutes of hearing their stories, it became apparent that Kathy’s readers weren’t just in it for the one-off recipe – being vegan or vegetarian was a part of who they were.
While her cookbooks and blog were certainly working well for her, there was an opportunity to build a community and connect with her readers and fans in a different way.
Kathy’s Facebook community now has about 7,000 members. They share recipes, tips and tricks, and more. It’s also a safe space where everyone can ask questions, try things out, and make it all their own. Live video is integral to this community.
“If I’m having a rough week or I’m just really busy, my community jumps in and answers questions for me. In many ways, that’s happening because of my live videos – because we’ve had that connection together live. They’ve seen me preparing a meal and watched me as I double checked to make sure I had enough water added or diced an onion in a particular way. They know how I approach cooking and they feel comfortable helping each other. They’ve basically taken it and run with it.”
To plan and produce her live broadcasts, Kathy uses Ecamm Live. With Ecamm, Kathy is able to connect multiple cameras (including an overhead camera so you can see her hands as she preps recipes), improve her audio, present recipes, images, and video clips, and even show viewer comments on screen. And she does it all from her Mac computer right in her kitchen.
The best part? Once the live stream ends, Kathy has a copy of her video automatically saved on her computer so she can share it with those who missed it live, trim it up for social posts, or even grab the transcript to turn the video into a blog post.
In order to make things easier and ensure everything is always ready to go, Kathy keeps her live streaming gear (cameras, microphones, computer, lighting, etc) set up all the time so that she can just walk into her kitchen, turn everything on, and go. This not only saves her time, but also makes it easier for her to be consistent in creating content because she’s not stuck with having to set things up and take them down each and every time she wants to make a video or share a recipe or story with her community.
Kathy may have thought “heck no” when first thinking about live streaming, but now going live is second nature and central to all she does.
If you’ve been saying “heck no” about live video, but Kathy’s story has you thinking differently, get in touch! We’d love to show you how Ecamm Live can make a difference and how you can be up and running with live streaming quickly and easily. Try Ecamm Live today for FREE at www.ecamm.live
Learn more about Kathy, her cookbooks, blog, courses, community, and live streaming tips & tricks at https://www.kathyhester.com