7 lessons I learned from 30 days of Facebook Live broadcasting

Today was broadcast number 30 and the end of my 30 day experiment with daily Facebook Live broadcasting. Here are 7 lessons I learned from this experience. Video below, scroll for text.


  • The “veil of fear”
  • Getting used to “fish face”
  • The perils of drinking carrot juice before going on camera

I could probably share 100 things I’ve learned in the course of this experiment, but to keep both the video and the post short – I’ll share 7 of them with you.

1. Fear disappears quickly

Me after creating my first video!

We overcome fear by doing the things that scare us.

Showing up live on Facebook – my face on video – was a huge fear for me.

This was something I avoided for a long long time.

The first broadcast was the hardest (I barely remember doing it, my heart was racing so fast!)

It got easier as I went along and the fear pretty much disappeared by the end of the first week.

Then it resurfaced on the following Monday!

It takes time and repetition to vanquish fear. This is why a daily challenge is so helpful.

One of my past clients refers to fear as a “veil” and I think it’s an apt description. Once we walk through, we wonder what we were so worried about! (And we wish we had done it sooner.)

2. You get cuter

You know you’re getting over “showing up on camera” when you’re delighted with this thumbnail (I think it’s hilarious) – instead of horrified.

Avoiding making videos because you don’t like how you look on camera? This observation is for you!

I’ve done videos in the past – 99% of them did not have my face in them. Instead, I would share power point slides and speak.

One of my big hesitations around doing Facebook Lives was the part about putting my face on camera: comparing myself to others, thinking “who am I to do this” – to dare to show up on video when I have a face for radio.

As expected, I cringed the first couple of times I saw my videos.

Every time I uploaded a video to Youtube, it would suggest 3 different thumbnail options – almost all of them with me looking like a fish with my mouth open.

Because of the relentless deadline (see tip #4) I needed to choose one and move on.

Then an interesting thing happened. I got used to seeing myself. I got used to seeing my face. Even the Youtube fish faces.

And now…looking at my face on video is familiar. It’s normal.

I’m even starting to think I’m kinda cute. 🙂

3. Don’t drink carrot juice before going on camera

The system I use for broadcasting shows my face on my monitor as I talk (so I can make sure that I’m just off camera enough to hide the big bald stripe on the top of my head.)

One day I drank my carrot juice immediately before going live – and was highly distracted by how orange my tongue appeared.

4. Creativity loves constraints

Weirdly enough, it’s easier to be creative when you put yourself IN the box!

We creative people love our freedom. Time to think and mull things over. We push against boundaries and deadlines. We get bored by routine.

I was worried that doing a daily broadcast would be boring, that I’d run out of topics, that writing every day would suck the life out of something that used to be a creative task that I loved.

I’d heard a rumour before and it turned out to be true: creativity loves constraints.

The relentless daily deadline meant I needed to make quick decisions about what I would talk about. It bypassed both over-thinking and perfectionism.

The ducks don’t need to line up. You don’t need to do things in order.

Posting on a consistent schedule made me more creative, not less. (After every episode, I had 3 or 4 new topic ideas.)

5. Insights into the limitations of capacity

A challenge like this can show you how much you can accomplish if you put your mind to it.

Capacity is a huge limitation for self-employed professionals.

We only have so much time and energy in a day.

I surprised myself with what I was able to do: a video and blog post every day! (I previously struggled with posting something once per week.)

So…I have more capacity than I think I do!

I also came up against the “energy” limitation.

I have only so many creatively productive hours in a day – and the daily content creation took most of it.

It took ALL all of it if I allowed it (Parkinson’s Law!)

6. What it feels like to start to create a body of work

Some of your work will be your absolute best. The rest won’t. Recognizing this takes a lot of perfectionist pressure away!

Your body of work is comprised of every creative thing you put out.

You can’t have all greatest hits!

Over the course of 30 posts/videos:

  • 5 will be “The Best”
  • 5 will be “The Worst”
  • 20 will be somewhere in the middle

Knowing this makes it easier to overcome perfectionism.

And interestingly enough, the pieces I liked the best weren’t necessarily the ones that my viewers/readers liked the best.

(Apparently, you’re all huge fans of planning, productivity and time management stuff!)

7. Audiences don’t just show up

If you have some concerns or fears around visibility, being seen, having all eyes upon you – this is great news! You have time and space to practice and experiment and get past the fears in anonymity (or close to it.)

As I’ve said, before: you’ll grow into it.

Oh yay! I have A viewer! (Thanks, Moneca!)

And as Barbara Sher says: don’t worry you won’t ever become that famous!

I never had more than 3 viewers for any of my live broadcasts – even though I scheduled them ahead of time and sent reminders to my email list every week.

It’s crowded out there.

Part of the reason I had very few viewers was that I made the decision to broadcast on my business page instead of my personal profile – and Facebook does not show page content to all your “fans”- even if you do live video.

You need to spend A LOT of time promoting if you want anyone to see what you’re creating.

Which brings me to the big question now that the experiment is over.

So what’s next?

Who knows?

You can find out here: Patty’s Facebook page.