Although content creation is not the principal focus of ecommerce, it’s right up there as a crucial pillar for many in the industry. My guest today Sara Nguyen shares her expertise on content creation, and the importance of putting your energy into the most efficient form there is, which as of this episode, is live streaming, something we’ve delved into as well not too long ago. It’s a format that couldn’t be more entry level friendly, you could do it today on your phone. If, of course, you have a listen and understand what to do.
Sara Nguyen is a Content and Course Creator who helps coaches, consultants and creative pros build their income using video on social media.
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Sara Nguyen: [00:00:00] I think one of the ways that I've found has kept me sane over the long-term is to not try to do it all yourself. Right. That's a big mistake. I see a lot of people hold on to for too long. In the beginning, I get the need to feel that you need to do every tiny piece, but there's ways to get help. Like I have, um, team assistants who helped me repurpose the content and who helped me, you know, distribute the content after the live streams over. For me to make it sustainable, I think, get help.
Joseph: [00:00:35] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind of insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews, with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable, so let's go.
Although content creation is not the principle focus of e-commerce. It is right up there as a crucial pillar for many in the industry. My guest today, Sara Nguyen shares her expertise on content creation and the importance of putting your energy into the most efficient form there is, which as of this episode is live streaming, something we've delved into as well and not too long ago. It's a format that couldn't be more entry-level friendly. You could do it today on your phone. If of course you have a listen and understand what to do.
Sarah Nguyen, it is good to have you here on Ecomonics. How are you doing today? How you feeling?
Sara Nguyen: [00:01:33] I'm great. I'm great. Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here.
Joseph: [00:01:36] Excited to have you on, especially at this particular point in time as we're recording, because our company is like getting our gears in motion to move into live streaming content. And that's what we'll be talking to you about today. So yeah, let's, uh, let's jump right into that.
So, the opening question is always well, not just this podcast, basically every podcast imaginable is who you are and what do you do?
Sara Nguyen: [00:01:58] Sure. So my name is Sara Nguyen and I guess I consider myself a content creator and a course creator. And at the moment, my love is social media, social media video, live streaming, all things video.
Um, I've been in the digital space for over 10 years now and I fell in love with live streaming because I really loved the fact that social media in general gave small businesses, the opportunity to mark themselves, to be able to reach a bigger audiences, but livestream added like another layer to that where businesses can not only put themselves out there, but they can leverage video to really showcase who they are, differentiate themselves, you know, showcase personality.
And that to me is such a beautiful thing. And hence why I'm such a big advocate of it because the barrier to entry to live streaming now is it's lower than ever before. Like before, like 15 years ago, if you wanted to live stream, it was ridiculously expensive and no one could do it. Now you can live stream with your phone.
You know, most people have a phone these days, so I absolutely love live streaming and advocate it as a tool for small business. And yeah, so that's kind of me.
Joseph: [00:03:06] And you say that, it was, uh, it was, uh, it was cost prohibitive, uh, back then also, I don't remember the video quality being particularly good. Like, if, if you're lucky it was like 420p or even 720p.
Sara Nguyen: [00:03:18] Right. I remember when Facebook live started slowly rolling out to like creators and people with the blue take and it was only mobile at that time as well. It wasn't great. Right. And it was very pixelated, but now, like we can live stream in high def, um, on YouTube, you can, you know, definitely live stream, um, and pushes it out in 4k. So you get like beautiful imagery now, um, something that you couldn't do before and you allow kind of people to see you and you couldn't do that 15 years ago. So I absolutely love that. And the ability to tell your story and to showcase that part of who you are.
Joseph: [00:03:52] Yeah. I do try to, at this point I do try my best not to like make a COVID reference. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to do it because it is relevant here is that with supply and demand principles, being what they are, there is a huge demand for human connection. And in order to supply that because not, we can't physically see each other in person all that much is to do a live video content. Uh, personally, I'm like, I kind of go out of my way to avoid zoom calls. If they're a substitute for something that we otherwise would have done in person, like, like a zoom call, like dance parties and stuff like that. I dunno. I, I get my tinfoil hat like peaks up and I get kind of like, Ooh, this is a little Orwellian for me, but, but live streaming is a natural fit.
And it's you, you put it excellently, uh, on your YouTube channel. And because of course, I always check out content so much so that you were making the point while you were saying the point and the point was live streaming is some of the most, if not the most efficient content that a, that a creator can make. So why is that?
Sara Nguyen: [00:04:51] So for me, particularly with COVID last year, like most people, um, there was a lot going on, you know, there was massive changes that no one expected. And for me as a creator and as a business, I still wanted to produce content, but the time it takes to, you know, release a video that you record, that you edit, you upload, is like four times the amount of time that it takes you to prepare for a live stream, hit record, and then the video is done once you've finished the live stream.
So for me, I liked the efficiency of live streaming and being able to just allow you to produce content without having to worry about the time to edit. And I talked about on my channel a little bit where I said, if it wasn't for live streaming, I probably wouldn't have put out content for, you know, the first six months of COVID because like everyone else was just trying to cope with everything that was happening.
So that's why I really love livestreaming because it's so efficient. And the second thing it's raw, right? So, you get to see people imperfect, you get to see, you know, um, things go wrong and how people handle it. And at first I thought, is that a bad thing? Is, are people going to judge me for that? But if anything, I think it builds more connection because people are like, Oh, that was funny. Or I saw that happened and you know, they just roll with it. So that's why I really love live streaming. And I think it's made a big impact in terms of allowing people to keep connecting and to show more of themselves, particularly at a time when people aren't able to see each other physically. So it's allowed for us to keep that connection open.
Joseph: [00:06:21] Yeah. I, you know, we weren't, um, we weren't live recording this and, uh, to this day we haven't, uh, live recorded an episode of Ecomonics, but like my apartment, uh, we'll occasionally do this flash rogue is like, and then 10 minutes will go by and then say, I'm sorry, that was a false alarm. Uh, uh, those are the toughest and we both succeeded.
We succeeded and failed the same time. And I remember the guest was Kurt Prosser and like three interruptions into the episode. And he's like, you know what? We should just keep this. This is hilarious. I'm like, all right, if you're fine with it, I'm fine with it. So you're right. It does give us a chance to, uh, humanize ourselves, even if we don't like intuit or we don't ask to have these, uh, do these things happen. Oftentimes we prefer they don't, they are blessings and they are gifts and they, and they can have a unique moment with the audience and then connect them and endear them a way that it reminds me of reminds me a lot of live, like live shows, going to I'll do a live performance.
And if I knew I was watching something that was a repetition to the performers, if they were presenting material they've already done, there are so many things that can happen in the moment that, that's where that connection comes in feeling that you were a part of something special in that particular night or in this case on that particular stream.
Sara Nguyen: [00:07:30] I think like, you know, sometimes when things go wrong, like, you know, something flickers or you make a mistake, which always happens, like you sit and you're like, Oh, that's not so supposed to happen. And instead of like denying it, I think just owning it going, Oh, that wasn't meant to happen or, wow, that was not how I expected it.
You know, people tend to kind of love that candidness and it really does allow you to connect more with people as opposed to pretending it didn't happen. It's like, no, I, you know, that happened. They know that happened. So it just kind of, you know, own it and play with it. So that's how I kind of approach it.
And it also takes the pressure off because live streaming's just one of those things where things randomly go wrong, like software updates cause glitches, you know, internet connectivity causes problems, like the streaming providers, whether it's, you know, from YouTube or the software itself, things go wrong all the time and just to expect it right.
And just to roll with it. Of course it gets to a point where, you know, sometimes it's like, this is not usable. But I found like those cases, but probably maybe one in 50, if that compared to when it's just the little glitches that you just rolled on.
Joseph: [00:08:34] Can you any chance to hit us with an example of like a specific time where something went hilariously wrong, but turned out to be better for in the long run.
Sara Nguyen: [00:08:42] Lots of times, lots of times. Um, um, I use lots of software for live streaming. I just like to be across the different software providers. And with my live streams, I like to add overlays. I like to add, you know, um, animated overlays in texts. And a lot of the times, like sometimes I'll just make mistake, whether I add the wrong, um, overlay or I'll add an old one or some one goes missing.
And I think there was one time. I accidentally hit an overlay. And then it had like this glitter animation, and I was like, talking about something relatively serious. And it was like, okay, glitter bomb, just went off in the middle of the live stream. Um, okay. We'll just keep rolling with that. And it was fine.
Like people thought it was hilarious and it was. At the moment I was like, uh, okay. Um, yeah, so it, you know, it just adds that little bit of personality and if anything you can, you, you, if you really want to, you could probably cut it out, you know, at the afterwards, because you know, the live stream typically saved as a recording.
So it's not the, it's not the end of the world. You can always remove a live stream if you're that unhappy with it. So I think, yeah, it's always just not as bad as you think it will be in your head.
Joseph: [00:09:48] Yeah. I mean that, that particular one is just funny too, because the contrast of like this, uh, this, I don't know what the subject was, but obviously something more serious than, uh, glitter, uh, it just punctuated by this all of a sudden glitter explosion. That, that's one of those comedy gifts you hear about where like something really funny that just happens. And it's, and it's a divine favor, just like this. This is funny. We, we gave you that one. All right. So here's what we're going to do.
I got a ton of like some, some, some guide questions, uh, some advice, some insight questions bearing in mind, of course, that what we're going to accomplish in an hour is, uh, nothing compared to what somebody could accomplish if they go onto your YouTube. And they, and they check out your content and they take their time.
So with all that in mind, it's just important that we understand what we're going to accomplish today. So number one, minimum requirements to stream. Uh, so I made up this term, I've been using for about three weeks now, and I think it sticks. It's called your bedrock and it's like your rock bottom, but positive.
So what would be the bedrock for a stream that is acceptable and that people are. Don't, they don't feel like they're doing you a favor by, by watching. And obviously we can get into the content side of it because I realized everything I just said is content related. But I was thinking specifically about gear and resolution and software and what you recommend for people getting started, getting their feet wet.
Sara Nguyen: [00:11:08] I think if you're considering live streaming, um, I always say like, everyone gets really caught up in gear and I get it because these really seductive, right? Where you see these photos of everyone set ups and I've got thousands of dollars worth of equipment, but you don't need that to get started because you know, there's also a reality that you may hate it and it may not suit you as well.
So I always recommend people to get started with what they have and a mobile device is what most people have that. Okay. And you know, there is a caveat, the mobile device doesn't need to have ideally a camera and an internet connection. So 51 nokia 5110 is not going to cut it. So it needs to be like a smartphone typically, so that you can start live streaming from.
And typically if you want to live stream to Facebook natively or to YouTube natively, you can do that from your mobile device, but software providers such as restream and such a stream yet also allow you to use their software to live stream from a mobile device as well. So that's definitely the minimum, you know, to get started.
I see lots of people invest in high end cameras because everyone wants 4k. Everyone wants high def, but I think get started with a mobile device because you've, you've already got it. And then you can just turn on the camera and start to get used to the feel of being live right. And to see how you handle it and how you can improve on it.
So that's probably like the lowest, like minimum to get started. Use your mobile device to get started with. Um, typically I see the progression is that people start with a mobile device. Um, you know, in terms of microphones, getting an external microphone helps as well because you're, yeah, it's not too bad these days with the microphone on a mobile, but you can always do a little bit better, whether it's you know, just getting the headphone that comes with your mobile device or getting an external mic, they can be quite cheap as well. The next progression I see people typically do is they'll progress onto a webcam and the quality of video from webcams these days is pretty good as well. So that's another, you know, not that expensive.
You can still get good quality video to progress your live streaming journey. And then typically what I say after that is people will then progress to a, you know, a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. In terms of their live streaming journey. That's what I typically see. Um, I, you know, I don't believe you have to have a high-end camera to start live streaming and I don't recommend people do that.
Um, it's kind of like, you know, it's, it's high risk, right? You're spending a lot of money for something that you may not like. Progress. Progressed, definitely, you know, progress and see how you enjoy the journey. So that's probably the journey in terms of cameras. Microphones, we can probably talk for a long time about microphones, like so many microphones.
Um, to be honest, I think at the end of the day, having an external microphone is better than not having one. And people obsess about microphones because they're also very seductive, but I think, you know, the best one that you've got is the best that you can afford. So that's the advice that I have there.
Joseph: [00:13:57] I think it goes a long way to just, I have a microphone, even if it's hanging, um, dangling from a. And the headphones, uh, you know, you only get so much fidelity out of it, but it's, it would, it makes it up for, is it because it's so close to the person's voice. It picks up a lot of, uh, our core raw information and it doesn't have to pick up too much else afterwards. Microphones are a nightmare to position. Like I I've got a zoom h2n was actually no more for being like a portable recorder. Um, but I've had it for a number of years and has never steered me wrong. Um, but it's like over sensitive. So it. It, it records very honestly, uh, which can be a detriment sometimes versus like recording it to say like a card you're in microphone or somewhere where there's a sweet spot.
And it kind of knows what the, uh, what the broadcaster has to do. Actually, I'm going to do a fun behind the scenes because it doesn't really no better time to do this, but for those of you, uh, are on the video. So my set up right now is leaning heavily into creativity. Like I use, I use wall hooks and then I have bulk ends holding up my blue screen, did it to keep the shadow from having behind.
So I have a ring light that I have attached to a camera tripod. So this, by the way, like last week's recordings, all them people might be able to see me like fidgeting the chair to like, get my light positioned properly. Uh, just to kind of like, like even so it's. It's what I like about my method is that it's insane.
And I enjoy that, but also because I'm just focused on getting results and I, and I think the more we limit ourselves at first, the more we test our creativity and see what we can pull off. Um, cause I, I think you make a great point about like, if people end up investing into the expensive gear, Even if they didn't, haven't built up the, the, the muscle memory or it's not part of their routine.
What ends up happening is a number of things. One of them is that they suddenly, they might have this feeling of superiority where all of a sudden, now they have the gear to make all this high quality content that all of a sudden they're going to make high quality content. And it will say it does raise their bedrock because I mean, if they sound a Bismal and they're on a Bismal gear, but then there are Bismal.
But the on good gear, it does raise the, the, the, the, the low end. So somewhat, it reminds me of like, if somebody gets into a guitar and a, and they ended up buying the most expensive guitar at the music store, and then they come home, they're like, ah, geez, this was a mistake.
Sara Nguyen: [00:16:17] Definitely, definitely. And I see it all the time, particularly in like the Facebook groups where it's like, Oh wow.
I can see at least $5,000 worth of gear. I hope you all live streaming every day. I hope that you are really making the most of that. So, yeah.
Joseph: [00:16:32] I think. I don't remember if it was you or if it was, uh, another guest we had earlier today, just about like comparing and contrasting, just to see what other people are up to.
Uh, I mean, it is like a pretty generalized subject anyways, but I will admit that like I've having talked to other people so far with their videos on and like, some people are on like their 4k cameras or the DSLRs and I'm on my 720p webcam. I'm like, I am, it's such a peasant.
Sara Nguyen: [00:16:55] I don't think it matters as much as people think it does.
Right. I think, um, yes, it's great to have high def video, but if the content isn't engaging and if the content isn't valuable, people will switch off. Right. So I just think, um, it doesn't matter as much as people think. It's a nice to have. It really is a nice to have, and there are lots of live streamers out there who do a phenomenal job who just use their mobile devices.
Right. And that's as good as someone with a high end camera who has crappy content. So I think, you know, you need to let the content lead and focus on that more than obsessing over the gear or, or even worse, getting the gear and not doing it because you want to keep upgrading because it's going to be an endless battle, right.
It's going to be more cameras that constantly come out, more mikes that come out and it's about just running with what you have.
Joseph: [00:17:47] All right. So one, one more question about gear, um, which is what gear you're using right now.
Sara Nguyen: [00:17:51] Okay. So, um, camera wise, I had some technical issues, so we're just using my iMac webcam at the moment. In terms of microphone cause I think sound is very important where you were using the shure sm7b and that's plugged into my rode caster pro as the, um, the mixer into my computer. And I've just got, uh, you know, my Mac headphones so that we don't get any, um, repays. So that's, that's what we're doing today.
So as I said, for me, it was like, okay, the camera is not my usual one, but we had issues and it was, it was more important to run for me to run with the interview then to be like, okay, we won't do it today. So I think this is another proof to the point that it's more important to use what you've got and to put something out that you can accept and be okay with then to not do it at all because it's not perfect and it's never going to be perfect. It will never be perfect.
Joseph: [00:18:40] Yeah. I, I, I'm glad I asked that because I'm looking at your video quality and I'm thinking. Oh, hold on a second. Zoom. Just like, did we just go back down to basic or I just like that? I don't know. No, but 4k, it looks like.
Sara Nguyen: [00:18:54] We're just going to blame zoom right now.
Joseph: [00:18:57] Fair, fair. Fair enough.
As we've established, what's truly more important than then gear, not the gear doesn't pull its weight it does is the content. And leading with the content is his major insight too. Cause I think the, our, our, our job is to supply the content and then as the, our demand increases, then, you know, we, we, we transitioned into gear that is now more worthy of the work that we do. So that's all well and good. Um, but when it comes to, uh, preparing content, I'd like to hear about your well for one, I I'm sorry. I can only see so much content, uh, in getting ready, but I don't actually know what it is you do on your live streams. So that would be a good place to start.
So how much preparation do you generally do before your live streams and then how much preparation actually comes with you into it? Because I imagine that a lot of times, a lot of things just happen organically. And next thing you know, a lot of that prep is backlogged for like the next episode.
Sara Nguyen: [00:19:57] So it really depends on the topic.
And I think, um, because I do live stream to YouTube, um, I'm very focused on creating content where that there's actual traffic and demand for it. So before I even, you know, um, turn on the camera, I'm doing keyword research to validate that the topic that I'm talking about is something that people actually want to hear about because, um, I want the video to do well.
Um, and be evergreen content that will continue to perform. So that's the first thing I always do. I'm always, you know, validating the topics or looking for topics, using keyword research to see there's actually some search behind that. And I think with that, people were like, how do you come up with ideas?
I'm like, I never run out of ideas because the data tells me like, there's so many different topics. So that's how I always start with a topic in terms of structure. I do have structured. So it depends on whether it's a tutorial or whether it's, you know, a quick tips video, but I have structures that I've kind of just developed over time where I can.
Where I know that this is the introduction that I'll have. This is how I format, you know, the lead into the content. This is how I structure the content, and this is how it ended. And I have these frameworks kind of as templates because, um, it will be, it's easier for me to go, all right, this is a tutorial.
I'll pull out the tutorial template and I'll just do bullet points so that I know what I'm talking about. One, it helps me stay organized and keep all the thoughts there because there's a lot going on during a live stream. You know, you're delivering content, you're watching the feed. Um, you know, you're making sure that.
Everything, all of your systems are behaving. And so just having that, that template with that structure helps me get through everything. And sometimes I miss things and that's okay. But without that template, I'd probably like miss like 70% of what I intended to do. So that's probably the next pop that I have.
I have templates and structures for the video that are present in terms of, you know, do I run through it before I actually go live. For the most part? No. Um, I'll practice it. If it's like a tutorial and it's something that I'm new so that I know what's what to expect and what will happen. But I do let a lot of it happen organically.
And that's what I love about live streaming. Right? Like it doesn't take copious, um, goes, it doesn't take this copious amount of time because you let it be organic. And you know, it does take a little bit of prep, but I think you can get into that system and into that rhythm that will help you put out content efficiently because you've got the mechanism of live streaming.
Joseph: [00:22:23] And I would think as well, along the same through line as, um, upgrading gear as, as necessitated, uh, is also upgrading systems has, is necessitated because I think it's the same thing. Like if I like over plan and I come up with an elaborate breakdown about how this is all going to work, and then I actually live stream and then we'll I put more time, like trying to adhere to the system than actually letting things unfold. So it sounds like ideally it's the same thing is like, as time goes on and we identify what we're doing and how we can systemize it, the system becomes more known and becomes more structured as we continue. Uh, as we continue on.
Sara Nguyen: [00:23:01] I think so. And I think like, it becomes an important thing. I think of bids, this misconception that people have of live streaming where it's like, Oh, just turn on the camera and take questions from the audience, or just turn on the camera and start talking. And it's like, well, you can do that, but I don't think that makes it really great live stream. Like there's no purpose to it. There's nothing, you know, specific for the audience to get out of that. So having the assistance and structures ensures that you deliver value on your content and that's at the end of the day, what will help your video perform really well.
Joseph: [00:23:32] I haven't seen like some I've seen live streams cause I'm, I'm pretty frequently on YouTube.
I've seen live streams that are based on the sentence, something that happens in the news where like a story is unfolding. And so if somebody normally covers this kind of thing, they will turn a live stream on right away, just so that there is somewhere for everybody. Who's constantly thinking about it to all congregate, start collecting information, uh, that way.
And, and it, it, it does turn into almost like a collaborative effort where now chat is pulling up resources that the host isn't pulling up and he's reading the links and stuff like that. Um, which I think transitions. Pretty eloquently. Not that I need to pat myself on the back about it, but into interacting with the audience, you have interacted with the audience prior to the live stream, which is more of the promotional side.
And we'll get to that. But I want to hear your experience about interacting with chat in the moment on the live stream and you know, some basic do's and don'ts, and maybe some, some instances of where like something really revolutionary happened in chat or like something that really stuck with you that like actually influenced the content or no of the stuff that sticks with you, basically what happens in chat basically.
Sara Nguyen: [00:24:38] Okay. So I think when it comes to chat with live streaming, um, if you do want to engage with people in there and not everyone does, if you do want to engage with people live on the chat, there's a couple of ways that you can do about it.
If you're really new to live streaming. And you're a bit worried whether anyone will show up at all, um, you know, you have the option that I found works really well, where you can, um, ask for questions before the live stream. So, you know, create a Google form. If people want to submit a question but can't make it to the live stream, you still got a bank of questions that you have.
Um, in case people are either quiet on the chat or, um, they don't show up. Cause that's a possibility when you start live streaming, there's this possibility that that won't be a lot of people there. Um, so, you know, you can gather questions beforehand that you can address in the actual live stream in terms of chat that way in terms of dressing questions in the chat. I find it becomes really helpful when you leverage the party software, the likes of, you know, ecan the likes of, um, stream yard. And restream where they allow you to display the chat comments on the screen. So for me, when I'm interacting with people in that, there's a good question that becomes part of the live stream.
And that viewer becomes part of live stream because I can display their actual chat on the screen. And that's, that's a really nice touch, right? It's a simple thing that most of the live streaming software providers. Um, have that makes both the content good and the viewer feel really good as well. It's like, Oh, they picked up my question and I answered it.
Or they gave me a shout out, you know, that creates really good engagement as well. And I find when you do that, other people kind of go like, Oh, she's featuring, um, questions. I'm going to ask a question too. And that prompts them to ask questions. So I think like those are some of the tips that I've found help in terms of getting chatting engagement and in terms of leveraging chat engagement, I'm a bit careful on the chat because it is the internet and the public. So, you know, I know some people have a live chat feed, just display on their screen of everything that goes through. And I personally don't do that because.
You don't really know what you're going to get with the chat comments sometimes. Um, and I find it a little bit unpredictable for the most part. People are well behaved, but it's one in 50 that you're like, Hey, that wasn't appropriate. I prefer that to not be onscreen. And now I can't edit it. There's that, but it's always a choice that you have.
And what else? Um, I also find that if you are going to have, you know, chat that you want to leverage having chat moderators, makes a big difference. I think it comes back to most people are well behaved, but there are just some strange people who come and they travel the chat. They troll you the trouble, the viewers, or having someone on your side who can moderate the chat, who can ban those people who misbehave, who can block them.
It makes a big difference for the experience for you and other people in the chat as well.
Joseph: [00:27:31] I, I, as you're telling this to me, I just remembered when I had gotten into Fortnite for about six months, uh, kind of, uh, uh, I'm a, I'm a nerd and I am not ashamed of that. Um, and I'm also not ashamed to play fortnite. Good game.
Not, not a fan of the way they kept updating it. Anyways, so I would, I would watch Twitch streams as well when I'm not playing, just cause I like continuing to watch the game play, see if I can pick up, uh, tips and tactics and stuff like that. And this one thing stuck out to me and I just wanted to get your take on it.
And maybe if you've seen like any equivalent and maybe not necessarily with yourself, but just like in your, in your verse, which is that basically what happened is the streamer would get paid money to do some of the dances. Uh, so he'd be in the middle of a game and then one of his audience members would.
I don't really know how else to say save would pay, would do the reward system. Uh, he'd get the notification. And then he stands up and he starts doing the dance like that. And I just thought, well, you know, you never know he's going to be a, he's got a kid of his own to take care of and sooner or later that kid's also going to be on tonight.
But the point is is that there is, there are limitations to how far you can let the audience in and putting up those barriers. And so handling that. So that's what I wanted to hear about is that your take on how you've been able to handle a rash. If you've got situations like that, where you've seen some people who let the chat, like get a little bit too far, get, have a little bit too much control over them.
Sara Nguyen: [00:28:53] Um, I haven't seen that so much. I do find what I've seen is that, um, you know, with super chats where people pay, you know, donate money during the live stream, a lot of creators would do a trick. During that time, if someone does a super chat, they'll do something funny or fancy or tell a joke or, you know, play a song or something like that.
So I see like, um, in terms of leveraging engagement that way. I haven't seen anything ridiculous and you know, offensive so far. So I'm very interested to hear, um, that that's been experienced that you've seen. I find gamers are a little bit different. The gaming chat fees that I've seen are a little bit different to typical YouTube live streams and stuff like that.
But yeah, no, I haven't necessarily seen things go out of hand on like a YouTube live streams yet, yet. It's not really an out, but I haven't seen it yet.
Joseph: [00:29:40] Yeah, the gaming community is a whole other situation. I'll tell you one other story and then I'll move on where, um, there's this one prominent member of the smash committee called hungry box and he's holding up like a pizza.
I think it was a Domino's pizza and any leans a little bit too forward. And that pizza slides right off the box. And I bring this up because before then chat was just like, they were constantly going and going and going and going. He's got a lot of people, he drops the pizza and there was. Silence for like a whole two seconds, which entre, which on, in on Twitch time is an eternity.
That to me was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. Like everybody was actually like, and then it goes off. So that, that sticks out that I, that I remember just like, Oh man, Hey, he clipped, he put it onto YouTube. It's uh, that's how I see it. I wasn't there live in the moment, but like, stuff like that is just so it's just so memorable and all he did was like, just, just like, he just wanted to eat a pizza.
I was hungry. All right. So the next thing I want to ask about is content creation is a pretty consistent of workload. And as I could, I, as I can speak to this too, I'm a content creator myself. Um, what I like to hear about is, uh, you know, your energy and your man keeping your mindset healthy. I saw this picture and I don't want to, like, I can't go too, like, too detailed into the picture because it is, uh, you know, kind of a mean internet meme.
But, uh, it did compare and contrast somebody who is like a content creator. As a, as a job, as a profession, um, versus somebody who has a profession outside of content creation, and then just makes content for the fun of it. And I felt like I was kind of in the middle because some people obviously the have to like sustain themselves this way, but they don't work for a company.
And so no one is like signing their paychecks. Whereas I have that luxury of, hey, it's coming in. So that helps out a lot, but even so I can, I can see it like there's weeks where I'm like, okay, man, I'm really kind of like, you know, starting to get a little, uh, get a weary here, hoping and hoping I'll have some time off.
Um, so I want, I want to hear about your experience in this, in this field and how like you've, um, You've dealt with your energy levels and mindsets and keeping burnout at bay.
Sara Nguyen: [00:31:41] That's an interesting one. I think when it comes to content, um, it can feel like the never ending story. Like it just keeps going and going and going, because part of the challenge is continually putting out content that's relevant that, you know, um, is up to date.
There's that ongoing thing. I think one of the ways that I found has kept me sane over the long-term is to not try to do it all yourself. Right. That's a big mistake. I see a lot of people hold on to, for too long. In the beginning, I get the need to feel that you need to do every tiny piece, but there's ways to get help. Like I have, um, team assistants who help me repurpose the content and who helped me, you know, distribute the content after the live streams over. If I, I remember when I was doing it all myself, I was like, I'm spending like, So how many hours, like not only creating and preparing for the content, but then releasing it afterwards.
I'm exhausted by the time it comes to the next one. So for me to make it sustainable, I think get help. You know, there's lots of people out there, you know, you can get better assistance to help you. And that just takes the workload off and for the five, 10 hours that they do to help me repurpose, I can spend that preparing new content.
And that helps with that burnout. And it's not as expensive as people think there's like lots of different ways to get, um, help, you know, you can do it, lots of creative ways. You can, you know, bribe and negotiate with students who are looking for work. And there's also platforms like Fiverr and there's also platforms like online jobs like that, where people are looking for work and it's quite affordable for the most part.
Joseph: [00:33:16] Yeah. We, we. Uh, the word VA comes up, uh, quite a bit because you know, a lot in the drop shipping space are looking for somebody to assist them and, uh, and take care of these things. I've always said that it is good to try to do as much as we can on our own, at least at first, so we can learn how this works.
And then that way, when we entrust that job to somebody else, we have a frame of reference for whether or not they're no holding up their end of the bargain or if we're ha we have to take them at their word. Um, so that element, I think is important, but I think overall, yeah, I I'd say when it gets to the point where that content has to come in that quickly or that efficiently and slow and be that good then yeah, you do need some help.
I, I, I I'm getting help. I'm being helped. So I'm, it's I can definitely speak to that. So one thing I want to circle back to by the way, uh, which is about, um, the promotional side of it. Cause I talked about interacting with the audience once they were there. Um, but I also wanted to get your take on what you're doing to let the audience know about these. Uh, I suppose that's a different thing because if you want people to be there for life, then it's a, it's a window of time. So like how you make sure that you know, your audience sees that and, um, sending emails, Twitter, how you, how you go about that.
Sara Nguyen: [00:34:22] I think there's lots of ways to do it. Um, I'm probably a little on the overwhelmed and inconsistent side in terms of letting people know when I'll actually be live. Um, I do for the most part try to, um, set up the live stream a week in advance. I think that's a good time for people to kind of see whether or not there'll be available on that day.
And for me, what works really well is, you know, you've got tools like restream that create that place holder video so that people can see that you will go live this week on Sunday, or you will go live this week on Saturday on YouTube or this week on Saturday on Facebook. That makes a big difference.
Like just having these little events that people can see in advance when you go live, um, having it on your channel, this is a big mistake. I see a lot of creators miss, um, on your actual YouTube channel, you can structure the playlist so that your upcoming live streams are on your page. And, um, a lot of people don't have that and they're like, Oh, you know, Come up, you know, they, they say come along to the live stream and it's like, where is it?
I can't see it. But having it visible on your channel is like a simple thing then people can, you know, drop by and see when that will actually happen, actually happen. And then there's like the, you know, organic promoting it on your socials, promoting on Instagram that you'll be live on a certain day and letting people know, promoting it on your Facebook page, those things as well.
But I find leveraging the tools within the software providers is a good way of letting people know and getting people on the livestream as well.
Joseph: [00:35:54] All right. So let me, let me just make sure that I am just to recap everything. Um, we, we've definitely talked about, uh, No, the audience, uh, pre and post we've talked about gear. We don't wanna get too much into it because they'll point is, you know, you make a way, uh, content preparation. And I, and I definitely think that's a really good basis and a good foundation of bedrock.
If, if I may, of what to keep in mind. And again, again, I always encourage our audience to check out the guest content, uh, at their, at their leisure on their discretion. So with that set. I also have, want to ask you some stuff too, just about, you know, your own experience getting into this, because I, I believe that like you were more of a backend, uh, person primarily, but I'm, I, I don't have all of like the, the milestones together.
I understand. Like, I think you were doing social media management. Is that right?
Sara Nguyen: [00:36:45] Yeah. So the story was, um, going back in time. So I, I really, I've always been in digital. I've always worked on websites. I've always worked on social media. I've always been in that content space. And, um, I remember I was working for a, an influencer and she, this was quite a long time ago and she was massive.
She was massive for her space as well. Let alone it being that early in time. And I was doing a lot of the behind the scenes where. It was back in the Google hangout days when they still had Google Hangouts and I'd moderate Google hangout and manage it for her so that she could just focus on the content.
And I remember just thinking to myself, you know, well, this is really powerful. Like, you know, her, she had a big audience, she had this, um, means to communicate with them. And it kind of, the penny just dropped at that moment of this is a great tool that anyone could use it regardless if they had an audience or not, because I could use it to build an audience. And it was in that moment that I was like, If she can do it and she's, you know, didn't come from the industry that she was in now and why couldn't I do it as well. So that kind of made me switch from being behind the camera and behind the scenes and producing to actually being in front of the camera, going, I think I want to give this a go.
So that's kind of how it evolved for me. Um, and I'm glad that, you know, I took that journey cause I, I got experienced behind the scenes of what it's like for someone who's done really well for a long time and then to start from scratch. So I got to see. You know, um, the, the tricks of the trade. And I also got to see that, although you have these people with these massive audiences, um, they're not that different to you as a, as a new starter, right.
They had the same insecurities, you know, they're worried that they'll get trolled as well. They create content in the same way that you create content that just been at it a little bit longer. So that I think has kind of been my journey where I started behind the scenes helping other people. And then I was like, Oh, I'm gonna do this too.
And I, you know, took the leap of faith and did it.
Joseph: [00:38:45] And you, and you say that you've been in the digital space pretty much the whole time. So like even some of the, or some of your earliest experiences getting into work, it pretty much, you just got an individual. Cause usually that's not usually, but I do have quite a variance in experiences.
I've had people who were like, Not very tech literate at all. They got into it. We've had people who thought they were going to go to school for chemistry. And then next thing I know, they're, they're pro proficient at affiliate marketing. Um, so that I find interesting. Did you have a vision for like where you would be right now, if you didn't, uh, if you didn't take this path and, uh, really, I guess, pivot into being a live stream and content creator.
Sara Nguyen: [00:39:23] Oh man, that's an interesting one. I, I, um, you know, I actually have a background where I worked in advertising, so I w uh, so I think I didn't enjoy the advertising space. Um, it is exhausting for me. It just wasn't aligned with my personality. It was long hours, very crappy pay back in that day anyway, um, particularly at the junior level.
And I just couldn't see myself doing it forever. And being just yet an advertising person. So for me, like I progressed from being in advertising and marketing, um, to going on to digital, which, you know, isn't the most foreign leap that people can make. There's, you know, a progressive leap and, and I'm glad that I did because, um, I think if I was to have stayed in that advertising half, um, I would have been pretty burned out.
I would have been pretty burnt out and I find a lot of joy in digital, just, you know, how dynamic it is and just how. I lowered the barrier to entry that it allows for everyone to have a chance. And that's what I really love about this space.
Joseph: [00:40:23] Yeah. Uh, so actually, so two points I want to, uh, address there.
One of them actually just about the advertising is, is where you, where you in the creative, or were you, uh, also doing back end work?
Sara Nguyen: [00:40:35] Um, I was doing creative work. Yeah.
Joseph: [00:40:36] Okay. Yeah, because I, I just, I have to admit when my earlier twenties back when Madmen was on TV, I found the concept of being a creative and an advertising agency very appealing the infidelity, not so much.
And I don't know how to find it, that part, but the idea of being able to observe the world in a certain way and then convey those ideas into something that can turn into a message. And then that message is spread out. And while you're at it, some people bowl of cereal. I do want to hear more about your experience in that field, just because it's something that I wanted to do in the past, but I'm not exactly sure how I want to frame this as a question, because in actuality, I have like 10 different questions, all kind of like vying to get out of my brain at the same time.
So tell me about what you thought or how you expected it to be compared to the, uh, the, the experience. And I do want to hear about how the creative process was affected based on like, you know, your deadlines and, um, what rules you had to follow based on the client, uh, along those lines.
Sara Nguyen: [00:41:30] I think in terms of my experience, like you it's like this idea that, Oh, you get to come up with the creative idea she is and, you know, jingles and it, in reality, it was a lot of, um, you know, you got to be a part of that process, but to get from, um, the initial idea to the end, um, commercial was usually a very long process, easily, you know, 12 months, 12, minimum 12 months, because they're taking that idea and they're testing it ferociously, particularly if it's going to go on television against lots of different focus groups and it's constantly refining testing, refining testing, and a lot of revisions.
Right. So I think like, that romantic idea that, you know, you come up with this idea or a test really well. And it goes out to market, never was the case, particularly with television, like those, every time the test came back, it was usually really bad. And that's what they wanted. They wanted to say, you know, they wanted to make sure that if there was something that would go wrong, they'd pick it up before they spent $20 million on advertising.
So I think like that. That side of it was okay, but it was exhausting. And then, you know, in terms of the creative process, it's like, I don't really get to be creative. Um, you know, we're kind of just, you know, it's great to tweak things based on user feedback, but I didn't feel like you really got to put things out the way that you wanted it, because it was so shaped by, you know, how the users responded and how, how aligned that client or that brand was to how they wanted users to react. So you didn't really get to be as creative because there are so many layers, there's so much politics behind what you could and couldn't do. So that kind of didn't allow you to be as free as you get to be in the digital space. Um, I really, you know, when it comes to people asking me, what do you live stream about.
And I'm like, what, what can you live stream about like, particularly in e-commerce people are like, well, I have products. How do I live stream about that? And it's like, you can show you, you can show so many things you can talk about. You can talk physically about the benefits of it. You can showcase how it's used.
And they're like, but all my products are the same as everyone else's I'm like, yes, but you're not, you know, you get to show you using it. You'd get to show your experience. You get to show, you know, how it's impacted you and that makes you different. And you going, you don't get to have that in my experience in the advertising space, it's kind of so defined because it's such an old process, right?
It's probably from the mad men, you know, period where they've got that rigid process that you've just kind of going through. And for me burnt out off. So.
Joseph: [00:44:01] I will say one quote that I'm reminded of in mad men. It's not really like a quote unquote, but there there's a scene where they're all talking about the, uh, the protagonist on Draper and a former employee.
Yeah. You know, he really doesn't follow the rules. He's a genius and bosses. Do you think that way about me? You know, go go right. 10 times taglines, russet cream. And that right. There are 10 taglines for zipped cream made me think. Okay. That's probably more of what the job is like, is like, yes. Yeah. So my, my, I I'm, I don't know how many taglines I can come up with a cream.
I'd say like two or three, maybe. And there might be like one banker, but other than that, I don't know. Uh, actually, you know, it was, it was, it was great because, uh, I didn't realize, I hadn't asked you about setting and background for, um, for last year. I mean, obviously we don't want to like get to, we don't want to show it too much.
Um, but how, what thought have you, uh, put into the background and forgive me, but the background that I'm seeing right now is that the backroom that you didn't really use on your livestreams.
Sara Nguyen: [00:44:58] It is, but it looks a bit more like this and zoomed in. So today I was like, let's go a little bit raw. They can see a bit of the mess, I don't mind.
But, um, what you see is the background that I typically have for my live streams, and it's a lot more zoomed in, so you won't necessarily see all the mess on the floor and the sewing machines and all of that. So, um, for me, I am fortunate that I have the space to be able to, you know, decorate a wall and paint a wall and, um, put, you know, shelving on the wall with.
It's a personality. And that was the whole point of when I decided to go down this path off, you know, I want to have a solid wall. I want to show parts of my personality. I'm a star Wars fan. I'm a wonder woman fan. I liked the movie regardless of the fact that it got slammed and you know, that, that's what I, that's what I choose.
Joseph: [00:45:45] I was at wonder woman or star Wars.
Sara Nguyen: [00:45:48] Well, both, both. Right? It's like, I like those movies, even though they got slammed and that's okay. So, um, I think in terms of backgrounds, for me, it's about, okay, this is part of who I am, and this is what I want to show people about who I am. If it, if people are so offended by the fact that I like star Wars and wonder woman, um, and they get turned away.
So be it, you know, you probably weren't meant to be part of my tribe if I offended you that much, just from the elements of my background.
Joseph: [00:46:14] Well, then you have star Wars fans are also offended, but then star Wars itself. That's a whole other debate.
Sara Nguyen: [00:46:19] That's right, right. So for me means a chance to show your personality.
And for me, it's a chance to kind of attract the right people as well. So as I say, to hear that offended by the fact that I've got this stuff on the wall, then you're probably not meant to be part of it.
Joseph: [00:46:31] Very, very, very brief point by the way, but just, just, uh, just to let this, uh, out of my, out of my system, I meh on the force awakens. I love the last jedi. I like, I like second favorite star Wars movie. I hated rise of Skywalker.
Sara Nguyen: [00:46:47] Why. Why.
Joseph: [00:46:49] I just it's. It's like. There were all these times where they were just trying to like pull the nostalgia string, like they hand chewy the meadow along less and I'm like, Oh yeah, he got it. He got his medal.
Yeah. I just, yeah, I just didn't just didn't do it for me.
Sara Nguyen: [00:47:03] And you know what? That's okay too. Like, you know, it's like some people like stuff, some people don't like stuff and that's okay too.
Joseph: [00:47:09] Well. That's, that's, that's the fun of star Wars is I think I ever, I don't think anybody, two people have the same opinion on it.
Uh, w with the exception of, uh, the empire strikes back. Is there somebody who doesn't like that when, uh, I'm going to have some questions for them because the Christmas coffee. In going through your YouTube content, one of the one tidbit of knowledge I pulled out that I thought was really interesting was this idea of like productive procrastination.
I, I heard that and I thought I am definitely doing that. I've yet to identify how I'm doing that. But like I've overall got a pretty good sense of like the fundamental of this feeling like I'm busy. Tactically busy, but not busy in the way that's productive compared to my time. So, uh, I've only got I'm I'm watching the clock like a Hawk.
Uh, I've got you for eight minutes and I'm going to change the wording on that because that particular word and can backfire. If I. Stutter, but anyways, let the audience know about productive procrastination and why this is like, keep this in mind people.
Sara Nguyen: [00:48:10] So the concept of productive procrastination is that you do all of these busy work that is filling up your time, but it's not actually helping you move forward in the business.
It's not actually helping you. Um, Do that thing that you need to do, um, and it's task avoidance. So for me in the live streaming space, productive procrastination looks like constantly researching for the best quote, unquote microphone. You're spending hours and hours searching for microphones for cameras and um, buying them, but you're not actually going live. You're filling all your time searching for it, but you're not actually going live because you're filling all, all of that time. Another good one that I see all the time is that people edit their own videos and people get a bit cranky when I say this, but I'm like, I feel particularly if you are a content producer and you're putting out a lot of content and it's not your strength, um, you probably shouldn't be doing it if it's taking you 20 hours.
Um, It's probably not the best use of your time when you could be spending that time, preparing and producing that content and getting someone else to edit it and turn that around. You can turn it around faster than you and do a, probably a better job because I'm not a great beauty editor. And I, I don't edit my videos anymore.
So I find like there's all these things that people do to keep themselves busy, but it's not leveraging their skills the best. It's not the best use of their skills because we've all got an infinite amount of time. And if you choose to keep during the busy work, as opposed to that, you know, um, higher value work.
You're not going to get there. You're not going to get to. Producing that live stream. You're not going to get to releasing that video because you're making excuses and you're finding ways to not do the thing that you need to do. So I think it's a trap that people fall into, particularly when it comes to gear people.
I was like, yeah, I was researching that for a week. And I was like, Oh wait, you spent like, Oh wait for searching a microphone. Did you buy it? And it's like, Oh no, I think I'll decide next week. I'm like, no, like that is the definition of productive procrastination. How is that productive? It's not, you're clearly just procrastinating from doing what you need to do.
So I find that, um, you can typically tell if your doing that, if the tasks that you're doing, you could probably pay someone $5 an hour to do. Now, all this, right? If you can pay someone cheaply to do it or VA to do it, you probably shouldn't be doing it. In my view, as a business owner, you should be focusing on the high stuff that brings in money that produces content that builds the brand.
So that's my view of it. Productive procrastination. How are you productively procrastinating? That's I'm interested to hear.
Joseph: [00:50:49] I guess I have a journal and I'm just holding it upside down and I'm not going to go into focus cause they don't give it to actually see it. But I wrote down everything that I intended to do on Sunday and I crossed off seven out of 18, 19, uh, tasks.
And I think to myself, what I was, what I was doing and I was keeping. And this was me keeping in mind that I had already knew about productive procrastination. And what I was trying to do was like, go through these and say, which one of these is the most important one that I've got to do. And, uh, if I, if I go back through my history, a lot of the time I didn't do that, I would just go through whatever it is that I can get done.
And my philosophy was, well, if I'm getting the momentum going and I'm getting the reward of like, okay, this is complete. Now, this is a complete none. This is complete instead of like going into like the hardest thing to do that day and kind of feeling like I'm going up against the wall. All of a sudden that was my methodology for it.
But, but when it comes to productivity, honestly, my philosophy has changed like on a week to week basis. The only thing that's been consistent is the fact that I've been using journals for the last seven years to at least like, have a vision for what my day is going to be tomorrow. And the day after.
Sara Nguyen: [00:51:58] It doesn't sound to me like you're procrastinating at all.
It sounds to me like, you go, Hey, this stuff done. Seven things done. Like that's massive.
Joseph: [00:52:04] Yeah. I mean, the point there would be like, okay, well, what are the seven things? Like what was one of them? Take the laundry down compared to like, Uh, I, you know, finish a writing the, uh, the, the, the, the webinar prep. So I think for me, what I, I looked at that and I thought, okay, well, if I had to score each of these out of 10, how many times did I do like the platinum stuff?
How many times did they do the silver stuff? The Brown stuff, and so on? Yeah. Uh, I'm just glad I brought it up because it's. If we can, if we can adjust our mindset and then we can transform our days into much more productive days. And, and again, a lot of this comes back to what we've been saying from the beginning about, um, you know, over, over focusing on gear and, uh, not getting help when you need it.
And those things have come rifle circle right back to where we are now with that. Uh, I got you for. No. I was going to say in a different language, you couldn't pick with one also. Well, the thing I noticed you, I was just, that was just kind of funny is that I thought I was the only human being on the planet who like changes my voice when I'm doing an oppression with somebody else.
And you did it too. You were like, wait a minute. I thought that I was supposed to do that. I haven't met anybody else who does a particular jokes? I just thought that was that. That was funny.
Sara Nguyen: [00:53:12] There you go. I do I do it unintentionally or no, I don't. I think I do. I do it unintentionally, but I definitely do it.
Joseph: [00:53:18] Yeah. It's like half and half. It's like, it's my go-to if I need to like impersonate somebody yelling, but I don't want to yell. So why are they doing over there?
Sara Nguyen: [00:53:25] I think in my last in my last live stream, the topic was, you know, um, what happens if you take a break from YouTube? Um, There's this misconception that, you know, you have to constantly release all the time on YouTube.
And if you take a break, then everything's going to fall apart everyone's going to get angry with you. And I told him about my experience because I had to take a month off, um, over January. Cause there was, you know, there was some big stuff that happened. There was a death in the family and I talked about um, the misconception was that your subscribers will get angry at you, you know? And in my experience that didn't happen at all. Like those, these misconceptions that you described, your subscribers will get angry at you and they'll hate you and they'll send you like abusive messages. And I was like, no, that didn't happen at all.
If anything, people were messaging me going, Hey, we haven't heard from you for a couple of weeks a year. Okay. So that's why the voice came in because I was impersonating angry subscribers who didn't, who don't exist.
Joseph: [00:54:16] Yeah. I mean, as you're describing that, I'm thinking. Well, if they're like addicted, that could be like, if people are addicted to somebody's content, uh, so much so that, like, they actually go through withdrawal.
If it's not there, then that gets into some of the, uh, the, the algorithmic issues about how, um, YouTube can like curate somebody's experience to the point where they're just kind of like stuck and they can't get off in anything. That's a whole other subject. Um, so we're just gonna, like, we'll, we'll table that for another time, but I'd be happy to have you back.
And, uh, I keep any number of these threads going. So with that said, uh, in the very, very tiny bit of time we've got left, uh, our wrap-up question is Ecomonics tradition, tradition across the whole podcast space is if you have any final words of wisdom, any parting advice you'd like to share with people.
Feel free and then let the audience know how they can get in touch and check out your content.
Sara Nguyen: [00:55:09] I think the parting words is that if you've been considering live streaming and video, um, and you've been like, I'm not sure if I should, if I should. Um, I'm not sure if I could. The answer is yes. You should and you can't, that's probably my parting words and I'd love to see, I love seeing people give it a go and people are always really surprised with how much better they do, then all the fees that they have about what will happen.
So that's probably my parting words there. And, um, you can find me on YouTube. I'm Sara Nguyen and my website is Sara Nguyen online. Um, thanks so much for having me. It's been a lot of fun to just, you know, talk about digital live streaming and you know, my experience that I get to talk about myself. Well, you know, for a whole hours and it's, it's been really great to have this chance to be on.
Joseph: [00:55:53] Right. Terrific. Well, audience, the thanks to all of you for, uh, participating in this, we are always looking forward to feedback, so you know what to do, and with that take care and we will check in soon.
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