How To Get Started On Periscope (Even If You’re An Introvert)

I believe wholeheartedly in teaching what you know.

Nothing beats a teacher with experience – not the textbook kind, but the school-of-hard-knocks kind.

If there’s one thing I know about it’s… being an introvert.

In my former life as a freelance designer, I could mostly work around the more ‘unsociable’ aspects of my character.

The kind that made me happy to spend my days quietly pushing pixels behind the safety of my screen.

Now, with the consultancy business I’ve built up online, I’ve started to see how valuable – in fact, vital – putting myself ‘out there’ actually is.

To clarify, by ‘out there’ I mean everything from speaking directly to others in my field over Twitter, participating actively on Facebook groups (and even starting one), getting personal with my loyal email subscribers.

Oh, and broadcasting live to the world on Periscope.

I wouldn’t say I’m an early adopter, and I now recognise the wave of reactions I go through whenever any new social platform comes to my attention.

Phase 1: That’s a stupid name. Why would anyone need X?

Phase 2: Gee, a lot of people I respect seem to be using this thing… I’m sure glad I don’t have to!

Phase 3: Hm. I should probably see what X is about. Just in case someone asks me what I think about it for their business.

Phase 4: Well, whaddya know! This X thing is kind of fun! I’ll just dip in every now and then – see how it goes.

Phase 5: I am OBSESSED with X and EVERYONE I meet needs to hear about how life-changing this is!

Please tell me I’m not the only one who deals with this line of crazy think?

Anyway, I was at Phase 5 with Periscope in January 2016.

So, I started broadcasting, turned out a few and then… watched them back. Dear God, I thought. I should not be allowed on camera.

I promptly stopped broadcasting.

But… I didn’t want to throw in the towel just yet. I loved watching my favourite scopers (Chalene J, Zach S, JonathanJK… this list needs a whole blog post tbh.)

I also had (and still do) utter faith that live broadcasting – be it on Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook etc – is where it’s at, and that’s exactly where I want to be.

So… I pulled up my big girl panties and set a PLAN into action.

Gotta have a plan 😉

Get started on Periscope

It went a little something like this:

How To Get Started On Periscope

(Even If You’re An Introvert)

1. Start making videos daily

The thing holding me back most from broadcasting live was… fear of looking stupid.

It wasn’t unwarranted fear either: I know how much I clam up when I’m looking at a camera. Oh and the ‘umms’ and ‘errrs’ are enough to make anyone leave and never come back.

Awkward scope!


I do know one thing though: practise makes perfect. Or at least acceptable.

On Periscope: acceptable is good enough – trust me.

So I began to make daily videos on my phone. I’d watch them back and (even though it was painful at first) I saw myself get better over time. Which in turn, boosted my confidence.

It also got me into a good habit: showing up daily.

Even if you don’t plan on broadcasting every day, I recommend getting into a solid routine. That way, you can add in your profile something like:

‘Scopes about [subject] every [day of the week]’

… so people know when to tune in – and if you’re worth following.

I know I’m 100x more likely to follow people who either have a recent broadcast up, or they can tell me when to expect one.

2. Stalk the influencers… LIVE

Stalking is all good and well when you’re supporting your favourite Scopers and taking everything in. But if you really want to start building an audience, there’s no better way than catching them live and getting stuck into the comments stream.

Even if you aren’t ready to broadcast, you can still start getting recognised. If your profile is convincing enough, you’ll likely get some followers anyway if you’re adding value to the conversation or even just showing your personality.

3. Take notes

Now I don’t generally condone getting too comfortable in this ‘learning’ stage, because if you’re anything like me: this can last a bit too long.

I love learning – it isn’t scary. But it does tend to delay me taking action – you have to have a balance between learning and doing.

So, I did indeed spend most of Jan and Feb taking notes from what my favourite Scopers were doing: what I liked about their broadcasts, what I felt would apply to my audience, and so on.

Some, like Zach Spruckler and JonathanJK are giving legit amazing advice on their broadcasts specifically about being on Periscope, whereas others (like Christine Hronec and Donata White) are just naturals who inspire me to get on and be myself. Either way: there are things to learn from all your favourite Scopers.

4. Make a list of specific topics

My introverted nature means I’m not super comfortable with ‘winging it.’

There are plenty of Scopers I follow who probably wing it most – if not all – of the time, and they make incredibly engaging broadcasts.

But… that’s not for me. I need to know what I’m going to say in advance.

I’m not recommending having a ‘script’ for each broadcast, but I do think having a topic – and occasionally bullet points – helps tremendously.

Periscope topics

Even if you don’t stick to your list, it’s somewhat reassuring to have one on days where you’re feeling less than inspired.

5. Set a challenge and a deadline

The most important part of my plan was to have a ‘launch’ date. Otherwise the whole ‘planning’ stage would just keep on going!

So, March 1st was my launch date: I would get my mug BACK on ‘Scope and give myself 28 days to show up consistently on a daily basis – even if it was for a minute.

One of my broadcasts at the start of my challenge was on exactly that: I told myself I could bail whenever I wanted, delete it and it would be like it never happened. That was a massive help.

I also gave myself a little wiggle room: if I did miss a day, I would get back on the horse. You haven’t failed until you quit.

6. Remove the last crumbs of fear

You can have this plan in place, but nothing will take away the last lingering crumbs of fear.

All you can do, is know that:

  1. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you can end the broadcast
  2. If the Scope really is a flop, you can delete it
  3. It’s a freaking video!

Yeah! Like, really. It is NOT a poisonous snake. It is NOT a burning building. It really, really doesn’t warrant the kind of fear we attach to it in our first world, digital-era lives.

Bonus tip: Just. Start. Broadcasting.

Seriously though, there’s nothing that’s going to sit you down and pull the trigger other than you.

I mean, may be you could outsource it… but no, really. Just. Start. Broadcasting.

So, have you got on the live broadcasting bandwagon?

If not: what’s holding you back?

PS: If you’re an introvert like me, you should totally check out the League of Creative Introverts.