How to Benefit from Using Periscope: A Guide for Authors, Speakers and Leaders

How to Benefit from Using Periscope: A Guide for Authors, Speakers and Leaders

If you are active on social media, especially Twitter, then you have most likely heard of Periscope. It’s a live video streaming service, owned by Twitter, that all the “cool kids” are flocking to.

In this post I’ll share what Periscope is, why it matters, and how you can use it to grow your platform, build your business, increase engagement with your followers, and more.


In short, it’s an app (download it here for IOS or Droid) that enables you to broadcast video live from your phone / device at any time, from anywhere, to those who are following you. But it doesn’t stop with just those who are following you, Periscope also enables you the option to be discovered by new people as well (which is a huge opportunity if you are looking to expand your reach). It has a lot of great features too such as commenting which allows those who are watching to interact with you. Periscope will also host a replay of your live broadcast for 24 hours after it ends (you can save the video to your device and use it elsewhere as well – Youtube, etc).


If you have a message to share, a product or service to sell, or cause to champion, you should care about any and every tool that might help you do so. It doesn’t mean you need to use every tool but you should at least investigate and consider testing it out. If you are serious about amplifying your influence and expanding your reach then you really should consider opportunities like Periscope (because in just a few short months it has gained over 10 million users and climbing). That’s why you should care. Don’t look at it like just another social media tool to manage, look at it as an opportunity to reach more people and possibly do so in a more dynamic / engaging way. The more you reach, the greater your impact.

Beyond that, Periscope has the very tangible ability to help you grow your following, build your email list and sell more (books, products, and services).


One of the obstacles for many is trying to determine the value of doing something new, especially live video. Will people watch? What if I look silly? What would I talk about? How would it benefit me and create a return on investment (ROI) for my time?

First, if you are thinking about it from the ROI standpoint and what’s in it for you, you need to shift that perspective a bit. Sure, you need to guard your time and invest in things that create a positive return but you also need to have a focus that is on serving your user / follower. Think about how you can ADD VALUE to them. What can I talk about that would give the most value? How can I benefit others with what I know? When you start looking at it from that lens then your broadcasts will be more impactful not only for viewers but for you as well. Remember, the more you give, the more you will benefit. Give more than you take.

The uses of Periscope are limitless based on your imagination but here are a few quick content ideas that might help you get started:

1. Discuss a Topic – Give a Tip

Periscope is a great medium to talk about a topic, especially one that viewers can comment on and engage with. It can be any topic specific to your audience that adds value to them or gets them commenting. Think of it like a video blog post with the ability to interact live with people. If you are an author, talk about a topic from your book… expand on a chapter… etc. If you are a leader, share a leadership lesson or take a current event and discuss how leadership applies. If you are a pastor, do a morning devotional or give people an encouraging message of faith for the day. Think about it but don’t over think it. It’s best just to start.

2. Show Behind the Scenes

People love seeing behind the curtain of what it really takes to do something. You can give a tour of your office, talk about your process for writing a book, share how you accomplished something (big or small), give behind the scenes of a speech as you prep, etc. It might seem insignificant to you but many people are looking for that extra edge and would love to know how you do something, why you did something or to just see the reality of what it takes.

3. Create a Themed or Branded Broadcast

Some of the heavy hitters on Periscope like Michael Hyatt and Pat Flynn have created themes for their broadcast such Michael’s #VirtualMentor or Pat’s #PatScope – Think about what you can do, content wise and branding, to stand out. Is there a topic you can talk on regularly? Defining a niche and branding yourself will help you rise above the crowd.

4. Q&A

This can be tricky if you are new and don’t have many viewers but one way to grow this opportunity is to end all of your other broadcasts with a brief Q&A. It begins to condition people to ask questions. Also, over time you’ll also start to see a pattern of what your viewers want more of by the types of questions they ask.

5. Be real. Be human. Have fun.

Seriously, this is an opportunity to interact with people. Be real. Be human. Let your personality shine through. Talk about things you are learning, things you are struggling with, etc. Yes, you want to add value to people so they watch but you also want to give them a glimpse into more of who you are. People do business with people they like and can relate to.

I would suggest you also watch broadcasts from others to see what they are doing that appears to be working. Don’t try to duplicate them and do not compare yourself to them (because comparison is the thief of joy). Be you but see if you can pick up some of what they do to help you be the best you that you can be.

A few to watch:
Michael Hyatt, Chalene Johnson, Pat Flynn, Lewis Howes, Jon Acuff, Chris Ducker, James Wedmore, Craig Groeschel, Carey Nieuwhof, Crystal Paine


Engaging with followers, sharing valuable content and investing in your tribe is an important attribute of Periscope but there are also tangible ways to leverage it for immediate benefit as well. Here are a few ways…

LewisPeriscope1. Sell More Books, Products and Services

Think Periscope can’t help you sell more book, products, services, etc? Think again. If you give value to people and work in the book / product in the right way, Periscope can help you sell quite a bit. My friend Lewis Howes has been plugging his new book “The School of Greatness” in his Periscope broadcasts and getting a great response not only from his current followers but new people as well (see image). The key is to make the right pitch. Don’t be over promotional, talk about the value… why should someone get your book? And do it at the right time, when it’s natural in the context of the content you are sharing. You don’t have to be cheesy or beat people over the head with promotion. Just work it in when it fits and give them a clear call to action (Like: I’d really appreciate it if you get my book today on Amazon.).

2. Build Your Email List

Create a landing page on your website that you can direct people to from your Periscope broadcasts. This should be a page with something of value for them, a “Lead Magnet” (something of like a free PDF, report, tip, etc). Or it can be some other compelling content. The key on this landing page is that the URL be clear, simple and that your page have a very visible email optin feature in order for them to get access to the content (and you to grow you list). You could even get a special URL and redirect it to a page on your site or a special landing page. See how Chalene Johnson has and refers to it often on Periscope. It helps pull people from Periscope into her email list and establishes her as an authority on Periscope.

3. Increase Engagement

Building a platform is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want something sustainable then you need to invest into serving the people who follow you. Creating opportunities for your followers to engage with you, in real-time is a huge win. Never underestimate the long-term benefits of that. The more engaged they are, the more they will tell others about you and the faster your platform will grow.

4. Cross Promote

If you are active on other social media channels, leverage them. Promote your Periscope broadcast on them (Like: Join me today at _TIME_ for a Live Periscope broadcast on _TOPIC_). While on Periscope promote your main website or the special landing page you created so that people can follow you. If you are a blogger, look at ways to integrate Periscope into your blog so that you drive traffic to and from. See a great example from Michael Hyatt here.


I can’t have a Periscope video post without addressing the 800lb gorilla in the room which is likely holding many of you back from broadcasting vs simply watching and interacting with those you follow. Look, I struggle with these same things myself so I am with you. I understand.

Ready? Here is it. “But Daniel, I’m not as good looking as so and so. I don’t like how I look on video.” Or maybe it’s “Who am I? Who would watch little ole me anyways?”

If either of these are you, stop.

First, these are just fears that are trying to hold you back. Irrational fears I might add. Second, you don’t need to be the best looking or the smartest. You just need to give value. People care more about your heart, your passion and your purpose than they do about your looks. And believe it or not, you will likely be surprised by the number of people who care about what you have to say. Sure, starting out you may only have a few viewers but that’s the same for anything. Michael Hyatt, Chalene Johnson, Pat Flynn and others didn’t start out with what they have today. When you start a blog you start with only a few readers, when you start an email list you only have a few subscribers but when you keep at it… persistence overcomes resistance (Tweet That) and you begin to grow both personally and professionally. Trust me. I’ve seen it over and over again.


Give Periscope a try. Decide to do your first broadcast and just do it. Pick a topic, think about what you can share, come up with a title that is intriguing and GO. I’d also suggest you decide to do at least 3 broadcasts and stick to it. Your first will be clunky and you’ll be nervous. Broadcast 2 and 3 will help you get rid of the jitters (a little) and determine IF there is a chance for this to work for you.

If Periscope isn’t your thing, that’s okay. You can still have a thriving platform without it. Just find what works best for you and leverage it the best way you can… but never be afraid to try something new.

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    About Daniel Decker:

    Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are doing good to expand their influence. LINKS: Follow @DanielDecker on Twitter | Visit the "About" Page | Subscribe to the Blog and get updates via RSS or Email.

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    • Brenda McGraw

      Thanks Daniel. I love periscope. My biggest issue is getting the camera to turn around on my Samsung Note. Any tips on that?

      • Daniel Decker

        Ah, sorry… no. I’m an iPhone user but I do know that Periscope was releasing some updates for Droid. Hopefully those updates will make it easier.

    • Jonathan Milligan

      Great resource! I’ve done a few Periscope sessions and hoping to do more.

      • Daniel Decker

        Thanks Jonathan.

    • Adonis Lenzy

      Great stuff. Thanks for posting. Always looking for ways to do it better.

      • Daniel Decker


    • Cindy Thomson

      I gave it try today. It was kind of fun. Thanks for the advice!

      • Daniel Decker

        You’re welcome.

    • Toni Knights

      Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been using Periscope for some time and quite enjoy it. I’m able to have real time communication with people I follow on Twitter. However, I have never done a video – because of the same reasons cited above. This post serves as a challenge for me to abandon these fears and do my first video regardless of how I think I look. Thanks again.

      • Daniel Decker

        Thanks for being honest Toni. Most of us struggle with the same fears.

    • Zina Hermez

      Great article! I’ve read a lot about Periscope lately on Twitter. This answers many of my questions. Thank you for sharing it.

      • Daniel Decker

        So glad it helped.

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    • Shannon H. Polson

      Thanks for this post! Just did my first proper broadcast for World Read Aloud Day. Relate to many of the fears and areas of reluctance you discuss but also love the idea of relating directly with readers and followers.