The thought of hosting a live video on social media can make the most confident of us break out in a cold sweat.

However, it’s clear that video is here to stay, so brands need to get confident in front of the camera – and fast.

Ian Anderson Gray is the founder of Seriously Social, which recently launched the Confident Live Marketing Academy. He is making a living helping people get confident with live video and has some easy tips for success.

Speaking at Pro-Manchester’s Big Social Media Conference on Friday, he told BusinessCloud that the three main barriers to going live are confidence in front of the camera, confidence with the tech and confidence with the content.

“Most people worry about three things – they worry they’re going to look like a complete idiot, they worry about the gear and they worry about what they’re going to say,” he said.

“Firstly, if you feel like you don’t have confidence in front of the camera, join the club - most people don’t.

“It’s a case of just doing it but also making sure you’re prepared. I recommend starting with Instagram Stories – it’s a great way of building consistency and getting your face in front of the camera and it only lasts 24 hours.”

Once you’ve built up some confidence on the platform, Gray recommends joining a private Facebook group with other business leaders and doing a challenge to go live every day for five or ten days as practice.

“Because you’re in a group you know you have to do it,” he said. “It’s like having a personal trainer.”

When it comes to the tech, Gray says the key is not to overcomplicate it as most people can make a decent video using their smartphone.

“I’m a great believer in bootstrapping your live video studio,” he said. “Start with a phone then maybe get a mic then later get better lighting.”

When it comes to the content itself, it’s important that companies don’t see live video as different to any other type of content.

“How do you come up with blog content?” he said. “Answer questions and give value in what you’re doing.”

Gray, who has a background in tech and trained as a classical singer, says he’s struggled with all those three things himself, making him the perfect person to help others overcome their fears.

“I know the feeling when you’re about to go onstage or click the start button on a video and you have a sense of trepidation and fear. Your brain just goes to mush,” he said.

However he sees value in doing it as video is clearly the medium people want to consume at the moment – although it should be done as well as, rather than instead of, long-form content.

“Live video is powerful because it’s not just one-way communication so viewers can interact,” said Gray.

“It’s also not perfect which shows the real you – people get switched off by slick marketing videos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it professional.”