Episode 72: Covid-19 And Live Streaming Church Services With Jeff Brown

Show Notes



Hey, I’m Rob Cairns CEO and Chief creator of amazing ideas, stunning digital marketing.com. I hope you’re doing all well, considering we’re dealing with a global pandemic in COVID-19. Today, I wanted to do a little something different. I sat down with my good friend, Mr. Jeff Brown, who runs out for social media, Inc. And what Jeff normally does is he’s a trainer, a workplace education trainer. So he trains social media, Microsoft Office products, very often Excel, G Suite, some cloud courses, and of course, WordPress. And today, we sat down. And what we talked about is how his church started live streaming services two years ago, even before COVID-19 and where they’re at today. And we had a really good discussion about COVID-19 in general, and where we’re at, and the live streaming this church is doing that it gives you some interesting insights if you think about live streaming church services, or maybe even your business because they can be applied. So sit back, relax, and first enjoy some news tips. And then on to the conversation I had with Jeff.



Now in the news today, first big story in Canada was the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has begged people to just stay home. Social distancing doesn’t mean going to see your friends doesn’t mean going to playdates doesn’t mean going anywhere, it means staying home. As a fellow Canadian, please listen to our Prime Minister and stay home, whether you’re in Canada or anywhere else in the world. That’s number one. Number two big item happened in Ontario where I live. Our premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency, which will basically close all non essential businesses at midnight on Tuesday. Well done, Mr. Premier, it should have been done. We need to protect Ontario residents. And I want to thank you for taking the short term losses for the long term gain approach. Thank you very much. Also where I live, Mayor john Tory, declared the city state of emergency which means for certain things he doesn’t have to go to even City Council for he can make decisions at the mayor’s chair on his own. Well done. Mayor Tory, thank you for having our citizens at heart and how much we love you. Also big international news. Canada pulled out the Olympic Games. And then to add to it even more. The Olympics this year has been cancelled, and probably delayed a whole year timeframe from the International Olympic Committee to come. That’s big news, folks. The IOC has denied all the way through this COVID crisis. The Olympics would be changed and they finally broken down and changed it. That’s about all there’s not much else news going on. Worldwide except COVID-19. Just please be safe everybody and take care of you. Your loved ones and the elderly.



Hey everybody, Robert Cairns here. I’m here with my good friend Jeff Brown today. Just come on with me before How are you today, Jeff?



Doing great Rob doing great. Just busier now than ever. It’s just tried to put everything in its proper place. Despite all the stuff that’s happening.



Yeah, it’s crazy. We were just talking before we went online, in Nova Scotia where you are they’ve limited people to five people. And and here in Ontario, we just closed all businesses that were non essential, effective midnight tomorrow night. And our mayor and Toronto Mayor Tory has invoked powers that basically says he doesn’t need to go to Council for emergency measures. He can as mayor just evoke them and that’s come down in the last half hour. So yeah, there. There you go. So the best thing I can suggest anybody is stay safe. Worry about your family worried about your friends. If you know somebody over 65 please call them, make sure they don’t need anything and if they need stuff, go out and do it for them.



I see a lot of people doing that, especially younger people looking after older folks and it’s ideal because they’re not allowing them to be put in a place of risk. That’s super.



And that’s so true. I mean, my mother is 75 years old and thankfully still with us and my brother lives with my mom. And we had Hi mom. And we had a bit of a discussion the other day and said, You need to stay home, we will review your state. So, you know, help people out. I was also sharing a story with you I was in a grocery store before we went in, you know, earlier today, my first trip in a week and normally I go, as you know, every day or two. And people are being really good and practicing social distancing and the lines in the store. Please do that, folks. Don’t do it to people in Florida doing on the beaches. Don’t do it to people in BC in California doing stay home. Our Mayor pleaded for people to stay on today’s So, you know, we were saying the exact same thing and no discussion. I just can’t believe it. Yeah, yeah. And you saw the, before we get to what I really want to talk to you about, you saw the story with EB Games in Toronto on the weekend. They had a new video game release, and they had lineups of 2025 people at midnight. not practicing social distancing. Not caring if they got infected, all standing in line to get a video game.



Yeah, I could just imagine the outcome measure they get sick, how wonderful that video game this could repeat.



They might need it but but in all seriousness, both the provincial chief officer health our premier Doug Ford, and meritorious, called out EB Games. And guess who closed all their stores. The next day, I will share with you a story of a good friend of mine, who I’m gonna give a shout out to Phil and Robin, they run a jewelry store in Pickering. And they had cut their hours back to four hours a day, four days a week. And we I had a conversation with Phil this morning. And he was going to cut his hours back to even they were going to close after tomorrow. And then the government kind of took it out of their hands and basically said you’re close.






So yeah, interesting times. Um, what I really wanted to talk about tonight, beyond all the pre Bible and preamble and analysis was you’re involved with your church congregation. And we know you’ve been live streaming for a number of years. You know, I’ve been involved in live streaming projects for many, many years. And I think live streaming is going to be one of those things that are going to save people in all this. So let’s talk about what are you doing at your church? How are you doing it? You were doing it before COVID 19. And started take us down that journey would you mind?



Sure. Be like most people we started off with this was a while ago with a smartphone and just throwing it up on Facebook streaming to directly to Facebook. And that eventually evolved to a laptop with a webcam pointed from the back out there to eventually pulling sound from the soundboard into a computer that’s hooked to not webcams but camcorders that are using video capture devices to allow that to go into a program when I’m using called v mix, make sure that the V mix great software options are also having boards and switching them directly from boards. But so far, we’re in the process of still evolving, trying to get better sound, better video, and lots of angles because you want to make your service as user friendly and entertaining with se as possible by providing different angles. Our pastor, like a lot of pastors just can’t sit still. And so he’s moving around a lot. So a camera, a nice big, long zoom area that we can do have him walk without having to flip the camera back and forth so to speak. Things like that, that are Have you evolved over trial and error to the point where last week the pastor was really help happy with the sound clear because it’s we know we just stream the service but now we’re doing not just the the preaching part of it, but also the worship part. And so last week was the first time we’ve included a significant amount of time with the worship and you have to have sound right you just cannot have it. Wait, does that sound right? Because it’s hard to listen and then participate. When it doesn’t sound right, it becomes an annoyance. And that stops people from really taking part.



I think, you know, I’ve done a lot of live streaming, as you know, some with our mutual friend, Scott mills and trompo. Yes, I’ve done some others. We’ve been through everything from the web cameras to plugging in a dongle into a soundboard. And what I’ll tell you, from my experience has been sound is as important, or if not even more important than the video on a live stream, in my opinion,



absolutely. And getting rid of little buzzes, for instance, devices that are powered up using things that that trim that out, so to speak, to get rid of that. So that it’s not harming sort of speak in the background, those are little things that are annoying, that over time, you will get better at working with and getting, if you’ve got it, most churches have a soundboard already, it’s simply a matter of getting a line out directly to the computer, and then getting good quality sound from there. And it takes a little trial and error to make that happen. But it is doable. And this stuff isn’t super duper crazy expensive. Like you could go expensive. You can spend as much money as you want on that. But for the average church starting off, there are ways to involve yourself that aren’t superduper expensive that offer a quality experience to the person that’s viewing and interacting with those live streams. Yeah,



I would agree. I mean, I know you can get a Sennheiser remote kit. So that’s without dystek Mike and for those who don’t know Sennheiser is one of the best mics out there. And under remote kit, you can take the XLR, which is the receiver and plugs into a soundboard and literally screw it in so you don’t need the mic itself. And then you can take the remote kit and take the inputted remote kit right into your mic get on your laptop, and then you’ve got really good sound. And I know Scott has that setup with trial police have used it many times. And I have to tell you, that’s as good as getting as good sound. Now the other tip I knew and I was speaking with yesterday, how this conversation came about was, there’s a really good company out there called black magic. Yes. And these guys offer all kinds of devices for bringing in sound bringing in video. And I would suggest anybody go check them out online. They’re not expensive. And they they have stuff to fit your needs. And that’s the key with them.



Yeah. And you have to remember that at the end of the day, you’re creating something that you want people to watch and share. And so you had to put some thought into it. Quality has to be fairly good. I mean, you work within your budget, but you want to have a spirit of excellence and do the best you can with what you have and continue to grow as time goes on.



Yeah, there’s no, there’s no kidding. Now, we were. And we were taught you and I were talking yesterday about sound again, it’s like how do you go that extra? Because once you get to about 80%, the extra 20% is harder to get to them, they get to the 80% Do you know what I mean? Like



Absolutely. And it’s there’s a place where especially if you’re just starting off,



you need to get rolling. Do it as best as you can. But you know that your it’s going to be a journey, there’s gonna be things that you will add, you may change your Miko to something new. Computers change all the time as far as what works really well. One of the key things to think about is if you’re going to be streaming, you needed a computer that’s going to have the room, both processor, speed, memory, and even a good hard drive that’s fast. These are the things that all play together and creating a good solid continuous feed. And the other thing that I’ll tell you is that to get to the internet, you need to be you can’t go wireless, you have to be wired into your modem that gives you your biggest bang for your buck, and you’re not going to have glitches and things in the stream. So these are things that you need to think about when you’re setting up, be wired in and had good gear. The other



tip I would throw out there is there are going to be situations unfortunately where you have to go wireless. And my suggestion would be just having gone through some of my own trials in the last six months and you know, those less thing and you know, I’ve had a few of those going Going around here due to the gods that my ISP whose name shall remain nameless, but they, they have a red, they have a red logo. There you go. But one of the suggestions I would say is if you have a laptop, and you have to go wireless, take the 20 bucks, go buy yourself an external network card, a USB dongle, basically with an external antenna. And you say, but I’ve got an internal, and I’m gonna tell you folks, it’s much better with an external antenna, you will get last drop out, even if your network card in your laptop is very good.



Absolutely. Because that is key to getting a good consistent flow out of the equipment to where it needs to go to on the internet. It’s got to be good. Yeah.



And we talked to it about about software, you’re using a package called V max. Yes, the price for that, Jeff, Jim,



you’re looking at about 40 change that they have different levels, there’s a free entry level where you get four stations, other words, that could be for cameras only, or it could be a camera, it could be a PowerPoint, it could be bottom thirds, you get for those but the level, I went into the HD lobia, looking around 400 bucks, it’s a one time fee. And it is absolutely a great piece of software. It’s easy to use. It’s easy for me to train people in my church as to how to use this. And the switching is wonderful. And it makes sense. As far as user ability and anticipating for a new user what a button should do. This is pretty simple.



I Neil and the only other package I’ve seen. And you and I have played with V max more than once I’ve had the pleasure is a package that I really like called stream yard. And the way stream yard works is it’s really simplistic, you basically set it up. And by the way, folks, if you want to try it out streamer, it is for one connection is free. So you can set it up and go right to Facebook works really well. If you want more than one connection, you have to go to one of the paid plans. And I think it’s I can’t remember what I’m paying, but it takes about $25 us a month. So not it’s not expensive, not hard to use. And it’s an easy setup, you’re basically joined to your YouTube account through an authorization and you’re done. You join it to your Facebook account, and you’re done. So, you know, I think there’s value in these packages that make our lives so much easier. Because, you know, in the old days, we used to use some open source tools, and one of the biggest ones is a royal pain in the butt to set up and it takes time. And it’s not intuitive for the users. And it just makes life so difficult if you know, and yeah,



and when you’re considering the people that might be in a church or you’re getting volunteers and these people may or may not come with a lot of technology skills. And so getting them because you’re working with a volunteer base and getting them to be able to use it flow in it so that they enjoy it. They can work it and they can be successful at it. That’s important.



Yeah, it sure is. Um, what kind of what camera Are you using to capture the service right now and what are you doing? In terms of that?



I’m using a camera I’ve got two Canon cameras and I’ve also got a webcam on Logitech 4k, but I’m looking at expanding



it to



include include another camera so I can go up to four cameras, which could give me four different angles. And that way I’ve got the pasture cornered there’s no way he can walk I can’t get them



Yes. Now with all said tell most people is most for video, most point and shoot cameras. So whether you go canon, you go Sony or you go Nikon, the video modes, and those are really good. So what you need to check out is how you have to interface it with your application. And that’s the key on that one. I mean, I’ve got a couple high end Sony’s here. And they’re remarkable to be honest with you. So



yeah, and the important thing to remember is these cameras, you’re going to need a video capture device in between the camera and the computer. So that when you go to stream is like streaming from a webcam except it’s higher quality. You can zoom at great quantities. It’s it’s the better and user experience experience. Just using a webcam,



and if you’re looking for that capture device, and I should say, disclaimer, I don’t do affiliate marketing, but I like the guys over at Blackmagic. So check them out some of their products you can find on Amazon too. And that’s a, that’s a good source. And then and then kind of look around the internet, just drop in some of the groups like the Wirecast group or on Facebook or just streaming our group and unfollow people like Ross brand shout out to Ross Ross is a amazing friend and amazing resource for some of this stuff. He does a site called Live Stream deals where he talks about a lot of streaming stuff. That’s his bowel wax. I think Ross has the next radio guy, actually. But the point I’m making is look at what’s being done. And, you know, I mean, you can set up a TV studio for almost nothing now like,



yeah, it’s just a matter of just committing to some sort of level of entry. Yep. And then trying to through the spirit of excellence, do as good as you can, with what you have. And as always, you need to learn more, there’s a lot of great resources, but don’t be afraid to ask people, you know, what do I need to do to get started? What basic stuff can I do? And a lot of times, we say, Well, what do you have? First of all, what do you have for soundboard? What do you have in your community that people could bring in for it? So you don’t have to go on a big buying spree? What if people have at home? Maybe they’re not using that they could contribute to helping you get started?



Yeah, so true. And and by the way, we talked about this in podcasting, we talked about this in video, and we talk about this advice streaming your first 10 streams, you are not going to be happy with I can promise you that. Yes. And and they get better. And we were having this conversation to do with audio streaming, was some people the other day, and it’s the same thing, your first 10 you’ll never be happy with your first 10 videos, your first 10 whatever. Just remember, it gets better.



And also to even the pros, they make mistakes. I had to laugh, the pastor had the mic muted. There was no way I could get the thing unmuted without his help. And so people on the other end. There’s no volume, there’s no volume. Yeah, yeah. So there are things that are beyond the sound person to the person that streamings ability, and you just have to go with the flow. Have fun with it, but be as good as you can but have some fun. And I don’t know if I’m ever that happy with what’s been kicked up the door. It’s still always a work in progress.



Yeah, I would agree. Now, when you guys releases Do you just I know you do live, and it goes to your YouTube channel. If I recall, you also release an audio only somebody just wants to listen to you. Now we’re talking



about that now as



far as because



V mix gives us the ability to record the process. And then from there, put it into a podcast. Like pastor has a whole list of I guess it’s the pastor’s honey do list for me so to speak.



Yeah. So the two things I would suggest, if you want to do it low cost or, you know, save yourself some money is there anybody out there and I do that with my podcasts, I put them out on a site called anchor.fm. an anchor is now owned by Spotify. And anchor is free for unlimited space. So and it will push it out to the other platforms for you. So you don’t have to do that. So that’s the first value in that. The second thing that I would suggest is if you’re using a platform where you don’t get just the audio, and it gives you a video only VLC player video land player, which is free, will actually convert for you a video just to an audio only. So that’s an easy process to do as well. So there’s a couple more resources for people who are looking at doing that. So



yeah, we’re pretty much without excuses as far as the options that we have available to us nowadays.



And the only reason why I suggest Do Do Do you do an audio only is I know like I do some coaching with coaching clients. And one of the things I always do is give them a video and audio. Because sometimes they just don’t want to see it. They just want to listen to it while they’re doing other things. So and audio files aren’t as big as video files. So that’s the key there.



Yeah. And there are times to when you may want to listen to the message again and you’ll get more yeah and so by we live busy lives, so having the audio of it allows us to recapture some nuggets that we might have missed in the original talk.



Yeah, so true. Um, what would you suggest, Jeff, to anybody who wants to start this,



the biggest thing I could suggest is get started. Because you got to overcome the fact that, you know, I can like how you sound, you’re not gonna like how you look, you just got to do it, you have to remember that you have a message. And it’s important, the message is more important than the messenger. And so you begin to take a look at what do I have now? And what can I get? And what do I have a budget for? I mean, I’m pretty sure that they could ask your eye any questions, we would gladly help them at least get started. Even if you’ve got a laptop, I know some pastors are struggling with it, he just turned the laptop on and they face it toward the podium, and then away they go. Now, that would be my ideal setup. But people are coming in at different levels, even just getting a great webcam, on the laptop, a good connection, a single shot would get you started. Yeah, but you need to start somewhere. But then I would begin to look at having a multi camera option. And with some of the stuff that we’ve already discussed already, that would be how I would go. But the big thing is to get started, you’ve got a message, you have to get it out there, especially with the way things are now that the parishioners and the people in your church community, and those around are looking for hope. There’s never been a time a greater time than to get online. And clearly encourage people and help give them hope.



It is important. So I’ll throw a couple of things out there assisting to another podcast, gentlemen, and by name a Leo Laporte is well known in the tech circles. And so he has, and he had, he does a national radio show called the tech guy. So not this past weekend, because as usual, I’m one weekend behind but the weekend before, with COVID-19 going on nowhere divided in two days, he had five pastors call him up and asked for advice, because the churches are looking for ways to get their message out. Now. I have a friend of mine in Brampton and his wife preachers in Brampton, Ontario. And they’re getting their message out by live streaming. So the point is, and it doesn’t matter, we’re talking about churches, but this can apply to any group, any event, anything you do. And the power of live streaming, I have always said it’s incredible. And the reality is, many people don’t have cable anymore, I’m on and they they stream everything. And the power of the live stream is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And that’s what people need to realize. Yeah.



And for some, it’s they, they didn’t see it coming. They didn’t anticipate that they needed it. But now that rate in the storm, so to sort of speak, and they need to get moving. Yeah,



I mean, I can, you know, one of my favorite videos to point out is a gentleman who’s from Toronto original guy, meaning Drew bezanson. He is probably Canada’s top BMX park rider in the in Canada. And four years ago, we were standing on the top of a 10 foot ramp, and I watched drew come off a ramp and grab an overhang and polish bike up. And we were live streaming that at the time off a webcam. And what I’ll tell you is the views went up when drew took the track dramatically. And then the replay views on YouTube went up even more. So that there’s no question. You can do some amazing things with very little equipment. So you know, that’s the key.



Yeah. And the important part is just to do it, you will, you can Google it. You can YouTube it you can ask us for advice for help. Those kinds of things. We will gladly help you to get your stuff rolling out. The big thing is just start doing something so true.



Jeff, for somebody needs to get a hold of how can I get a hold?



They can reach me by email, Jay brown at alpha social media inc.com. That’s j brown at Al PHA social media. I nc.com.



That’s the easiest way. And thanks for joining me, Jeff and everybody out there. Be safe I hate to tell you I think we’re in for a bit of a long road be good each other have a little bit of tolerance and and it will work itself out. We’re just in interesting times



we will get through this together. That’s why it’s so important that people put out a message that encourages people. Because if we sit too long we can go dark places in our mind. We need to have hope.



Yeah, so true. Have a great day everybody and be well bye for now.

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