You Be You: Cathy Olson Talks Periscope

Note: (12/12/16) When we first shared this article, Periscope was the biggest player in live video. Since then, a myriad of new live video services have come onto the scene, the biggest being Facebook Live. We've left this article up as the strategies and principles discussed for Periscope work the same for Facebook Live and live video in general. 


Have you ever watched someone on screen you don't know but feel like you instantly connect with them? That's happened to me with Tina Fey, Jennifer Lawrence, Kit Hoover and... Cathy Olson. Cathy came across my phone via Periscope and her genuineness made me feel like we already knew each other.

She also started giving out some super smart advice about Periscope (among other business topics), which everyone is still trying to figure out. Her down-to-earth approach is something I think a lot of makers can relate to, as well. Let us know in the comments-- what is working for you on Periscope?  

Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: I'm Cathy Olson from Love-Inspired! I'm a wife of 7 years, momma of 2 daughters, 4 and 1, and I've been an artist all of my life. I've been a professional graphic designer for 15 years and I've been creating websites all that time too (back when HTML was easy). I have been in business for myself for 7 years, and our team is 5 people strong. We create custom websites and small biz branding, and I also teach and mentor other creative women entrepreneurs. I travel the country at creative conferences sharing about branding, websites and biz.

Q: Why did you start Periscoping and how has it helped your business?
A: I officially downloaded the app in April (it came out in March), but didn't start using it until June (of this year, 2015) after attending a Social Media Day here in San Diego. Full disclosure, at this point I'm not really using Periscope directly for business - I'm in community building mode. Which really means I'm using it to connect to other like-minded people, get tips, share tips and really bring thoughts and ideas together. I do mention my business from time to time, but right now it's all about building friendships. Friends are the most powerful assets in any business.

Q: What kinds of businesses benefit most from Periscope?
A: I am tempted to say everyone. I'm trying to think of a business in which it WOULDN'T work -- but I'm drawing a blank! I really think both product businesses and informational businesses alike can benefit.

Yes, it's a social media platform, but it's also so much bigger than that. It's a back-to-basics handshake for a lot of people. People whom I have met on Periscope, then later in real life - we walk up and hug instantly, and it's not awkward. It's a community and a friendship - a know/like/trust factor that is totally unique and is completely inspiring. We are wired to communicate face to face, and this is one more step to getting back there.

Q: Why would someone care to watch or follow someone on Periscope?
A: Authenticity - 1000%. Realness. That's what makes Periscope so enticing - it's reality TV and it's a place to take a break from the perfection of Instagram. It's kicking off your heels and throwing on some slippers... and truly getting REAL with each other. The second ingredient to that recipe is content, real value. When broadcasters get real, have a plan, a message, and a desire to help others - they do well and their followers multiply.

Q: How can makers figure out their unique voice on Periscope? 
A: It's easy to find your voice - it looks exactly like YOUR voice. You are what makes you unique. There is no one else in the world like you, who's been through what you have, who has YOUR perspective and YOUR spin on life. There's always something to learn from every person you meet.

Finding a style--and what you scope about on Periscope--is as easy as testing things out. I'm constantly trying new topics, new ideas and ways to connect, and seeing what is truly helpful and what resonates with people. For example, one day, I'll do a presentation style with 3 bullet point tips, other days I'll do an open discussion. Some days I'll do an #offtheclock scope hanging out with my kids or exploring San Diego.

I don't do what I don't believe in, so it makes it easy to decide what to scope about or not. It's important to be yourself - because we cannot fake authenticity when a camera is staring you in the face. People are human lie detectors and can read body language. One thing I've heard over and over from ladies who enjoy my scopes - is that I'm real, open and honest. I'd encourage you to be KNOWN for that... for being open, loving, and helpful. There's nothing better than that.

Q: What does a consistent brand look like on Periscope?
A: Great question, also a tough question, because the nature of Periscope. Broadcasts are gone in 24 hours so no one really will be comparing them side by side like other platforms. So, really, consistency comes from constantly providing value; caring about those watching, and being as helpful as possible; constantly being a source of light, love and inspiration.

Q: Should someone's brand on Periscope look and feel the same as their Instagram or Facebook?
A: I would actually challenge people to make their Instagram and Facebook more like Periscope - real, open, honest and helpful. IG and FB tend to get so curated that it's easy for them to look staged. So as long as your other platforms are authentic, you're doing it right. A lot of my friends and colleagues are afraid to Periscope because they know it won't look like their IG or FB accounts, and that BREAKS my heart. We want to know the REAL you. I'll put it this way: IG and FB are like your online dating profile, Periscope is like marriage, the good and the bad - the ENTIRE beautiful story.

Q: Are there any tips/tricks/apps to making your brand consistent or stand out on there?
A: The most important tip is to make sure you sign up to Periscope through Twitter. Also, saves your scopes after the 24 hours - so make sure to sign up for it. It does it automatically for you from your Twitter account.

When thinking of ideas to scope about, use real-life situations or questions you deal with, or questions you see pop up in FB groups as your topics. For makers, just scope yourself making. It's incredibly interesting to others! Have a plan for your scopes, but pay attention to your audience. Answering questions during scopes can be tough to get used to, but having notes to refer back to helps tremendously to stay on track.

Q: Anything else?
A: I would love to encourage you to just try it. You WILL be nervous, and that's okay. My first scope, I didn't even turn the camera around to my face, and now I'm at 110 under my belt. Getting a tripod for your phone will help so that people don't see the nerves in the shaking of the camera. I also have a FB group for newbies to Periscope, and broadcasters - it's 100% free and is super helpful: We also have some gear recommendations in there as well as whatever the latest news for Periscope is. I did a free webinar that you have access to in there, if you're 100% new and need more direction.

Q: Where can people find you?
Live on Periscope:
Hashtag #InspiredScope
Past Periscopes:

Twitter: @loveinspired
Pinterest: myloveinspired
Instagram: @loveinspired
Branding, website or biz help: