Hey Kids! Did you miss me? This is the second article in a series on how to improve your stream, improve your marketing skills, and improve your growth with Twitch as a whole. The first is on the blog page right before this, along with many of my other blogs on various topics.
But let’s get to the good stuff…That’s why you’re here, right? You want help? I’m here to help, free of charge because I believe in you and you’re an awesome person. At least I hope so or I’m gonna feel real bad about this if I’m served court papers. Let’s not do that to each other, okay? It’s a bad time all around and no one needs it. I gotta take time out of my day, get a suit pressed, talk to a jury…. I mean… let’s just skip it.
1. Marketing Yourself.
When deciding where/how/when to post your “I’m going live!” links(and you really should be doing this) consider 2 things… Your Audience and your site. The biggest places to find your audience? Not the facebook group you absolutely belong. They’re all streamers, largely, and while many streamers do watch streams and support other streamers, it’s not something we all have time for. So… when you go to post… think about where your target audience is and go there. Game groups for the games your streaming are great, but you know what twitch central is? Twitter. Learn to use hashtags. They will be your friend. They will save you in times of need. I don’t care how ridiculous they seem. People use them. Get friendly.
2. You ARE the Product.
Next, is choosing what you’re going to post in those “going live” messages. You can’t just post a link and hope for the best. No one is going to pay any attention to it. You know what people like? PICTURES. Pictures of you. Pictures of games. Pictures of you IN games. (Not pictures of games in you, that’s just gross). But you also need more than a picture, you need catchy words to go with them to make people pay attention so get witty quick. Learn to be funny. Oh I know… your mom and friends tell you that you’re hilarious.
They’re lying to you, probably… But that’s okay. Learning to be entertaining to an audience that doesn’t already know and like you is an acquired skill more than a natural talent. So learn a bit about it through looking up how others do it. That’s your best bet. It takes time, but you’ll hit on things that work for you and capture your flair.. your feel… your… special thing. Your YOU. Once you capture that aspect, you’ll always have an idea of what you should post as your going live because it’ll come more natural.
3. Invest in Yourself.
I covered this a bit in my last article but it’s worth repeating. You have to be ready to invest in your stream. If YOU aren’t willing to invest in you, how can you expect anyone else to invest their time, their money or their interest in you? That means making sure you have decent equipment and are willing to pay an artist to make sure you have a good, professional appearance on stream(assuming you aren’t an artist and can’t do it yourself). If you are, great! That’s one less thing you need to worry about. If you aren’t, dig deep, put a bit of money aside, and pay someone to do it who is better than you are with graphic design. It matters. A LOT.
Never assume you are too “new” to streaming to make sure or worry about your stream looking good. If you want to take twitch seriously, then do it from the outset. Because if you don’t take your own stream seriously, no one who watches will. Those early viewers that tune in to a new streamer might stay forever if they like what they see. And if they see crap, they’re going to run away and find someone who’s taking it seriously to invest their time in.
4. Nailing Your Panel Layout.
On your Twitch channel, you have a series of Information Panels that you can customize. Use them. In the last article(and above) I recommended making sure that you pay someone to make sure your headers look professional, but what about the content? The content is every bit as important. In fact, it’s more important, because this will be the first information they learn about you. People do read these if they’re filled out.
Primary among them needs to be information about YOU and your Schedule. Those are your main Marketing tools. That tells who you are to everyone that comes to your stream and when you’ll be there. Nothing will put off casual viewers more quickly than the first panel they see being the donation panel. That tells people you just want their money and that’s all. That should be one of the last panels because if people want to donate to you, they’ll find it or they’ll ask. And if you’re worthy of their money, that’s exactly what they’ll do. Be worthy of it.
5. Respect Other Streamers.
So you saw another streamer do something you didn’t like. Maybe they advertised for their stream in a way you didn’t approve of. Maybe they curse on their stream. Maybe they drink or smoke weed on stream.
Well guess what? It really isn’t your business and it doesn’t affect you in ANY way. So why worry about it? Why comment on it? The answer, of course, is… don’t. “That girl is wearing a low cut top!” She’s allowed and it doesn’t concern you. Move on. “That guy is smoking weed on stream!” It’s probably legal where he lives, but even if it isn’t, it doesn’t concern you. Move along. Worry about your own stream.
Spending excess energy worrying about what other people are doing on their own streams that you don’t approve of will not improve yours. All it will do is make you look like someone no one wants to support because you’re looking to pick at other people. “So mind ya bidness.” However, if people are being abusive to other streamers? Feel free to stick up for them. You just might make a friend.
Quick Addendum to this: If they are potentially harming or taking advantage of other people? This doesn’t apply. Report them. Do something about it. Never just ignore it because it’s not your problem. That’s the tough part… figuring out which is which. Sometimes people are just dicks. People will take advantage of others and that kind of thing needs to be stopped. If you just don’t LIKE something, then walk on by. But if people are actively doing shit that is harming others? Say something.
6. The Affiliate Grind.
I know… you want to be an affiliate. It feels awesome to say people can sub to your channel and that you have personalized emotes for subscribers. It feels good to take that step towards Partner. But people worry SO MUCH about it that they don’t think about anything else.
My number one piece of advice about Affiliate-ship is this… Stop worrying about it. If you stream consistently, you’re going to get it. It’s pretty simple to get at this point, really. Affiliateship is dead simple to get. Not that you shouldn’t be pleased to get it but it’s really a single step along the path, not the end of the path.
So when you get affiliate.. great. Do a little dance, and get ready to move forward. Because you have only just gotten started. Partnership is where you want to be, isn’t it? Or are you satisfied with half the trip? That’s what I thought.
7. Entertain, Entertainer.
Are you a professional entertainer? And by that I mean, do you do stand up comedy? Are you an actor? Is that how you make your living or is it a massive part of your hobbies and daily life? Probably not. But if you want to be on Twitch full time, that’s exactly what you’re aiming for. One thing you can do for yourself that will improve your odds and also give you a skill you can use to help make that a reality that is relatively inexpensive(and another great way of INVESTING IN YOURSELF) is: Take An Improv Class.
Most local theater communities have them. Also check local community colleges and comedy clubs. Improv classes will allow you to think on your feet, react quickly, and be funny without preparation. Improv classes are the kind of gift you give yourself when you want to take this really seriously and want an edge other streamers, at current, generally do not have. You want to be funny? Entertaining? Take an improv class and thank me later.
There’s a huge difference between the kind of funny you THINK you are and being able to be reactionary funny to nearly any kind of situation. It makes you instantly more interesting and more enjoyable to watch if you’re good at it. You’ll retain viewers through sheer entertainment purposes.
Okay, so… I think that’s all I got tonight! I’m sure I’ll have more soon, but until then… Good luck! Good streams!