For those who are thinking about becoming a streamer or have already started streaming, you’re going to need to hear this.
Being a streamer is not going to be easy.
You think that setting up a camera, playing some video games, and chatting with the viewers sounds like the best life you want to live, right? Well, it definitely sounds freaking AMAZING!
But have you taken a moment to ask yourself why do you want to stream? Is it for fame? Is it to make this hobby into a career? Or do you need another creative outlet?
Whatever is your answer, you have to remember that the well-known streamers started out with 0 viewers too. And the thousands and millions of followers they gained didn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of dedication, time, and effort to get to where they are now.
What I am about to tell you may dishearten you but this is the tough love you all need to hear. While there are so many other factors, I want to point out just these 5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T become a streamer.
You shouldn’t become a streamer because you don’t have the right mindset
What I mean by this is that you need to mentally prepare yourself for what is to come as a streamer. You have to realize that streaming is a lot of work. You have to do marketing, be a community manager for your own channel, do some improv, some public speaking, learn how to edit videos, be active on social media, and so much more. If you’re not ready to put the time to learn new skills or be active on other platforms, you won’t see any type of growth.
Streaming can be just a hobby, but if you want to make this into a full-time career, then guess what? You’re going to need to start thinking of it like a career. When you begin streaming seriously, you’re basically like an entrepreneur or a freelancer.
However, don’t just quit your day job yet. There’s no financial stability if you immediately quit your day job to dedicate more time to streaming. You need a plan AND a back-up plan if all else fails. Look at the pros and cons of working a regular full-time job and working for yourself. If you still think that working for yourself is ideal, then start learning how to save money or plan out how you’re going to get that income flowing consistently to support yourself and your family.
Change your mindset.
You shouldn’t become a streamer because you don’t make the time
While you’re also changing your mindset about streaming, you need to dedicate time for it. That’s why setting up a schedule for yourself is important and making extra time needs to be considered. If you have a full-time job, you’re going to be sacrificing your free time after work to stream. Then when you have a consistent schedule, your followers will be able to follow and adjust their own schedule to come and visit your stream.
Also, give yourself some time to prepare before you stream. I know there always have been a few times where there’s an Windows update that takes longer than usual, so put that into consideration. There are people that do pre-stream rituals that usually take them 30mins to 1 hour before they hit the “Go Live” button.
Then sometimes after your stream, you review your stats, see the clips that were made, or even just trying to remember all the best highlights of the stream. Your after-stream ritual should be just as important!
Not only do you have to think about the time you have to put into your stream, you need to make time for the skills you want to improve in. Try different management tools or even put time blocks in your calendar so you know what your schedule looks like for yourself.
Make the time.
You shouldn’t become a streamer because you don’t network enough
Yes, networking is going to be a huge part of your journey into growing your channel. You may have been hearing the word ‘network’ a lot but can you honestly tell me what in your own words what it means?
The last few years of being in the streaming industry, I’ve heard many different definitions and methods of what it is. I’ve even heard from others they just hate the word in general. I personally don’t think it’s a bad word, it’s what people THINK it is, that makes it such a bad word.
An example of this is one of the biggest noob mistakes people make. Some people honestly think that joining new Facebook groups, Discord servers, or the like, and then leaving your link to your stream when you go live is networking.
Bro, you need to do more than that.
You need to start supporting other fellow streamers by viewing their streams, answering their questions, and interacting with them offline. Genuinely start asking other streamers their thoughts about your channel or showing some support by just being there. You don’t need to be a sub or drop a tip on their channel to support them, just being present at their stream is enough. And how do you do this? By building a relationship or in this case, a friendship.
You need to build relationships with your peers and form a support system. Relationships are key to any type of career and streaming is part of the journey. You build relationships with people who can help you with your images, or become your mods, or even just emotional support. You’ll never know who will actually become a loyal viewer or even a real life friend.
Learn to network properly.
You shouldn’t become a streamer because you don’t take criticism well
Part of the networking and chatting with your community is also receiving criticism. Trolls will always be part of the streaming journey, but you have to learn the difference between someone trying to give you a hard time and someone trying to give you genuine feedback. Their feedback are basically your guidelines on how you can improve your channel and they are the ones that want to see you succeed.
Your community wants to see you succeed and they will feel grateful if you take it into consideration to improve. There will be times when you need to decide if it’s really best for you or for your community, but that’s the beauty of having control of your own stream. But let them be part of the process.
So start learning how to take feedback from your community and from people who are just looking from the outside.
Accept the criticism.
You shouldn’t become a streamer because you worry about the numbers
You heard what I said! If all you do is worry about the number of followers and views you’re not getting, then you’re going to burn yourself out. While it is a huge factor in your growth, don’t let it become your obsession.
Start with a small and realistic goal such as gaining 5 new followers per week if you’re starting from 0 followers. You can’t expect yourself to have a flood of new followers every stream. The only time that will ever happen is when you have a viral video or tweet, you’ll see that huge uptick of viewers for a short period of time.
My best advice is for noob streamers is checking out the Achievements section on Twitch. (Go to your Streamer dashboard > Insights > Achievements) Start looking at this section to start working on step at a time.
Obtaining your Affiliate status is a great goal to start because the qualifications are quite easy if you can follow it. If you need some help, I already wrote an article on how to get your Affiliate into digestible steps!
Don’t stress yourself if you don’t reach that Affiliate status in a month. Just keep at it and everything will fall into place. Just forget the numbers.
Still want to become a streamer?
If your answer is still yes, then I hope all of these factors put things into perspective for you. If you want to become a successful streamer or at least be a good one when you’re about to start streaming remember these 5 things:
- Change your mindset
- Make the time
- Learn to network properly
- Accept the criticism
- Forget the numbers
There are no shortcuts or one way strategy to become a great streamer. Every other streamer has their own unique way to get to where they are and you just need to figure out how you can do that on your own.
Good luck, streamer!
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