This is how I would start streaming in 2019
I know there is plenty of articles telling you how to do 2019 right and this is not one of them. This is my personal view of how I would start streaming in 2019 based on what I know today compared to back then. Just be aware that I am very business minded and my approach will be very professionally influenced. This is the steps I would take before I really start digging into actual livestreaming:
- Research the market and claim your name
- Create your brand graphics and designs
- Get people to know the brand name and personality
- Make sure all platforms are properly constructed
- Run the first livestreams to adjust and produce content
- Start livestreaming regularly and consistently
- Create sub-content from those livestreams to distribute
- Grow by converting first-timers into a regular viewers
1. Research the market and claim your name
If you do not know what to call yourself online then do some research to find out what will work for you. Just bear in mind that all brand names started without anyone knowing it or recognizing it for what they are today. With other words, your brand name is influenced heavily by the value other people give it and not yourself. Find a name that is somewhat easy to pronounce, write and remember.
Fortunately I already have found this name for myself. The first thing you want to do before you claim it is to check all platforms for its availability. Go to all sites like Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and more to see if the name is unclaimed. If it is claimed somewhere, will you make a variation for one platform or change it completely? "@LivestreamGuide" was taken on Twitter so I re-tagged it as "@GuideForStreams" because is it still relating to the actual brand name.
2. Create your brand graphics and designs
After claiming your name on the platforms you should get yourself some graphics and designs for people to see and hopefully remember later. This will be useful for your branding and marketing when people recognize you across the different platforms. People tend to remember visuals that leave an impression better than words.
You can always change it later on, all major brands have changed logo within the last couple of years - some more subtle changes than others. The latest brand to change is Mastercard removing its letter name from its logo and only keeping the 2 circles.
3. Get people to know the brand name and personality
It is easy to overstep when trying to push your brand to the public. You should try to make a positive impact on people when introducing them to your brand even in bad situations. You can spread your brand by using its Twitter daily to post small updates daily and creating a storyline for people to follow. I can recommend going onto twitter daily and browser relating tags and interact with people without even pushing your brand. If people ask a question to which you know the answer then give it to them - if they find your answer good they will remember your name later or maybe check out your profile and find your stream-link.
Another way to gain attention is to use the $1.80 Instagram strategy by Gary Vaynerchuck where you comment on the top posts of certain tags daily and then some people will hopefully check you out and find your stream that way. Also become a part of other peoples streams as a viewer and interact with people as they will be more likely to check you out when they notice you are streaming too - just don't push it onto others stream unless you are 247% sure it is okay by the streamer self.
You should at all times target potential people, even if that means interacting with people outside of your target audience. Remember to leave a good impact and experience with people so they remember your name or logo. You will not gain anything but the wasted time from trying to convert or manipulate a person that does not find you interesting - stay focused on those who matter!
4. Make sure all platforms are properly constructed
This is a rather simple step. Go over all of your social media, your stream channel or website if you have one. Make sure all is inviting and welcoming people seeing it for the first time. An analysis shows that you have about 3-15 seconds to leave an impression before people decided if they want to check it out or leave — Why users leave a website.
This is about making an intriguing banner for facebook, twitter, and youtube. You would also need a great offline screen for your Twitch or Mixer. If you have a fixed schedule I would recommend placing those times there for visitors to notice it quickly and simply. Knowing where to find you and when you are going live or releasing content makes it easier to plan ahead for it for your potential viewers.
5. Run the first livestreams to adjust and produce content
It has become time to run a 'test' stream where you play your game and test your scenes. If a viewer comes by then ask important questions like "Is my microphone loud enough" or "Can you hear me over the ingame sounds" and that kind of thing. Rehearse talking to yourself when people are not around in the chat or invite a friend with you to make sure you are not just staring into the screen without some sort of interaction.
Once you are done streaming you watch your own stream to know what can be improved. If you experience something interesting or funny then use the "Clip" tool as that too is exposure throughout the Twitch Platform (If you are streaming on Twitch, of course). You can also download these clips and share them on your social media but avoid having too short clips on YouTube.
6. Start livestreaming regularly and consistently
When your settings have been adjusted it is time to make yourself a plan for streaming regularly and with consistent times and lengths. As you are still a rather new stream you do not want to spend too much time livestreaming as that gives you less time to create brand awareness. In the early stages, you want to be live just enough to produce content to distribute on other media for people to find you.
Even though your primary focus should not be towards livestreaming, getting yourself a fixed schedule from the start off will make it easier for you to reach the people who have time to see you within that time period. If a person has the time to watch you between 7 PM and 9 PM you would lose that viewer by changing the schedule. Your schedule should be at least 2-3 days a week and a minimum of 2.5 hours each stream as you need an intro, waste time and outro.
7. Create sub-content from those livestreams to distribute
You should always look out for content to distribute on other platforms. If you are playing a shooter game and kills someone in an awesome or funny way then clip it and share it! Just make sure you create the right context rather than just sharing it aimlessly or without a point. Continue to watch your own streams, maybe not all of them or the whole stream but enough to sense what can be improved upon.
While you are the small and probably unknown streamer you have all the time to improve the minor things and upgrade the experience that follows. Are your alerts good, too long, loud or boring? Is your webcam well lit or too dark? Is the overlay in the way for useful ingame information? Always look out for the minor and major things to change for the better.
8. Grow by converting first-timers into a regular viewers
You want to grow your stream while going through all this work and that requires the most from you. Getting your name out there is a small thing. Being interesting enough for people to click through and see your stream take a little more effort but catching peoples full attention and engage with them enough for them to become a regular or returning viewer require you to be aware and focused.
How you are interacting with people and or making sure new people feel welcome when seeing your stream for the first time. You should always try to be the best possible host for your viewers and make sure to include new people as they join in. People want to feel welcome and be a part of your community. If you are not handling your viewers or chatters then all the attractions and making your brand known is done for nothing. Grow your stream 1 viewer at a time and focus on those viewers individually instead of your followers' metrics or "soon to be affiliate" status (if you are on Twitch).
I know this article became a little long and extensive. Thank you for reading through or reaching the bottom. I want to end this article saying that I recommend writing a small "about me" section, the schedule and some goals in the panels. You can also add a donation button but would recommend having that least visible or wait until you about followers or regular viewers as it can send a wrong signal too early.
Articles related to the content of these points if you want to read more in-depth.
- Make a schedule that works for you
- Brand awareness on Social Media
- Find graphic that suits your brand
- Improve your livestream by viewing your VODs
- Are you distributing your content to other channels?
- Your first viewers and followers