Your first viewers and followers
The hard truth that most are not prepared for, is that you may not encounter anyone other than yourself. Depending on how well you brand yourself or are to have friends to help you, it may take a couple of streams before people watch along.
Livestreaming is a subcategory of the entertainment business. This means that you have to step up and be someone your viewers want to watch. This may sound harsh, but getting started can be difficult, especially if you are doing it all on your own. A good practice for starters is to play with friends, do something where you are not forced talking to yourself.
If you are playing with friends, make sure they open a tab in the background with your stream on it. It does not matter if it is muted and not even looked at. The viewers will give you a small headstart in the directory!
The first lookers
At first your viewers may not stay for long and probably not write you are a single message in the chat. That should by no means discourage you from doing your thing. You do not turn of Netflix because of a missing chat. Practice talking and thinking out loud, making people understand your reasoning and why you do whatever. Even if you are discussing with yourself. Just make sure to have a filter of what is appropriate to show.
The curious ones
If you stick to livestreaming for a month or two, you will at some point start gaining traction. You have to be consistent and put content out there for people to find. If you do not go live, you are not to be found.
By being consistent and streaming as much as possible, you will stay in the directories and on the list. People will be able to find you and the more they see you, the more likely they will be to take a look. Now, when that happens, your job is to gain their interest and try to make them stay and follow you! If they follow you, they will more likely return later on.
Now that people are starting to follow and you are starting to make a list of potential returning viewers. It is time for you to give it a little extra making sure they return again and again. To do this, you have to find your niche between being social, delivering good content and being a person of interest. Athletes and stars do not need to work as much on their persona because people will hype over them despite it because they are popular.
Remember, just because people click the Follow button, does not mean they watch you whenever you go live. It simply means you are more easily found. You still have to attract them and make them return to your stream.
When you are working on your persona, make sure it fits you. You do not exactly have to be the true you, but make sure to be true to yourself. If you do not like something, do not force your persona too.
Your community of loyal viewers
You are on your way to gain a small following and have loyal viewers who return more often. Those people are the ones to represent you in your chat and to the outside world. If they are referring their friends to you or letting the world know of you, they are your most loyal viewers. Make sure to let them know how much they mean to you and your growth. No one wants to keep supporting someone who takes them for granted. Make sure to have a good tone and positive effect on them and the contributions to you.
Also set a couple of restrictions, make sure not to get a bad reputation. Even if your loyal viewers have good intentions, do not encourage them to do bad stuff. Do not encourage them to promote you on other livestreams and other entertainers channels. Even if it may give you a few viewers in the long wrong, it may discourage even more people from visiting you.
Another great idea is to make community goals and making your community a part of them. If you are one of the many who starts off livestreaming without a webcam. You can make it a common goal to get one. Now you do not want to start off having a donation goal as people do not want to join a livestream asking for money right away.
You want to keep community goals off the list or very subtle until you have a following to ask or gain from it. Once your community trust you to make goals that benefit you or the livestream in a way that contributes to them too. You will be able to ask for almost anything if you make sure not to beg for it or seem sell-out.