Photo: Ethan Miller / Staff (Getty Images)
No longer do you need to contract a reality TV show to broadcast everything you do to an audience. All you need is a streaming platform, and most people – especially those who love to play video games or watch others play games – use Twitch.
You’re already devastatingly interesting and your activity should be streamed far and wide, but how do you convince an audience to tune in and find out?
Don’t fix yourself on numbers, just focus on the content
You’re here because you want to build an audience, but don’t let the quantity you offer your followers and ideally your paid subscribers distract you. Instead of trying to appeal to a larger number of people in general, work on improving the skills that make you unique and attracting the users who are specifically interested in them. They become more loyal, keep coming back to your streams, promoting your work, and interacting with you in chat. All of that is more important than any number of followers – and will alone lead to a stronger number of followers.
“I learned from Twitch that there are a million little niches out there that people don’t really think about,” said a streamer walking past Simulation cat and has 189 followers and 20 paying subscribers. They pointed out that they have seen streamers, for example, broadcasting themselves while flipping bingo, and they have a dedicated fan base for that.
“Get deeply involved with what you love and move on from there, and if you are a fun person people will hang out with you,” they said.
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“Deciding what to stream depends on the audience’s ability to engage,” added. Manny Fidel, an editor and columnist based in New York who started streaming frequently during the pandemic lockdowns and has 508 followers. “When it comes to politics, you can post your attitudes in the chat and I can respond. If it’s a game, something like a puzzle or strategy game that the audience can help with. As for timing, there is no rhyme or reason for me. I just do it when I can, which is usually right after work (ie in the evening). ”
That back and forth engagement is key, so let’s talk about it.
When you watch other streamers and interact in their chats, you gain recognition in the community as a whole, which means it’s easier to turn new friends into new followers or subscribers
Take part in the platform with others
You need to be visible on Twitch if you want people to interact with you and follow you. First and foremost, you need to be communicative when people are watching you stream no matter what you do. For example, respond to messages that appear in your chat window. If a follower suggests something that you could do differently in a future stream, use it so they know their opinion matters.
There are a lot of streamers on the platform, so followers and would-be followers have a wide variety of options. Be friendly, fun, and personable so that they will prefer you to any of the other streamers in your field.
Speaking of other people in your lane, you should support them too. When you watch other streamers and interact in their chats, you gain recognition in the community as a whole, which means it’s easier to turn new friends into new followers or subscribers.
“It’s important to fit in with communities that you want to be part of. Getting to know you and making new acquaintances online are valuable and rewarding things that not only do your channel good, but also enrich it personally, ”says Simulationkat.
Collaborate with other streamers outside of your track
It’s not just important to be visible in other people’s chats because you want to attract new followers – connecting with other streamers is a great way to find people to collaborate with.
“I’ve found that I get more viewers when I work with others,” explains Simulationkat, who regularly hosts streams with friends and allows them to talk about their unique interests, which are often different from what is normally offered on the channel . This gives Simulationkat a new audience that comes for the niche topic, but could stay for additional streams in the future.
Subscriptions only last a month and need to be renewed. So, in order to retain subscribers and grow your following, you need to get consistent results.
There are other ways you can get help from your friends: “My biggest advice is to get a few friends to watch your stream every now and then. They are much more likely to speak in chat and if random viewers see engagement they will follow you and possibly a sub down the line, ”said Fidel.
Why it is important to be as consistent as possible
Fidel noted that while he has 508 followers, he currently has no subscribers. At the beginning of the pandemic, he streamed two to three times a week and got up to 35 subscribers, but when he cut his broadcast schedule, they declined. Subscriptions only last a month and need to be renewed. So, in order to retain subscribers and grow your following, you need to get consistent results. (Don’t worry about Fidel: he said he was thinking about taking it again.) You don’t necessarily have to stick to a strict schedule as long as you put a little time into content production.
“I stream whenever I want because theoretically there are always people watching me because Twitch is so global,” said Simulationkat. “One of the cool things about Twitch is how many different types of people I’ve met all over the world.”
Also, don’t excuse a lack of consistency. Neither Fidel nor Simulationkat said you didn’t need a lot of equipment other than a phone or computer.
“You can stream with just a laptop and a shitty phone if you want. If you’re entertaining, it doesn’t matter, ”said Simulationkat.
“All you need is a computer and a microphone,” added Fidel. “If you want to stream games, you want your computer to be on the stronger side, or you might want to buy a capture card that can stream a game from your Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo to your computer. I love having a webcam because people associate my social media accounts with my Twitch, and I love that they see me. But some people have insane setups that are simply not necessary for a small channel. “
Know how to apply elsewhere, especially before streaming
Speaking of social media, don’t forget to promote your streams in advance. If you want to gain followers on Twitch, you can target your existing followers elsewhere as well. Create some graphics to post on Instagram or Twitter to give them something to look forward to.
“I think it’s worth promoting as much as possible on social media, but the most important thing in my opinion to grow your audience is to be yourself, as cheesy as that is. Give people a reason to hang out with you like they’re meeting someone at a party you are hosting, ”suggested Simulationkat.
Your existing friends and followers already know you and are likely eager to help you with your new venture, so give them the chance. Then start streaming and give strangers a chance too. You will have a huge following in no time.