I had a lot of hesitations when I first started streaming.
When I started back in 2013, it was still pretty new. Not totally new, but pretty new. there weren’t any real great guides out there that taught people how to stream. There weren’t even a whole lot of tips out there. A video here or there, maybe a blog post or two, but for the most part there was very little good advice on getting started streaming.
Now that I’ve been streaming for a while, I’ve decided to compile a list of five things that I wish I knew back in 2013 when I first started streaming.
1. You don’t have to have all the best gear.
I hesitated getting started for a while because I was afraid my gear wasn’t good enough. My camera was low quality and pretty much a potato. My microphone was even worse.
I didn’t get started with that stuff and instead, waited until I could buy good equipment.
There are two things wrong with that:
One, I shouldn’t have waited to get started. You should get started right now if you haven’t already. Every day that you wait you’re going to regret it. Getting started as soon as possible is important because it starts building the habit, it gets you comfortable, and it is another chance for someone to discover you.
The other mistake I made was that I spent a bunch of money I didn’t really have on gear I didn’t really need. I should have waited until I made money streaming to start spending money streaming. Don’t get me wrong, the gear was an investment and I still use most of it, but I should have waited on that.
2. You don’t have to be good at video games.
Another thing that stopped me from getting started streaming was that I was scared because I suck at video games.
Seriously, I do. Right now I’m trying to get good at Hearthstone so I can impress a girl but I’m just so bad.
Impressing your crush aside, who cares if you suck at games? Play them anyway. If anything, try to make it funny.
If you suck at games but you enjoy playing them, that’s all that matters. Expand on that and display it in a way that shows your viewers the fun you’re having. They’ll be happy to be a part of it.
3. Talk even when no one is watching.
When I first started streaming I would sit silently until someone came into my room and started watching. The problem there was that I would often miss people and they would come in, see me sitting there silently, and leave.
Playing video games silently is not a way to build a following.
People want to see you having fun and getting into it. Be talking as if you have 1, 100, or 1000 people watching. Be active and engaged in the game so that when people happen to stumble upon your stream you’re not just a bump on a log.
Get into it.
4. Be active in the community.
This took me a really long time to figure this out, but you need to be active in the community. I used to just hop on and stream and never interact with other streams. I hardly even watched them.
Once I started watching streams I started to learn more about streaming and get more ideas on what works and what doesn’t.
Once I started interacting with streams, I started making friends. They started following me and watching my streams.
I even made friends with other streamers who would sometimes shout out for people to go follow me and watch my streams.
Word of mouth from other streamers is one of the best ways to get new followers, so you need to be involved in the community if you want to grow quickly.
5. Start collecting emails.
It’s really embarrassing for me to have overlooked this when I started streaming. I have a background in digital marketing and this is a major part of being successful online. I totally forgot that I should be collecting emails.
The reason why you want your fans’ emails is because platforms change frequently, and you don’t want to lose your audience.
Right now it may seem like Twitch and YouTube are forever going to be the primary streaming sites. Back in 2005, I was pretty sure MySpace would be around forever.
Imagine if you had invested everything in MySpace. You’d be screwed right now.
Of course, you can try to move your fans over when you switch platforms…but you won’t get all of them.
However, if you have their emails, they’ll go wherever you go forever. You will be able to keep them with you when you switch platforms, add new social media, or even change professions.
I teach more about this in the free email course, which you can sign up for below. The email stuff is in the third part of the course, but I recommend you take all three parts just make sure you know everything you need to know.