There has been a significant rise in remote work culture, and people are inspired to break away to start their own businesses. While some pursue careers in freelance digital marketing and social media management, others are captivated by streaming and content creation.
Are you an aspiring live streamer and content creator wanting to earn an income from your passion? Perhaps you simply want to build your brand and grow your business as a side hobby?
Getting started and becoming a successful live streamer (or content creator) is similar to building a business. There are several ways to earn a living through streaming, such as subscriptions, tips, sponsorship, and more.
We’ve put together a few essential tips to consider when building your streaming business.
Benefits of Building a Brand as a Streamer
Take a moment and consider:
- What makes your offering unique?
- Why should your audience jump online every time you announce that you’ve gone live or uploaded a new video?
A strong brand is a foundation for success. Here are three reasons why it’s beneficial to build your brand as a content creator.
Improve Recognition of Yourself and Your Content
Being a successful live streamer is subjective. You shouldn’t compare yourself against others. If you’re having fun, connecting with others, and creating content you enjoy, that is all that matters.
But as a live streamer looking to turn their content into a business, there are several metrics to track when measuring success. Viewership, repeat traffic, duration of views, viewer engagement, and unique visitors are a few to keep in mind. Although brand awareness is a less tangible metric to track, it will help as your content gains popularity.
Building a brand around a topic that you are passionate about (games, art, music, etc.) will help you grow your audience and build a loyal following in that niche. Branding doesn’t have to be a design or a logo. Some of the most popular brands today are catchphrases like Send It or Jerry of the Day.
As a live streamer, there are several ways to build brand awareness. Consider the following as a starting point.
- Add visuals and graphics to your content
- Make sure that your content is unique
- Jump on trends such as live interviews and Q&A
- Promote products and releases
- Be consistent in your stream branding and phrasing
Share your content across various channels, always mention your name/username, use your logo, and be consistent with your use of colors and graphics.
Build Trust and Credibility
Credibility is the single most important attribute of marketing content. Several brands are starting to leverage the power of live streaming to advertise new offers and services. The live nature of streaming creates an authentic environment for creators to interact with their community, thus building trust with their audience.
Content creators rely heavily on their direct audience to receive an income, and any way to build trust with your audience will go a long way. Building a brand helps drive home an authentic connection, giving the audience a sense of confidence and credibility.
An audience needs to feel connected to a creator they are consuming content from. Recognizing a brand can build credibility and make your viewers more likely to identify your icon and return to your page. Along with engagement and consistency, quality content, credibility, and brand awareness play a key role in boosting the number of loyal viewers.
Loyalty in viewership is critical for streamers and content creators who are just getting started. Gaining more repeat visitors introduces the potential to generate revenue and can transform your streaming activities into profitable ventures.
How to Build a Profitable Brand as a Streamer
There are several basic steps involved in becoming a successful streamer. If you’re wondering how to make money streaming, then you should first start by figuring out your niche.
Are you a gamer that offers entertaining commentary? Do you enjoy sharing funny moments IRL? Maybe you’re passionate about a specific art and love to share your tips and knowledge?
To help you determine where you fit in, you should consider the following factors.
- Understand your purpose, motivation, and purpose
- Set clear goals
- Decide on your streamer category
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start building your brand. There are different ways to grow your audience and attract sponsors — over and above creating content.
Consider the following ways of building a brand, earning an income, and kickstarting your dream as a profitable streamer.
Building a brand allows you to reach more people, generate an audience, create traction, and encourage engagement. There are many elements to consider when building a brand: logo, graphics style, the color of choice, and even commentary style.
Please pay attention to the branding you choose, as it will weave its way into other money-making efforts. Try to select a catchphrase, use professional graphics, and make the branding consistent across your social media platforms.
For more information about creating a brand for our channel, please read our blog post, “How to Start Live Streaming on Twitch.”
Did you know that content creator merch can contribute to 20% of an online entertainer’s total streaming revenue? From mugs and stickers to T-shirts and even phone cases — there’s a lot of value to be uncovered from selling and wearing your custom merch!
Not only do the likes of Twitch streamer merch contribute to an income, but it also helps to raise awareness and build brand popularity.
When choosing a streaming platform, it’s worth considering the various tools and features that it offers. At Streamlabs, we have an easy-to-use Merch Store that helps live streamers grow their revenue, brand, and community.
Tips and Sponsorships
Streamers investigating how to make money streaming on Twitch will quickly discover a strong sense of support offered by fellow Twitch streamers. Add a “tip” button to your channel, and consider reinvesting any money your community sends you back into your stream. You can upgrade your equipment and get better webcams, peripherals, and other gear. When your audiences see their contributions helping you create a better stream, they might be more inclined to support you. Streamlabs also recently launched monthly tipping, a new feature that lets viewers send a recurring tip every month. Creators receive 100% of every tip after standard PayPal processing fees.
There’s an increase in the number of people tuning in to watch streamed content. In Q2 2021, viewers spent 3 billion hours per month watching live streaming content, up 16% from 2.544 billion hours from Q2 2020. You can learn more about working with brand partnerships by reading our blog, “How to Apply for Live Streaming Sponsorships.”
Taking this to the next level, you can investigate the many paid sponsorship opportunities from established and rising brands.
Some streamers and content creators create exclusive content that is only accessible when subscribing to a channel. In exchange for a monthly subscription, you can give your audience exclusive chat rooms or merchandise discounts.
What Can You Expect as a Successful Streamer?
If you’re inspired to build a brand and start your live streaming career, then find comfort in knowing that the industry is full of potential. The live streaming market is estimated to reach $70.05 billion in 2021 — massive growth from $30.29 billion in 2016.
As we’ve explored, earning an income from streaming is possible through community support, selling merchandise, and building partnerships. Carving out your niche in the streaming industry is potentially lucrative. Building a brand and treating your channel as a business are essential steps in turning a profit.
Communities and audiences are important for several reasons. Not only does a strong community expose the channel to increased income and brand awareness, but it also provides a space of belonging for the viewers and the creators.
Top Considerations When Streaming as a Business
It’s easy to get excited when the first dollar enters your bank account, and you forget about the logistics of earning money as a business. Depending on your geographical location, there will be certain considerations specific to your area.
There’s an age-old question about whether money made online constitutes income. If you want to cross your t’s and dot your i’s, then you’ll need to consider the following factors.
- Consult tax experts for guidance on any legal requirements about income
- Keep track of all income and expenses involved in your streaming activity
- Be strategic when migrating to full-time streaming, making sure that you can financially support yourself
- Keep coming back to analytics to identify room for improvement
- Consider data safety and make an effort to protect your accounts
- Be sure to give yourself some downtime, striving for a work-life balance
How Can Streamlabs Help?
At Streamlabs, we pride ourselves on being a leading all-in-one live streaming software that helps content creators go live and grow their audience. But that’s not all.
We also provide a comprehensive set of tools and features to help live streamers build their brand as a business. Our products include our live streaming software Streamlabs OBS, a logo maker, live stream alerts, tipping, sponsorship opportunities, merch stores, stream overlays, and more.
Founded on the belief that we want to help creators make a living do what they love, Streamlabs provides a robust suite of features to help creators better engage with their fans, grow audiences, and improve monetization. Building on this mission, Streamlabs is expanding its product with 1) Melon, our browser-based streaming studio, 2) Willow, an all-in-one bio link tool, 3) Oslo, a video review and collaboration tool. And 4) Crossclip, the easiest way to convert Twitch clips to videos for TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.