It is important to look at data to assess how you are doing accurately. The problem is that to get data, you need traction, and there will be some folks reading this and thinking to themselves, “I stream to 0 viewers every day for days. What data?” That is true. Keep at it. Keep trying things. Some of the info here may not apply to you, for now. Let’s look at a few things:
First, why do we want to look at data? Numbers do not lie. Data is an accurate representation of your progress, and we’ve established that we must seek truth to move forward, or else we get lost in our ego.
Second, where do we look? There are a few places. Check out the end of stream reports. Check out the analytics dashboard on streamlabs.com. Toggle the advanced view to look at more advanced stats.
Next, look at public tracking sites such as twinge.tv or twitchtracker.com. Why look there? You can see how others are doing. You can benchmark yourself. You can learn.
Next, as with any data — you want to have a question you want to answer. Here are the main questions we would be asking ourselves if we were looking at our analytics dashboards
- Am I progressing? Is the # that I care most about (# followers, #concurrent, whatever your goal is) — how is it changing over time
- When I see changes in that # over time — can I attribute it to anything that I did? If so — repeat it. If not — keep trying
- What games or what activities are making the largest impact on my goals and my trends?
In sum, keep running experiments, looking at data to validate your theories and keep trying.
Expanding outside your current platform
Twitch is ahead of any other platform today by the metric that matters the most to streamers— viewers. However, other platforms are growing. They are improving monetization, creator support, tech. They are getting exclusive content to drive viewers. We are not going to discuss the pros and cons of each platform. There are many different opinions on this, and it is beyond the scope of this book. While we have your attention, we want to make one point that is consistent with the rest of the material here:
Experiment! Let’s say you started on Mixer. Why not try Twitch? What if you and all your friends are on Twitch? Why not try Facebook or YouTube? There is a cost to every experiment (your time and energy), but we think it’s worth adding to your growth plan and seeing what happens. Some services enable you to stream to more than one platform. It might be worth checking them out and seeing where you resonate most.
As a creator, seeking help from other people can help you achieve many of your goals. Collaborations in the creator ecosystem are common.
Let’s briefly break it down:
Why collaborate: Collaborations help creators feed off each other and grow. reach new audiences, learn something new, meet new people and connect with others.
How to collaborate: Join communities. Use Reddit, Discord, or join forums with people of similar interests. If you google, you will find them. Be selective in what you join, but do consider it. Another way is to reach out directly and build a relationship. Many creators reach out via Twitter or Discord. You can also go to conferences and meet people there. There is a higher cost here, but there are few substitutes for meeting people face to face. Ultimately, the point is to put yourself out there.
What to expect: You can expect rejection. You can expect to give without getting much back. Both are okay. It’s part of the process. Do not expect everyone to welcome you with open arms. There is limited accountability online, and so not everything will be smooth, but if you approach everything with a positive mindset and give to the people — good things will come
What specifically will we do once we connect? Many things! Ask each other for advice. Ask for strategies. Act for support. Play together or stream together. Raid and host each other. Do Instagram takeovers or social media collaborations. Ultimately, you can support each other, and you can create something new.
What is the #1 thing when you try to build a network? The #1 thing is to give. Host others. Help others. Give genuine advice. Keep helping. The space is big. Assisting others to grow is part of life. The creator space is not zero-sum, meaning your gain is not someone else’s loss. Remember that, and if you have energy and will power, try helping another creator.
So, in short, put yourself out there and proactively give to others, and good things will happen!
Make a discord server for your channel. It doesn’t matter how small you are. Someone cares about you and your content, and they want a place to interact with you and to interact with others who enjoy your content.
There are many guides on how to set up a discord server, so we will not go through this here. Please keep in mind moderation. Your community is an extension of your brand. It may seem ambitious to think about your brand if you have few followers, but long-term thinking pays off! Start thinking about your community and how you want to show up today so that you can grow tomorrow.
Events and conferences
Attending conferences is a lot of fun and can help you grow, learn, and expand your network. A conference can bring new business opportunities, contacts, collaborations, and everything else in between. We talked about putting yourself out there, and attending conferences is a sure way to do that. There are several conferences that creators attend. Some of them are PAX, TwitchCon, and Blizzcon.
When trying to figure out whether to attend a conference, you should be very deliberate with your goals. Try to take a few minutes and write down precisely what you want to achieve while you are there. Be honest with yourself. Is it to have fun? That’s fine. Life is short. We should enjoy it. Connect with other creators you admire — that’s great!
Is it to connect with others? With who? Are they going? Make sure they will be there so that the tip is not in vain. Trying to get sponsored? Fair goal. Who do you want as your sponsor? Can you do pre-work before the conference to lock a meeting? Once you figure out the target (s), you can decide for yourself whether the trip is worth it.
Please keep in mind the cost. First, there is an opportunity cost, especially for the trips. When you are there — you are not streaming, you are not studying. Second, it will generally be more expensive than you envision. If you are short on cash — this may not be the best investment. Third, if the goal is to network, these things generally take a lot of pre-work and post-work. We are not discouraging you from going, but we do want to set the right expectations that you are unlikely to attend TwitchCon and come out with a Red Bull sponsorship.
Social media is simple. Set it up. Get it done! If you don’t have it,
make this an action item this week. Make this part of your growth plan.
Why the urgency? Because you want to start communicating with the world about your stream. The #1 person that should be authentically selling yourself is you, and the easiest way to do that is via Twitter. Next, you want to claim your handles. People are making accounts daily. The longer you wait the less likely the account you want will be there.
Which networks should you post on? In order of priority: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. If you want to do Tik Tok or others — go for it, but as with everything, it takes time. If you do one thing — do Twitter because that is most popular in the creator and gaming community for announcements (Instagram and Tik Tok will take more work).
Lastly, what do you post? A safe choice is to give people a heads up when you go live, especially if it’s a special stream. When you do that, you want to try and include more information than just, “Hey, I am live.” Something like, “Hey, I am streaming XYZ from A to B time. Hoping to hit X# followers during the stream. Come hang out!.” Of course, post whatever represents you. Jokes, memes, things you find interesting, stream highlights.