Investing in the appearance of your live stream

Creating a unique brand is important for every live streamer and we recommend you invest in your appearance. From the moment you turn on your stream, you are building your brand. Your brand includes everything that the world sees about you from your streaming handle and highlight reels to your Twitter posts.

Invest in how you come off alongside 1000s of other streamers who are vying for the same viewer attention. Invest in that first impression. They do say that first impressions are sometimes the last.

Before we get into the different things you can do to improve your brand optics, let’s briefly talk about the approach. Every action you take should be thoughtful action and include calculated risks.

Branding - Why?


First, we want to make a good first impression. Second, we want to stand out among others. We want to be easily discoverable and noticeable. Third, we want to look professional. If you put in effort into something, it will pay off. Everything matters, including appearance. Yes, your gameplay, your charisma and your energy levels are the main ingredients, but how your stream looks will add value.


Below are the best tips for optics we gathered from interviews with 40 partnered streamers. We prioritized strategies from those who became a partner within the last nine months.

Branding - How?

Choose your streaming handle and secure it

The first step to building your brand is selecting a unique name that will help you stand out in search results. Make sure your name is easy to spell to help potential viewers find you whenever you’re mentioned. We recommend claiming your username and URL across all relevant online platforms regardless of whether you think you’ll use them or not. This will make it easier for viewers to find you across the web and prevent brand confusion if another streamer decides to use your alias.

Streamer Name Checklist


To claim your unique username and URL, you must first meet YouTube’s requirements:

  • Minimum 100 subscribers
  • Channel is at least 30 days old
  • Personalized photo and channel art.

For more information, check out YouTube’s official step-by-step guide here.


The username you select at signup will be automatically added to your URL.


The username you select at signup will be automatically added to your URL.

Get professional-looking overlays

Pick an overlay that is cohesive and, at the minimum, informs the viewer of when you are about to start. Not only will your stream stand-out, but you will also increase the probability of getting a few viewers before you start. Streamlabs OBS offers both free and paid overlays.

Branding overlays

Looking for more options? Check out our full overlay library here.

Customize your alerts

Yes, default alerts are solid, but you can create something that is truly yours. Again, it doesn’t need to be a fancy graphic. It can be a meme or a gif of you or something specific to your community like an inside joke. Pick something that appeals to you and make it your alert. Then go further and create different alerts for different event types. Recognize people, and they will recognize you.

Branding alerts

Invest in your about section

It’s just a few lines of text but first impressions are sometimes the last and every detail matters. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the viewer. When you click on a stream that caught your eye based on either the title or the video, where do you go after you click on the stream? Most will go to the About Me section. Who are you? Why are you here? What do you care about? What do you want to tell the world? Make this section you. Just don’t write an essay.

Add Panels

Add relevant panels if you are a Twitch streamer or add additional links if you are on YouTube or Facebook. Often big-time streamers have sponsors here. Don’t have any sponsors yet? No problem. Just add some key pieces of information like your streaming schedule, donation link and community rules.

Branding panels

Stream Title and Tags

This is big. This is what people see when they scroll. This is also what will be tagged by the site and will get triggered if people search. It’s okay to try different things and see what works. If the site to which you are streaming allows this make sure you add relevant tags. This is key to helping you be found.

Social Media

Add your social networks (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, anything else that your heart desires). Then link them. This will help your community stay in touch with you when you are not streaming. Every piece matters, and this will add up. Get these social accounts booked if you haven’t yet. Otherwise it might be hard to get a social account that matches your name. You want the maximum number of avenues to grow your brand, and social networks are going to be one of these avenues.