I watched a few smaller streams this week (work related) and one thing that stood out was that a bunch of them played with friends. People have been recommending newer streamers to have friends on so you can fill the empty space of not talking with anyone. While true, I wanted to point out a few things that might go wrong when playing with IRL friends on your Twitch stream
We’ve all seen the comment that you can bring on real friends into your stream and that way it’s not you talking to an empty space. It sounds great until it’s put into practice the wrong way. To me it’s once again one those things “I’ve seen bigger streamers play with friends and it look entertaining so I should mimic it”. While it can be a great tool to use when you start out it has the possibility to come with a lot of baggage when you just started out streaming.
- Effects on personal branding
- Splitting your attention
- Dong it the right way (hopefully)
- Setting up the offer (networking)
Effects on personal branding
The biggest thing that can go wrong, and fast, is your personal branding. We’re very good at editing ourselves depending on who we are around. When you see big streamers stream with their friends it’s more often then not other streamers and that’s where the confusion comes in. You need to think if or if not the way you’re around your friends is the same you want to put forward on your stream.
If the answer is no then playing with your closest friends might not be the very best idea. I’ve seen the bad attempts and I’ve seen the good ones. The worst ones are the ones where the streamer becomes the second wheel and one of the friends is what gets the attention. That’s situation you want to avoid since after all your audience should be there to get to know you and not your friends. Another problem that often arise is that you’re kind of
If the answer is yes then you’re doing it right. Of course if you’re going to build your stream on being the way you are with your closest friends to your community. You might run into a rather big problem down the line and that’s the 150-200 close relationship concept. Most streamers have a tendency to get stuck around that number, and it’s not a big surprise it’s just a thing that tends to happen when you’re not ready to let go a bit. You can read more about Dunbar’s number here, it’s a very interesting read. I know a lot of guides like to quote the 1000 true fans, but that’s true fans and not close relationships.
Splitting your attention
Another, rather obvious thing, is that you’re going to split your attention between your friends and your stream. Now the more you do play with your friends while you stream the better you will be at doing both. But I would argue that it’s better to get used to the feeling of streaming then the feeling of relying on playing with your friends. When you’re used to streaming and have figure out what you can do with streaming you can start to experiment even more and bring in more aspects. The same goes if you play with other streamers, the more experienced they are with streaming the better it will go. It doesn’t all come down to chemistry for things to work but rather a understanding and a certain chemistry. You and your friends might have an amazing chemistry offline but there’s no guarantee that it will translate online.
Doing it the right way (hopefully)
The reason why this works so well when streamers stream with other streamers is since they’re their streamer person. Not that they’re someone completely different otherwise but in other words they’re a edited version of themselves and not a different persona. You’re not trying to be someone else but rather being the version that you want to put forward on your stream, and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever. That’s why networking or finding other streamers to play with is a lot more important then playing with IRL friends on your Twitch stream
I’ve said this before but rather then trying to find anyone it’s about finding someone that have the same goals as you. Chemistry is another thing and that might happen right away or with time or maybe never. It’s important to know when you and when not to keep going and be upfront about what doesn’t and what does work. Try having that conversation with a friend that don’t care about streaming and aren’t trying to put their streaming life on the line.
Settting up the offer (networking)
I wanted to touch a little bit on finding other streamers. A lot of times people make it a lot harder then it has to be. I’ve seen the same line posted over and over again about finding someone who’s on your level or a mid-tier streamer. I have no idea why that keep being a thing if that was a thing in other businesses things would move a lot slower.
What it comes down to is the proposition. What’s your proposition? Is it only you saying “hey let’s play together?” then I wouldn’t think that you would have any real success. I’m going to talk in front of investors in a weeks time and that didn’t happen because I’m on their level. It happened because I had a good proposition. I have something unique and something they haven’t heard about before and that’s why they want to hear about my company.
You can do the very same thing for your stream, be it to reach a big streamer or even mid tier or low tier streamer. It’s all about what you have and how you approach someone with that idea. Be it a show, doing a playthrough together or anything else it’s all in what you have to offer. If there’s nothing there for the other person then there’s no reason for them to accept even if they’re pulling the same amount of viewers as you. You don’t need to have a ton of viewers to have a good idea and don’t over think your ideas. Try out your ideas instead and see what happens, that’s a lot better then sitting around waiting until you’ve reached random viewer number.
Started to write on my 10 minute presentation today and realized I actually have to explain what Twitch is to them. I have a lot of things to fit into 10 minutes without any visual aid whatsoever. Going to keep writing on it this week so I can start practicing on it. My goal is to have a office here in Sweden around the idea that I have and have at least a few employees working full-time.
If this presentation goes well next year is going to be very interesting, as I’m going be doing the same thing again, in April but in front of a bigger audience. I’m going all in on this and I’m not going to stop. I’m following my dream the same way that I’m hoping that you’re following yours. Going to be more active on Twitter as well (@visiblespeech) so feel free to follow me there.