I was recently put on to this theory and I really enjoy the way that it plays out for Twitch streamers. For this to make any sense we need to first identify the terminology for each thing and then analyze the problem for a solution.
What’s the difference? While short-term and short path — and long-term and long path — might sound similar. They’re actually almost the opposite when we start to dig into the meaning of them.
Short-term and long-term
You’ve probably heard the terms short-term and long-term in relation to the growth of your channel. To take it one step further it’s in relation to the execution of your marketing for your Twitch channel.
Both of these are different ways to identify your overall “game plan”. The short-term is when you’re looking at getting quick influx of viewers. Be it through giveaways or any other means of attention seeking. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it’s more often than not executed in a bad way — the delivery don’t live up to the promise. You’re accumulating a large audience with no means of having them there.
That’s the goal of the short-term — to get a quick upswing in viewership. Visualize a each viewer as a small cube. When you think short-term you’re taking each cube and stack it above the previous one. Sure enough it’s going to look impressive in that your stack is tall. However if there’s a too big of a change or sudden movement that tower comes crumbling down.
The long-term is when you’re looking at the bigger picture. You’re ready to take a “hit” to later be able to grow or be fine with having a slower growth for the upside of that when that is in play it’s going to last longer. Executing a long-term goal, as the name might suggest, takes time.
Let’s go into visualizing again. When you’re doing long-term we’re talking about building an actual fanbase. The key thing here is the base. If you go back to the cubes we’re now not stacking each of them on top of each other. We’re instead creating a pyramid shaped with these cubes. Yes it’s slower but it’s also the strongest and more powerful way you can create long-term success. What you can do with this fanbase in terms of leveraging your brand or create revenue streams is a different topic — but it’s a lot easier to do than the short-term.
Neither short- or long-term has any real direct relation to branding or direction. To get to that we need to look at the different type of paths that you can take.
Short path and long path
It’s common that when you see short-term and short path you would think that they have a similar meaning. However they’re rather far from each other.
The short path is when you’ve gotten to terms with the direction that you do want to take. When you know what you do the best and you execute on that. Why is it called the short path? Since it’s the fastest way to go forward. When you actually execute, on the right thing for you, you’re going to see and feel that genuine upswing.
It’s the short path since you’re now talking all of your time to focus on one thing. For instance if you focused on one style of painting over the course of a year — even if you’re not a skilled painter — at the end of that year you would have a pretty good painting to show off. However if you started doing 356 paintings in different styles you would end up with 356 paintings that don’t look that good in terms of the style. Sure you might have learned how to use the brush or how to setup the canvas. One thing you wouldn’t have learned is how to do one style the best. That latter part is the long path.
The big issue is that we don’t often know what that one thing is. That’s fine! There’s nothing wrong with not knowing. If you read the latter you’ll also see that I wrote that you learned how to use the brush and how to setup the canvas. That’s experience and that’s something that you can keep for when you, after the long path, take the short path.
Looking at the Problem
What it all comes down to is that the best streamers are the ones that love what they do but they’re all great at what they do. You also have to understand that there’s not only one way to be a streamer. When we’re talking about the long path it’s not a bad thing. It’s used so that you can use your patience (why are you in a rush?), flexibility and you hunger to find the right short path. Like with food — you don’t know what your favorite dish is until you try it. You have to go out there and try as much as possible until you find what you like. Or in this case find what you’re great at in terms in the sphere of streaming.
In a true sense both the short path and the long path are both long term goals. They’re vital not only to growth but to building something for the future.
This felt like a pretty good start to the week! On Thursday I’ll do another case study while I keep working on a few projects that I’ve been working on. Hopefully you’ll get a bunch of great case studies in the coming weeks.
If you like what you read here you might want to check out my Discord or my Twitch channel. They’re both filled with people that discuss these topics or more similar content. Don’t forget about my professional Twitch branding services!