Networking is one of those things that a lot of people want to learn but still feel weird about it. Here’s a rule of thumb, if it feels weird it is weird. Stop it. In this article I’m going to approach it in a new way that I’ve seen give great response so far. I’ve tried it both in person and online so there’s a case study here that you can take in. That’s why networking on different levels for your Twitch channel is something that’s worth time to investigate and see what would work for you.
Networking outside of Twitch
I live in a city that loves technology, it might no be San Francisco but it’s at least something and across the bridge there’s Copenhagen so there’s no shortage of new teach companies. Another thing that I like is free beer. Luckily the these companies like to hose meet-ups and after work session where they either give out free food, free beer and sometimes both.
Started going to these a year or so back and eventually I transitioned into doing Twitch stuff full-time and I’ve finally gotten back to do these things. The best thing about these meet-ups is that it’s not Twitch centered at all. Why is this good? How else am I going to expand and connect with brands that might need my help (oh did I forget to mentioned that Malmö is also filled with game developers) so there’s a bit of crossover. Even if I don’t talk to someone in the gaming industry I talk with those that never heard of it, and that’s great. They won’t forget about the guy that works with Twitch stuff but they’re very likely to forget person #5 that does web development. Advantage me or in your case advantage you. Networking on different levels for your Twitch channel becomes more then a hobby and don’t be shy about it. Sure you’re full-time job might be teacher but don’t overshadow you channel. Don’t start with saying that Twitch is just a side thing. There’s no reason for anyone to take your seriously if it’s only a side thing. Show them the same passion that you show your viewers and the same passion that made you want to stream in the first place.
You can do the same online. Now it won’t be as clear cut since you’re both doing streaming on Twitch. That’s true UNTIL you actually breakdown your stream into what is exactly is, remember it all starts with understanding your own brand and what your channel is all about, when you know all of that you can start to see what makes your stream standout from others. A quick tip is that the following words are most often used when describing a channel; community, fun and where people can hang out. You can either leave those words behind, define them better or dig deep into that and see what about them makes your statement different. There’s always something more there that you can pick up on. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and while and there’s always something there beyond those words even if you don’t know it yet. In the past in under an hour with about 10 simple questions have identified a whole new brand that is 100% the person and it’s just an extension of what already is there. There’s not always a need for a new person just an adjustment in attitude.
A few different paths you can take
What it comes down to is listening to what they do then there’s actually two paths you can take. Either you can solve a problem right there on the spot. Sure it might be something you think is obvious but maybe it isn’t to them. Even better if you can relate it to your channel BUT you don’t actually have to. All you need to understand what your channel can give them. Is it access to a specific audience? Maybe you can reach your followers in a way that a brand can’t on their own and It all starts with you understanding, not only yourself, but also your brand and channel. To cut it down to a few words; be someone they’ll remember.
The other path is to ask them about their story. About their path they took and let them tell you about what they did to get where they are today. Allow them to talk about themselves and learn and get inspired from that. That’s also the reason why you shouldn’t think about numbers. I doesn’t matter if they have 5.000 or 500 viewers you can approach them no matter what. The simple reason is that the two of you have the same goals, values and drive. It really makes no sense why you only should target streamers around your own viewer numbers.
When you’ve heard the talk it’s your time to present yourself, short would be the best (specially if they’re a bigger streamer) and then comes the next big thing. Is there anything that you can do for them, is there anything you can help them with or maybe you want to invite them onto a podcast or a special stream. However it’s a “hey let’s stream together”. This is pitching time and I know that phrases like “the elevator pitch” sounds like something that you either have no clue about or sounds like a bad idea. Then let me break that down into one thing; a reason to continue the conversation elsewhere. When you network, most of the time, you don’t want/need to spend an hour talking to one person so you move on to the next. Online kind of skews that a bit since they can respond in their own time. However you don’t want to waste someones time, remember time=money and if you want someone to spend time(money) on you it better be worth something to them. That’s why it’s all about value in networking as well, make it worth their time to talk with you. There’s little to no reason why a bigger streamer would stream with you UNLESS there’s a moment to give back for the value you’ve given or if it’s something that interesting to them.
Where can you start the conversation?
There’s isn’t really one way. Every streamer have different ways that they want to be approached. At a meet-up the whole point so there’s a lot less you need to think about. However online the best way might sometimes be a tweet or through a business e-mail. The simplest way to do is to ask. A simple “how is the best way to contact you about x?”. To follow that up don’t hide what it is you want to talk about. There’s no hidden treasure and anyway unless you’re actually upfront with it is that you want to talk about then why should they even care? The whole point is to start a conversation so why not start it with actually asking a question either about them or the thing that you want to help/do/create etc. with them.
I would like to recommend the awesome movie Jodorowsky’s Dune, not only is it a movie about a failed attempt at making a movie but about the positive that comes from failure. I watched a year or so back and again a week ago. Let me know what you think about it, did you hate it? Did you love it? Why?
On Friday I’m away in the morning doing some networking with the game company King (Candy Crush Saga). Free breakfast yay! Going to be fun and going to ask a lot about what they think about Twitch, gaming and if they’ve heard about AppSpy on Twitch.