So who want's more Twitch success in their life? A lot of times we think about what we want before we think about what our audience wants…and this post has a lot to do with shifting that mentality.
Now I've studied hundreds of Twitch.TV live streamers and content creators. And I find the truly successful are very unique from one another, there are some commonalities I keep seeing.
In an attempt to reverse-engineer the success of successful Twitch streamers I've gathered the 5 most important components to growing a channel and having real Twitch success.
1. The Triforce of Twitch Success
The Twitch.tv Triforce is the coming together of three key aspects of any Twitch streamer's brand and content.
The three parts are Passion, Talent and Value.
When these three powers combine YOU BECOME CAPTAIN PLANET…just kidding.
But seriously, these three things are very essential to having success on Twitch. So let's break it down.
Passion. This is your fire, your hustle, your desperation to accomplish what you set out to do before the opportunity passes.
Without passion you just won't have the drive to stick with it in the long run, you'll either get bored or give up in the face of adversity. When it's your passion nothing can stop you.
Maybe you haven't tapped into it yet. Maybe you think it's just a hobby, but what would happen if you placed it top of mind like nothing else mattered.
I see successful Twitch streamers all-in on their dreams and giving it everything they have.
Late nights editing highlights, long weekends engaging fans on social media and always showing up ready to stream with passion.
If you aren't passionate about streaming, the games you play, or the time you spend with your community…then you either need to move on or read number 2 below (pivoting).
Talent. The skills. The Mojo.
I'm sorry but not everyone is going to make it on Twitch as a full-time streamer. It's just not the reality. Because the supply of content is so much bigger than the demand, 90% of you are going to always be struggling to climb.
I hope that strikes a chord with you because we can't live in a false reality. The sooner we get really honest about the world we live in and ourselves we can start to make some real progress.
Do I think its hard to make it on Twitch? Yes.
Do I think that every person with passion has the chance if they go for it 100% and are willing to learn along the way? Also yes.
So don't quit yet, you just might need to make some adjustments.
Truthfully, talent can be a hard variable to adjust. Hopefully the next point gives you some insight on what you might do if you think you are off course.
Value. The final part of the Triforce is the value proposition for your audience. Why should they watch you? What is in it for them? Why you and not the other 1.5 million broadcasters?
There are going to be two primary forms of value here: entertainment value and educational value.
Some people are going to make you laugh while they play and some are going to teach you how to play. Very different and both very effective.
That's why I said this can help you with defining your talent.
Do you think you can skill up in a game enough to be an educator?
Or do you think you are better off being more energized, excited, funny, angry and creating some entertainment via your character?
Or can you innovate and come up with some hybrid of the two. Or maybe you can be more of a facilitator of skill. You don't always have to be the one teaching, these days it's a real skill to help others dig through the mountains of content – this is called being a curator.
So when passion, talent and value combine you have the foundational recipe for real Twitch success.
2. The 3 P's: Patience, Pivot or Persevere.
So the first part of the 3P's is patience. Twitch is a long game. It can have a massive payoff – getting paid to play video games for a living – but it is a long haul. Super long.
Of course the more passion, talent and value you bring, the faster you will grow. But most people are going to need tremendous amounts of patience to see the results they desire. The bigger your eyes the more patiences you'll need.
Many of you are going to need to wait months before you see some pop in the numbers. It's just a fact. But who cares. If I told you one day you will make $80000 playing video games if you just keep doing it for 8 years, wouldn't you do it?
Don't forget we have only seen the beginning of monetization around gaming. Who knows what it will be worth to have 350 viewers in 2020. Right now it seems like you need 10000 viewers to accomplish anything but things have always evolved and it is trending up right now for gamers.
The latter part of the 3Ps is the pivot or persevere mentality.
Although patience is critical, we also need to know if we are going in the right direction.
If we aren't going to quit and are determined to make it work then pivot or persevere is going to be useful.
What it means is that as you move forward with more content production, if you see some plateaus or a dip in the numbers you may need to reconsider your strategy – you may need to pivot.
But if everyone is saying you are doing it right, if the numbers seem to be trending upwards then perhaps persevering is the right move. It's always one of the other: pivot (change) or persevere (carry on).
There is a delicate balance here. Making the right choice can be game-changing both good and bad. But you have to know it as a strategy and use it to your advantage.
Content creators are very much like business startups where ‘Pivot or Persevere' comes from. You start out with an idea but the market reveals you some new opportunities and you have to be listening. Your original thesis has to be able to adapt to the market needs.
You cannot win creating content no one wants. That's where ‘value' comes in above.
3. Character Design and Channel Themes
If we want to bring people even more value then we should help them identify with our content. People like to watch what makes them feel good.
People really like to watch people that remind them of themselves or other people they love. They resonate with ‘characters'.
Some people really like troll streamers who swear a lot and are edgy.
Some people really like kind hearted streamers who go above and beyond for the community.
I could go on forever here because everyone likes something different. What is ‘good' is subjective. Ask your mom or dad if they like all the music you like. End of story.
So it's important to know who you are but then to exaggerate some of those characteristics. Have a look at professional wrestling to know what I mean – these guys basically pick a single trait and exaggerate the shit out of it.
What happens? People love them or hate them but then they are stars.
They make people feel something. That is so key. Hate is good because for every hater comes a lover.
Apathy is the enemy. Having no one care about you is the enemy. You need to stand out.
Make it really clear to your audience who your character is. I recommend reading up on ‘archetypes'. Every person fits into an archetype, there are only like 16. Go find out which one you are so you can exaggerate it and build it into your brand and identity.
Branding is always important. What it really means is a stamp of quality. When I see your brand I know what I'm getting. Make it really clear to people who you are and what type of content you offer.
Create a tag line for yourself. Define your brand for them clearly and up front.
Heck create an entire religion of your values, beliefs and lifestyle design. Share yourself relentlessly with your fans.
4. Document don't Create
‘Document, don't create' is a massive buzzword right now and it comes from @garyvee (check him out on social media he is awesome).
Creators always get stuck trying to make original works when they should just be documenting their process. It is so much easier to document than create.
I think this aligns perfectly with Twitch.
You should set a goal around your game to improve and document that. You should share everything you learn, study and discover. Allow other people to join your journey.
Too many people get stuck trying to create something beyond their means and they give up.
I realize your story might not be of celebrity status, but in case you didn't notice reality TV is far more popular now and it has nothing to do with being famous – it has everything to do with being real (or pseudo real at least).
I bet you don't believe me, but guess what belief is cheap. Go try it first.
5. Intention is the only real key to Twitch Success
So after reading all of that I have really good news for you. There is one variable that can change everything and it's called ‘Intention'.
Way too many people intend to be rich from streaming video games and that is ASS BACKWARDS.
No one cares if you want to be rich. Not one person cares if you succeed at that. I know you do, but the market doesn't even know you.
So you need to reframe your intention. Do not set out to make money or be famous but rather set out to fulfill your intention which is rooted in value for others.
Bring value to people. That should be your only intention.
And if you do that correctly it is much more likely you stay the course, have success and ultimately make the money or gain the status you desire.
But you need to put the audience first, the community first, the work first – then the success will come.
I've written 40 posts on this website. Now it has 10000 readers a month. How much value and work did I have to do until we got here? I don't for one second worry about whether this website makes money.
And another great thing is that when you intend just to help people, even the tinniest of successes will feel amazing!
If I had set out to make money with this blog, I would have quit so long ago and not had fun with it.
But since my intention was to help the live streaming community it feels great to do what I'm doing. I get emails thanking me all the time. It feels great and I have no problem spending the time to write and share my thoughts on what it takes to be successful on Twitch.
Here are some basic intentions that might serve you:
I will help people improve their skill at League of Legends so I'll create Youtube tutorial content and stream live to answer questions
I will help people fall asleep at night so I will create a sleepy environment for people and help them get the rest they need.
I will help people learn to lose weight so I will play games that keep me active and I will share my tips for having a healthy body.
I want to make people to laugh so I will play funny games and have other streamers on who are also funny and we can jam together.
Get the idea? When you start providing unique value above and beyond what anyone else does you will see results. Add in some passion, some documentation of your skill-building, some ‘character' and you will be far beyond 90% of streamers out there. And then it's hustle and hard work from their on out.
The sooner Twitch.TV streamers can deploy these five critical ingredients, Twitch success will become so much more likely.
Go to any major streamer and you will see passion, skill and value.
Go to any major streamer and ask them about patience.
Go to any major streamer and look for their ‘theme' or ‘archetype' then look at their fanbase.
Go to any major streamer and see how they produce content regularly and utilize a documentation approach.
Go to any major streamer and ask them what their intention originally was and I guarantee it won't be fame or money.