It doesn’t matter whether you stream on Twitch, Mixer, Facebook Live, YouTube or anywhere else. If you have any ambitions at all to make a career out of it, you need followers. Followers don’t just mean views but repeat ones. Anyone that chooses to add you to their favourites will have the best chance to know that you’re online. It’s possible to watch more than one stream at a time, but tricky to focus on multiple simultaneous broadcasts, so you should take every opportunity to grab someone’s attention that you can get.
That’s enough about why you want followers – you probably had a decent idea already. Now, it’s time to get into the critical part and talk about how to increase those numbers!
1. Be Live
Once a streamer builds a following and shows up outside of their streaming platform, like on a website, YouTube videos or social media, they will gain followers even while they sleep. Someone will see their content and effectively bookmark them for later, so they know when the person they follow is online.
However, if you need tips on growing followers, we’ll assume that you’re still in the early stages of development. The principal place where people will hear of you and decide to follow you is in the stream itself. Go live as often as you can and stick to a schedule. These early streaming hours are the most difficult, but they’re worth it as they’re the ones that will set the scene for how you grow and develop going forward.
2. Know the Competition
At the broadest level, every other streamer is your competition. As mentioned in the introduction, it is difficult to watch more than one stream at a time correctly. Therefore, if someone’s watching another streamer, they’re not watching you. Sadly, you probably won’t overpower your rivals. Instead, you need to parry them. If the biggest streamers on your favourite game or in your genre, stick to a schedule – as most do – schedule yourself around them. Even if you’re in one part of the world, if the big streamers are from the same part, schedule yourself for an international audience. It may sound cheap to adapt to collect the lowest hanging fruit, but it works.
3. Constantly Improve Your Content
Some streamers become popular by sitting in the same place, repeating the same jokes every day. They find an audience, and they keep it. However, it may be too later to find an audience naturally as streaming is quite saturated. Instead of hoping something sticks, work towards being some of the best content on your platform. This could involve becoming the best player on Twitch, hosting with other streamers or anything else that sets you apart.
4. Boost Production Value
You can start streaming with a laptop and a webcam if you so choose. Indeed, if that’s all you’ve got, you should, as it’s much easier to continue than to begin fresh. If your stream catches on and revenue rolls in, however, you should continually upgrade your equipment. Many current top streamers went from their gaming PC and the headphones from their home to setups that rival dedicated home studios, but they did so over time.
5. Develop a Thick Skin and a Sense of Humour
You might have these things already. In that case, you were practically born to be a streamer. One downside to the profession as a whole is that you put yourself out there in public and anyone with a keyboard can anonymously get involved. How you deal with trolls and jokes can turn a viewer into a follower in short order, so try to always have your wits about you.
6. Stop to Chat
Some streamers forget that they’re not on TV. People haven’t tuned in just to watch you. They want to hear your opinions and experiences too. With limited viewers, the chances are you have time to answer everything in the chat. As you grow, you need to pick and choose, but you should never forget that interaction is potentially the best way of all to keep people coming back.
7. Look Beyond the Streaming Platform
As your channel grows, you’ll find yourself plateauing in growth. Viewer numbers do lead to more viewers as channels are usually listed in terms of the number of viewers, but the time comes to look beyond the website alone. Build a following on social media, set up a website or start a Snapchat account. You don’t need to be always on when you’re not live, but you need to be in a position to attract followers from just about anywhere.
8. Build Relationships
Any streamer that’s currently bigger than you can be of assistance. When you’re not streaming, enter the chat of other streamers in the same niche and try to build friendships and relationships. You have a better chance of being taken seriously as you’re denoted as a fellow streamer. If they like you, you could be the beneficiary of their next host.
9. Work on Your Titles
We’re not fond of it by any means, but the fact is that clickbait-style titles work best to attract viewers. It was the same on YouTube before, and until you reach the point where you can guarantee certain viewer numbers, you should use every trick in the book. Don’t lie, but give anyone that sees your title a reason to check out your stream.
If you want to stream something but can’t crack an audience, it might be time to change. Established games generally have established streamers, and all the effort and schedules in the world won’t draw that audience away. Get in early on new games or play something nobody else is and you might get some early eyeballs. Whether or not they stick around and turn into a follower is down to you and your content!