Streamers Guide to Building a Personal Brand
There’s certainly no shortage of people playing games live on Twitch, Mixer and YouTube. But success as a streamer can often feel elusive. What makes one streamer thrive while many others struggle to find an audience?
No one type of streamer is guaranteed to be popular. Instead, a successful streamer can be funny, serious, male, female, outgoing, reserved and more. The sky’s the limit in terms of looks, game skill and personality.
But successful streamers do all have one thing in common: They’ve all developed what’s called a “personal brand.” This is a marketing concept which helps draw in an audience. Let’s take an in-depth look at how building a personal brand can help you improve your stream quickly.
What is a Personal Brand?
You’re probably already familiar with corporate brands like Coca-Cola or Taco Bell. In fact, you likely even have an idea of what type of “personalities” those brands have. For instance, Taco Bell is known for their irreverent, comedy-filled social media accounts.
Your stream will have a brand identity, too. This brand involves your personality, image, logo, set design, the types of games you stream and everything else related to your stream. Your brand is an easy-to-understand summary of who you are and what your stream is all about.
How to Build Your Personal Brand
Step One: Develop Your Image
Every streamer has a unique combination of looks, style, skills and personality. This is your personal image. Let’s take a look at the images of two very successful, but very different, streamers.
First, let’s consider Dr. DisRespect. With his sunglasses, mustache and mullet, he’s certainly visually striking. Dr. DisRespect talks tough and brags about his every real and perceived accomplishments. He’s created a larger-than-life persona similar to a professional wrestler.
Of course, Dr. DisRespect is also a character portrayed for comedic effect. But he takes his personal brand very seriously. First, he never breaks character on stream. Also, every aspect of his brand is carefully managed.
Then let’s take a look at Cohh. He’s a low-key everyman who always remains positive. Cohh doesn’t play a character. In fact, he often talks about his family and day-to-day life.
But Cohh’s persona, while not an act, is still a carefully maintained image. If one day he started swearing and talking trash, his regular audience would be completely thrown for a loop.
These two streamers couldn’t be further apart personality-wise. One’s an over-the-top character while the other is affable and reserved. But within minutes of watching either one of them, the viewer can easily understand who these guys are and what their streams are all about. In both cases, these streamers have developed a solid image.
Step Two: Identify Your Target Audience
No matter how successful your stream becomes, not every single person who watches streams is going to like you. That’s perfectly fine. Your stream can be a roaring success without appealing to everybody. In order to grow your stream, you need to identify and understand what marketing pros call your “target audience.”
Basically, your target audience consists of the types of people who either watch your stream or who are likely interested in watching your stream.
When you understand who your target audience is, you can target your marketing efforts with precision.
Traditional target audiences are broken down into two categories: the person who pays you and the person and the person who buys the product. For instance, if you were making a film, the person who pays you is the studio while the person who buys the product is the moviegoer.
Identifying a target audience for a stream is much easier. Both the person who pays you and the person who buys the product are the same person. You’re interested in who views your stream and, more specifically, which viewers donate or become subscribers.
Twitch and Mixer both give you plenty of resources to help identify your target audience. When you gain a new follower, check out their profile page. What other streamers do they follow? What do those streamers have in common with your channel?
Plus, pay attention to your chat. What topics do people want to talk about? What do you do which causes the most activity in your chat? Do people respond to great gameplay, jokes, personal stories or something else entirely?
Finally, when do viewers become subscribers? Try to pay attention to what you’re doing in the stream when the largest numbers of people subscribe. This can help you understand what actions you can take to encourage more subscriptions.
Step Three: Stay Active on Social Media
Your personal brand needs to exist outside of your stream channel. You’ll need to create and maintain active social media profiles. The two most important platforms to use are Twitter and Discord.
Twitter will likely be the most active. You’ll want to Tweet each day about 30 to 45 minutes before you go live. Encourage your followers to tune in. Also, Tweet if you’re not going to stream for the day – and make sure to tell your followers the date and time of your next stream.
You’ll also want to create two Discord chat channels. One will be open to everybody. The other will be only for subscribers. Both channels give your fans a place to get together and chat even when you’re not streaming. Be sure to hang out and chat in both channels on a fairly regular basis. This lets people know you’re accessible.
Keep the images, design and “voice” of each social media channel consistent with your brand. For instance, if you visit any social media page belonging to Dr. DisRespect, you’ll find the same colors, slogans and other imagery as on his main streaming channel.
Create a consistent voice, look and style for your stream. Then figure out which groups of people are most likely to respond favorably. Finally, reach out to that audience through targeted marketing and social media campaigns.
There’s no magic formula which guarantees success in streaming. Popular streamers have the right type of personality and play the right type of game at the right time. But no matter who you are, you can find streaming success – as long as you develop a great personal brand.