I’ve written a lot of articles on good ways to network, but today I want to talk about what you shouldn’t do in trying to grow your stream. So many streamers have a very small understanding of networking and because of this, they approach it the wrong way. One of the quickest ways to destroy any chance of improving your relationship with other streamers is to force your channel on them. By following these easy steps today, you’ll be well on your way to improving your ability to avoid these networking traps.
DON’T PROMOTE YOUR STREAM IN OTHER STREAMS
If there is one thing that really grinds almost every streamer’s gears, it’s the viewer that comes into the chat, and nonchalantly starts talking about THEIR STREAM. No matter big or small, no streamer wants to have to deal with someone who is only coming to a stream to promote themselves. Networking is hard, and sometimes it might feel right to take the easy route and try and force yourself in other streams, but DON’T DO IT! I know from personal experience that when people do this in my stream, I immediately do not want to help them.
This also goes for messaging the streamer through their inbox or Twitter and asking for a raid or a host directly. This does not work! It will never work, and doing so will only hurt your chances of ever forming a good relationship with the streamer.
DON’T SUBSCRIBE/DONATE/CHEER JUST TO GET RAIDS/HOSTS/SHOUTOUTS IN CHAT
Donations, subscriptions, cheers, or any other form of giving something to the streamer should be viewed as a thank you for the hours of entertainment streamers give, not a binding contract that requires hoops to jump through. So many people donate and subscribe with the expectation that they will be more noticed by the streamer, or that the streamer now owes that person something. There is nothing more off-putting than a viewer who feels entitled.
I will say that when you subscribe to someone and spend more time in their channel, and show a love for their stream, streamers will likely want to interact with you more and want to help you out, but that isn’t something that HAS to happen. These kind of relationships take time, and it isn’t something that can just be bought in a single moment. There are countless viewers, ones that have never donated a single dime, that I would be willing to help in a heartbeat because of how much they support the stream in other ways.
DON’T JUST TALK ABOUT YOU
Let’s say you are going to your favorite convention to meet your favorite streamer. We’ll call that favorite streamer BESTSTREAMERNA69. You’ve been so excited to meet BSNA69. You’ve tweeted at him, you’re looking to talk with the streamer, and you’re really looking forward to getting a picture with him and chatting for a few minutes. When you finally get the chance to meet the BSNA69, you make a costly mistake. Instead of talking to the streamer about them, and telling them how you enjoy THEIR stream, you instead start talking about only YOUR stream. I’ve had countless people do this, and it’s annoying.
When talking to a streamer, try to bring up a topic that you can both relate to. “Hey, I really enjoyed your Dark Souls play through -- that moment when you beat X boss was super intense! You beat it so differently than I did, I really enjoyed it!” These statements show that you’ve spent time in their stream and that you care, and also open up the opportunity for them to ask more about you.
So many people are thinking about only themselves when it comes to networking, that they forget the fundamental rule of networking: it isn’t about you, it’s about everyone. When you’re looking to network people, I always encourage people on how they can help the other person, not how the other person can help them.
I want to briefly talk about what I believe is an unspoken streamer subject, something that I truly believe every streamer has, but rarely mentions it out loud. When viewers do things that are obnoxious after being told to stop, or attempt to take advantage of the streamer, they tend to get put on the mental “list.” I’ve talked to quite a few streamers about my “List”, and many of them chime in with “YOU HAVE A LIST TOO?” How people end up on The List is going to vary from streamer to streamer, but I find that doing any of the previously listed no-no’s are a very quick way to get on that list.
Once you’re on The List, it’s not impossible to get yourself removed, but you’ve essentially made your first, and second, and possibly third impression of yourself to the streamer a bad one. I tend to straight up ignore any messages, comments or suggestions from those type of viewers because they simply do not understand the rules of how you go about interacting with the streamer. Don’t be that person!
On the flip side, streamers don’t just write off viewers due to one bad experience. From personal experience, quite a few of my favorite viewers started out to be incredibly annoying. People grow up and learn to better conduct themselves in streams. Always be willing to give people a chance.
Networking can be a scary thing. Doing it the right way can be tricky, but just avoid these pitfalls and you’ll be on the right track to networking the correct way!