Nowadays, almost everyone wants to become internet famous, especially through live streaming.
However, they quickly find out that it’s not easy for a newly minted channel to reach superstardom. Even streamers who manage to stick it out for years, spending money and resources to improve, often end up never making it. So, what do successful channels do differently? It’s simple.
They have a personal brand. Through a combination of personality, actions, messages, and stream design, the most successful streamers and content creators all have unique characteristics that are easily recognizable by viewers.
The word brand itself is a pretty big concept, so we’ve broken down some of the essential tips for developing your own personal brand for your live stream.
Why Build Your Personal Brand?
You’ve likely heard this a lot, how developing a personal brand can help your stream grow. The reasons are pretty simple.
For one, live streaming is all about personality and interaction. Viewers are always looking for unique people to follow and fun new ways to engage with them. While a brand doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel on tried-and-true methods, it does mean you can become more memorable. Whether it’s Ninja’s signature headband or Dr. Disrespect’s gamer rage, it’s small elements and details that make streamers identifiable, more easily distinguished from their peers.
A personal brand also gives you the potential to expand to other platforms. When people know your stream’s unique design, they can easily recognize it on many different platforms and follow you there. This is a cyclical effect that can eventually bring people from other platforms to your stream.
Finally – and contrary to popular belief – building a brand for your content doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are many methods you can use that range from dirt cheap to outright free. All it takes is a bit of experimentation with a healthy dose of ingenuity and creativity.
Let’s start with the most important foundation of every personal brand.
Know Yourself & Your Audience
As a live streamer, you are a unique individual. You have your own thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and mannerisms. Knowing all these aspects that make up who you are is where the soul of your personal brand lies. In conjunction, knowing what your audience sees in you, what they like, and what they find important are the final pieces to your brand’s puzzle.
Plan What You Say & Do
For the above reasons, it’s crucial to have a plan of what you say and do while you’re live streaming. This aspect plays into your consistency as a streaming personality. When your viewers know what to expect from you, they can more comfortably know how to interact with you.
Gamers often fall into the trap of bringing in some rage when they’re usually calm and friendly. Introducing random changes to their demeanor can be off-putting to viewers. It sends their beliefs about the streamer into disarray.
Giving yourself a plan of the topics you’re going to be covering, and the activities you’ll be doing will help you stay on track. Think of it like a map that enables you to move from one stage of your show to the next. You don’t have to script every little word you’re going to say. But having at least a set of bullet points and topics will go a long way in helping you stay in character.
Have a Message to Deliver
Everybody likes hearing a strong opinion or belief. It’s what attracts like-minded people to each other. Even the most significant historical figures needed a powerful message to get people to rally to their cause. Similarly, your personal brand must have a message at its core.
It can be just about anything, as long as it’s ethical and shared by other people. As a message, it doesn’t even have to be something serious or world-changing. You may be a big lover of dogs, for example. Believing that dogs are great pets and animals is a belief in itself, ergo a message.
This message has to permeate across your live streaming and content. Obviously, you must not spam your viewers with your beliefs and keep things light. But they do need to be reminded of your message at a reasonable rate.
Stay Consistent and On-Message
As we mentioned earlier in this article, having a consistent message and personality is critical when building a personal brand. Whatever you say and do and the way you say it and do it has to be as consistent as possible. It’s what viewers will recognize when consuming your content on any platform. It’s also going to be the thing they tell their friends and family about.
Take Dr. Disrespect as an example. When people share his content, they don’t share the moments he talks about his family or charity activity. That’s because none of that is part of his stream. What he wants is his viewers to share his rants and rage moments. He wants clips of himself being snippy and disrespectful to circulate across social media so that potential viewers who like that kind of thing can see them and join his stream. It’s this consistency that carries a brand forward and keeps people coming back.
Develop a High-Quality Live Stream
Once you’ve got a foundational message for your live streams, you’ll want to look at the quality and design of your show. Again, all of these aspects can be developed for free or with a bit of a minor investment.
Design an Identifiable Channel
How do you recognize a bottle of Coca-Cola from other cola drinks? It’s from the logo and colors the Coca-Cola Company uses on every single one of their products. This same principle can be applied to live streaming channels.
Most streamers tend to get over-excited about getting a logo made. However, the most important part is deciding on your channel colors. These have to represent you and the message that you want to deliver. Going back to our example, Dr. Disrespect’s channel design is filled with reds and blacks. It’s a vibrant and in-your-face design that fits the loud personality he wants to project. In the same way, you’ll want to consider two or three colors that match your personality.
Once you have colors, the rest is gravy. You don’t need to pay anyone to make a logo and banners. Either find free customizable assets you can tailor to your colors or make your own. Remember, this is all about creating a recognizable brand. You can consider upgrading your designs once you start getting some return for your efforts.
Bring Value to Your Audience
Viewers join live streams for one reason and one reason only: they want to be entertained. As a word, entertainment is actually quite broad. It can mean anything, from engaging human emotions to educating. The best way to describe it, however, is the delivery of value. When viewers feel they’ve gained something from your stream, that’s a big win for you.
You can add value in a variety of ways. One way is to add some technology that allows your viewer to gain insight into how you play your game and what makes you so skillful.Eye tracking software is a great way to showcase one of the most important aspects of competitive gaming, which is concentration. This technology allows you to overlay a bubble that shows your viewers where your eyes are looking on the… Click To Tweet
It can be highly engaging and educational for your stream viewers to see how often you check the map or where you look when you’re in an FPS firefight. Best of all, you don’t even need to spend lots of money to get this piece of tech on your own stream.
Eyeware Beam is an iOS app that takes the effort out of setting up eye tracking software on your stream. By taking advantage of the iPhone’s TrueDepth technology, you’ll get eye and head tracking without the need for extra devices. It’s by far the most affordable way to add eye tracking to your setup. You can download the beta for the iPhone/iPad & Windows PC combo today here.
Elevate Your Production Value
It takes a lot to stand out, and you’ve got to work hard to make a killer show on Twitch to attract new viewers. Entertaining your viewers is a topic that will generally boil down to what kind of streamer you want to be. But the last thing you want is to worry about your gear and tools.
Whether you’re a beginner streamer just starting out or a seasoned pro, having the right equipment will help you elevate your production value. From mics and cameras to software that tracks your eyes, we outline in this article all of the top tools streamers need in 2021.
Design the Viewer Experience
As an extension to adding value to your streams, having the viewer experience in mind when planning your show is vital in building your personal brand.
What do you do when a viewer shows up? What can and can’t they do throughout your stream? Do they get to express themselves? These questions are but the tip of the viewer experience iceberg. From interactive elements to engaging with your chat, you have to consider your audience’s perspective and what you want them to feel when they tune into your stream.
Be Creative & Challenge Yourself
We come now to some of the more fun aspects of building a personal brand. Here, it’s all about testing waters and trying out new stuff to see what sticks.
Fix Up Your Background
You’ve likely seen this in a variety of live streams. Content creators have their rooms fixed up with RGB lights, collectibles, posters, and other decorations that make their background more interesting. You, too, can use some simple items and elements to jazz up your background and make it more memorable for your viewers.
Game cases and a few posters are more than enough to add some intrigue to your world. Even if you wanted to go the extra mile, LED strips can be bought cheaply and give you enough length to get creative with your decorating. Bonus points if you can make it all fit your channel colors and design.
Change Your On-Stream Appearance
Many streamers these days are obsessed with changing their hair color, and it’s easy to see why. Most people wouldn’t dye their hair purple and green, so it’s cool and edgy when a streamer does it.
You don’t need to go to such great lengths if you don’t want to tamper with your body’s natural aspects. Finding simple ways to alter your appearance, though, can go a long way towards shaping your personal brand. You can try some low-effort cosplay, putting on wacky hats, adding some crazy makeup, or even simply changing your t-shirt often. The sky’s the limit here.
Experiment with Live Streaming Activities & Interactions
Viewers love funny and silly moments, especially if they can be a part of the process. Whether through polls, interactive features, or other means, if you can have your viewers dictate things you do on stream, it will add so much to your personal brand.
An example could be having your viewers redeem channel points to make you do challenges or forcing you to change something in your game settings. You could even have them punish you for repeatedly dying during a Dark Souls playthrough.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re taking note of what your viewers respond to most positively and try to capitalize on it. This is how you create powerful memories with them that will make your content shareable and, consequently, grow your personal brand.