Twitch and YouTube streaming professionals like ProfessorBroman and Hafu had to start somewhere.
Earning those first followers and subscribers is the hardest. It takes dedication to grow your channel from there. But it takes something else, too—something intangible that keeps viewers coming back.
Maybe you are just so adept at a popular game that millions of subscribers come to the channel knowing you will deliver sniper headshots from across the map. Maybe you are a speedrunner who challenging world records.
But that’s not the only path to success.
ProfessorBroman built an audience for his Twitch channel to more than 730,000 followers by basically playing with his friends. He’s logged nearly 3,000 hours streaming his go-to game, “Destiny 2,” but he’s streamed dozens of other games to provide some variety to viewers and to himself.
How did Hafu and ProfessorBroman find success? That’s complicated. There’s no one-size-fits-all for getting discovered and making viewers like you. However, there’s a few basics that Hafu and ProfessorBroman say helped them that you can incorporate into your channel. Here they are.
1. BE AUTHENTIC
You won’t find much in the way of theatrics, costumes, or bells and whistles on the Hafu and ProfessorBroman streams. Instead, you’ll find two professional streamers casually talking about the game they are playing or shooting the breeze with followers.
It feels natural, like anybody can be friends with two big-time streamers. That’s by design. ProfessorBroman says he wants subscribers to feel like they are hanging out on his couch. He doesn’t try to tone down his big personality or humor, which runs on the acerbic side. He said first time viewers often dislike him. That’s fine.
“They say, ‘I thought you were too loud, that you’re a jerk. But it turns out you’re just you, and you’re great, and you’re never any different, and I love that.’ ”
Hafu is less of a joker. She talks about the game she’s playing and responds to her chat in a manner that’s low-key, accessible, and honest.
For both streamers, being accessible to audiences is every bit as important as the game—and certainly more important than if they happen to win or lose.
“I knew that streaming was for me because I loved games and I quickly came to love just hanging out with my community,” Hafu said.
2. UPGRADE YOUR HARDWARE
Viewers don’t tolerate choppy streams. Investing in hardware is really investing in offering a higher quality experience. It’s the least you can do, especially if you hope to cultivate a subscriber base.
In the spirit of transparency, we at Crucial recommend looking at a hardware upgrade that have nothing to do with memory or storage, our areas of expertise: your processor. The quality of your processor has greater influence on your streaming and gameplay than any other piece of hardware.
However, memory (RAM) and storage should be next on your upgrade list. RAM provides the computational muscle for every action your system makes, and it becomes more important when multiple demanding applications run simultaneously – such as broadcasting video and audio while playing a game. More RAM is always better.
Some newer games require up to 8GB of RAM just for installation and recommend 16 or even 32GB for optimal gameplay. Adding RAM becomes more important the more sophisticated your streaming setup becomes, too. Like many pro streamers, ProfessorBroman runs two PCs — one for gaming, and the other “workhorse” system to power the streaming applications.
Professor Broman said he ran into consistency problems until he upgraded to 64GB of Crucial Ballistix RAM to power his streaming PC. Is it overkill? Perhaps. But he’d rather have too much RAM than risk his viewers’ experience.
“Those two PCs are like my lifeline,” he said. “They’re how I do everything. And so, anything that goes in them or anything that even touches them has to be of a quality that I can literally back my livelihood on, because that’s what I’m doing every single day.”
Storage devices also make a difference. Obviously, streamers need enough capacity to save the games they play and apps enabling them to broadcast to their channel. One or two terabytes is more than enough for most streamers.
But the type of storage is important. Hard disk drives (HDDs) are less common than they once were, and for good reason: Crucial Solid state drives (SSDs) are far faster any time you access saved files, including booting up, loading games, and loading levels.
Jumping into games faster goes a long way for viewers, Hafu said.
“I actually used to have a big problem with load times back a couple of years ago,” she said “My chat would be able to back me up on that one. Switching to an SSD really helped me back then."
3. DEDICATE YOURSELF
Get a comfy chair for your streaming station, too. That needs to be your new home.
Hafu and ProfessorBroman grind, and then they grind some more.
Hafu might as well punch in and out of the office, logging an average of eight hours a day, five days a week. ProfessorBroman works overtime, averaging seven hours a day, 6.3 days per week. But that’s a step down from the first year when he dedicated himself to streaming as his full-time occupation.
“There was a time in my life where I streamed 12 to 16 hours a day, every day, for two and a half years, save for one vacation or if I was moving.”
Those long hours were crucial as ProfessorBroman built his audience and channel. That’s part of why he streams almost every day: He doesn’t want to lose what he worked so hard to build. But there’s another component of his work ethic that propels him if he sleeps through an alarm or doesn’t feel his best.
“If I’m having a hard time getting going, I think about the people where I’m part of their day, every day, and they are waiting to watch,” he said. “I owe it to them to show up and put on the best show that I possibly can. I think over the long-term, the idea of putting on the best show you can includes showing people some of your bad days.”
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