Friday, April 1, 2022

Growth Check-In: Make Your Own Streaming Luck

Streaming on Twitch is a marathon. By getting into the practice, you’re signing yourself up for countless hours of work, failure, revision and repetition. But among all that, there are certain moments which define our streaming careers, when lightning strikes and some noticeable change happens. Maybe it’s a massive channel invading your routine Wednesday evening show with a 200-person raid, or it could be that compilation TikTok going viral and sending in floods of new stream viewers, or maybe it’s a random philanthropic viewer who single-handedly gets you to your monthly donation goal. We’ve all heard stories about random lucky things like this happening to others, and some of us have even experienced them firsthand. But is there a way to make lightning more likely to strike on your streams? Can we position ourselves in such a way that these situations happen more often? Yes, I believe we can. 


When you fail, you pick yourself up and
try again. This is how you improve.

Thomas J. Watson. the founder of IBM, once said: “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple actually. Double your rate of failure.” This may sound like an oversimplification, even an oxymoron, but it’s completely true. Failing is the best way to learn anything. There have been a few Twitch Playbook entries about this already, but if you need a refresher on the logic of this idea you can revisit the entry
On Twitch, Failure is Your Friend. You can also go through a step-by-step case study of my own failures in trying to perfect a certain kind of stream in the entry Attempt Your Worst Idea for a Twitch Stream. Failure is good, and you should run towards it rather than away. Every failure is another noticeable moment of progress, and a step closer to your goal. I’ve failed many times in my Twitch career, and through those failures I’ve learned lots of lessons. How do you think I have so many things to talk about in this podcast? As I mention at the beginning of each episode, I’m merely chronicling the failures I’ve gone through, and the solutions I came up with to overcome them. 

If you want to create more opportunities for luck to find you, it also helps to increase the amount of time you spend actually streaming. This one is a no-brainer: more time spent means more experience, and more chances for success. But most people struggle to carve out any more hours or minutes for streaming than they do already. If you fall into this category, I challenge you to break through that mental barrier, and find some extra time through a few creative means. Entries like How to Find the Time to Stream on Twitch can help you do more within your present circumstances, no matter how busy you think you are. And the entry Do More Streaming will give you an actionable exercise to completely smash your assumptions about free time- one that I’ve personally done on my own channel several times to great effect. Don’t aspire to quit your day job in order to stream more, just stream more right now. I guarantee there’s time to be found somewhere. 


For most streamers, networking is a major part of the experience. Meeting other streamers, getting to know your viewers, and helping to lift up other communities can be a huge boon to the growth of any Twitch channel. This can be a tricky subject for some, because it’s not simply a number that you can force with shortcuts, or an algorithm you can manipulate. It involves creating real human connections, and actually caring about other people rather than looking out for your own success. I’ve seen many streamers try half-baked networking schemes- creating shallow connections, or even worse, rudely promoting their own content. It’s difficult to watch. This kind of thing is totally transparent to most streamers who have been around the block, and can end up ruining your chances to form bonds with the very people you wanted to connect with. For more ideas about how to network on Twitch without being a pest, see the entry 3 Easy Tips to Network on Twitch. When you spread authentic positivity, you’d be surprised how much of that good energy comes back your way.

No caption here. I just really liked
Gears of War 2.

And finally, at the end of the day, luck happens to those who put themselves out there. Don’t think day to day about whether or not you’ve had something lucky happen to you, just think about doing that day’s streams. In entries like
Just Keep Streaming and When in Doubt, Stream, I helped you to get out of your own head and simply focus on the moment. No matter how many tricks or shortcuts you employ, success for a streamer ultimately amounts to simply not quitting. Like most of the things I’ve mentioned here so far, this idea sounds simple, but in practice is anything but. If you’ve never been faced with some sort of crisis in the lifetime of your channel that made you want to give up, rest assured: you will. It happens to everyone, and there’s no shame in it. The true measure of a streamer is not whether they have those feelings, but what they do about those feelings. If you can continue to press on, and get yourself through the negativity and hardships, you will become that much stronger. 

So in short: fail more, stream more, create real connections, and don’t give up. These four pillars will not only help you to become a better, more well-rounded streamer, but they will also cultivate the kinds of conditions under which luck is more likely to strike. Former UK Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said, “We make our fortunes and call them fate.” Yes, luck involves a lot that you can’t control, but from Poker to Pokémon, you can tilt the scales of any game of chance with enough knowledge and skill. So go out there and make your own streaming luck.

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