There’s gold in the digital stream. Around the clock and around the world, streamers are connecting with audiences on TuneCore, YouNow, Live.ly, Patreon, Musical.ly, YouTube, Periscope and others.
By sharing their knowledge, music, information and encouragement, streamers are not only acquiring fans, they’re making money. Good money. You may be able to do the same.
If viewers decide they like you, the possibilities for success are huge. Consider the precious (now fabulously wealthy) Merrell Twins – media darlings of the digital world. Vanessa and Veronica pay for their college tuition and family mortgage, all from royalties they earn from streaming platforms. Now in college, the Merrell’s have over 125 million You Tube subscribers and 14 million viewers each month.
Getting into the business
Do you have something interesting to say? Encouragement to offer? Advice to share? An unusual hobby? Do you write your own music? Are you a DJ? An athlete? A cook? Are you just simply amazing?
With a basic computer studio at home and a decent internet connection, you can begin to build personal relationships with fans and at the same time, build a global audience. If you have something to say, chances are there’s an audience waiting to hear about it.
Here’s what you’ll need before you get started:
- A mission statement. Make sure you know what you want to share, and why.
- Choose your format. Are you broadcasting Q&A? Instructional videos? Behind-the-scenes interviews? Pick and stick with your format.
- Choose your platform. Some of the most popular are TuneCore, YouNow, Live.ly, Patreon, Musical.ly, YouTube and Periscope (in partnership with Twitter). I interviewed singer/songwriter, Chantil Dukart, regarding platform/artist relations. Listen to the podcast HERE.
- Choose your tech. You’ll need a fairly fast computer (or phone) with a built-in or external camera, decent lighting, a well-designed background, preferably a nice USB mic, an encoder, a knowledge of low latency vs. high quality delivery, PLUS a general knowledge of digital delivery and what internet speed is required.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Most platforms will walk you through the process. If you’ve got fast internet and a recent computer, you’re probably good to go.
Nothing beats a real live person when it comes to engagement.
Today’s avid internet users are so hungry for real connection that they’re willing to tip their favorite live streamers. By tipping, they’re building a relationship by expressing their gratitude to someone, somewhere in the world, who is taking the time to talk to them LIVE about whatever strikes their fancy.
I spoke with streaming expert Ray Klanderman from Kenya, Africa. A former broadcaster and on-air personality, he made the switch from radio frequency to live streaming. His reason? More exposure (of course) and the all-important increase in audience engagement. Listen to the podcast HERE.
Helpful tips you’ll need
Streamers gave so much valuable advice for my podcast that we couldn’t fit it all in. Here are my takeaway notes that didn’t make the cut, but are crucial for audience interaction.
- Online viewers demand genuine, non-affected presentation. Keep it interesting. Avoid the mundane. Avoid being “salesy”.
- When you see someone “like” your broadcast, respond immediately. Keep the connection current. Think of it as a two-way stream. You’re building a relationship.
- Remember to include a tip jar if your streaming platform allows it.
- Be patient. Don’t worry if you’re only getting a few likes. Remember, the latest generation of internet users are craving authentic, genuine interactions with real live people … but often they lack the time/inclination/skills for social activity. Don’t expect them to respond right away.
- Use caution when developing “relationships” with fans. Avoid talking about anything that may be misconstrued. Some folks are desperately lonely, and their perceptions can be skewed. My website has loads of vital information to help you stay secure in the digital world.