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Networking, of the professional variety

Ever wanted to reach out to your favorite hardware manufacturer? Curious how to approach your favorite game developer at PAX to tell them a little bit about what you do? Join us, and we'll give you some pointers to help you on your way.

 Networking and BizDev

Once your streaming career has progressed to a certain point, there's a good chance you're going to start interacting with some of your favorite video game companies, developers, or even a Mixer Partner Account Manager as you continue to build yourself up. This is where Business Development (or, "BizDev") often comes into play. There's a lot to learn, but we wanted to do our part and give you a few pointers for things to avoid, and things to focus on, should you book any meetings at a PAX booth.

 Consistency is key

First and foremost, you need to approach your channel like it’s a career.

Many think streaming is just fun, and just games. However, when you work for yourself what you put into it is what you get out of it. If you wake up one morning and decide you don't feel like streaming and you don't go live, it will have an effect. Just like a standard job, if you suddenly decide you don't want to work and opt not to go in, you're going to feel an impact. 

(Disclaimer: Always remember to give yourself a break, and keep a realistic schedule. Burnout among career streamers is real. Be kind to yourself.)

Working with other creators

Collaborating is critical! Note that while co-streaming is a great option in this regard, try to use it sparingly when you're starting to collaborate with a new streamer. Keeping track of the freshly merged Chats can be difficult, and you want to make sure your community is enjoying themselves.

And, collaborating doesn’t just mean co-streaming! Meeting up with a fellow streamer at a convention and uploading posts of your hangout through Instagram Stories can be just as powerful for growth as a co-stream. (Just be kind, and tag each other accordingly.)

Who should you collaborate with? For starters, look for creators who are a similar size as you and reach out to them. You can reach out by hanging out in their chat until you strike up a rapport (don’t just pop into their chat and say you want to stream with them) or following them on Twitter and interacting with their community.

Most importantly, collaborate with people you genuinely want to be friends with. Look for people who can connect with you, who you’re comfortable around, and who you can banter with. People can tell when you’re being authentic versus fake. Keep it real! 

Conventions and gaming events

Attending video game conventions, esports tournaments, and other events can be a powerful way to invest in yourself and your business. There's no doubt that conventions are fun opportunities to hang out with friends, but you should keep your goal in mind of marketing yourself. Get yourself out there and don’t be afraid to talk to people. Companies at events are there to market their own brand, meet people, and find potential partners. 

Always remember to take the opportunity to create content for your social media channels. There's a good chance someone in your community might be at an event, so don't miss the chance to meet up with them in-person!

Once the event is in full swing, get yourself out there! Don’t be afraid to talk to people and hang out at the booths of companies you admire. If you are anxious or shy, remember: almost everybody struggles with this. People working at booths are usually feeling a lot of the same feelings.

And of course, remember to try and take some business cards with you! It's not 100% necessary, but you might find it's easier to connect with people than asking them for their Twitter handle. Here's a few pieces of key information we highly recommend make it onto any business cards you end up making:

  • Your channel name and logo or other unique, identifying graphics associated with your brand.
  • Your stream channel URL.
  • Relevant social media handles.
  • Your business email.
  • Optionally, your name. If you don't want to include this, don't feel like you have to.
  • Do not include your phone number or any other sensitive information! Your business email should be enough for an initial contact.

 Keeping it professional

 It's critical to have a dedicated business email. Additionally, it's crucial to have that very email address displayed on your social media profiles so that anyone working at a developer or publisher can't be contacted by someone impersonating you, asking for free codes. And while it might seem like an insignificant detail, make sure that your email signature is professional! (Having it map exactly what your business card has on it is a good place to start.)

 Grammar and spelling are always important. If they're not your strong suit, don't hesitate to find a friend that can act as your copy editor. (If nobody's around, tools like Grammarly are great in a pinch!)

 Lastly, don’t forget to follow up. As soon as you get somebody’s business card put a reminder in your phone for when you will email them and then follow through. Check your business email daily, even if you don’t receive many emails at first. If someone sends you an incredible opportunity, you won’t want to miss it!

 Your Portfolio

When your average concurrent viewers start to grow, you may consider developing a website with your portfolio to showcase your accomplishments and any top clips from your stream. In your portfolio, you should:

  • Show samples of your channel, stream, or videos.
  • Have an About Me section! Once again, the business card items are perfect items to include.

These are powerful tools for your toolbox. When you meet brands or other streamers, you can easily show them your strengths and who you are as a broadcaster with these tools.

If you’re not ready for a website, consider using your pinned tweet on Twitter as a temporary placeholder. With one of those you can link all your social media profiles and include either a favorite clip from your stream, or photo of you in action.

Contracts?

In today's day and age it's not entirely uncommon, after varying degrees of success, to try and have someone offer you a contract. Now to be entirely clear, we can't give legal advice, so if you need assistance or get offered a contract - contact an attorney.

Above all else, if you sign anything ensure that you understand it completely before signing - and don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions.

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