With the recent acquisition of Beam by Microsoft, there has been an extreme boom of new viewers and streamers. While this is great for Beam, it might not be so good for a streamer who isn’t prepared properly. When I joined Beam in February it took me 31 streams (about 6-8 weeks) to hit 300 followers and that was when Beam was super small still. I was considered to be a Fast Growth Streamer, however now I see a lot of streamers hitting their 300 follower goal within 2-4 weeks. This just blows my mind!
I’ve watched enough streamers go from small to partnered quickly because they took the time to come up with a great plan for their streams future. I’ve also witnessed a few streamers self destruct almost overnight because they couldn’t keep up with the pressure or their now large communities. This is what most business’ call ‘Boom then Bust’, it works also in the streaming world as well. It means that when you grow too quickly you will face another set of challenges; ones that may put you at a greater risk than the slow growth that kept you wondering if you are doing everything right or not.
When you enter ‘Boom then Bust’ phase you can almost count on the following things happening to you if you don’t have a solid plan on how to handle fast growth.
Leadership Shortfalls: Most people when they grow fast need moderators to help watch the chat. They don’t think about who they are modding or why; they just mod a person because they are in a tight situation. Have you asked yourself these questions? Do these new mods know your commands, your expectations, your schedule, are they truly committed to you?
Decision Making Changes: When you do bring on your new mod team because of this growth, you will be able to step back from the doing all the shoutouts, bans, commands, statistics, etc yourself and focus on your communication, gameplay, community, or whatever you need to focus on. The downfall of this is that it does disconnect you from all the small details that may affect choices you need to make for your stream if you don’t already have open and honest communication with your mod team.
Overall Clumsiness: Most streamers don’t build a long term streaming plan or expectations. They just say “I want to stream for fun” or “I want partnership”. You need to sit down and figure out what steps you are going to take to get there! Do you want to focus on interactive, community, helping, art, games, etc. Where do you want your channel to go? If you aren’t sure you could look like you’re fumbling around in the dark.
Community Engagement Failures: This is where your new found popularity becomes a double-edge sword. If you are popular then more people will come see what all the buzz is about which will make you grow even more. However trying to keep up with your twitter, stream teams, discords, and community while having a real life becomes harder and harder then next to impossible. Then if the community feels like you have forgotten them they might leave saying that you have changed because you can no longer keep up that close knit relationship you once had.
When you start entering this Boom phase you need to remember that follower growth doesn’t trump everything. I know many people focus on this number, but it is just a number. Your viewer count is the important number that you need to focus (but not become obsessed) on. You can have 100 followers and 5 viewers or you can have 800 followers and 5 viewers, in the end which one is better? Personally, I would say the 100 followers because they are taking the time to grow their community in a steady pace where they can keep up with it . The 800 follower person might have grown too fast and couldn’t keep up, so their community dispersed. You never want to lose touch with your core community or your beginner followers, they were the ones that stuck with you from the very beginning.
I’m not saying that growth is bad, in fact growth is terrific! I’m saying good and steady growth is much better for you and your community especially if you don’t have a plan on how to handle your growth. It’s much harder to grow your community well than it is to just grow your follower count. Remember Quality over Quantity.
Until next time…