Essential Foundations To Succeed As A Streamer
Written by Ivan Prats
In this blog post I’ll talk about 2 main concepts that are necessary if you want to grow, there’s more to it, but these 2 are essential if you want to be able to persevere.

Your Self Foundations (Mindset, Organization, Goals, Performance)

Your Stream Foundations (UVP, Mission Statement, Stream Macrostructure, Planning & Preparation)

So let’s talk first about why those 2 things are essential.

Self Foundations refer to what you must become to put yourself in a position to succeed (at anything really), and this statement applies for streamers too.

Without the right mindset, you won’t be able to stick at it.

Without organization, you won’t know what to do to get there.

Without a goal breakdown, you won’t know where you’re heading and how far you’ve come.

Without understanding how to perform better, you’ll achieve things slower and less efficiently.

Stream Foundations refer to the required key elements for your stream to function properly if you’re aiming for growth and success.

Without a defined unique value proposition, you will not know what’s that you’re offering to people and what’s the objective of the content you produce.
Without a mission statement, you will not know what your core message is, and if that’s true you will just become a generalist streamer lost in a huge sea of generalist streamers.
Without planning, every single stream will be completely random, you won’t be prepared, your stream will be chaos, you won’t be able to track results and optimize, planning is a must.
So let’s dive deep in the first concept: Self Foundation.

1) MINDSET

1.1 Dismantling The Luck Myth

There’s no such thing as lucky or unlucky, there is “cause and effect”, coincidence, probability, variance, and so on and so forth, but if you base your life and beliefs in some invisible hand pulling the strings, you’re going to be left powerless to it, there’s nothing you can do.

The solution that, the way to be in full control of your life and what happens to you, is called extreme accountability, which’s about taking responsibility for whatever happens to you, good or bad (especially bad).

What this way of thinking does is giving you complete power over your life and what happens in it. If something happens that screws you, for example: your stream is not growing, and you blame your mom, the platform, the game, the big streamers, your PC, whatever, you’re giving away all the power to fix it to that thing or person, meaning you can’t fix it unless that thing or person wants to.

Life’s about alternatives, would you rather have the power to change things or just be sad and miserable?.

1.2 Family & Close Friends

We don’t choose our family, and sometimes we don’t even choose our friends, they just happen to be there in the same school than us, we meet them, and we get along and that’s it, but the truth is that our family and close friends have a huge impact on our thoughts and our behavior, and this is dangerous.

There’s a saying that goes like this: “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. This is completely true, so if your mom is negative and doesn’t believe in you, don’t just ignore her, but talk less to her, if your best friend is pulling you down saying you “can’t make it” or that “it’s too hard”, then find a new best friend.

It sounds harsh I know, but you’ve only got 1 life, make sure you pick wisely who you spend time with because your life success and happiness depends on it.

1.3 Strangers’ Opinions

It blows my face off the number of people that wrap their entire life around what people they don’t even like think about them.

If you care about anybody’s opinion, that’s a vulnerability, it’s OK to listen to feedback, but don’t let that affect you emotionally because that’s going to only harm you, even if the feedback is positive, don’t listen to it. You must treat your life decisions as if they were a scientific experiment, you must decide based on unbiased conclusions, not on somebody else’s opinion.

Always remember, when somebody talks about what you can’t do, they’re talking about their limitations, not yours.

1.4 Motivation V.S. Self-Discipline

You will not be motivated all the time, you must learn to be disciplined. You probably have felt motivated thousands of times, it’s like an adrenaline rush and you feel like you can do anything, this feeling stays for hours, days, sometimes even weeks, but at one point it will vanish and the only thing that will remain will be discipline.

One very good way to keep yourself accountable and disciplined is to do what you love, if you’re passionate about something and do it for the right reasons, it’s more likely that you stick to it.

Another cool trick is to claim publicly what your goals are for this month, and year, this way you’ll have to stick to it.

1.5 2nd & 3rd Order Consequences

Most people only think about what are the short-term consequences of a decision, if you want to succeed you must become a long-term thinker, let’s use an example.

A friend tells you to check out a new show on Netflix that’s amazing and you have to decide if you want to do that or not.

First order consequences tell you that you’ll only spend a few minutes, potentially an hour watching the pilot episode, but you must think further away and figure out what the long-term consequences of that decision are.

Second order consequences of that decision include that you could possibly like the show, meaning you’d probably watch more episodes and potentially other seasons with more episodes, resulting in an absurd amount of time wasted that you could’ve invested in growing your stream (which you’re passionate about).

Third order consequences of that decision include that you would hard-wire the habit of watching a TV show in your brain and that could potentially make you feel the need of finding a new show to watch after you see the one your friend recommended, resulting in hundreds of hours lost.

As you can see, when you decide to do ANYTHING, most of the time you only think in short-term consequences, but those who pay attention to the long-term are the ones that take the best decisions, so become a long-term thinker.

2) ORGANIZATION

2.1 Daily Schedule

I’m not talking about scheduling your stream, I’m talking about your life, every single day must be planned down to the minute, you lose the freedom to “improvise”, but in exchange, you get full control and a level of success you’ve never seen in yourself.

Here’s an example of what my daily schedule looks like, this is a real screenshot of my daily spreadsheet:

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY DAILY SCHEDULE

I’ve been doing this for the last 2 years without fail, and it has been game-changing. This schedule allows me to not think about “what I have to do” and just do it because it’s already planned, this is amazing because I can just concentrate in what’s important not about what I should or shouldn’t do now.

2.2 Weekly Schedule

Having a daily schedule is not enough, you must plan your week ahead and sync that with your Google calendar to remove all possible friction between your plans and the execution of them. If you do this, you’ll see that you get far more things done than you used to, you’ll procrastinate less, which happens when you’re bored or the task ahead is too daunting. If you micro-manage your weekly tasks you’ll always be busy, and you won’t have time to dwell on irrelevant stuff.

3) GOALS

3.1 SMART Goal

“SMART” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant & Timely. You must set a SMART goal for yourself for it to become true.

Specific: Don’t be vague when describing your goal, go straight to the point. Don’t say “I want to become a successful streamer”, say: “I want to become a full-time streamer by the end of 2019 by dedicating 30–40 weekly hours to it”.

Measurable: How does success look like? If you can’t answer then your goal is not measurable. You must be able to define what are the parameters that validate success, is it X amount of followers? X amount of viewers? X amount of subs? Make sure you clarify that to know if you’re getting closer to your goal or not.

Attainable: If you don’t have enough time & resources to pursue your goal, don’t, you’ll get frustrated. Make sure your goal is something you can really pursue.

Relevant: Those who chase money and fame are more likely to not get any. Make sure your goal is relevant to you, that you’re passionate about it, otherwise you won’t be able to stick to it, you’ll burn out pretty easily.

Timely: No deadline = no valid goal. If you set an indefinite amount of time to achieve that goal, you’ll most likely procrastinate and make excuses.

3.2 Goal Breakdown

When you’ve figured your SMART goal out, you must break it down to smaller pieces you can actually execute on. Goals are often big and ambitious. If you don’t break your goal down to monthly and weekly goals you will likely get frustrated and give up.

The core idea is to break your SMART goal down to monthly goals that you can audit and extract weekly tasks from them. These weekly tasks give you the ability to distribute them daily and fit them into your daily schedule.

4) PERFORMANCE

4.1 Exercise

It’s not about being fit or looking good, it’s about what happens short-term to your body and brain when you do exercise. When you do physical activity your body releases chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline that sharpen your senses and makes you feel more “active”. This is a very cool way to boost your performance, which will help you get things done faster and better.

4.2 Meditation

This is not about connecting with your spirit or something like that. Meditation is a very practical exercise to do just 1 thing: train your focus.

So why is training your focus important? Well, have you ever struggled to concentrate into 1 thing? Whether it’s because of your neighbors’ dog, because of Facebook notifications, because of Instagram push notifications in your phone, because of some random idea that comes to your mind like “hey let’s watch a few videos about photoshop”.

All this is because your brain is not trained to block all those distractions. When you meditate what you do basically is the following:

Sit comfortably and close your eyes
Try to focus on your breath
When you do that your brain will start trying to mess with you and your attention and will throw some random ideas at you like “Oh, I forgot to feed the fish” or “Yesterday’s movie was so funny” or “I want to play APEX Legends” or “PC > PS4 > XBox”… whatever it is, and what you’ll try to do is to block all those thoughts and keep focusing on your breath.

Every time you block a thought, is like doing a brain push-up, the more you do, the stronger your focus will be, and this is literally a superpower because no matter what comes up and tries to distract you, you’ll be an unstoppable force getting things done relentlessly.

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Now let’s talk about the second concept: Stream Foundation.

1) UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION

Your UVP is what sets yourself apart from other streamers, but before talking about how to design our UVP let’s talk about what value is and how the audience perceives it.

There’re 4 types of value you can offer to an audience:

Relational value: This is the value that comes naturally to every single streamer. You’re all trying to build communities around yourselves and your streams, and to do that you must talk with your viewers and build relationships with them, that’s basically relational value.

Entertainment value: This is the most commonly known among streamers; making your audience “have fun” watching you. Whether is through your own personality or making good plays, cracking jokes, roleplaying or what have you.

Inspirational value: Which means to inspire people through your own personal journey, or motivating them to take action.

Educational value: Which means to educate your audience on a specific topic. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the game you’re playing. Your educational value can revolve around something you’re an expert at or something you’re very passionate about.

Now that you understand the types of value you can offer, think about what you excel at, and go for it. Make sure to always have present what your value proposition is, this way you won’t be confused about what to do during your streams, you will know why people comes and stays.

2) MISSION STATEMENT

This is a key element of your success as a streamer, a good mission statement has the following structure:

“I am a (MINORITY) + (GAME/GENRE) player that provides value to people by (UVP).”

Let’s put a few examples so you know how a mission statement looks like:

“I am an LGBTQ supportive streamer that plays Fortnite and provides value to people by educating them about LGBTQ things and about how to be better at the game”

Another example:

“I am an overweight League of Legends player that provides value to people by inspiring them to take action on their weight issues through my own journey doing that”

One last example:

“I am a college COD player that listens to Latin-style music and provides value to people by making them laugh with my comedy rants in-between games”

This is a very important element of your Stream Foundation because if you don’t have it, you’ll basically be a random generalist that a game just like everybody else.

Don’t try to differentiate yourself with bullshit such as icon packs, sub perks, cool overlays… that ain’t gonna work, everybody’s doing that. Instead, build a strong & emotional mission statement that people can relate to and want to be a part of.

3) STREAM MACROSTRUCTURE

This is how you structure your stream on a macro-level, which means which are the sections that compose your stream.

The macrostructure that I always advise follows this structure:

Intro ritual: Your opening ritual should accomplish the following things- Let people know what you’re about, and what you’re going to do this stream (what’s the program today?).- Set the tone for the rest of the stream and position yourself as the leader of your tribe.- Instill the ritual (brain trigger) in your audience so they get used to it and watching your stream becomes a routine for them, just like any TV show that sets the mood before showing you the content.

Development: Here’s where all the fun is supposed to be, you must plan your stream down to the minute beforehand so you’re prepared. I will talk about this in the last point of this guide. Unless you’re an exceptional player to the level of e-sports professionals you should not focus on winning the game, but on making it entertaining.

Outro ritual: You should never end your stream abruptly and without notice, you’ve harvested a lot of attention your entire stream, now it’s time to do something with it. The closing ritual should accomplish some of the following:- You tell people about the next stream’s date and program- People follow, subscribe, tip, send bits (ask for it)- You ask people to join your FB group / Discord server- You raid a fellow streamer- You tell people about your product or service.

Having a structure you follow all the time will allow you to control what happens and in case something’s not working, you’ll be able to pinpoint which section it is just by looking at the numbers.

4) PLANNING & PREPARATION

Anything you do in your stream must be planned beforehand, you know my thoughts already about improvisation… Improvising is the worst we can do because we can’t control the outcome, and we always want to be able to control the outcome of what happens in our stream.

Make sure to write down what you’re going to do before each stream and stick to it, this way you will know what you did at every moment and if something pops, you can go back to the VOD and the planning you did to check what was that worked and replicate it.

Preparation doesn’t only mean to be “mentally prepared”, it means literally to prepare sentences and reactions to anything that could happen in your stream, this way you make sure you reduce chaos to the minimum.

What to say and do if somebody follows

What to say and do if somebody subscribes

What to say and do if somebody donates

What to say and do if somebody raids

What to say and do if you achieve your goal (SMART goal, Monthly goal, Weekly goal, Sub goal, whatever)

What to say and do if there’s a troll in your chat

What topic to talk about when you’re streaming (prepare engaging questions)

What games to play, how much, and in which order.

You must literally prepare everything and stick to it, that’s how you find issues, fix them, and grow.

Here are my top 10 questions/topics strengthen your relationships with your audiences:

What do you miss about being a kid? (You get to know their past better)
If someone gave you enough money to start a whatever venture — no strings attached — what kind of venture would you want to start and why? (You get to know their motivations and objectives in life).

What matters most to you? (You get to know what’s important to them).

If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self? (You get their best advice and acknowledge it).

What’s your favorite quote? (You get to know the person’s values, quotes often represent values or beliefs).

Tell me three things that happened in the last week that you’re thankful for. (You make them talk about happy things, that wires their brain to be happy when they talk to you).

What do you value most in a friendship? (Good tip to get insight about how to be friends with your audience).

What makes you happy? (Positive thinking).

Who or what has changed your life? (You will know what’s the most important thing that happened to somebody, which reinforces the bond).

How do you best connect with others? (Hack a tip to connect with them).

Those are just a few ideas I like, but I encourage you to find the questions that you’re comfortable with asking and talking about too.

If this post was helpful let me tell you that this was a small extract from the Stream Accelerator Program, a video-training that’s designed to teach streamers to succeed and go full-time.

Find out more information about it here: https://firstlayermedia.com/SAP


Ivan Prats


Ivan Prats helps streamers boost their streams to the next level and start growing their audiences to make a living out of the streaming activity. He is an expert social media marketing, stream audience growth, and content marketing & distribution strategies.
If you're interested in starting your own gaming stream you should definitely check out his Stream Accelerator Program
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