Breaking into the gaming industry can be hard since there are many well-established names out there already. The lifestyle is appealing but it’s a hard grind – here are some ways to help you get noticed:
Like a quote from a kung fu movie, consistency is key. If you’re wanting to compete, your gameplay will improve by putting the time in and training regularly. Pros typically put in hundreds of hours a week – their game time doesn’t end when the stream ends and the results are visible.
The same goes for aspiring streamers. The best way to build a fanbase is to set and stick to a consistent streaming schedule. People like knowing when you’ll be online next, so they can tune in again. Routines also help keep you on your toes to develop new content to cover in your stream.
Streamers are huge on social media – you might say that fans come for the gameplay but stick around for the personality. They essentially become celebrities, with people talking about their relationships, pets, and purchases. As someone aspiring to get to that level, you need to learn to leverage your social media presence to help you break onto the scene. On the one hand, “fake it until you make it” applies – to be an influencer, you need to think, talk, act, and post like an influencer. But on the other hand, be genuine – your followers won’t believe you’re being sponsored one month into giving it a try.
Social networks are also great for competitive players looking to get noticed. Find player groups and share gameplay clips of your best moments. Reach out to accounts that compile montages to get yourself featured. If you’re doing the first point right and getting enough practice in, you’ll be well on your way to capture some great clips that’ll get you some attention.
Once we’re allowed to have in-person events again, be sure to attend as many as you can. Gaming events are always a good time in general, but this will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the gaming industry and let you see how other people doing what you want to do go about their business.
Events are also amazing networking opportunities. Many brands attend them, meaning you could meet someone that can help get you sponsored. It might intimidate you a bit, but using the events you attend as a “job interview” to sell what you’re wanting to do will help get you seen.
No doubt, one of the coolest parts of being a streamer or competitive player is how much free stuff you get given. But it doesn’t just happen, so how do you build up to that?
Many brands have an established sponsorship program which you can look up to see if you meet the criteria. If you don’t, then at least you know what to work towards. Even still, it’s worth asking anyway – you never know unless you try, right? If a premium brand has expectations that are too high, asking a competitor might help. If all else fails, getting your name out there and on the radar of gaming, brands won’t hurt your chances of getting noticed.
Once things start going well, it’s important to keep this in mind. Your brand will naturally evolve as you grow but it’s critical that you stay rooted and not let it get to your head.
For streamers, it’s never a given that your fans will stay loyal. Many streamers who have fallen into obscurity because their taste of success led to making decisions that did not resonate with their fanbase. This kind of attitude can wreck a career, which would be such a waste of the hard work you put in to get there.
For gamers, confidence in your abilities isn’t bad. But it’s also important to play a positive role in the larger gamer community, without which, your career would not be possible. Be willing to engage with fans, talk through preferences and settings for people that want to game like you, and keep yourself humble.
In a world full of celebrities that think a lot of themselves, coming through the ranks with humility is appealing and showing that from the start will go a long way in getting you noticed.
Have a Thing
The gaming industry is pretty packed with personalities and finding your place among them can be difficult. Developing “a thing” might help you achieve your goal of standing out amongst the crowd.
What that “thing” looks different for everyone. Maybe you build a troll class and people love watching you make opponents rage-quit. Maybe your cat lies on your keyboard and fans love watching you struggle to play around it. Maybe you let your stream chat make decisions for you. All of these add your unique flavor to what you’d be doing anyway.
Get The Tools
This is a bit of a “chicken or the egg scenario”. The professional tools improve your content or gameplay, but you need to get noticed to warrant buying them. At the back of everyone’s mind, there’s a hesitancy to invest too much just in case it doesn’t work out and you have to abandon your goal. It’s might help to take a page out of PC-building and think about everything as components that can be upgraded.
You might play better with a custom controller, but maybe you can incorporate custom button mapping to help you in the meantime? A 4K webcam would look great, but can you survive with an HD one for now? Just don’t stick around on budget equipment, you don’t want to get noticed for the wrong reasons!