Streamers have very divided opinions about networking, you either really love it or you really hate it, let me know how y'all feel about networking down below, is it weird is it good, but in this video we're gonna go through everything about networking, we're gonna do an ultimate guide and good luck to me!
What is Networking?
So let's start with the most basic question, what is networking, usually when streamers refer to networking they’re talking about meeting new people growing their relationships and then eventually spending 12 hours a day trying to respond to every discord dm or twitter dm, i really need to close those the word network has really become a divisive word in the streaming community in the last few years.
Even one of my first YouTube videos was about how much the word network sucked and people shouldn't use it now I’ve come a long way since then and i'm making a networking guide to prove it, but it just goes to show you that some people really love the idea of networking and some just really don't.
The reason for this is because the streaming community cares a lot about authenticity and they're very generous and they tend to kind of shy away from business terminology business strategies and things that just in general are a little bit more strategic, however networking as a word and as a practice doesn't need to have the negative connotation that it does have.
Like it is okay for you to grow your streaming business it is okay to have relationships that are strictly business relationships and whether you call that networking or not doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a very common practice in every single industry including in the streaming industry.
Why do Small Streamers get “Networking” Wrong?
Now there is a really common misconception though especially among small streamers on places like Facebook and reddit that networking is the best tool to grow your stream every single comment when somebody is asking for stream advice i swear is network network network just grandma and let me tell you networking is not even close to being the best tool to grow your stream, however it is a necessary tool it’s not going to make you a sensation on twitch anymore like it could in 2014 but it's still important and we can see this very clearly whenever we look at people like ninja, timthetatman, dr lupo, all of those guys who constantly play with each other.
The reason that networking is important for streamers is the same reason that it's important for any industry which is this very simple equation your success in life equals the people you meet plus the things that you make together, you can't be a lonely island if you want to see major success for yourself what you need to do is figure out how to work with people and how to work with the right people in order to grow your influence and your impact in the world and so for that reason it's really important that you learn how to network, who to network with and how to do it correctly that's not non alive you feeling scummy.
Networking in its best form is really about learning how to work with people not against them you don’t have to be doing this yourself forever at some point you're gonna need a team you're going to want to expand your brand onto multiple platforms and create new stuff and grow even larger and you can't do that on your own because i guarantee you are already working so hard and you’re super busy already and you are barely just getting started.
A really great way to look at networking is that it's all about making other people successful i personally did not get into business and entrepreneurship because I wanted to become a millionaire got into business and entrepreneurship and streaming and content creation because i wanted to have a team of people that i could pay to get them out of financial struggles like i had gotten myself out of financial struggles so financial success is something that i love creating for my team and i love creating for y'all but your version of creating success for other people might look completely different.
Who Should Network
Maybe you just want to support them in their life support them emotionally support them with a friendship, whatever that looks like for you, you can view networking as the tool to help you do that for other people but should everyone network like is this something that literally every single person on twitch should be doing well believe it or not.
Now there’s something called dunbar's number which is the theory of how many relationships a human being can maintain without just going absolutely crazy trying to maintain everything that's going on and usually people say this is around 150 to200 relationships or so, after that point the relationship intimacy really starts to break down and it becomes difficult for you to keep up with everything so this means that as a small streamer it is way more important for you to be networking versus someone who is majorly successful like timthetanman or ninja.
It's especially successful if you are in the community. Your goal should be trying to learn more about people and increase the relationships that you have which will happen naturally over time but there is a more strategic way that you can do this so keep on watching.
When you Should Start Networking
A big thing you need to understand about networking or anything in your journey of being a streamer is that if you wait to be a master at it before you start doing it you will be waiting years years until you start to take action with it so this means that you have to be comfortable knowing that you're not going to be great at it when you start out and that's okay you're going to learn you’re going to improve and you're going to get better just like you went to school and there was a path for you and you got better because of that path.
That path exists in the streaming industry as well so start now even though it might be a little uncomfortable even though you might think that you’re not ready for it you are because I’m about to tell you how to do it.
Who Should you Network With
Major mistake small streamers make here is that they try to network with everyone and this is a massive mistake because you're not actively choosing who you should be pursuing business relationships with and who you shouldn't be when you try to split your attention among tons and tons of relationships obviously dunbar's number it's going to be a mess it's gonna be just catastrophic so what we're going to do is not create that mess for ourselves and instead we're gonna be more intentional and more purposeful about the people that we choose to spend our time with and this is really important because you will rise or fall to the quality of the people who are around you which means that if you choose people who are really just unsuccessful like not negative and don't believe in themselves and are toxic towards other people and don't try to contribute to the world and don't want to contribute to the world then that type of relationship and person is going to impact you in ways that you can't even begin to imagine.
However if you surround yourself with people who are positive and uplifting, believe in themselves and have goals for themselves then you will be way more likely to achieve success for yourself as well as they are, also achieving success for themselves.
So this is why it's very important that you choose high quality people that have a lot of the attributes that you want to have as well here’s the thing y'all poverty is not just a lack of financial resources it’s a lack of relationship resources too so all of these reasons that i've outlined here is why you need a networking plan, i've created a post over on Instagram that you can go and check out that will go deeper into what this plan should look like.
Essentially it's you creating a vision for yourself and working backwards from that vision to determine which people will be the best ones to help you on your pursuit to achieving that thing so what i want you to do when you’re choosing which people you should network with is i want you to choose really great people that have personality traits or attributes that you want for yourself as well they don’t have to be hyper successful however they should have something valuable to teach you, but I’ll be completely honest with you all because i don't want to bs you.
The more successful people you surround yourself with the way more likely it is that you're going to be a success as well so keep that in mind however a lot of people when i say that are going to feel something along the lines of isn't it using them if they're super successful and i'm not no let me tell you why every networking relationship isn’t just an opportunity for you to learn it's also an opportunity for you to teach and to give as well and those two things are mutually beneficial that means that whenever you enter into relationship with someone and you network with them you have something that you are bringing to the table too and that is incredibly important.
The problem here is that so many people undervalue themselves and they think that they have nothing to give when even just your time is massively important that's actually the most valuable resource that you have, you don't get more time so when you choose to spend it on someone that means a lot not, to mention you can do things like do a little work for them help them upload youtube videos give them some free advice help direct them with a decision that they're trying to make or answer a bunch of questions that are happening in their discord server for them, if y'all want to be my friend you definitely can just go to our discord server and start answering all the questions so i don't have to.
So as i said you're not gonna be great at this as you start but the good thing is that you will get better with time and your networking skill set will improve because it is just that it is a skill that you can get better at, in fact let me make this really easy for you, whenever you approach people i want you to use this outreach template that i have created for you so this is going to make it super simple for you to be able to reach out to literally anyone that you want to network with collab with or just be friends, with this is actually the same four-part email, dm, template that i use for my own business and it goes like this.
So part one is all about establishing context, who you are, give them one to two sentences of who you are and what you do, and include a couple of links if you really think that you need to.
Part two is tell them why you like them, what it is that they're doing that you wanted to reach out to them over in the first place, what kind of content they are creating or what kind of impact have they had on your life, a good compliment goes a long way y'all.
Part three is why are you reaching out, okay this is where you go in and you say hey I would love to discuss the potential of us working on a video together or i would love to talk about maybe co-streaming one night together or maybe you can come into my discord channel and you can host a community night, i want to discuss working together in some way.
Then part four super simple, what are the next steps if you like the idea of this just respond to this email and we can talk about it you want to keep this super simple very brief it is way too many paragraphs they are not going to read it am so sorry to all of you that email me tons of paragraphs i just it’s just a lot the reason you want to keep this brief is because you want to show to this person that you respect their time and you understand that they are busy and you're just a totally random person reaching out and trying to get them to be your friend and so you want to do this very slowly and very respectfully, know i say slowly but honestly this is a very direct method.
The problem that a lot of streamers have is that they will comment on someone’s stuff over and over and over and over hoping to eventually get noticed but then it's hard to be noticed from someone who is the caliber of person that you should be reaching out to because they're probably being reached out to by a lot of other people too and it can be difficult to cut through that noise and so it's really important that you state matter of fact what it is that you want and why you like them, make it very clear what your goals are instead of just hoping that they notice you.
What are the Benefits of Networking?
The benefits from networking y'all are not short-term benefits, this is not something that you should be doing expecting someone to just immediately start raiding you, start bringing all their viewers to your YouTube videos, this is a long-term investment into a relationship with someone else and so that means the gains that you’re going to see from these relationships might now happen for years down the line.
There are some people that i met in the very beginning of my streaming career seven years ago that i am still friends with that i am still getting recommendations from they’re sending their friends to me for stream advice they are recommending me to companies for consulting, there are a lot of relationships that started so long ago that are paying off now in dividends but i made that investment up front and didn’t necessarily get anything for years and that's okay because it's a relationship if you're really looking for direct benefits right now the biggest ones you could possibly get are the things that the people that you reach out to can teach you.
Okay and so as i said networking is an opportunity for you to help someone else but also for you to learn from someone else to the more high quality people that you will learn from the more of a shortcut you are going to have to your own success and this is why having mentors and being a mentor to other people is so incredibly important along your career but this feels like a lot of freaking work right? like how do you fit networking into your already busy schedule.
How do you Fit Networking?
Well the good news is that it is very easy do so just as i have recommended you all do with social media you schedule it into your day every single day and you specifically network within that time frame, the problem with networking is when you try to do it 24 hours a day seven days a week you are going to be very distracted and very unfocused which is not energy that you want to bring to a new relationship and so what you want to do is be able to carve out that time in your schedule to focus specifically on growing your relationships with people so try to find 30 minutes or an hour every single day that you can dedicate to purely networking.
This might mean watching other people's streams, it could mean emailing people directly just give a little bit of time to it and I promise that will go so far eventually you will get to the point where you have so many relationships already that you don’t necessarily need to have this 30 minutes or an hour dedicated to relationship development because you’ve already got enough so you're good and that will free up some time in your schedule to focus on the bigger things.
Down the line that will grow your streaming career to your next level but even with all of this information networking can feel really difficult and intimidating part of that is because you're just scared you haven’t done it a ton and the idea of reaching out to someone that you really look up to is really spooky because you don't know if they're gonna assume that you're just trying to use them or if they are genuinely going to be interested in you as well, here's the thing, there will be some people who will question your motives for reaching out to them and for wanting to work with them but that isn't personal that just means that they have probably been burned in the past which really sucks right but if you do networking ethically and you take care of your relationships that will mean that the entire community has less burned people so we're all less likely to be skeptical of the people who reach out to us which i mean that's a future i would love to live in personally plus aren't all the awesome friendships that you're gonna have as a result of being brave enough to reach out, totally worth.
Another reason it could feel so hard is because there’s just information overload it feels like there's too many people to meet there's too much stuff to do and you just can't handle any more, the problem with this is that it isn’t necessarily information overload that you’re experiencing you want to call it filter failure and this comes down to the fact that if you are trying to network with everyone it is going to be impossible to do that with 30 minutes a day in your schedule, however if you understand that there are specific people that you should be focusing your time on and not focusing your time on other ones then that is going to make it a lot more manageable for you to be able to fulfill all of your networking responsibilities, you can create that filter for yourself by using the exercise that i show you in the Instagram post i mentioned earlier.
But what if you are still just too scared? well my friend let me tell you, you can be guaranteed mediocrity if you never take risks at some point you’re gonna have to decide what is worth it to you to take a risk on because that is the only way that you’re going to see any incredible level of success in your life, there’s also a really great book about this if you haven't read never eat alone by keith ferrazzi that's actually on my recommended leading reading list which there's a link for it down below and also go and check out this youtube video I think that you'll really like it, I’ll see you in the next one! Bye.