Day: July 31, 2019

Twitch as a Business. What you need to know.

So you want to be a content creator? You’ve seen Ninja and Shroud rank in mega dollars by playing video games all day and you want a piece of that pie. You go off and create your twitch account, set up OBS and start streaming. You gain some followers, some people even give you some money. Does this mean you can you start treating your twitch stream as a business? It depends!

The following article will help guide you through those baby steps you need to take in order to progress your Twitch stream to the next level, becoming a money-making side hustle (or even a profitable business).

Before you start earning any income from your stream you need to start taking the rights steps to ensure you are making a legal profit in your country. Just because you have a Paypal account and a few subs doesn’t mean you are following the taxation and reporting laws in regards to your income! Make sure that you have contacted the right tax consultants/agents and gotten the correct advice from them.

Twitch streaming Business

Practical Business Setup as a Twitch Streamer

This post will help you determine the steps that you need to take in order to successfully set yourself and your stream up as a business. Please remember, this is only advice on how to get yourself up and running as a business. If you are unsure on taxes and other requirements (401K or superannuation) that are applicable and a legal requirement in your country, make sure you’re taking the right steps (with the advice of a professional). 

Not all of these steps will be applicable to you, so please read carefully.

For Australian Residents

Are you a business or a hobby?

The difference between a business or a hobby is important; this is because the benefits of being a hobby are very different to those of operating as a business. It is important to know the difference for tax, legal and insurance purposes. Take a look at the following scenarios:  

  1. Are you engaged in Twitch streaming with the intention to make money? Then you are a business.
  2. Are you engaging in Twitch streaming for leisure and recreation purposes? Then it is considered a hobby. 
  3. Are you engaging in Twitch streamer for leisure and making money? This could be either a hobby or a business

If you can not determine whether or not you’re a business or a hobby you will need to contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for them to determine whether your Twitch streaming activity is considered a hobby or a business. This is not a decision you can make on your own. Visit the ATO website here to find more information and ways to get in touch.

So you’ve been determined a business by the ATO  

There are a few benefits to operating your Twitch stream as a business: 

  • You can register a website as .com.au if you have an ABN
  • You’ll have access to government information, services and concessions
  • You can claim tax deductions for business expenses (yes this includes that new HD 8K monitor that you just purchased!).
  • It gives you the flexibility to work your own hours and be your own BOSS! 

Do I need an ABN (Australian Business Number)?

If you are to operate as a sole trader in order to report your taxable income you definitely need an ABN. This will give you a few benefits and any government concessions that you may be entitled to. 

It is recommended that you apply under a sole trader as this is the most simple and cheapest option for a business structure. You are a sole trader if:

  1. You are the only owner of the business
  2. Legally responsible for all aspects of the business

Applying for the ABN as a sole trader means you will be able to lodge your tax return under your individual Tax File Number, pay tax at the same income tax rate as individual taxpayers, and you may be eligible for the small business tax offset. We all have to pay tax on our income, regardless of what industry we work in or what we do for our job! Check out this video from Wild4Games who explains how tax and income works in the Twitch world. 

However, it is strongly advised that you seek the advice of a trained professional as this article only outlines the benefits of the practice. A trained professional will be able to help you with your super contributions, tax lodgement and your insurance. 

For American residents

Due to the fact that we are based in Australia and know nothing about American taxation law and requirements, we have put together a list of helpful resources that you can check out regarding your tax requirements:

For all other countries, we highly recommend seeking information and advice from tax professionals in your area.

Business Plans for Twitch Streamers

Once you have chosen your business structure (sole trader etc) it’s time to put into place your business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines your business objectives and the strategies you will use to reach them.

Things you need to include in your business plan

  • Overview of your business
  • The goal of your business
  • The feasibility of your business
  • Your target market
  • Your competitors
  • How you will make money
  • Your expenses

As you’re not (yet) a huge corporation, you will not need a full-fledged business plan with all the bells and whistles.  For the time being, we recommend you use a lean business plan as your official document. A lean business plan places focus on the essentials for the business and more often than not can be simplified into one-page documents. We’ve created a lean business plan template to get you started. There is a link to download it at the bottom of this article. 

Your business plan is not set in stone. It’ll change over time. However, it’s good to have this plan in place to keep you on track while you grow your business.

Marketing Plans for Twitch Streamers

A marketing plan is a plan that you will use in order to grow your Twitch stream as a business. It’s true when they say marketing makes the world go round. Regardless of who you are or what your business is the 4 Ps will help point you in the right direction. The 4 Ps allows you to look at the marketing side of your business from 4 main perspectives. Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

4 Ps Twitch
4 Ps of Your Twitch Business

As you can see in the image above we have noted what you as a Twitch streamer will need to consider under each of the 4 Ps when making a marketing plan.

Marketing plans can be quite daunting with all the situational analysis, goals, strategies and the list goes on and on. To make things easier on yourself free to use the image above as a nice template to get you started.

But wait – there’s more!

We’ve gone through a lot of information in this post and there is a lot to let sink in. We’ll leave it here today and will go into more detail in future posts.

Being a streamer can be stressful enough. You need to decide what content your audience wants, ensure that all your equipment is working, making sure your software is up to date, checking that your overlays look okay and making sure all your socials media content is done! After all that there the additional stress of being a business. We hope that these tips have helped you out with things you need to think about when thinking about your stream as a business. If you need any help or have any questions, we’re here to give you the support you need. Reach out to us and we will see what we can do for you and your business!

Is there anything above that you would like more information on? Let us know in the comments below. Or let us know on Twitter @Player2HQ

Twitch as a business

 

Twitter for Influencers and Content Creators – a guide.

Ah, Twitter – When a lot of people think of Twitter they see it as a cesspool for angry people shouting into the void. Trump saying Trump things. Bullying. The list of terrible things goes on and on.

Not to worry. Twitter isn’t all bad – in fact Twitter can be a wonderful place. You have control over what you see, and who you interact with. It’s also one of the best places to start conversations and engage with people.

Today we’re going to go over how you can make Twitter work for you as an influencer. We’ll list ways that you can increase your engagement and how you can even find work and sponsorship opportunities for your business. Yes really.

It feels like numbers mean everything these days, views, likes, impressions, engagement, subs the list goes on and on. However, one number that doesn’t really matter when it comes to Twitter for influencers is your follower count. 

SAY WHAT?!

Tell me – who do you know that is Twitter famous? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Most people on Twitter are known from outside Twitter. They are YouTubers, journalists, Instagrammers, bloggers, astronauts and even presidents. They are on Twitter so people have another way to engage with them. Don’t stress about your follower count. It doesn’t matter. You have enough numbers to worry about. Don’t let it bother you.

People follow you on Twitter because they like the content you have created elsewhere. They follow you on Twitter you because they like you and want to engage with you outside of your normal platform.

The number one thing to focus on when it comes to Twitter for influencers is engagement – remember when you reply to or like a tweet you are acknowledging each individual PERSONALLY and people like acknowledgment. 

If you’ve got a huge following and get 1000 replies to every tweet you make it’s impossible to engage with each and every person. A good idea would be to at least reply to one or two. Make that persons day! However, remember to always be genuine, don’t just reply for the sake of replying.

There is more to Twitter than “Going live, or New Video Uploaded” tweets for influencers

If you want people to know you’re going to be live – set a schedule and stick to it. That would take away the need for going live tweets. Want people to watch your new video? Tell them to turn on that notification bell on YouTube. I’m not saying don’t make tweets promoting your stream, video or red hot Instagram post but when it comes to Twitter for influencers make your Twitter more than just a billboard for your content.

Got a hot take on something? Post it. Found a hilarious relatable meme? Post it. Share things you find interesting. Give advice. Show photos of your dog or that amazing breakfast you had.

Twitter isn’t Instagram or YouTube so you can post things without worrying about aesthetics or demonetisation. Twitter allows you to be the real you. Your followers on Twitter generally want to know more about you so use Twitter to showcase the more every day normal side of your life.

Do remember to keep some things relevant to the work you do on other platforms for a nice balance. 

Creating content for Twitter as an influencer

Twitter isn’t seen as a content creation platform but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create content just for Twitter. Remember your followers are following you because they like the content you create on other platforms and they want to see more of you. Also, people love retweeting and sharing content on Twitter so it’s a great way to get your name out there.

You’re probably asking yourself? What content should I create for Twitter? Well, that’s up to you, however, to get noticed I recommend photos or video. People scroll through Twitter fast. Adding an image to what you’re saying makes you stand out.

Some of my absolute favourite pieces of content made especially for Twitter comes from The LL Lance. He makes short relatable funny content about the lives of Twitch streamers and other hot topics.

This video is great because nearly all streamers have banned someone at some stage and can relate to the video. It’s also funny and a great example of content make specifically for Twitter.

Here are some more examples of using short videos to engage your audience on Twitter:

Paladin Amber when people ask to see Boobs. Amazing comeback btw Amber!

Luxie Games when people ask streamers for help. (She can’t help you but we can!)

These are just three amazing examples all with one thing in common. All the videos are relatable! Relatable content is best for engagement. I don’t know the psychology behind it all but I think it comes back to people feeling like they are part of something. People like knowing there are others experiencing and feeling the same things as they are.

Don’t want to make a video? That’s fine. Make a meme instead. Say something hilarious in a text tweet. Just make some original content for Twitter – the more relatable the better.

Using Twitter for sponsorships and business opportunities as an influencer

Before I go any further – go through your tweets and delete anything problematic (including that porn you liked- we all saw what happened to Ted Cruz). Remove anything that could come back and haunt you in the future. I shouldn’t need to explain why but brands do conduct research on the people they want to work with and if they see something on your feed that’s problematic then it’s likely they won’t want to work with you.

If brands are interested in you they’ll want to know how to contact you. Ensure your email address is featured in your bio!

Next, it’s time to take advantage of an amazing Twitter feature…

The pinned tweet – the best tool for Twitter as an influencer

There are two ways content creators and influencers can utilize the pinned tweet to get brands to take notice. The first way is the overview tweet. This is a tweet that gives the reader an overview of you and your brand. In this tweet, you would list the other places where people can find you, a sample of either your best content or an overview of what you have done. Putting a showreel here a great idea.

Check out this tweet from Naysy as a great example. This tweet is an awesome showcase of what she does as a content creator alongside links to her other social media accounts and her website.

The second suggestion for the pinned tweet would be to pin a tweet of yours that went viral. This gives the brand social proof that you can create viral content. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to do it again but it’s still good to have it there.

Once you have that sweet sponsorship deal I’d recommend pinning a post related to the sponsorship. The brand will generally ask this of you but if they don’t, going ahead and doing so shows initiative. This is a great way to impress the brand and make them want to work with you again.

Hashtags and mentions

An easy way to use hashtags and mentions is to make them relevant. Are you playing a cool new indie game you discovered? Tag the developer and use the hashtag of the game. (If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, check out the companies Twitter profile and use what they use). Brands will check their mentions and hashtags and you will get on their radar. I recommend not using more than 2 hashtags or tags to avoid looking spammy.

Interacting with brands on Twitter.

Everyone is on Twitter. Even brands. One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that behind the brand logo is a real person tweeting. A real human being with feelings. The person making the tweets works for the brand and they may have an influence on who the brand decides to work with. They also may not, but hey, it doesn’t cost anything to be a nice person.  

How to interact with brands on Twitter.

Let’s take a look at Corsair – I like their Twitter feed. It has a nice mix of memes, retweets and product advertisements.  In the below tweet Corsair asked a question and when people ask questions they want answers. I’d suggest replying with your answer. It’ll make their social media person happy because they got engagement and you get your name on the brands radar. Heck, in this case, thank them for thinking about you if you’re a leftie.

I’d also suggest engaging with community managers. It’s their job to speak to the community! Bond over shared interests and form a genuine relationship with them. Like the brand engagement I mentioned above, this gets you on the radar.

But please, I BEG you – don’t go into this will ill intentions – actually care about these people. Don’t just talk and engage because you have an agenda and want something from them. Using people isn’t cool.

What you shouldn’t do on Twitter – tips for influencers

Complain- ask yourself – how do you feel when you hear people complain? I’m going to take a guess and assume you don’t enjoy it? Sure you were wronged and it is upsetting but there is so much negativity in the world  – let’s not add to it by being negative on your timeline. Negativity is draining. However, if you must complain make it funny or relatable. BigTelCo messing around with your internet connection? – Instead of just complaining find a meme and change it to suit your gripe. Now people can get a smile from what could’ve been a drag on their feed.

Don’t tag other content creators in your going live/new video posts unless they are featured in your stream or video. Tagging others unnecessarily will just annoy them and make them less likely to watch or promote your stuff. 

Nothing makes people unfollow faster than automated tweets. If someone new follows you please do not have a bot reply with a “Thank you for following” tweet or DM. No one likes it. As above it just annoys people.

#supportsmallerstreamers #follow4follow etc – don’t use them. They look spammy and desperate.

Remove people who are no longer relevant from threads. We’ve all been included in super long conversations we’re no longer part of and know how annoying it is. Do everyone a favour and remove the people no longer participating. When you click reply above the reply box will be a section that says “Replying to” with a list of names. Click this link and then uncheck the people who are no longer relevant to the conversation. You’re welcome.

Bonus TipTwitter for Influencers

Twitter lists are amazing and I feel they are underutilized. We want to engage and connect with the people we follow but sometimes your feed goes so fast you miss what people are saying. To overcome that create lists. Some suggested lists could look like this:

  • Other content creators
  • Brands
  • IRL friends
  • Celebrities
  • People you find inspiring

Tweetdeck is an amazing tool to view all your lists at once and make managing your Twitter feed a lot easier. 

There are many other tips and tricks when it comes to Twitter for influencers. We’ll go more into them in a future post.

What’s your number one piece of advice when it comes to Twitter? Is there anything you disagree with? Has this article helped you when it comes to Twitter as an influencer? Let us know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter so you can be one of the first to know about new posts and other hot takes when it comes to your business as a content creator or influencer. You can follow us here or search for @Player2HQ.

Twitter for Influencers and Content Creators

Goal Setting as a Content Creator – 5 Easy Steps!

Why have goals? 

Goals are one of the best ways to get motivated and give yourself a bit of a confidence boost. Everyone from business people to Soap Opera stars set-goals for themselves because goals contribute to vision and motivation and can help set you up for success. 

What are your goals? 

Grab a notebook and a pen, we’re work-shopping this. Make a list of the goals that you want to achieve. Do you want to be a full-time Twitch streamer? Do you want to increase your views or follower account. Think about your purpose and what you really want to achieve. This will really help you work out what your goals should be. 

Set SMART Goals

Using the below example, we are going to work through one way of setting goals. One way of setting goals is the SMART approach, this is a more traditional but applicable approach to goal setting. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relatable and time-based.

Using the below example we are going to explore SMART goals. As you read through this list, have a look at your goals. Are they SMART goals? Maybe there’s a way make them SMART goals?

SPECIFIC Don’t set a goal that is too out there or too messy or hard to understand (even for yourself). Use action words to state exactly what you want to achieve. 

“I want to grow my twitch stream”

MEASUREABLE Provide yourself with a method of tracking your progress. Using a target number/data will help you create a tangible goal to achieve. 

I want to grow my twitch stream to 25 followers”

ACHIEVABLE – When you choose your goal, make sure you have the capacity to achieve it. Your goals don’t have to be too high, they need to be within your scope of handling them. 

I am going to grow my twitch stream to 25 followers”

REALISTIC – Does your goal make sense? Does it contribute to your long-term vision? Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? Be real with yourself! Make sure you have the ability to get the goal done and that it’s beneficial and relevant to what you want to achieve in the long run. 

“I am going to grow my twitch stream to 25 followers. I am going to use Twitter to promote my Twitch channel”

TIME-BASED Setting a time-frame for your goal is important for checking your progress. Be specific on when you want to complete the goal by.  

“I want to grow my twitch stream to 25 followers in 3 months. I am going to use Twitter to promote my Twitch channel”

Reflect 

After you have determined what your goals are, take some time to think about what you have set yourself out to achieve. This is where you have a chance to look over your goals and see if they are executable. Do you have the means to complete these goals. There is nothing wrong with resetting your goals to make sure you are happy with them. 

Commit

From personal experience, goals have helped me stay accountable for making sure that I get tasks completed on time. 

If you are having a hard time committing to your goals, here are a few tips to help you stay on track:

  • Schedule your work time throughout the week i.e. 8:00PM – 10:00PM every Monday
  • Set reminders on your phone to make sure you complete a task
  • Download an app like Todoist to keep track of your goals and to-do list 
  • Speak to family about what you are wanting to achieve, they can help keep you accountable through friendly reminders or asking for updates
  • Prioritise your goal list and check off what can be achieved earlier 

You can achieve those goals that you are aiming for maybe all you needed was the right direction!

Free Income and Expense Tracker for Content Creators

CONGRATULATIONS you are making money as a content creator! Now make sure you’re keeping track of it. Below you will find a free income and expense tracker to keep you organised.

Why track your income and expenses?

Whether it’s only a few dollars from bits and subscriptions or a paid partnership with your favourite brands, you have to pay tax on your income no matter what! You don’t want that coming back to haunt you in the peak of your content creating a career.

This is the admin side of the business you can’t ignore. Solid and responsible bookkeeping will help you a hell of a lot when it comes to filing your tax return at the end of every financial year. Set aside time each week to make sure that you are on top of this, it’s the best way to optimise your return and make sure that you are a legally operating business. 

Every country has different expectations, tax legislation, agencies and requirements so make sure that you are keeping up to date with your countries tax law and requirements.

What should you be keeping track of?

EVERYTHING! Make sure that you have a well-kept history of all the payments you have received. You really want to make sure that you are keeping a good grasp on all the incoming and outgoing payments on your account that are related to your content creation (it is probably best that you keep a separate account for this purpose). 

When you make a purchase, ensure that you keep a copy of your receipt and check if it is a deduction you can claim. For example, if you purchase a new gaming computer, you need to keep the invoice for that purchase to claim later on down the track. A tax accountant will be able to help determine the percentage you can claim at tax time. 

What do you need to put aside?

All receipts of all your expenses, it’s crucial that you keep these if you want to be able to claim it as a business expense or deductible. 
The best way to do this is to take a photo of your receipt, save it to your computer and then rename it with the expense name and the date that corresponds with the purchase date e.g. Logitech Camera 19.01.2019. If you’d like to go one step further you can even link the JPEG to your income and expense tracker so that you know that you have that receipt filed away for tax time.

Exchange rate conversion

It’s important to remember that Twitch and Youtube might pay you out in currencies other than your own. If you use the Google Currency Convertor you can get the most up to date exchange rate converter websites. 

Once you have converted the currency, keep track of it in your income and expense tracker. Please download and keep all payouts on file somewhere. You can actually export all of your payouts to excel for safekeeping and for taxation purposes

Twitch Payout

Player 2 HQ Income and Expense Tracker Quick Use Guide:

We have put together this very simple and easy to use income and expense tracker for you to use. You can download it at the end of this article.

Here are some handy tips on how to use it to its full potential:

  1. Customise your expense categories so that they will align with the deduction categories of your region. This can be done through the “EDIT ME” tab on the expense tracker. An example of a category can be “Twitch Payout” and would fall under deposits of income. 
  2. Using the drop-down menu and selecting a category you can see a running total of what you have spent or had incoming for that category. 
  3. Make sure that you are converting your payments if they are coming through in another currency (e.g. USD to AUD) Google uses all the updated exchange rates! 
  4. To create extra lines right-click insert row, copy and paste the formula in the above row to ensure there are no errors popping up 
  5. Make sure that you enter all the cells otherwise your “overall balance” won’t come up in the last column 

free income and expense tracker

Income and expense tracking can be boring but it needs to be done. If you don’t want to do it yourself Player 2 HQ is here to help you out. Let us handle it while you focus on creating amazing content. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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