networking for streamers

Networking for Streamers – Events Edition

Get your networking shoes on streamers! It’s that time of year where every week there is a convention, meet-up, party or other event popping up that would be great to attend. Not just to learn about the latest and greatest thing in the industry, but to meet people and make connections.

Going to these events can be a nerve-wracking experience as you may not know anyone or you may just be there with a friend or colleague. None-the-less, it’s important that you break out of your shell and meet new people. Fun fact: 40-50% of us identify as shy!  So it’s not just you feeling nervous! The world is full of amazing and inspiring people and not being able to talk to these people means you miss out on making great connections and countless opportunities. 

In this article, I want to teach you some methods that can help you overcome your reservations and ensure that while attending these events you’re comfortable, confident and having a good time!  Streamers, networking doesn’t have to be hard, we will make this easy for you!

Whilst events are great for socializing and catching up, they are also a wonderful way to expand your network. It’s important to remember that at these events, you’re also representing your business. This doesn’t mean you go in with an agenda; quite the opposite actually. When it comes down to it, people do business with people they like and trust. Forming genuine relationships with people is more likely to yield positive results for your business in contrast to an agenda and intention to use people just to get ahead. 

You may ask yourself the following – “If I’m forming genuine relationships with people, why do I need a guide on how to network?”. Good question! Maybe this article will give you some ideas on how to get out of your shell? Perhaps you’re socially awkward and need some tips to help you feel confident. Or you know that networking and forming genuine friendships are not mutually exclusive and you could do with a bit of help. 

First things first! 

Decide which events are worth going to

A lot of business advice includes such things as – network as much as possible, put yourself out there, attend every event that comes up. Well, I’m going to tell you the opposite. While it’s all great advice, sometimes the return on investment (ROI) doesn’t pay off. If you spend all your time going to events, when are you supposed to get any work done? 

When making a decision about attending the event, it’s important that you research the event thoroughly – put your feelers out there!. Find out who is going, what the main purpose of the event is and whether either of these are relevant to you. Additional questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are there people going that you would LOVE to meet?  
  • Is there a speaker that interests you?
  • Is the event directly tied with your industry?
  • Will your audience or potential people you could work with be attending?
  • Can you afford it or will you lose a lot of income from attending?
  • Is it for charity?

Weigh up the pros and cons – If you can only afford one big convention, then just do that. If you prefer smaller intimate events where you can spend more time getting to know people, then just attend those events. A mix of both big and small events is ideal, but at the same time don’t burn yourself out. I recommend dipping your foot into all types of different events and seeing what you enjoy most. You might even surprise yourself. We recommend streamers try out all different types of networking events.

So now you’ve made the decision to attend the event. Remember all that research I got you to do earlier? That research is going to come in handy now. 

 

Be prepared for the event

Research the people

From the research you did earlier, you should have a rough idea of who will be there and what it’s all about. Firstly, research the people attending. Identify those you’d love to connect with most. Once this has been established it’s time to do some social media sleuthing on these people. Do they have the same dog as you? Have they recently launched a cool product or reached a pretty cool milestone? Keep this information in mind. It can be used to create a rapport which I’ll elaborate on later.

Research the industry

Next, we research the industry in general – if you’re in the industry already, you probably know a lot of the goings-on. It’s always good to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening.

Once again, we will use this to create rapport later on. 

Keep your finger the pulse of current affairs

The last step in preparing for a networking event is to keep yourself up to date on current affairs. You don’t need to know EVERYTHING, but a general knowledge of what’s going on can definitely help with small talk. 

Bonus tip – wear something that will make you feel confident. Do you have a go-to outfit that always makes you feel good? Wear that. Being comfortable and feeling good about yourself can work wonders for your self-esteem.

At the Event.

Meeting people and introductions.

The decision to go to the event is made. You’ve done your research and you’re wearing an outfit that makes you feel like a rockstar. Now what?

It’s time to meet people. 

Gulp. 

Take a deep breath and don’t stress! You got this.

How you meet others can pan out in a variety of ways. If you’re with a friend, get them to introduce you to someone. Flying solo? Make yourself look approachable (we will touch on this further down), or go up to someone and introduce yourself. Yes, I said it – introduce yourself.  Taking that first step and going up to someone can be terrifying. A million thoughts will be running through your head. What do you say? What if they think I’m a weirdo?

 Relax, it’s totally normal to feel this way. 


I personally recommend you start off with a compliment. Are they wearing a really cool outfit? Let them know! Can’t find something to compliment them about? Ask them about the drink they have in their hand or make a comment about the weather or traffic. This will create an instant rapport. Never underestimate the power of small talk. The biggest hurdle is out of the way – you’ve started talking, so now it’s time for the introduction. 

The introduction can go in many ways. In my opinion, it’s always best to go with the simple – 

“Hi, my name is Teagan, nice to meet you” while holding out your hand.

The other person will generally mirror this and ask how you are. 

Tip – Repeat their name. Nothing is worse than forgetting someone’s name. Repeating it will help you that little bit extra when it comes to remembering it.

Streamers this is the most crucial part of networking!

After small pleasantries, the inevitable question will come up.

“So what do you do?” 

When it comes to business events the answer to this is crucial. After all, you’re there to network and make connections (and hopefully friends)!

My biggest piece of advice when it comes to answering this question is to explain the benefits of what you do rather than only providing your job title.

For example: instead of saying “I’m Teags co-founder of Player 2 HQ, how about you?” I would say “I educate and support content creators in relation to their businesses so they can spend more time focusing on creating content. How about yourself?”

An example if you’re a streamer would be something along the lines of:

“I stream a variety of games on Twitch with a focus on indie games so I can expose hidden gems to a larger audience”

Or

“I stream FPS games on Twitch – mainly so I can help my viewers improve their skills”

This opens up the conversation and hopefully, the person mirrors this style of reply and tells you what they do, not just their job title. If they simply give your their job titles, aim to push the conversation further by asking for more details and hopefully, the conversation will flow from there.  If speaking with other streamers using this networking skill would be a great way to start a collaboration.

This networking thing is still too scary!

So, now you might think to yourself, “I definitely can’t go up to someone and make small talk?” It’s OK –  totally understandable. If this is the case, we recommend looking as approachable as possible. Make yourself appear easy to talk to. Smile, it makes you look approachable. No one wants to approach a person who looks grumpy. Some of us don’t generally smile for a whole range of reasons. The same goes for body language – crossed arms do not look inviting or friendly. Keep your hands either by your side or on your lap. This doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us so as lame as it might sound, don’t be scared to practice at home. Additionally, streamers, why not practise these networking skills on stream?

If the thought of standing around smiling is too weird for you, then make yourself useful. Offer to help out with something – offer refreshments or assist at the ticket counter or coat check. These are just a few examples of ways you can get involved and look approachable. 

Having said that, don’t let someone’s crossed arms or lack of a smile stop you from approaching them. They may be shy or they may be nervous. It’s possible they just received terrible news. Don’t make assumptions – go up and introduce yourself to them instead. It may ease their nerves and they’ll be relieved that someone is talking to them and showing an interest. It might just possibly put a smile on their face. 

Getting down to business

The introductions are out of the way and hopefully, the conversation is flowing – now what? Now it’s time for the second most crucial bit of networking advice for streamers.

Listening!

You’re used to being the centre of attention and talking non stop to entertain your audience. Now it’s time to be quiet and listen!

It’s important that you listen when people talk to you. Pay attention and ask questions. Make sure you’re present and not thinking about the amazing burger you had for lunch. Everyone prefers it when someone shows genuine interest in them.

Asking questions shows that you’re interested in what they are saying and that you want to know more. Are you speaking to a partnered streamer that you admire? Ask them for advice. Speaking to a game developer? Ask them questions about their game – if it’s something you’d be interested in playing, tell them that. Talking to a brand? As previously mentioned, if you have done your research, you’d have some idea about the brand and what they’ve been working on. Tell them that you like the brand and why you like it; possibly offer a suggestion on what you could offer them or how you could work together. Don’t be pushy. Remember, this is about meeting people and putting the foundations down for meaningful relationships

Ending the conversation

Remember earlier, we mentioned one of the reasons for attending an event was to meet someone in particular? I’m willing to bet there are other people attending the event for the same reason. You don’t want to take up too much of their time. Be aware of their cues – are they looking at their phone, getting fidgety or looking around for an escape? Keep an eye out for these and finish up the conversation.  This can be done in a few different ways. You can make an excuse such as a bathroom trip, or you can introduce them to someone else. Even a simple “It’s been lovely meeting you, do you have a card by chance?” Hopefully, they do and will offer it to you and they may also likely ask for yours. 

Bonus tip: Have your cards handy. Don’t make people wait while you rummage through your bag or wallet trying to locate them. Also, keep the cards you receive from others separate to the cards you want to give people. You don’t want to accidentally give them someone else’s card. We love MOO business cards – they even supply a box where you can separate your cards from the ones you receive! Get 20% off your first order on Moo by clicking here

moo business cards
Moo Business Cards

Alternatively, get them to introduce you to someone else. That saves you from nervously introducing yourself to another person. Mention that you’re after someone that knows about YouTube and they might be like “Oh Catelyn is a YouTube pro, let me introduce you.” It’s a nice, simple and natural way to end a conversation. 

After the event!  

Did you meet a really cool person at the event? Were discussions had about some fun projects and ideas you would collaborate with? Don’t let this opportunity go to waste. 

There are numerous ways you can keep in contact after the event.

  1. Tweet them! Follow them and a simple “it was lovely meeting you” tweet is fine.
  2. Email them. If you had a crazy idea for collaboration, now is the time to make it happen. Start the email with something along the lines of “Hey DrTatja, it was awesome meeting you at the con over the weekend. How funny was that (insert experience you both shared here)?  Doing this may help trigger their memory of you and further solidify the rapport you’ve previously built. Then move onto the project idea you had and go from there. If you were talking to a brand, send them through your media kit (don’t have one? Get one here) and repeat the ideas you came up with. 
  3. Build a relationship. I know making friends as an adult is hard. But it’s also super easy in this day and age thanks to social media. Interact with your new acquaintance on social media. Things will naturally develop over time. We’ve all made friends from Twitter or Instagram or even discord by constantly interacting with each other. Keep up the genuine interactions and allow the relationship to grow and build over time. 

Psst: So you’ve made that connection – now to take it to the next level. Click here to discover “How to nail your brand pitch!” so you can approach brands with confidence.

We’ve covered everything from preparing for an event to a further follow up on people after the event. Have we missed anything? Is there anything you’d like to know more about? What advice do you have in relation to networking for streamers? Let us know in the comments.

If you see us at an event, come up and say hi. We’d love to meet you and hear about what you do. We love meeting and networking with streamers. Let us help you!

networking for streamers

Related articles

Need some advice for when it comes to networking online as a streamer? Check out our how to use Twitter article here.

Psst: So you’ve made that connection – now to take it to the next level. Click here to discover “How to nail your brand pitch!” so you can approach brands with confidence.

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