7.3 What to Expect When You Start Streaming

What you should expect when you start streaming:

  1. If you haven't streamed much yet, or if you haven't yet started, you're likely to have good attendance and get good tips with your first few streams.
  2. After you've done it for a while, particularly if you do it a lot, the novelty will wear off, and people might be less inclined to tune in. That will likely mean fewer tips, particularly as we progress through this economic decline.
  3. When you start streaming, you'll probably find it challenging to "multitask." Between performing your music, managing your tech, handling distractions in your physical space, greeting your guests, and reading the comments, your brain might struggle to keep up. Do whatever you can to make it easier for yourself by creating checklists, routines, and a show format to assist you.
  4. The platform will typically send you a notification when someone you're connected to personally joins the stream, greet them and anyone else you're sure is there as quickly as possible. The first few minutes of your stream in particular will dictate how successful the rest of your stream is. Try to get and keep as many "live viewers" as possible within the first 6-10 minutes, so Facebook knows to show your stream to more people in Newsfeed.
  5. Avoid slow songs or lots of talking if you see a higher-than-usual live viewer number, to keep those viewers
  6. People tend to ask for slow songs if you're open to requests. Live viewership almost always dips during slow songs, however.
  7. Try to limit dead air time to keep live viewer numbers up.
  8. Gently, but repeatedly, suggest tips/donations. Give your audience time to come up with the idea themselves. Thanking your first tipper immediately when you see the notification for the donation come in will encourage other viewers to tip as well.
  9. Come up with a way that is comfortable for you to ask for tips and sales (create a script if you must) that is polite and diplomatic, without sounding too desperate or "salesy." Sometimes explaining to them what the funds would be used for can help them rationalize parting with their money.
  10. When you do mention your tip jar, make sure you thank them for their time and attention, and acknowledge that those resources are also valuable. You're happy they're there watching the stream, even if they can't contribute financially.
  11. Prepare however you can to handle tough or controversial questions or requests. Often people will ask or say things that get you riled up.
  12. Have some options, scripts, and links prepared for common questions or things where you'd like to direct traffic
  13. You will experience trolls/haters. (Particularly when you're getting a lot of cold traffic.) How do you want to handle those?

Live Viewers = the number you'll see on the corner of your monitor while you stream. This is the number of people who are currently simultaneously watching. We're looking to drive that number up, both for virality as well as social proof.