What's up, everyone. I'm Jermanfu.
When I first discovered Twitch through a friend, I remember thinking how brilliant it was; a platform similar to YouTube, but live and interactive. I started watching a few prominent streamers, like CohhCarnage and Lethalfrag, and, immediately, I was hooked. I started gathering more information, and it wasn’t long before I decided to give streaming a shot.
The first thing I noticed was that the streamers who were the most successful were very interactive, and promoted healthy community involvement. I knew if I was going to have a shot at reaching the same heights, I would need to foster a similar community. But, I also knew I needed something to set me apart. I knew I needed something that would get people into the channel. Something that would catch people’s eyes. I figured once I got people into the channel I could then focus on keeping them by building a relationship with them.
I had a pair of retro style sunglasses that I had received in a box from Lootcrate. So I decided I would start my streams off every day wearing them, and still do to this day. Everyday I start my stream, I wear those sunglasses during our “bonding” time, which is the part of the stream where I just sit and chat with the community. I focus on the viewers and how their days are going. It seems small, but sometimes even the smallest thing can make a difference and set the right tone.
Over time, the sunglasses have become a recognizable part of my brand. I knew I ultimately needed a logo that would set me apart and would give me some sort of uniqueness. Originally I had one of my mods, who is good with graphics, make me a logo based around Spider-Man (my favorite super-hero). However, long term I knew I would need to come up with something that wouldn't infringe on copyright concerns.
Often during my stream, people will focus on and comment on my shiny bald head. This almost became a daily thing for a while and we would make jokes about it. So we thought "Why not include this into our logo?' And so we did! One of my moderators, Sabrynn, created the design, and ever since the logo and the 8 bit glasses became have been identified with the stream, something our community recognizes instantly and rallys around. If you have something that’s personal, or a bit unique, embrace that. You never know how it may take off.
While the sunglasses were a great start to catch people’s attention, I knew I also had to do something to also keep people in the chat. How you approach those elements of your stream, the attention you pay to your chat, and how you interact with it, are also elements of your brand; it’s not just how things look.
For years I have been a big fan of radio talk shows. I love being able to put on something in the background that I can listen to while I work. The important thing about this kind of entertainment is that you need to eliminate dead air in order for it to be effective. While a stream doesn’t need to have this kind of format, I felt it would be good for me, as a new streamer, to do this as much as possible. New viewers are constantly coming into your channel. Even if you don’t realize it, even the smallest channels get new views daily. So I decided I would constantly be immersing my viewers in the process. Now, I’ve come to be identified with that consistent, talk-radio-esque experience.
The next thing I wanted to focus on was an up tempo, high energy broadcast. So many times I go into streams and see streamers who are methodical, low key and rarely interact with their viewers. This is not a critique of those kind of streamers; it works for them. I just knew, with my particular brand, that if I was going to be successful, I would need to generate energy and enthusiasm for the games we were playing. I needed to give people a reason to continue to watch other than the game itself. And high energy broadcasts tend to do that.
There is no one way to do things, though. Twitch is an incredible platform that has proven that there is room for many different types of personalities. If you know yourself well, and you're open to learning what works and what doesn't, you'll eventually be able to find the sort of content the best works for you. Successful streamers have shown, though, that it's important to set yourself apart and to give people a reason to hang out. Find fun and unique ways to engage your audience. Aim for consistency. Everyone has a bad day. There’s no getting around that. But if you can use your attitude, your voice, your look, to help tell the story of who you and your community are, you’ll have the start of something that can build and grow.