Its dangerous to go fulltime take this business advice TwitchCon 2017

For more information, visit our full list of TwitchCon 2017 panels.

VoD Link:
Moderator: Joel Lui
Panelists: Hunter Wild, Julian Bogel, Stella Chuu, Galen Herbst de Cortina

Split up into 3 different stages/levels that categorize different content creators.

Stage 1: Bronze Stage

Individuals Thinking About Streaming
Individuals New to Streaming
Twitch Affiliate Program Participants
Suggested Guidelines:
Streaming is a Hobby
Negative Revenue to Minimal Revenue
Less than Minimum Wage at a Part-Time Job
Considering both On-Camera & Off-Camera Hours
Important to stress off-camera hours is still investing in your channel (ie. Managing community, brand)

Business/Personal Finance

What You’ll Encounter
Start-up Costs
Keep track of what you invest in at the start
Think of time/financial sacrifices that will occur when investing in your channel
Steps to Take
Separate You from your Brand as early as possible
DBAs (‘Doing Business As’. Mainly applicable in US but check your local laws), Online Persona, Stage Name
Business Accounts & Profiles (ex: E-mail, Website, Bank, Credit Card)
Start making separate business handles. Don’t use personal.
Learn Small Business Skills
Basic Financial Literacy
Bookkeeping and Taxes
If you can afford it, hire someone to help you with taxes
Start planning your approach to your brand as early as possible
These are guidelines. Not cookie cutter molds. Everyone is different and everyone’s situation is different. Success can be found in different ways


What You’ll Encounter
Contracts and Agreements (Ex: Terms of Service, Twitch Affiliate Agreement)
Intellectual Property Law (Ex: Copyrights, Trademarks)
Steps to Take
Protect your identity
Learn to Read and Understand Contracts
Know what resources are available
Educate yourself
Ignorance isn’t an excuse


What You’ll Encounter
Steps to Take
Build Self-Confident
Be Persistent
Practice Balance/Self-Care
Plan certain things that you NEED to keep yourself at a health mental/physical state
Learn to Deal with Negative/Unwanted Attention
Keep people close to you that can help you through those mental/physical roadblocks. You are not alone.

Stage 2: Silver Stage

Majority of Twitch Partners
Partners who Stream Part-Time
Partners who need to supplement channel revenue
Suggested Guidelines:
A second job
More than minimum wage at a part-time job
Enough to cover about half of basic living expenses (Net Revenue)

Business/Personal Finance

What You’ll Encounter
Project Management
Need to work on other projects for getting other ways of income and building brand
Work Delegation
Find people to help take work off you whether volunteers or people you pay (ie. Social media handler, community managers, video editors)
Don’t be afraid to delegate work you not only can’t do but that you don’t like doing.
Increasing Costs
Steps to Take
Budget and plan for variable/delayed income
Keep an extra account for “rainy days” (ie. stream equipment breaking)
Develop outside revenue streams
At this stage, you should have a decent following. Use your influencer status and reach out for possible sponsorships/revenue opportunities.
Develop your small business skills
Keep books, prep for taxes, network with other content creators/industry
Plan for growth
“Easier to plan a year in advance than an hour late” – Hunter Wild
Think long and hard before quitting your job
Don’t be ashamed to take other jobs to supplement your main passion of content creation
Not being a full-time streamer doesn’t discredit you as being a professional streamer. Part-time still makes you an influencer.


What You’ll Encounter
More complex contracts
Contract negotiation
Separate legal entities
Steps to take
Learn common pitfalls in contracts
Practice negotiating
Consider entity formation
Find professional advisors (ex. Lawyers, financial planners, accountants)


What You’ll Encounter
Increased stress
Less passion/enthusiasm
Possible burnout
Steps to Take
Maintain Balance
Take care of yourself
When you feel good you look good to others
Don’t get hooked on the metrics/numbers. They don’t represent your worth.
Make sure you have a good support network
Personal support
Professional support
Diversify yourself

Part 3: Gold Stage

Twitch partners who can afford to stream full-time
Suggested Guidelines:
Channel net revenue can cover ALL expenses
Can set aside money for future planning (ie. retirement)
Has disposable income (ie. vacations)

Business/Personal finance

What You’ll Encounter
Full responsibility for your income
Lack of employee benefits
Advanced planning needs
Steps to take
Set up a full-time trial run
Take a small amount of time and only live off of Twitch revenue.
Establish a payroll
Outsource your weaknesses
Most important at this stage since everything’s on you
Consider your financial future and develop a plan


What You’ll Encounter
Business and Brand protection needs
Having an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) separates business and personal
Employees and independent contractors
Content creator teams and organizations
Steps to take
Protect your business and brand
Hire professionals
Plan for your professional future

This is the bare minimum at this stage. If you aren’t doing these things you might be in trouble


What You’ll Encounter
More risk
More responsibility
Steps to take
Get insurance
Beware of burnout
Take vacations
Plan for personal future


Q: How do you get involved as someone who is not a streamer (ie. Moderator) and grow that into potential business/career?

A: Volunteering for Community Management positions. Get experience. (Editor’s note: check out Finding a Role in the Streaming Community and our Streamers and Industry articles.

Q: Just like a busker gets tips on the street and is maybe earning that “under the books” in terms of taxes, do streamers report earnings off tips that come through things like PayPal/GameWisp?

A: Every single piece of income you get counts towards taxes.

Q: If you’ve already done a certain time of streaming, how do you separate business from personal expenses for tax purposes?

A: Have to go back through your statements. Sit down with an accountant and your past bank statements. Write down what your expenses were for.

Q: How do you relate your metrics/growth to “how much should I be earning?”

A: Didn’t give quantitative specifics for panel because everyone’s situation is going to be different. Look at how much of your bills you can pay for with your content creation revenue. Make sure you can determine how many of your followers are “true” followers that are willing to support you financially and long-term.