Every good relationship has a healthy dose of responsibility and transparency in it. This also includes your relationship with your community as a content creator. In this episode of The Stream Scene, Lowco and TheHunterWild are joined by Lucidfoxx and McLaffyTaffy to discuss the complicated waters of transparency with your community.
Balancing Transparency With Your Community
Being open with a broad audience of people is a balancing act that constantly evolves. You have to determine how much you want to share as a social creature with the knowledge that people are listening with a wide range of intentions.
While you may not want to share much about yourself in order to prevent compromising your own well-being, there are many people who genuinely want to care about you that are looking to invest their time and emotions into you as a streamer.
Talking about Money
The decision to speak publicly about your financial situation with your audience is a form of transparency that is important for your brand and your community. Your community subscribes to your channel and directly donates money to you which keeps your brand afloat. How you go about it depends on how you want to craft the message for the social dynamic you’re working with.
When discussing their financial needs, some content creators choose to appeal to a charitable nature of the “One-to-Many” relationship with is when there’s a consistent focus on the community members supporting the streamer. Others come up with incentives or contests to increase cash flow specifically when money is tight.
How you choose to go about it can be a creative endeavor, an act of vulnerability, or a mix of both. But done correctly, it can be an opportunity for your community to come together to achieve a common goal.
Sub Goal Transparency
Similar to the financial discussions mentioned above, being transparent regarding the reasons you have sub goals can provide your community further motivation to achieve these goals.
Many times, providing transparency regarding your Sub goals and Sub-a-Thons takes the form of “Here’s a sub goal with a bunch of entertaining incentives.” Other content creators are much more up front and simply state “I need help”.
Talking about buying luxury items
If you are honest with your community about what you spend your stream’s finances on and you are interested in buying luxury items that may not be considered necessary to your everyday life, be thoughtful of how you speak about the purchases you make to your audience.
Mentioning buying things like certain items for your home or expensive collector’s pieces, for example, could be viewed as bragging which may diminish how your community views the benefit of contributing to your and your channel.
Content and Programming Direction
As a content creator, you need to constantly be evaluating what’s best for your brand. Sometimes that involves changing your content or your creative direction.
Being open with your community about these types of changes is encouraged, but has the potential to be a double-edged sword. While it’s great to be open and honest while discussing your ideas of content change with your community, be prepared for some members of your audience to disagree with your ideas.
You might lose viewers at first or people may complain, but if your previous approach wasn’t growing your brand, pleasing these members of your community by agreeing to stay the same may do more harm than good.
For example: If you begin to worry about how your audience is behaving, changing your method of community management can help you remove toxicity in your community while making your channel much more approachable and welcoming to a greater number of new dedicated community members.
Listen to what your viewers think about your channel to get ideas on how to proceed, but trust your instincts and don’t give in to any pressures that make you feel uncomfortable. Having a discussion about your ideas or future plans gives everyone involved a chance to support you and contribute to your success with everyone enjoying the benefits.
Being Transparent with your Moderators
Your mods are your chat. Being open with your moderators and telling them your feelings about your channel is key to getting your community on board with what kind of brand you’d like to have.
Lead by example, because your community members will emulate the mods’ behavior. If you’re looking to create a positive and welcoming community, be sure your mods are also trying to create that atmosphere for your channel.
The more open and transparent with your mods that you are regarding what your needs are, the more likely you’ll have a community that represents you and your brand alongside you.
The Dangers Of Oversharing
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of streaming when people are paying attention to you and your content. There are some times that it can be tempting to say or do anything in order to keep people’s interest on you.
Be careful about going too far and compromising yourself. There are some things about you, like your personal privacy, that aren’t worth sacrificing for views. Especially if you want to keep a professional appearance to your brand.
Discussing Your Mental Health and Well-Being
How you approach discussing your mental health on stream is an extremely personal decision. Some streamers can be very open and honest about themselves while others prefer not to share those details with their community. Whether you need to take time away from your channel to take care of your mental health on your own or if you openly discuss it with your audience, it is entirely at your discretion and you should not feel obligated to share any details about yourself that make you uncomfortable.
We’ve created a highlights playlist for this weeks episode and in it you can find the best tidbits. We hope to see you next week on the next episode of The Stream Scene titled “Being a Character Streamer”