A.B.T.  Always Be Talking

You remember that scene in Glen Gary, Glen Ross where Alex Baldwin’s character says “A.B.C. A – Always, B. Be, C-Closing.  Always be Closing.  ALWAYS be closing?”

Ok some of you are probably too young to remember that scene, in that movie, or you may not even know who Alec Baldwin is.  All jokes aside, that scene is amazing because it has a lesson for livestreams.   A.B.T. – Always be Talking. 

I’ve have stopped by a bunch of small contents creators shows and I see them not talking.  I see them staring at their monitor, engrossed in their game, not talking, not looking at chat, they have no chat, they have no engagement, because they are NOT TALKING.  If there are a million other streamers on Twitch, and 999,9999 of them are engaging with their audience, why am I going to sit on your channel when you aren’t?  I’m not.  I’m going to leave.

Now before I jump into the ABT part, I need to remind you that you should never be talking to 0 viewers.  In one of my other videos I talk about the Derek Sivers Ted Talk about “The First Follower” and why being the first person to join a movement is scary.  Just so you don’t need to hunt down that video I’m going to give you the punchline right now.  New Viewers don’t want to drop into your channel and see you talking to 0 viewers, so it is up to you to figure out a way to have at least 1 viewer. 

Friends, Family, Guildmates, or if you don’t have any of those, log into your own stream via your phone just so the viewer count registers as 1.  People are more likely to stay on your channel if they think someone else is watching you and this red 1 will remind you to keep talking.


According to Twitch, a user who chats in your channel is 50% more likely to return to your channel.

Now, with that said, you should always be behaving as if 100 people are watching you!  Why? Because there is a delay between the time a person arrives in your channel and is watching you and when that viewer count of 1 will shift to 2.  It is totally possible for a person to land on your channel, see you not talking, and leave, before the count ever changes.  Even worse, its possible the count will change to 2, and then you start acting like someone is watching you, and they’ve already left and the count will drop back down to 1.


A.B.T. Always Be Talking

Now I understand this is hard to do for two hours, three hours, four hours a day.  It can be really hard when you are streaming for multiple hours a day to nobody.  In truth, if you are going 2,3,4 hours a day and nobody is watching, you need to stream less, market more, and then come back to streaming, but that’s a totally different discussion.

I have a couple of tricks to help you remember to Always Be Talking.

The first is mount something to your camera that will get you to look at it, and talk to it.  My go to is action figures.  I like to put an action figure on my camera, which gives me a pair of eyes to look at while I’m talking.  If you are looking at the camera at least some of the time while you are talking, its going to make your viewers feel like you at talking to them.  This is also similar to the advice of why you don’t look people in the eyes when you are public speaking.  Looking dead into the camera can and will freak you out.  Instead, looking at the action figure is going to give you something to talk to, but you shouldn’t have as many “OMG I’m talking to a camera” freak outs.

Second, if Streaming is your hustle, if streaming is going to be a source of income for you, be it a main source, or a side source, you should absolutely always have a notebook with you all the time.  Something interesting happens, write it down.  You end up taking a cool picture, write that down.  The notebook is a collection of things that you do.  That list allows you to focus on what you are doing, and then it allows you to recall it when you want to worry about show-prep. 


This also has a benefit of helping you with your social media, and your social media is a avenue of growth.


So, you took a good picture while you were out and about.


            1:  That’s stream content so its something to talk about make sure to load the picture in OBS before going live so you can show it off.  Even if nobody sees it.  Eventually you can have a lot of photos you’ve taken so when you do get a viewer, you have LOTS of personal stuff prepared.


            2:  You can Tweet that out.  Even if you have 0 followers on Twitter, start Tweeting.   Although its not related to ABT, everything is related to everything.  Spend 10 minutes, three times a day on Twitter following people, responding, making jokes, doing everything but promoting yourself.  Eventually you will get some followers.


            3:  You can put that picture Instagram.  See #2.

This writing it down works no matter what you are doing.  See a movie, read a book, watch a TV show?  A few minutes of prep work can turn that into a 5-to-15-minute segment on your show, as well as good things to tweet and Instagram out and that is marketing and advertising. 


Now, I said at the beginning of this project that everything in content creation is the same level of importance.


You notice how this chapter started on Always Be Talking because that helps you retain viewers that do come to your channel, but it automatically blended itself into 1) social media 2) promotion 3) marketing 4) show ideas well that’s because there is no linear order to content creation.


You will never only be working on one thing at a time.  You don’t have time to work on one thing at a time.  Streaming isn’t a fair race.  People have started before you and are miles ahead of you, please will start after you and run faster and get ahead of you.  You just need to get out there and start running, and while you are running:  Always be Talking.