For those who want to start streaming, we have two recommendations for you: @Ashnichrist and a good microphone. Ashni is the streamer’s streamer. She’s the one who coaches all of your favorite streamers into bringing you quality broadcasts. But Ashni isn’t just a coach, this influencer/content creator/streamer is also an anomaly in today’s often aggressive culture of online anonymity because she’s genuinely nice. Just ask her Discord community, who regularly sends #love-notes-for-ash because she’s dedicated her career to helping others with knowledge she learned the hard way.
We caught up with Ashni and asked her to give some coaching to our Antlion community (that’s you!). Read on for her thoughts on content, positivity and how to make streaming your business.
Her number one piece of advice? Create content that’s valuable and resonates with your audience, whether you’re a streamer or a brand. According to her, the best content is:
Educational: Offering useful content is key. What lessons have you learned that can help others avoid similar mistakes? What insights can you share? See Ash's video on getting more viewers:
Entertaining: We all need a break from life to laugh. Sometimes a meme or well-placed .GIF in a chat can be a huge mood lifter. Part of Ashni’s popularity comes from her buoyant personality and sense of humor. Check out her video on How to entertain your chat on Twitch. You can ignore that Blue Yeti in the picture, she also uses a ModMic!
Inspirational or motivational: Ashni knows first-hand what it’s like to feel discouraged, so she creates content that inspires others to dust themselves off and try again. See her "Six self-love tips for content creators" for inspiration.
So how does Ashni keep her online persona and community positive? Take a look at her Twitch profile and you’ll see that under her ‘Tip’ header she’s stated, “Your money is not needed for you to be loved and welcome here.” For her, one of the tenets of creating a positive community is how you make others feel, so it’s up to you to set that tone. We took this to heart when we created our Discord server, everyone is welcome as long as they are welcoming, so feel free to join!
Keeping one’s online community positive takes work but she offers a few tips to help things stay upbeat:
1) Create Ground Rules
Like any club or public space, it’s important to create and post rules for participation. These can be as simple as setting specific expectations for where and how to post and outlining what isn’t allowed. Positivity happens when people feel safe. Negativity feeds on fear. Creating a safe spot with clear rules helps everyone feel better.
2) Set the Tone
Your community is a reflection of not just the kinds of content you create, but your interactions with others. Posting valuable content and responding to commenters with helpful advice is how Ashni established her voice. The key thing here is responding to people. It takes time, but community is about conversation. Take the time to have a conversation.
3) Be a Leader
Sometimes you have to be the boss. Not only do you have to set the rules, but you have to enforce them, which means keeping tabs on those who don’t abide and dealing with them accordingly. Ash recently experienced this with a member of her community who chose an offensive username. Ash had several conversations with the user, but the user preferred to keep the username. Ash knew that the safety and comfort of her community was her top priority, and she made the tough call to ban the user. Being a leader isn’t easy, but it’s what your community needs.
4) Be Authentic
Much of Ashni’s appeal comes from her transparency with her followers. Sometimes it comes in the form of sharing a humbling lesson she’s learned or mistake she’s made or letting people know she’s feeling burned out. No one is perfect -- showing your true self builds trust.
5.) Align with your Values
One of the benefits of being a successful streamer is cultivating marketing partnerships where influencers can get free products in exchange for exposure. But Ashni isn’t willing to sacrifice her values for swag. She believes in working only with partners that align with her values. Take for example Antlion (okay, that’s us). We build a high-quality microphone that you can pair with your existing headphones. She agrees that a good quality mic is really important in her business and loves that this one was created for gamers, by gamers, so she feels good about supporting our brand. We’re honored to support Ashni as well. Her positivity is an inspiration to us.
6) Take it to DM
Some things are better left out of the public eye, especially when it comes to conflict resolution. It’s better to take sensitive issues off chat and slide it into DMs to allow a safe and private space to communicate.
Ashni shares that her sponsor once told her, “There are a lot of people who will make it on Twitch, but it will never be you.” Ashni didn’t let that stop her. Thankfully for her legions of fans, she persevered and reframed her purpose to help others pursue their dreams and create an inspired community.