At this point, Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys is synonymous with Twitch’s platform, but it wasn't always like that. The streaming star has revealed just when she realized streaming could work for her as a career.
Making it on Twitch is a nerve-wracking endeavor that many passionate content creators are also keen to take. The road to converting a stream or YouTube channel into a sustainable living is fraught with potential pitfalls at every turn, however.
Pokimane took those challenges as they came, year-after-year until she found herself with a merchandise line, multiple social media accounts with millions of followers each, and a list of employees to keep the content machine rolling.
Sitting down with YouTuber Graham Stephan, Pokimane explained what happened during her time in college to make her realize she could make a full-time career out of streaming.
“It was really when I saw the connection to brands and projects with them, that I could see [streaming] as a business or a long-term job,” she said about the viability of streaming outside of some donations and Twitch subs.
This means a steady source of brand deals, promotions, or partnerships that could raise her profile to even bigger heights. "It got to a point where one month, I made like $10,000+ in just brand deals. And once that happened, I was like 'oh, okay, this can actually be a job.'"
Her decision-making has revolved around a simple mantra since even before she made it big in streaming: “My mindset has never changed from when I was in high school to where I am now in terms of ‘I feel like if I can make $100k in a year, then you’re set.'”
While early in her stream life she had a steady source of community donations, Pokimane said she needed a more reliable structure of support to really let herself commit to streaming as her main source of income.
“I always felt like I couldn’t see streaming as a full-blown job if it was always reliant on whether or not people wanted to donate to me, wanted to subscribe to me or trying to incentive people to subscribe,” she said.
To many, streaming can be a fun pastime, but people like Pokimane learned the best ways of turning one the camera to build something that creates more than just a VOD.
From that general scheme, it has since expanded to having an agent, a content manager, a team of editors, and so much more to keep the business thriving.