Entrepreneur: Mikki Brooke
Tilt: Variety Twitch streamer who also plays lots of characters
Primary Channels: Twitch (4.6K)
Time to First Dollar: Few weeks
Rev Streams: Twitch subs, gifted subs, bits, tips, Fanhouse, merch
Our Favorite Actionable Advice:
- Create incentives: Mikki promotes a revenue goal to their audience. If they achieve it, they bring out their theatrical skills in the form of special characters for a wild “guest” appearance.
- Reinvest in your business: In the first eight months of Mikfoolery, Mikki reinvested all their revenue back into the business and bought better equipment to amp up their streaming.
- Don’t count: Mikki turns off the viewer count in their stream so they don’t fall into negative (and unnecessary) thoughts.
The Story of Mikfoolery
Mikki Brooke had big plans when they graduated from the University of Southern California in spring 2020. The theater major was a playwright and director, and they had gigs lined up, including restorative justice theater with formerly incarcerated people.
The pandemic put the brakes on all of that.
Working odd jobs, Mikki started to stream on Twitch as Mikfoolery in September 2020 as a way to hang out with friends and maybe meet some more people.
“And then it just went better and better and became a part-time job, and then I started pushing for full-time because it just made me happy,” they say. “It was like fulfilling a dream … If 14-year-old Mikki could see me now.”Twitcher @Mikfoolery says they pushed to make it a full-time job because it made them happy. It was like fulfilling a dream. #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet
Community, content, and mods
Within weeks of launching, Mikfoolery achieved Twitch affiliate status. Partner status came in December 2021, and they went full time with content creation about a year ago. Revenue comes from Twitch subs, gifted subs, bits, tips, Fanhouse (a creator monetization app), and merch.
Mikki’s first payout came soon after they hit affiliate status in September 2020. They were casually talking on their stream about being close to hitting their first payout when a friend popped in and gave them 500 bits, which put them over the top.
“It didn’t feel real until I got my payout on the 15th of the next month, and I was looking at my bank account, and I was, like, ‘This is a thing that I’m doing,’” Mikki says. “I am officially making money from it and also having such a good time. That was the coolest feeling ever.”
They put all the money they made for the first eight months back into the growing content business, replacing their old, cobbled-together equipment – headset mic, webcam, and TV – with a new mic, stream deck, second monitor, and other pieces.@Mikfoolery reinvested their revenue from the first 8 months back into the #ContentBusiness. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
For Mikki, growth and success have come thanks, in large part, to three things — community, content, and moderators.
Building a community, Mikki says, has been a big part of their intent all along. Community “is an important part of how we learn and grow,” they say. “I always believed that online communities were valid and important. But especially with the pandemic, I think they became more important than ever.”
With Mikfoolery, Mikki has built a safe gathering space for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Mikki regularly celebrates that community and their fans in streams and with special events like the Fools Day stream in April: “Today’s Fools Day; we’re here for us, we’re here for community,” Mikki sang out.In their @Twitch stream, @Mikfoolery has built a safe gathering space for #LGBTQ community and their allies. #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet
Then comes the content. Mikfoolery is all about variety gaming – and given Mikki’s theater chops, their characters. “It’s definitely a theatrical outlet,” Mikki says.
On occasion, you might see a familiar-looking mustachioed character named NotMik or Tony, a 50-year-old smoker. Mikki runs promotions with a target revenue goal and promises a character appearance or other activity once they hit it.
“I always try to make sure there is an incentive,” Mikki says. “I’m providing content for you and will continue to do that regardless of how much I’m making, but if we hit this goal, I’m going to make some wild stuff happen; just you wait and see. That’s always a good feeling when people are like, ‘Oh dang, Mikki’s got something they’re cooking up.’”A new character may pop up in @Mikfoolery's #Twitch stream if their audience helps achieve a new revenue goal for the #ContentBusiness. Click To Tweet
Mikki says they couldn’t do any of this streaming without their mods. “One of the things I’m very grateful I did early on was locking down a mod team I knew I could count on,” Mikki says. ”My mods have been so crucial to everything I’ve done on Twitch.”
Mikki found their first mods elsewhere on Twitch, and they came on to help with the trolls who would pop up. Then, Mikki added slots for more mods by seeking applications, which Mikki reviewed with the current mods.
Now, the mods aren’t just intercepting trolls or banning bad actors. They are a sounding board for Mikki’s creative ideas, and they help plan events and set boundaries for the community. Mikki has even set up a Pally tip page where fans can tip the mods, and they regularly promote it during the streams.
“I have an absolutely perfect mod team,” Mikki says. “I trust them with everything.”Moderators are essential to success. @Mikfoolery created a @pallygg tip page where fans can tip the mods and promotes it in the stream. #CreatorEconomy #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet
Advice for content entrepreneurs
For newbie streamers, Mikki has these words of wisdom:
Have a good time with it
It’s easy to get too caught up in what other people are doing or what a successful stream should look like. “Make content that you enjoy and would want to watch because there are going to be other people who enjoy that too,” they say.
If you’re not having a good time, understand why, Mikki says. Maybe it’s your formula or the game you’re playing. Then figure out what would make you happier.
Listen to your community
You don’t need hundreds of people in your chat to have a community. “Community can be your two closest friends who are sitting in the chat with you,” Mikki says. “Whatever interests them.”
Don’t sell yourself short
For early-stage creators, it’s easy to fall into negative thoughts, and that can show up in your stream, Mikki says. Don’t get down, especially on your view count. In fact, Mikki keeps that metric turned off.Don't fall into negative thoughts when you stream. @Mikfoolery suggests turning off the viewer counter. #ContentEntrepreneur #Streaming #Tip Click To Tweet
“It can only lead to bad feelings if I’m like, ‘My view count’s dropping; what am I doing wrong?’” they say. “And I’m not doing anything wrong. People are just going and eating dinner.”
About the author
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall is a longtime journalist, freelance writer, and founding editor of two popular parenting websites in North Carolina. She frequently writes about parenting, aging, education, business management, and interesting people doing remarkable things.