Scott, Video Gamer

 
Scott Guavabean
 

Hello! My name’s Scott (a.k.a. Majestic Ram), and I come from Suffolk in the UK.

I’ve had loads of menial jobs in the past. I decided to go in a completely different direction and control how I earn my living! I love playing video games, travelling to events, generally being silly, putting a positive spin on life, and living life to its fullest.

What do you say when people ask "What do you do?"

It’s always been a struggle to explain what I do - I started with saying ‘I play games for a living’ but that confused people! Then I started describing myself as a broadcaster, but a more accurate way of explaining what I do would be that I am a TV personality for my own show that I produce, run, maintain and act in. I’m a partnered Twitch streamer, streaming a variety of games and IRL (In Real Life) shows.

Why did you get started with freelance work?

My life was a bit of a mess prior to working for myself, I didn't really know what I wanted out of life.

I was very depressed in a job with many hours, little pay, being controlled by higher management which eventually pushed me to quit altogether and start a dream I’ve been wanting to do for about ten years. It kicked off much quicker than I ever imagined.

How many years have you been freelancing?

Coming up to two years now.

How long did it take for you to feel like a "successful" freelancer. Until you were able to pay your bills regularly without worrying?

After about six months I was already making enough to pay the bills, one of my first months I made around £800 and it was a realization that "Wow, I actually can afford most of the bills on my own".

Now I am earning much, much more than that but I still don't feel successful. Partly because I almost feel that I’ve cheated somehow - when you enjoy your job as much as I do and you’re getting paid a few grand a month, it almost feels that you’re enjoying your life too much, that there should be some sort of catch!

I don’t know if or when I’ll feel successful. What defines success? It means something different to everyone.

Where did you find your first paid freelancing job?

Twitch - I started getting paid in ‘tips’ by having a donation button on my bio. As a broadcaster, you rely solely on tips like a street performer would.

My first proper payout would have been when I became a Twitch affiliate, which meant I could start offering a monthly subscription to people who wanted to support me regularly.

How did you price your services when you were just starting out?

I didn’t ask people for a minimum amount - viewers who enjoyed my shows could donate as much or as little as they wanted. Then when Twitch affiliate rolled out and was offered to me, subscribers could pay £4.99, £9.99 or £24.99 a month, depending on how they wanted to support me.

Truthfully though, I didn’t want to just offer people a price to pay - I offered them an experience when they came into my channel, to become part of a tight-knit community so they felt their subscription was really worth it.

Most freelancers try several jobs before settling down. What jobs did you try before choosing your current occupation?

I started with the old classic - stacking shelves in a supermarket - then I was an apprenticeship carpet fitter, then I moved to a casino where patrons would come in and waste their lives feeding their savings into slot machines.

I quit completely and moved straight into Twitch streaming and creating YouTube content. I started by dividing my attention between both, but quickly realized I enjoyed Twitch much more and it was a more lucrative option for me, so stopped making YouTube videos and focused on growing my Twitch channel.

What was one of the biggest challenges or roadblocks that you had to overcome in your journey to be a successful freelancer?

Probably believing that I’m good enough. I still feel that I’m an imposter or a cheat at times, like I don’t deserve my good fortune, even though I know how hard I have worked to be where I am now.

What do you wish other people knew about freelancing?

Everyone is capable of doing it as long as your heart’s in it. You can’t just give up when you hit the first hurdle. If you keep getting up after being knocked down, you WILL reap the rewards. It just takes longer and more effort than if you were in a traditional job - but it’s so worth it.

What's your favorite way to find new clients and job opportunities? What worked the best for you?

I’m a variety streamer so I’m always playing varied games and new titles when they come out, but when you get that sweet spot of finding a game that not many streamers are playing but lots of viewers want to see, you get more traffic and new fans!

Working with big clients like AOC (I’m their brand ambassador) gets you noticed by more people too, as well as other brands that could potentially become new sponsors.

What would you say to someone who asks "How can I find jobs if I don't have much experience yet?

I had zero experience when I started; it was totally different to anything I’d done before. I had no idea where to start, just I knew I wanted to be successful at something I’d built myself. I always loved playing games and I’d wanted to stream or make YouTube videos but never had the time to give it a proper go in the past.

Research is so, so important. Find out the techniques and tools you’ll need to get started and then much of it is learning as you go; what works and what doesn’t. You’ll also learn what NOT to do.

Your best interview tip?

Be yourself. Don’t be a fake, people will see right through it. It’s easy for me to say that because I make my living from my personality and acting silly, which is me - I’m just different.

If you’re going to a job interview for example, you might be tempted to wear a suit and act in a certain way. I would say presenting yourself well is important, but don’t conform to this generic idea of what ‘the best’ means.

And don’t agree to something which makes you feel uncomfortable; you shouldn’t have to change yourself for someone else because you’ll be miserable.

What are the top 5 things you use most often in your daily work?

The essentials for me are:

1. Streamlabs - it lets me edit stream alerts, notifications and helps me monitor statistics.

2. OBS - broadcasting software that I’ve used from day one and still does the job perfectly.

3. Stream Deck - makes my job so much easier as it allows me to make unlimited hot keys for things like muting my mic, zooming my camera, playing graphics, setting overlays and more.

4. Comfy chair - when you spend as much time at your desk as I do, you need a high quality chair. I opted for a Noblechairs Epic series which keeps me comfortable so I’m able to stream and work for longer.

5. Professional quality mic and camera (alright, that’s two) - in fact, a professional studio quality microphone is more important than a higher quality camera in my opinion, because it doesn't matter a huge amount if the picture quality is slightly off, but it’s hugely noticeable when the microphone is muffled and distorted.

What does your average Monday look like?

I don’t stream Mondays so this is my prep day, purely behind-the-scenes work to get me ready for the week ahead. I log onto my PC and look at what games are upcoming that I can play on Tuesday to Friday.

I install games and check they are running smoothly, making technical tweaks or fixing issues as I go along. I make changes to my OBS layout or alerts if needed, and if I have a special stream organised for the week (like a cooking cosplay stream) I will plan my menu and buy the ingredients and costume.

On average, how many hours do you work on a regular weekday?

I get to my PC for about 10 am and finish around 11 pm, so about thirteen hours.

That's quite a bit of time. How do you stay motivated and focused when you don't feel like working?

I remind myself how lucky I am. Sometimes I really feel like I don't want to sit in front of a camera that day, but then I remember the people relying on me for their little bit of happiness.

For some people who watch me, that’s what they look forward to every day. They could be sitting in a job they despise or going through a hard time and I’m sitting in the comfort of my own home, bringing joy to them by being silly and playing games. If I didn’t show up, they would be disappointed. I hate letting people down and making people happy is my main motivation.

If you could work from anywhere, what would be your dream work location?

I would love to buy my own house with a bigger stream room which I’m able to soundproof, and it would be somewhere central like Berlin or a city in the UK. I’d miss my family if I was too far away, though.

What are your favorite things about freelancing/working from home?

Literally everything. I cannot think of a better career. I get to meet amazing people every day, I’ve built a fantastic community where we all hang out and I get to play video games every day. I can’t think of a way you could make that any better!

What's your LEAST favorite thing about freelancing/working from home?

Having to fork out for new equipment. For example, when you need to buy a PC that’s going to cost £2,000 out of your own pocket. That’s not very fun but it’s necessary so I can keep the quality of my streams the best they can be.

Now that you've experienced all the ups and downs of being a freelancer, would you go back to a regular 9-5 job?

HELL NO. Even if the Internet blew up, I would go a completely different route and do something like chopping wood and selling it to people for their fires.

After having experienced terrible treatment at the hands of someone who thinks they’re a higher life form than me just because they have a ‘manager’ badge on (and get paid £200 more a month for doing the same job as me!) I would never ever go back to that life.

In your opinion, what's the most important quality or trait for a freelancer to have?

For a streamer, you need a unique personality. For freelancers in general, you need discipline. Sometimes if you’re feeling a bit low or under the weather and you don’t want to work, you might think it’s all too easy to get away with taking the day off because you’re your own boss.

Do what everyone else does and do it anyway. Some of those days have ended up being my best streams ever. Obviously it’s important to look after yourself if you really are feeling sick, of course!

Do you have any work routines or habits that boost your productivity?

Having a good lunch helps me so much!

Having a healthy, filling lunch gives me the energy I need to keep performing my best and being silly in front of a camera all day. If I started skipping lunch then my productivity would take a nosedive.

If you could go back to your early days as a freelancer and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t worry so much.

What advice would you give other people who are just getting started, but are still unsure about freelancing?

If your heart's in it, don’t let anything knock you back. As long as you know it’s what you want, even if you’re unsure in yourself, don’t let that first hurdle defeat you. As long as you’re financially stable and you don't put yourself in a bad position over it, go for it.

Any last words of advice or suggestions?

Everyone has a hidden talent. It might take you a while to find it, but once you do, don’t give up on it.


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