Live Streaming: A Glimmer of Hope for the “Grassroots”

By Jiayi Zhang, Jiaxin Liu, Lukai Du and Jiawen Mei (listed in no particular order)

Numerous Chinese companies suffer from difficulties during the epidemic – labor shortages, drop in production, and even bankruptcies. As a result, the unemployment rate has risen substantially. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in January 2020 was 5.3 percent. In February, the rate climbed to 6.2 percent. In comparison to the 2019 average rate of 3.62, the unemployment rate almost doubled.

While many industries are experiencing a bottleneck, one industry is expanding and thriving—
the live streaming industry.

Suppose you are interested in making money by live-streaming e-commerce and are curious about whether you are suitable. In that case, this article is here for you!

Live streaming: a perfect industry for “grassroots”

Live streaming is flourishing during the epidemic. According to the CBN Data, Kuaishou live-streaming product sales reached 104.4 billion yuan within 6 months from December 2019 to May 2020.

Under the circumstance in which offline shops were going through lockdowns, live streaming, a perfect substitute for offline shopping, flourished through time. Coronavirus unexpectedly contributed to the growth of the live streaming industry. Anchors such as Weiya and Jiaqi Li are cases in point. The most shocking record was November 10th in 2020, when Weiya’s live streaming sales reached 1100 million yuan in a single night.

One anchor was continuously practicing her speech

However, putting all the traffics solely on several anchors is something platforms do not want to see. It would put platforms in great danger since there are possibilities that those anchors will abruptly switch to another platform. Therefore, live streaming platforms have developed automatic flow management mechanisms to cultivate medium-sized and small anchors new to this industry.

The method distributes traffic to anchors at a relatively even rate, which results in anti-head tendency. This tendency weakens the power of top anchors. Therefore, live streaming platforms’ specific business model is ideal for grassroots who want to start live streaming. You will have a solid start by receiving reasonable network traffic assigned by the platform at the beginning. The traffic distribution mechanism of live streaming platforms gives grassroots a glimmer of hope.

Benefits: You might be the next millionaire!

Entering live streaming, you will have the opportunity to become a millionaire in a brief period. Beixiazhu village is a perfect example of grassroots entering live streaming and achieving success. There is a famous person in the village called Xuan’ge. “I worked in the construction industry before. However, I did not gain any money, even got a lot of debt. Then I heard about the Beixiazhu village and started live streaming there.” He said. To his surprise, he not only paid off all the debts but also earned more than 100 thousand RMB in half a month.

For newcomers, the criteria to enter live streaming is relatively low. Neither solid knowledge foundations nor initial capital is necessary components for success in this industry. You can learn almost everything about live streaming and accumulate experience over time as long as you are determined and hard-working. There is also a little requirement for diplomas.

What’s more, you will have the opportunity to support the development of your hometown by propagandizing local goods. It offers you great chances to sell unmarketable local products. “Our native sweet potato has become a hot commodity. More than half of it was sold through live streaming,” Mr. Song said. Before entering live streaming, He was a farmer in Beihai, a city in China’s far south. Mr. Song became interested in this subject under the pandemic. Tons of local items were marketed and transported from his remote village to prosperous cities such as Beijing.

Challenges: Barriers you need to cross

Live streaming offers potential opportunities for you to earn money. However, challenges and opportunities are coexisting in all walks of life. Live streaming is not excepted. Entering this industry, you need to undertake risks and overcome challenges.

Firstly, live streaming is an industry with a low success rate. Many streamers fail their ventures in live streaming within the very first few months. One main reason is the difficulty of gathering the initial fans base. This stems from fierce competition due to the advent of a myriad of newcomers every day. Most audiences prefer live-streaming rooms with high traffic. Some streamers, who cannot obtain enough traffic, fail in the end. Therefore, teams with solid capital are incentivized to do loads of advertisements, like paying fees on Tik Tok for higher exposure of their content. In comparison, streamers with fewer resources can only attract an audience based on their extraordinary personal charisma.

Plus, the essence of live streaming is service-oriented. It is arduous for a beginner with little experience to tackle various dilemmas. For example, in terms of selecting goods, if these products do not fit with customers’ expectations or the public’s pursuing fashion, the sales will be low without a doubt. There may also be issues with the content of live streaming itself. If the streamers are not that persuasive and attractive, people’s desire to purchase products may diminish. In most cases, a humorous or characteristic style is required for streamers who seek high traffic.

Process: The best approach to enter live streaming

Although live streaming is a painstaking process, if you have the spirit of perseverance to enhance your soft skills and business sense, you will accumulate experience, which acts as a catalyst to your career prosperity. Suppose you can overcome these challenges and determine to step into the live-streaming industry. In that case, there are three advisable ways—getting enrolled in a free live streaming training program offered by the government, getting a job in the MCN firm, or becoming a streamer independently.

Getting live streaming training in government programs is undeniably the optimal path for people who want to take a shot at live streaming. In such programs, the government will pay money to professional institutions, like MCN companies, which will assemble people who crave stepping into this industry and teach them how to do live streaming independently.

Yiwu government program for people who are interested in entering the live streaming industry

For example, in Xinjiang Kashi, the government created a program to develop 10-20 short-term live streamers and 10 long-term streamers. After approximately 20 days of training, these people could promote local agriculture products and bring substantial financial returns. The total sales of live streaming in Xinjiang almost reached 1.2 million RMB up to 2020.

If there is no suitable government program available, you can join an MCN or fly alone as an anchor. The advantage of joining an MCN firm is that the company will help you handle problems like product quality control and after-sales service. A dedicated and professional team, consisting of 3 to 4 people, is responsible for the script, scheme, advertising, and filming, which helps to increase the likelihood of success in the fierce competition. MCN also invests heavily in marketing that is conducive to sales.

However, untrustworthy MCN companies may deceive new joiners, so you must select reliable MCN partners and assess whether there are suitable positions in the live streaming team.

The benefit of becoming an independent streamer is that it starts fast. In terms of hardware, as long as having a smartphone, can you begin live streaming. Working alone has strong independence and will not be limited by the MCN company. Nevertheless, taking one person to do the work of at least three people is a genuine difficulty. For instance, it requires a lot of time and effort to find reliable dealers and factories, which is the key to a healthy profit margin. Another difficulty is the lack of initial capital for flow investment, making it challenging to obtain the first batch of fans.

Besides, becoming an independent streamer requires people to have outstanding characteristics such as an attractive look, fluent eloquence, etc. Unquestionably, distinctive appearances help keep viewers in the studio since they will be inclined to stare at the anchor’s face all the time. Again, essential traits such as hard effort and tenacity are beneficial to a job’s success.

In conclusion, the live streaming industry offers tremendous opportunities. We are confident that you will overcome all the difficulties with your continuous efforts. The government has many training programs associated with live streaming, which you need to pay attention to. If you are disoriented about where to start and to head for, the Beixiazhu village in Yiwu will be a perfect start for you! Here, suppliers of Internet celebrity products are within your reach. These warm-hearted people are willing to supply the goods for you. If you become friends with them, they will offer you valuable and practical live streaming suggestions. At the same time, joining MCN companies in Yiwu is truthfully a wise start. If you are diligent and extroverted who are passionate about live streaming, we sincerely look forward to seeing your work on the live streaming platform one day in the future, not far away!

Awards for Beixiazhu village in Yiwu


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6. 疫情冲击下的中国就业市场:短期波动与长期展望(2020年9月28日)

7. 直播带货频繁翻车迎来监管 行业如何长足发展?(2020年12月30)

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9. 中国直播电商行业(2019年)

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