A Livestreaming Experiment to Inspire Fans to Become Patrons

Livestreaming has historically been the single most reliable ways I’ve found to turn strangers into fans into patrons (even more so than in-person live shows :scream_cat:).

TL;DR --> I’m experimenting with using Crowdcast to livestream to all platforms so I can create a funnel which moves people from stranger to fan to Patron in one place.

NOTE: A quick ‘about me’ for context --> I’m primarily a singer-songwriter (guitar, vocals, ukulele, originals, covers), though I’m doing more of my podcast and poetry too these days. I have been livestreaming on and off since around 2012, though never very consistently. My first patrons came directly from livestreaming, and almost every time I stream on Periscope (my biggest following), a patron or two will pledge.

My biggest frustration with livestreaming: none of the platforms are well -or at all- integrated with Patreon

My main needs are

  1. easy to set up patron-only livestreams
  2. getting people to click links to pledge while I’m streaming or after
  3. an interface which encourages great community building and ongoing engagement (Q&A, Polls, bringing guests on screen, etc).

ENTER CROWDCAST!
It’s expensive but BY FAR the most useful from my perspective.
Follow me on Crowdcast to join the experiment!

HERE’S THE EXPERIMENT:

  1. Use Crowdcast as my primary Livestreaming Hub.
    - I control the data, it’s a super robust tool, they aren’t selling our info to advertisers
  2. Do monthly patron-only ‘public’ livestreams on Crowdcast
    - this is a beta feature where I can create a public link to a Crowdcast stream and then when someone registers they have to connect their patreon account to prove they’re a patron…or become a patron to get access
  3. Share regular non-patron-only public livestreams on Crowdcast which will automatically multi-stream to fbook page, periscope and youtube.
    - BUT: people will only be able to interact on Crowdcast, which will inspire them to follow me there, I hope
  4. Record my podcast live on patron-only Crowdcasts
    -patrons can watch, comment, ask questions of the guests, etc.
    -multi-stream live to all the other platforms, which incentivises people to move over to Crowdcast, follow me there and pledge to be a part of the co-creation of my podcast.
  5. Repeatedly use this system to incentivise my community to follow this funnel: fans on social media —> followers on Crowdcast —> Superfans of what I share via livestreaming —> Patrons.

Little things you might find useful

  • I’m tracking clicks with a short link created from my site (http://nate.live/live) which redirects to my crowdcast page.
  • I’ve connected Crowdcast to my MailerLite mailing list platform, so when someone registers I add them to a ‘livestream attendee’ group automatically (to be used respectfully, as I don’t have their direct permission to put them on my newsletter)
  • Crowdcast has an affiliate program. http://nate.live/live redirects to https://www.crowdcast.io/natemaingard?lmref=519 and anyone who uses that link to register and eventually signs up for a pro Crowdcast account will get me affiliate income.

Reasons I am excited about this method:

  • I control the data! As soon as someone registers for a Crowdcast I get their name and email (no gatekeeper like fbook or twitter keeping themselves as a barrier between my people and me)
  • The integration between Patreon and Crowdcast makes me happy
  • Being able to stream in one place and share it on the ‘social’ media platforms automatically!

Areas I feel uncertain and afraid about

  • Affording it :money_mouth_face:. Crowdcast is not cheap. I believe that this will eventually pay for itself, but right now it’s a big extra expense.
  • I don’t know if anyone will care (this is a common feeling, not limited to this experiment, hah).
  • This is going to take a lot of organisational skills, which I am worried I don’t have

I hope this is all clear. I’ll check back in and update in this post and below as the experiment unfolds, so follow along if you feel it might be of value to you.

Any ideas, questions, suggestions…let me know below! I hope this all makes sense, I’m not accustomed to laying all my thoughts out in any sort of order :joy:.

One more time, if you’d like to experience the experiment more directly, follow me on Crowdcast.

Thanks for reading
In hopes of abundance for us all
Nate

PS: thanks to @CelestialBlueMusic for asking me the question which inspired this whole post

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Well, I’m still learning how to use this patreon community. I thought my reply would show up here, but apparently not! And I need to logon with all my devices so I can access this…forum?..from more than the desktop :slight_smile:

But here’s what I wrote

@natemaingard Fantastic information and ideas, and I applaud your new plans with best hopes for overwhelming success! Followed you on crowdcast and despite your post only hours prior, there you were live-streaming! The wonders of time zones! Great show and now I have even more questions! The expense of crowdcast has been putting me off for years despite checking it out multiple times. I like your idea about sponsorship. I’ll do some outreach in that area. Thanks so much for your time and sharing, it continues to be a great pleasure to follow your journey and enjoy your songs and stories and the beauty of your path.

~Kari

CelestialBlueMusic

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My pleasure, Kari, it was lovely to see you in the stream yesterday! You should come on screen some time as a guest and chat about music :grin::man_shrugging:t3::notes:.

Yeah, you can download the discourse app on iOS, it’s not amazing but it does make accessing this forum slightly easier from mobile.

:revolving_hearts:

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Thank you for sharing your methods, Nate! This sounds like a great way to find new patrons, I’m definitely giving it a try!

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My pleasure :yellow_heart:. I’d love to hear how that goes for you, @marcelabovio, please share anything you learn here :slight_smile:

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UPDATE #1
So I did my first ‘multi’ livestream a few days ago and here are my results, thoughts, lessons, etc
(you can find the main stream here)

Details:

  • I shared the stream on my facebook page, my periscope and my youtube all at once.
  • This was super fun, but also very confusing at first, as I tried to set them all up, make sure they were all working, etc. I feel that this will become easier with time.
  • I focused on inviting people to interact with me, request songs, etc at the main channel on Crowdcast, made me happy I have the nate.live/live link!
  • I had a Call To Action (CTA) button set up saying ‘Join The Patreon’, which was clicked twice

Some numbers (also such a great feature of Crowdcast’s
Viewers:


Key Metrics:

Things I’d like to improve:

  • Have an overlay with the link to nate.live/live on screen all the time, so people can see that and move over without me having to say it all the time (this means using a third-party livestreaming app, which is a whole other kettle of fish)
  • I’d also like the shortlink to point straight to the current livestream. Currently it takes people my profile first, then they have to click on the livestream
  • Activate the ‘tipping’ option in Crowdcast to see how people respond to that (my concern is they’ll be less likely to pledge, but perhaps people who are already patrons might want to tip. Could be another revenue stream? Time will tell.
  • Set up regular streams, so people know when I’m going live and can get accustomed to that consistency

Ok, I think that’s enough for now, this is a lot of info, but it’s helping me get clear on important areas!

The main thing is I think it went great for a first trial run!

Any thoughts, very welcome :grin: :yellow_heart:

PS: @mindy, any chance of getting someone from Crowdcast in the forum to chat more with us about this?

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I really like this idea and it’s something I hesitate to try because it seems like ANOTHER “if you have a built in audience already, this works great, but if not, it won’t bring many (any) people in” BUT I’d love to see how it goes.

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Good point, @hackettkate, I agree that trying this without any kind of a following on at least one of the other platforms would probably be super challenging! Maybe someone with a very attractive webinar, combined with well-targeted Facebook ads, though…

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Thanks so much for sharing the details of your experiment, @natemaingard!

Agreed. It’s a big expense, though it’s also an excellent platform, and the team at Crowdcast is so nice and provides excellent support (in my experience).

Just in case you didn’t know, Patreon creators receive a 10% discount on Crowdcast service (see here). If you aren’t already getting the discount, contact Crowdcast support and they should give you the discount going forward. (That’s what worked for me!)

If you’re not already using them, the “Smart URLs” mentioned at the bottom of this post might be helpful to you!

Good luck! :+1:

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Omigosh, I can’t believe I forgot to add that in to the original piece, YES to the Patreon discount, been using that since I started :innocent::man_facepalming:.

Also, thanks for the tip about smarturls, I had actually just worked that out a couple days ago, so not my http://nate.live/live link points to my current livestream, or most recent livestream, yay!

Do you use Crowdcast? If so, what for, and what are your findings with it?

Heck YES to their customer support being amazing :yellow_heart:.

Thanks for this valuable feedback :slight_smile:

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That would be magical!! Thank you for that generous invite. Let me know if you really want to do that and I’ll put on a hat or do something with my hair lol.

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I’ve only done 4 public webcasts: an info session about supporting me on Patreon, an info session about an online course I teach, and two educational webcasts. (I teach data science online.) But I’ve also used it to do tons of private webcasts for my students, and I also do monthly private webcasts for my patrons at the $5 level.

I think Crowdcast is such a well-designed platform, and the chat and Q&A functionality is excellent! Plus being able to get the email addresses of every person who attends is super helpful, especially since one of my public webcasts had over 1000 people register :tada:

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Yeah, I’m totally keen. We’ll just let it flow when it works :yum:. Maybe at the patron-only monthly livestream on first Sunday of Feb, I believe it’s 3 feb? You can register for that here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/tribe

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Wow, this is so good to hear and HUGE congrats on the 1000 people registering, that must have been epic :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:.

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What was the topic that 1000 people registered to attend! Congrats!

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That webcast was about Python and data science, though a key ingredient was that both myself and the co-presenter have large-ish audiences relevant to this topic.

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Sorry no updates on this for a while, depression, finances and moving house have crushed me :joy::sob:. Hoping to have the energy to move forward again in the coming months. I still think this was an amazing idea.

Anyone else having success stories, or lesson filled failures, to share about Crowdcast??

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