750+支持者:比特币酒吧通过像产品一样对待Patreon建造了成功的业务biwei必威体育备用网站

Bitcoin Pub and Decentralized TV, a community built around communication, education, and better crypto software products for all.

In Aug 2017, the brothers pulled together some open source code to serve as their MVP (minimum viable product) for the Pub: a Discourse forum completely dedicated to blockchain technology, bitcoin, and the like.

(By the way, Patreon has an official Discourse integration if you’d like to build a forum for your patrons too.)

They wanted to see if people were interested.

Interested is an understatement.

In just two days, the Saddingtons’ fledgling site served over 80,000 people.

After a month, they’d served over one million visitors.

A view of the Bitcoin Pub Page
A view of the Bitcoin Pub today—still growing and much improved since its beta launch.

Clearly, they were onto something big.

But servers that can handle 80,000+ visitors in two days don’t come cheap, so the brothers knew they needed a way to cover their growing technical costs — and quickly.

With shared backgrounds in education and business, the brothers went to work, treating their experiment like a startup.

Using their background in lean software development, they used “sprints” to test ideas quickly, rapidly iterating on ideas until they found the ones that worked the best.

The result?

In just six months, the brothers have attracted 750+ paying supporters on Patreon with an average pledge of around $15 per month, numbers that continue to grow as they develop the project.

We interviewed the brothers to learn more about their story.

In what follows, you’ll read how the Saddingtons’ chose Patreon over other monetization strategies.

You’ll also read the exact strategies they used to grow their revenue — plus their best tips for anyone who’s just starting out.

Why the Saddingtons’ Chose Patreon

Patreon wasn’t on the Saddingtons’ radar at first.

They explored popular crowdfunding sites, VC funding, and YouTube monetization, but none of them really ‘fit’ with what they were trying to build.

Why YouTube Monetization Wasn’t an Option

YouTube might have worked.

With 80,000+ subscribers (to date) on their channels Decentralized TV and BiteSizeBitcoin, there’s no denying the popularity of their content.

Image of one of their YouTube videos titled "Lightning Network Grows Past 100 Nodes"

But YouTube — for whatever reason — has been a dead end.

The Saddingtons’ signed up for the YouTube Partner Program — YouTube’s method for sharing ad revenue with its creators.

Their channels meet all of YouTube’s requirements for the program — it far exceeds 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months.

But in six months of trying, the Saddingtons have not been approved for YouTube’s monetization program. YouTube also temporarily shut down their ability to live stream.

As of this writing, “We’ve have made $0 from YouTube monetization since we began,” Peter told us.

The Patreon Experiment

With no option to make money on YouTube, the brothers looked elsewhere.

The Saddingtons came across Patreon while researching crowdfunding options. They decided to try it for the following four reasons:

Patreon naturally fit their business model.

“Patreon is an answer and a solution to those dysfunctional ways (like YouTube monetization) of supporting creators.”

Patreon gave them an easy way to collect feedback as they built the Pub.

“It allows us to differentiate between people who are there to get some information and then peace out and people who are really committed to the vision that we had. What we wanted most of all was a feedback mechanism, and Patreon allowed us to do that exceptionally well behind a committed paywall.”

Patreon integrated with their tech stack

“When you pledge on Patreon, you’re assigned a corresponding tier within our forum. That tier allows you private access to certain boards, forums, and conversations. It also turns off native advertising on the forum, which is a huge bonus because everyone hates advertising.”

Want to learn more about how Patreon automatically grants patron-only access to a Discourse forum? Read more here.

They believe Patreon will be around for a long time

“We took a look at some of the data and signals around venture capital. We’re in the tech space, and we want to make sure that we were placing our bet on a platform and a system and a team that isn’t going to disappear in six months because we’re not planning on disappearing in six months.”

To make it work, they decided to treat Patreon like a product.

As John told us,

“We knew that if we were going to “make Patreon work” (and this is exactly how you have to think about it), then we’d have to allocate and invest serious time, energy, and resources to maximize its potential.”

Iterating Toward Perfection: 6 Business Lessons Learned from Experimentation

As the brothers experimented with different strategies on Patreon, they took detailed notes.

Some strategies — like offering t-shirts as rewards — sounded great in the beginning but logistically didn’t work for their global audience. Others — like high-dollar tiers — worked brilliantly.

Here are six strategies they found that worked extremely well:

Lesson #1: Stalk Successful Creators

Before they even launched their page, the Saddington brothers looked at what other successful creators were doing.

“Because we were entirely new, we looked at the top flight creators within Patreon and tried to create ballpark figures around what they were charging, what their perks were… your typical due diligence,” Peter explained.

They knew that their prices wouldn’t be perfect the first time around, but it gave them a reasonable starting point.

Lesson #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Apologize

During their experimentation with tiered rewards, they created a $500 tier that offered physical merchandise like t-shirts and coffee mugs.

They quickly realized they’d gotten in over of their heads.

With all of the new work they were doing for the Pub and other reward fulfillment projects, physical merch just wasn’t something they could produce at that stage of their business.

So, they ‘fessed up.

“We were like, ‘Guys, we f***ed up. There’s no way we can deliver t-shirts to everyone around the globe in a timely fashion. Sorry.’ And the responses were, ‘Totally cool. We’re not worried about it,’” John recounted.

You can see the way they handled communication in the original post on Bitcoin Pub.

What could have been a complete disaster was handled gracefully by both the brothers and their supporters.

Lesson #3: Engage, Engage, Engage

One of the easiest strategies the brothers recommended? Post a lot to your community.

After just 109 days, they’ve published 1,000 posts!

An image showing that they've posted over 1,000 blogs

John’s advice for communication is “Document; don’t create.

They’re already creating new features and planning a great future for the Bitcoin Pub.

Why not share in-progress items like concept art for the products they build?

That way, they engage fans with something they had to do anyway.

Early Concept Art

They’ve also started using Lens to document their creation process more easily.

It’s something their patrons appreciate greatly.

One supporter messaged them and said,

“I unsubscribed to all the other Patreon channels that I watched in the cryptocurrency space and only subscribe to you because they only give us content once every two weeks.”

While it’s not a pace that suits every creator/audience relationship, it’s been well received by the Bitcoin Pub supporters.

Lesson #4: Relaunch Your Page

When they launched in Sept 2017, they did a ‘time-boxed’ revenue experiment, looking at which tiers were successful and why. At the time, they were seeing the “average” pledge from their supporters of around $7-8 per month.

Then, they found a TechCrunch article that claimed the average per month value of a pledge on Patreon was $12/mo.

“We thought, ‘Well we have an engaged audience, and we believe we’re providing as much value as the average Patreon creator,’” John told us.

They believed they could raise their average pledge to the “Patreon average” of $12/month.

Armed with what they knew about their fans and with that average value, they decided to relaunch their page, concentrating their efforts around their $15/month tier.

When the Saddingtons relaunched their page in January 2018, they doubled their patron count while more than doubling their pledged amount.

A Pub "Crypto Pirate"

Much of what they previously offered at the $5 tier level was made exclusive to the $15 level, driving patrons to the higher monthly commitment.

Lesson #5: Offer High-Value, High-Dollar Tiers

The brothers offered a $1,000 tier as soon as they launched their Patreon page.

They didn’t expect anyone to fund them at that level, but they were wrong: two patrons supported them at the $1,000 tier while it was offered (one sticking around for a full three months at that level of support).

Image shows two patrons who supported them at the $1,000 tier while it was offered

They don’t offer the tier anymore (they didn’t feel they could offer consistent value at that level), but it opened their eyes to how dedicated some patrons can be.

When in doubt, they said, add the high-value tier: someone might just take you up on it.

Lesson #6: Use Public Posts for SEO

All posts you put on Patreon as “Public” are search engine optimized. You can even view traffic information for each post:

Image showing Google and Patreon Traffic

Knowing that, the brothers carefully plan which posts to make public and which posts should be for supporters only.

Whenever they run a campaign, they share more public posts than private.

Doing so encourages new readers to sign up and support the Pub.

Communication Strategies: Keeping the Audience Engaged

From the language they chose to the frequency of communication, John and Peter planned all contact with fans to maximize engagement and understanding.

Here are their best communication tips for keeping fans happy, encouraging engagement, and maximizing conversions.

Strategy #1: Emphasize That It’s All an Experiment

“We have clearly made it known that everything that we touch, Patreon included, is all an experiment,” John said.

“And so the context for all of our consumers was already established: things are going to change. We hold nothing sacred,” he added.

By making it clear that tiers wouldn’t stay the same forever, they improved patron loyalty when changes did come.

Strategy #2: Frame the Discussion

While patrons knew to expect changes, it also helped to know that changes weren’t just coming randomly.

Instead, any changes were all part of improving the Bitcoin Pub for everyone.

The brothers recommend using language like the following:

“Hey guys, we love giving you great content. However, we want to figure out the best way to do that.”

Sometimes that means combining tiers, raising prices, or retiring inefficient offerings.

Strategy #3: Do an ‘End of the Month’ Push

At the end of the month, John & Peter post about how much their patrons’ support matters, what they have planned for the future, and other exciting tidbits.

They make sure they’re especially active during that time so that patrons feel encouraged to continue their support.

And once the new month arrives, they post a big THANK YOU message that always receives high engagement.

A photo of the 1st of the month thank you

Fans feel connected and appreciated, which makes a big difference when they review their budget for Patreon.

Strategy #4: Sort Email Messages by Tier (Using Zapier)

Using Zapier, the brothers send certain messages to patrons according to their tier level.

Zapier personalized emails

“We have an automated email go out to Patrons with some fairly standard verbiage, but we personalize it based on their pledge amount. That’s been great,” Peter explained.

It makes communicating with each group significantly easier.

Strategy #5: Reach Out After ‘Declined’ Pledges

A declined credit card means you’re going to lose that pledge… right?

Well, not necessarily. In fact, the Saddington brothers regularly re-capture about 30% of their patrons with just one email.

First, they compose a message to ‘declined’ users only.

A message to a ‘declined’ user

They don’t straight out ask why the users’ card was declined — no need to embarrass them, after all — but they do ask for feedback.

Personal message sent to declined users

In many cases, they get responses like these within a day:

Immediate declined response
response to declined

In March, that one email to ‘declined’ accounts was worth approximately $500 in monthly revenue for the Pub.

Do You Need a Huge Audience to Be Successful with Patreon?

The Bitcoin Pub + Decentralized

Looking at the Saggingtons’ story, it may seem like their success is directly tied to the huge number of YouTube subscribers or the flood of traffic they’ve seen on Bitcoin Pub.

But the brothers don’t believe you need to have a massive following to be successful on Patreon — especially not at the start.

When they first launched their Patreon page,they had less than 3,000 subscribers on their BiteSize Bitcoin channel (and hadn’t launched Decentralized TV yet).

“You don’t need a massive following to have substantial revenue figures,” Peter said. “I think it’s important not be discouraged just because you don’t have high follower numbers: those don’t necessarily translate to good recurring revenue.”

What’s more important is knowing your audience — and what’s possible with your creative process.

Experimentation, iteration, and treating your Patreon efforts like a startup: that is the recipe for success.

“What Peter and I walked away with after all our research was that there is no right answer to this,” John explained.

“We have to determine for ourselves what makes sense for our timetables, for our availability, for our community, for our needs, and for what we’re creating. The sum total of that will be distinctly unique for each creator.”

Instead of worrying about which decision is the “right” one, they recommend just starting.

“You can never know all your risks, because risks only emerge through the act of execution,” Peter urged.

As Peter told us, even if you launch a Patreon page and only three people sign up, “well, now you can talk directly with those three people and get feedback from it.”

“Create that feedback loop so you can do better on the next round.”


Ready to put the Saddingtons’ strategies into action? Sign up for Patreon.

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约翰和彼得·萨丁顿是工程师、教育家、兄弟,也是加密货币爱好者。

他们也是那个创始人比特币酒吧和去中心化电视是一个围绕通信,教育和更好的加密软件产品建造的社区。biwei必威体育备用网站

2017年8月,兄弟们将一些开源代码一起汇集,以作为PUB的MVP(最低可行的产品):biwei必威体育备用网站一个讨论论坛完全致力于区块链技术,比特币等。

(顺便说一下,帕勒顿有官方论述集成如果您想为您的顾客建立一个论坛。)

他们想知道人们是否感兴趣。

有兴趣是轻描淡写的。

在短短两天,萨丁的刚刚的网站有超过80,000人。

一个月后,他们接待了超过一百万的游客。

比特币酒吧页面的视图
自测试以来,今天的比特币酒吧的视图仍然增长,更加改善。

显然,他们是大的东西。

但是,可以在两天内处理80,000多名访客的服务器不便宜,所以兄弟们知道他们需要一种方法来涵盖他们的技术成本 - 而且很快。

在教育和商业中共享背景,兄弟们去上班了,像初创公司一样对待他们的实验。

在精益软件开发中使用他们的背景,他们使用“冲刺”来快速测试想法,快速迭代想法,直到他们找到了最佳工作。

结果?

在短短六个月的时间里,这对兄弟在Patreon上吸引了750多名付费支持者,平均每月约15美元,随着项目的发展,这一数字还在继续增长。

我们采访了这对兄弟,以了解更多关于他们的故事。

在接下来的内容中,你将了解到萨丁顿家族是如何选择Patreon而不是其他盈利策略的。

你还会读的策略用于种植收入,加上他们最好的技巧对于那些只是开始。

为什么Saddingtons'选择Patreon

Patreon起初并不是在萨丁的雷达上。

他们探索了受欢迎的众筹网站,VC资金和YouTube货币化,但他们都没有真正“适合他们试图建造的东西。

为什么YouTube不能盈利

YouTube可能已经工作过。

在他们的渠道上有80,000多名订阅者(迄今为止)分散的电视BiteSizeBitCoin.,不可否认的是,他们的内容很受欢迎。

其中一个题为“Lightning Network的YouTube视频的图像超过了100个节点”

但是YouTube - 无论出于什么原因 - 一直是死胡同。

Saddingtons'注册了YouTube合作伙伴计划- YouTube与其创作者分享广告收入的方法。

他们的渠道符合YouTube对该计划的要求 - 它在过去12个月中远远超过1,000名订阅者和4,000小时。

但在六个月的尝试中,萨丁尚未获得YouTube的货币化计划。YouTube也是暂时关闭他们活着的能力。

在撰写本文时,Peter告诉我们:“我们从YouTube上赚了0美元。

Patreon实验

由于无法在YouTube上赚钱,兄弟俩只好另寻他处。

萨丁顿夫妇是在研究众筹选项时遇到Patreon的。他们决定尝试一下,原因如下:

Patreon自然地适合他们的商业模式。

“Patreon是那些支持创作者的不正常方式(比如YouTube货币化)的一个答案和解决方案。”

Patreon在他们建造了酒吧时,这是一个简单的方法来收集反馈。

“它允许我们区分那些在那里获得一些信息的人,然后在和平出局和和平的人之间,以及真正致力于我们所拥有的愿景的人。我们最想要的是一切都是反馈机制,帕勒顿允许我们在犯下的PayWall后面做得非常好。“

Patreon集成了他们的技术堆栈

“当您对Patreon承诺时,您将在我们的论坛中分配了相应的一层。该层允许您私人访问某些电路板,论坛和对话。它还在论坛上关闭了本地广告,这是一个巨大的奖金,因为每个人都讨厌广告。“

想了解更多关于Patreon如何自动授予赞助人的访问权限访问权限?阅读更多这里

他们认为Patreon将很长一段时间

“我们研究了有关风险资本的一些数据和信号。我们身处科技领域,我们希望确保我们押注的平台、系统和团队不会在6个月内消失,因为没有计划在六个月内消失。“

为了使它工作,他们决定把Patreon当成一个产品biwei必威体育备用网站

正如约翰告诉我们,

“我们知道如果我们要”制作帕勒顿工作“(而且这正是你必须思考它),那么我们必须分配和投入严重的时间,能源和资源来最大限度地提高其潜力。”必威im电竞

精益求精:从实验中学到的6个商业经验

随着兄弟在帕勒顿的不同策略试验中,他们拍了详细的笔记。

一些策略 - 就像提供T恤一样奖励 - 在开始时听起来很棒,但逻辑上没有为他们的全球观众工作。其他人 - 就像高美元层 - 工作得很好。

以下是他们发现非常好的六种策略:

第1课:茎成功创作者

在他们推出自己的网页之前,萨丁顿兄弟观察了其他成功的创作者在做什么。

彼得解释道:“因为我们是全新的团队,所以我们着眼于Patreon内部的顶级创作者,并试图围绕他们的收费标准、福利等建立一个大致的数字。”

他们知道他们的价格不会是完美的第一次,但这给了他们一个合理的起点。

第二课:不要害怕道歉

在分层奖励的实验中,他们创造了一个500美元的等级,提供实体商品,如t恤和咖啡杯。

他们很快就意识到自己已经做得过头了。

在他们为酒吧和其他奖励项目所做的所有新工作中,实体商品在他们的业务阶段是无法生产的。

所以,他们“悬念起来。

“我们就像,”伙计们一样,我们是杰出的。我们无法及时向全球各地提供T恤。对不起。“和回答是,'完全很酷。我们并不担心它,“约翰讲述了。

你可以看到他们处理沟通的方式比特币酒吧上的原始帖子

这可能是一场彻底的灾难,但兄弟俩和他们的支持者都处理得很得体。

第3课:参与,聘用,聘用

兄弟推荐的最简单的策略之一?发布很多对您的社区。

在短短109天后,他们发布了1000张帖子!

显示他们发布了超过1000个博客的图像

约翰对沟通的建议是“文档;不要创造。

他们已经在为比特币酒吧创造新的功能,并计划着一个美好的未来。

为什么不分享他们制作的产品的概念艺术等正在进行中的项目呢?biwei必威体育备用网站

这样,他们与无论如何都与他们要做的事情互动。

早期的概念艺术

他们也开始使用镜片要更容易地记录其创建过程。

这是他们的顾客大大欣赏的东西。

一位支持者给他们发信息说,

“我取消订阅了我在加密货币空间中观看的所有其他帕勒渠道,因为他们只向您订阅了每两周一次。”

虽然它不是适合每个创造者/受众关系的步伐,但它是由比特币PUB支持者受到欢迎的。

教训4:重新启动你的页面

当他们于2017年9月推出时,他们做了一个“时间盒装”的收入实验,看着哪些层是成功的,为什么。当时,他们从他们的支持者那里看到“平均”承诺每月约7-8美元。

然后,他们找到了一个TechCrunch的文章这声称帕勒顿承诺的平均每月价值为12美元/月。

“我们想,”我们有一个参与的受众,我们相信我们正在提供与普通帕勒·创造者一样多的价值,“约翰告诉我们。

他们相信他们可以将平均资金提高到12美元/月的“Patreon平均”。

基于他们对粉丝的了解和平均价值,他们决定重新发布自己的页面,将精力集中在每月15美元的层面上。

当Saddingtons于2018年1月重新启动他们的页面时,他们的赞助人数翻了一番,而他们的承诺金额增加了倍增。

酒吧“加密海盗”

他们以前在5层级提供的大部分时间是由15美元的级别独家推动惠顾每月承诺。

第5课:提供高价值,高美元层

这对兄弟在他们的Patreon页面上一上线就提供了1000美元的等级。

他们没有指望任何人在那个水平上为他们提供资金,但他们错了:两位顾客在1000美元的价格上支持他们的价格(在这一级别的三个月内留在三个月内)。

图片显示了两名支持他们1000美元的顾客

他们不再提供了级别(他们没有觉得他们可以在那个级别提供一致的价值),但它睁开了他们的眼睛,致力于献出一些顾客。

他们说,当你有疑问的时候,就增加高价值层次:有人可能会接受你。

经验#6:使用公共帖子进行SEO

所有您放在Patreon的帖子是“公共”的是优化的搜索引擎。您甚至可以查看每个帖子的流量信息:

图片显示谷歌和Patreon的流量

知道这一点后,兄弟俩仔细计划了哪些帖子应该公开,哪些帖子应该只给支持者。

每当他们进行竞选活动时,他们分享的公开帖子比私人帖子要多。

这样做鼓励新读者注册并支持酒吧。

通信策略:让观众参与其中

从他们选择通信频率的语言,John和Peter计划与粉丝的所有接触,以最大限度地参与和理解。

以下是他们最好的沟通技巧,用于保持粉丝快乐,鼓励参与和最大化转换。

策略#1:强调它都是一个实验

“我们已经清楚地让据称我们触及的一切,包括一项实验,”约翰说。

“所以我们所有消费者的背景已经成立:事情会发生变化。我们没有什么神圣的,“他补充道。

通过明确表示层不会永远保持同样的状态,当改变来的时候,他们改善了赞助人的忠诚度。

策略2:组织讨论

虽然顾客知道期待改变,但它也有助于知道改变不仅仅是随机来临。

相反,任何改变都是为了让比特币酒吧更适合所有人。

兄弟俩建议使用以下语言:

“嘿伙计们,我们喜欢给你很大的内容。但是,我们希望弄清楚最好的方法。“

有时这意味着结合层,提高价格或退休低效产品。

策略#3:做一个“月底”推

在本月底,约翰和彼得帖子关于他们的顾客的支持事项,他们为未来计划的东西以及其他令人兴奋的坦特网。

他们确保它们在此期间特别活跃,以便顾客认为鼓励继续支持。

一旦新的月份到达,他们发布了一大谢谢你总是收到高参与的消息。

一个月的一张照片谢谢你

粉丝们感觉到了彼此的联系和欣赏,这在他们审查Patreon的预算时起到了很大的作用。

策略4:按层级分类邮件信息(使用Zapier)

使用Zapier.,兄弟们根据他们的层级向顾客发送某些消息。

Zapier个性化的电子邮件

“我们有一个自动电子邮件向顾客提供一些相当标准的徽标,但我们根据他们的承诺数量个性化.这很棒,“彼得解释说。

它使与每一组的沟通都变得非常容易。

策略5:在“拒绝”承诺后主动寻求帮助

一个拒绝的信用卡意味着你会失去那个誓言......对吗?

好吧,不一定。事实上,萨丁顿兄弟经常通过一封电子邮件重新捕获大约30%的顾客

首先,他们只向“被拒绝”的用户发送一条消息。

给“被拒绝”用户的一条消息

他们并不直接问为什么用户的卡被拒绝 - 毕竟没有必要让他们尴尬 - 但他们确实要求反馈。

发送拒绝用户的个人留言

在许多情况下,他们在一天内获得这样的响应:

直接拒绝的反应
回应拒绝

今年3月,发给“被拒绝”账户的那封电子邮件每月带来的收入约为500美元对于酒吧。

想要在Patreon上获得成功,你需要大量的观众吗?

比特币酒吧+去中心化

看看萨金顿夫妇的故事,他们的成功似乎与YouTube上庞大的订阅者数量或他们在比特币酒吧看到的流量直接相关。

但这两兄弟认为,要想在Patreon上获得成功,你并不需要有大量的粉丝——尤其是在一开始。

当他们首次推出Patreon页面时,他们的BiteSize比特币频道只有不到3000名订阅用户(还没有推出去中心化电视)。

“你不需要巨大的追随才能拥有大量的收入数据,”彼得说。“我认为这很重要,因为你没有高追随者号码:那些不一定转化为良好的经常性收入。”

更重要的是了解您的受众 - 以及您的创作过程可能会发生什么。

实验、迭代,把你的Patreon努力当成创业公司:这是成功的秘诀。

约翰解释说:“我和彼得得出的结论是,这个问题没有正确答案。”

“我们必须为我们的时间表为我们的时代,为我们的社区为我们的需求和我们创造的东西确定我们的时间表是什么意义的。每个创造者都是明显唯一的唯一唯一的。“

他们建议,不要担心哪个决定是“正确的”,而要开始做。

“你永远无法知道所有风险,因为只有在执行行为中才出现风险,”彼得敦促。

正如Peter告诉我们的,即使你启动了一个Patreon页面,只有三个人注册,“好吧,现在你可以直接与这三个人对话,并从他们那里获得反馈。”

“创建该反馈循环,以便在下一轮上可以做得更好。”


准备好将萨丁顿家族的策略付诸行动了吗?报名参加Patreon