How Patrick Hinds turned his true crime obsession right into a profession

Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle began a podcast to fulfill their obsession with true crime, and because it seems, there have been lots of people on the market who wished to listen to what they needed to say (or scream). They immediately began constructing a group of followers who tune in to get their true crime repair from their favourite comedy duo. An odd mash-up of genres? Sure. However an efficient one.

Patrick and Gillian by no means might’ve imagined that their small, impartial podcast would change their lives in a matter of months. With a rising demand for extra content material, the 2 hosts launched on Patreon to see if they might flip this factor right into a profession (spoiler alert: they did). Right here’s how they turned True Crime Obsessed into some of the well-liked podcasts on Patreon.

The Obsession Begins

Again in 2017, Patrick and Gillian have been simply a few Broadway podcasters who wished to begin a real crime present — one the place they solved the notorious case of the Zodiac Killer. They did their analysis, sat right down to report, and what got here out wasn’t what they’d anticipated. They realized they weren’t reduce out to unravel the decades-old thriller, however as an alternative discovered their true (crime) calling — recapping crime documentaries with humor, coronary heart, and sass. It was dangerous to department out from the standard format, however with lots of of different true crime podcasts crowding the area, this was their finest shot at standing out. 

Honing in on their area of interest paid off shortly. The podcast was rising by way of phrase of mouth, on-line dialogue teams, and Fb adverts, and shortly sufficient their followers have been begging for extra content material. It hit them that they wanted one other place to provide folks extra of what they wished and to begin making sufficient cash to make the entire podcast value doing. “Patreon was the reply,” says Patrick.

From 500 to five,000

In January 2018, Gillian and Patrick made the transfer to Patreon. A number of different podcasters have been providing a single bonus episode a month, however Patrick wished True Crime Obsessed to be an enormous a part of their listeners’ lives, not simply one thing folks listened to for 45 minutes after which forgot about for the remainder of the week. They determined to supply one full-length bonus episode per week. It was a big gamble, particularly after how a lot work they have been already placing into their common weekly episodes, however it was value it. Patrick and Gillian noticed a direct response from their followers. They gained 500 patrons of their first month and by the tip of that yr, they already had over 5,000 listeners of their Patreon household.


Turning into Full-Time Podcasters

The podcast has been persistently gaining patrons for over three years now. By providing their patrons the bonus content material they have been craving, Patrick and Gillian have been in a position to achieve over 45,000 members. Always sharing about their private lives, teasing their unique content material, and listening to what their followers need has helped them type a good bond with their present patrons and appeal to new ones at a remarkably regular price. Nearly all of their members be part of at their “Non-Rubbish Individual” tier for $5 a month the place they get weekly bonus episodes, pre-sale entry to reveals, and dwell present recordings. Patrick and Gillian additionally supply three different tiers: $7 for twice month-to-month “After Occasion” episodes, $10 for ad-free episodes, and $20 for particular month-to-month surprises and entry to VIP meet-and-greets. 

With help from their Patreon fam, Patrick and Gillian have been in a position to develop True Crime Obsessed right into a podcasting phenomenon:

  • By 2018, Patrick and Gillian have been each in a position to give up their jobs and develop into full-time podcasters.
  • They’ve employed a handful of full-time workers members, together with Patrick’s husband Steve who’s now their enterprise supervisor.
  • In March 2020, they moved into a brand new workplace with a state-of-the-art studio.
  • True Crime Obsessed would be the first podcast ever to hit Broadway.

Constructing an Unbiased Community

Patrick created and co-hosts two extra Obsessed reveals: Obsessive about Disappeared and Obsessive about Kidnapped in Plain Sight. Obsessive about Disappeared has its personal Patreon, which independently has over 11,000 patrons.

All three Obsessed podcasts are a part of the Obsessed Community, which Patrick began in 2020 partly with the help they obtained from their Patreon members. Patrick was ready to usher in hosts like Daisy Eagan, Maggie Freleng, and Amber Hunt to provide 4 different podcasts exploring extra unjust, unexplained, and unsolved instances of the world.  

Why Membership?

With an ever-growing group of supporters behind them, a membership mannequin supplied Patrick and Gillian the perfect perk they might ask for: freedom.

Working for your self: Patrick is aware of what it’s prefer to create for another person and maintain down a job on the aspect to help the artistic hustle. Despite the fact that he works longer hours as a full-time podcaster, he will get to work for himself doing one thing he loves. 

Serving to others: The most effective elements of his job is elevating different voices. Patrick can reply questions, give recommendation, and assist different folks discover their footing within the business. 

Doing it their method: Patrick and Gillian get to be their very own bosses. There is likely to be a extra well-liked strategy to true crime, however they’d fairly do issues their method. 

Recommendation for Different Podcasters

Discover your folks: “The most effective issues any podcaster can do is admittedly construct a group round their present,” Patrick says. “The podcast shouldn’t be the one time in the course of the week they’re listening to from you.” Create a dialogue group, go dwell, take questions — do no matter you possibly can to remain engaged along with your followers and remind folks that you simply’re there.

Bonus content material is vital: “Individuals simply need extra of what you’re already doing,” says Patrick. “Creating bonus episodes behind a paywall is only a method of giving folks a chance to purchase extra of what they’re already getting at no cost.” 

You don’t want that many listeners: Don’t get caught up within the large numbers. Deal with transferring only a small share of your listeners over to Patreon, and it’ll proceed to develop from there. 

There’s no secret to Patrick and Gillian’s success. All they did was discover their obsession — the factor they liked to do greater than something on the earth — and report it for everybody to listen to. Their ardour for podcasting, dedication to their group, and hilarious commentary is what turned them into a real crime mainstay. As they develop, they proceed to seek out new methods to share these tales to allow them to carry on feeding their followers’ unending obsession.

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