Why we use Crowdcast instead of Zoom for live trainings.

When we started our membership program, we’d assumed—like most everyone these days—that the live trainings would be over Zoom. However, when I started digging into the features of Zoom (which until recently I used for video conferencing with clients—now I use Whereby), it felt fussy. Now, I know that’s a vague term, but I would have had to:

  • Upgrade to a webinar plan (+$40/mo on top of my $15)
  • All speakers would’ve needed to download Zoom’s software
  • Figure out a way to manage questions vs chat “noise”

I realize this sounds simple, but there are so many moving parts to live trainings. If you’ve participated in one, you’ve probably seen a bit of it, but if you’ve ever hosted one you know. We have to have two, preferably three, team members on our trainings just to avoid any glitches. So, the more any technology can eliminate variables, the better for us.

I tested several apps for live trainings, including Podia‘s built in webinars (you can use YouTube or Zoom with that integration—and it is a great option for standalone trainings), but they all just felt awkward. There were too many logins and links and general futzing that had to happen—and our Ungross Marketing Community has at a minimum two live workshops a month, so we couldn’t let tech hold us back.

In my research I stumbled upon Crowdcast, and I liked what I saw. It seemed… simple.

I threw out the question to my designers’ Facebook group and a number of people noted that they’d taken part in workshops hosted on Crowdcast and they used words like “easy” and “simple” and “high quality.” Obviously my interest was piqued.

Kath and I demoed Crowdcast and everything just worked!

Some things we love about Crowdcast:

  • Q&A was a standalone functionality
  • Members could chat with each other without crowding the Q&A
  • It was stupid-simple to invite a member on screen to discuss their questions
  • We can add calls to action if we add free live trainings, which means upsells are simple
  • We could create hidden or password protected workshops easily
  • The greenroom functionality is the bomb dot com! Kath and I chat for 10-15 minutes before our workshops and make sure out cameras and mics work and we have a game plan
  • No downloads! Everything is browser-based and I truly believe that’s simpler for everyone
  • The price—it starts at $29, which psychologically is much less painful than Zoom’s $55 total for webinar functionality
  • HD video replays are available very very quickly, so we can put those up for our members with little delay—and it makes it easy to edit and offer our live trainings for sale too.

Crowdcast’s seamless browser-based functionality actually prompted me to look for alternatives to Zoom for video conferencing! Seriously!

When we eliminated that variable from our trainings, it became quite clear that downloads were a barrier for people and I started looking for options for our day to day needs. I have now mostly moved over to Whereby for client and prospective client calls, and it’s, again, just dead simple.

I obsess over removing friction from our work, as we’re a nimble three-person team so any time anything is hard and fussy, it costs us time and money. We don’t have an admin, so that falls on Josh, Kath or I to deal with when techy issues arise. Thus, Crowdcast and Whereby have made things simpler and smoother.

Have you had any tech discoveries recently that have helped you work smarter, not harder? I’d love to hear about it!

Content Cluster Workshop (Ungross Marketing Replay)

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