Podcast Episode #34 – Help Cute Cats and Kittens Find Homes | Sam Proof - Cute Avalanche - AFLUENCER

Home Blog Podcast Episode #34 – Help Cute Cats and Kittens Find Homes | Sam Proof – Cute Avalanche

Podcast Episode #34 – Help Cute Cats and Kittens Find Homes | Sam Proof – Cute Avalanche

Zeljko Nemet

YouTube Chancellor

We’re thrilled to present the latest addition to Afluencer’s content lineup – our podcast series featuring insightful conversations with influential brand owners. In this inaugural article, we have the privilege of introducing Sam Proof, the visionary founder of Cute Avalanche, as our esteemed guest.

Meet Sam Proof: The Mind Behind Cute Avalanche

Sam Proof, the innovative mind driving Cute Avalanche, takes center stage in the Afluencer podcast series. With a wealth of experience in the world of influencer marketing, Sam shares captivating insights, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped his brand’s journey.

Podcast Premiere: Delving into the Cute Avalanche Universe

Join us in exploring the enchanting world of Cute Avalanche through the eyes of Sam Proof himself. We’ve embedded the riveting YouTube podcast video below, offering an exclusive glimpse into the transformative power of influencer marketing.

Also, listen to the Afluencer Podcast on:

Key Takeaways

00:30 🐱 Sam Proof, founder of Cute Avalanche, discusses his background and how he got into cat fostering through live streaming.

02:19 📹 Cute Avalanche began as a simple live stream of kittens on Facebook, later transitioning to Mixer, which significantly boosted their growth.

03:58 🔄 Adapting to platform changes and closures, Cute Avalanche practices multi-streaming to ensure sustainability and growth across various platforms.

06:17 🌐 Community growth and word-of-mouth marketing have been crucial for Cute Avalanche’s success, with features like Twitch raids driving significant audience engagement.

07:49 💰 Implementing mid-roll ads on Twitch has helped reduce viewer drop-off, showcasing the importance of revenue strategies for sustaining content.

09:39 🔍 Discoverability remains a challenge on platforms like Twitch, highlighting the need for creators to diversify their presence and not rely on a single platform.

10:48 🤝 Collaborations with other creators, artists, and rescue organizations have been integral to Cute Avalanche’s content and outreach efforts.

12:56 📧 Contacting Cute Avalanche is possible through various platforms, with email being the preferred method for reaching out.

15:31 🐾 Cute Avalanche aims to expand its impact by becoming a nonprofit and potentially opening a cat cafe, enabling them to rescue more cats and engage with their community further.

Transcription Insight: A Peek into the Conversation

Gain an insider’s perspective as we burrow into the transcription of our engaging conversation with Sam Proof. Discover the strategies, anecdotes, and wisdom that have fueled Cute Avalanche’ success, all captured in this in-depth transcription.

In Conversation with Sam Proof, Founder of Cute Avalanche:

Brett:

Welcome to our Afluencer podcast, or we connect small business and e-commerce stories with micro-influencers creators. Today we’re talking about a really good cause. We’ve got the improve here. With us, the founder of a Chat Foster project that I think is going to melt the hearts of everyone watching and listening. And I’ll let Sam get into his own words in terms of what they’re working on there.

So, Sam, welcome. And can you let’s start there. Can you introduce yourself and give us the overview, your background and how you got into Cute Avalanche?

Sam:

Yeah. So I’ve always been sort of an early adopter to new things and the Internet and been a content creator. Like I made my first website in like 1992 and started doing videos before YouTube was even a thing in 2005. I answered this ad on Craigslist. I had moved out to Hollywood answer ad on Craigslist for a casting call and went to what I wasn’t sure was a place that was going to murder me, and it turned out to be a livestream studio, which I’d never heard of anything along these lines in my life.

And it was this little startup that was run out of the back of like a lighting rental studio. So like they had all the props and stuff for big Hollywood. And in the back they just had this room of computers and we would go in for like an hour or two every couple of days and just livestream and do whatever we wanted and we got paid for it.

And I was like, This is the best thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I want to do this forever. That company closed in like a year because I was way ahead of its time. And then YouTube came out and I was like, Well, now I want to do this forever. And so I’ve always just kind of done that and been a content creator.

I ran my own channels and different brands and stuff like that, and eventually I fell in love. I got married, I had kids and I was like, Whoa, I can’t do any of that stuff anymore. And I need to double down on, you know, real jobs. And so I was doing that and I had zero time left. And my wife came to me and was like, I’ve always wanted to foster cats.

And I’ve been thinking about doing that. Now that, you know, our kids are a certain age and stuff. And I was like, that’s cool. If I can livestream them because I was like, This will fill that gap of being a creator and wanting to do that kind of stuff online, which I hadn’t been able to do for almost a decade at that point.

And she begrudgingly was like, Okay. So yeah, seven years ago we got our first kittens and I like literally my livestream setup was we had a pen that the kittens were in and I put a phone on top of it and stream to Facebook for as long as it would go, which was like 8 hours at that time.

And that was the the inception point of Cute Avalanche.

 

Brett:

Yeah, very good luck. Catch it. Just a cute kittens stream. Well, yeah. Then as I assume, maybe you put the phone there the next day. And at what point did you notice, like, hey, people just don’t. They’re tuning in, they’re watching the kittens.

Sam:

It was actually pretty fast, like early on, you know, it was just Facebook. And because I was the only one that I could find an easy mobile app to do at that point, I believe. But we we lucked out. And like, we’re able to build our setup out a little more. And we came upon a site called Mixer, and once we got to mixer, it just exploded.

We grew really, really fast. We were probably the only cat cam on mixer at the time. I think we may have been the only animal cam. So like people really kind of took to it. And at that time we also had a very pregnant mom cat who ended up giving birth live on the stream. So it was featured on the front page of Mixer.

We got a lot of sort of other social media push and press from other websites and stuff and and it did really, really well there. And then Mixer closed.

Brett:

And so it’s been one of your biggest challenges then and and this is the platform starting over. Yeah. So livestream mixer closing and then you got to find somewhere else but yeah reestablish yourself pretty.

Sam:

Much we’ve we’ve always because of that kind of take in toward multi streaming. So right now if you go to us you can actually find cute avalanche on Twitch and YouTube and Facebook and pretty much any platform that offers streaming were on there because exactly that way time and time again and you know even through my own content creation career I’ve seen sites come up and go away within a year or two.

Like once the VC funding is has done, they’re like, well, we weren’t profitable, so goodbye.

Brett:

We tried. Yeah, we tried.

Sam:

You know. So, yeah, it’s, it’s my number one sort of safety net thing when I’m building anything online is like, how can I spread this out enough that I can maintain it but be grow on other platforms in case this other thing falls? You know, and I think a lot of sort of new creators aren’t aware of that enough.

Like they just think, yeah, YouTube would never go away. Twitch would never go away this way.

Brett:

I’d yeah, you’ve seen it, right? I’m old enough to remember, wasn’t it Tom Dowd from MySpace? MySpace, Sure. Yeah. Yeah. We go through that a little as well. Same with the but it’s pricey. Setting up your influencer profiles. We’ve got the social media connections and that and the five of them. And Instagram’s the best. Instagram kind of has the best API, but we go through the same metal paces of just being Instagram know right now you’re one decision away from not having a company or is it already idea TikTok and Twitter and Twitter goes crazy and now we’re looking at other things right as well.

So try to see and it’s I hear you there what other what other marketing strategies then have worked in terms of you know growing cute avalanche you know, the content. So I would say then the kids being born, that’s kind of a home run What Pakistanis have work for. Yes. Yeah.

Sam:

I mean, a lot of the things that we do is I mean, straight out just social media and just word of mouth from our viewers. And like them going out there and telling other people is it’s a lot of like our marketing strategies are community growth, right? So it’s all sort of that word of mouth thing of like, go check this out.

What’s really cool are sort of home base for streaming is twitch. What’s really cool about that community is they have the ability as streamers themselves to then when they’re done their stream they raid into another stream so well you know, get these like big bursts of like 100 people just showed up from this one stream and it’s like, that’s awesome.

You know, otherwise we’re like stuck at like 20 to 40 and then all of a sudden it just goes through the roof. We had some really, really big streamers dropping like their entire community into us at one point. And it’s just like suddenly you have thousands and it’s like, this is amazing and your growth spikes and your views spike.

But like it’s almost at that point more about getting people to come back. You know, the earlier, you know, you remember us. So a lot of what I do is, you know, I go on to as many podcasts as I can. So thanks for having me. Of course, we do a lot of social media and, you know, we we try and get in phases wherever we can.

So it’s a lot of different things and collaboration and all of that kind of stuff.

Brett:

Yeah, I gotcha. I was wondering that when you get all these new viewers coming over, how many of them stick was going to be my question on asked. That makes sense. Yeah. Get out to these different outlets and here I am. We’re trying to reach the library. Especially the cat. Yeah. Lovers. Right. And then these are more likely to the same response, but.

Sam:

There’s a couple cool things that have happened in the last year, which we’ve played around a lot with, you know, different things. Twitch obviously is monetized and has ad revenue and ads. So when you first join a stream like there’s an ad and you’ll you’ll see like, oh, 100 people rated you and within 10 minutes 30 people are still here.

And we started playing around with that. So you can actually mitigate the pre-roll ad on Twitch by doing mid roll ads automated. You have to do like 3 minutes per hour. So we break it up to 90 seconds and we’ve actually seen a huge increase, decrease, decrease in the drop off, right? So like more people stick around if they don’t have to sit through that initial ad and they’re more willing to like, deal with that 92nd ad a half an hour.

And so that’s been really cool.

Brett:

As I’m curious as to as keeps coming up and we don’t do anything ourselves, that’s for sure. For you because I do hear about it.

Sam:

Yeah. Twitches. So it is our our biggest portal platform we have we just passed 19,000 followers on Twitch itself and our growth now that we’ve actually implemented the mid roll as opposed to a pre-roll, our growth has been pretty good. Like it’s, I think to wax what we were getting before. It depends month to month what platform’s actually bringing in the most.

So like sometimes we do really well and unlike YouTube or one of the other places and you know, it bounces around. But for the most part, Twitch is consistently like the highest average viewer and the highest grower.

Brett:

Yeah. Wow. Interesting. And then is it all live stuff that you’re throwing out there on Twitch?

Sam:

It’s 99.99% live stuff they do.

Brett:

And have.

Sam:

Like the ability to do like clips and VODs and they do have they recently released a like a vertical story kind of thing, which I believe it’s only available on mobile. And you just I don’t it doesn’t move the needle very much but the clips do. Okay. The biggest hurdle with Twitch itself is that they don’t have a lot of discoverability, especially on the VOD side of things.

So occasionally something will get picked up by Google. But for the most part, like if you’re searching the Google like search engine for like cute livestream clips of cats, I couldn’t get more direct on this product. You’re not going to find it, right? It’s just going to be random stuff, you know? And like maybe one out of a thousand times you’ll actually see a clip from Twitch show up, You know, unless you’re searching for very specifically, like, you know, one of those top tier twitch streamers like Pokimane, who is no longer a Twitch streamer, but like, then you’ll find her channel.

Yeah.

Brett:

That’s Google being Google, right? Yeah, it.

Sam:

Just doesn’t rank high on.

Brett:

That. I Right. Gotcha. You mentioned Michelob, Sam, in terms of working with influencers creators, have you done anything I guess formal where the influencers and creators and if so interested in hearing how these partnerships have benefited or worked out for you?

Sam:

Terblanche So we’ve, we’ve done a few things here and there. We have like guest streamers that come on, which is pretty much there’s one girl whose name is Insomnia Doodle. She’s an artist and she’ll come on like once a month to draw on our stream and draw cat related stuff. So a lot of our like emotes and stickers and merch have been drawn by her and most of the time it’s live on our stream.

She does stuff on her own stream which will funnel people over to as well. The last year we launched a podcast specifically because we were like, This would be an easy way to collaborate with people is you come out and talk about yourself and what you do with cats. Hey, right. Couldn’t be simpler, right? So we launched that last year.

Podcast is a lot of work. So it’s, it’s you know, not a regular thing we’re doing just yet, but I am hoping to make that more of a reoccurring thing this year. And then we’ve also done a lot of stuff with other rescues. So Kitten Rescue is the is the place that we volunteer for and we’ve done things with them.

We did like a big fundraising effort for them a couple of years ago where they do this giving Tuesday thing, which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving they give back by trying to empty out one of the shelters, because the shelters in L.A. are constantly filled to capacity, which means bad things happen at that point. So, yeah, every year they will clear out one shelter and we decided that says we were already fosters and we couldn’t take in cats.

We were taking donations from our community to make gift bags for other people who are fostering for that. So they got like turtles and toys and food and all of this great stuff like that. They might not buy on their own because a lot of these fosters have to foot the bill and all of that kind of stuff.

So we’re like, here’s something, you know, that you don’t have to worry about. Oh, that’s.

Brett:

Great. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sam:

And so we’ve done we’ve done more stuff like that. We did a fundraising effort for Best Friends Animal Society, which is another big national, you know, nonprofit. And we went to again through Kitten Rescue, we went to Cat or sorry, VidCon last year and they did like a pop up cat cafe. So vegan for anyone who doesn’t know is a big, you know, video conference.

It’s mostly YouTubers. It’s mostly a lot of younger people. They have actually started to sort of push it more toward professionals and industry people again, where it’s kind of where it started. So, yeah, we we let and we did this big one day Cat cafe inside the Hyatt and it was a lot of fun, met a lot of influencers.

It was cool. And so yeah, a lot of stuff like that.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s great. So far our cat influencers Carlos Jr’s, if you will, I guess, who are watching, listening on the podcast here today, how can they reach you? Connect with you.

Sam:

Yeah, you can find cute avalanche pretty much on any platform and demi but quite a large ad gmail.com is always the best way to get in touch with link or just through our website. There’s a contact form as well.

Brett:

Excellent thought based email. We get the links out underneath the podcast here in the show called Publish and then I’ll get you out of here on this one. So look an ad then for you to avalanche. Give us some visions dolls. What’s next? You mentioned pot revved up the podcast. I’m with you. In terms of that being a lot of work.

It does seem though, today and like you said, it’s one of those things you just got to you know, you just do eventually. And you would have a great list of guests. Yeah. This coming out. What are the thoughts there? What else in terms of business, the goals that you’d apply?

Sam:

Sure. So we do a lot of sort of virtual events throughout the year. We just held our Superbowl, which was like our kickoff to fundraising. So we deck out the room in, let’s say, sports decorations. I want.

Brett:

To get to.

Sam:

The NFL, but yeah, we do. It’s kind of like the Kitten Bowl was, but it’s live and all of the scores are driven by donations. So as you know, we break the kittens up into two different teams and we have a big scoreboard that drops down from the top. And as people donate, they can write one of the names of the teams in and the score goes up.

And it’s a lot of fun. So we do that in March. We have Saint Saint Patrick’s Day, which is like a month long event, which is essentially a like an Easter egg style hunt. But you’re looking for clover. And this a little rainbow with a cat will show up on screen. And if you’re in the chat, you just do like this command to follow it.

And randomly you either succeed or fail and you get all of these shamrocks that then become a digital currency you can use to put other like graphics on the screen or change the color of lights in the room and things like that. So we do a lot of those kind of things. We do a Halloween game, we do a Cat miss thing where our entire screen is decked out with ornaments.

And as people donate, their user image takes over those ornaments. Again, the podcast is, you know, something that we’re definitely going to try and double down on. And we just also, as part of the super Bowl Superbowl, please don’t come after me. We are, you know, our kittens weren’t ready to be adopted yet. So again, I was like, well, let’s use this opportunity to get some cats adopted.

And we launched our foster friends collaboration where people would send us video clips of their adoptable animals and we made a big video. We put it in the middle of the halftime show and we put it on our YouTube, and I’m hoping to do that every month so that we can help other people get their cats fostered. So that’s anyone, any rescue anywhere in the world, because we do have a global audience, doesn’t have to be Los Angeles.

In fact, it’s better if it’s there because then there’s less competition.

Brett:

Oh, that’s excellent. Yeah. Yeah, it’s awesome. Yeah.

Sam:

And then more long term, we do look to become like our own nonprofit and potentially open a cat cafe in the valley of Los Angeles. So, you know, I think that’s that’s where we’re all head and.

Sam:

And then more long term, we do look to become like our own nonprofit and potentially open a cat cafe in the valley of Los Angeles. So, you know, I think that’s that’s where we’re all head and.

Brett:

I’ll go hang out with the Yeah yeah I think.

Sam:

That would be the next best stuff is like because like we’re at a point where, you know, we’re in our own house and the cats that we foster because we have our own house, cats. Cats are we foster are in our master bedroom. So we basically, you know, borrowed time from them to be like and now we sleep here.

But that’s our we don’t have an actual space. It’s all cats. So because of that, you know, there’s a limit to what we can do aside from the financial side of things, which is why we need donations in the first place. Because, you know, like if it was all up to me and my income or what I can afford, we’d be able to save about seven cats a year.

But thanks to our community and their donations, or just buying things off of our Amazon wish list, we can actually do 2 to 3 dozen cats a year, which is a huge difference. But yeah, we’re we’re limit on space. So like once that room is is filled up because we only do one batch at a time, we won’t nix litters.

Pretty much there’s exceptions. We have like maybe a small capacity for an overflow in one other room, but that’s it. You know, we can only really take in one, one, one and a half litters at a time. But if we had a cat cafe, you know, that’s 20 to 30 cats and one, you know, one clip. So we’d be able to do a lot more.

Brett:

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, that’s great. And that’s all the more reason to run a promo and help to balance your crazy things. Yeah, that is excellent stuff. Book. Well, thanks so much, Sammy, I. We’ll get all the links here. So cute. Allergies on all the social media channels, new channels, all that good stuff. Cool. All right. Well, thanks again for joining, Sam.

Sam:

All right. Thanks so much.

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Reflecting on a Journey of Innovation and Influence

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