Not sure how to get started with Patreon?
Or to attract patrons to fund your creations?
Are you finding it all a little overwhelming or frustrating?
This article should get you started on the right track.
Before reading this, I would suggest you learn more about what Patreon is before you continue, but feel free to come back once you’re done.
Or simply check out the summary below.
What Is Patreon?
To quickly summarize, Patreon is a social platform that allows creators – artists, musicians, writers, podcasters or any other sort of creator – to get funded by their fans.
While this sounds fairly straightforward, the devil, as they say, is in the details.
Getting supported on Patreon means a lot of hard work and is a long-term game.
And this is true whether you have an established community (you have already done a lot of the hard work) or are starting anew (you have a lot of the hard work ahead of you).
You won’t be making any quick cash here.
So, how can you get Patreon to help you fund your work?
How Patreon Works
Before we dive into how it can help you fund your passions we need to understand more about how it all works.
I will showcase this by highlighting the steps you go through when creating an account:
- You first need to sign up
- Next you need to complete your profile
- Now you can create your public Patreon page, which will showcase what you will be creating. This will include doing the following:
- Creating an introduction to yourself and your creations
- Coming up with your reward tiers – the levels of support dictated by how much money your patrons will pay each month (or each creation) – and describe what content and/or access a patron will receive for their money
- Setting up your goals come next. This will showcase milestones you want to reach (either in number or patrons or dollar value) and if you manage to reach them what you will do or offer
- Finally, you launch your page
I would recommend completing number 1 and 2 above, and then stop and take time to step back to understand what you are actually going to do.
It’s time to do some planning.
There are then two phases you will need to think about:
- Phase one is your strategy, and
- Phase two is about maintaining your page
Phase One – Your Strategy
Setting up a compelling public page is important and it’s worth spending some time coming up with a strategy on how you will handle it.
As mentioned above, there are a few sections of your Patreon page you will need to focus on:
- About section
- Reward tiers
- Set your goals
- Thank-you page
Creating a great about section is paramount as it’s the first thing visitors will see. You can use text, images or video (or a combination of these) to craft a compelling introduction of who you are and what you are creating.
Related: See 11 great About section examples
The rewards you offer is the next important part of your Patreon page.
These need to be enticing enough to be attractive to your fans, but also manageable from your perspective as well.
You don’t want to be so preoccupied fulfilling reward promises that you have no time to create.
There is a real art to choosing the right rewards and it pays to think about it beforehand.
It also pays to test several different tiers out early to see what works.
Set Your Goals
Setting goals seems to be something of an after-thought for a lot of creators, but having a well thought out set of goals can help you grow your patronage.
Again, there is a real art to this, but it is important to get right.
And not just the first goal, but think about how you can build a story or narrative with a series of goals as you grow.
And have the goals relate to what you do as a creator – either something that helps you create more or gives you better quality output, or adding additional creations or events.
Creating a really good thank-you page is worth its weight in gold.
A good thank-you page can show your appreciation, reassure a new patron and find out more information.
All of this means a little more work up-front, but will help you grow much faster in the longer-term.
The worst thing you can do is create a Patreon page on the fly, with very little thought and then expect it to do well.
By just spending a few hours beforehand, you can save days, week or even months of heartache and frustration.
And all of this groundwork will help you grow your patrons.
Phase Two – Maintenance
Once you have the strategy done and your page has been launched, it’s time for phase two – keeping it going.
As I have mentioned often on this site, Patreon is a social platform, and as such it requires you to post on a regular and consistent basis.
When you post, your patrons and those who follow you will get an email and an alert on their phone (if they have the app installed).
This is important because it will keep you top of mind, and your current patrons will be happy to hear from you.
Don’t limit your posts to just patrons either.
Posting to everyone allows you to give a taste of your work and yourself to those who are considering supporting you.
You can also tempt people into becoming a patron (or upping their support) by telling them what you are about to publish in a higher tier.
This is especially true when you are just starting out.
Don’t get disillusioned if your audience is zero or close to it – imagine you are posting to hundreds of people. This is a good way to keep the momentum up, and will entice people to support you.
The most important thing to do is to keep posting constantly.
Get Linky With It
No matter how often you post, you still need to drive people to your Patreon page.
This requires some basic marketing of your Patreon to your current and future fans.
The easiest way to do this is to link to your Patreon from your current social platforms, your website or blog, and any other places you can think of – don’t be afraid to tell people about it.
And when you post, don’t just tell people to support you, show them an example of your work – show them what you are actually creating.
Keep Working On It
You will also need to keep tinkering with it.
No-one gets it exactly right first time.
This may mean re-thinking your reward tiers or editing your intro – or adding a video instead of relying on text to convey your message.
Keep experimenting and you will create a winning formula – remember it’s a long-term strategy.
The most important thing though – and something not to lose sight of – is don’t stop creating.
If you are spending more time trying to gain patrons than actually creating what it is you want them to support, then you are doing it wrong.
Spend some time on them, but not the majority.
You want to make sure you give some thought to what you want to say to the visitor – make your Patreon page about you and convey that so they clearly know who you are and what you do.
This requires some planning on your part and it’s worth taking the time to map out a strategy for your Patreon and what you will post after.
Over to you
Have you given your Patreon page enough thought? Could you tweak something to make it better? Any tips for others?