It is during these moments of economic uncertainty that some ideas and businesses take center stage, just like Patreon. We have been witnesses of how the arts are essential to human existence and health – the creativity and arts that many gave for granted is now their only way to connect with themselves, and the world beyond four walls.
Musicians, artists, and creatives are looking for alternate ways to fund not only their art but also their lives in this inevitably accelerated transition to a solely digital marketplace. And although crowdfunding platforms have been around for a time, its dynamics have mostly approached project-based funding campaigns trying to reach one specific goal.
Patreon, on the other hand, decided to apply a subscription-based model to help fund artistic and creative endeavors. Instead of creating a campaign for a single project or goal, with Patreon, creatives can attract groups of “patrons” that will support a creative’s career in a monthly-fee basis, instead of single donations – this way supporting a career rather than just one project.
Patreon is now the income stream for many creatives around the world, and it can also help you to find some income stream during these times. So, for all new creatives thinking about opening a Patreon page (and even if you have one already), here are 7 tips that will help you reach a successful page with your patrons.
It is always important to be flexible and allow your patrons with different buying powers to support you every month! Prepare at least three distinct and attractive benefit rewards.
Your patrons are fans that decided to support you every month, so show them appreciation with great benefits and rewards for their trust - and also help yourself to increase your fan base and new patrons! (some patrons also support you depending on the benefit they will receive, it is not a secret, so be mindful of this.)
But be careful! Make sure you do not offer benefits and rewards that will take off too much time in your creative process - balance it out.
If you like to include any physical items as rewards, and they need to be shipped, make sure you know the shipping costs!
Not paying attention to these costs is an easy way of spending all your budget fulfilling promises instead of spending the funding in your career. As a piece of advice, send any physical rewards to patrons that support you with a quantity that is enough for you to cover shipping expenses and still have a remaining portion.
This video will most likely be your "first line" of promotion. You have to make sure that the video is attractive to the patrons you are aiming for, appealing, concise. You are trying to convince people to become "investors" of your talents, or life project, so give them the truth and be passionate about what you believe in.
There is no need for expensive video production, but if you can, you might as well do it.
One big difference between the crowdfunding platforms and Patreon is that if patrons are paying a monthly subscription to fund you, they will expect constant material and content being created! If you are only (or can only) create a small number of pieces of content of your art a year, then it would be better to open crowdfunding campaigns to help yourself focus on those, instead of creating new pieces constantly. At the same time, you can always open and run both a Patreon and a Crowdfunding campaign.
Do not forget to create some content for people who do not follow you so they can notice your efforts and sign-up to support you as patrons!
Be acknowledgeable of your patrons' trust. Especially when you are in the beginning stages, those first followers will also become your promotional team telling other friends and family about your Patreon.
So, in the beginning, make sure to personally send messages to thank them for taking the chance on you.
Before your Patreon page goes public, take a chance to try out your video and whole strategy with family and close friends. Check with them to know and understand how appealing the page looks, the ideas for the rewards, and if those rewards go in hand with the set tiers.
Right before it is set to go public, make sure the page is already placed with exclusive content for patrons as soon as they get to access the content!
Take the time to study other creators' pages and campaigns! There are people that have been supporting their crafts and careers on Patreon for years, and others that have found relatively quick success on the platform.
Look for creators that work on similar content and products as you do, look for people on your demographic, and also check their social media accounts to understand how to crossover platforms.
Search for websites and platforms that will allow you to get statistical insight on the best-working Patreon pages so you can learn and understand how they do it.
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