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10+ Tools to Use in Tandem with Patreon

At Patreon, we want to help every creator in the world achieve sustainable income.

That’s one big, exciting undertaking. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite tools to use in tandem with Patreon. From community management to merchandise fulfillment, these resources provide the perfect complement to your Patreon page.

For Community Management: Slack

Looking for a better way to connect with your patrons? Consider implementing Slack, an easy-to-use messaging app. Begin by creating a private “Slack team” for you and your patrons. First, invite as many patrons as you’d like via email. Next, name channels for different types of discussions (i.e. #rewards, #requests, #random). Finally, start meaningful conversations with the people who continuously go out of their way to support your creations—your patrons! If you’re new to the world of Slack, test it out with a free account.

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Community matters, especially for creators. As Nuseir Yassin, the creator behind the viral 1-minute long video channel Nas Daily, explains, “It’s up to the content creator to understand what kind of community to build and around what shared interest, but the most important step is to understand the value of having a community in the first place.”

Note: For game creators specifically, Discord is an awesome way to manage your community. It’s a free, all-in-one voice and text chat service, loved by gamers worldwide.

For Creator Care Packages: Fanjoy

Interested in giving your patrons a one-of-a-kind care package, created just for them? Fanjoy is the easiest way to send a care package full of exclusive merchandise that your patrons (or potential patrons!) will love. Decide if you want to curate your box every 3 months or on a one-time basis (for a special event like a book or album release), and then the drop the Fanjoy team a line.

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To celebrate Pentatonix’s debut studio album, Pentatonix created a limited-edition PTX box with Fanjoy filled with exclusive new merchandise, such as a physical copy of the deluxe album, an exclusive PTX shirt, an exclusive photo of the group, an emoji tracklist sticker set, and a personalized letter.

For Finances: Intuit Quickbooks Self-Employed

Managing finances as a creator can be tricky, especially if creating is your full-time job. When it comes to invoices, tax deductions, and all-around money saving tips, Quickbooks Self-Employed has you covered. Here’s how it works: Quickbooks Self-Employed “automatically imports transactions and tracks mileage, exports your Schedule C, and helps you maximize deductions at tax time.” On average, QuickBooks Self-Employed users receive $4,340 in tax savings every year. Pricing ranges from $5 to $12 per month.

Aside from Intuit Quickbooks’ services, the company also offers free online resources, like tips to help creators manage their finances.

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For Merchandise: Teespring

Want to send patrons branded t-shirts and other custom products? With Teespring, it’s as easy as designing a t-shirt (for example), setting your goal, and adding a description. The best part? You can start selling branding merchandise immediately, with NO cost upfront. Since the opening of Teespring in 2011, the company has shipped over 19,000,000+ products around the world.

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Recently, Fall Out Boy teamed up with the NFL to create a custom Teespring t-shirt!

Note: For creators interested in creating even more kinds of merchandise, you won’t want to miss Zazzle!

For Project Management: Trello

Juggling multiple creative projects? Trello realizes that getting things done isn’t just about checking off items on a to-do list; it’s a process. That’s why Trello’s boards, lists, and cards help you manage multiple projects in a way that’s fun, detail-oriented, and rewarding—just like your creations. With the ability to create checklists and due dates, you won’t miss important to-do items or other time-sensitive tasks. Have an assistant or a friend that likes to help? Feel free to invite as many people to your board as you need, and divvy up tasks. To start, opt for the free version of Trello.

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Kim Pensinger Witman, frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Wolf Trap Foundation’s Senior Director of Opera and Classical Programming, explains how she relies on Trello’s list function to manage her seemingly endless projects:

“My lists are broken down by project: I have one for each upcoming production or concert, and one for each general area of operations (Box Office, Marketing, Development, Staff, Artists, Auditions, etc),” says Witman.

Newsflash: Asana recently launched Boards, “a simple, visual way to track your team’s work.”

For Email Marketing: HubSpot

Need to update your email game when it comes to messaging patrons, potential customers, and the Creative Universe at large? With HubSpot, you can design beautiful emails, segment email lists, and create custom marketing campaigns—all while attracting new subscribers and growing your list. If you decide to implement HubSpot, make sure to take advantage of the software’s ability to 1) personalize subject lines and content for each recipient, 2) run A/B tests to improve engagement, and 3) access each contact’s information to see every interaction you’ve already had.

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-2-26-56-pmNote: HubSpot is free to start, but can go up to $200 per month. However, if your business can afford it, HubSpot is a fantastic marketing investment.

Regardless of whether or not you decide to purchase HubSpot, make sure to take advantage of its blog that’s packed with free marketing resources, segmented by topic.

For Social Media Scheduling: Hootsuite

As a creator, your time is everything. Want to save precious time by scheduling your social media posts in advance? Hootsuite lets you schedule social media posts ahead of time, manages your entire social media marketing in one place, and provides detailed social media analytics to show you how your social media efforts are doing. The free version of Hootsuite is perfect for creators looking to free up time by scheduling messages and using RSS to automate new content to post.

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Not only can creators utilize Hootsuite, but museums can also leverage Hootsuite’s social media tools.

“I tend to use HootSuite to be reactive and jump on opportunities that pop up in the media that relate to us. Our HootSuite desktop dashboard is more logistic, where we plan out a days, weeks or month ahead with scheduling. Besides using the publisher functionality, we use the search feature to lookup particular hashtags and handles quickly to see what fans and other art museums are saying and tap into those conversations,” explains Emily Meyer, the Assistant Communications Manager at The Andy Warhol Museum.

For Your Website & Blog: WordPress

So you’ve decided to create your own website…have no fear, WordPress is here! Pick a domain name, customize your site with 350+ website templates or build your own using HTML and CSS, and use WordPress’s tools and insightful site statistics to increase your your growth. The prices range from free to roughly $25 per month, so choose the plan that works for your unique creator needs!

If you’d like to see a WordPress site in action, check out Amanda Palmer’s website, which has helped her generate more than 8,000 patrons.

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Note: Weebly and Squarespace are also great for making creator websites and blogs, so know your specific needs, then find the platform that works best for you.

For Your Online Store: Shopify

Dying to share your artistic creations with online shoppers across the globe? Shopify is a fully hosted ecommerce solution for creators. With a simple interface, hundreds of professionally designed storefront templates, business tools to track inventory and view detailed reports, and 24-7 customer support, Shopify is your go-to partner for boosting sales and growing your art business online. The proof is in the pudding: Shopify has helped its customers sell over 24 billion dollars worth of products. Since Basic Shopify costs only $29 per month, the ecommerce platform is a no brainer.

Tina Roth Eisenberg, Designer and Founder of Tattly, a designer temporary tattoo company that sells tattoos created by professional artists who get a cut of every sale, raves about building an online store using Shopify.

“I am seriously happy about running our store on Shopify. Powerful features and easy to set up, running an online store shouldn’t be this much fun,” Eisenberg gushes.

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For additional fun, check out LMFAO’s Party Rock Store, which is also hosted on Shopify.

For Meetups & Events: Eventbrite

Planning on hosting a meetup or event for patrons? Eventbrite is your one-stop shop for setting up, promoting, and managing every detail of your event. First, create an event. Next, get the word out by sending invitations and emails from your Eventbrite account. Finally, let attendees RSVP and/or pay online. It’s also a great way to support fellow creators by attending their events. The cherry on top? For free events, Eventbrite is entirely free!

On the other hand, if you’re trying to grow your income through live events (Yes, live events can be a major source of income.), Eventbrite can also help you sell out your next gig.

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Calling all creators! If you’ve had success with using any other tools in tandem with Patreon, let us know in the comment section below! Art is a collaborative journey, and we’re in this together.