We all know that self-promotion can be a challenge. When it comes to growing your Patreon, however, it is essential to drive fans to visit your page consistently. More traffic means more patrons! With that in mind, here are four simple tips to help make promoting your Patreon to your fans less stressful and more successful.
Make sure that you feel confident about the value you’re providing your patrons. A common reason creators struggle with talking about their Patreon is that something in their membership feels a little off to them or their community.
So when considering your tiers and benefits, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have any benefits that have become a burden to you?
- Any benefits you’re having trouble fulfilling on time?
- Are you offering any benefits that feel unexciting or inauthentic to you and your community?
If any of this rings true when considering one of your benefits, consider retiring it. This is YOUR membership. It’s ok to grow out of certain benefits or tiers and learn what suits you best. Just make sure you communicate any changes to your patrons well in advance.
If you need more resources on restructuring your tiers and benefits, check out this support page.
When it comes to promoting your Patreon, consistency is key. People are heavily saturated with incoming digital information, ads, and posts. Also, due to the algorithms that video platforms and social media use to cater content to the tastes of your audience, people may not be seeing as many of your posts as you think. These are just a couple of reasons why consistency with your messaging and promotion is critical to maintaining and growing your audience.
It can be a challenge to come up with interesting content to promote your Patreon regularly. By scheduling and planning ahead of time, you can remove a big portion of the mental load from your shoulders. This way, you don’t have to make up a promotional plan every week since you’ll already have a framework for the type of content you want to mention.
Take this framework as an example, and shift or update in any way that makes sense for your membership:
Plan a theme for each week of the month:
- Week 1: What is Patreon - Patreon 101
- Week 2: Goals of your Patreon
- Week 3: Patreon Community Engagement & Monthly Livestream
- Week 4: Bonus Content Launch
Plan a content type for the days of the week you plan to promote:
- Mondays: Formal Invitation to Patreon on social and in primary content (i.e. mention in your podcast, videos, etc.)
- Wednesdays: Share patron story on social
- Fridays: Share Teaser Content by email
- Sundays: Transparency Post on social — talk about what Patreon means to you.
Patrons tend to fall somewhere along the spectrum of being highly support-motivated or highly benefit-motivated. More often than not, your fans will be some combination of both, so it is important to be able to speak to both types of motivations. Think about your emotional and practical narrative: what story will be compelling to your fans who just love what you do and want to support you? Then think about what will appeal to your fans who are looking for more benefits and content.
Motivation #1 — Your emotional narrative
Your emotional narrative is all about what your Patreon and your patrons mean to you — it is the heart and soul of your story. Is the community element and close-knit relationship with your patrons the thing that gets you excited? Is it how your patrons help make it possible for you to create what you love? Only you will know the right answer to this, so spend a little time thinking about what feels right to you. Transparency and openness with your audience is key here. For creators who do not offer bonus/exclusive content on Patreon, it is extra important that they communicate a really strong emotional narrative to their audience.
Motivation #2 — Your practical narrative
Your practical narrative is all about the benefits that you offer. These can be bonus or extended episodes of the content you produce, promo codes, merch, etc. Some benefits may be experiential, like having access to a patron-only community (like Discord) or voting on the topic for a piece of upcoming content.
Whatever you decide are your core benefits, it’s important to regularly tell your non-patron audience about them, so that they’ll know what they’ll get from joining your membership. In fact, in general, be sure to tell your non-patron audience about your Patreon as often as possible — remember, your fans won’t know what they’re missing if you don’t tell them.
You may find it challenging to talk naturally about your membership and to promote regularly to your audience. Many creators feel that way. You may worry that you are telling them about your Patreon too often, or that you’re annoying your audience by sounding like an advertisement. If that’s you, your promotion strategy will certainly benefit from adopting the use of both formal and informal invitations in your messaging.
Formal invitations are what you most commonly think about when you promote your membership — it’s a direct call to action, telling your audience explicitly what you are doing on Patreon, why they should join, and where to find you. This method is super important, but it doesn’t need to be the only way you talk about your membership.
On the other hand, Informal invitations are more of a shout-out to your patron community. These are a variety of friendly and casual references to what’s going on behind the scenes of your membership, and they can be done on social, in your primary content, by email, etc. Many like this kind of promotion because it can feel less awkward or forced. For example, on Twitter, you can mention something interesting that a patron said in your Discord, or you can talk about a reaction they had to a post you made last week. If you have livestream or bonus content coming up, you can make a call out in the content to “any of your patrons who are listening” — they’ll love the shoutout, plus your non-patron audience will get to hear about your membership.
Talking casually about your patrons and membership in your primary content and on social media can boost interest from your non-patron audience. The goal is to break down the wall between your fans and your patrons, and to provide a bit of a preview into your membership. This type of promotion is effective because it is really showing the value of your Patreon, which piques the curiosity and FOMO of your fans. Never underestimate the power of FOMO.
Remember your audience will reflect your tone. If you sound excited, confident, and proud of your Patreon, your audience is more likely to respond with that same excitement and confidence in joining.
A growing membership is built on a consistent and varied promotional plan. Ready to start one for yourself? Kick it off by telling your audience about your Patreon on social media today.