Have you ever tried to put your shoes on before your pants in the morning? Or gotten to the front of the grocery store checkout line before realizing you had forgotten one of the most important ingredients for dinner? Well, launching your Patreon page before you’re ready is just like one of these scenarios. We’re here to help you avoid that, assuming you aren’t the type that enjoys a little pantless stroll through the grocery store…and even if you are, make sure you follow these steps before you launch your Patreon page — pants or no pants.
Step 1: Fill out your creator page (completely)!
Once you start your creator account, you’ll be taken through the steps of filling out your creator page. Your creator page is where all of your patrons (and potential patrons) can learn more about what you’re creating and see some of your work, so you want to make sure that you’ve taken the time to:
- Add a banner-friendly cover photo
- Describe what you’re creating (keep it short)
- Select a payment model (“monthly,” “Charge Patrons Up Front” or “per creation”)
- Link your social media accounts
- Create an intro video (2 mins or less) that explains what Patreon is, why patrons should pledge to you, how frequently you post and what money pledged to you will enable you to do.
Step 2: Create tiers and benefits for your patrons (and goals to keep you motivated)
Creators with multiple tiers and goals tend to be more successful than creators without, so make sure to spend some time thinking about two things: what do you want to spend time creating for your patrons, and what benefits would your patrons most like to receive.
When deciding on your benefits, you’ll want to consider things that are easy to create and distribute yet offer an invaluable perk to your patrons; one that’ll keep them engaged and pledging to you for as long as you create.
Some examples of good benefits might be:
- Access to your patron-only feed
- Tutorials showing how you create
- Online hangouts
And examples of not-so-great benefits:
Swag delivered in the mail: Swag isn’t a bad benefit perse. In fact, it’s a great way to provide value to your creator page. However, since merch is expensive to create and ship, it can be time-consuming and expensive. If you want to offer merch as a benefit to your patrons, make sure you price those tiers high enough to cover the costs of production, shipping (and to make you a profit so you can invest in your creative business).
Raffles: While they can be fun, they are also a form of gambling in some states and countries, which is why they aren’t allowed on Patreon. If you want to get some ideas for benefits you can offer instead of raffles, check out our Trust and Safety blog article, Patreon’s stance on raffles, lotteries and giveaways.
If you’re still unsure of what benefits your patrons might be interested in, check out our benefit suggestions by creator category in the Help Center. When in doubt, you can always ask your fans what they’d like to receive as a benefit for becoming your patron.
A life without goals is an aimless existence and a Patreon page without goals is close in comparison. The Patreon goal feature is a great way for you and your patrons to keep track of your goals. Plus, it can also encourage potential patrons to pledge to you or increase their pledge amount.
When creating goals on Patreon, think about how much money you need to be making per month (or per creation, depending on your funding model) in order to reach a milestone that will allow you to create more and more easily. Are you trying to get some new equipment? Another employee? An extra piece of content you want to make?
When you’re just starting out, you’re probably pretty eager to get some patrons onboard, so creating a small, attainable goal will help encourage patrons to pledge to you. Also, once you reach that goal, make sure to celebrate with your patrons with a“thank you” video or a some other piece of content.
For more information on how to get the most out of the goal feature, check out this support article.
Step 3: Boost your launch with a Special Offer
A Special Offer allows you to offer a special something to your fans for becoming your patron. By offering a benefit that’s only availble during the first few weeks of your launch, you will create a sense of urgency for your fans who don’t want to miss out.
Here are some benefit ideas to offer with your Special Offer:
- inexpensive merch like buttons, stickers, and postcards
- a special shout out to your new patrons
- a personalized thank you letter
If you want to learn more about how to boost your launch with a Special Offer, check out this blog post.
Step 4: Launch already!
Your page looks super sleek, you have a nice set of tiers, benefits, and goals, and have filled out your creator page in its entirety. So where do you go from here?
Let’s start by clicking the big green “launch” button. This makes your page live and searchable to the world.
Next, you can go for what we like to call, the soft launch. You’ll reach out to your inner circle (family and close friends) to let them know you just launched a Patreon page and see if they have any feedback about your page, rewards, video, etc. This is also a great way to get a handful of patrons before your official launch.
Now that you have soft launched, you’ll also be able to add content to your page. I’d recommend adding a few public posts to your page to give potential patrons an idea of what sort of content they might expect to see on your page.
The best way to get the word out about your page from here is creating a piece of content on your current channels and linking to your Patreon page. If you’re a YouTuber, adding clickable annotations or a short shout-out at the end of each of your videos will help convert viewers to patrons. If you’re a writer, link to your Patreon page at the end of any of your writing. If you’re a podcaster, tell your fans about your Patreon page at the end of each episode.
Some other launch tips:
- Consider when your fans are typically online and promote your page then to ensure that they see it
- Create a blog post or write an email to your subscribers about why you decided to start a Patreon page and what their support means to you
- Add a link to your Patreon page to your email signature
- Post updates as you start getting patrons and give shout-outs to anyone who’s pledged to you so far
- Reach out to the press and see if they’d be interested in doing a story about your launch
- Host a live stream Q&A, where your fans can ask you all about your Patreon page
- Ask other Patreon creators that you know to give a shout-out about your launch as well
- Set up a social media scheduling tool to keep promoting your page while you’re away
- Use our API to embed a “become a patron” button that leads your fans from your website directly to your Patreon page
Woohoo!! Now that you’re launched and ready for start your journey on Patreon, go check out some data-backed tips for crushing your first month and find out how you can be featured on Patreon.
If you want an even more in-depth guide for creating and launching your Patreon page, check out these sweet resources from our Creator Relations team:
Patreon is the best way for creators to earn ongoing funding, directly from their fans.