Welcome to the Hang Time recap, Patreon’s monthly live stream hosted by Patreon CEO Jack Conte, and our own Taryn Arnold.
Every month, Jack and Taryn broadcast from our San Francisco HQ to give you product updates, sneak peeks and tips on how to run your membership business. They also bring on special guests from the Patreon team, so you can hear about what we’re building from the people making it happen.
It’s okay if you missed Hang Time this month — we know you’re busy creating. To help you stay in the loop, we’ve captured this month’s key takeaways below.
Here’s what happened during Hang Time in July...
You may have already seen Jack’s blog post about it. But, in case you didn’t know, here’s what’s up — we recently closed our Series D funding round and raised $60 million in financing. This is awesome news for creators, patrons, and a healthy, independent Patreon.
It means that we can staff up, grow and build more awesome stuff for you and your patrons.
Here’s what we’re planning to do with this funding:
- Patreon is going global: We’ve already expanded to New York and Omaha, Nebraska, but this year, we started going global with a new office in Porto, Portugal. Down the line, we’ll be investing in things like currency conversion and multiple languages to make Patreon way better for creators and patrons outside of the United States.
- Your page, your look: We know it’s important for your creator page to reflect you and your creative business. That’s why we’ll be investing in customization, so you can make your creator page look and feel the way you want it to.
- We’re making merch easier than ever: Merch is a great way to get fans to become your patrons. But as you know, creating, packing, shipping, and tracking ain’t easy. Well folks, we’re working on that. We’ll be expanding our Merch for Membership feature by adding international shipping and more items to choose from.
- Exclusive content: Since your patrons love exclusive content (more on that later), we’ll be building better ways for you to deliver it to patrons. Plus, we’re going to make it easier for patrons to find and enjoy their membership benefits.
You can find Jack and Taryn’s full conversation about our series D at the 3:50 mark of Hang Time.
We’ve got you. We’re constantly working on improving your creator page, which you can always learn about in the “What’s New” section in the bottom left hand corner of your admin settings. But, since you’re already here, let’s go over some of the product updates that Jack and Taryn told us about in this episode of Hang Time.
No, bannerly’s not a real word. But it’s true, nonetheless. Taryn wanted to let you know that we uncluttered your banner image by moving your profile name and photo. Now, instead of being over your banner, we moved them down a wee bit.
It’s a minor update, but if you did any special editing of your banner image so it would fit the previous format, you should check to make sure that it still looks great after the new changes.
Want to livestream to your patrons or make an online forum that’s just for them? At Patreon’s App Directory, you can find apps to help you do all that and more. Here’s just a few of them:
- Wordpress: Make posts on your Wordpress page that only your patrons can see.
- Discord: Create a chat room just for your patrons.
- Mailchimp: patron only email newsletters.
Since these apps are so useful to creators, we made some improvements to the website’s design, descriptions, and more. Now, it’s even easier to find (and use) tools and integrations to help you better connect with your patrons.
You can check out Patreon’s new and improved App Directory here.
You can find Jack and Taryn’s full discussion at the 17:27 mark of Hang Time.
We’ve talked about the Special Offers feature quite a bit on Hang Time. Special offers is a tool that allows Pro and Premium creators to run a limited-time offer for their fans and patrons.
Ursula Sage, a product manager at Patreon, dropped by Hang Time to tell Jack that we’ve made an important update to the Special Offers feature — now, you can run Special Offers with the launch of your creator page.
Set up a Special Offer before you launch to Increase excitement, and to give a little something extra to those who become your patrons first.
Why should you run a Special Offer? According to our Data Science team, so far on average, creators who ran a Special Offer saw a 200 percent increase in new pledges (when compared to new pledges acquired in the previous month).
If you’re not sure what to offer for your Special Offer, check out this blog post. Or, if you already know what you want to offer, head over to the Special Offer support page and start planning yours today.
You can find Jack and Ursula’s full conversation about Special Offers at the 21:40 mark of Hang Time.
May we present to you Maura Church, Patreon’s Head of Data Science. Simply put, Maura is awesome. Since she’s always knee deep in Patreon data, she knows better than most about what works for creators (and what doesn’t).
When she dropped into Hang Time, we thought a good use of her time would be to answer questions from creators. That way, she could give them some data-backed guidance for their creator pages.
Maura said it best. It would be weird if you had to show your salary on your LinkedIn page. So, for that reason, Patreon lets you decide if you want to hide your earnings and patron count (or not). But that means, you have to make a choice — to show or not to show?
A creator watching Hang Time was dealing with this exact problem, and asked Maura if there was any data suggesting which option they should choose.
According to Maura, her team found no statistical difference in fan-to-patron conversion between creators who hide their earnings and creators who show them.
Since there is no data one way or the other, when making this decision, Maura recommends thinking about how you want to talk to the world about your creator page.
For instance, some creators want to be really transparent about the money they’re making on Patreon, and what they use that money for. If you want to have that kind of conversation with fans and patrons, then that is a good reason to show your earnings.
On the other hand, Maura said that some creators get nervous about the perception of looking like they are earning too little or too much (which is totally fine and normal). If you have concerns like those, then maybe hiding your earnings and patron count is the right move.
Bottom line — it’s up to you and it likely won’t have a strong impact on your earnings. For more information on this topic, check out our support page.
You can find Jack and Maura’s entire conversation about Earnings Visibility at the 34:00 mark of Hang Time.
Maura’s a big fan of exclusive content. She said that giving your patrons access to exclusive content is a great way to get more patrons, as well as retain the ones you already have.
One way to provide exclusive content to your patrons is to create a patrons-only post on Patreon. You can use a patrons-only post to share videos, images, or words that only your biggest fans can see.
Jack asked Maura to tell us about the data science behind exclusive content, and this is what she had to say:
- Exclusive content retains well: “Retains” is a fancy way of saying the following: patrons who pledge to a tier that includes access to exclusive content tend to stick around for a while. So, if you’re wondering what to offer with your tiers, a good bet would be to offer exclusive content as a benefit. If you’re a podcaster, include access to extra podcast episodes as a tier benefit. Or, if you are a video creator, make extra episodes of your show that are just for your patrons.
- Patrons-only posts make fans want to become your patron: Maura said that 30% of all patrons sign up through a patrons-only post. What that means is, when a fan goes to your page and sees that grey box that says, “Unlock this post by becoming a patron,” there’s a pretty good chance they’ll do just that. So if you haven’t started creating patrons-only posts yet, there’s no time like the present.
If you want to learn more about patrons-only posts, check out this support page.
You can find Jack and Maura’s entire conversation about exclusive content at the 38:10 mark of Hang Time.
While there are lots of strategies for pricing your tiers, Maura had a few tips on best practices for creators:
$2 tiers are great for getting patrons in the door, so they can see how awesome becoming your patron is (and maybe upgrade to a higher tier later).
$5 tiers are the most popular tiers on Patreon, and are always good to offer your patrons.
$10 tiers and $25 tiers rock. Load them up with benefits that give your patrons tons of value, like exclusive content, early access, etc.
Also, Maura recommends having a really high priced tier, like a $100 tier, that offers something that’s super exclusive and cool. Like, if you’re a musician, maybe you could offer a one-on-one guitar lesson. Even if you have doubts that someone would pay that amount, Maura said that it’s good to give your fans the option in case they want to.
You can watch Jack and Maura’s full conversation about tier pricing at the 43:00 mark of Hang Time.
We hope this month’s Hang Time recap gave you some ideas for your membership business. If you want to watch Hang Time live next month, subscribe here.
Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer, put on that SPF, and if you need it, be sure to give yourself a break. You’ve earned it.