Welcome to the first Hang Time of 2020.
So what's Hang Time?
Every month, Patreon CEO Jack Conte and brand whiz Taryn Arnold host a live stream to connect with creators about creativity on and off Patreon. They share behind-the-scenes updates, news about the creative industry, and discuss new Patreon features. Each episode also contains guest interviews from the Patreon team and creators like you.
This month, from the Patreon staff, we’ve got Head of Data Science, Maura Church, and from the creator side, we’ve got the hosts and founders of the Talking Simpsons Podcast, Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert.
You can catch Hang Time live each month, but since we know life can get in the way, we publish monthly recaps to the blog so you always know what’s up.
Here’s what happened during January’s Hang Time…
On this month’s Hang Time, Jack got real about what it's like to make your creative passion your business. In addition to being the CEO of Patreon, Jack plays music in the bands Pomplamoose and Scary Pockets.
“I think one of the hardest things is to just keep trying when your passion is your work, when you have a business around what you love,” says Jack. “I mean, it’s wonderful — it’s a double edged sword, it’s the greatest thing in the world and also it’s really freaking hard.”
The point is, while being a creator is a blessing, it can be hard sometimes, so it’s important to take care of yourself when you face emotional and creative burnout. Even if you need a vacation, your patrons are here to support you and will understand if you need time to recharge.
Catch Jack’s full pep talk at the 06:45 mark of Hang Time.
At the 10:00 mark, Patreon’s Head of Data Science, Maura Church, joined Jack and Taryn to field questions from the community.
Maura tackled a couple important topics, but if you’re going to watch only one, do not miss her talk on patron conversion rates.
A patron conversion rate tracks the percentage of fans that come to your creator page and become your patron. For instance, if you had a conversion rate of 10% (which is really high, BTW), then if 100 fans came to your creator page, 10 of them would become your patron.
So how do we up our patron conversion rate game, Maura?
Her advice: make sure you are sending the right kind of traffic to your creator page.
Here is the analogy she used to explain it...
“If you put up a poster on trees around your city that says, ‘come support me on Patreon,’ the people you’re sending to your page might not even know you and your art, and we would call that unqualified traffic, which means a bunch of random people are coming to your page.” says Maura. “And if you have unqualified traffic, most of them are not going to convert.”
In other words, a big following doesn’t always mean higher conversion rates, it just depends on how niche your audience is and how engaged and invested they are.
Random visitors who don’t know you or your work, for example, are less likely to become patrons. In general, a conversion rate of .005-5% is pretty normal, while 10% or higher means you’ve got super qualified traffic.
So to increase your conversion rate, make sure your biggest fans know about your Patreon — they’re the ones who are most likely to become your patrons after visiting your creator page.
Here are some other tips for drawing more visitors to your page and increasing your chances of converting them to patrons:
- Make your Patreon page user-friendly and appealing. Keep your page simple and easy-to-read, add images to each tier, and make sure your page works well on mobile browsers.
- Keep your Patreon link visible online. Add your page link to video descriptions or pinned comments, work it into an artwork panel, or spell it out during a podcast episode.
- Figure out what benefits work best. Ask your patrons what type of content and offerings they’d prefer and how they’d like to be recognized.
While there’s no conversion rate feature on Patreon just yet, our Google Analytics integration allows you to keep track of your Patreon page traffic. Here’s how it works. If you need help figuring it out, we have a Patreon + Google Analytics Workshop to get you started. Check it out on YouTube.
Also, Maura had some insights about Discord, Early Access offers, and finding the right benefits for your community. To hear those, watch from the 18:05 mark of Hang Time.
Need a place to talk about creativity and Patreon outside of Hang Time?
Join the Patreon staff and fellow creators on the Patreon forum and the Patreon Discord channel. These are great places to stay up-to-date — or if you just want to hang out with a bunch of like minded, lovely people, then that’s cool, too.
If you’re a diehard Simpsons fan — or just enjoy cartoon history, in general — Talking Simpsons is the place to get your fix.
Every week, Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert dive deep into a different episode of the longest running animated show ever. They also produce a podcast called What a Cartoon Movie!, where — for their $10 patrons —they cover content outside the Simpsons, like the Animatrix! and Batman the Animated Series.
In this chat, Bob and Henry talk about their journey to taking their business full time, how much work goes on behind the scenes, and they give some great advice on how to get more fans and patrons.
If you have a podcast or are thinking of starting one, you won’t want to miss the Talking Simpsons interview at the 30:30 mark of Hang Time.
It’s fun to follow along with Hang Time afterwards, but joining in live is a whole other experience. Sign up here to be a part of the next Hang Time live — it happens on February 28 at 10 a.m. Hope to see you there!