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How Indie Musicians Can Launch on Patreon

Launching your first Patreon page can be scary. You’re not only dealing with the daunting task of launching your page, but you're also worried about making sure you can get your community together in the same place.

First off, you can stop worrying about whether Patreon is a good place to bring your community. Patreon is the perfect place for musicians to connect with their most engaged fans. However, going into it, you'll need to be realistic about your established audience.

Remember, Patreon is a membership platform, not a discovery platform. Think of your Patreon page as less of a place for fans to discover you, and more of a hub where your current fans can gather for perks and exclusive content from a musician they already respect and love.

We put together this guide for indie musicians to make launching on Patreon easier than ever. By the end of this blog post, we hope you'll leave with a cohesive strategy, realistic expectations, and an actionable timeline, so you'll be ready when it comes time to hit that green launch button.

Here is how you can approach your Patreon page launch over the course of two months...

Two Months Out

About two months before you plan to publish your Patreon page, you should be asking questions about your audience and potential engagement levels. You’ll need to consider whether or not Patreon is actually a good fit for you as a musician. This means being critical of how large your audience actually is and whether you have a group of super fans who will be highly engaged with your music, videos, and more.

From there, if you determine that Patreon is a right for your artistic brand, then you’ll then want to start brainstorming some reward ideas that your fans would find valuable. If you need help figuring out what to offer your fans in exchange for membership, check out this blog post titled, "The Top 10 Rewards Patreon Musicians Offer Their Fans."

When deciding which rewards to offer your fans, be sure to be realistic. The goal is to provide enticing rewards that won’t end up overloading your schedule and stressing you out too much. Ask yourself how much time you’ll be able to commit each month to rewards, and don’t overcommit yourself because that’s a quick path to burn out.

The following chart is a good way to look at rewards:

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When you're considering what rewards to offer your fans, try to imagine where your reward ideas would fit in the chart above. This excersize will help you understand how much work you'd be signing up for if you offered that reward to your fans.

Also, when considering your rewards, feel free to seek out your fans’ opinions through social media (or an email newsletter) to see what kind of Patreon rewards they would be interested in. Ask them outright if they’d be interested in becoming your patron on Patreon. With reassurance from your fans that they are interested in membership, and the knowledge that Patreon will yield results for your community, it will be easier for you to give Patreon your all.

One Month Out

This is the perfect time to start creating a rough draft of your Patreon page. It doesn’t need to be final, but it should have all of your ideas in one place, so that your creator page can easily be refined as you get closer to launch time.

Start by doing some research to see what other musicians in your genre (and outside of it) are doing on their pages and what sorts of benefits they find successful. Graphtreon is a great place to find other muscians on Patreon, so you can see — and learn from — how they structure their creator pages.

Once you've looked at some other muscians on Patreon to get some ideas, be sure to check out Patreon U. It's a great resource for everything Patreon, from building your page to what to do after launch.

Then, after you've built your page, share a trial of it with a trusted group of peers to get feedback. Additionally, you should do research on Patreon to see what apps and integrations are available to you so you can make your workload easier and save yourself time when uploading songs or videos.

On top of that, you’ll want to start thinking about how you will be promoting your launch date (though you shouldn't actually promote it right away — more on that later). You can also start to finesse your Patreon elevator pitch where you’ll let your potential patrons know what the platform is, and why it may be important to them.

Also, consider timing a Special Offer with your launch on Patreon. The Special Offer feature allows you to offer a limited-time reward to your fans. When it comes time to promote your page, and you're ready with a unique reward that your fans can only get during the first few weeks of your launch, they'll be even more excited to become your patron.

Two Weeks Out

At this point, you’ll want to make sure you’ve finalized the rough draft of your Patreon page, and that you have all your integrations, links, rewards, etc., ready to go. If you haven’t gotten feedback at this point, find someone that will sign off on what is or isn’t working.

Now is the time to start your pre-launch promotion. Start by teasing the release on your social channels. Tell your fans that you’ll be announcing some big news soon, which will build anticipation to your launch and get your fans excited.

Then, when you’re about a week away from publishing your page, post on all your social channels that you’ll be launching on Patreon, and share all of the awesome benefits your fans can expect.

One Day Out

If possible and without spoiling anything for your fans, you should publish your page and do a test run to ensure that all links and benefits are working correctly. You don’t want to launch and then receive an onslaught of DMs or emails because your fans are unable to support you through the page and are having other technical difficulties.

Post-Launch

Congrats! You’re officially launched. But the work doesn’t stop there. From here on out, you need to make sure you continue to promote your Patreon page and that you fulfill all the benefit-related promises you made to your fans in exchange for membership. Set a cadence and stick to it so that you don’t fall short of expectations.

Additionally, you can also see what is and isn’t working on your page. For example, it’s always possible to unpublish tiers or offer them only to smaller groups if you find yourself overwhelmed. Also, make sure to keep the line of communication open and listen to the feedback you receive from patrons because that will help you continue to offer real value to your fans.

Lastly, don't forget to check out our bustling Patreon community forum. There, you'll be able to connect with other music creators, and get tips and tricks about Patreon (and running a creative business, in general). Fill out this brief form and get started in the community today.

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