Launching your first Patreon page can be scary. You’re not only dealing with the daunting task of launching your page but also worried about making sure you can get your community together in the same place.
Musicians can use Patreon to connect with and foster a community made up of their most engaged fans. Going into it, you need to be realistic about your established audience and will need an existing group of super fans. 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.
Going into your Patreon page launch with a cohesive strategy, realistic expectations, and working along an actionable timeline can better prepare you for success. Here is how you can approach your Patreon page launch over the course of two months.
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 and whether you’ll be successful. 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 good fit for your artistic brand, then you’ll then want to start brainstorming some reward ideas you can provide fans that they would find valuable. What can you offer super fans in the form of content and ways to engage with you and each other? You’ll want to be realistic with yourself again here, providing 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.
Seek out your fans’ opinions through social media or email newsletter to see if they would like exclusive access Patreon makes possible. Ask them outright if they’d be interested in realistically using Patreon and if they would connect with you and each other through it. One of the biggest hurdles to get over is understanding that it takes a lot of time and work to launch and remain committed to a Patreon page. Without that reassurance going into it from fans, it's difficult for musicians to give it their all if they don't think it will yield results.
This is the perfect time to start creating a rough draft for your Patreon page. It doesn’t need to be final but should have all of your ideas in one place so that you can easily refine it closer to your publication date. Do 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. You can also share a trial of your page 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 promoting your launch date. 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.
At this point, you’ll want to make sure you’ve really finalized the rough draft of your Patreon page and have all your integrations, links, benefits, and more 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. You can tease the release by saying that you’ll soon be announcing some big news to build anticipation and get your fans excited. In particular, you’ll want to convey this in a way that lets those super fans know that you’ll be providing something fan-centric that isn’t solely focused on making money. When you’re about a week away from publishing your page, you can let people know specifically that you’ll be launching on Patreon and can share some of the benefits that fans can expect.
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.
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 benefits-related promises to your fans. 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.