Patreon now has three creator plans: Lite, Pro, and Premium. Our primary goal is to fund the creative class and to do that, we need to meet creators wherever they are in their career, and help them grow in a way that's right for them.
With that mission in mind, we designed Patreon Lite with a less is more approach. Not every creator who joins Patreon wants or is ready for our full suite of features, and we get that. If you become interested in Patreon’s other tools and product features, like multiple membership tiers, Special Offers, and detailed patron analytics, you can always upgrade later.
Lite has everything you need to quickly set up recurring support from your fans. Plus, it gives you the tools you need to grow your membership business.
Here are some other perks to using Patreon Lite:
- Be a part of our active community of Patreon creators by joining our official Discord server and private forum (apply for access here)
- Post content that only your patrons can see
- Poll your patrons and learn more about your fanbase
So now that you know the basics, let’s explore what Lite can do for your creative business.
The beauty of Lite is in its simplicity. When your fans go to your creator page, they won’t have to choose between multiple tiers or benefits. All they have to decide is whether they’ll become your patron, and what amount they’d like to contribute monthly. Patrons will simply see a “Become a Patron” button on your page. When they click the button, they will see a suggested amount of $5/per month, but they can change that to any amount they wish.
Lite makes membership more streamlined for you, too. All you have to decide is how you want to interact with your patrons and whether you want to offer a benefit, build community, or simply keep patrons updated on your work and your process.
To help you decide, here are three business models we observed from other creators that would work well with Patreon Lite.
Your audience loves your work, and getting an intimate, behind the scenes look into your creative journey is valuable to them. Sure, social media provides a space to share information with your fans. But with Patreon, you can take your connection with them to another level.
Here are a couple ideas for using access as a benefit for your patrons:
Release big news to your patrons first: Are you a stand-up comedian announcing a new tour? Or, maybe you’re a DJ and you are gearing up to release a new mix. Before you tell everyone on social media, tell your patrons about it first. Then, when they see they see the announcement elsewhere, they will be excited knowing you told them about it first.
Get real with them: On Patreon, you have the opportunity to communicate with your most loyal fans. That means you can be more real with them on your creator page than you can be on social media. Write a post to your patrons telling them what you are looking forward to in your creative journey. Or, make a patron-only video describing a particular challenge you are facing. Not only will getting personal with your patrons make them feel closer to you, it will provide them a deeper level of insight into your creative endeavor.
Creating exclusive content for your patrons is a surefire way to add value to your membership. The obvious benefit is that your patrons get extra content from you that isn’t available anywhere else. But sharing exclusive content provides another benefit to your patrons that is more subtle: they feel great knowing that you made something for them, and only them. There’s something special about having a creator you love make something that’s just for you.
Here are a couple ideas for using exclusive content as a benefit for your patrons:
Give them behind-the-scenes content: No matter what kind of creator you are, one item that everyone can offer is a look behind the curtain. If you’re a painter, you could post images of your paintings in their beginning phases. Or, if you’re a songwriter, you could post song lyrics that you’ve scribbled down on receipts and napkins. Your patrons would love to learn more about what the final product they like so much looked like in the beginning.
Give them more of what they love: Your audience already likes your work. That’s why they avidly support you. So, instead of pulling your hair out trying to figure out something new you can give them, why not just give them more of what they love? If you are a podcaster, you could give them access to patron-only episodes. If you’re a YouTuber, why not make an extra video that only they can see? There’s nothing worse than binging on the content of a creator you love, only to realize you’ve finished all of their new material. How happy your patrons will be to have some more content to keep them satiated until you finish your next project.
We’ve covered some things you can offer your patrons to incentivize membership. But this one is cool because it’s not just about what you can offer them — it’s also about what they can offer you.
Using Patreon Lite’s polling feature, you can let your audience be a part of your creative process. This is a great opportunity to foster a deeper connection with your patrons because it allows them to influence your art in a real way. Can you imagine how exciting it would be to see an idea you helped come up with be created by an artist you admire? Swoon!
Also, this is a huge plus for you, too. Not only do your patrons get to be a part of your creative process, but you get great feedback about your craft. It’s a win/win.
Here are a couple ideas for using Patreon’s polling feature as a benefit for your patrons:
Poll your patrons for future content ideas: Come up with four feasible projects and poll your patrons to see which one they’d most like to see you create. Whichever one they choose, make it happen! Set a reasonable timeline, create it, and when it’s finished, share it on social media with a message thanking your patrons for the inspiration. They will be stoked to see that they helped impact your creativity and artistic direction.
Gauge how satisfied your audience is: This one may seem like it’s more of a reward for you than it is for them. However, while gaining valuable data about your audience is a plus for you, your patrons get something as well: they get to connect with you. Offer your fans the benefit of being able to influence your creative career. Then, through Patreon posts or the polling feature, get their feedback on anything you’ve been wondering about. Ask them something serious, like “how satisfied are you with how often I’m posting to Patreon?” Or ask them something fun, like “what do you think I should have for lunch?” Whether you are asking them big questions, or just being playful, your patrons will be happy to be a part of your inner circle.
We hope this blog provided inspiration on how you could use Patreon Lite with your creative business. If you want more tips on running your Patreon page, head over to Patreon U and get tips relevant to all stages of your Patreon journey, from launching your page to managing your life as a creator.