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Raise Your Bottom Tier to Provide Better Value and Bump up Your Profit

Change can be scary — after all, why mess with a good thing? But, taking a look at the tiers you offer your fan community is a great way to begin to scale your creative business and bump up your earnings.

We asked our Creator Success Team Lead, Laura Benson, to discuss tier setting in a videocast just for Patreon creators like you. In this 36-minute videocast called “Setting The Lowest Tier To $1 Or Higher?” she breaks down all the benefits of raising your lowest tier, which can include higher earnings, fewer fees and a boost to your fan numbers.

The data-informed insight she provides will help you to grow your business and connect more deeply with your fans.

She shares actionable tips on how to raise your bottom tier and respect your time and creativity while offering value to your community.

Have you been wondering:

  • How can I increase my sales?
  • How can I better value my art and my time?
  • How can I save on processing fees?
  • How can I increase my conversion rates?

If yes, then stop what you’re doing and watch this video right now. Patreon provides resources and support to help creators build communities and get paid fairly for their art. Stop undervaluing your creativity, your time and how much effort is involved in producing quality work.

Are you ready to learn more? Watch the whole video now, or scroll down to read Laura’s top takeaway points on raising your bottom tier.

This is How to Reach More Fans

Your profile page is the first impression that new patrons see when discovering your work. In the videocast, Laura Bensen reminds creators to take a good look at this landing page and optimize it for success. Revising the appearance of the page can increase your membership numbers as well as encouraging click-through rates.

Once you have tweaked your page to be as inviting and enticing as possible, it’s time to take a hard look at your bottom tier.

What Introductory Tier is Right For You?

The answer? It depends. Only you can decide what range is appropriate for your audience, your products and yourself. You need to carefully review your fan demographics and consider how long it takes you to fulfill different tier demands. You deserve to command a fair rate for your work.

Why You Should Raise Your Lowest Tier

Putting a dollar amount on your time and your creative output is always difficult but more often than not creators tend to undervalue their work. This can lead to burnout as you’re desperately trying to fulfill orders that require far more effort than the reward you receive in return. By raising your bottom tier, you are valuing your work and your time. You’re showing your fan base that you offer a quality product for a fair price. You’re not a factory, so stop pricing yourself like one!

How to Save on Processing Fees

One very practical reason for raising your bottom tier prices that Laura Bensen discusses in the video is that it markedly decreases your processing fees. As she explains, a $1 tier after fees from Patreon and credit processors, results in $0.67 in your pocket. If you raise your bottom tier to $2 you get to keep $1.64- that’s over twice as much!

How to Raise Your Bottom Tier

There are two ways to raise your bottom tier, as Laura explains. You can either limit the number of spots available at the lower rate which will result in a “sold out” message being shown for that tier on your landing page. Or you can unpublish the tier altogether. Once you make the decision to raise your bottom tier, Laura says you should make a big announcement and get your fans excited about the changes. “Tiers reflect your creations, your values, and your fans,” she says. I n this announcement Laura says you should include the following elements:

  • Show Gratitude: It’s so important to thank your patrons for their support and loyalty.
  • Be Transparent: Clearly share the changes with your audience and explain why they are being made. Fans like to see creators getting to keep more of their contributions for themselves. That’s why it’s smart to describe how these new measures will benefit you and your creative output. Talk about the costs of production so that your audience understands the value your tiers offer.
  • Communicate And Engage With Your Audience: Laura explains that even though conversion rates are higher on $2 or $3 tiers than on the lower $1 rates, “tier change alone won’t lead to conversion.” She shows how this change is just the start of a marketing campaign where you must engage with and connect with your fans.

This is How to Market Your New Tier Changes

Laura says to kick off your tier change marketing campaign you should tease the details in the run-up to the changes coming into effect and then make a big announcement. Follow these steps to support your marketing efforts:

  • Check in with your fans and gage their interest in a tier change. Poll them, conduct a survey or ask them directly- what do they want to see next?
  • Check resources such as Google Analytics to better market your products to your user's unique needs and interests.
  • Inspire interest and excitement by bringing your audience along for the ride. You can do this by using positive action-oriented language and showing them the benefits and value of your new tiers.
  • Develop and sustain an emotional connection with your audience and engage and connect with them often.

Is Increasing Your Bottom Tier Right For You?

In the video, Laura says that only you know if this change is right for you and your audience.

There’s no pressure. “It’s your relationship with your fans and your business decision,” she says. As the average Patreon pledge is $7, a low bottom tier could be a mistake, leaving money on the table and your time and art undervalued.

For more actionable resources and help growing your page, check out the video and the other sources of information available on the Patreon blog, Patreon U and in the creator's toolkit.