So you clicked that big green “convert to creator profile” button and have officially become a creator on Patreon.  Yessss!  We’re so stoked you’re here!  But now what?

You have just unlocked a whole new world of patronage; a community of your most dedicated fans, ready to join you in all your future creative endeavors.  But even the most loyal of fans aren’t going to pledge to you if you don’t have your profile set up for success.  Ask any of our top creators and they’ll tell you: the journey to becoming a successful creator on Patreon starts with a carefully crafted profile, a well thought out promotional launch, and a steady stream of the awesome creations that led your fans to your Patreon page in the first place.

I’ve reached out to some of our highest-earning creators on Patreon for advice and have compiled this list of tips and tricks to help you along your journey as you create, launch and grow your Patreon community.


What’s that? You’re not on Patreon yet, you say? Let’s fix that. 

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Simplify

Put yourself in a potential patron’s shoes:  A creator whose blog you follow posted a link in their latest post, leading you to their Patreon page.  You click on the link, knowing that you only have two minutes before you need to head to an important meeting.  You start to watch their intro video but it’s ten minutes long so you scroll down to check out their description, which is written like a Herman Melville novel.  Defeated, you give up and head to your meeting.

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Now imagine the same scenario but the creator’s video is one minute long and their description is to the point (clearly states what they create and what your pledge will go towards.)  In those two minutes, you get so excited about pledging to the creator that you click that “become a patron” button and BAM—you have successfully made an ongoing pledge to the creator!

Always be thinking of ways to simplify!  You never know who might be considering pledging to you and you don’t want to miss out on getting a patron because you have a cryptic page.

 

Reward Your Patrons

Your patrons are your absolute biggest fans who have made a commitment to continuously pay for your work.  Why not show them your appreciation with a little something extra?  Rewards can be as simple as allowing patrons access to your patron-only feed or as extravagant as a behind-the-scenes video of your creative process.  

Comic book writer and Patreon creator Alex Woolfson knows from experience that great rewards will not only help get you more patrons, but can also increase the amount of fans “you’ll have evangelizing your Patreon page out in the world.”  He warns to avoid a “donation mindset” though.  “You are not a charity; you are a working artist.  Instead, think of Patreon as a way to provide special, exclusive rewards to those awesome folks who are actively making your work possible through pledges.”

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Be careful not to make your rewards too extravagant or time-consuming, though!  While a handwritten “thank you” card may be a sweet gesture, imagine if you had over 100 patrons signed up for this reward!  Patreon should help you be able to focus more of your time on creating, not distracting you from your actual work to slap a hundred stamps on some postcards.  So when you’re setting up those flashy rewards like one-on-one Google hangouts and custom posters, think about how much time it might be taking away from your ability to create what you truly want to be creating.

Check out this post for everything you need to know about creating rewards on Patreon.

 

Launch Before You Launch

Many creators don’t realize that there are actually two steps to “launching” your Patreon page.  The first is by clicking the green “launch” button that propels your page out into the world and makes you visible to all who find your page.  The second “launch” is your promotional launch, where you share your page out to your various social networks, friends, and fans.

A lot of creators forget about that second launch; the one that actually gets their page into the hands of those who want to get access to it: their existing fans.  A big misconception some creators have when joining Patreon is that we will create their fan bases for them.  While we are constantly thinking about how we can help creators get discovered, the most successful creators on Patreon have existing fans before they join.

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Before you click that “launch” button, make sure your page is set up exactly how you want potential patrons to see it.  Do you have a clear description of what you’re creating?  How about a short video that introduces yourself and gives a quick explanation of what Patreon is?  We recently added a new feature that even lets you share out a private link to your creator page before you launch, so you can get some early feedback from close friends and family before you launch. More on that here.

Once you’re ready for your “soft launch,” simply click the green “launch” button and your page will be live to the world. At this point, you might consider posting a few pieces of patron-only content. That way, any potential patrons will see that there is already content they can access exclusively once they become your patron.

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Now that you’ve built your page and made it live, it’s time for the promotional launch!  This is when you get to share the awesome news that you’ve started a Patreon page and encourage your fans to pledge to you!  While you may be thinking the best way to promote your page is by spending the day obsessively sharing out your URL to all your social media channels, this is only grazing the surface.  The truth is, you should always be promoting your Patreon page!  For every piece of content you share on your website, blog, Youtube channel, etc., you should be linking back to your Patreon page and reminding your fans that there is additional content and exclusive perks accessible to all who pledge to you on Patreon.

Pro tip: Take a screenshot of the “become a patron” button on your Patreon page and plug it into your website, blog, etc. as a link back to your Patreon page.

 

Always Be Creating

You’ve done it all: HTML, a sleek explainer video, a plethora of rewards—and then don’t actually share any content with their patrons.

I asked Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting what the secret to his success was and he was genuinely surprised that he had any success at all.  He doesn’t have an intro video and only offers two types of rewards.  “I think the only thing that matters to me is making a great video essay that surprises me and the people who watch me,” he told me.  “The audience can feel that sensibility, and that’s why they support me.”  


Alright, creators.  Are you ready to get out there and share your art with the world?  You should be, because you rock.  Now stop reading this and go out and create already!!

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About The Author

Ellie MacBride

Community at Patreon, whiskey drinker and lover of all things cinematic.

  • Jean-Baptiste Monge

    That is a good observations but sometimes really hard to follow with no help.
    Thank you for the support and just for existing!
    https://www.patreon.com/jbmonge
    Have Fun!!!

    JB Monge

  • kevinbaquero

    Wow is a good recomendations, thank you for this
    i create Art, and invite you to visit my patreon and decide if you support me https://www.patreon.com/kevinci

  • Cassidy Bergeron

    I’m an artist who just created a Patreon page, check out my art and support me please if you enjoy it! patreon.com/casswonderland

  • Andogg Hristov

    I haven’t stopped creating since I was born 😉 Great tips and I find the “Launch before you Launch” really helpful. I am new around here and would love to find some awesome people who back my art up.
    https://www.patreon.com/andon

  • Lexi Carnage

    Okay I am confused 🙁 Can someone help me? I can’t seem to link to my page!

    • free style just say what you w

      ME TOO

  • Guido Gueta

    I´m 17 and I want to become a great artist 🙂

    https://www.patreon.com/GuidoGueta

  • Ediern

    Hi!
    Would you like to see-hear videogames, anime and METAL merged together?
    https://www.patreon.com/emusicproductions

  • Robert Jackson

    I have a lot of beats that would do good in video games, files, and L.p’s. But no one knows Koolboislim.

  • Nathan Loraine

    Hello all, 3d Sculting and Animation is where im at, we at Morrai Studio have what we feel could be an awsome idea for a Urban Fantasy Animation possible movie if we can get the support. if more infor mation hear to https://www.patreon.com/morrai_studio or follow us on twitter @morrai_studio or facebook just search for Morrai studio. Now Meet Seyleah the main female in the movie series the Prophisied
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d303cb1fcd0a14ba50855d20de8cc00ba8618685d129bd33f78f6f56d5d1147f.png

  • Ryan Howard

    I’ve done all that stuff: Promotion on Facebook, etal and I still don’t have one patron yet. Am I doing something wrong? https://www.patreon.com/HowardtheVegan

    • Nocturnaliss

      Honestly, I think your rewards are simply not appealing.
      – The $1 is great to have for people who just want to help you out, and nothing more (not even access to the patron-only feed?).
      – The $5 seems to be your main attraction; in itself I think the reward is good, except for it being per piece. How long does a piece take? Do you plan on posting once a month, once a week? As a Patron, I’d not know how much I’d be paying in a month, and that uncertainty would keep me from supporting you. I’d suggest to either mention, clearly, how often you plan on updating; or, if you’re certain you can provide one, maybe two pieces a month, switch to month payment.
      – The $15 is, IMO and I’ll be frank, horrible. So all I’d get as a potential Patron is a ‘special thanks’ (where? How?), and a painting lesson through Skype (how?)? Not even the Behind-the-scenes reward? Or did you forget to mention that this tier receives the previous tier’s rewards as well? I feel as though this tier wasn’t thought through. And this one is pay-per-piece as well, but what does that mean? Per Skype lesson? If so, how often do you plan on holding such a session? Again, there’s great uncertainty as to what a potential Patron’d be expected to pay. This, on top of very short/few information on the reward tiers and on your About section, would make me walk away really fast.

      Another thing: Judging by your cover photo, I thought this was about wine drinking. That’s the very first impression I got. My eyes strayed immediately towards the ‘Fine’ and assumed ‘Wine’. (I assume) you are standing in the middle, with that glass, which tells a person at first glance that this Patreon is all about that. Only by reading the about section do you discover this is supposed to be a majoritarily oil painting Patreon.

      And, related to this: your tagline is confusing. I would choose only one form of art to give Patrons, for a simple reason: chances are that they’d only be interested in one over the other. This wouldn’t be an issue if you charged per month, but as it is per piece, an oil paint lover may be upset to discover he’s been charged for some silly comic, as this wouldn’t be the reason he joined your Patreon in the first place. I’d strongly suggest picking a single medium and sticking to it, and have this reflected in your tagline.

      And a last confusion point, this time in your ‘goal’: I personally read ‘end of the month DRAWING’ as you making an actual drawing for your supporters – a logical assumption since you’re a visual artist and don’t announce anywhere, fully clearly, what manner of art you do (medium of choice =/= what Patrons truly can expect). The ‘five people’ part was just as confusing: what if the goal is met through a single person? And what kind of print are we talking about, quality and size-wise?

      This all said, I think the major issue with your Patreon is how unclear everything is. This lack of clarity doesn’t create trust, despite the long list of Patron-only posts you’ve made… As a potential Patron, I’d simply not know what to expect, reward-wise, buch more importantly payment-wise. Perhaps adressing these issues might give you a real chance at turning this into a success 🙂

      I hope this was helpful to you, and I’m sorry if I offended you in any way << I only mean to help (or I wouldn't have taken the time to write this up). And I just realized you've been here for many months with no luck, so… Hopefully, you can turn it around still. 🙂

  • Stephen Pham

    Hey there!
    I just started on Patreon and I can already see all of these passionate people working in their own art form. My passion is to create gaming videos (pertaining to funny moments and what not) so that people can have some joy in their life! If you’re interested just pop on by and check it out for yourself :D.

  • Rektonix

    Hello, im new to patreon and im making intros for my pledgers and some gaming content.

    https://www.patreon.com/Rektonix
    if you want go to my page and check some of the videos and tell me if you like it or not by pledging.

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