The Data Behind Referring a Creator — And Why It’s Good For Everyone

This month, we launched a creator referral program. Here’s how — and why — it works.

If you’re a creator, you probably saw a shiny email in your inbox mentioning something about referring friends and getting some money for it and changing the world.

Hopefully you were so excited that you headed to and checked it out, but if you didn’t (and even if you did, hi!), I’m here to tell you about the referral program, how it works, and, to explain the data behind why it works.

Here’s How the Patreon Referral Program Works

The new referral program gives you an easy way to invite your cool creator friends to join the party here on Patreon.

Once you refer them, they have 30 days to launch, then 30 days to get as many patrons as possible. As a massive thank you, we’ll give the friend you refer a bonus if they receive 20 or more patrons in their first month on Patreon.

For all the details, check out

So, why should you refer other creators to Patreon — AKA, what does it mean for you (besides knowing you’re awesome)? A lot, actually.


You get to help other creators.

We hope you feel that Patreon is the best way to get ongoing funding directly from your fans, so you can focus more on what you do best: making awesome things. At its core, a referral spreads the love and allows your creator friends to spend more time creating, which we all know makes the world a more beautiful place. #SharingIsCaring


There are more patrons for everyone.

Many patrons find out about Patreon when one of their favorite creators launches, and they subsequently sign up to support that creator. Today, around 55% of a new creator’s patrons are brand new to Patreon, while the other 45% come from existing patrons. Referring your friends brings new patrons to the network, which increases the likelihood of you getting a new patron. #MorePatronsForAll


Your patrons won’t leave you.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “great, but what about my patrons? What if they leave me for my awesome friend that I helped launch?” As it turns out, that doesn’t happen. Carlos, Manuel, and I — the three musketeers of Patreon’s data team — analyzed the pledging behavior of patrons who pledge to more than one creator. We studied what happens to the original pledge when a new pledge is added. The results? Patrons keep pledging to the original creator. So, even if your patrons pledge to another creator, they won’t pledge less to you. #KeepinMyPeeps


You help sustain Patreon.

When we surveyed creators back in November, and asked how they heard about Patreon, 45% of you responded that another creator’s mention of Patreon on social media influenced your decision to launch, while 10% of you responded that another creator reached out to you directly.

With this data, we know that the growth of the creator network has some virality — like catching a cold, except that cold is the beautiful ability to be paid by your fans for your art. Referring another creator means you’re part of helping Patreon grow, and that helps sustain creators’ ability to earn money while doing what they love. #BestColdEver

We hope you’re as excited as we are about bringing even more amazing people to Patreon.

Invite Creators Today

Questions? Comments? Love data blog posts? Leave your thoughts in the comment below!