After hours upon hours spent shooting videos, editing content, and building up a loyal fan base, you’ve decided to kick things into high gear and start a Patreon page.
First things first, congrats! This is a huge step in your journey as a creator and one that will propel your creative career to new heights. Not only can Patreon help you generate recurring, sustainable revenue, it can also help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, it is. But of course, like anything in life, you get what you put into it. If you want to build a Patreon page that your fans will love, you need to give yourself the time to get clear on your goals, set up your page, and announce it to the world.
We recommend that you start planning your launch about eight weeks out for the best results. To help you get started, here’s our week-by-week guide for launching a video creator page on Patreon.
Before you click that ‘sign up’ button, ask yourself: what do you want to get out of your Patreon page? Do you want more creative freedom? To fund a live tour? Cover your living expenses? Getting clear on why you want to be on Patreon will help you better communicate the impact of membership to your fans and encourage them to support you.
You’ll also want to be honest with yourself on how much time you can commit to managing your page. If you set up your page and never talk about it again, you’re not going to see the same results as someone who’s making an effort to regularly promote their page and engage with fans. According to Megan Frantz, Head of Video at Patreon, you should be prepared to dedicate at least a few hours a week to complete this launch plan and continue promoting and managing it after you launch to keep growing your page.
Now that you have clear goals and a solid understanding of how much time and energy you can devote to your Patreon page, you should start thinking about your membership benefits. While you might want to go to your fans first, Megan advises against this approach, especially for video creators.
“We never want a creator to bite off more than they can chew and oftentimes, fans want a million things,” says Megan. Instead, she suggests video creator start thinking about what they would be excited to offer first and then ask their fans what they think. “If you’re excited about it, your fans will be too,” adds Megan.
Once you know what kind of membership benefits you’d like to offer, organize your list based on cost and scalability. For example, taking some behind-the-scenes photos is quick to do and those photos can be easily shared with a large number of people, so you can put this benefit on a low-price membership tier.
On the other hand, creating and shipping out custom fan gift boxes can be expensive and time-consuming so this kind of benefit should be on a higher-cost tier. This might also be a benefit that you would limit to just a few patrons so you don’t get overwhelmed.
It’s time to set up your Patreon page! This is where all of your fans will learn more about you and what you’re creating, so don’t be afraid to get creative. “We encourage video creators, not to have tiers like ‘pledge five dollars’ but to establish a fan naming convention,” says Megan. For example, on the Patreon page for their podcast “This Might Get Weird,” video creators Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart have cheekily-titled membership tiers that range from ‘Weirdos’ ($5 a month) all the way up to ‘Fools’ ($500 a month).
Not only does this make the membership experience a whole lot more fun; it’s also a great way for you to establish your brand as a creator and foster a sense of community.
While certain parts of the page set-up process like uploading a cover photo or linking your social media accounts are relatively quick and easy, others like writing your page description or producing an intro video take a bit of time to complete. Speaking of which, your intro video should be two minutes or less and explain what Patreon is, why patrons should pledge to you, how frequently you post, and what money pledged to you will enable you to do. Need some inspiration? Check out Blimey Cow, Kinda Funny and new Patreon creators Epic Rap Battles of History.
We get it. There is a lot that goes into launching a Patreon creator page and you still need time to, well, create. Fortunately, there are a ton of apps out there that can integrate with Patreon to save you time and add more value to your offerings. For example, Discord allows you to create exclusive chatrooms for you and your fans, and you can set up an integration to automatically add patrons to a private channel. Patronizer is a third-party integration tool that makes it easy to include all of your patrons in the end credits of a video. Last but not least, TubeBuddy is an integration that allows you to see which comments on your YouTube videos come from current patrons. Head here for a comprehensive list of 20+ features and integrations.
Your page is all set up and ready to go. Now you need to tell people about it. Before you start marketing to your fans, reach out to your inner circle (i.e. family and close friends) and do a ‘soft launch’. Let them know you just launched a Patreon page and ask them for feedback about your page, rewards, video, etc. This is also a great way to get a few patrons before your official launch. You might also want to reach out to some other creators to see if they would be willing to share an announcement with their fans and followers.
On the day of your launch, you should do the following:
- Post your Patreon link on your social media channels and website
- Send out an email to your newsletter subscribers
- Add a Patreon banner to your social media cover photos, the top of your website, and bios.
- Send out a press release to relevant blogs, video creators, and other influencers in your field.
If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry - you don’t actually need to do all these things on launch day. There are plenty of apps out there that you can use to schedule your social media posts and emails in advance.
You made it! Your page is live and your fans are flocking to your page to support you. Now what? To keep the momentum going, you need to show your fans how excited and committed you are to offering a great membership experience.
To keep growing and increasing awareness your page, you should consider:
- Including a link and/or Patreon mention in upcoming videos
- Hosting a livestream to tell your fans about your Patreon page and answer any questions about it
- Hosting an IRL launch party in your area
We know that this whole process can seem overwhelming, but it’s so important to see this time as an investment in your future as a creator. If you can get through the eight weeks of pre-launch prep, you will set yourself up for a very long and fruitful career creating incredible content on your terms.
“More often than not, we see fans tell creators, ‘I’m so glad you started a Patreon,’” says Megan. “Your fans will love what you offer, no matter what you offer.”