Being a creative person gives you plenty of opportunities to monetize your abilities, and possibly one of the best opportunities out there is Patreon.
Patreon is like crowdfunding, except it’s crowdfunding at a constant pace. The typical form of Patreon is a monthly based subscription where the creator provides monthly updates to the supporters, customers, and or followers.
Patreon is established as a platform to support artists, photographers, podcasters, YouTubers, and all kinds of creatives. Patreon is free to start platform, and you only pay in the form of fees that are taken before the supporter’s pledge amount arrives in your bank account.
Patreon offers you an easy way to start getting money to your bank account online. Patreon is based on support. Support means someone voluntarily gives you money and expects to get something in return or, in some cases, does not wait to get anything in return.
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Set Up Reward System
Rewards are something you give back to the people that have supported you. The rewards differ a lot, but generally, there are pledges (a subscription system) where you set a price for someone to pay, and then he/she receives something for the amount spent.
Simple subscription service with simple rewards. You can create a lot of different kinds of rewards and make them as straightforward or as complex as you want them.
Generally speaking, the more money you ask for, the greater the rewards should be. The rewards can start from $1 and range up to $1,000+ if you so choose. What should be noted is that the reward should be aligned with the amount of money you are asking.
For you to create a business that lasts, you will have to deliver more than is expected.
By surprising your client and customer, you need to deliver more than is asked for. While Patreon is based on support, it’s still good practice to deliver rewards that make your supporters happy and make them stay with you another month.
Some ideas for rewards
- Custom membership website to access content (WordPress with Patreon plugin)
- Personalized song
- Personalized videos
- One-on-one streams/online meetups
- Group meetings with your top-end funders
- Q&A sessions online
- Teaching sessions
- One-of-a-kind artwork
- High-resolution artwork
- Artwork tutorials
- Autographed merch
- Personalized messages on signed photos
- Expensive merch items (like neon signs, etc.)
- Music gear (signed by you)
- Name on the credits section of a YouTube video
- Call-outs/announcements while performing
- Graphic design templates
- Digital downloads of different files (PSD, PDF, Printables, eBooks)
- Private Discord server/group
Do Market Research
Whatever it is that you create, or you are passionate (or, better said, what energizes you) about, do market research on what the best Patreon members offer in your area of passion/niche. The goal is not to necessarily offer the same but to offer something along the same lines or something totally new, unique, or better.
If you are in the digital anime art niche, current Patreon members might offer something like high-resolution artwork, progress shots, and wallpapers. You could offer something like video art tutorials, VLOGs, Q&As, workshops, etc.
Whatever you offer, align the pricing with the rewards. If the price is high and the reward is low on quality or does not have enough items on it, you won’t get a supporter for that level.
You can also bring reward ideas from other niches, so if you are into digital art, can you find something from top podcasters that are on Patreon? It’s all about market research and trying to come up with unique ways to reward your Patrons for the support they are giving to you.
Have Correct Pricing
On Patreon, you can set rewards from $1 to $1,000+, given that the reward is aligned with the money you are getting from your Patrons.
Usually, lower-level pricing of $1-$2 is meant for the Patron to support you while not expecting anything in return. If you still want to offer something, it could be like wallpaper or some sort of thank you note.
Always keep in mind the niche that you are in when you are pricing your rewards. Some niches might be better for a lower pricing model ($1-$100), like digital art, whereas finance and investing might work better at higher pricing levels ($20-$400).
You have to appreciate yourself and the hard work you have done. This is something that creative persons might struggle with. You might see your work as something not so valuable. However, in reality, your work is invaluable. You are a creator, and you should treat yourself like that.
If you want to thrive in the creative market, price yourself as a professional. You know your craft, and you can price yourself as such. If someone doesn’t support you in the price range you have set for yourself, then he/she is not your customer. Not worthy, in other words.
Some appreciate your work and the things you do, and they will be ready to support you. And they will pay the price you have set for your rewards
Patreon is not the easiest place to make money. That is because of the competition you have against you. There is so much talent out there that sometimes you feel like you don’t stand a chance against others.
According to Graphtreon, there are roughly 220,000 creators on Patreon. That means that you can expect to face some challenges when setting up your Patreon account and getting supporters to your side. The statistics show a steady climb up and right, but with the right strategies in place, you can make a lot of money on Patreon.
Promote Your Patreon Page
If you have a blog, Instagram account, Pinterest account, Facebook page, or YouTube channel, don’t forget to leverage that to promote your Patreon page. By default, no one knows you have a Patreon page if you don’t promote that you have one.
One way to promote your Patreon page is to notify about it in every Instagram post you put out, or whenever you put out a YouTube video, remember to mention it. With the frequent mention of your Patreon page, people slowly but surely start to take notice and check your Patreon and see if there could be something for them.
As a creative person, you have many ways you can promote your Patreon page:
- Facebook page
- Artstation, DeviantArt, Behance, Dribbble, etc.
Remember, whenever you publish new content (video, audio, article, artwork), let your viewers and followers know that you have a Patreon account.
This might not come to your mind as the first thing to think about when thinking about making money on Patreon, but it’s still worth mentioning.
More than likely, you have a lot of different platforms you interact in, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, etc. When you have consistent branding, color schemes, and maybe even a logo in place, potential supporters can trust that the same level of quality you put out on different platforms follows inside your Patreon page.
With branding, you can message and inform potential supporters that whatever you do, the same level of quality, precision, and offer is available on your Patreon page.
The only con here is that, while you might have a strong band message and visuals, you are still working and promoting your Patreon page under Patreon and not necessarily on your own website. If you are up for it, you can create a WordPress website and install a Patreon plugin to it and create your own membership site that way, with your own branding in place.
By having your own branded website, fonts, colors, and everything, you would definitely differentiate yourself from the competition. Currently, there are roughly 4,000+ active installations of this Patreon plugin, and when you think about the fact that there are roughly 220,000 creators, not that many have gone and taken that route. Could it be your competitive advantage?
A Final Note
Patreon is a great platform for many creators out there. Patreon makes it easy for artists of many kinds to get paid for their creations. That is where Patreon is top of the line. With Patreon, you can start without any upfront costs and make money the same day. Ease of use, membership features, and the way Patreon is seen online all make it a fantastic way for you to make money online.
Where Patreon lacks big time is the way you are presented. You are one of many, and you don’t differ in the platform from others like you. You can and will blend in just because everything starts with the name Patreon. So having your own WordPress website and Patreon plugin installed in it already gives you an edge on the market.