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10 Tips For Building A Winning Patreon Campaign

    Jason Vissers
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Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
Jason Vissers has been researching, analyzing, and writing about small business software and finance since 2015. His financial expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including The Ladders. Jason graduated with a Political Science degree from San Diego State University in 2001.
Jason Vissers
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    Thanks for the tips!! I just started my Patreon as a comedian who makes videos, with a fanbase on TikTok and Facebook, but very little opted in to a membership. That’s ok. I know it’s a work in progress, but I have a video behind the paywall that I want more people to see. How do you decide what to put behind a paywall and what not to? Do I just make a lot of content so I can put out more for everyone and then the others for behind the paywall? Thanks in advance!

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hey Shay!

      Thanks for your question! You may want to keep everything free until you’ve built up a certain number of subscribers. At this point, anything you’re particularly enthusiastic about should probably NOT go behind the paywall. Opinion varies on this — some recommend not paywalling content until you’ve reached 1,000 subscribers, some recommend waiting until you have even more– but generally, it’s good to keep paywalling to a minimum early on, particularly for things you really want exposure for. Good luck!!

        Skaie(sky) Knox

        Hi Jason,

        Great article, thank you for the insight. I’ve not started my Patreon page yet. I’m standing at the proverbial cliff’s edge gathering the courage to jump into the waters of content + patrons’ expectations. So, I’m a little nervous to take the leap (so to speak).

        I’m a singer/songwriter and have a very specific goal. I’m also creating a google doc of Patreon sessions that I would like to pre-record – up to a few month’s worth – so that I’m able to provide continual content with less stress to, well, create more content.

        I love the idea of offering in-front-of-the-paywall content, along with personally connecting with fans. I also plan to livestream via Crowdcast to further connect.

        If you have a sweet-as-apple-pie piece of advice for someone who is ABOUT to create a Patreon page – something you would add to this article now that it’s July 2019 – what would that be?

        Thanks again, Jason!

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Jessica Dinsmore

          Hi Skaie!

          Our best advice would be to use your social media channels (and just old-fashioned friend-to-friend contact) to gather support for your Patreon before you take your campaign live, so hopefully you can have a base of support right off the bat.. This way, new potential supporters will see that you (the singer/songwriter) already has a base of support. People are more reluctant to support someone who hasn’t garnered any support yet, so going to friends/family/social network acquaintances first can help address this “who wants to take the plunge first” problem! Best of luck to you!

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            KiKi JahDore

            Hi! Thank you so much for your tips Jason. I started my Patreon a few days ago and I love it. One thing that I have started doing to create interest is post a podcast every night at 9pm to get people excited. I started off as a YouTube creator so Patreon makes it very simple to make videos and add them to your page. I do like how you mentioned adding free content for non patrons. Right now all my content is for the public and free. I’m offering 3 giveaways once I hit a certain amount of patrons. I have already started implementing offering content at a low price point and on different tiers. My first passion was DIY and handmade items so I am offering monthly gift boxes at my highest tier and have already factored in shipping costs into my overall subscription price. I’m trying to think of some more goals I could offer. But other than that, I think I’m all set!

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

              I’m off to add a couple more goals and rewards (have 2 and 4, respectively, right now).

              What I expected at Patreon – and did NOT find – was some landing page where new people got a push the first month. I seem to be entirely on my own for everything.

              I took the time to be very specific and complete, and I’ve scheduled a daily post for the first eight days, public. Following your recommendation, I’ll put up a public/non-paid post periodically, so that not all are behind the paywall.

              I already have a blog about writing and life, but I am hoping the Patreon will be a place to find the ‘true fans’ who really want good quality indie fiction. And possibly appeal to some Influencers.

              I’m starting to wonder if there is a way to do that, or if it’s just going to be one more platform where extroverts with fans from other places are successful.

              I didn’t see a lot of pure writing sites which were doing very well, and many of them were of the ‘support me, I write’ variety. I’d like to distance myself from those just finding their wings – I serialized the first book in my mainstream trilogy, producing a finished and polished scene every Tuesday for two years. It was a lot of work!

              I started the Patreon because I’m a very slow writer, and reviewers kept saying they couldn’t wait for the next book. I figured Patreon might be a place to do the same serialization, but monetized slightly, partly to keep me enjoyably engaged with my readers, and partly for them to get the book faster and build some advance buzz.

              It COULD be a perfect place for an introvert with high writing standards, writing in a niche most indies don’t touch because genre stories (Romance, SFF, thrillerrs) are lucrative, to interact only with fans of the WRITING.

              I’m hoping to be a big indie success, eventually, due strictly to the quality of the writing and storytelling, and I’d love to find people who would be tickled to have been in at the beginning.

              Any ideas?


                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Jason Vissers

                Hi Alicia! It’s certainly true that writers with an existing fan base and/or a large social media following have an easier time raising Patreon money than those who don’t. In a just world, the quality of your creative output would be the sole determining factor in attracting patronage, but unfortunately, a certain amount of shameless self-promotion is required to successfully crowdfund your passion. Beyond the tips outlined in the article, I’d recommend getting in touch with some other similarly-situated authors on Patreon to see just what approach they’ve taken in building an audience of patrons. Of course, being an introvert myself, I understand that’s not easy!

                Best of luck on your Patreon! I hope you can find the funding you deserve!

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

                  I have no problem with the shameless self-promotion part; but you have to promote shamelessly – to the right people, and that’s where success has eluded me.

                  I have enough ego – and have put in enough hours – to actually not worry about the writing part.

                  It’s not a just nor a fair world, and I’m not going to complain, having a roof over my head and having successfully reared a family. Most people in the world have a much harder time than I do.

                  Just tell me how to reach the people who still love Jane Eyre and GWTW and The Thorn Birds, because they don’t use the search function on Amazon. I want the people who didn’t like The Goldfinch to try me. Laughing at myself as I write this, but those who try it often like Pride’s Children – and seem surprised by that – and leave fulsome literate reviews.

                  Indies are often accused of bad quality. I am really hoping to reverse some of that attitude. And have fun being myself as part of the process.

                  Good chatting with you. I AM being ‘methodical and strategic’ – I’m out looking for articles like yours. And applying what I learn. I now have 5-6 rewards and goals, somewhat whimsical, and a bunch of free posts, with the whole first chapter half published. Now that the threshold is swept, the tables are set, and the menu is printed, I’m waiting for the customers.


                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Billy B

                    “I’m WAITING for the customers.”

                    There’s your problem. You must take a proactive, strategic approach here. Also, don’t think of them as “customers”, especially not in Patreon. You’re an author. They are your readers, or better yet, your fans. Make friends first, make real connections, and remember you’re not going to MAKE anyone give you money for your art, you are asking them to. That’s the key difference between Patreon and say, a traditional retail website like Amazon. This is not the typical commercial exchange of money for goods or services, it’s more like the NPR model, where you look for people who love your work and want to contribute so that you can afford to spend more time creating it.

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      Nicholas Heilig

                      Thanks for the advice Jason! I just launched my Patreon feed, and I am looking forward to dropping my first exclusive time lapse in March. I’m hoping this platform can enable me to build a space for other emerging performance painters!


                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        Jason Vissers

                        That’s awesome, Nicholas! Best of luck with your Patreon!

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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