What is Patreon and Why Is It Important for Artists Like You?

When artists are paid, they can create more amazing things. This is the primary reason why Patreon exists!

It is a membership-based platform that is working under the old-age system of patronage! With the help of the creators’ patrons (fans/donors), Patreon is able to financially support artists, musicians, podcasters, writers, and other creators so they can continue to create, inspire, challenge, and move their audience with what they do. 

Sounds interesting? Well, it really is! And in fact, interesting is an understatement to define Patreon and the possibilities that await every artist and creator who joins this platform.

Patreon Meaning: What is Patreon?

Its name alone already rings a bell, and I am not surprised because Patreon can be easily associated with patrons.

And that’s the truth behind this platform. Patreon is using the old idea of patronage which can be traced back to the ancient world, and the times of Mozart, Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and other notable artists known to all mankind. 

The concept behind what is Patreon all about is simple – crowdfunding. Fans or patrons can donate money on a recurring basis to fund artists, musicians, educators, writers, illustrators, crafters, and all other kinds of creators. It’s similar to Kickstarter, but in this platform, patrons are not limited to giving donations to support a project. Most often, patrons (fans) support the artists through monthly pledges for as low as $1 so that artists can just focus on creating valuable content, and not mind about the other necessities. 

With Patreon, anyone can support an artist or a creator regardless of one’s motivation or interest.

What I mean is that even if you are not really into the arts, but you believe the artist’s talents and potentials – by all means, you can donate anywhere between $1 to several hundred dollars.

It can also be a perfect avenue for people who want to give back to the community.

Patreon is not only a membership business, or a crowdfunding site. It is also an altruistic platform where anyone is given the noble chance of not just giving, but also of making a difference – to someone else’s lives and the community as a whole.

Patreon has come a long way since its launch in 2013. As of January 2019, there are over 3 million “Patrons” supporting creators each month. 

With all these being said, the next common question that comes to mind is, “What’s in it for us?” Since I want to shed light into this topic, let me give you a detailed answer below. 

Patreon for Artists: What’s in it for Artists Like You?

patreon for artists

Creating artworks and other content is already hard, much more if you are gearing towards reaping profits from what you are doing.

As such, having this platform for creators is a big help to sustain their creative process and encourage them to take their passion to even greater heights. 

Although it was primarily designed as a crowdfunding site, there are still more to Patreon than what’s expected from it.

Alongside income generation, below are some other benefits that you can get as an artist on Patreon: 

Serves as a financial backbone

Without a doubt, several creators are successful in generating more than enough income every month from their Patreon account.

Joining the roster of high-earning creators in this platform is Alice Oseman, a writer and artist, with 1,287 patrons and a monthly income of at least $3,840.

Earning this huge amount entails countless sleepless nights, loads of persistence, and buckets of sweats and tears. It ain’t easy, but it can happen.

A chance to connect with like-minded people and fellow creators in the community

With Patreon, most, if not all of an artist’s patrons are also inclined to the arts. Hence, it can be a perfect community to engage with people who share the same goals and interests as you are.

Take Sam Hurd’s case for example. Sam has been using Patreon since May 2017. He views the concept of patronage not as a means for his fans to financially support him, but more of a chance to gather them in an exclusive community where they can lift each other.

Provides moral support and feedback

As Dan Pena would put it, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you your future.” This statement is also similar to saying tell me who you engage with, and I’ll tell you your future.

As such, if you are surrounded by supportive and positive people, the burden of one’s daily battles can be lessened.

And in turn, there are better chances of having a healthy and successful career as an artist. 

The creator’s patrons are there not just to support them financially, but also to give feedback that can lead to a healthy and constant artistic discourse.

Also, as an artist, you can gather strength from the fact that there are people out there who are not just following you but are also engaging with you and investing in your talent.

As such, during tough times it can be easier to bounce back and just keep moving forward. 

Motivates artists to be more productive

It’s reasonable to say that creators and artists on YouTube and other free platforms continue to create content not just for the sake of sharing valuable information and insights, but also for money.

Hence, it’s pretty much more expected on a crowdfunding platform like Patreon to have highly-motivated creators.

They are more than aware that they should continue to produce valuable content in exchange for the monetary support that they receive from their patrons.

And by consistently creating helpful, informative, entertaining, and engaging content, they can ensure their patrons’ continued support. 

Gives a sense of fulfillment

If we come to think of it, all these benefits lead to a common end goal – fulfillment.

As an artist, you know how fulfilling it is to finish an artwork, and you can relate to the sense of gratefulness from contributing something to the community.

More so, it’s fulfilling to make a living and to support your creative process from doing what you love. 

At this point, you might be so eager to start your Patreon account, and I completely understand why. As such, let me guide you through the steps to get you started.  

How to Set-up a Patreon Account?

Just like with any other platform, setting-up your Patreon account is easy.

Maintaining it and keeping it alive and thriving is where the challenge and excitement begins. 

After signing-up, you will be asked about your preferred account name and the content that you are creating.

You will need to verify one or a few social media accounts to hasten the approval of your account.

You’ll also be asked whether you are creating content that contains 18+ themes or nudity, and finally, you just have to confirm your email address.

Once you are done with all these steps, you will be directed to your “About” page.

It’s important to pay special attention to this page because it’s your first chance of persuading your target audience to support you on your cause and plight as an artist.

Writing this page is like writing a sales copy. So you’ve got to make use of your copywriting skills.

Below are some of the details that you need to include:

  • Introduction: Briefly tell your potential patrons who you are and what you do as an artist.
  • Share Your Goals:  This is also the same in saying why you are using Patreon. People would want to know what you want to achieve in this platform. So, don’t hesitate to open up.
  • Say “Thank You”: End your overview page by saying thank you to those who are interested in helping you out with your work. 

There is also an option for you to include an “introduction video.”

This can be a perfect way to connect to your potential patrons on a much deeper and more personal level.

If you don’t have a huge fan base yet unlike other vloggers on YouTube, then you should consider creating your “intro video.”

Below are other details that you can include in your “About Page”:

  • Links to your social media accounts
  • Google Analytics ID
  • RSS audio feed

After writing this page, it’s time to proceed with your membership tiers.

Simply speaking, it’s where you group the rewards that you give your patrons depending on their monthly contribution. 

Patreon Tier Structure

Without some rewards, it’s fairly impossible to grow your patron community.

There might be people who will be willing to support you in achieving your goals without expecting anything in return.

But let’s face it, everything has a price. Even the most generous patrons would be happier if they receive something of high value from their contributions. 

The usual tiers look like this:

  • First Tier: Patrons contribute between $1 to $5 a month
  • Second Tier: $10 to $25 a month contribution
  • Third Tier: Contributions can be somewhere between $50 to $100 a month

When thinking about your tiers, you must offer rewards that you can sustain.

The most popular rewards are exclusive access to content, advance access to an upcoming video, tutorial, or episodes, as well as behind the scene footage of your creative process.

You can also offer freebies or products for patrons donating at certain tiers. It’s time to light up your imagination and be creative. 

As a creator, you also have the liberty to support other creators like you.

Hence, try putting yourself into your patron’s shoe if you are having a hard time thinking about what rewards to give.  

How to Promote Your Patreon Account?

Patreon can offer great earning potentials for artists and other creators, but they won’t do the legwork.

It will certainly be harder for you to get your first few patrons and to eventually grow your community if you don’t have a solid fan base on YouTube and other social media accounts.

So, before setting up your page, it’s crucial that you set realistic goals and just enjoy the process. 

Nevertheless, I am confident that working smart in your promotional strategies would greatly help.

Below are some things that you can do to promote your Patreon page:

  • Spread the word on social media and offline platforms: If you don’t have a business page, you can also make use of your personal social media accounts. Simply letting your friends and followers know that you are on Patreon can start the ball rolling. Of course, you need to educate them about this platform because chances are most of them are not aware of it and what it does. Promoting your account is just like promoting your artwork – it can be done online and offline. Check out our article about some of the important offline marketing tips that could help you in promoting your artwork in the community.  
  • Create a blog post: Create regular blog posts on your website and your Patreon account. It’s one way of passing your message along and in keeping your audience and patrons engaged. You can also take full advantage in creating several blog posts that can be viewed only by your patrons. This can incite other people and sway them to commit even to a minimum amount so they can read your posts.  
  • Stay active in your Patron community: There is a link on your Patreon page that leads you to your community. This is where you can constantly interact with the people who signed up as patrons. It’s very crucial to be active here if you want to keep your current patrons and grow your community. 
  • Give some freebies: Offer free stuffs like eBooks about topics that would catch the interest of your target audience. This is also one of the fundamental strategies on how you can generate leads or potential patrons, clients, or customers. Make sure that your eBook contains a link to your Patreon page. 

Stay Active, and You Will Stay Alive!

artists doing patreon

Well, I am not promoting the song here, but if my subheading entices you to sing and dance in the Bee Gees classic, “Stayin’ Alive,” by all means dance your heart out. 

Now that I got your attention, allow me to emphasize the importance of creating regular content and in constantly promoting your Patreon account in everything that you do and across all of your social media accounts.  

Every artist has that dream of proving the world that we can make a living in creating artworks. With Patreon, the stereotype of the starving artist may soon just be a thing of the past. 

Currently, Patreon has a lot of successful and high-earning creators, but it also has a lot of inactive creators that just add up to their users. You can be on either side – it’s your choice and it’s your hustle. 

If you love this article, you’d also want to check out our other blog posts. We’d certainly love to hear your thoughts about Patreon! Feel free to share some words in the comment box below.