Patreon has seen a huge surge in sign-up in the last months. If you think corona-pandemic, this is not astonishing at all.
In the first place, live concerts have been cancelled. A super important income stream for many musicians.
Patreon is a perfect space to earn some much needed extra income. To be fair, there where many musicians active there before the pandemic.
Notably, Amanda Palmer who really made the platform her own. However, what is actually astonishing is the number of artists who just start a campaign on Patreon rather willy-nilly.
This is crazy, you need to plan your campaign on Patreon like any other digital strategy. What is more, it even needs a bit more planning in my honest opinion.
Why? Because you can’t just expect people to start giving you money if you don’t really have an amazing proposition for them.
Here’s the deal: if you already struggle to fill your content plan for your already existing social media platforms and hardly have time to answer all comments on YouTube then it will become really hard to get started on Patreon.
What exactly is Patreon?
Patreon is a membership-based platform where creators can fund their projects. They can give out different tiers in exchange for different content. For example, Amanda Palmer starts her tiers with only 1 $.
You’ll get access to patron-only posts, early access to tickets and invites to special events/gatherings when I’m on the road.*source: Amanda Palmer on Patreon
If you want to invest 10$ you’ll get:
You’ll get all of the above, random surprises and all, plus access to my patron-only webchats in which I’ll chat/perform live/discuss things with you.*source: Amanda Palmer on Patreon
This is amazing, for just a tenner you’ll get to really meet Amanda Palmer online.
You see, she really has figured it out how to engage the fanbase and offer them something unique.
Do you also want to figure Patreon out? Read on has I showcase 3 things you should have checked out before starting Patreon!
Know your fanbase. By name, if you can!
Here’s the kicker, in order to really make a sustainable amount of money on Patreon you need devoted fans.
How do you get devoted fans? First, you need to identify who your target audience is (again, I know! ).
Secondly, you need to find out how to engage them. What content do they like in particular?
Which content of yours performs best? What posts get the most likes, comments and shares?
Do a deep-dive into your various Analytics. Make use of all available resources like Spotify for Artists, Facebook/ Instagram Insights and Google Analytics. Really discover your Newsletter audience and see who is subscribed to your YouTube audience.
Next, find ways of how you can communicate with your fans. For example, you could run polls on Instagram Stories and see who is responding. Try different approaches and always write down what has worked and what not.
Continuously optimise your communication strategy until you really have a loyal fan base that you know really well.
If you want to start on Patreon you need to know how much time you have
Important to realise, there are many resources that you need to invest into a digital strategy. Patreon is no exception here.
Be honest to yourself. How much time do you really have? Can you really strike up new and exclusive content to fill your different tiers?
Also, managing your Patreons that support you financially also takes up time. Of course, you want to treat the people that give you money over Patreon as good as you can. There is now a big competition on the platform.
What do you have that other’s don’t? What can you offer people that makes you stand out?
All that takes time and you certainly don’t want to rush people to sign up for a tier or upgrade for a higher one.
People nowadays are really sensitive to over-selling. Make sure that your art comes first still! Of course, making art takes time.
Take care not to kill your performance on Patreon due to the forgotten slew of tasks that come with it.
What is your long-term goal on Patreon?
So many musicians started their Patreon account due to a real crisis. As said above, the corona pandemic is an unprecedented situation in all our lives.
However, just signing-up there and then expecting it to work immeditaly is a bit naive to be fair. As with any digital strategy, Patreon also requires you to have some long-term goals.
Where do you want to be in 5 years? How much money do you need to earn over the platform? Do you just want to supplement your income?
Are there future projects or releases you want to fund with the money?
The clearer you can visualise your goal the easier it will become to make it happen!
When signing up with Patreon, make sure you really have a mission. What is more, also verbalize your vision!
In order to get there you need a lot of planning and determination. However, in the end it can really pay off.
No matter if you can independently fund your next release. Or you perhaps get a much needed extra income.
I like the idea of Patreon because it’s really simple and it’s about bringing things back to artists making art.*source: M.I.A Musician and artist
Make sure to really offer your fans something special that really entices them to part with their money. Also, be clear with your communication and really engage your supporters.
Furthermore, be sure you have the resources it takes to push Patreon for the long run.
After all, you can get amazing benefits from performing well on Patreon!