Recently my friend @Calamity_Kyle asked me what sort of knowledge I picked up from launching a Patreon. I thought I should write a post about what research I went through and my thoughts on the matter so I can maybe help others as well! Also I hope this post doesn't come off as conceited? It's a bit weird to talk about social media "strategies" without sounding at least a little pretentious but trust me, I just want to share what I think worked for me and what I found in my research.

Before Launch Preparations

I think the most important thing you can do prior to launch is to be engaged in the communities you are already in and maybe branch out and find new communities to share and gain knowledge in. The way I see it is, people pledge on Patreon for one of two reasons:

  1. They want to support the creator/project directly.
  2. They get something out of pledging. (knowledge, content, etc..)

I think the best communities are grounded within the first category. So to promote that you need to be engaged with people on Twitter, Discord, or any other social platforms you use. This means going out and liking people's tweets, commenting, asking them questions, and really getting to know people. I think I do this naturally because I'm generally curious on the creative process people go through when they put out a piece of art or design a system for a game they are creating. So be kind, be curious, and be engaged.

I'm just going to list some general tips for setting up your actual Patreon page that Patreon themselves recommend that I think helped me out:

1. Set your base tier to $2 instead of $1. [1]
You make a lot more money this way and the barrier to entry for $2 isn't that much more than $1. If people are gonna support you with a dollar, they will generally still support you for two dollars.

2. Create more than two reward tiers. [2]

Reward Tiers Graph

There are some people that want to really support you, so you might as well have tiers to accommodate them! Just make sure you can fulfill the rewards in those tiers.

3. Make some posts that are available to the public. [2]
This way people will see what your Patreon is all about and they'll be able to see what kind of content they are signing up for. These can be prepared in advance and should be posted as close to launch as possible to get the maximum amount of eyes on them. You should also have some patron-only posts as well, to make pledging a more tempting offer.
(Helpful Tip: There is no post button before you launch but if you go to https://patreon.com/post, you can have stuff posted and ready for when you do actually launch)

4. Announce a date that you are going to launch.
People need to know about when you're going to launch and you can use this to generate some hype around your content. You can tease some stuff and even have a daily countdown until launch. Don't go too overboard but make sure people know.

5. Create some goals!
It's important to have reasonable goals you think you'll reach but also to have some goals you can strive for in the future. When you reach these goals you can have a little celebratory tweet or announcement which'll spread the word even more!

Let's talk about rewards

I'd encourage you to poll your own followers but here are the results I gathered on what rewards I should offer on Patreon:

People seem to respond more to digital goods and early access to content. Patreon themselves recommend digital goods since those are generally easier to fulfill and are typically less expensive. I also polled my followers on what sort of digital rewards they would like to see:

These are mostly catered to what I would like to offer and what I think is feasible to offer. It's not surprising that people would like things that they can put to use, knowledge being a big pick. The only thing I would warn is make sure you offer rewards that are feasible for you to fulfill. [3]

Special Offers

Special offers are a new thing to Patreon. Basically, they are limited time offers that you can present to potential patrons. They create a sense of urgency in pledging and provide an extra special reward for pledging within a set period of time. I used this as a way to get early patrons since I didn't want my Patreon to be dead on launch. I came up with some ideas of what I could offer as a special offer and polled my Twitter followers:

People love recognition and it's a super easy thing to offer.

Bonus Tip: Get your close friends to review your Patreon page before you launch. Make sure they are being honest and provide as much feedback as possible. Talk to other Patreon creators as well.


Post Launch

There are some things you can do to ensure that your launch goes smoothly and you gotta make sure you ride the momentum of launching as much as possible. After you've built some hype surrounding the launch date you'll want to announce it on all social media. If you're in Discord servers, share your launch there too but make sure you ask for permission from the owners first. A lot of my success came from posting in friend's Discord servers, so make sure you give that a shot!
(Shoutout to @friendly_cosmo & @goawayimcrabby for being so generous about this!)
I think it also helps if there are a few people pledged already when someone comes to check out your page. I don't know why but maybe it makes it seem more authentic?

Social Media

Here are some things you can do on social media to alert your followings and ride the hype you've built up for launch:

  1. Tweet about your reward tiers.
    Tell people what sort of rewards they can expect by pledging to you on Patreon.
  2. Keep a countdown going for your special offer.
    Countdown how many days left you have on your special offer. Make sure people know about it and put together some special GIFs or images (GIFs work better) for them.
  3. Shoutout your Patreon content that you posted earlier.
    You should have some public posts as an example for potential patrons to see what sort of content you'll be providing on Patreon.

Okay that's about all for now. I hope this can help some people. A lot of this information is about launching a Patreon, but if you've already launched one most of these still apply. You can always revamp your tiers/Patreon page and have a relaunch event. Keep in mind this isn't intended to be a full list of what works and your use case might be different than mine. These are just overarching things that worked for me. I didn't talk about making your Patreon page aesthetically pleasing or what goes into a good about me section, but I think that's mostly up to you guys to customize. Here are some links to further research topics:

Building Your Patreon Page
Patreon Pre-Launch Checklist
Special Offers
Patreon Launch Day Checklist
Launching Your Patreon Page
Using Social Media to Promote Your Patreon
GREAT VIDEO: Growing Your Patreon Memberships


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Thanks for reading!


Footnotes

[1] https://blog.patreon.com/refresh-patreon-tiers
[2] https://blog.patreon.com/5-data-backed-tips-1st-month-patreon
[3] https://blog.patreon.com/creating-rewards