Are you an artist? Perhaps you’re an artist who wants to do nothing but make creative artwork. Maybe you’re a writer who aspires to write the next big thriller or fantasy series. On the other hand, you could be an internet therapist, an essay writer, or a musician who wants to be alone all day. Whatever it is, you can’t pursue it without financial backing, and a regular job will only wear you down and sap your creative energy. That’s not healthy for anyone’s health! Patreon can help with this.
What exactly is Patreon?
Patreon is a website that combines the tradition of wealthy individuals supporting the arts with crowdsourcing, allowing people of various financial circumstances to support the artists whose work they admire. It’s similar to an ongoing Kickstarter in that an independent musician or coloring book artist may create a Patreon page, establish financial and project goals, and reward their patrons. Next you’ll know how to make money with patreon.
How Does Patreon Work?
It’s pretty simple to create your Patreon page. First, create an account if you’ve opted to use their platform – you may already have one if you support other Patreon pages. If you wish to become a creator, they’ll help you through the process of creating your page: you can either sign up for Patreon as a creator from the beginning or convert your existing profile to a creator account if you’ve used Patreon to support others.
There are a few primary elements to the process when you decide to start putting up your Patreon creator page.
First, you’ll need to introduce yourself and a few key points about the work you’ll be offering on Patreon: this is where you’ll describe what you’re doing (in soundbites), decide whether you want to earn per month or release, link your social profiles, and even upload an introduction video to explain what Patreon is and why your audience should subscribe to you there.
Second, explain how you want to use Patreon: this is where you may set your financial goals and create different reward levels for your patrons. Financial goals enable you to outline what will happen if enough supporters pledge $2500 per month, $5000 per month, or more. (These are just examples; you are free to choose any objective you like.) Some artists use this section to thank their supporters for helping them pay their rent, get health insurance, or meet other basic human needs. Others will declare that all subscribers will now receive unique YouTube videos, an extra music download, or an exclusive printable coloring page once a month.
Then there are the many levels of reward on how to make money with patreon! If you’re an artist, you could give thanks and a social media shout-out to those who support you at the lowest rank (say, $1 per month/creation) and a monthly unique art print to those who support you at the highest level (say, $25 and up). If you’re a writer, you might start with a $5 level that grants access to a monthly email list where you discuss the business aspect of writing, then go up to a $15 level that gives access to an exclusive story-a-month club, and so on. The only limit to what you can offer as a reward is your imagination – but make sure you build a reward plan that provides actual value to your audience and even makes them feel more connected to your journey and work. And don’t forget to pay attention to any audience comments on what they’re willing to pay for from you – those who provide feedback are potential Patreon subscribers!
How Can Patreon Help Me Make Money?
Ensure you first take care of the practical aspects of earning money on Patreon: sign up to be paid! As a Patreon creator in the United States, you can choose between two payment methods: Stripe direct deposit or PayPal. Patreon will keep 5% of your earnings (this is how they generate money), and there may be additional fees depending on your payment method – Stripe charges $0.25 for each deposit, and PayPal charges $0.25 or 1% of the amount transferred. (PayPal, at the very least, sets the fee at $20 per deposit.) If you earn more than $600 in a calendar year, you’ll also need to fill out a tax form. Then you’re ready to go.
So now you know how to make money with patreon. But, with Patreon, how do you make it work?
There are two approaches: the first is to utilize your existing audience, and the second is to provide something of value to a broad audience.
You must have an audience to leverage it. Individuals who visit your website or listen to your music, those who sign up for your newsletter, those who follow you on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Make sure they’re aware of your Patreon! Please share it on social media as widely as possible at the times when your fans are most active. Don’t be afraid to share it several times; social media moves so quickly these days that it’s sometimes the only way to ensure that your posts are seen. Make an announcement about it in your newsletter, and then preserve the information in your signature. Finally, display the Patreon logo prominently on your website (and with a link to your page!).
Don’t you have somebody to listen to you yet? That’s a different story, but you can make one. It will take time, trial and error, and careful nurturing, but you can do it — start by searching for “how to grow an audience” on Google and go from there.
You need that fantastic thing of value that you can only create to drive those subscriptions to your Patreon page and draw an audience. Unfortunately, I’m afraid there isn’t a Patreon type that will ensure your immediate success. The best I can say is that many of the top-performing Patreon pages feature videos, whether educational, nerdy or technology-related videos. So, if there’s any way you can incorporate videos into your Patreon page – whether you merely set up a webcam to show off your drawing or painting or go all out and make a music video to accompany a song you wrote – it won’t hinder your chances. On the contrary, it might even benefit you a lot!
What are your thoughts? Do you think you’re ready to know how to make money with patreon? Then, get inspired and use this one-of-a-kind method to convert your audience into subscribers and create a money stream for your creative endeavors! But keep in mind that success isn’t only about making money; it’s also about nurturing your audience, making them feel connected, and succeeding together in patronizing your art.