Crowdfunding is an amazing thing. The opportunity to receive financial support from some of your most loyal followers is simply incredible. And actually, it’s quite the game-changer.
With advertising revenue not as reliable as it used to be, many creators (myself included) are turning to platforms like Patreon. Turning to Patreon is one of the smartest things I have done in recent years. It has dramatically changed my life, allowing me to live more comfortably and improve the overall quality of my content.
So, what’s it take to launch a successful Patreon campaign? Everyone’s experience can vary, but below are some pointers that have worked for me. Hey, if I can do it, then so can you.
Is Patreon for you?
Simply put, crowdfunding is not for everyone. I’m going to say that right now. Some creators think launching a Patreon campaign will render instant results. This is often not the case. As with anything in life, there’s a time and a place for everything.
More importantly, is your audience ready for a Patreon campaign? This is absolutely essential if you are serious about moving forward. Survey them and see what happens. It never hurts to ask.
For example, I made sure with my subscribers before I did anything drastic. I explained what would happen and how nothing would change for my non-paying subscribers. Of course, there were the occasional non-supportive comments (a nice way of saying hate), but the positive reactions easily outweighed the negative.
Have a plan.
When I decided it was time to sign up for Patreon, I knew right from the start that I wanted this to work. I needed to look at this seriously, which is exactly why I immediately began to take notes and get a plan in order.
Patreon offers patrons (your supporters) the option of pledging a specific amount and receiving rewards in return. This can vary depending on the pledge tier that is selected. These rewards, in my opinion, are a necessity if you want your campaign to succeed.
Jot down ideas of rewards that could possibly work and gather feedback from your audience. You will want to stick with rewards that you can actually come through with, so be realistic. If you have to, start out slow and introduce additional rewards as your campaign grows. It works for me.
Be transparent and consistent, always.
Transparency is critical when launching and managing a Patreon campaign. Your patrons are essentially paying you for your content, which is why they deserve to be in the know at all times.
One thing I like to do is post a monthly Patreon Update on my personal website. This is my chance to give everyone, patrons and non-patrons, an inside look as to how my campaign is performing. From monthly earnings to announcing the winner of my Amazon gift card giveaway, this is my preferred way of keeping the community up to date — and it works quite well.
Another thing I recommend doing is making it obvious that your inbox is always open. Because not everyone is active on social media, email is often the easiest way of asking questions.
Launching a Patreon campaign is not something you do and then forget about. Like your content, it should become a primary day-to-day focus. It’s important that you remain consistent with your campaign and keep in contact with patrons.
Also, stay true to your word in delivering patrons their promised rewards. After all, rewards are what give your campaign some added value.
Ignore negative backlash
If you’re a YouTuber (which you likely are) and you decide to go the route of crowdfunding, you are likely to receive a good amount of negative feedback. Actually, I can pretty much guarantee it.
You wouldn’t believe some of things people have said to me. But you know what? They’re just words. You are doing something you love and you have a supportive community to back you along the way. That’s what you need to focus on. Remain positive and keep doing your thing.