The subscription service, something that’s very much on trend these days and Patreon basically provides hosting for independent creatives to put together their own. Whether you are a writer, artist, video game reviewer or pretty much any other content driven creator with something to offer – you can put that content behind a paid subscription wall and start earning money but…
Simply saying that is a narrow version of a much wider picture because like most ventures, even ones on trend take work to reach some level of success. Just what does that success look like? And how do you get there?
Well, for me. I feel my content has some value and alongside a growing social media following, the time for me to launch a Patreon (back in 2021) was right. After quite some time now, I am proud to say that I’ve got several Patrons who regularly view my content and probably the most wonderful thing about that is, I’ve only had one person unsubscribe since launch.
This guide lays out what I have learned as a Patreon creator while convincing Patrons to invest in and stick by me. The following five ways aren’t in a particular order as they go hand in hand. Let’s dive in…
One: Exclusive is key…
Being a content creator online is a huge umbrella of different things but if you have something unique in what you create and can offer it exclusively on Patreon, you’ll generate some interest eventually.
This year I launched my Twitter Coaching Sessions which is basically me narrating to my Patrons all of the things I have learned over the years on Twitter. You cannot find this audio stuff by me anywhere else online.
Since then I have also extended that exclusive audio content into book narrations and even further guides or messages to my Patrons.
This stuff is also in the same neighbourhood as much of the guides I am known for in blogging and on social media. You can read a lot of my free guides on this blog, but I’ll always say to my audience that the better stuff is on Patreon and Patrons want to know they are getting something for their subscription.
Two: Two Tiers sells One Tier…
Talking of subscription, for most of my tenure on Patreon, I kept to a single low price Tier but being experienced with pricing from publishing books, I know that a slightly higher price can be a good tactic to sometimes drive sales. It can also drive sales for lower priced books on my backlist.
Using that theory, I launched a higher priced tier to try and get more lower priced Patrons. Upon launch, one of my existing Patrons immediately switched to the higher price and I even attracted another Patron for that higher tier as well as eventually getting more lower tier Patrons.
Having variety in price works to capture more Patrons on a side by side basis.
Three: External Rewards Really Help…
Both tiers on my Patreon offer something in return for signing up and to me its important to give an impression that patrons will be getting a little more and then giving them more.
From a Twitter shout-out to a free digital copy of my guide book, these external rewards also attract the attention of others so they kind of work as indirect advertising – especially the regular shout-outs.
If you can think of something to give others which has some value, it will hopefully work to attract and then keep patrons.
Four: Regular Content over time is your friend
After launch, I began to regularly release content for the next few months. This gained just a couple of patrons in that time and then I kind of ran out of ideas…
Six months later I decided to re-launch with a brand new idea for exclusive content. That idea now represents 19 Twitter Coaching sessions and much more. Running point with that content is the regular influx of new patrons and patrons who have stayed. Since re-thinking and re-launching I have churned out content every month, so if you can think of content that has scope to be a series or regularly released, it will help.
Alongside the regular content, time is your friend because starting out can be hard on Patreon, and the more content you have, the more lucrative it will appear for potential patrons. A few month’s of exclusive posts is way better than just a handful. That re-launch month I put out nine different posts which gave potential patrons plenty of choice. Now I tend to release something at least every week/ten days. This frequency hasn’t let me down yet.
Five: The odd freebie helps…
Having exclusive content behind a paywall is great, but littered amongst my content is the odd freebie that aims to attract newer faces. Some of my Twitter coaching sessions are free for all to listen and this works quite well to give potential patrons a taster of what they could be investing in if they do sign up.
Many of my other guides premiere over on Patreon and will then later release on my blog with the original post linked.
I have even released a short snippet of a book narration for free and put the longer version behind the pay wall.
Bonus: Pick your moments on social media…
Now it might be easy to say that I’ve got thousands of followers on Twitter so surely that means its easy for me to attract patrons right?
Well, actually its been quite difficult because like a lot of platforms they tend to limit the reach of certain posts/subjects. Sharing anything Patreon based on Twitter hasn’t really done particularly well in terms of visibility for me. There is a lot to unpack with this subject but I have managed to attract people from Twitter to my Patreon but in a certain way.
We all want to shout about our content and tell the world we’ve got a Patreon, and I did that to begin with. Now I pick my moments on social media and share my content on occasion. Picking the right time is kind of dependent on your own circumstances but I’ll just say, less is more.
You’ll find my Patreon link in the bio of my Twitter profile and so whenever any traffic comes to my profile, its one of the first things someone will see. Sometimes just working on attracting others to my profile will naturally drive traffic to that link in the bio.
Overall my Patreon journey has been incredibly rewarding and to have loyal patrons paying their hard earned money to access my exclusive content is a dream come true, it is also really motivating so I’m going to carry on. I’ve got plenty of ideas for exclusive stuff and of course you’ll find it right here.
If you are thinking of starting your own Patreon journey my advice is simple, make sure you have a stack of content at the ready and keep creating.
You can find my Patreon here and it is stacked full of resources for creatives who want to get better results on Twitter, publishing, and so much more. There is even a full length sci-fi western novella.