H-P Lehkonen

comics artist from Finland

Patreon for Small Creators, Build that Mailing List!

06.03.2019 6:35

I launched my Patreon in year 2018. I had only about 2500 followers on social media back then, yet I did extremely well with my Patreon immediately! Later that year I wrote a PDF guide on how I did my Patreon launch. I’ve used the same method with all my product launches after that and it works like a miracle! For the first time ever, here’s a sneak peek into the guide!

Start a mailing list NOW!

I’m gonna start from something that has nothing to do with Patreon, but this is my main advice!

Only way to make sure you won’t love your customers/fans/followers the moment some fascist decides to report you on social media is a mailing list. You don’t own Twitter, you don’t own Facebook, you don’t own Patreon. All of those platforms can block your account. You need to make sure you can reach your customers even if you become the target of harassment campaign (or if you accidentally end up saying fuck to a wrong person). Mailing list is the way to go. No matter where you’re blocked, you have your mailing
list. And don’t just store the emails on your list on Mailchimp or some other service you’re using. Export the emails onto your computer at least once every two months!

How does this relate to Patreon? Even if you wouldn’t know when you’ll launch your Patreon, start a mailing list now. It will get handy later on! This is what I did too! The moment I decided I will work on my Patreon
page, I started a mailing list. That was over half a year before I even launched my the whole thing! When your Patreon launches, the mailing list is the place where people will definitely get the information from you and some algorithm changes can’t hide your post. It’s an email! Only damn place online that still has a linear timeline.

So, what do you do with your mailing list then?

You let people know what you’ve been doing recently. Try to keep it short and add in some funny puns or exciting stories. An email that’s easy to read in about 3 minutes. And don’t send them every day,
about 1-3 times a month is more than enough! So now I know you might ask, how the hell am I going to get people to sign up for a mailing list!? People hate spam! And even if my mailing list wouldn’t be spam, they won’t know it! This is what I did. I started my mailing list half a year before the launch of my webtoon Life Outside the Circle (illustrations here and previous page are from that comic). At that time I had already drawn a mockup version of the first chapter, but I wasn’t allowed to put it online in public. I was, however, allowed to show it to a limited group, like Patreon backers or a mailing list! So I started my mailing list saying “Join my mailing list now and next week I’ll send the first email that will have a secret link
to read my upcoming queer webtoon!” I got over 100 people joining immediately! Whatever you happen to have that you could use as an exclusive thing to offer to the people on your list, offer them that. But don’t
offer them free commissions!! You don’t wanna draw a 100 free commissions! Just something that takes very little time to set up, but is interesting to the people following you! People on my mailing list still get access to the first mock up chapter. If you want to see that, my mailing list is open. Join it here:

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Mailing lists are easy to make using either a service like mailchimp, or just by sending a mass email from your personal email! I am just using my gmail. It doesn’t have to be super fancy! (Just remember to make
it BCC so everyone can’t email everyone!) And how to gather the addresses? I personally just made a google
form that you could fill. It had 2 questions, your name and your email. Nowadays I have a simple form embedded on my personal website. It just sends the info on my email where I manually move it to my list! (This is old information, I nowadays get so many people joining, I have an automated system with Mailchimp.) There’s many ways to do this, but you only need to know how to use email and you already know enough.

Want to read the rest of the tips in the PDF guide? Well, the guide is available on my Gumroad store!


Buy the PDF Guide

It has tips for things like:
– What your Patreon front page should look like?
– How to make making the Patreon video simple?
– How to handle rewards?
– What to do with Goals?
– How to do a successful launch?
– And more!

And the best part? The guide is sold with ”Pay What You Want” model! You choose the price! Perfect for small creators!