Patreon is easy if you already have 100K followers on social media. But if you don’t? Like I didn’t? Here’s my best tips on building the perfect profile page!
All this info is from my free ebook Patreon for Small Creators. Dowload it for free from [HERE]
This is the part 2 of series of 4 articles.
Your Patreon profile needs to have the things you do!
I know this sounds super simple, but believe me, I see people failing this all the time.
The only strict rule:
If you draw, your profile should have visible drawings.
Meaning, not just private posts, put drawings on your Patreon profile front page. And no, one banner is not enough. People need to see what you are offering. This same goes for other arts too. If you make videos, there needs to be videos. If you make comics, show the comics etc.
You might think “People coming there already know me!” but even if that’s true, people might need proof they’ve found the right Patreon page! Having multiple examples of your creations visibly on your Patreon profile will ensure they know they’re in the right place.
Video, do you really need it?
The answer is both yes and no. Do you really need a super fancy video with animations and all? No, not really, a normal short video of you just talking to people is almost better than that. But what if I want to keep my privacy and not show my face to anyone, do I need a video? No, you don’t. But will video of me talking make me seem more reliable to the people who are going to throw actual money on me? Yes, holy shit YES!
In my opinion you don’t need a video. But you should want a video. (Except if you’re a video maker, then you absolutely NEED a video) If you hate the thought of showing your face, don’t show it. Your mental wellbeing and the feeling of safety is more important than the fact that the video will make you more “real” and “approachable”. But, if you feel like you totally could do a video, but don’t know how, just do one. If you can make a professional looking video, that’s awesome! But if you can’t, a normal video of you talking to the camera for 3 minutes is enough.
Some tips for a good video:
– Make sure your background is clean, but not just a white wall. Your own work space is perfect, it shows a peek into your work and that way makes you feel more genuine. Just clean the space before filming.
– Don’t talk for over 3 minutes. A short intro is fine. People are on your Patreon page to become backers and they’re eager to get more info on everything. The video should be like a brief intro on all the things your Patreon has before they can go to read your front page.
– Keep it simple! The video is not a place for your tragic life story and how you became what you are now! That’s for vlogging, blogging, autobio comics or something else. But not for the Patreon intro video. Don’t start with “I wanted to be an artist since my grandfather bought me my first set of watercolors, it was the Van Gogh brand white box with only 12 different color options and blah blah…” Start with “Hello, I’m H-P Lehkonen, this is my Patreon. In here you can support me and get rewards like an exclusive comic After the Fog, access to my Patreon Discord group blah blah…”
– Things your video should say: Who are you? What do you do? What your Patrons get for their money?
I’m not a video person myself. My own Patreon video sucks and it’s extremely old! I’ve had periods on my Patreon when I wasn’t happy with my video, so I took it down and went with no video at all. During those times I gained way less Patrons than normally. And when I put my video back up, Patrons started coming again. This is in no way scientific research! But this is something I noticed and I wish to share with you. Crappy video is better than no video.
Use the Goals system!
Okay so you might have noticed Patreon has the goals feature? Many people don’t really use the system to their benefit, even if it’s very valuable tool, especially for the launch!
You can choose to have goals like “If we get to $200/month we have reached a goal!” I have a small tip on the goals. Try having 2 benefits to each goal. One of them benefits you, the creator, the other benefits the customers, Patrons. Example: “When we reach $200 in a month I will translate five old comics of mine and post them online for everyone to see! With this amount of money I can easily pay for the licenses for the software I use to create my comics! Thank you!” See what I did there? I promise something the Patrons might want: More comics! And I tell them how it benefits me! I can pay for the softwares I need!
I used the goals in my promoting a lot. I told the people how close to the next goal we are and how many Patrons would we need to reach it! This makes goals a joint game for the Patrons. Together they can work on the goals and gain something awesome! Any way you can gamify the experience of becoming a Patreon backer is good.
In the beginning I’d suggest you make a couple of easy to fulfill goals with low numbers. Something that’s easy for the Patrons to reach and easy for you to make. Preferably something you already have done. My first goals were old comic PDFs. I already had them, I just hadn’t posted them online before! Patrons were able to unlock them like in a video game! (Illustration above is for a goal for an old comic PDF.) Reaching a goal will motivate your Patrons to ask their friends to join in too, so together they can reach more goals.
Just do what people do on Kickstarter
Even if Patreon is a long ongoing process, not a single project, making it look as good as a Kickstarter project page will benefit you. People need a certain sense of urgency to join in on something new.
Illustrate your rewards.
Put illustrations on your front page to show what the actual rewards are they’re getting. Visualize everything. One of the best things I’ve done was the image below that had all of my rewards in a handy chart. People stop to look at images and it’s easier to find the right info if you don’t just have a wall of text but also illustrations. If you’re a writer and you don’t draw, you can pay someone to draw for you or at least make some interesting looking text graphics! You can also use photos to achieve this.
Always think of the easiest way to say the things you want to say. Will a picture make this simpler? Then put in a picture. Would bullet points make this easier to read? Then go for it! Bullet points it is!
Next part of this series will talk about how to do a very successful launch (or relaunch!) so tune in for that one too. Or… just go download the whole ebook right now, it’s completely free after all.
All the Best!