Maybe it was to do with what you wrote as goals and not so much about what people see via the amount you are earning? I have kept growing since changing my income to visible again although as it grows more I wonder whether to hide it again! There are artists out there who are making 3k plus a month and it is visible (Frannerd is a good example) and it’s not stopped them earning. It is a really fascinating thing how this all works.
I chose to not share the earnings total (‘hiding’ is a somewhat loaded term), for a few reasons.
The big reason for me is I want to say what is important to me - to declare my priorities. To me, the number of patrons is much more important than total earnings. I don’t want a $2 patron to feel like their contribution is any less important in the context of some grand total - or just because everyone else is supporting at the $5 level or $15 level. I value and love all my patrons.
For the first year, when I had a handful of patrons and very, very little Patreon income, I found the total income figure disheartening. I wasn’t spending all that time uploading high-res comic strips and making wallpapers and downloadable PDFs on Patreon for the ~$100. I was doing it for the twelve people who cared enough and were technically and financially capable of supporting me. I honestly didn’t want to think about the money. I would have even hid the total from myself on the main page if I could just so I wouldn’t have been reminded all the time.
@steve Interesting point of view, I hadn’t really thought of it that way. I don’t don’t have many patrons and never really thought of how it might make some of them feel to see what others might be pledging.
I just wanted to say I love this discussion! I’m very torn on the topic and I like hearing the thought process from both sides. I’m still “hiding” my income at this stage because I don’t think showing it will help and might actually hurt (the whole “why does he need my help” thing), but I definitely like reading the thought process behind making that number public. Great discussion and very interesting!
So I’ve set my goals to every $100 of pledges (the goals are to make content free, and I have enough content to last a while).
I don’t feel like having open earnings is really benefitting me much, but it does mean that a big patron can really push the needle. I just had someone pledge $50 and post “hey, I pushed us past the next goal!”, which was awesome.
If I hid earnings, I’d probably make the goals every 8-10 patrons instead, which is about the same on average.
However, that means ever patron, big or small, would count the same, and it would be much harder to “push” the campaign past a goal.
That’s my one reservation on hiding earnings.
I think that’s a good point, @ammulder. I’ve also noticed on our campaign that sometimes when we lose a big patron, some of the patrons who are pledging smaller amounts will spontaneously up their pledges, without our having said anything. So I am assuming that they are noticing that our total went down and they are trying to boost us back up a bit.
This is an interesting topic, and a confusing one. I personally keep my income private because I don’t like it being the first thing people see on my page. I grew up with anxiety about money so it benefits my mental and creative state to remove that as an issue. Occasionally I make my earnings public for a time just to encourage others that they too can make decent money here. (Especially as a painter who does not do tutorials.)
I did do a patreon poll after the feature was first available and the results were extremely clear: My patrons preferred that I kept the number private and fellow creators who were also patrons wanted me to keep it public. I also received private emails from three of my highest paying patrons who told me specifically their opinion would be to keep it private.
I don’t have an answer as to which is a better sales tactic but at the moment, for me, all signs point to private.
Whoa, @shaylamaddox, that’s SUPER interesting. Particularly that you had highest tier patrons telling you their preference was for privacy.
It makes sense that fellow Patreon creators would vote for transparency.
This makes me feel like polling my patrons. Anyone else try polling their patrons for how they land on this?
@FutilityCloset, the bit about some patrons quietly bumping up their pledges to pick up the “slack” is verrrry cool and heartening; I like hearing good stories that come out of transparency, as I still continue to debate my decision.
I had a few people who told me they thought my pledge total was the “cost” to pledge as well which is the only reason I turned off my earnings publicly. I’m very transparent about it when asked and do refer to it often in creator conversations and in context with Patrons.
I will add, though, that I think that’s more people not paying attention or perhaps people who don’t speak English as a primary language as I’ve noticed they tended to bring it up most often.
Our circumstances of rising from the ashes of another project and the great lack of trust involved might have contributed to this outlook on our part, but transparency and communication are absolutely key in our opinion towards getting user buy in and increasing both onboarding and retention.
turning the $ figure off was the best thing we ever did. We are big earners on patreon. We just did it without even having the conversation and no one even mentioned it. The more you reveal publicly, the more it’s analysed, the more envy and hate grows. If we’re talking about transparency, what is the point of publicly showing how much coming in but not showing all the money going out - you’re expenses. Are you publishing the new $2000 machine you need to keep doing what you’re doing? Are you publishing your electricity bills? Unless you’re a non for profit, it should just purely be about people supporting you because they love what you do and making it sustainable. It shouldn’t be about people trying to calculate your value and whether you’re getting above or below what they value you. How many street performers provide transparency of what they earn? Don’t get sucked in by the mob. It’s good to keep good communication but you don’t need to tell them everything. As soon as you start, they will own you. Patreon allows you to be independent, your patrons should be on board about this. Revealing every cent coming in and going out, makes them share holders rather than supporters.
not going to take a deep dive into justification, but in my humble experience I’d say… absolutely hide your earnings if you make more than $1,000 a month and want to grow your patronage to a full time stream of revenue. if not… then keep them public.
I hide mine because I’m a per-creation campaign and not a per-month - and I release 8-10 creations per month. So when is says I have $1,120 per creation, people think that means I make 8 to 10 times that instead of the reality which is 3 times that (a huge number of patrons limit to one creation per month).
Yeah, the per-creation thing does muddy the waters quite a bit. We typically release 4 podcasts a month, but we also have a number of patrons who cap their pledges at 1 or 2. So the earnings number is pretty off if you think you can just multiply it by 4. So far we’ve been leaving all the numbers public since we are an older campaign, started in 2014, and the numbers always were public. I guess I’m worried it might look odd if we started hiding them now . . .
You are right, it is no one’s bussiness.
But it might be good. I see the biggest companies announcing their benefits. I think success attracts people to you. It is like when you want to have dinner abroad, you usually prefer a crowded popular restaurant than an empty one.
I still don’t have a clear opinion. For the moment I’m showing my income because looking at other creators’ income was what convinced me to try Patreon.
Just a reflexion!
Interesting, having this same thought process again and came to find this post! And I’m interested @Jack that you’ve decided to hide yours now! Any reason why?
Hope all of you are safe and well X
Hard to believe this thread was over two years ago and, of course, since then I’ve learned a lot more on my Patreon path.
Thinking back, I hadn’t yet returned to working on the coast since launching my Patreon page in November 2017. When I started working face-to-face again with my “audience”, there were little comments here and there that seemed to imply that “I was alright” because I had several hundred pounds of income a month from my patrons.
If you run a business of any size, you’ll know that several hundred pounds/dollars is certainly useful but it’s not going to change the world.
Soon after I went through the $1k/month mark, I realised it was time to make my earnings private. Scanning back through the replies above, I pretty much agree with everyone who says “turn it off”.
I still think it’s useful to have it on at the start so that potential patrons can feel confident that they’re not alone — safe in the knowledge that others are chipping in too — but once you’re well underway I reckon it’s sensible to hide it and switch to community-based goals (as it looks like you have indeed done).
Either that or always have it turned off from the start. Basically, a complete u-turn from my opinion two years ago!
Now, when people go to my Patreon page, the quantity of existing patrons gives potential patrons confidence, not to mention the tons of posts they can unlock. They’re not distracted/put off by my earnings and they can just concentrate on whether they want to help me or not!
Does this help, Emily? Hope so!
I know, time flies huh? I was looknig for more chat on this and found this thread which I’d forgotten about! I have just recently in the last month or so hit the 1k mark although it’s wavering badly at th emoment (losing a few due to this crisis we are in). Anyway I am hoping that removing that it will hopefully as you say, not distract people! After all they can see how many people are following. Luckily for me i don’t have too many overheads so I’m hoping that i can keep patreon afloat while this panademageddon continues as it just about covers my bills. I hope you’re staying safe (all of the rest of you too!).
I often found it odd to hide the earnings at some point. Thinking about it again now I discover this post (and the forum), in my opinion you just gotta go for what you’re comfy with, and that’s the key. If you’re okay to see the earnings be public, fine. And if you don’t for the very start, that’s fine too, it’s still fine if you hide them at some point cause you earn a lot, or not enough!
Your Patreon, your rules.
What scared me about showing my earnings is people who might think: uh she earns enough! When it’s not true, because they don’t realize how much money I should actually earn so i can pay all my bills and everything.
I’ve spoken to my patrons one night in Discord, only a few were up and I told them all the crazy taxes I have to pay, and they had NO IDEA about that, they kind of think for example when they commission me a 100€ piece (I’m an artist) I keep all of it. And that’s not how it work in Spain. =(
That’s kind of the only reason I don’t show my earnings…