How are you gaining momentum and crossing a tipping point?

So I’ve recently launched my Patreon page. From what I’ve seen, lasting success seems to hinge pretty heavily on gaining momentum with getting Patrons onboard.

I mean, no one ever really wants to sign up for something that no one else is signed up for right?

It seems that there is almost a tipping point of Patrons that encourage Patrons. Aside from asking mom, emailing a list, promoting on social, etc., I’m curious as to what others who may have crossed this tipping point have done to gain that early and needed momentum.


And I’d be curious to know around what number of patrons did others see their Patreon start to gain momentum? I managed to get 5 patrons my first month and over the course of over a year now I am averaging one new patron per month. I’ve been chuggin’ away at it, but I feel like I’ve been spending a disproportionate amount of time on promotion to creation. I am ready for that to flip.

As far as what I’ve done, I’m always keepin’ my Patreon in people’s mind. I know some artists who start their Patreon, mention it once and then never again, and then they are wondering why no one is supporting them. I mention every time I’m near a milestone and in the beginning it’s important to have a lot of smaller goals so you have something attainable to build that momentum. Every time I put a new artwork on Patreon, I share one of my older ones and link back to my Patreon. That way anyone going to check it out will see that there are several newer pieces there, plus works in progress, and tons of written work. I keep my Patreon very content heavy and just sprinkle crumbs on other social media. For example, Instagram gets all of my WIP and photos of artist meetings, but they have to go to Patreon to see the finished work. I share finished work on DA, tumblr, and FB, but send them to Patreon for the WIP and most current artwork. I talk about my art process and artworks on my blog, but link Patreon for them to see it. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t in some way mention my Patreon on another site, sometimes it is as subtle as just goin’ to talk on message boards with my Patreon link in my signature.


@jody, from what I can see you’ve got all the right ideas. @Lochy is doing the right thing though (and by the way, one a month is not bad - growth is growth), you definitely have to be persistent. I’m in your boat where I had a bunch of people jump on board and then my number just kind of stagnated. Unless you really persist in shouting it out, people don’t jump on board. I’m super lucky to have the patrons I do, and I had some already-established works that I could promote from. The things that I can think of that weren’t mentioned in this post (although they might still count as promoting on social or hitting up a list) are:

  • If you’ve ever run a kickstarter, hit up your backers via message or email.
  • If you’re doing any video content, use the Patreon card, thank your patrons in it, mention your patreon somewhere in the video content, something like that.
  • If you’re only tweeting or posting on facebook, consider hitting friends&family up individually.
  • Don’t give up.

I’ll pop back over if I think of anything else. Good luck, and hope this helps a bit.


I agree @Lochy about being curious of that tipping point, or if there really is one at all. It does seem though like there would be a point where potential patrons would be easier to get based off of having a certain number of patrons already.

How much of your Patreon content is available for everyone vs patrons only?

@inversephase I can definitely see it is a slow and steady race on this. Like many things it seems that consistency is key. What I’m afraid of is that keeping the Patreon up and growing will require so much time and energy that the other side of the content I’m producing through the podcast and blog will suffer or lag. I’m not against putting in some real effort towards it, just not at the expense of what it is intended to fund, if that makes any sense.

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I look for unconventional ways to slip in the Patreon name/logo. I just did a tutorial video for the new End Screen feature rolling out on YouTube and one of the elements I featured was a linked logo to…my Patreon page. It isn’t as direct as an informational card or a link in the end screen, but my hope is it will build a recognition that my channel is connected to them.

I don’t have any patron only posts and I try to post at the very least once a week. I know I have some followers on Patreon because I encourage them to join the conversation and I see hearts from people who are not patrons. Knowing that I’m popping up in someone’s home feed regularly is why I don’t put anything behind a paywall. I have an upcoming NSFW reward tier, but that will be hosted on another site and patrons will get a password, so that is the only part that will be behind a paywall.

I did get a patron from DeviantArt a couple of weeks ago and that was my first one outside people I’ve know personally for a long time online. All the same, every patron I have is someone I have tried to make a connection with. I have yet to have an unknown person become a patron. Maybe that’s when you can see a tipping point, when you get a patron you don’t know and you have no idea where they came from.

@jody, I know where you’re coming from. I mean, there is a tipping point for everyone, I’d say…it’s probably just different for everyone. I can tell you I have 49 patrons, and I wasn’t always there. At my first paid post, I was at roughly 19. This was mostly social promotion and reaching out to a few people. I grew 6 patrons to 25 by my next paid post (the next month), and grew slowly throughout 2014 (the one-a-month thing, almost exactly). For the entirety of 2015 I fought to get into the 40s in patrons, and bounced all around there. Anyway, since June 2015 everything is stagnant. Things have changed a little bit here and there, people adjusting their pledges, one person will drop off and a new one will join. I don’t fault any of the patrons.

Anyway, I’m hoping this sort of information will at least help folks see what “the beginning” for someone that isn’t big looks like, and I hope other folks that might be “medium sized” (?) will post their results as well.


While my numbers are a bit different than what im reading most people are experiencing here I without a doubt see a plateau effect! I think its natural that there comes a time that you have either converted all of your social media followers to your Patreon and need to find ways to advertise to a NEW audience or option B) You need to think of new ways to get the stragglers into your fold as it were.

Something I have been trying as of late is getting people to sign up for the 1$ lowest pledge and then pushing conversion to higher tiers once they are in the gates rather than focusing on getting people to sign up off the bat at higher tiers. The higher tier people were the ones that came first to my patreon so now its thinking of ways to get reluctant sorts. Figuring out WHY they are reluctant I think is the key T__T getting that info…not so easy.

For me I have had a lot of success in getting an influx of 1$ pledges by offering these 2 things:

  1. I said for EVERY supporter I will take a shout out fansign selfie no matter if its 1$ or $100s. Then I post those selfies onto my FB fanpage saying “if you want a shout out as well head on over to blah insert sales pitch here”. So everytime i upload those selfies i A) remind my FB followers and B) make sure my patreon supporters hit up my FB to see them.
  2. I offer exclusive official merchandise that is ONLY available for purchase if you are a patron be it 1$ or $100… you get the idea.

This is a really interesting thing. I’ve been thinking a lot on how if, say, even 1% of my social media followers jumped on patreon for a buck, I’d be able to afford bills and it’d give me a lot more time to create. So first off, I appreciate these ideas! Maybe I should add something super basic to my $1 tier…hmm…

Related: I’ve been wondering if anyone has experimented with (or Patreon has considered) something to woo back (or retain) patrons. For example, when they’re thinking about cancelling their pledge (or if someone already has), asking them if they would be interested in dropping to the lowest support tier, because we really need them to grow. Thoughts?


Have you checked out the section of your dashboard:
When a patron leaves they are automatically given an exit survey to find out why they had to go. I find most people dont want to tell me before they leave that they will be leaving - or that they dont want to truthfully convey it. So i take even this with a grain of salt but it should give you an idea!

I think it was a marketing seminar with Sue Brice that said no one can not afford your service/product. It is your job to sell why they should want it so much they make it apriority. Something worded better than that but it has a good point to keep in mind if a lot of ppl exit with the reasoning of “financial change” or something of the like!

If you get a lot of “I only intended to pledge for a limited time.” maybe look at what that month’s releases were to see if you can gather what was so alluring and repeat it in future months?

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Yep, very familiar with the exit surveys; that’s why I said what I did. For my patrons, a few have reached out, and I do believe the majority have cut their pledges because they want to support but don’t have the cash.

Anyway, it is true that you need to sell yourself, but that’s something I hope my work will prove for me, and won’t be an issue, eventually…

@inversephase I really like the idea of an upsell/downsell option! Say they come to pledge $1, but there’s an option for the creator to add an upsell page that says something like, “if you pledge just $2 more you’ll get…” or “Are you sure you wanna miss out on ____, for just $ more you can get these rewards too.” I’m just thinking as I’m typing here. I realize these could be crafted a little more compellingly.

Along with this would be a downsell option if they are considering dropping support and are pledging anything above the base level. Kind of forcing them to choose not supporting at all over choosing a lesser support level. Similar to what is often used on email opt-in boxes–“Yes, I find value in what [this creator] is producing and would still like to support them ,but at a lower level,” or “No, I no longer find value in what [this creator] is producing and would like to remove support.”


Super smart of you @KassandraLeigh I think to try to get them in the door with $1 pledge. I wonder how successful a $1 campaign of sorts would be. Say for 1 month (or a few), everyone who pledges at least $1 will get [something special that isn’t normally a reward]. Then have a plan of some sort of hook to get them to stay once they’re on board supporting.

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THIS! I hope this gets seen by more people because I think it would be great to have. I mean, years of working retail i know the power of “but for just 2$ more blah” at the time of checkout can have lol And the downsell option as well might be nice as a last ditch DONT LEAVE MEEE effort


Yeah! I think downselling to me would be even more valuable than an upsell; in my particular case, I think a lot of my patrons were rather gung-ho about jumping on board and they supported at a (comparably?) high dollar amount. I wish that I could just hold onto them rather than seeing them part completely, even if it just meant staying on for a buck.

A secondary way for Patreon to implement this, if they don’t want to do the upsell/downsell thing, would be to send out an email after, say, 3 months, to people that supported anyone on Patreon, and send out a sort of “hey, a few months ago you said your financial situation changed, we hope you’re doing better and just wanted to remind you these people you supported are still around” type email.


How do you all get more Patreons?

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i mean… you create a project worth following, naturally… … and then you take the Patreon Platform like it’s a “full-time job”… essentially.

It’s hard work to build Patreon. I won’t lie.

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