How do you promote your Patreon offline?

Have you found a way to bring Patreon into conversation? Do you have your Patreon on a business card? How are you gettin’ creative with promotion off the internet?

I am really awkward at initiating conversation, but I’ve found other people are not so I use that to my advantage. I do my art on my laptop, so I will sometimes go to a public place to work and occasionally have people come up and ask me about what I’m workin’ on. I use the back of my laptop screen as a tiny billboard with some images of my art and my Patreon URL on it.

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I guess I’m the only person actively tryin’ to promote outside of the internet. :sweat_smile:

I own a little junk shop and I have a small section with things I’ve made: buttons and posters and little things I make for conventions. A young woman came in today and bought some manga and started to take a picture of my little sign I have mentioning my Patreon so she could follow me. She was asking me if the artwork was mine and I threw in a free postcard (that has my Patreon URL on the back). She was so excited to get the postcard I’ve decided to give them away to anyone who shows interest. Better to have an ongoing $1 pledge than sell a one time $1 postcard. Even if I just get a free follower it’s better. You never know who they’ll share your art with, right?

I also have my art as my screensaver in my shop and I’ve had several people comment on that as well. My social media game is weak and I’ve always been awkward around people in person, but I seem to be doing better in that realm. Who would have thought it possible?

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I brought up Patreon as a platform in conversation with friends. It takes a bit to explain it and why I find it perfect for me (creative commons musician who likes giving his work for free online) and that it’s about patronage and not an exchange market. Until that point, all good, and… they find it very interesting and they get it most of the time and stuff… but then … I don’t know what to do … to … ask them if they’d like to be my patrons. Ah that ‘shame’ of begging (reading The Art of Asking right now). I like the idea of some kind of business card. I guess if they have something in their pocket and find it later and get reminded to check it out, that it might work.

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I think business cards, bookmarks, or postcards are great ways to hand someone a physical reminder. You can ask them to check it out and let them know it’s free to follow and you’d love their moral support. At that point it is literally in their hands and hopefully the public posts you have on your Patreon will entice them to become a patron without you actually havin’ to ask them. I’m not comfortable with that either, but I do like to talk about my art and how Patreon is allowing me to pursue that dream. Ultimately, they make the decision on their own without them feeling pressured and without you feelin’ like you’re pressuring them. It frees you up to just show them how passionate you are about what you’re doin’ and it doesn’t feel so much like a sales pitch.

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I sometimes mention it in conversation, and if the person I’m speaking with asks, I’ll explain it to them. I don’t really meet many people IRL who might be potential patrons. I think one of my 30ish patrons is someone I know offline. Mostly, I meet other broke artists, and if they ask, it’s because they’re interested in how it works for themselves, not to become a patron themselves.

It’s on my business cards, with the mentions of my various web sites and social media.

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You are right. Actually, number of times I had a similar feeling. I know some of my artist friends are strugling with making ends meet by the end of the month, perhaps that was the reason I hesitated to ask.

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I find trying to promote my patreon to people OFFLINE to be the most awkward thing in the world. Im a bit of a NEET myself and dont have much of a social network once unplugged lol But of course the eccentric nature of how I dress is sort of an ice breaker for this now n again. I wear crazy corsets, lolita dresses, latex etc as my day to day and people will teasingly be like “are you in a play”. Which I used to get pissed at but now i consider it an “opening”, to counter with “actually im a self employed artist through Patreon”. That phrase feels amazing to say and it has lead to the normal “through what now?” conversations we all probly have. I find the hardest thing to drill into people’s minds is that Patreon is NOT kickstarter. It ISNT a store. Most people still look at it like “i give this and get this this and this” rather than the spirit of a true patron of the arts. Renaissance era style, ya know? Thats still something im working on …wording?

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It’s great that how you dress encourages people to talk to you. I’ve often wanted to change my style to reflect more of who I am and what I do, but it’s always been a little intimidating to me. I’ve always been in situations: school, workplaces, etc. where it was safer to blend in than stand out. It’s difficult for me to get out of that way of thinking, though it might ultimately benefit me as it has you.

It certainly is safer to blend in! But its not very safe to be an artist so you might as well be true to thine self! For me im more about prioritizing what I want and then trying to find ways to adapt to make sure it works. IE: I have very bad anxieties and I worked in the high fashion industry. Rich snobby people dropping 5K on their little kids winter formal dress- that kinda thing. Just cracked man…couldnt go back. So i HAD to make my art work. Iv always dressed crazy because it was important to me to express myself…got me in TONS of fights growinng up but rather than giving up and going to Old Navy I learned self defense. Its always a trade off! You just gotta figure out what you want to trade i think

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This is a great idea. I’d think some kind of sticker graphic would be good, with the Patreon logo and link to your profile. I’ve never tried it but since I go to conventions so often I might try this in the future. I usually find business cards just get stashed and never seen again.

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As strange as it sounds: I have luck taping my business cards up in the bathroom or on walls of places ppl tend to sit down and hang out. There is something about the brain that goes “WTF IS THIS” upose to just handing it to random people when you meet. I dont do it for my full pack but if i have some spares on the bottom of my purse while im out somewhere i think is my demo n wat not…its a thing!

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The Business cards and post cards sounds like a brilliant idea, actually. I’m a writer and I attend a couple of signings per year, and also mail some swag out to fans or people who’ve won contests. There’s business cards all over the place at those things. I could make those business cards with my book cover on one side and the Patreon information in the back through Vista Print, turn it into a bookmark with some ribbon and nice beads, and send them out to my fans who have yet to pledge, or hand them out at signings and events, letting people know they can get a free print book if they sign up for $1 or $2. If you’re an artist and you’re doing an event where you’re selling your work, CDs, prints, etc, wouldn’t this be the better idea for marketing offline? Sure it would only work for events, but it’s still something to think about

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You know, I have new business cards made at the end of every year, with photos of artwork on them. (From Moo.com, where they let you put a bunch of different color fronts on one standard printed back.) I always have leftovers at the end of the year. I think I might do this with them.

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These are great ideas!

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I really like the idea of the added accessories to make it a little more special. People will pick up business cards and just as quickly dump them. If you make it into something usable, they are more likely to hold onto it. And what a good thing for a writer! As they finish a book and pull your bookmark out while wondering what to read next it will be a perfectly timed reminder. My bookmarks in the past haven’t been anything spectacular, just black line art on colored cardstock, but I’m thinkin’ I will try this out for my next event. Couldn’t hurt to have some in a ziplock bag in my purse to give people when the opportunity presents itself.

I think when used right, booksmarks and business cards can be pretty great. I can also put in my back matter of print books how people can pledge, and offer people print books if they are my Patron for $1-$3, as opposed to buying a print book for $5-$10. I could also print off my own fliers for these events to make it easier to explain to people since I know Patreon is still kind of new on the creator stage, and tomorrow I’m going to attempt an all day live stream to see if anyone will show up and get excited while I plot out and write my next romance novella, which I will give to Patrons on December 20th. I’ll have to let people know how that goes shortly since so far, social media has been a complete snooze for getting people onto my Patron page. They’re all so far coming in from my mailing list and only when I’m offering up timed exclusive deals.

Personally, I’d love it id Patreon HQ opened up a mini store where I could buy a sticker with the Patron logo on it and stick it on my laptop, or even those waterbottles they were giving away at Patrecon with their logo on it and, the option to put my name beneath it, or even a hoodie so that when I wore the hoodie or used the bottle in public and people saw it , I could have a reason to talk to them about it. I might make the hoodie myself on CafePress if I’m allowed to get away with it though.

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I think the mini store for Patreon is a fantastic idea. I was thinkin’ about makin’ a t-shirt for myself on my Zazzle shop that on the front says “Ask me about my patrons.” or “Ask me about my Patreon.” Then I could just have my Patreon URL on the back. Not sure about the issue of usin’ the Patreon logo as you said though, which is why I hadn’t gone forward with that though I could probably do a generic one without the logo. You could maybe do something with your book covers as a front shirt design and have your URL on the back.

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Yeah the logo is a tricky one, mostly because I see other Patreon Creators using it all the time to promo their work, usually with their own art to make it “theirs” so to speak. This could be a character next to it with the usual “Support m/us on Patreon!” Though youy’re right, I’ve never seen any physical products with that logo on it for sale. What I meant was making the hoodie for me and my own personal use, or in the case of stickers, handing them out to my own Patrons at these events. Something along the lines of “I support my Favorite Author/Creator/or Artist on Patreon!”. I’m hoping that would be different, but next time they have one of their Patreon live stream hangouts, I want to ask Jack Conte if they’ll ever do the store thing, or if I can just make my own stuff, if the logo is all right to use, and if so, on what sort of product and when

I put the Facebook and Twitter Logos on the back of my books to encourage followers, so I’m hoping that would be okay to do for Patreon as well since my goal is making sure my readers know what it is, and you can get followers on here as well, not just Patrons

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