It is my first time to post here. I am Kaila, a kawaii lifestyle blogger / content creator based in Japan. I make kawaii journaling and Japan travel videos.
I drafted a blog entry on my main website and thought it might be useful to any creator out there.
I started patreon last April 2018 (first official payout month was May) and from 300 USD per month, I was able to grow my creative business to 3,500-4,000 USD per month with the help of loyal patrons around the world. I wanted to convert the eyeballs I get from youtube (i don’t really earn there a lot, it’s more like community service lol) to something more financially helpful for me since I have grand dreams in growing my brand.
I have been creating content for a long time and my category is actually a niche one (kawaii journaling). Since many of my supporters love going to Japan, I also make Japan / Tokyo travel guides. Through patreon, I was able to afford and reach my studio goal (I did all content creation / packing of rewards in a tiny Japanese apartment) before.
These are the things that helped me:
- Regular posts in a week + REPLYING to your patrons (i allot 5-10 minutes a day to just respond. I don’t respond at different times)
- I created a non-patreon community for those who have a similar hobby and we’re 1,500+ people there now: fb.com/groups/kawaiijournaling
- Social media breaks from instagram (to divert traffic from instagram to go to my patreon)
- Livestream updates every month
- Transparency with reward updates / shipping updates
- Making use of the patreon stories
- MONTHLY reward previews
- Tweaking tiers once in a while (I used to only have like 4, but my patrons love different themes / kinds of rewards. They also have different budgets so it is best to have back-up tiers for them if they cannot afford a certain big reward)
- I put limit in some of my tiers to prevent them from changing so often. If they leave that tier, they won’t have a slot anymore.
- Poll / asking for honest feedback. It is very important to listen to them and to take constructive criticism nicely. My patreon improved a lot after I applied their tips too!
- Updated Overview / index page every month
- Thanking my patrons whatever the amount of their pledge after the payments have been processed
- Using the money earned to reinvest and grow the business. I know have a good office printer, iPad Pro, lighting setup, and other things needed in the studio.
- Basically being 100% dedicated and setting SMART goals & continuously improving my craft (trying to learn new video editing techniques, learning silhouette cameo, etc.).
These tips may seem like time-consuming but trust me, these will pay off.
- If it is hard to do creative work full-time, have another non-creative job that will just financially support you FIRST. If it is an admin-related job, the better. You will learn from there (to have a successful creative business, it’s not only the actual creation / art that will make the support you… marketing / accounting / other aspects also count). If you demand your art / creative work to pay for everything, it will just cause you stress and discouragement. Be practical first and for now, make time for the job that you really want to focus on in the future (content creation, etc.). I recommend reading the book “BIG MAGIC”.
Anyway, I think I might have written too much lol but yeah, dedication is the key for patreon success.
To the curious, here is my patreon: http://patreon.com/rainbowholic
Thanks for reading and I wish you guys the best!