I started my Patreon with a very small following: I started my Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook page the same month and only had 100 combined followers on Deviantart, Twitter, and my blog before that. Despite that I felt I had a pretty strong start as my earnings by the end of my first month were $50. I’ve had very good patron retention and pledge increases. The first year I averaged one new patron a month. That’s probably not phenomenal, but given my low following I was pleased.
I am about to celebrate my 2nd Patreon anniversary, but feel like everything has stalled out this second year. I’ve tried several promotions to build a following outside of Patreon. I’ve done giveaways and contests, been reading and applying marketing techniques: posting regularly at prime times, created calls to action, hashtagging everything with every relevant tag I can think of, commented on other people’s posts, participate in conversations, join groups, talked in forums, created polls, asked questions, done conventions, spoken with people offline and in person, and just anything I can think of or anyone has suggested to me to engage others. Aside from what feels like endless promotion I have been improving my art, trying new techniques, following tutorials, experimenting with different media, finding bits of spare time here and there to increase my output, etc. I am seeing good improvement on my skills, but marketing is like tryin’ to run in molasses. I’m gettin’ no where fast. I’ve averaged 100 new followers across all of my social media per year and this just seems very low when I compare to other’s numbers.
I know this is a slow process and I’m playin’ the long game, but I’m seein’ no where near the growth or engagement I would expect for the amount of research, effort, and art I am producing. I’m either doing something very wrong or there is something crucial that I’m missing.
Does anyone have any tips or advice on what’s working for you? Is anyone else having the same problem? I’m really curious to hear what’s working for you and what you might have found to be working against you.