At times people say that patreon is for giving your audience something that is worth their money and some argue saying if your audience wants to support you, they will no matter what you give or don’t give in return. I feel burnt out with my patreon for trying to meet multiple benefits, to keeping patrons and I just wonder how do people who get their audience to just support them?
I am just endlessly delighted that people are willing to give me money to draw weird comics and put them online. No other rewards. Just “hey I have some excess money and I put a little of it to work supporting this artist who makes shit I like”.
I might make less money than someone actively pushing people to higher tiers that I have to make stuff specially for every month, but there is next to zero stress. I just draw the stuff my Muse moves me to draw and I post it to Patreon as well as publically (with bonuses like WIP chapters for the patrons) and my patron count generally keeps trending upwards. It’s fucking magical.
From what I’ve seen, it depends on creators. By that I mean some mostly get followers looking for rewards, while others mostly get people who just want a way to support them. No idea which one of these two you are.
As a patron, I mostly give without expecting anything in return, other than the satisfaction of knowing I’ve helped them keep on creating stuff I like. Stuff others get for free and I don’t care. The best example is this blogger who doesn’t offer ANY reward and I give more to him than I do to any other creator, because I love what he writes. And his writings are free for everyone to read. And I still give him a decent chunk of money every month.
As a creator, I know some of my patrons give me money every month just so I can keep on creating. I’m sure they do, because they give me more than what they would need to give to get on one of my tiers but chose not to be on any. In other words, they could get a reward but chose not to.
And last but not least, I know you MUST take care of yourself. If your tiers are too much work, retire them. Talk with your patrons about it beforehand but do retire them. Make it clear they won’t get anything if you’re burnt out so it is in their best interest as well. But I’m sure they’ll be more than willing to help you anyway.
Hope this helps
Oh wow, I really want to be like that
Wow you are an amazing patron. I hope my patrons are just as understanding. You are right, I have reached my limit
Really, don’t be afraid to ask them.
One thing’s for sure: you need some rest, whatever that turns out to mean exactly to you.
They chose to be your patrons, so they value what you create. They’re not here to steal from you, they’re here to support you. And yeah, sure, maybe they expect something in return. But they won’t be mad at you for asking them how they would feel about some change.
Just don’t sacrifice your own sanity to please them. Being nice to yourself is the best gift you can give them.
If you’re feeling burnt out it’s time to reevaluate whether you are simply trying to do more than you can feasibly keep up with on a regular basis. It might be time to see where/how you can simplify, either by slowing down how often you post or seeing if you can’t make adjustments to your tiers so you have less work with them.
When last I checked your page, you had a lot of tiers, maybe you should see if you can’t combine a few of them so you have less to manage. If you have patrons, try talking with them so see how you can make adjustments that work for both of you.
I completely redid my own tiers last year because they weren’t working well for me. I’d made them overly complicated so I majorly simplified everything so that it was easier for both me my patrons. I’ve also recently decided to slow down how often I was posting. I’d been aiming for 3-5 posts per week, but it was getting to where that was going to be difficult to maintain so I’ve cut back to a goal of 2-3 posts a week. My page combines all three of my art-loves (writing, digital painting, and jewellery), and, originally, I’d separated each out into their own tiers plus had a combined tier and a couple of low tiers that basically amounted to a ‘tip jar.’ Some of the benefits I’d put in would have been very difficult for me to maintain if they garnered a lot of patrons. After giving it a lot of thought and asking around, I decided to combine all of them into one and just go with a tier model of ‘support where it works best for you’ and every tier getting the same content and benefits. That way, patrons who were interested in more than just one area of my art didn’t have to choose between them or feel forced to upgrade to a tier that may be higher than they could manage in order to get all the content they were interested in.
There’s nothing wrong with slowing down or simplifying. In the long run, it’ll be to both your and your patrons benefit as it’ll be easier for you to keep creating.
Bless you truly, it’s nice to meet a kind soul such as yourself. I will take care of myself better. Thank you for your advice
True, I’m planning on doing that tonight. Changing most of my stuff
I’ve felt burnt out at times too - I think one of the more challenging aspects of being a creator in our virtual world is this push to make/produce as much as you possibly can. We all feel it. With benefits for patrons, I’ve changed mine a lot during the past 4 years and although some of my patrons are just “support driven” in that they want my YouTube channel to keep going and don’t care what rewards I offer, most are both support and benefit driven - they appreciate having a little simple something extra. I try to keep the rewards simple though - it’s easy to take on too much.
I think that’s what I have to figure out, how to simplify my benefits.
Good nights sleep dust down and go again tommorrows another day the communications overhead of doing social media can be crushing. I find the best thing to do is remove all social media comms from your smart phone and have it all on your computer. this way you can escape it and have some normal life when you need to.
Subscription churning is a reality. People subscribe to get their benefit, then they cancel if there’s nothing more coming the next month they didn’t get when they subscribed. You need to always have new items people want each month (it has to be something relevant, because if you give them 10 items and only one extra per month, they might not stay around, or come back half year later to get all six, you get the point). Some people are nice and generous because they genuinely want to support you on whatever you do, but most people come for the perks.
Thank you I actually did this and it’s been helping
This is so true, that’s how I get burnt out trying to get people not to depledge. The first of the month is coming and I need to prepare myself to a huge drop in numbers
what sort of numbers are you doing if you dont mind me asking how many total patreons and how many do you loose each month?
Yes, that’s how it goes. And some people get angry when they’re cut off on the 1st of the month if they paid later on the month, they tend to expect 30 days for each payment.
I think that, considering the subscription churning, it’s fair enough they pay on subscription day, then again on the first of the month, that way they have an extra incentive to stay long term, plus we sometimes have extra manual work each time someone subscribes or cancels, so a bit of rounding up is appreciated when you’re small creator.
I didn’t check my percentages to avoid the extra pressure, but I feel there’s always a significative number of depledges.
Now, it depends a lot on what you offer and your production cycle. Always hold off to release new content when you’re sure the people who depledged can’t access it without subscribing again. There’s also something called “involuntary churning”, which happens when the user does not cancel, but doesn’t pay either, sometimes they intentionally use prepaid cards (or freeze their cards) blocking recurring payments.
On that side, my experience shows that some people reach out when I message them quickly (I usually give them 24 hours to contact me), then fix their payment. But most don’t. Then, once you cut them off, some “suddenly” resubscribe, which means that some people will do whatever they can to get a freebie, sadly.
Now, I don’t know if it’s wrong or right, I don’t judge. We all know consumers love “discounts”. If they see us as someone who’s delivering them a service or product, they’ll treat us that way. Some understand they’re supporting a creator, they tend to stay. But It’s a matter of the time and quality of your relationship with them. I am very thankful for the support I receive (tiny community) and that support was essential, since ad revenue is just ridiculous since about a year ago (unless if you have rich viewers that click on ads and even purchase things LOL).
Sorry for the long reply.
Unfortunately my comment was taken out of context, I will make sure not to comment on any more posts again.
I haven’t been doing this for that long but at the very beginning on discord, I watched a decent writer fall apart because he felt he was letting his Patreons down. He was about to just stop writing and erase the lot. He was supported (thanks Reddit) and instead he suspended his Patreon. I think he just kept the Kofi app and carried on writing. I think we can get way too wrapped up in the machine. I steal my Patreons names for my stories and they get a different colour on my discord and that’s the same for one euro or twenty-five. They seem happy with that and just enjoy the stories. Also the writer that was so stressed out came back and reduced his tiers, got rid of a lot of weird benefits and relaxed. Mostly he stopped thinking that every lost Patreon was some kind of personal failure, an attitude I try to hang on to.
I looked at what you offer and noticed a few things:
It looks like you have a couple tiers that are access to completed works. I offer that too in a slightly different way. I’m a model so I have Archives of past videos and selfies. What has worked well for me is offering those at a significantly higher tier knowing that some people will pay, look at or save the content, then leave. But I make sure it’s at a price where I’m comfortable with that happening. I also have people who will pledge at one of those tiers for a month, then drop down to tier that is just for that months fresh content. It might be worth considering charging a bit more for any sort of “complete” tiers.
Oh, and as far as the logistics of how I operate my Archive tiers: I use expiring links through DropBox. The link expires on the last day of the month and I edit the post with the new link by the 5th of the next month. I include a bit in the post saying “This link will expire at the end of the month and the new link will be posted the 5th of each month.” I bookmark that post and then when I need to find it to edit it, it’s easy to find.
So that’s one possible idea that might increase your income.
As far as the burnout… I’ve been there so many times. What I’ve found helpful is making lists.
What parts do you really enjoy? What rewards do you enjoy creating the most?
What rewards are the most time consuming? Are they also the ones earning you the most income? If not, you might want to consider posting them a bit less often or creating a bit less of those. For example, I used to offer 3 videos a month, but some months I just couldn’t do it. Now I offer 1 or 2 and if I give them more it’s a bonus. Nobody has complained and now they often feel they’re getting extra even though it’s come out to less work for me.
Which of your tiers are the most popular? Which aren’t as popular? Over the past few years I’ve started unpublishing some tiers that just weren’t being pledged to as much. And then sometimes I combined tiers and adjusted the price accordingly.
You can also ask your Patrons in a poll what their favorite things are. I’ve found polls are great because people are more likely to answer those than to leave a comment.
Also, be honest with your Patrons. If you’re going to make changes, let them know in advance so they can consider updating their pledges. Let them know if you feel like something is a bit much and you might need to scale back. But always make sure you convey that it’s so you can continue creating and to creative the best content you can. The more you can spin it positively, the better they are likely to respond.
You’ve got tons of other great advice and I know I echoed some of it, but hopefully it helps.