I think I'm starting to alienate people pretty heavily

I asked a couple old journalism mentors if they’d contribute “$2 or more” to my patreon and they didn’t respond but they responded about other things, which I’m interpreting as them not willing to lend dignity to the subject. I feel like trying to get money for patreon has turned me into a promotional machine and it’s doing me more harm than good because I’m trying too hard to promote myself. In the same way that I hustle for articles, I’m also hustling for donations and it’s probably back firing.

This is me talking to a journalism mentor who suggested a job opening. In the first paragraph, I compliment him on his latest article. Then we talked politics at the newspaper we both write for. Then I slipped in the patreon in paragraph 3. He didn’t respond to paragraph 3.
"Hey XXXXX,

I didn’t know there was such a thing as conservative high schoolers outside of a few fringe folks who’s parents were conservative. Young people are always idealists but perhaps the 60s or 70s were different? I’d like to see a column on if there was a young republicans club or so.

I talked to XXX and he said they’d throw my hat in the ring but I have no idea. I think it would be a great fit for me. In the interim, I decided to turn down an article from the FCNP I think I would have liked to do because my friend told me to guard my value and I didn’t want them to trash a piece I wrote and only pay me half because I thought it was newsworthy. I felt I needed to withhold articles as a bargaining tactic, do you think that was effective?

Do you have any suggestions for whether people might contribute to my patreon? I figure that news outlets are asking for donations but that money doesn’t filter back to me and I feel like I argue my case well.
http://www.patreon.com/okjournalist"

Here’s an example of an email. Is it too alienating? Some might feel it’s too much to ask people you’ve interviewed but a lot of people compliment me on articles I’ve written about them after reading them:
"Andrew,

As you know I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing you last year for the XXXX XXX XXX bout your wonderful sheet music collection.

The article I wrote about you was one of hundreds I’ve written over the past decade spread out over three dozen publications http://www.muckrack.com/orrin-konheim).

The newspaper industry has been on various forms of life support throughout my entire tenure and the news industry has taken a significant dive in the past 18 months that has only gotten worse with the Corona Virus.

At a time when people are watching the news more than ever to be updated on the Corona Virus and to expose corruption (studies show that government corruption runs rampant without a firm press), I am committed to spreading awareness for the importance of news and pay it forward through the creation of a group on facebook (with 60+ members) which helps other journalists network and find their footing.

Few of my publications can afford me a living wage as a freelancer anymore so I am asking for donations through patreon to supplement my work so that I can deliver quality news to the community in addition to blogging on the film industry and youtubing. Any little bit helps, you can refund at any time, and you will hopefully get value back in terms of promotional help as delineated through my tiers.

My patreon is currently at http://www.patreon.com/okjournalist.

Sincerely,

Orrin Konheim"

I think that’s pretty normal behavior on their part to not respond to it. People tend to have negative reactions when it comes to someone sweet talking then asking for money/favors. Not saying that’s necessarily what you’re doing, but I can see how someone might interpret it in that way.

If you don’t want to alienate people while still trying to promote yourself, you can do that passively. Include it in you email signature. Or include your website in your email signature which has its own link to your Patreon. Post it in your Twitter/Insta/etc bios. Stuff like that.

Regardless, I don’t think it’s worth alienating friends or contacts because it seems like you’re begging for money. I think a common misconception people have is that Patreon = instant success, rather than bunkering down for the long haul. Most people who gain a lot of success with Patreon are ones who already put in a ton of work building a following elsewhere. It’s not an easy thing to do, but if your eyes are only focused on the green, you’re gonna have a more difficult time.

You’re asking for money from someone you wrote about? There’s some people who might misinterpret that as an attempt to buy coverage. Logically, it’s not, but it might still rub them the wrong way.

Why aren’t you asking your readers? I went to your Muck Rack entry and your own blog and didn’t see a link to your Patreon page. You don’t have to be pushy, but it’s hard to follow a link that isn’t even there.