Has anyone hit an income plateau? I notice that most patreon-related conversations seem to circulate around people trying to start a patreon campaign, etc. But this topic is more for established creators. No one seems to talk about plateaus. What is your experience with it?
I’ve only been on Patreon a little over a year and a half and the longest plateau I’ve had was 3 months. It was around this time last year. I try for a really strong start to the year with more promotion and giveaways both last January and this, but I cannot gain a new patron in January. I actually just lost a patron for the first time today, but I’ve been anticipating it. It’s gotta happen sometime, it’s as inevitable as plateaus.
I have a very low following across my social media, so I suspect I’m entering into another period of no growth and I expect this one to last even longer until I can build that up. Last year it hit me pretty hard because I had no growth while I was having a giveaway month and I created more art and content for my patrons during those 3 months than I had previously. I kept at it and since then I’ve averaged one new patron every other month. *Edit: Just lost 2 more patrons, so looks like this is gonna be worse than a plateau for the next few months. Gonna just have to keep my head down and focus on the work.
How long have you been a creator on Patreon?
After about two years on Patreon, I haven’t run into any plateaus yet, but I do notice that I’m trending towards one. Curious to see how that’ll hold up as I finish up my current project and announce the next one. In the past, there has always been a slow in growth near the end of a project, followed by a surge of growth after announcing the next.
i wouldn’t say i have reached a plateau, but there are some fluctuations for me. Ofcourse I have been doing this fulltime for only 6 months atm
I’ve been on Patreon for three years now and I definitely hit a plateau last year and even started to decline a bit. Adding in some new rewards and thanking people in my show (I do podcasts) has helped reverse the trend but it’s still not growing per se, just holding the line.
had to work to find the right patreon, but your patreon is immpressive! I wonder why the decline? Will definitely keep my eye your podcasts.
I’ve been sitting on a plateau for at least a year now. I try not to worry about it too much because I like the fact that it’s stable and let’s be get everything together and how I want it which is difficult when there’s a rush of new people.
Oh yeah sorry. Should have made clear which one I was talking about. I suspect the leveling off has to do with reaching a saturation point on the number of folks in the audience who can/are willing to help. So my first move was to do things to keep them happy and less likely to stop. And the next would be to grow the potential audience.
Personally what I wish I had was a TON of $1 subscribers. Like, I wish most of my subscribers were at the $1 level, and that there were thousands of them. Then losing a few isn’t as big a hit as losing a single $100 person.
It’s too bad there’s no “bargain section” on Patreon where people can browse “get lots of stuff for cheap” creators. I know I’d shop there. Lol.
My model is very Patron-vote driven. Patrons decide what projects I work on and when a game didn’t gel the way I had hoped it would in mid '16, I definitely hit a plateau. They were disappointed and it showed. The next game had to ‘work’ really well so it forced me to focus and ensure I avoided the issues I had w/previous game. The game was a hit w/patrons and I broke the plateau wall and have been trending up incrementally since then.
I am the same. My ultimate goal is 1000 $1 patrons and just a few of the higher. I tried to fill my $1 reward level with just so much stuff to promote this. I want that to be where my steady regulars are and all of my higher tiers I expect to be short term. I want that $1 tier so enticing that after they’ve decided they can’t afford it or they’ve gotten what they want from the higher ones, they will hopefully continue at the $1 level. It’s more sustainable for them and like you said it’s not so nerve wracking to wonder if this is the month you lose that $20 or higher patron who is just such a huge percentage of the income.
I don’t know about callin’ it a bargain section, but it would be nice if Patreon would promote some content heavy $1 reward creators to people who are new to being a patron and those lookin’ to support as many creators as possible.
I haven’t been on Patreon long enough for me to recognize my own plateau yet, but I imagine this happens to everyone at a certain point when you’ve gone through your regular list of fans, and after the promo’s I’ve done for Christmas and January, I’m probably about to hit it. I think the only way to get over that plateau is to gain more fans, subscribers, Newsletter sign ups, etc As I gain more of a following, my original sudden an sharp upspike in patrons will slow down to be sure, but so long as I can consistently grow month per month, I’m fine with that
Mine has plateaued as a percentage of my audience. I’ve been working hard to keep my show growing but have not had luck increasing the percentage of regular listeners who become patrons. The last two months the number of patrons “churning” out has been up…not sure if that is due to the time of the year, general economic worries or something I’m doing/not doing. Prob all three! Trying to get a conversation going with patrons to figure out #3.
i feel the exact same way. i seriously just want to post everywhere “PLEASE just become a $1 patron. don’t stress about which level to join at! i prefer you pledge for $1 than $20, in fact!” but it sounds ungrateful lol.
I definitely feel like I’m stuck in a weird spot. I probably need to promote better, but I already feel like I do it pretty excessively, and I’m probably at (roughly) the highest I’ve ever been, but I’ve been within $50 of this amount since mid-2015 (and I joined Patreon in 2013). It can be frustrating for sure.
I’m discovering the same, and have hit a plateau in May of last year. It’s been growing a little, but the number of Patrons and pledges has pretty much maintained the same level of funding for as long. I went so far as to change things up, and offer more for Patrons, which had no effect at all. I need to churn out videos at a very rapid pace in order to maintain my numbers.
If I could offer more, I would. But the funding isn’t quite high enough to do my planned Monthly Give-away. Since I took that off the page (it was far too costly), it’s been a struggle to maintain my funding levels. Most months I’ll lose as many Patrons as I gain, and will gain a few every couple of months. My YouTube subscriber base keeps growing with every release, but the Patrons are much, much slower.
I’ve noticed this trend seems to happen quite a bit with some established creators. Others just seem to rake in Patrons quickly and easily. It’s odd too, because I watch and take note of what the audience wants from other channels and videos that do well and try and offer the same or better value.
I have somewhat plateau-ed this past year. I’ve been using patreon for a long time and while i have reached some pretty awesome heights for income, it has been a struggle to hit milestones these days. (To the point that i’m sprucing up my resume to find a part time job because patreon just isn’t as reliable for me anymore.) There are so many artists and while there are many patrons, people come and go and i haven’t been able to get to the income level needed to solely work on my craft this year. I’m being supported by the same group of people at higher levels and when one of them leaves, it’s a huge blow. People seem to NOT want to pledge at $1 for various reasons but i’ve seen a big push from the patreon community in trying to help the patrons of the world understand that $1 is amazing and it isn’t “cheap” because every little bit helps. $1000 $1 pledges can be better then 10 $100 pledges in most cases.
This isn’t to say that i don’t appreciate every person on my patreon that pledges at higher levels. (They are amazing!) It just means that when someone leaves (which they are bound too since everyone’s life fluctuates and finances follow suit) it is harder to recover.
I have remodeled my patreon about once a year since i started (and minor changes between them) and it is definitely a challenge to find the best mesh with your patrons while also keeping it open to potential patrons in an attractive manner even when you get their input. Interest and actual finances are always different in the end.
I have had this exact same thought!
I’ve been on Patreon for almost 3 years now and I’ve hit one too, with the money anyway. What I mean is that I’ve had a fairly steady increase in the number of patrons even as my monthly sum plateaued. I recently changed my goals to be community-based instead of dollar-based because I wasn’t reaching my dollar goals. It hasn’t helped yet, but I did just do it.
I like @Lochy’s idea of adding more love to the $1 reward!
Since posting that I’ve gone to a single reward tier where patrons choose the amount they want to pledge and get all the stuff no matter how much they pledge. I was really hoping to get more $1 pledges in that way, but I’m still at a plateau. I haven’t gained a single new patron this year. I’ve shifted focus from trying to promo the heck out of my Patreon to people who have seen it many times and don’t have any intention of becoming a patron to just growing my following elsewhere. It is really slow for me because I don’t have as much energy to focus on it as I would like.