Lack of clarity for new patrons


I’ve mentioned this before and I think this is really important for Patreon to consider:

I just don’t think that many new patrons understand the Patreon platform and I think this stifles engagement right from the outset.

When they sign up to support a creator like me, I don’t think many realise that they are setting up a Patreon account/user profile, much like they’d do with Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

A new patron has just asked me to look at the emails he’s received from Patreon because he’s confused and, I have to say, I can totally see why.

When he’s asked to confirm his email address, he gets a web form (screenshots attached) with no explanation about what it means.

It looks like he has to login with Facebook, which he doesn’t. And then he thought that all the social media ‘connect’ buttons were so that he could connect with me on my social media channels, which they’re not.

I think there could be improved clarity here. Something like a sentence at the top that says:

“Welcome to Patreon, a platform for creators and their supporters. You now have a Patreon account. Use this page to amend/update your profile settings:”

Then clearer sentences for each section that follows.

As audiences are gradually educated about patronage, I think they need to have their ‘hands held’ along the way more closely by Patreon.

I give people a lot of help in my automated ‘Thank you’ page but I don’t think the onus should be entirely on me to do so.

If you’d like me to share my own wording, I’d be more than happy.

I’ll look forward to hearing any thoughts…

— Jack



agreed, i think this definitely puts people off who have a limited understanding of patreon.


Hey @Jack, I can see how this would be confusing for patrons! Thank you for sharing. I will pass this feedback onto the patron experience team.


My pleasure, Mindy, and thank you…

— Jack

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Agreed, this is rather confusing! I had one patron who couldn’t figure out how to post on comments and ended up emailing me instead sometimes!

Jack, what do you put in your thank you bit to your patrons?


I think this is great feedback. Especially because it’s a rarity for the “creator” to see what the new patron initiate sees - this is good information. We could do more hand-holding for our patrons, but we don’t have the connectivity to do that role.


I feel as though this is an issue for those new to Patreon in general. For example, hitting the “Follow” button still takes them to the donation page, which would be very off-putting and frankly scary for someone who just arrived on the site and wanted to follow someone.

Instead, going to a friendly “Thanks for following!” page with what the follower could expect and a suggestion to subscribe would work much better.


I agree with Pattyloof. I dislike that following goes to a donation page. Like, I get that it’s meant to drive home that it’s a subscription
site and to entice people to pledge but we should be allowing people to follow without the immediate guilt of “I don’t have enough/I just want to view their work a while before pledging.” Even as a creator pledging to others and being brought to this page
is quite off-putting and annoying.


Agreed with @Temrin and @pattyloof. Whenever I follow someone it’s BECAUSE I’m not able to pledge to them yet but would like to at one point and when that time comes I know how to do it.


It looks as if they’ve fixed it! I followed someone today and got a nice “congratulations, now you’re following X” message. Hurray!


Hurray! Thanks for the update @pattyloof :slight_smile:


Hi Emily,

Apologies for the slow reply! This is how my thank you page looks:


Dear Patron,

Thank you for your pledge and congratulations on becoming the newest Patron of The Lifeboat Station Project — welcome aboard!

You’re now helping to make one of the largest photographic projects ever undertaken. It’s very much-appreciated and, put simply, I couldn’t make this work without people like you.

Getting The Most From Your Patronage

Now would be a great time to download and install the Patreon app. I reckon it’s the best way to keep updated with news, videos, podcasts and the latest additions to The LSP Shop.

The app also makes it swift and easy to engage with the special posts I publish for my Patrons — you can like and comment on them just like Instagram or Facebook.

You’ve also got access to the noticeboard where you can post your own thoughts and photographs that you think might be of interest.

For example, I love to see photos from people who’ve been to lifeboat stations themselves or even spotted my mobile darkroom, Neena , on their travels. And feel free to share photographs of any merchandise you’ve purchased such as prints, keyrings, mugs and clothing!

Direct Messaging

You can also send messages to me directly via your Patreon account and app (just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Look out for the occasional message and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Patreon Profile Settings and Notifications

You now have a Patreon account and profile where you can tweak and refine your preferences.

I recommend taking a moment to look at your notification settings here. You might like to untick a few boxes so that you’re only notified of the things you’d like to see.

Catch Up

Remember, if you’ve pledged on Tier 1 or above, my Patron-only posts are now unlocked so you might enjoy spending a moment or two catching up. For example, click here for one of the recent video updates from Mission 16 made especially for my Patrons.

If you’ve pledged on a Reward Tier that includes an unlimited discount code for The LSP Shop, please contact me to receive it once your first payment has been processed.

One More Thing…

It would be very useful for me to know how you found my Patreon page. Perhaps it was via my website, social media or some other way? If you can spare a moment to drop me a line and let me know, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks again and I hope you enjoy following the journey you’re now helping to fund…

Wishing you fair winds and following seas,



Jack Lowe, The Lifeboat Station Project

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


Visit The Lifeboat Station Project

Visit the Shop


Thank you @Jack, @Sibuor, @artbyemilyhare, @CelestialBlueMusic, @pattyloof, @Temrin, and @Maarika for adding your thoughts to this topic.

I’m a product designer here at Patreon, and the team I work on is very much focused on this issue, both this quarter and ongoing. We just posted Open Studio #4 yesterday, where we shared some explorations specifically addressing fans (aka “not yet patrons”). I’ve compiled the thoughts here to discuss with my team, but if you have more I encourage you to add there or message me directly, since it is timely for what our team is working on.

I agree wholeheartedly that we, Patreon, can do more to communicate 1) what being a patron means to fans, and 2) what a new patron can expect and do now that they are a patron. We have a few key initiatives based on fan & patron research, and are validating more over the next couple of weeks. We will be updating the Open Studio post with outcomes, and communicating more generally with all creators as we prepare to roll out new options or functionality.

Keep the feedback coming!


Thank you @Nicholas! Will check out that link.

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This is brilliant thank you!! I might try and whip something up like this for myself as at the moment it’s very much ‘thank you’ and that’s it LOL. This is so comprehensive and brilliant!


Hi Nicholas,

It’s great to hear that you’re on it. My main piece of feedback is the one that kicked off this thread and relates to your point ‘2’ (above).

I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with. If ever you need me to help with anything else along the way, please feel free to get in touch.

— Jack

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My pleasure, Emily. Glad it’s helpful. Feel free to use it as you wish…all grist to the mill for us creators!

— Jack


Thanks and yes, I always share my tips with folks. They often say ‘you probably don’t want to share this but’ - but i always do. Kickstarter how to questions specifically are the most common!


Wow this is an incredible message! And so helpful!


Thank you, Mandy…I’m glad you think so!

— Jack

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