Meet Danya – the newest addition to the Patreon Community Team!

Hiya friends – will everyone please join me in giving a big, warm welcome to Danya! :clap:

@Danya_Shults is the new head of community and education at Patreon :tada:

Danya was born on the East Coast, educated in the Midwest, and is currently a convert of sunny LA but will always be smitten by NYC.

She is a constant learner and optimist who welcomes juicy challenges. A connector of people and dots, a catalyst, and a storyteller. Warm and full of chutzpah, and she believes we are all more alike than we are different.

Danya is deeply passionate about and has spent 10 + years building and nurturing communities, designing meaningful and memorable experiences, and creating entertaining and educational content.

Danya loves starting from scratch and has worked at non-profits (Teach For America), tech startups (Skillshare), VC firms (Spark Capital), and founded her own digital media company in the spirituality and wellness space (Arq). Fun fact: Danya launched Arq’s membership community on Patreon, so she was a creator!

Danya will be hosting an AMA here in this thread for the rest of the week. Ask her anything about community building, event planning (on and offline!), content creation, starting from scratch, or crafting your personal or business brand and she’ll share her thoughts with you on Friday 11/20!

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Y’all, I am SO excited to be here and to get to know you! :two_hearts:

I’ve spent the bulk of my career connecting and supporting creators, from startup founders to visual artists and spiritual leaders, and I’m a creator myself. I believe deeply in the value of the work that you’re all putting out into the world, especially during this hectic, uncertain time we’re living in - you offer delight, inspiration, levity, know-how, and so much more.

I’m still getting up to speed on all things Patreon, but I’m excited to learn more about how my team can help smooth the way to your creative success :sparkles:

For now, please tap into my pre-Patreon experience and skills (see the list Reyna shared in her post above) - what do I know that you want me to share? I hope I can provide some actionable guidance from the get-go and give you a chance to learn more about me in the process!

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Welcome on board, so great to have another like minded, creative & together-ness orientated person here to improve patreon & our Content!

Okay, First question:
What are the 3 Things you like most about the whole ‘patreon thing’ – and what are the 3 Things, you’d say, could and should be improved/Changed/be worked on?

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Welcome, happy to see Patreon investing in the community with a quality hire like this!

From what you’ve seen so far, what do you feel is priority number one in terms of building upon Patreon’s relationship with its creators? Then, I’d also ask what you feel most eager to implement or expand upon, something that immediately stood out as a “Hey, we can fix/improve this immediately, here’s how!” type of thing.

Then for a little bit of fun, what do you think is the most underutilized or underrated tool that creators are missing out on? Whether it’s a platform, program, or way of doing things, is there something that stands out in that regard?

Wishing you the best of luck with this new endeavor!

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Looking forward to this

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@Tini Tell me more about you! What do you create? And what are your 3x3s - aka 3 things you love about Patreon, 3 things you’d change/start doing?

@YuuriVoice What are your fave tools / resources as a creator (on or off Patreon!)?

I’m still learning about all that Patreon has to offer and is planning to do, but here’s some of what excites and inspires me about our work and what I’m looking forward to working on and co-creating with y’all:

  • I’ve spent the bulk of my career working with creatives and creators, and I’ve started my own pop-up restaurant, media company, and a whole host of other passion projects. Bottom line: I LOVE building things from scratch and have SO much respect and love for others who put their hearts and time and effort and pride on the line to build what they love. Y’all are my people and I’m so psyched to be in your company here :slight_smile:

  • One of my personal core values is Constant Learning, so I’m all in on the educational resources and learning opportunities we provide for the creators in our community. One day, I hope we can say Patreon helped pave the way for an entire generation of kids to grow up believing they can become professional creatives AND knowing how to do that. I’m looking forward to working with my teammates to design a really intentional, holistic learning journey for creators that covers everything from core business skills (woohoo, how to do taxes!) to foundational personal stuff (articulating the core values that drive your work) to business growth topics (crafting authentic, effective messaging).

  • There’s SO much I want to learn from all of you about what community means to you. I come with no assumptions! What do you think the purpose of the Patreon creator community is? Why do you want to connect with other creators and what do you want to do when you’re together? We’ve experimented with a whole host of community events over the years, and I’m looking forward to zeroing in on the most purposeful, repeatable gatherings that we can design and ultimately team up with you to lead.

  • On a very practical note, I’m curious: what do you think about the community platforms we use (this forum + our Discord server)? Are they the right tools? Do we use them in ways that feel specific, intuitive, relevant to you? If you’re a part of other online communities, I’d love to know what tools those folks use to gather you - Circle, Mighty Networks, Discord, Facebook Groups, etc. - and what you like the best?

Phewf! I think that’s enough for now :slight_smile: Feel free to follow-up with more Qs or answers to my Qs! Have the BEST weekend - rest, relax, rejuvenate, enjoy.

On the constant learning theme—

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from someone else?

What’s one thing you could teach people (that might surprise them)?

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Aaaah - question-pingpong ^^

Well, my name is Tini, I’m a 34 year old musician and fantasy fanatic from germany. I’ve been a patreon creator for more then 4 years now (quiet early on for Germany), because I discovered it via AFP ^^
I’m writing and producing Original Songs, mainly Fantasy-Folk/LARP/Geek- and Celtic Music, I’m a music streamer, blogger, I play live (when I can…), have two bands, made 8+ CDS during the last 12 years & patreon made it possible for me to start doing Solo-Stuff & create the base of ‘making a living as an artist’

I Love about Patreon:

  • the IDEA of a direct fan to artist-support, no ‘big companies’ involved in a "how we have to do our stuff"way
  • the financial security and stability it gave me – what made it possible to start beeing a musician full time (someting I never dared before patreon came to my life)
  • to have a tool to direct my ‘hardcore’-fans to, my supporter-family, that gives me different possibilities to interact, to reach them, give them stuff

What should be improved:

  • especially we longtime-Patreon-Creators desperately NEED a better way to sort & structure our old posts, to archive them or the relevant content, f.e. via Galeries etc. besides ‘TAGS’. That could help to ‘hold’ patreons, and to not frighten of new ones, that come in and are like "whaaat - 4 years of content…and I can only…scroll?? or look for Tags I…don’t know?

  • it is very unfortunate, that there is no real good way for supporters to browse through creators, or a recommendation system (like most other pages have) that says “oh you like this podcaster – you might like THIS one” or “you like folk music? THESE Creators make folk music, too” - I know people come to patreon for a specific creator, but… in my experience, WHEN they registered (especially here in germany, that is the biggest step), they’d propably, maybe support another creator, too…if they knew and it was easy(er) to find

  • the privat-message-system needs some big improvement, because it could be a valiuable tool to communicate with patrons very directly & personally…but it is SO old-fashioned, almost no ways to - again - archive and manage messages, to group or create ‘groups’ of patrons (f.e. for a tier) for focused group-messages, etc. So most creators don’t really use it, me nether…

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OH and community-tools-wise

I find this forum a bit complicated and not easy to overlook, but it is ok.

I loved the recent Zoom-workshops, but what I always felt I missed was more time to actually get in contact with the other creators there, to exchange experiences on the subject, to maybe further connect in terms of collabs, etc. – I’d be very interested in more specialized workshops for certain creator groups — and the possibility of… some 'hosted meet up and exchange of experiences…besides a powerpoint-presentation ^^)

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Gah! Where to begin??

Some things I’ve learned from others that I think about ALL the time:

  • Don’t ask a survey question if you don’t know what you’ll do with the answer

  • If you’re a creator of any kind, it’s essential to hold things tightly and loosely at the same time

  • Defining your personal core values is the starting point for making pretty much any big life decision, incl. what art / work to focus on, which jobs to take, which people to build relationships with, etc.

  • Tip for successful communication: put the line you wrote at the bottom at the top (as in, the thing you spent 4 paragraphs leading up to is actually the thing you should say first, then expound)

Something I can teach people that might surprise them: how to drive a manual car and do a freehand French manicure :joy:

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Thank you SO much for your thorough response & thoughtful requests and ideas!!!

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Hi, Danya, welcome on board! Sorry I’m late for the party, it’s been a busy week! Lovely to count on you and all the best! xx JC

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Nice to welcome a new member to the team, but may I be permitted to offer a small geography lesson. The world does not end at the borders of the USA. If you are going to pass yourself off as an international community, when you point out that someone was born on the East Coast, you need to specify whcih country you are talking about. Another big fail for Patreon.

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Thanks for the warm welcome! I love, love the bold colors in your photography. I used to be a neutrals gal, but I’ve embraced color in the past few years :slight_smile:

Toooootally fair point. There are many East Coasts :slight_smile: Where are you from?

I was brought up in a small town called Castleford (the original one, in England, not the ones in Idaho or Ontario), about sixty miles from the East coast of England (and coincidentally about 60 miles from the West coast. Now live in a much bigger town (about 500000 people in total) Bradford, a whole fifteen miles from where I was born (although I’ve been around a bit in between.

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Actually, your being able to drive a manual car doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I can’t drive an automatic.

Aww thank you so much! I must admit I go through phases when I shoot bright and colourful images and then other phases when I shoot dramatic and muted ones. I guess we human beings are just complex and multi-dimensional, what a beautiful thing! How have your first weeks in Patreon been?

Hi! Welcome @Danya_Shults!

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Yay! I can’t wait for you to roll out email notifications when someone cancels!