As of yesterday morning (September 1st, 2017), my total revenue from Patreon hit six digits. ($102,959.68)
I’ve been on Patreon for just under four years now (I launched in November of 2013). My account predates monthly campaigns - back when all campaigns were “per creation”. I also started with an established fan base and a large community of fans and followers on Google+ (I had been sharing my creations free to the public since 2009 by that point, so while I’ve been on Patreon for 4 years, I’ve effectively been running this campaign for 8 years). I launched my Patreon campaign expecting that in a year I would have myself at the point of bringing in a few hundred dollars a month, maybe even $100 per creation.
How I got here
- Continuous Output. I release 2 paid creations a week on average. I also post work-in-progress shots to all my social media outlets, bringing me up to 5+ posts a week.
- High Visibility. I release all my works for free and show them off on FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, and my blog.
- The Tip Jar. Releasing all my work for free turns each and every piece I produce into more advertising for myself. Instead of using Patreon as a paywall, I am using it as a tip jar. And it works great in this manner.
- Reminders. Paired with that high visibility, every official release includes a graphic with my website address, and a “Patreon Supported” tag. This brings new people discovering my work to my site (and all my other work), and each piece of work in turn reminds them that I have a Patreon campaign that pays for it.
- Leveraged Goals. As we approach a goal, I make it a big part of my promotion - so people feel that if they get involved, they are making a difference and that they should do it NOW, to get us over that goal line.
- Marketing. Know your target market. Adjust your product to match their needs, or adjust your market to match your product. Find influencers and make them happy so they can tell other people about you. Maximize market penetration and visibility. Fill this paragraph with buzzwords. No seriously, those might be buzzwords, but they all WORK.
- Keep it Personal. As an artist, you are your brand. YOU are the product often as much as the art is. Get out there and be visible and be awesome. Talk about yourself. Do your thing. Immerse yourself in your creations and sell the whole package, not just the final work.
While Patreon has changed a lot over the four years I’ve been here, these strategies have held true for me the whole way. From my launch in November of 2013 to now, I’ve been working these elements and have seen continuous growth in my patronage and in the quality of my work and the quality of my life.