I wrote down some thoughts for a friend asking about how improve their Patreon and make it more ‘successful’. By no means am I an expert but I’ve seen my Patreon go from a handful of people to hundreds by employing the planning I outline below. My Patreon deals with animation and art - though it’s of a NSFW nature I believe these tips can be applied to any Patreon.
OK, enough preamble, I will offer what advice I have. haha
What I am about to say is not a condemnation of anything you are doing. I’m speaking with a broad view on things I personally think make a Patreon successful! If you disagree, if you think “Well, that’s not me!” or “I already do that and he doesn’t know what the eff he is talking about” then fair enough. You are entitled to your opinion.
So, one of two things are likely preventing your or any Patreon from being successful. One, you have an AMAZING PATREON no one knows about (we will talk about that) or two, you have a product no one currently wants. That’s it. I don’t think there is much more than that so let’s look at these two things.
Possibility One, you have an amazing Patreon no one knows about. Well, the easiest thing is to keep posting on social media. Maybe specific sites catering to things you draw or create for. Believe me, good work gets noticed and shared quickly, it doesn’t take long at all. Some side things that help the perception of ‘good’ are being consistent, posting regularly and communicating with your fans.
If you are doing that, if you feel you are putting in your time and just can’t seem to get traction or attention then we must take an honest look at the OTHER possibility.
Possibility Two, you are making art or creating works that don’t have a lot of mass appeal. I am not suggesting you change anything but if you are seeing little interest there is a good chance that’s because there is no interest in the first place. In other words, people know your work and are actively passing on your Patreon. Perhaps there are other creators doing what you do - but better, or in a more popular format (full color paintings, animations, very high output, the list goes on).
If this comment frustrates you or if you don’t like the idea of doing popular things people want versus creations you personally like then please consider why you are even doing a Patreon. A Patreon is a store where people are buying your goods. If you don’t have anything they want then they will not purchase from you. If you want to ONLY do your own thing and don’t care if people like your work then a Patreon is most likely not for you. If you want to sell then it’s very helpful to listen to your customers. If you don’t have the people to tell you what is popular then just look around. The creators you follow regularly, the creators OTHERS follow and comment on regularly. There are many ways to get this information and none of them are out of your reach.
If your first reaction to the above is “Well, my good friend Ready, you don’t understand I like VERY SPECIFIC art with a VERY small group of people who don’t like to talk about it” or anything along the lines of “Getting information about my specific type of art/creation is hard” then we are back to the basic problem of you likely are making a product that few want.
An easy test to see if you are making unpopular things is to start looking at trends and test out making popular art or YOUR version of popular things. This is what I did with various ideas taken from my friends and fans. I also asked my Patrons what they would like and sat down and made what they wanted. It worked; I got MANY more subscribers.
Another important thing is to drop things that aren’t interesting to you or your patrons. If you are making art that neither you nor your patrons like then drop it or do less of it. There is no reason to work week after week on creations no one wants. It’s a waste of your time. You only have so many hours and you will have to adapt your work to add and remove things in order to get work done.
I hope this helps. Comments and questions are welcome. I don’t write this post to discourage. You should be encouraged to take a thoughtful look at your Patreon and what you might do to make more people interested.
Good luck and keep me posted!
PS My Patreon is here (NSFW https://www.patreon.com/readyart)