Open Studio #4: Updated fan pages

Hello, creators! For our next Open Studio discussion, George and I are excited to share some explorations of what your public Patreon page might look like in the future. We think each of you deserves a public fan page that represents your brand well, lets you focus on running your business instead of maintaining your profile, and helps you turn as many fans as possible into patrons.

Disclaimer: This work is still going through research and testing, so things are likely to evolve as we learn more, including from your feedback this week. You can add feedback here or reach out to me directly at nswanson@patreon.com.

New (yet familiar) space for turning fans into patrons

Currently, when a fan who’s not a patron lands on your page, they see the same thing that your patrons see, just with a few tweaks. We think we can serve both of these groups better if they have their own space that’s optimized for what they need to do. The designs we’re sharing today would only be seen by non-patron fans who visit your page. Someday soon, we are hoping to build a new home for your patrons, but we don’t have any designs for that to share today. As it stands, they would would continue to see the same thing that they see when they visit your page today.

Less is more

Our tests have shown that simpler pages that focus on what a creator is offering result in more fans becoming patrons. We want to make your membership offering the star of your page and reduce visual clutter that can confuse visitors. Today, many creators use long descriptions to explain who they are and how their memberships work. Our data indicates that these long descriptions can make it hard for visitors to interact with your page, with the sweet spot being between 100-400 characters. Visitors can then access the full description with one tap. Many of you also use space in your descriptions to explain what Patreon is and how it works, including links to such pages as FAQ. We want to make this easier in the future by describing for you what Patreon is and answering common questions that fans have. You’ll also notice that these designs do not show goals. Our data has shown that goals do not significantly affect whether fans become patrons, so we want to help them and you focus on what’s most important.

Key areas of the page we are exploring

  • Flexibility of cover images. If you prefer aspect ratios that don’t fit neatly within the recommended 4:1 of the standard size, we can enable placement within the cover photo to better represent your artwork.
  • Membership display: Surfacing a tier that you, the creator, decide should be most prominent. Today, the first tier a fan sees is the lowest, whereas the tier with the most “value” in your eyes might be a middle or higher tier. That should be up to you.
  • About section: Displaying the first 400-500 characters, and if longer allowing a fan to “show more” to view the full description.
  • Posts: Reducing the total number of posts we show on the Overview page, and adding a link next to posts to view all (go to the /posts tab).
  • Providing an option to creators to enable an FAQ module on your Overview page. We see a lot of you adding these to your About sections today, and we want to reduce the burden on you to help explain Patreon and memberships to your fans.

Feedback we’re looking for

  • Are you excited by the proposed changes to how we show your description? We’d love to hear specific pieces that you are intrigued by, or feel need further exploration.
  • Which options for displaying memberships do you prefer?
  • Which of your tiers would you feature if you had the chance? Why/why not?
  • How would you adapt the way you speak to fans and patrons if you had separate space to address each?
  • What questions or concerns do you have about these changes?
  • Is there any killer feature that we missed for turning every creator’s fans into patrons?

Designs

2 creators, mobile web

Mobile web interaction

Creator 1, desktop

Creator 2, desktop

Creator 1, 1 tier, desktop

Draft prototype

If you’d like to scroll through the full pages, you can use this link. You can jump between creator options and mobile or desktop by using the labeled buttons in the bottom right of the screens. They are just meant to present the designs, so nothing within the page has been made clickable.

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I love the way all of this looks-- very clean and understandable to viewers.

Our data has shown that goals do not significantly affect whether fans become patrons

Our data indicates that these long descriptions can make it hard for visitors to interact with your page, with the sweet spot being between 100-400 characters.

Is there any chance we could see these studies and results? I would love to optimize my page now on based these findings, but I’d like some more information first.

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Goals: As per previous discussions here, this is a split topic. Some folks don’t find goals useful for turning fans into patrons but some for sure do. I’d like to see this as optional.

Cover Image: This would be great!

Membership Display: YES! PLEASE!

About Section: I worry that this will prevent people from even looking at the rest. While removing the patreon help stuff would lessen the length of my about section, i have designed it to be visually appealing and with needed information. I would want the option to test and see if the “view more” does anything to help me, but if it doesn’t, i want the information i put the time and effort into curating for my page to be visible. I put a lot of time into my about section to make my whole page look interesting and related to my work with artwork examples, branding, etc.

Posts: Maybe allow us to pin a post or two for better showcase.

FAQ module: As in a new page in the Overview/Posts/Community nav? If so, YES PLEASE!

Designs:
2 creators/mobile: The one on the right is nicer for mobile but the way its laid out is less intuitive for small screens. Maybe some arrows or something to ensure people notice the little slice to the right would help. Because at a first glance i was like “so this is just the featured one? Where do i view more” It’s less obvious that there’s more and the numbers underneath are very small. Maybe a background colour to the scroll number list (like the join buttons) and some very obvious arrows. (This reminds me of Instagram and honestly, even though i know how it works and that it exists, instagram’s “dots” to show more images in a post is extremely small and i miss them all the time. This needs to be -obvious- or new potential patrons will miss the information.)

I’m still of the mind to show patrons all their choices, like in the left example because it’s already sometimes really hard to navigate the site or app on mobile as is. If someone comes to the page and things “there’s only a $12” tier, like on the right example, they will leave if that’s out of their budget and miss that it’s a scrollable thing.

Creator 1 Desktop: This is much more noticeable in terms of scrollable tiers but the rest of the page is so empty. Will the content fill the page better? Is there going to be a different side bar? Looking at it i’d just prefer the tiers go back on the sides to fill the empty space.

I much prefer what you guys were doing with the new layouts you teased before, having the profile on the side with the creator avatar, social icons, etc. The lack of sidebar to balance things out makes the composition sort of off putting and it’s hard to focus on the tiers when the rest of the page looks so unappetizing.

Creator 2 desktop: I feel like both 1 and 2 can come together. Have the scroll, but have the option to view all at once. When i browse tiers on a creators page, i like to compare tiers and that’s really only easily done when you can see all of them at the same time. Scrolling is however, very nice visually on it’s own.

Creator 1, 1 tier: I do not like one tier only on the page. There is also nothing saying where to view the rest. Is this just for the 1 tier future plans? If so then sure. Though i feel like putting it at the top of a side bar would fit the page better. Having just the one centered there, it’s just, so much empty space that could be better utilized. I’m not a fan of going back to “blog” style websites where there’s so much empty space on each side.

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This is very exciting, because every aspect of this validates some of my recent decisions regarding the overview/about section, tiers, and the general way that information is delivered to potential and existing Patrons. In my own experience I have a very hard time getting people to read and retain information, and these are the people who care about me enough to look at my Patreon page in the first place, so that really speaks to how quickly the typical internet user wants to digest their information.

I’m happy to say that it was the start of these Open Studio posts that inspired me to make these changes. Seeing streamlined landing pages and crisp designs triggered a big ol’ light bulb over my rather thick skull, and I started putting plans in motion. It’s actually a really happy coincidence because so much of this directly mirrors the moves I’ve been making. So, feedback, let’s get into it.

Removing the need for creators to incorporate their own FAQ:

Creating a system that puts creators in a position for success by taking away the need for them to Wall Of Text explain the hoops patrons will have to jump through is good! I don’t think that’s a one size fits all solution, however.

For example, I have an RSS Feed. I need something addressing the RSS Feed implementation and linking to a more in depth FAQ specifically about how to use a creator’s RSS feed. I’d also have to feel like Patreon did a better job speaking to my own audience than I could, which raises some concern there.

I don’t mind giving up that control for the sake of a standardized FAQ widget at the bottom of the page, but it’s gotta be solid, and adapt to each page’s needs. This FAQ needs to remain visible and accessible after people become Patrons as well!

There’s something about “about” sections:

I like normalizing shorter about sections, but I’m not too keen on forcing longer descriptions to use a “Show More” button outside of mobile views. This creates issues for some creators, whether we’re talking about writers whose ability to share their writing without hindrance is a huge selling point, or creators that have crafted in-line images to spruce up and personalize their pages by creating graphics and banners. So while I think making the strong suggestion about word count is a good idea, putting limitations on creators could do more harm than good.

Adaptable cover images:

Flexibility of cover images is VERY GOOD. So long as you don’t scuttle everyone who has already made their artwork fit the current dimensions, giving customization options for everyone is a huge plus. I love this.

Non-Patron teaser posts:

Showing one particular post on the non-patron view is a good idea…so long as we get to choose that post and it doesn’t default to the most recent post. If there’s a very strong candidate for a Patron-only post, that’s the one I want, and sometimes that’s not the most recent post.

In a way, this is another installment of “please give us pinned posts!” but this is an even bigger deal than that. Allowing us to choose what the featured post would be could allow for synergy with the featured tier, or at least dangle our biggest, juiciest carrot in front of potential patrons. This is important because sometimes the most recent post is flat out unappealing.

There are times where I have to talk shop with my patrons, maybe it’s about Patreon policies and how they impact me and my patrons, or it’s a general update, or it’s a poll. All of those things are important, but they’re not built to do the job of a singular post that gets featured on your “Hey! This is my best foot and I’m putting it forward! Support me?” page. This might be the most important point I’d like to drive home in this feedback.

Featured tiers:

I do not dislike the idea of featured tiers, in general I think they’re a fantastic idea, but I don’t know if they’re going to be a hit for me. I would struggle to select a tier to feature because the way I’ve designed my whole page really encourages people to go up and down in tiers at their leisure. I have a little turnover and lot of tier jumpers, and it works very very well for me. My patrons love having options and not feeling pandered to. Right now everything is very accessible when it comes to finding what tier is right for them. I wonder if me tampering with that discovery and decision making would do more harm than good.

Is the impression that I’m upselling my potential patrons going to be worth a few people who would have signed up at the $3 tier signing up at the $10 tier instead when I already have a fantastic rate at which people increase pledges? I’m guessing I could opt out of it by not selecting one, which I may well end up doing, but this is just food for thought from my perspective.

I would likely go with my $10 tier as the one to feature, but I worry that what we’d really be doing is fooling people into thinking that’s the entry level, and I mean…buyer beware and everything, but the whole thing gives me pause. Is it that big of a deal? Not really, but the Featured Tag thing created more concern for me than it did excitement.

Scrolling horizontal tier view:

Yes. Please. I love this. Really, really love this. Not a fan of the “show more” variant, my heart belongs to the sideways scroll.

Creator descriptions:

Looking at these examples, are we ditching the “(Insert creator) is/are making (insert description).” thing? Because I feel that’s long overdue and I much prefer the way it’s displayed in these examples. Less restrictive is good in this case.

In closing…

It’s a bit ironic that we’re talking about “less is more” but we’re serving up huge platters of feedback, but one philosophy doesn’t fit all scenarios…and I think that’s something that should be kept in mind here. I like giving creators options because one size truly will not fit all. I like these ideas and the general direction, but I would not want to see creators have the rug pulled out from under them if they’ve crafted their page to fit the specifics of the current layout. I know that creating options vs. a singular overhaul would likely create headaches for the team, but as much as I love some of these ideas, I’d let them go by the wayside if it derailed what many creators have taken significant amounts of time to curate and refine to create an identity that stayed within the lines of Patreon’s current design.

Thank you very much for your hard work and these Open Studio sessions. It energizes me and makes me want to keep working hard to make my Patreon page even better. I’m excited to see what the future holds, and appreciate the open minds and open ears the team has with all of these ideas!

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I love a lot of this stuff, I actually wrote a huge suggestion post last week that even covered many of these (especially the overview section being abused the way it is), so it’s good to hear Patreon is thinking similarly.

If you didn’t see that post it has a lot of feedback on the overview section in general, and I don’t want to fill this post up with copy pasting it, if you’re curious, here it is.

Excited about the changes?

Yes, definitely excited for some of these changes. In particular the splitting of the view that patrons and non-patrons see is very important to me. I would like to see this logic applied to posts as well with the posts that are displayed for non-patrons being customizable, so we could make a “non patron introduction” post. Also allowing us to put teaser images up in addition to the teaser text we currently allow.

The overview page is kind of a mess on every single patreon page I’ve ever been to, and mine is no exception. We have to use this page to accomplish so much because it’s the only completely customizable section we have on our entire campaign. There are workarounds, but it would be so nice if I could just have an index section for patrons on another page to link off to. Again, I wrote a really long post up with more specifics on that here last week.

The FAQ idea really sounds great, looking forward to that. I honestly would really love if we could have a section like the overview (just a big block of text) but making that page a Patron only section entirely. That way I could have a Patron only index/faq/introduction to rewards page. I currently hacked together a system of regular posts that I link to each other and have to update 3 different posts everything I update because of it.

That way we could have the “overview” for non-patrons, and then the “I’m a patron now, show me what you got” section.

Membership option preference?

As for which option I like best, I think the swipe version is definitely the cleanest. The peakies version of the page, further extending the page vertically to access more tiers seems a bit messy to me. That said i don’t think either option is too visually different that it’s extremely important.

Which tier would I feature?

For my tiers I would probably feature the $3 tier, it’s the most popular tier I have and it provides the biggest benefit for the price.

How would I adapt?

The adaptation would be that I could actually speak to non-patrons! As an adult creator, breaking the experiences apart means I can tailor curate some content just for non-creators so they can see a teaser of what they would be getting if they were patrons. It opens a new avenue for trying to convince people to pledge.

Further questions

I do have a question about the layout, is there any way we could swap the tiers with the intro text? If the introduction text is going to be very short, I would personally love to have it above the tiers. That way we can lure potential patrons in with a good hook before we try to catch them with our pricing. Just a personal preference, I always like to know what something is before I look at how much it’s going to cost me.

Missing features

  • I can think of a few features I’d love to see that weren’t mentioned here that fit into the patron/non-patron split:

  • Index pages (for patrons only), that allow me to link to posts I think are important to them.

  • Teaser images that can be used instead of the blurry overlay for non-patrons.

  • Being able to pin posts on the overview page that appear first - so we can put our best foot forward. I want potential patrons to see the best stuff I have to offer, or a preview post of the best stuff.

  • Pinned posts allowing a non-patron pinned post so they can see a different first post on the overview page.

And that’s all I can think of, this is a nice addition to the tools we have now and I’m looking forward to seeing this stuff realized! Thanks for sharing the future of the site with us.

A bit of an off topic item, but it’s sort of related - if you allow us to offer tiers at a discount for the first month on specified days, that might be really helpful for encouraging people to move up tiers and pledge for the first time. This would all be user customizable of course, but it would be fun to be able to set it so my $3 patrons get notified after 3 months that they can be a $5 patron for one month free of charge.

You’ve been a patron for 3 months, would you like to try out the $5 tier for the same cost for one month?

Since this is your first time pledging, you can sign up to the $5 tier for the $1 tier’s price for your first month.

And allowing us to customize when these offers happen. When I heard about the “special offers” addition to the site, this is honestly what I was expecting it to be.

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Glad you like it, thelatestkate!

Our internal data isn’t in a format where we can directly share our findings in the product yet. We’d like to implement more features in the future that surface insights like these when you’re building out your page. Our blog is also a useful place to get insights from our creator-facing teams! https://blog.patreon.com/

Let me know if you have more questions, happy to DM you some ideas!

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Hey Watsup,
Thanks for the detailed feedback, and your previous ideas! Glad you’re excited about the changes.
Having ways to speak patrons and non-patrons in different ways, about different things, is an idea we’re excited about too.

It’s good to know that you’re interested in the ability to swap the tiers with the intro text. The question of which of these is more useful for a potential patron to see first (and whether this is the same for all creators or different for particular creators) is a really important one for us to eventually answer! We’ll be running tests to try to find out about this, among other things. To give you a peek into our process, here are some things we’d typically consider when thinking about whether to make this part of the layout optional:

  • overall, which layout helps the most creators get more patrons?
  • are there some groups of creators that convert better one way and another group that converts better the other way? If so, what can we tell about what these groups have in common?
  • would visitors understand why some creators’ pages have details first and others have tiers first? Is this something that’s easy to make clear without disorienting them?
    These are just a few of the things we’re curious about!

Pinned posts is a request we’ve seen a lot! I’m excited about features we can add to this new page that let a creator easily highlight content that they think will motivate their visitors.

Thanks for the ideas about discounts, and the feedback about Special Offers! We see Special Offers as the best tool we currently have to convert patrons from lower tiers to higher tiers. I’d love to hear more in a DM about what your experience with the current version of offers has been like, and whether you think it would work for you.

Cheers!

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  • Are you excited by the proposed changes to how we show your description? We’d love to hear specific pieces that you are intrigued by, or feel need further exploration.

I think I like the idea overall. It would be nice to have a dedicated FAQ section, but if that’s implemented, I’d like it to be visible to Patrons too.

  • Which options for displaying memberships do you prefer?

I like the idea of being able to choose a tier to feature, but I’d want the others to be shown too. Either with the slider style or with the featured tier on top is okay.

  • Which of your tiers would you feature if you had the chance? Why/why not?

I would feature my $10 tier because it’s basically my “best value” tier. It includes all of my selfies, teasers for my galleries, and all of my videos for that month. I also feel it’s pretty affordable and it’s my most popular tier.

  • How would you adapt the way you speak to fans and patrons if you had separate space to address each?

I wouldn’t change how I speak to my Patrons, but if I had a way to target non-Patrons I could lay things out a bit more without worrying that I’m boring Patrons.

  • What questions or concerns do you have about these changes?

None at this point.

  • Is there any killer feature that we missed for turning every creator’s fans into patrons?

I can’t think of any at the moment.

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My opinions probably don’t matter much - my numbers are still very low (though I just got a new patron last week… squee), but I’m sticking with it. Below are my thoughts, such as they are.

  • Are you excited by the proposed changes to how we show your description? We’d love to hear specific pieces that you are intrigued by, or feel need further exploration.

See note at the bottom…

  • Which options for displaying memberships do you prefer?

They each have their perks, but the one that displays a big image and info first (creator 2 desktop?) looks good, and easy for people.

  • Which of your tiers would you feature if you had the chance? Why/why not?

$5 tier. It doesn’t scare off the majority of folks, and makes it worth it for me. Second choice: $3 tier. But I’m still learning how to do all this stuff.

  • How would you adapt the way you speak to fans and patrons if you had separate space to address each?

I don’t know. I don’t get much interaction on my page, except for views and responses to Lens clips. That’s a success, for some odd reason.

  • What questions or concerns do you have about these changes?

The only concern I have is not frightening people away (hmm, a theme here… ) Through Facebook and bunches of forums (where I pimp my Patreon as much as possible) I’ve had several people mention they are a bit nervous about the concept or they don’t understand it at all. I have some collectors who would rather spend a lot of money on artwork from me, but they are terrified of becoming a supporter.

  • Is there any killer feature that we missed for turning every creator’s fans into patrons?

If I knew of a killer feature, I’d be using it already… lol!

One little note: The idea of Patreon is amazing and overall I thoroughly love it, but I think it’s also important to remember the people who cannot, or are afraid to, support an artist through this platform. I’m wondering if there is a way to integrate (for everyone’s benefit of course, including the Patreon platform) those who support creators outside of Patreon. Perhaps letting them claim a very basic benefit for at least “following” the creator, or something like that. In the long run, it might help some people decide “hey, it’s kinda cool, ok I’ll try”. Or for those who don’t really have the available funds - or think they don’t because really if we are offering a $1 tier, most can afford $12 a year. I’m just thinking, there are many many people who don’t join things right away, and for all we know they could be the ones who stick around the longest. Thoughts?

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Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. I want to summarize some of the feedback so far, to make sure we are capturing accurately.

Fan- and patron-dedicated overview pages
Solidly a positive change, and you feel like you have clear actions you’d take with these separate versions of your Overview page.

Cover image
As long as legacy cover photos continue to display well, this is a nice-to-have option.

Membership display
Some more exploration needed, but overall it is a positive change to bring the membership into a more prominent place.

Featured tier
Solidly positive, with a clear understanding of how you would use this feature.

About
More consideration as to how this would roll out, as well as its hierarchy within your page.

FAQ
Overall a useful option, we (Patreon) need to think more deeply about the content that would display here.

Goals
Always a feature that divides opinion. See follow-up below.


Follow-up questions for creators

  • Goals: if we were to share data that goals do not significantly impact membership, would that change the minds of folks who currently use it? CC @Temrin
  • Splitting “About”: In separating fan and patron pages, we are considering creating a new field for describing your membership. Do you see your current About fields being used more for fans or patrons? Is this, combined with the above exploration, enough to help you differentiate your communications to fans and patrons, or are we missing something?

Thank you @thelatestkate, @Temrin, @YuuriVoice, @Watsup, @dekilah, and @IngridKVHardy for your feedback. No matter whether you are a veteran or newcomer, it’s great to get feedback directly from you.

Creators who reading after this has posted: keep adding more feedback!

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Goals: Mine, probably not. Again, this
is not a one shoe fits all. While a good portion of folks might find goals not useful, that doesn’t stop it from being useful to some. I’ve found goals to be useful when done in a way that jives with my community. If it doesn’t jive, it’s not useful, but that
shouldn’t be up to patreon in my opinion. That’s stepping in the way of how creators interact with their fans. We should have the option to use them or not, based on our own game plans for our page and interaction with our fans. Heck, I had people pay extra
on my last paid month to reach a goal that would unlock a commission type that they really wanted to have available to them. My patrons have also enjoyed some of the celebratory items in the goals lists I’ve had in the past and having to manually do all that
myself without that area available to me directly on patreon would suck for my community. I’ve talked to other artists who also find them useful as well.
About section: I find the current about section to be useful both as a patron and as a fan. They usually have a lot of information useful to both. When I’m a fan looking at someone’s creator page, it’s a good overview of what to expect. As a patron,
many people also use it as a place to link to resources and good patron information. So really, right now with a lot of the people I watch and my own about section, it’s very useful to both. If the FAQ page was a place where creators could input their own
information (like a second about page, with our own formatting, then this would help us make the main about section shorter and have a dedicated place for further reading that isn’t an easily lost blog post. (While I like the idea of having separate views
for fans and for patrons, as long as both sections are 100% customizable so creators can cater to their individual community, I think a customizable tab of our own could alleviate a LOT of the issues and separate views wouldn’t really be needed at all.
Perhaps just turn the community tab into something we can fully customize; title and section content.)

After all the reading on this topic, outside of the tier placement/ view and the potential FAQ tab(if it’s creator side customizable), I kind of find the rest of the content to be less important than other highly requested features that have been posted on
this forum. But perhaps that’s just me but I feel lots of it to feel very limiting.

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I agree with everything written as is, but did have specific additional feedback about the goals and about/FAQ sections.

Goals: I don’t use goals on my smaller campaign, as fluctuations can cause you to go over goals and then immediately under them, leading to a celebration/disappointment loop. Goals can be a hindrance to these kinds of campaigns.

On my larger campaign they might not lead to more engagement all the time, but our pledges seem to “jump” once a new goal is within about $50-100 range. That said, it’s less for users and more for the project managers. We get to announce new fun features for our game every $1000 that we were planning to include if we hit certain milestones. It gives us something to post about and hype everyone up about. That aspect of goals seems a lot less measurable by polls and data.

I do agree that it’s probably not an important part of the new user experience though, most people probably don’t care what your goals are before they’ve had to get attached to your projects. So placement as one of the first things you see probably isn’t important.

All that said, as someone working with two campaigns, I would absolutely love to see data that might interest us related to retention and growth. Sharing that sort of data (and other data that Patreon might not mind sharing with us) would be really awesome for creators.

About/FAQ/Overview: For the about split, just to make sure I’m understanding this correctly. You want to give us a small text blurb to explain our project to non-patrons on our overview page, the elevator pitch as it were.

I completely agree with this, the overview page is a bloated mess right now that is more often just a navigation obstacle for people. However, if you do this you need to also give us a place to post that overview information.

It sounds like the FAQ page you are talking about, but I prefer if the page were more general and allowed us to just fill out a field with any information we wanted that we felt is important to our campaign. So it wouldn’t necessarily be a FAQ, it should be a space for any information to go. Ideally with a patron/non-patron version of that same page.

Often people will link to other campaigns, tell you about members, explain the experience of the people working on the project, tell you about their life, help you navigate their campaign, or link you to their discord. It’s a combination of both personal and professional details, utility, and reward information.

This is is only a sample of what people use it for, but it’s all important stuff that patrons might want to know, though I doubt they need all that information front and center on the first page they see.

If we were further to explore this concept. ideally I’d like to add number of these pages and not just one faq page. I would like an index page for patrons only, I’d like an FAQ for both patrons and non-patrons, and I’d like a page I could post additional information on - like links to other projects I’m involved in or other patreon campaigns for people I’d like to promote.

I think the best solution is allow us to add a limited of number of pages to the navigation bar above our posts page. Like 3-5 pages, and allow us to specific whether they are visible by patrons only, or whether non-patrons can see them. That way we can take everything we shove into that overview box and distribute it into neatly organized pages.

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Goals:

This has been on my mind for a few weeks now, as I was the fellow who pointed out in the mock ups for new creator landing pages that goals were not visible/included in that initial post, and it really kicked up the discussion about goals and whether or not they’re actually a big motivator for patronage.

I think that ultimately, it depends on the creator, their relationship with their audience, and how they integrate goals into their content. I never personally mentioned the goals outside of “hey we did it!” and most people didn’t know about it or recall it being a thing when they’d receive an email saying we hit a goal. In my case, I don’t think goals have driven increases in patronage.

However, I am certain that a creator with more defined and pressing goals, something very tangible and notable to work towards that would have value to their audience, those could be a huge boon for their campaign. I think it’s a tool, and that having the option to use it is a powerful one for the right creator. Personally I get more out of something like Special Offers than I do Goals, but I don’t think Goals should be on the chopping block or left in the dust. I have currently removed goals, but if I felt at some point I had a good way to integrate it and it wouldn’t add too much to the initial info dump potential patrons have to look through, I’d go back to it again without hesitation.

I think that the whole Goals system is very powerful for budding creators, or people trying to gain a foothold. It appeals to the grassroots ideal, seeing someone who is pursuing their dream going from hobbyist to part time to full time. For me that was when Goals were really relevant and powerful. Now that I’ve really smashed a lot of those standard goals, upgraded equipment, etc. my endgame is simply “more content”. And while I do have ideas for bigger picture goals, I’m also not at the point where I want to put that in writing as a promise to my patrons because I’m still trying to get a grasp on where my next couple of years will take me.

So even if the data says “it mostly doesn’t impact membership”, I still think there’s a value to having the Goals system, but it’s very dependent on the specific creator, how they utilize it, and where they’re at in their journey. Even if someone came to my page and was 100% going to join regardless of the goal, maybe some of the older members DO remember those times, and even if it’s not something that’ll show up on a chart or spreadsheet, there is some value to planting that seed in a patron’s mind. There’s something special about being able to talk with them and hear “I remember when you were recording on a tin can and you wanted to upgrade your microphone”.

So maybe it’s not a make or break feature, it can serve as a milestone on your creator road map that the patrons join you on. Sentimentality doesn’t pay bills, but it might keep patrons on board in the long term, and it can also serve as a way to show people what you’re working towards. Transparency is good.

Splitting “About”:

That’s a really interesting idea, and contextualizes the early questions of if there’s a difference in the way we speak to non-patrons and patrons. I think in general the about section is a pitch for non patrons, and once they become patrons it’s a complete afterthought. If there was a patron-only “about” section, I’m not really sure what I’d put. Apologize for the lack of a search function? Apologize for browsing on the app being a hassle? Try to explain tags and how to find the content you want?

I don’t need to tell my patrons anything they don’t already know at that point. I need them to be able to get the content they want without any sort of headache or nuisance impeding them from getting what they just paid me for.

What would be useful, rather than another wall of text for them to not read, would be functionality. Things like a search bar, pages rather than “featured tags”, playlists, anything that can arm them with the ability to get what they came to my Patreon for in the first place would be INFINITELY MORE USEFUL than any further dialogue.

I feel like all a different “About” section for Patrons would turn into is a walk through of how to tip toe around the current faults and hassles that come along with having significant amounts of content on Patreon. Much like how people have had to put their own FAQs in their about sections, this would likely just turn into another space to try and make up for what ideally wouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

When I’ve hit the “Become a Patron” button, parted ways with my money, and received my thank you, I’m done reading. I want the content. I want to see a page that shows me a few directions to go, or lets me choose my own path via search or chronological scrolling. That’s all I want or need. Further communication with the creator can happen in a number of other ways in a number of other venues. After the money has exchanged hands, I want to have a red carpet rolled out for me as I go on a walk through the content I was happy to pay for. That is my ideal patron experience, and it’s the biggest glaring issue on Patreon today.

So…no. I think that splitting “About” sections ultimately just creates another mental hoop to jump through, and puts that hoop at the exact worst location I could think of.

Apologies if this reads harshly, I’m thrilled with a lot of these ideas and the communication between the team and creators. It’s good conversation to have! I just happen to have an unusually strong opinion on this one.

In my soon to be updated overview I cut down my About section to two paragraphs. I used a lot of community buzzwords, lots of “we”, “us”, and whatnot because I feel like I’ve built a community around my content and I’m proud of it. I don’t think I’d change any of what I’ve said there regardless of if someone was a patron or not, nor do I think there’s much that needs to be added on either end of that equation.

I’ll double down on the suggestion to allow us to create “Pages”, this is something I brought up in that aforementioned landing page redesign thread. There’s quite a bit of space where Creator customized pages could go that could go right alongside Overview/Posts/Community tabs, or usurp the Featured Tag function for the sake of something a little less restrictive. Making it flexible would be ideal, and something like this is much more preferable to “Okay, another About section, but this time for people who paid you!”

The only way I could see this split making sense is if the non-patron version didn’t allow for in-line images like many creators use, but the patron version would allow for it. That way you get a very to the point, clear and direct non-patron landing, but you retain the ability to customize and personalize the “full” version. That would make a lot of sense to me, and if that’s what we’re talking about then I definitely don’t have such a critical opinion of it.

Though frankly if we did have a better “Now you’re a patron, here’s the goods!” experience, I don’t think any creator would HAVE to go through the process of creating their own elaborate personalized landing page in their about section.

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I just want to point out that one of the benefits of splitting the about pages is for adult content creators who are barred from putting links and content that might lead to nsfw sections in any public viewable space, so having a shorter elevator pitch, and then a more in depth introduction with visuals that actually match content and link to place that have adult content could be one big reason that the split makes sense.

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Our first reaction to this is a concern about how the tiers will be displayed. We have 5 tiers so that potential patrons can choose the one that fits best with their budget and their interests. If we had to choose one to feature, we could choose wrong for different people. For example, if we chose the lowest tier then that might dissuade people from thinking about pledging at a higher tier. But if we choose a higher tier then if people come and see that tier featured first, that might discourage them from pledging if it seems too high. We wouldn’t want to have to pick one, or even three as some of the other designs have, to feature; we would like all 5 to be shown from the get-go. We have definitely learned that people are not very good about poking around and finding things that aren’t immediately obvious. Many of our patrons are older, and some are less tech-savvy, and they don’t understand how to navigate to different screens, other options, etc. Even people who are more tech-savvy can be in a hurry, or not paying enough attention, and miss that there are more tiers. We would want all the tiers front and center, not to be missed. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks everyone for your responses so far!

Here’s another important question we’d appreciate your input on. What would you like this new page to be named in our communications to creators?

In our current product we refer to your landing page as “Your Creator Page” or, simply, “Your Patreon Page”. With a shift to separate experiences for non-patrons and patrons, we’d like to come up with a new name that better describes what this non-patron page does.

We would use this name when we talk to you, the creators, about this page in all forms of communication, including in-product, emails, help articles, and blog posts.

How should we refer to the page that your non-patron visitors see when they visit https://patreon.com/<your_name>?

  • “Your Fan Page”
  • “Your Landing Page”
  • “Your Membership Page”
  • Something with the words ‘Public’ and ‘Page’
  • other (please reply with your suggestion)

0 voters

Thanks in advance for your input!

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You’re asking the real questions now, because I’ve seen this one particular thing called about a dozen different things. Throwing my vote towards “Landing Page” because I like the idea of it being the first step of a process (i.e. you’re landing with intent to “unload” and get the content) rather than anything that a single user would revisit again and again, which might be implied by calling it a Fan Page, or Public Page, because there’s not a ton of value on this page outside of converting non-patrons into patrons.

That’s what makes sense to me, at least.

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