Open Studio #5: Sign-up concept

Hello, creators. waving hand For this week’s edition of Open Studio, I’m sharing concepts for first-time creators on Patreon. We know setting up a Patreon page is tough—How many tiers should you offer? What prices should you offer? What should your banner look like? Our current experience doesn’t provide the guided experience that first-time creators need.

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 darby@patreon.com.

Take the guesswork out.

Currently, there isn’t much guidance about how to set up your membership on Patreon. We want to take the guesswork out of tiers and pricing for some of the most common membership plan types we see on Patreon with “templates”.

First, imagine seeing this right after signing up for Patreon for the first time . You can explore different membership templates by the kind of content you make.

Then, you can learn more about each template and select the one you want to start with.

Once you’ve chosen your template and added it to your creator page, you can then edit the tiers and customize them further.

These are very early concepts and they don’t represent what we’ll roll out in the future. Your feedback can help make changes to the sign-up experience that will empower first-time creators to launch better pages.

  • I know most folks here are launched creators, so think back to when you were signing up for Patreon. What were some of your biggest challenges? Would these concepts have helped you?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns?
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This is a pretty nice concept. Out of the gate i wonder if it would be easier on new creators to simply choose what type of creator they are first and then have an expanded list of what the different levels get you. (And be able to choose more than one creator type. Ex: Picking Youtube creator AND podcaster. then getting the options for those things.) While i’m all about having people click around the least amount possible, I feel for some creators this list might be a little overwhelming as i can see it getting pretty large. (I see that you can choose specifics at the top, though it admittedly took me a little bit to realize it was there. Perhaps it’s just small? My eyes completely skipped over it from the title to the more interesting looking graphics below. Maybe some colour coordinating might help, or just making the buttons the patreon orange would make them stand out better.)

When i first started patreon, it was hard to really be able to see other creators that did similar things to me and get better idea’s of what might work for me for my page. I found some but i think it’d be pretty great to give a short list of other creators of that type to give new creators an idea of what they might want to do.

Perhaps also some clear links to Patreon U and basic tips on getting started might also be super helpful as those things didn’t exist when I started on patreon. (But then, i don’t know the whole flow for signing up these days.) While i realize that the learn more will tell you more, there’s usually more to it then that and more resources are helpful.

I would also have a clear, at the top of the list, the option to NOT use a template. (though to be able to go back and pick one if you want to later is key.)

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+1 to everything Temrin said! He’s right on the money.

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These seem like they are very helpful to starting creators, I don’t see any downsides to giving people access to templates like this. When I started my campaign the first thing I did was research other similar campaigns to see what they were doing, so this is another helpful data point for people to work with.

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When it comes to the illustration and animation category, I think it might be useful to separate it into digital and physical artists.

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I feel like the list might be a bit cluttered with three versions of each template corresponding to plan level. The organizer in me wants to see a user select what type of creator they are (because really that’s what this is asking) and save the plan for another screen. It also allows a new user to see more templates at a glance since they won’t be in triplicate.

This is a great idea though.

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Thanks so much for the feedback! I’m going to try and summarize what I’m seeing in the comments.

Gather important information in one place

Thing like finding relevant creators and seeing rewards working in real life are really hard to do on Patreon right now. Providing that information in context helps creators make informed decisions.

Smarter suggestions

Creators are already overwhelmed with choice and seeing a wall of template doesn’t help them. Patreon should be smart with what templates we show creators by pre-filtering for them.

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Great idea and great start! Overall, quite visually pleasing and I think it’ll reduce overwhelm for some new creators…

…as long as those creators are sure what their “box” is. I’m speaking of box both artistically and service/audience-wise. For many people joining Patreon, this is their first crack at running a membership business centered around their art, and/or their art is sort of outside mainstream categories.

Thus, they might be overwhelmed with seeing all these combinations for categories and service levels from the outset. I’m someone who likes picking Premium. So I’d probably immediately choose a Premium template even if I wasn’t at a level that necessitated it. Also, I think this would influence me to want to shift my art into a category box listed here. That was my biggest question when starting my own Patreon in 2015: Do I try to build a membership based on my natural, multidisciplinary, experimental output, or do I pick one lane and stay in it (i.e. relaxing instrumental music), in order to have an easier time with messaging? I know if I stuck with the latter – which I totally could have forced myself to do – I would have had clearer messaging and attracted more patrons to begin with, but I may have burned out as a creator. If I saw these options during that impressionable time, I would have been even more swayed to pick a lane, may have picked a wrong lane, and/or would have stalled on creating my account.

But that’s just me! I think it was freeing to see a blank page with no preset options.

I agree with @Temrin that no matter what, it should be clear at the top that NO TEMPLATE is also a valid choice. And I also agree with him that creators should be able to pick more than one art. (For example, my primary art is music, and most people know me as a musician. But on Patreon, I do music, writing, podcasts, and intersectional autistic advocacy.)

For the signup experience, I’d be curious to see a version in which the new creator goes through the screens one at a time and gets some tailored recommended options at the end? Like “pick your artistic mediums,” then “how many followers do you have,” then perhaps a more specific question about which rewards are priority for the creator, and then voila – tailored options for them.

4 Likes

Having examples definitely helped me! I studied a few other models and kind of pieced things together based on what I saw others doing. I think this would be much more helpful because it sets things up. I’m a go-getter/self-motivated so I just figured stuff out, but I know a lot of other models who were just too intimidated by the idea of doing that.

I think one of my biggest challenges was learning I needed to start small and grow which was one of the flaws in looking at Patreon pages of already established creators.

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Thirding (fourthing) the “No Template” option. I guarantee you there’s someone doing something you never even thought of!

That said, maybe some sort of search if you don’t pick a template (or even if you do)?

If you say you’re making knit/crochet design (like me), even if there isn’t a template, could Patreon perhaps pull up some similar creators to give you some ideas?

I really had to hunt for other fiber folks with Patreon pages to get some ideas on how to set up my own – having a tool that found other knit/crochet/fiber folks would have been been very helpful.

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+1 to @SarahDawn’s idea. I love the idea of being able to pull up a search for creators with similar themes.

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Biggest challenge: determination of my target audience and how to gain attention in that audience or community (AKA marketing).

But, related to the tiers it was really challenging to find anyone making quite what I had in mind and what I’ve begun to create. So, it was difficult to get a sense of the competitive market. It may even speak to why I don’t have any active pledge to another creator.

Related to the initial proposal, I feel a challenge (not the biggest) is the potential growth path. For example, I might begin to create videos, but probably not podcasts; I might offer physical products, but not probably clothes, stickers, or pins. Yet, having some of that vision upfront was muddled by looking at other creators and considering how/if I could do similar stuff.

In respect to that smallish challenge, I can imagine that a guide would help a first-time creator build a vision from suggestions as well as establish some early steps and milestones, followed by middle steps and milestones, then later steps and milestones. It might even offer a vision for a departure from one type of creator for an entirely different type in some distant future step or milestone.

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This would have helped me so much! I screwed up by offering more than i could do, and not thinking about shipping! I am thinking about a relaunch and would really love a template !

@Rochelle_Redfield here you go: https://www.patreon.com/themes/browse

Feel free to make a new thread in the forum too asking for any questions you might have about relaunching - we’re here to help :slight_smile: