Open Studio #6: Improving support for About section

Hi community, it’s me again!

A couple of weeks ago, @georgeb and I brought some explorations to the community and received great feedback. We reviewed the feedback with our team, continued exploring, and are back to share our ideas for an initial project focusing on your public (read: non-patron, aka fan) pages.

Giving focus to the About section

We also have seen, and heard feedback from you on our last community post, that Patreon can better support this section. As I’m sure many of you experience today, the About section of the Overview page does a lot of heavy lifting. A few ways we see creators use the section now:

  • Describing who the creator is and why they are pursuing a creative business through Patreon
  • Showing the type of work the creator does (through text, outbound links, links to posts, and images)
  • Explaining benefits and what it’s like to be a patron (through text, links to posts)
  • Explaining what a membership (and even what Patreon) is

We are exploring these specific areas because we believe that they are straightforward but important ways to encourage more fans to become patrons. Let’s look at each specifically (and we’d love to hear your thoughts):

  • Featured post: We have heard from many of you, and see on other creator pages today, that you like to point to posts that either 1) show the type of work that will excite fans and/or 2) answers common questions that fans have. Your most recent post won’t always be the post to do this, so we can give you a tool to choose the best post for the job.
  • FAQ: Your About section should be about you , not the basics of Patreon (unless you really want it to be). We see enough commonality between creators that we feel we can relieve some burden on the About section, simply by doing a better job of explaining what Patreon and membership is. This will start simple, but over time we hope for it to get smarter about the type of creator you are and business you have.
FAQ & FEATURED POST

ON DESKTOP AND MOBILE


Both of these modules are optional, and your pages will continue to display existing content should a creator choose not to use these. For the FAQ module, we are working with creator care teams to understand the most important content to include here. Featured posts, when a creator has selected one, will replace the “most recent” post.

We are also working with the team who brought you the image galleries post to bring that feature to your Overview page, but that’s another post for the near future :man_dancing:

Feedback we’d appreciate

  • If you could feature one of your posts, which would it be and why? Are there specific links, content, or other items that you are surfacing?
  • What are the questions you find yourself answering most often about membership, patronage, Patreon, benefits?
8 Likes
  1. Honestly, i unfortunately have more than one that would be great here but I could make a good overview post, one that links to FAQ about the project, rewards/perk examples, etc. I might occasionally pin something about a special offer instead of that seems more pressing, or i could just update the pinned post with it so it’s the only thing i really need to update.

  2. People often get confused about a lot of things really. Big and small things. How payments work, some folks don’t really understand how different tiers work but eventually understand as it seems they just need time to digest. How to find rewards is different from creator to creator so sometimes i have to reiterate how it works on my page because there are different expectations. How to use the app if it actually functions well enough on their devices. I often get people complaining that they keep missing my posts so i often have to explain how to ensure notifications are on, how to ensure that patreon emails are on their safelist, recommend the app for push notifications. Some folks just get a little overwhlemed trying to figure out and digest patreon sometimes.

4 Likes

Featured Post? Probably either a new release, or one of public ‘here’s what I’m working on post’

I find just the broad ‘what is Patreon/is it safe’ questions are the big one question I get (also 'hoiw does this work?) although I’m also fielding the occasional ‘but Patreon made a big mess last year with their fees thing, is this ok now?’ question, too.

Also, please, please, make sure we have the option to edit the ‘what is Patreon’ FAQ for stuff specific to our industry. There’s not a lot of fibre art folks on Patreon, and I do sometimes have to do some tweaking to get things to where I’d like them.

5 Likes

Firstly, this part really excites me. Gallery support has always been my #1 most requested feature on Patreon, really looking forward to hearing about more progress on this!

If I were to feature one of my posts I think it would be a different post each for members and fans, if that were possible.

The first post I’d like to show to fans would be a post that features my art as examples with explanations of the other rewards they’ll be getting if they become members. I’m an adult creator so I’d have to curate a specific post to be safe for all audiences that would also show off the kind of stuff I do.

For members, the first post I would like them to see is the index post. A post that basically breaks down the entire campaign into links that give them easy access to all prior content, this is probably the most important post on my campaign. My campaign has over 2200 images posted as rewards now, and it would be a nightmare to try to navigate them without an index.

Now, that might change if other tools are given to us that can take the place of an index post. If it does, I might feature the most important content I’ve made recently and change that up every few months.

“How do I get my discord role?”
“Wait you have more images on your patreon than the 3 images posted in the 3 images posts you make?” (they don’t realize the image posts have links in them to galleries)
“Where do I put my drawing requests in?”
“Are onedrive links the only way to view the galleries?”
“What other projects are you working on?”
“What does the $xx tier reward mean?”

More modules seems like a great idea to me! :B

3 Likes

Two things I think of off the bat:

  1. Confusion about the per creation model that we’re using. Many other campaigns are per month, so I think some people sign up to ours not realizing that our is per creation instead and are surprised by what they get charged for our 4 episodes a month.

  2. How to get/use the RSS feed for some of our bonus material (we do a podcast).

2 Likes

my featured post would certainly be what i’m working on in the upcoming month. so on the 1st of May i make a post saying “here’s the cosplay i’m planning to release this month, and here’s the art I’m planning on working on! on X date Iill be taking suggestions for more art and on Y date i’ll post a poll for what cosplay i do next! stay tuned!” or something of the sort.

nearly every single month i get a message from a new patron asking “where is this reward you posted about on social media/when to i get my rewards?” it’s always a misunderstanding of how the basic platform works. there’s an FAQ in my current about section but people just don’t read it.

i am excited to see this!! thank you!

regarding that, my idea when i first read (but didnt see the preview images of) galleries would be a different sort of gallery. let’s say there’s a separate page on my patreon that is one big gallery of all of my posts from the previous month. and the ones i still haven’t released publicly are locked, and ones i have are viewable. currently the only way for non-patrons to check this is by scrolling thru my posts. but it’d be super cool to have one big image gallery with 2-3 public releases and a whole bunch of exclusive ones to show just how much they’re ‘missing out on’. that’s what i thought when i first saw galleries were a feature! not that i don’t love the multiple images in one post :’)

3 Likes

Here are my answers:

  1. It would be the post that lists the projects are eligble for my restricted-mention tier
  2. UP-FRONT-CHAR-GING! There is no clear indication of whether I am charging normally or on a charge-upfront base
6 Likes

I also feel like if I had the option of having a public Featured Post, I’d want it to be a monthly “here’s what’s coming up” post - something I’ve been procrastinating getting in the rotation anyway.

As such, one feature I’d definitely want is to be able to check a box when I publish the next month’s featured post so the new one automagically bumps the old one out of that spot.

5 Likes

I’m not sure what post I’d feature. I might actually make a new one, but I love the idea!

I think questions my Patrons have most are about how I deliver rewards and how often I post rewards. I’d probably also mention that I don’t offer refunds and that they have access to content instantly.

4 Likes
  • If you could feature one of your posts, which would it be and why? Are there specific links, content, or other items that you are surfacing?

Honestly, I don’t see how a featured post would be that different from the About section if it’s meant to be public — I’d prefer to use a featured or pinned post that’s Patron-only to house perk-related information that Patrons often lose track of and ask me for, like my shop discount code or the link to my Patron-only Instagram. I suppose if it had to be public, I’d just move some of the information from my About section into a post, like maybe some examples of my work… but I don’t see how it would be very different from just having that same info in the About section.

  • What are the questions you find yourself answering most often about membership, patronage, Patreon, benefits?

Most of the stuff people get confused about is extremely basic, so a super clear walkthrough of “first you choose an amount, when you pledge you get charged immediately, then you get charged at the beginning of each subsequent month” would be ideal. I’d also love to see a clear explanation of how to opt out of rewards if they just want to contribute. I’ve had many Patrons ask me to suspend their mailed rewards and they don’t seem to realize that they can do that themselves in a way that’s much easier for me to track.

4 Likes

Oh goodness I LOVE the idea of featured posts.
We would absolutely feature our post that has the link to our Discord server! That is the number one post people go searching for and because our server is a perk at on of our lowest tiers, almost everyone gets access to it.
Not only is our Discord server a thriving community within itself, but the Discord is extremely effective at upselling the other tiers we have, because other people talk about the higher tier perks in the Discord, so people have FOMO (fear of missing out) and often increase their pledge amount to see additional perks.

For questions we find ourselves answering, I’d say that we rarely find ourselves answering questions about those things. The most common one would be “what video will patron names be in” because we haven’t been consistent about that in past months. We are changing/updating our perks though so that will be more consistent and the question will probably disappear after we fix things on our end.

Occasionally, we’ll get a question from someone as to where is the “best” place to give money, for the creator. Across Patreon, YouTube Memberships, merch sales, in-person meetups, etc that we do, people want to know how to maximize the amount of their money going directly to the creator. We know that Patreon is the best online way to do this so we’re always happy to sing the praises of Patreon because of this!

3 Likes

Thanks everyone for the responses, it’s always helpful to get feedback specific to how you think about changes or additions to your pages. I’ll try to summarize what I’m seeing here, but I encourage more creators to continue weighing in.

  1. Featured post seems to have a clear use, and while some of you have multiple posts you could think to use here, at least having one is an improvement.
  2. Fans and patrons have a wide range of questions, some of which can be handled by a section dedicated to supplying basic transactional information, such as: payment timelines, accessing rewards/content, and accessing app integrations (e.g. Discord).
  3. There are some questions that are creator-specific, that could fall within this type of section. This likely won’t come with the first version of this feature we would launch, in order to get something to you sooner that covers as many creators as possible. However, it is something we are keeping in mind as an enhancement once the feature is out and we can learn more about how it’s being used in the wild.
3 Likes

I love the direction this Open Studio is heading in, and streamlining the entire non-patron landing page is fantastic. So, feedback!

What post would I feature and why, what specifics are most valuable?

I’d probably make a post specifically for the purpose of featuring it for non-patrons specifically because a significant amount of my content is behind the paywall and a locked post doesn’t really do me any favors if we’re showing off goods for non-patrons.

What the new design lacks is a spot for the featured welcome video that the current design has. A featured post could work to replace that, though for me personally I’d use an audio post (because audio posts are what I do) that welcomes the non-patron and expresses gratitude for their interest. This would allow me to add some of that personal touch that has to be cut in order to make the introduction short and sweet without adding any visual bloat to the landing page.

Frequently asked questions?

I’ve been very lucky to have patrons who find everything fairly self explanatory. The questions I do receive are specifically related to audio posts, the RSS Feed and how to directly download audio posts or attached files. Outside of that I get questions about specific posts people are looking for, which isn’t so much of an FAQ thing, but would be resolved by a search function.

3 Likes

This could be very helpful for new members, because right now, links to posts in the About section don’t work on mobile version. And if modules could be arranged around to suit better each one’s needs, even better.
At the moment I’m linking to this post ir order to explain how to become my patron and how to get rewards ( as my posts are just teasers and I send the content by message ).
The questions I find myself answering most often are about what they are entitled to receive for their pledge ( even though it is already listed in each tier info ), and why they have been charged next month again.

3 Likes

I have a post where I collect links to my largest and most important posts, so they are easier to find. I would definitely feature that one.

3 Likes

@YuuriVoice
Great to hear, I hope y’all are getting as much value as we are from Open Studio. I want to clarify that welcome videos will still be included in your page, they just weren’t included in these designs.

@YuuriVoice, @rubenfcid, and @nymla
Your use of featured posts sounds like what we are hoping to support. As for FAQ, it sounds like a combination of common questions with audience-specific questions, reinforcing what we’ve been hearing. Thanks for providing feedback!

1 Like

For most of the time, I’d use a featured post for either my Patreon FAQ or the Table of Contents post I made for my serialized patrons-only novel.

But I’d also like to switch it out for time-sensitive posts. For example, I’m running a special offer right now, and I would have really liked to feature my special offer announcement post.

2 Likes

The thing I am most excited about is the featured tiers. I absolutely need to have that :heart_eyes:

I think a featured post would be reall helpful to communicate a motto of the month or week. So I’m a NSFW creator and am considering doing special weeks or months like „Latex Month“ „Bikini week“ or similar. I‘ve seen other creators doing similar things so I take it there’s a huge interest. For example a cosplayer might feature their Cosplay theme of the month.

Most asked questions are definitely:

  • When do I get charged
  • Can I change my pledge (better than canceling)
  • Do I get access to past post (to ensure them that they get accessible to all content right away)
1 Like

for @mz4250 he would need a different promoted post for different tier levels. his $5 level gets access to a google drive link, and the $10 level gets access to two google drive links. These links change every month, so his promoted post(s) would change monthly :sweat_smile:

1 Like