People are afraid of Patreon

Right? Didn’t you also get that feeling?

For example, I offer discounts by becoming a patreon on commissions, and people STILL prefer paying the full price just to avoid joining. And I’m talking about people who have been commissioning me more than 1 time.
Or I offered cheap sketches just by being a patron, and no, they still prefer paying full price. I’m starting to question what use I should give to my patreon then. Hmmm…

I just feel bad now when I promote Patreon, don’t know what to do…

Thoughts? experiences? Please share! :heart:


I’ve noticed a lot of people become patrons because they want to support the artist more than because of any specific reward. Rewards can be a nice bonus but I don’t really care about getting rewards from creators who I support. I just want to support them.

Maybe you can shift your focus on offering rewards to people who aren’t primarily your commission clients? For example, I used to offer commissions as a reward because I thought that’s what people would want, and while most of my patrons were happy to get a custom sketch, it also took me a TON of time and eventually I couldn’t keep up so I stopped offering that. When I asked my patrons about rewards they pretty much all said that rewards weren’t even a motivation for becoming a patron. You could ask your patrons what they expect as rewards. :slight_smile:


And there’s the important detail, right there. They don’t want a discount, they want to support you (you lucky creator, you)!

So change your tactics. Stop offering discounts if they will sign up to Patreon, and start offering exclusive premium items with higher prices on Patreon (and only Patreon). They want to give more support? Here’s their chance.

Only a few of your supporters will go for it, and those few will be happy to oblige (if you pick the right offers). Good luck!


Mmmm true I didn’t see it that way. They want to support and they think through Patreon they only make me work more for less money and that’s why some of them literally said they wanted to pay full price and weren’t interested in Patreon.

Strange, interesting situation here…

So it’s kind of like I’m doing well selling commissions but I still need to figure out what to offer to grab their attention to Patreon.

Thanks all!


I’ve been making a living from my creative work since 2005, and one of the things I’ve learned is that there’s no one size fits all solution to letting people pay me.

Some people are comfortable with paying me monthly on Patreon, and just watching me do my thing—and some people will only ever respond to paying me X dollars for one thing, and never buying anything from me again. Some people will buy a product design the day I release it, and some will only buy when I have a sale, or offer a discount. I try to spread the options around, as much as my time and energy allow.

Let people pay you, as many ways as you can manage, including Patreon.


I don’t find people are scared of patreon at all. It could just be the demographic you have are shy of it, or people want something more personalised.

As Maarika said, most folks just want to support their creators (most of mine are in that category) and then there are some which like the odd reward. I don’t know how long you’ve been running yours, but don’t fret over it too much, it will grow slowly and surely!


I wouldn’t say “afraid,” but I have talked to a lot of people who seem to have trouble with the idea of signing up for “one more website.” I can’t quite explain it because they’ve never quite been able to explain it, but there’s something that holds them back…

Now, for many of them, once they see how much cool stuff I’m doing with “just” my supporters, that gets them over that hump, but it DOES seem to be a hang-up. And I have no suggestions for how to help people get past that… someone smarter than me might! :slight_smile:



Thanks all!

But I do personalized stuff in my tiers, I do offer discounts on my tiers and patreons do get lots of extra as Patrons. And they are happy, I have some patrons that have been there for quite a lot of time and don’t plan to leave…

I assume from all of these comments that I simply need more fans, and slowly some of them will join my patreon eventually.

Makes perfect sense. People (rightfully) think of unwanted newsletters, privacy issues or even hacked data when it comes to web service accounts. Not much we can do about that.

The good news is: once the supporters got over that hump, they are much more likely to stay, given that they have an account now—e.g. in contrast to being a website visitor without an account who can’t even be reached.


Well, you can add new tiers with different (not personalized rewards and discounts) for that new audience you need, and hide the old ones, so the old patrons will still have what they signed in for, but no one else will ever now that they exist.

The feedback I‘ve gotten a lot is that some people don’t want a subscription and they‘d rather pay a higher price than get one.


Popping in with my 2 cents.

Yeah some folks prefer subs, some folks prefer one offs and all manner of in betweens. I know lots of folks who just dont trust patreon and even though they’d like to support, they dont want patreon or they don’t want to put name address and credit card info
onto the site.

It’s super important to not have all your eggs in one basket as is as a creator imo and it reaches mire of your audience.

So for example I have patreon for my super fans who want regular and custom content. Folks who want to be more involved in the day to day. It brings in my primary income.

Then I also have a ko-fi for small scale events or specials and a general tip jar. (Sometimes my patrons even use it to tip me.)

I also use print on demand sites (upload and forget) to host merch and prints and such which can make a good little backup of income sometimes. (I really recommend redbubble I teepublic but it also depends on your craft and audience.)

I have an etsy which, after uploading I just watch for order emails. Outside of occasionally trying a different marketing approach, I really dont have to pay attention to it outside of paying the occasional bill, shipping something and marking something off
as done, which all comes to me with links in my email so it’s easy to monitor.

Then i also offer commissions, web and design work outside of those, as needed.

And it’s all fairly manageable even though it sounds like a lot. It takes a little habit building but I do everything to make it as easy on me as possible while not solely relying on one platform so that other folks can support me in their own way as well.

Dunno if that helps anyone but figured I’d pitch in my experience in this area.


This. A million times this. I don’t think there is one solution for everything and everyone. It seems to just be part of our job - for better or worse - to try offering as many options as is within our individual abilities to do, as possible. It is also, maybe, slightly more sustainable to do so…? When the economy fluxes, or something something else shinier than ourselves comes along, perhaps being flexible with options can help us keep our businesses going.

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Also, in my experience, when a platform totally goes under without warning, it’s always best to have many different structures in place to let people pay you. Losing one among many is hard, but not a complete disaster; losing your lone revenue stream means no money coming in at all.


Laye to the party, but discounts or coupons always strike me as an odd choice for rewards, because you’re trading like for like, it’s like selling money. Rewards (or trades of any kind) rely on both sides valuing the items in the exchange differently.

For me, I use discounts because my patrons are supporting me long term usually and keeping my work more stable. The tiers are based around other things as the primary part of it, the coupon/discount is an extra thank you for continuing to support me months
on end and my patrons do appreciate it when they decide to make a one off purchase. It’s different than someone who just occasionally buys from my store and nothing else. My patrons are supporting me continously over time so a little discount on a commission
or a store item seems fairly justified for me. (I already give a small discount for return costumers on a lot of my commissions. So it feels like the same kind of thing on my end.)

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It’s not exactly that, you’re prizing fidelity. They will subscribe to the tiers for other rewards, and ALSO get discount if they want a commission. I have lots of patrons who ask for commissions every month and make use of the discounts, but aslo enjoy the other rewards. So you don’t really make a tier that is ONLY the discount, that doesn’t make sense xD

And thanks all, I’m happy this is making us all think and help each other!

By the way, this is not my primary source of income. I get my “salary” from commissions. But I’m just curious how different the reaction from promoting commissions and patreon are.

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I’ve been here since the launch. One of the first things I said to myself when considering joining was, “How will my clients feel about membership sites?” I know I personally can’t stand membership sites. But then I remembered how to remind myself that memberships can be cancelled and/or rejoined at a later date. I literally can’t stand the thought of having to cancel when I forget about so many membership sites I’ve subbed to over the years, how much money I’ve lost, etc.

But then I also thought about who I would subscribed to and if I really, REALLY loved that creator, would that be worth it? My favorite spiritual teachers are not patron creators. But I said to myself, “Sheesh if Esther Hicks, Matt Kahn or Byron Katie became a creator would I sub?” The answer was “HELL YESS!!!”

Then I reminded myself of all the value, behind the scenes content and close knit community I could create by becoming more accessible to my clients. For some reason, even throughout COVID, I’m holding steady. So I took a giant leap of faith- I DOVE IN. I began to create just enough outside offerings to keep clients who hate memberships involved in my work, but slightly MORE patreon offerings for those who don’t mind. I decided to make my patreon offerings very enticing so that even if I could get them to sign up for that offering (knowing I would lose them later) that they’d be lured back by the MASSIVE library of work I offer here on patreon. The value of that for a dedicated student or fan is HUGE!

I know this post was a long time ago. I dove into it without reading any comments (as I do with everything in life) and I hope to meet you on your creator page one day or you on mine. Hell, maybe we’ll speak at Patrecon one day (is there such a thing?) and make a toast to the day when we had very little patrons.


it doesnt have to do with fear. people pay what they can. some people can pay for a subscription. some people can pay once in a while. that’s all there is to it.

Love the idea of Patrecon, Pamela! And great numerology for your tier levels. :sparkles: :sparkles: :sparkles:

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