Rewards & Updates - a question

One of the biggest problems I’ve had as a filmmaking patreon person is that the stuff I make takes a LOT more time. I don’t vlog (and honestly do not want to), so I don’t have a piece of content to slap online every week. A lot of filmmaking is NOT the cool fun stuff on set; it’s like, staring at a computer and screaming WHY DOESNT THIS SCENE WORK or waiting for edits to come in.

So what do you do?


I would suggest - make photos/short videos of notes (if you take them), of the screen, write about all those hurdles that you meet daily, all those little dramas and little wins.


This is the perfect use case for Lens, or even still photos. Lightweight things that can make it easy to keep people in the loop with what you’re working on or doing is valued by a lot of patrons. It really does depend on your audience though and what your biggest fans are interested in about you as a creator beyond finished products.


the work that we do is also time intensive… we create 10+ videos a day…!

but a very similar work that we do is software programming… and yes, it’s hella boring and most of it is very much like “WHY DOESN’T THIS WORK” type of thing.

the difference is that we share small snippets of the process to our patreon community and they love it.

for instance…

^^^^ here i’m just sharing that we’ve done a major code push from staging to production. i then asked for feedback and any thoughts. simple update, but, well attended.

here i’m asking the community a very simple question related to product development and design… do they like infinite scrolling? tons of comments… but a super-simple update on our software development workflow.

finally, another example of just sharing with the folks a notice that we got from Apple when we were approved for beta testing. i just took a screenshot of the email and then shared it with the community… no big deal, right? … well, they love these types of small but fulfilling updates.

i bet you could do the exact same thing.


Well, as much as you don’t want to vlog, that’s the kind of stuff that your patrons would love to see - the behind the scenes, the screaming WHY DOESNT THIS SCENE WORK. It’s a give/give relationship, so you may have to go out of your way to create more stuff to give. that being said of course vlogging isn’t the ONLY answer, there’s lots of smaller content, photos, videos, posts, etc, that you could be giving all along the way, but it does of course add to your workload. Ideally find something that doesn’t make your skin crawl, aim for 1-2 times a week, and just stay consistent! you got this! (you can also very easily pick a day, create a number of things, and schedule them throughout the month - one and done). Don’t forget though that people support you because they want to know YOU, so be available!


I reckon there are all kinds of things you could do in this situation, Kate, and the tips from others are all good.

For example, you could take a photograph of the screen you’re editing on — or even your umpteenth cup of coffee — when you reach a troublesome point and use it as a ‘way in’ to enlighten your Patrons about the struggles behind making your films. Then they’ll appreciate the effort that goes into each production much more when you release the final result.

If you go out for a walk to clear your head, take a nice photograph of where you’re getting that fresh air and use it to explain what’s going through your mind.

It’s one of the biggest things I’ve learnt on my creative journey — be prepared to share the highs and the lows…share the struggle! And if it’s difficult, don’t make it look easy.

As one more example, I haven’t made any new photographs since I was in Ireland last September. That’s just the way it works with my project, so I have to be imaginative in the gaps between missions. In that sense, there are many parallels to be drawn.

I’m gearing up to this year’s journeys but, in the meantime, I share thoughts with my Patrons, ask for their opinions about certain things and keep them in the loop about my preparations. I also share more in-depth stories behind the making of previous work, stuff that I haven’t previously shared elsewhere so that it (hopefully) feels special to them.

In fact, thinking about it, I launched my Patreon in November, so it’s all built on the journey so far — being imaginative about telling the story behind making the work to this point and keeping my Patrons excited about the journey to come.

Food for thought, I hope…?

— Jack


Yes, Lens would be good for Kate too.

I’m finding there are a few stumbling blocks, though. I’m making the time every now and then to educate my Patrons about the app as they’ll need to have that installed to benefit from Lens…and Patreon might like to know that none of my Patrons knew there was an app until I told them about it!

One of the hurdles I also face is that many of my Patrons are new to Patreon and don’t necessarily seem to want to install an additional app in order to have a whole Patreon Experience…they just want to pay the money and know that it’s helping me to make new work.

Educating my online crowd is always a work in progress, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

In a year’s time, maybe they’ll have the app installed and be bursting to see my next Lens broadcast!

— Jack

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Here’s the other issue –

Splitting your resources / audience doesn’t work. We already have Instagrams and stories and facebooks and people hate moving to new / different platforms. They get lost. But you ALSO run out of content. I need enough to entice NEW fans publicly, engage CURRENT fans privately, and save for future releases. That’s a lot!!


I agree, Kate. I’ve been pondering this discussion a little more this evening and I’m starting to wonder how much my Patrons actually want extra content.

I mean, maybe they just see it as another notification on yet another platform. I think that if they’re of the kind/generous mentality where they want to give me money, they’re generally just happy that the work’s getting made and that they’re helping me to make it.

Thinking about my own behaviour, I support a handful of others here in the community and I have to own up to the fact that I don’t read most of their posts. I see the notification come in on the app and I’m pleased that they’re ‘doing their creativeness’ and that I’m helping them to do it but I don’t feel the need to read every single post to ‘see where my money’s going’.

I’ve been worrying a little that I haven’t posted on my Patreon this week but nobody’s saying to me, “Hey, Jack! Where’s our post this week?”

It’s clear that the targets and the pressure are mostly self-imposed. And, to a degree, self-centered and irrational. Not entirely, though, as part of that simply shows that I care about my Patrons and that I’m not taking them for granted.

In short, I’ll continue to do whatever feels natural. I’ll post to my Patrons when it feels right to do so. I won’t be posting for the sake of it but I will continue to deliver the things that I’ve promised (such as early access for certain things etc etc).

In your case, if you make great films perhaps that’s enough for your Patrons too?

After this long ramble (!) I’m now thinking that I might simply ask my Patrons what they expect. I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell me. I’ll have a think on that too… :roll_eyes::blush:

— Jack

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I feel that, Jack… but then you bump up against a question of how do you keep growing? People who already support you, you won there - you convinced them! You have to convince people who aren’t already in the ecosystem to join you — and I think that’s part of why perks/posts/etc. are important.

Kate Hackett

Join me on Patreon at
“Intelligent actor with pip!” NEXT Management | APA Agency - Jenine Leigh Pollard | SAG


Yes, the perks/posts are important and they’ll keep coming but perhaps less frequently and with less self-imposed pressure. As you mention, Patrons are The Converted and I will always deliver everything that I’ve promised plus a little bit more.

On the growth question, that’s where another job kicks in: I feel it’s down to us Creators to gently educate our audience that likes, shares and retweets are appreciated but they aren’t enough to put bread on the table.

I mention this in all kinds of ways on my feeds these days — my Instagram and Twitter profiles now link to my Patreon and there’s plenty of stuff about it on my website. My audience (my crowd) are starting to understand.

Across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Ello and my newsletter, I appear to have the best part of 30K followers. Admittedly, some of those will be duplicated, so let’s say it’s 20K. In three months, I’ve garnered 80+ Patrons — that’s only 0.4% of my following that I’ve converted to pay on a monthly basis.

As I see it, there’s plenty of work to be done! If I can convert around 4% then I’ll be really cooking on gas.

Some have also ‘converted’ over the years by buying prints and merchandise from my online shop but it’s the regular ‘guaranteed’ income that I’m really after. Like everyone else, I want my income to be much more predictable.

On a slightly different note, you might be interested to know that I’ve been preparing a blog post about this very topic ever since I launched my Patreon in November.

It’s called ‘The Internet: Turning The Tide’.

It’s not very long but it’s taken a while to write as I’ve been thinking long and hard about these very issues and want to start a more direct education process.

Anyway, it’s now about ready and I’m expecting to publish it tomorrow, so I’ll come back here and post a link when it’s done!

— Jack

PS My replies always end up much longer than I intended…sorry about that!


I’ve had the same thoughts. I’m a YouTuber so I vlog publicly and Patreon is supposed to be extra videos and content for those who would like to pay for more. However, I have only gotten a few videos up on Patreon because I’m so busy getting my regular weekly videos out. I’ve been carving and prioritizing though to very soon get to a point where I consciously create a video for Patreon. I had to make the conscious choice when I decided to go weekly on YouTube. And believe me, I completely understand about what sort of content to do and ideas run out! When I really need to scrap something together, I just take them along on my errands and try to make at least one of those errands relate to a project, or film equipment…People love to see inside your life even if it’s totally mundane. They’ll enjoy just seeing you as a regular person. I think you need to just add a whole new thing into your to-dos. Creating content for Patreon is literally another task to complete. Not something that I can get as a bi-product from doing my regular work, like it might be for a sketch artist for example. It’s extra work and I’m still trying to carve that time out. In the meantime I’ve got patrons that have been with me for a while and new ones trickling in that don’t seem to care that I haven’t touched Patreon for probably months. Self-induced as someone put it is so accurate. However, I do believe that I could grow more people if I were to get to the point of intentionally and specifically doing my regular video process for Patreon just like I do YouTube which like you probably are familiar with includes, brainstorming ideas, writing scripts/notes, production, post production…


Hello Peeps,

Here’s the blog post I mentioned that I was on the brink of posting. I’m about to post it as a new topic, so check it out there too. But I promised I’d come back and post it here…

I hope you like it…I’m really trying to put myself out there these days to speak up for artists. I feel it’s our duty to educate our audiences. Anyway, more over on the new topic in a mo.

— Jack