To Hide # of Patrons or Not To?

Hey, fellow creators!

For months, I’ve debated in my head about whether it’s better or worse to hide my # of patrons. Currently, I have about 190 patrons, and that # is visible to all who go to my page.

Because of the nature of my work, many of my patrons are more the altruistic donor type rather than the sign up to get stuff type. I feel like that fact actually works against me having the number visible since, to many people, ~200 patrons might be “enough support already.” At the same time, people, in general, do have a tendency to navigate towards “popular” things. I’m torn!

Does anyone have insight as to whether or not one way is more effective than the other?


Would like insight on this as well, as I only have a handful and I’m not certain whether this is something that’s “shameful” on my end or what, lol.


One of the newsletters or blog posts from Patreon that I read on starting my page said that it’s best to display both the number and the $$$ but that it’s best to get friends and family to help you raise both counts out of the “this one is completely new” stage.


Hey @johnoberg, so glad you reached out to ask! This is a question I see creators ask often and everyone has their own way of thinking about it. I hope you don’t mind, I shared your post in our Discord Server to try and get more creators thoughts! :slight_smile:


I displayed my monthly earnings up until I reached $1,000/month. Then I hid it after seeing some trolls use another Patreon creator’s earnings (a Black non-binary person who’s an anti-racism educator) to post lies about their lifestyle and income. Posting questions about why should they be getting that money each month if they own their own home and is married to a lawyer. It was ridiculous, but it spooked me enough to hide my monthly earnings.

Once I hit 2,000 patrons again, I’m going to hide the # of patrons as I don’t want people trying to guess how much I"m pulling in each month and then weaponizing my patron numbers against me just because they’re jealous or angry.

And I’ll add this - as a Black woman, some don’t believe I deserve to have nice things. Some believe that as a Black woman, I should be suffering and looking like racism+sexism is sucking the life out of me. In addition, some believe that because I do social justice work that I shouldn’t be compensated for my labour.

While I try not to make others’ opinions influence me, I have to protect the platform that I’ve built up. Part of that is to keep my earnings hidden because as a private business, I don’t need to display it anyways.

BTW, I’m not looking for coaching or platitudes around, “fix your mindset.” I’m merely sharing what’s true for me. Take what makes sense, and leave the rest.


Hah! I don’t think that’s shameful at all; we all have to start some time. :slight_smile: In the beginning, I used my low patron count to encourage people to be “one of my first supporters” and that I would be “honored to have their support as one of my seed funders.” I think that helped get the numbers up quickly.

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Oh, interesting. I think that lends itself to the idea that the more popular an account is, the more likely people are to want to support it. I think this can be accomplished by showing the patron count alone rather than the earnings, as well.


Thanks for sharing it there, Reyna! Yes, I’m open to anyone putting their thoughts into this.

I’m still not convinced one way or the other, and the fact that my supporters are likely a bit different than many other creators’ supporters complicates the calculation a bit. For now, I’ll keep it visible, but I’m open to anyone’s ideas, any time! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for your insight, Leesa! Very helpful.

I agree that it’s absurd that people except advocates and/or people working in the non-profit space to “not have nice things.” That mindset is a real detriment to the ability to progress as movements.

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I display the number of patrons, but hide the dollar amount, because I want the emphasis to be on how many people are supporting me, not how many dollars I’m making.


Well-put and perfectly concise wisdom. I like that approach a lot. Thanks, Lisa!

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OH! I never thought about this - I have my $$ hidden but show my numbers - but I think this argument is right and I will hide my numbers from now on I think - I have just over 550, but some of my tiers are higher value and I don’t really want people doing the ‘back of the envelope’ sums and making assumptions - So I guess I should hide the numbers? Just can’t work out how - ha ha ha!
EDIT - done!

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There is a lot of strength in being upfront. When you hide numbers, like when you hide anything, it makes you vulnerable to misunderstanding and people usually think the worst. Whatever their idea of the ‘worst is.’ Showing numbers is the truth no matter what the numbers are. Having shown them you have a say in how they are spun.

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I hid my #s and $s for a while, until I hit around 100 supporters. My thought was that people tend to avoid supporting creators with low numbers, especially game developers, because they are worried the creator will vanish. Once I hit 100 I felt more confident in displaying my figures. It also lets supporters know that I’m not yet at the place financially where I can develop the game full-time, so they can adjust their expectations, versus a developer who is bringing in 3k+ a month.


I mean, I think the best answer is going to be what you’re most comfortable with. If there is one answer (sharing or not sharing) that makes you feel more comfortable with and excited about your page, then that’s probably the way you want to go - whatever is going to put you in the mindset to do your best work and promote your page the most enthusiastically.

That being said, I choose to share my creator numbers and hide my income - I prefer to focus on the “community building” aspect of my page and prefer to keep financial information private.

Like many people, I worry that folks will see my supporter number and use it to determine that I’ve already got “enough” or maybe even “too much” support. I’ve come to think of that as a form of imposter syndrome - sort of like I’m re-framing my own insecurities about what I deserve using fictional judgmental fans as avatars. I’m not saying you’re doing that, just saying it’s something I’ve observed in myself.

In reality, I’ve found that people have been really excited for me when my numbers have increased and that they like to be a part of something that’s growing. I also believe in the concept of social proof, and I think that displaying membership numbers definitely feeds that. It also helps to be able to promote milestones.

I recently made a big (for me) jump in membership during a special offer campaign, went from about 275 patrons to 350-ish. I’ve received several emails from long-time supporters saying that they’re thrilled to see the jump and have been hoping that my page would grow.

I don’t know if any of that’s helpful! Wishing you a lot of success and hope you figure out what feels right to you.


@rebecca I think I have a very similar avatar to yours that says they won’t support me because I already have enough support. They are real, I’ve encountered a few.

That said, I think those people would not support me even if they did not know the number of supporters. This is just an excuse they give. At least this is what my other avatar says.

However, you also made me realize I don’t want those people to support me anyway. I’d prefer the ones that get enthusiastic for my success with the growing number of supporters.

Thank you for that.

Side note: When I click on your name, here in the forum, I don’t see any way to find your Patreon profile or your web site or YouTube channel if you have any of those.


I show mine, and I also show a percentage bar to my next goal on my website, so it’s pretty easy to figure out how much revenue there is. It’s not stopping people. If anything it’s speeding it up. And my biggest goal is “I can quit my day job and do this full time”, in short - they get more of me to dedicate to my cause.

But I’m also pretty open that there are very real expenses with running a blog/podcast. My first goal was “get expenses covered”. When I hit it - guess what I did? Yep, took on more expenses, and I told my community that.

I think it’s important to let them know that Revenue != Profit or Income.


@jaydee That’s nice. I looked at your profile and your goals and the current one says: “$452.44 of $843 per month” but then the text talks about $1000. I see similar difference in each one of your goals. Do you know why is there a difference?

I have a lot of backers who refuse to use Patreon. So, they donate through PayPal subscriptions. I really only use Patreon to facilitate dontations from those willing to use it because my backers are split.

So, all communication is done through my mailing list that I have segments for my supporters. I use discourse as a forum, because a chunk of my community isn’t in Patreon. I track support gifts externally as well in spreadsheets.

So, my total goal calculations don’t match up because for a bit, I was trying to show what was left in patreon, minus my paypal supporters, but I’ve given up at this point. Unless Patreon decides to allow me to track external support, I’ll probably dump it at some point in the future. It’s not worth having two systems due to the complexity, and my supporters who will not use Patreon are about 30% of my donations. But I have no supporters on Patreon who refuse to use PayPal.

Anyways, that’s the reason. I don’t really send people to my Patreon page except to gather pledges, so I’m not terribly worried about how it looks. I use this page instead:


@jaydee thanks for the explanation and for the link. It is always nice to see how others do it.