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It’s often difficult to make a living as a content creator. Sure, if you’re David Dobrik, you won’t have to worry about high-paying brand deals and ginormous YouTube ad revenue. But if you’re just getting started or catering to a small, niche audience, it may be hard to make content creation into your main career. This especially true for up-and-coming Tik Tok stars, as the Tik Tok Creator Program only pays a couple of cents per 1000 views. That’s why creators are turning to Patreon to help them dedicate more time to making content for their followers.
What is Patreon?
Patreon is a platform that eliminates the inconsistency and uncertainty when it comes to influencer paychecks. Founded by YouTube musician Jack Conte and Conte’s friend Sam Yam in 2013, Patreon allows dedicated fans to directly support their favorite creators. In exchange for paying a monthly subscription, fans gain access to exclusive content from their favorite influencer.
How Do You Use it?
Decide on what plan you want to use
Patreon currently offers three plans: Lite, Pro, and Premium.
Lite is a good option if you are just starting out. With a 5% monthly income fee, Lite consists of the basic features needed for your page. Think of it as a digital tip jar.
Pro is the most popular option on the platform. With an 8% monthly income fee, creators can differentiate tiers in membership with different subscription fees for each level. Pro also offers data analytics and workshops from other creators.
Premium has limited availability and is meant for “full-time creators with an engaged audience of at least 100K on a social platform or content hub”. With a 12% monthly income fee, a minimum of $300, Premium is perfect for large-scale campaigns. The plan also offers a close relationship with the company itself, as influencers get access to Patreon’s technology and talent.
Set up your page
Aside from deciding on account details and membership fees, you must put thought into the layout of your page. On Patreon, you are essentially marketing yourself.
- Emphasizing the benefits gained from your Patreon or each membership tier
- Optimizing your about section and intro video
- Making a well-thought-out Thank You page
- Customizing your page for an attractive, yet authentic interface
- Posting your Patreon link on all your socials
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How to Make Your Patreon Successful?
Once your account is set up, it’s time to entice your audience to become patrons. The number one thing to remember is to engage with your audience. Patreon builds a community that closes the distance between influencer and fan. It’s important to make sure your patrons feel valued. Five benefit ideas you can use include: recognizing your fans with a shoutout, setting up polls for suggestions, make specialized content, granting early access, sending physical rewards. One well-loved reward from Twitch streamer Kate Stark is handwritten postcards.
How It’s Changing Influencer Marketing
If more and more users are migrating to paywalls (aka paid content), is there even a need to take brand deals? Well, yes and no. Brand deals are still a significant source of income that benefits both businesses and creators. It’s unlikely that Patreon will completely eliminate the need for brand deals.
However, because of platforms like Patreon, influencers can finally afford to be more selective with the brands they work with. This helps influencers because they come across as more authentic to their followers. Furthermore, the brands that work with choosy influencers will gain more sincere engagement from their audiences.
Examples of Top Creators On Patreon
- About: Podcast, Crime, Comedy
- Patrons: 37,735
- Earnings per month: estimated $102K – $287K
- About: Music, Art, Comedy
- Patrons: 14,347
- Earnings per “thing”: estimated $18K – $134K
- About: Comics & Art
- Patrons: 14,636
- Earnings per month: estimated $29K – $106K
- About: Vintage Goth, Baking, Crafts, Clothes
- Patrons: 13,654
- Earnings per month: estimated $17K – $127K
5. Home Free
- About: Music
- Patrons: 4,988
- Earnings per Video: $31,243