Monday, February 23, 2015

To Patreon or not to Patreon?

Patreon is a website that bills itself as enabling fans to give ongoing support to their favorite creators. For that matter, it doesn't even have to be your favorite creators. It can be any creator who has a creator account on the Patreon site.

I am fairly new to Patreon as a patron, which is someone who supports creators. At the moment, I have pledged support to a handful of creators, and all of my pledges are for fairly small amounts. As of the time that I write this posting, here's a list of the creators on Patreon who I am supporting:

Paul Brian DeBerry

L. Jamal Walton

Don Edwards

Ray Dillon

Mort Todd

The reasons as to why I decided to support each of these respective artistic creators varies, from individual to individual. Both Ray and Mort already had established followings, as of when I created my account on the Patreon site, in order that I might be able to begin utilizing the Patreon website as a mechanism for supporting artistic creators. Paul, Jamal, and Don all face the task of growing a base of followers of size sufficient to make a noticeable difference in the amount of support that they receive from patrons such as myself.

Even in the relatively short amount of time that I have been using the Patreon website, I have already begun to take notice of various things that I think can help make a positive difference on the part of creators, to persuade me to think more seriously about increasing the amount of support that I pledge to each of them, respectively.

Not that any of these gentlemen that I am a patron of actually read and follow what I post on this blog, but on the off chance that someone on the Internet happens upon this particular blog posting of mine, here are a few things that I take note of, as far as getting me to pledge to support you, initially, as well as things that matter to me, as far as making me want to really think seriously about upping my pledge amount, even by a little bit.

1. Content that is visible.

If you are a creator on Patreon wanting people to become pledging patrons of you and your artistic creations, then having content on your Patreon page and in the activity feed that can visually grab my eye and tempt me makes a big difference in me pausing and considering pledging, or in me just passing your little Patreon page by, in favor of me pledging to support someone else. If your content is invisible, and accessible only by those who have already made the decision to pledge to support you, then it really doesn't generate much in the way of visual temptation for myself and others to take note of - and to support - your career as an artistically-inclined individual.

2. Frequency of posting content.

How often have you been posting content? Have you been persistent, even if (and especially if) nobody has been pledging to support you? When was the last time that you posted something that is visible to me or to other visitors on your Patreon page's activity feed? If you want people to support you, then you really need to consider how much substance that you have poured into the creation and ongoing interaction of yourself with your own Patreon page. If your Patreon page sends the visual message that you, yourself, don't have time to bother with it, or that you don't really seem to care about taking your Patreon undertaking seriously, then why should I or anyone else feel moved to support a half-ass or non-existent effort?

3. Your level of engagement.

One of the biggest considerations for myself, as far as increasing the level of my pledge to a Patreon creator, is how well (or how poorly), not to mention how frequently or infrequently, that a creator engages me and interacts with me. If I have already found your Patreon page, and especially if I have already pledged to support you on Patreon, then the hardest part is already done. You have my eye - and my attention - at that point. So, why not make the most of it?

If I post a comment on your Facebook page, or on your blog site, or even in a forum that we both are members of, and it is difficult to generate a flow of dialogue with and from you, then engagement with this prospective supporter will likely be minimal, indeed, if it exists, at all. If you want greater support, then it requires greater interaction. If you want people talking about your handiwork as an artistic creator, then how do you expect to obtain that, if you don't interact with those making an attempt to talk and interact with you?

4. Milestone goals.

This is one of the very first things that I look at, when I visit someone's Patreon page for the very first time. If you have a really high initial milestone goal set, and you have little to no following on Patreon, then good luck ever reaching that milestone.

Set low milestones, at first. Make them extremely achievable. Then, each one that you achieve will help to send a message to your future Patreon page visitors that you are enjoying some degree of success. Success tends to attract people faster than failure does. People like to be a part of successes. People tend to avoid failures. Give more people more reasons to support you, by utilizing milestone goals as a mechanism to send a strong message of success to both prospective and current supporters.

Hopefully, someone out there will find this bit of Patreon advice to be of some use!

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