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Hello everyone, I hope this post isn't too redundant but I would really love to see some discussion on Patreon as it's still pretty new I think to artists as a whole and I've seen some artists have great success with it, and others struggle to get much out of it.

I would really like to set up one as an artist ( I already have an account there but have only used it to be a patron of someone else ) but before I do and go broadcasting it on my various art galleries and social media, I want to have something in mind set up that is both beneficial for myself and my future patrons.

For those utilizing Patreon, what do you find to be the most beneficial rewards to offer? At what tiers? How often do you give out those rewards? How favorable are the responses to those rewards?

What kind of premium content have you been offering or uploading to your Patreon? What types of things ( WIPs, private streams, full-res, etc. ) have seemed to have gotten you the best response/interest in your Patreon?

I would really love to hear from others already utilizing Patreon ( and even from people who are patrons who would like to speak and say the kinds of perks they love having as a patron ) and think it may be a very beneficial discussion for the community as it's still pretty new to a lot of us :)

Thanks so much in advance!

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( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
I have both types of patreon :)

The one I support the most have different ranks, where if you support a tiny bit you get the full res files of various work. A little more then you also get to join a monthly raffle for a free sketch and even higher where you get a sketch each month guaranteed. She also allows high tier Patreons to "save up" the months so skip getting sketches for a few months to upgrade it to full images :)

I enjoy the setup she have - but personally I don't like holding raffles so that was not an option when I made mine. On my Patreon I just make free to use linearts and backgrounds, so everyone will get the full res anyways (patreon or not). So I decided the low tier will just have a big "thank you!", for the little higher tier I take suggestions for future free to use projects, and for the highest they can either 100% decide the next free to use project -or- get a personal project just for them each month. (and I make my own free to use project without them)

Hope it helped some ^^;
Apr. 21st, 2015 09:03 am (UTC)
oh i like that idea of "saving up" months for higher quality work! :0 i think i might use this!
Apr. 21st, 2015 02:46 am (UTC)
For my tiers I have a "tip jar" (no reward), WIPs shown that do not get posted anywhere else, high res files that do not get posted anywhere else, guaranteed sketch commission (no one takes this one for some reason, even though it's cheaper than my usual sketches), and a chance at a speedpaint commission tier (this one is far and away the most popular.)

I recently added a $30 tier with all previous rewards and the choice of one of 16 prints mailed to them; I like this one because I don't even have to send the print out myself, I just punch in the customer's address for an order at Rabbit Valley, where I do my prints. And then I get half the order's cost back later as a sale anyway. :P

General advice is just to limit your commitment to what you can realistically honour and update frequently. If you hit a snag and need to slow down, keep your patrons updated in a timely fashion.

Last, your Patreon will likely get most or all of its traffic from when you link to it, not from passersby on the Patreon site, so promote it frequently and show, not just talk about, the types of rewards you're providing.

Edited at 2015-04-21 02:47 am (UTC)
Apr. 21st, 2015 03:36 am (UTC)
If you're not sure on how to start, I would say start with making three simple tiers (like $1, $5, $10 – or something similar).

I find that livestreams, sneak previews (WIP), and raffles to be really interesting. Rewards really depend on your kind of work schedule. If you're the type of person to put out a lot of content, you could put out rewards bi-weekly or even weekly. If you're someone who works in stunted bursts, it might be better to put out rewards on a certain calendar date or week. (Like the first or last week of the month)

Tiers are something that really depends on the creator. You can set based on your needs (like, say, $500 tier "I can buy groceries!") or based on unlocking new rewards (for example, $500 unlocks discounted commissions for Patreons only).

I'm using Patreon as a writer, which makes it a bit hard to traffic patrons, but it's such an amazing platform regardless. I couldn't help but dip my hands into it as well, keheheh.

Good luck to you though. I'd love to see what you come up with.
Apr. 21st, 2015 04:44 am (UTC)
I only use mine as a tip jar and don't have many patrons. I only ask for $1/mo and don't keep anything behind a "paywall" ... I do offer a free icon to one random patron if at least $10 clears each month, but will offer more when higher thresholds are met.
Apr. 21st, 2015 06:59 am (UTC)
I think that's appropriate too, the way you approach yours. Because you treat yours as a tip jar. It's a very simple exchange of supply and demand. I like it a lot!
May. 12th, 2015 01:34 am (UTC)
I pretty much do the same with mine, but $5/week, with me making only one "paid" post per week. Anything else other than that one per week is free and public (well, the "paid" posts are public as well, but still). That way, anyone that supports me will be charged a fixed amount (usually $20) when it's time to collect (usually at the end of the month).
Apr. 21st, 2015 09:01 am (UTC)
i use my patreon as a sort of add-on to things i currently do, and haven't really offered- so it's more of a 'behind the scenes' with wips, previews, experimental art, and patreon-only goodies that i supply either once a month or once every month depending on the tier- basically stuff i never posted publically, if at all that i now show to patrons as a perk.

https://www.patreon.com/alicialyn is my patreon if you want to get an idea of how my tiers work!

for every tier other than the tip jar, aka the $1 w/ no extra added content, they get a quality drawing which seems to be incentive enough for others to make higher pledges. one thing i really like about the pledges for $20+ would be the fast passes for commissions that people seem to love, and then for $50+ i start giving out discounts so they can essentially get good deals for their pledge being that high.

i also have giveaways when goals are reached for all patrons no matter the pledge amount which seems to generate interest also. its a lot of work but honestly, it's worth it and i love providing content. the prizes i have help me generate content even if i wasn't doing much personal stuff to begin with. i only host some patreon only stuff on fa/da/wzl/etc but at extremely low res and with a patreon watermark.

i actually started my patreon last yr and didn't know what to offer until january, and i've had success with it when i found out what exactly i wanted to offer others!!

hope this helps/gives you any ideas! :0 good luck!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 21st, 2015 02:47 pm (UTC)
The art is owned by the artist, so no permission necessary. However if one intends to use full resolution versions of commissions as a draw of a Patreon, it's always best to ensure all clients are aware and if they aren't allowed to post the full resolution images anywhere.
Apr. 21st, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)
Something I will point out is Patreon is slowly starting to come down on people offering 'Raffles for free things' via Patreon, as it's technically gambling and illegal in my states to offer them online.

Can't really toss any helpful advice beyond that, I personally only use Patreon for webcomic support, so it's a little different than just art based Patreon pages.
Apr. 22nd, 2015 05:04 am (UTC)
what if it's just worded as a giveaway? i know raffles are illegal but say i want to do giveaways for patrons, not based on what they pledge, but just as a general "thanks for reaching the goal", is that going to get me in trouble?
Apr. 22nd, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC)
(Trying to find the post from an artist on why she took down raffles with screen shots of the staffs note...)

But I BELIEVE Patreon staff said you can give away random things, you just can't make it a selling point in your Patreon that certain backer levels can win things like free sketches/commissions. So basically, saying '$5 backers are entered into a drawing for a free sketch each month' would not be okay in the description.

EDIT: Here's the official Patreon stance : https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204199489-Can-I-offer-a-raffle-for-one-of-my-rewards-

Edited at 2015-04-22 04:12 pm (UTC)
Apr. 22nd, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC)
hm.. :I bc like, all my patrons get prizes but my giveaways only happen when goals are reached (since i never do giveaways in the first place) and its for any one patron to get another freebie art, i guess i need to think of a better alternative..?

i wonder if i can do a 'giveaway' that happens on fa and not strictly for patrons.. bc it mentions if it's dealing with pledges but what if it was a giveaway that was happening off site?
Apr. 23rd, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe they are okay with it if every patron (regardless of pledge level) is eligible to get a freebie they'd be okay with it? I only have one pledge level ($1) and will give a random person a free picture/icon/whatever as long as the total pledges meet my milestones... and that money is actually paid to me and not declined.
Apr. 23rd, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
that's how i had it worded yeah! like, all patrons are able to be entered in that sort of giveaway.. hmm
i wish we could get more confirmation on this, but for now i removed it just to be safe 8(
Apr. 22nd, 2015 12:57 pm (UTC)
Uh, this is interesting. How are people supposed to give out stuff for patreons then, if they can't serve all?
This doesn't sound too good. :(
Apr. 22nd, 2015 04:09 pm (UTC)
You can give away free things, you just can't make it a selling point that certain backing levels are being entered into a raffle.

So saying '$5 backers are entered into a raffle for a free sketch each month' would not be okay, just contacting one random person and doing them a sketch each month seems to be fine.

Again, I'm trying to find the post an artist made with screen shots from staff about why she removed raffled art from her tiers.
Apr. 22nd, 2015 07:10 pm (UTC)
I see, that makes it a bit clearer for me. :)
If you can find the post I'd be glad if you could link me to it!
Apr. 21st, 2015 07:09 pm (UTC)
My patreon has only been up since January, so I'm still working out the bugs and figuring out what people want to see.


I originally intended to use it as a 'twitter substitute' where I'd post cool content that I don't necessarily want public. I feel like if someone is willing to pay even a nominal fee, that means they care about me at least a little (and are interested rather than just using me).

I will say those that you can NOT EXPECT to update via mobile. It is not easy and I have since cancelled all mobile uploads (wasn't worth my time/stress). Instead, I just compile all of the same photos and release them at the end of each week (I upload to my google drive then upload to patreon from there via PC).

I started with just a few basic tiers and have adjusted them/added to them based upon feedback of how many people pledge to each level. I suggest starting simple and do not promise extra work unless it is very open-ended (art lib.) and/or easy to fulfill (digital vs physical mailing).

People want to see you are consistent and that they know what to expect from being a member. IMO People want photos and artwork. Free things are a draw as well.

I like to offer things where I am growing from the experience. So that way I am not just giving rote 'rewards' but the Patreons are helping me to achieve new things and grow in my skills. They like to know they are really helping.
May. 12th, 2015 01:42 am (UTC)
A bit old, but I have to comment, as I have a Patreon at http://patreon.com/MDFive

It's more of a "tip jar" with some benefits, and I only have one tier, $5/week, with me making only one "paid" post per week. Anything else other than that one per week is free and public (well, the "paid" posts are public as well, but still). That way, anyone that supports me will be charged a fixed amount (usually $20) when it's time to collect (usually at the end of the month).
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


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