While the idea that you must have an existing audience before expecting much from Patreon may be obvious to most of you, it’s worth paying attention to as it comes from the Patreon founder himself. I think that they‘ve made a big progress in making it easier for people to discover new creators right on the platform since this interview was recorded. In any case, listen to the full episode if you haven’t yet, it’s a good one!
"The presentation on your Patreon profile is very important. You have to explain to your fans what your vision is, what you want to do, and why. We spend a lot of time with creators, helping them refine their videos, write their “about” sections, and pick their rewards. Those are all super important to us. And we think it definitely helps increase conversion rates from a fan to a patron. It’s slowly starting to shift into discovery, but at the moment Patreon is really more of a place for people who have an existing audience. They will find more success than people who don’t have an existing audience.
"A lot of people worry about monetization too soon in the game. Once you’ve kind of done some audience building, then you’ll find success on Patreon. But the audience building is really the first step. Luckily, there are a lot of great tools for audience building, like Vine, YouTube, or Soundcloud. In other words, folks who have an audience on those sites and then come over to Patreon tend to do better. Obviously what we’d like to do is have Patreon be a place where people can have an audience too. And that’s what we’re starting to see a little of, which is super exciting, but it’s still not as strong as some other places where you can build an audience, such as YouTube or Soundcloud, and so on."