Ever thought of supporting and engaging with online creators as they live out their passions?
Imagine if you can make a living from doing what you like, wouldn’t you jump on the opportunity immediately? It might sound like a cliché but in today’s digital landscape, apparently, nothing is impossible.
It is clear that the internet has transformed the creative industry that we know of. Words, music, video, images, and even games can be distributed worldwide, instantly and for free. But for content creators, this also leads to a delicate challenge. Between having the ability to fully control their work while still generating revenue and building followers, persuading people to open their wallets is the ever-present problem for the digital community.
That’s how Patreon was introduced.
What is Patreon?
Founded in 2013 by a YouTuber, Jack Conte, Patreon basically is a platform that enables fans (or patrons) to pay and support artists for their work on an ongoing basis. The platform also works like a social network that allows artists or creators to interact with their patrons.
Acting as the middleman for supporters to donate to creators, Patreon has become popular primarily for YouTubers and podcasters. By 2019, Patreon has over 100,000 creators earning salaries from over 2 million monthly supporters.
Why the Success?
The primary reason that contributed to Patreon’s success is the increasing growth of influencer marketing to capture the interests of the crowded online marketplace today. While brand partnerships remain the main source of revenue for most influencers, but with the digital market becoming more competitive than ever, influencers need to constantly try to find new ways to generate revenue while staying relevant to their audience.
READ ALSO: How Hard It is To be an Influencer?
Patreon comes out as an empowering solution that allows these creators to engage directly and personally with their fans and also to support themselves and their creative work. Above all, Patreon works as evidence that the relationship between creators and fans is constantly evolving.
How Patreon Works
Many often mistook Patreon as yet another crowdfunding platform, however, unlike those sites, visitors are not asked to invest in the creators’ certain projects. Instead, Patreon works similar to a subscription service.
Fans can subscribe to the premium content of a certain creator that speaks to them by donating a small amount of money per work or per month basis. They will then earn different rewards, chosen by the creators, depending on the size of their donation. This way, creators finally have a more steady means of income and therefore, a more reliable way to fund their projects. Naturally, as the middleman, Patreon takes a small fee for their service.
Benefits of Patreon
Regardless of whether you’re a creator or a patron, Patreon offers a community with a positive environment that gives anyone with a voice the ability to turn their passion into a living.
For creators, Patreon works as a reliable way to earn recurring funding that allows them to pursue the work they love. On top of that, creators also have the opportunity to engage with their most passionate followers and return their support back in the form of the rewards that they can personally decide.
Meanwhile for the patrons/fans, Patreon works as a means to directly support and perhaps even influence the works of their favorite creators. Patrons also get to see the creation first before anyone else and sometimes, they get to see content that regular fans cannot see. Additionally, patrons can earn rewards from the creators they sponsor. The rewards often are personalized by the creators, i.e. a song dedicated to them, a behind-the-scenes video, a handwritten lyrics, etc.
Brands and advertisers can also use Patreon to find creators that are doing exciting work. After all, Patreon serves as home to many creators who regularly interact with highly engaged supporters outside of social media. Therefore, finding creators of Patreon may lead brands to new and exciting partnership opportunities.
READ ALSO: Should You Build Your Own Influencer Team?
Rather than concentrating on the millions who consumed your content, Patreon works on the idea of focusing on convincing just a few hundred of your biggest followers to open their wallets and hand over a small amount of cash on a recurring basis to fund your creative activities.
As such, just like any other social networking platform, the key to be successful in Patreon is to remain engaged with your audience and provide them with the content that they want. Patreon’s reward and goal system also make it a much more interactive platform to let people know where their money will be invested, hence allowing creators to build trust with their fans easier.
Obviously, as the platform grows, it will inevitably face new challenges. Still for now, Patreon has probably solved one of the hardest challenges influencers and content creators face today: getting people on the internet to open their wallets and pay for content.
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