This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

The top three mistakes people make using Patreon

I like Patreon, I've had my Phoenix History Adventuring on it for over a year now. And considering how new Patreon is, I'm one of the "old-timers" there, and I've had a chance to see what works, and what doesn't, on Patreon. If it's new to you, put simply it's like Kickstarter, except that it doesn't support projects, it supports artists. The name comes from the world "patron" - like an art patron. People can support the artist of their choice, to encourage them to make more stuff, starting at one dollar a month. They can also follow artists there for free.

As you'd expect, people have made a lot of mistakes on their Patreon pages. Sometimes it just makes me wince. Usually it's that wonderful sincere innocence that I've always seen in artists, which makes them somehow manage to say and do exactly the wrong things when it comes to mixing money with their art. So I'd thought I'd do the top three things that people do wrong when they get on Patreon.

1) They think it's a pay site. This is a very honest mistake, because actual money is being moved around there. A pay site, also known as a subscription site, allows people who pay for something to see it. That makes sense, and there are a lot of pay sites out there. When people make this mistake with Patreon I know that they're trying to learn how to be a commercial artist, and that requires things like determining how much to charge, how to keep people from stealing your art, passwords, and stuff like that. It's a very complex thing, and it's how most businesses work. It's not how Patreon works, so when people try to create a pay site with it, they get frustrated. Let me repeat that: Patreon is not a pay site. If you want to create a pay site, you can Google "pay site" and there's a lot of information out there.

2) They become fascinated with themselves. I've visited Patreon pages, wondering what wonderful things people might be creating, and I find what seems to be a biography of the artist that goes on and on and on, instead of what they do. This is an honest mistake that just about any public speaker makes, talking about themselves, on and on and on, and not getting to the stuff that people want to hear about. Keep the biography towards the end, or not at all. You should have a bio where you established your fan base, anyway, such as your Google profile. Which leads me to...

3) Not establishing a fan base. Patreon isn't a place to establish a fan base, Patreon is a place where fans can go to help support. And that's why number 2 above is really needless, the fans already know. The artists that I support on Patreon I knew long before I knew about Patreon.

I hope this helps. Learning anything new can be embarrassing, and frustrating. I've been a teacher, and I know that there are a lot of people who feel like idiots if they don't get something exactly right the first time. But please rest assured that we all make mistakes. Correcting them is the best thing to do. If you've read all of the way to the end of this post, you now have a better-than-average chance of getting it right. Do so.