What’s Up With Patreon?
Patreon’s Hang Time, September Edition: Here’s What You Missed…
For those of you who couldn’t be there for yesterday’s Patreon Hang Time with Jack Conte, Taryn Arnold, and special guest Shayla Maddox, here are eleven take-aways (this is by no means exhaustive - you can check out the entire half hour show here:)
For those of you unfamiliar with Patreon’s monthly Hang Time, it’s an opportunity for Patreon to connect with the Patreon community, and to answer questions the community has regarding where Patreon is at, and where it’s headed.
1) One of the main concerns expressed by the community was the lack of good search functionality on the site. Jack explained that featured results are currently human-curated, but that they are working on an algorithm for search functionality. Jack reiterated that this is a priority for Patreon.
2) Android and iOS apps are on their way. The iOS app has been submitted to the Apple App Store and should be available in the next few weeks-to-months. The Android app is still being developed.
3) To get featured on the site (or in the Patreon Social Media streams) — send a message to the help center (the only place I found to submit support requests is here: https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new) and make a case as to why you should be featured.
4) As of yet, there is no functionality built into Patreon for hangouts. They recommend that Patreon creatives use CrowdCast, SpreeCast, or Google Hangouts for patron-only webcasts.
5) An analytics-for-Patreon pages is in the works, but is not currently available. It will provide information as to how many visitors visit any given Patreon page each day, etc. Jack mentioned that they know that they need to develop better business tools for Patreon creatives — since Patreon’s goal is to empower artists with tools to run their creative career as a business, more robust tools are necessary.
6) A Patreon newsletter is in the works.
7) Patreon is blowing up, and they are having difficulty keeping up with the rapid growth. They are hiring people and are playing Whack-a-Mole (I just made that up, but that’s the image I had in my mind when they spoke about it — they’re busy!)
8) One of the question had to do with how to deal with the stigma attached to patronage. The answer was that it’s necessary to educate people about how artists have made a living historically (Jack mentioned that Beethoven, among others, spent their lives earning a living largely through patronage).
9) Another question had to do with when an artist should begin to work on their Patreon page. Both Jack and Shayla encouraged people to begin as soon as possible. Rather than looking at Patreon as a separate platform, Jack encouraged people to find an organic way to include Patreon into their online platform/workflow. He mentioned, by way of encouraging those just starting out, that on average Patreon creators double their per-thing income within 12 months of starting their page. The main takeaway was that sustained efforts are rewarded, that Patreon really does work, and that most creators can assume to see substantial growth within a year of starting.
10) Shayla Maddox mentioned that it can be difficult for certain types of creatives to showcase their art online (because of size, medium/context, etc. restrictions). She is a visual artist and has experienced this difficulty. She encouraged people to learn to tell stories regarding their art — that people will get engaged with your work if you’re able to offer them a compelling story.
11) Maddox also mentioned that Patreon creators should make their Patreon page very personal — people that support you on Patreon are your super fans, and they want to connect with you on a personal level.
Even though yesterday’s Hang Time got off to something of a slow start (some people complained about the shenanigans at the very beginning, but I saw it as a good way to break the ice…and to allow for late-comers to get online before they got to the meat of the show), it was full of news about what to expect from Patreon in the near future, and tips as to how to best build one’s Patreon presence.
Jack & Co. will be doing their 30 minute Hang Time again at the end of October. If you’re interested in being involved with it live, sign up for their mailing list:
I will be tweeting about it (again) as well:
Oh…and for future articles like this, come visit my website (not yet fully launched, but you can sign up for updates):