How to Launch a Patreon Campaign
Are you still tweaking your Patreon page, waiting for the right time to go live? Have you already done a soft launch just to test the waters? Either way, at some point you’ll probably want to do a hard launch for your Patreon page, too. Why?
- The launch of anything is an opportunity to grow your fan base and, thus, your Patreon patrons. Long-term success on Patreon (as with most things in life!) is the result of lots of hard work and taking advantage of opportunities that come your way, and there are things that you can do to move the needle in your favor. That said, I don’t want to overstate my point. A hard launch is not so much to build momentum (see why Seth Godin explains why this is probably a pipe dream), as an opportunity/excuse to generate interest.
- A hard launch will force you to polish up your Patreon campaign, rather than have it simply languish as an afterthought. The following steps will help you focus on doing the steps necessary to run a successful Patreon campaign (even if you don’t end up doing a hard launch!)
Before the Launch
Create a launch strategy that begins a week or two before your official launch. In this strategy, determine what needs to be in place before you go live:
- Setup your Patreon page
- Prepare the media that you’ll be using once you go live. Add a Patreon banner to your website, social media pages, your business card, your email signature, etc. You can find banners, etc. here.
- A week-or-two out, begin letting friends, family, and followers know about what you are working on (or, you could just let them know that you are working on a secret project, and that they should stay tuned).
- Reach out to other artists in your space and ask them if they’ll help get the word out. You could offer to help promote their page/work as well.
- Create a street team. If you have friends or family that use social media, you may want to ask them to go to bat for you. I try to keep these kinds of requests to a minimum so that when I really need help, people are (hopefully) more likely to help out. You can only do so much in a 24 hour period, so if you can get other people to push your message out to social media, you’ll get a lot more exposure.
- Reach out to blogs and websites that promote the type of art that you create. People usually like to help out, but they often need to be directed what to do.
- If possible, create at least one piece of Patreon-exclusive content to have on your page when it goes live. That way, in your initial pitch to your fans, you can let them know that there is already content in your Patreon feed, and if they sign up, they’ll have access to it.
During the Launch
- Make sure to inform everyone you know about your Patreon page. You are your brand and your fans are not going to find out about your new page unless you inform them. What this also means is that you need to be your chief advocate — if you aren’t excited about your Patreon page, why should anyone else be excited?
- In particular, don’t be shy about letting your inner circle of family and friends know about your new endeavor. While not all (or even most) of your friends and family will contribute, there are usually a few that have always wanted to support you, but never knew how.
- Throw a launch party at a local bar or venue. You could turn this into a livestream/webcast so that fans far and wide can participate.
- Be available. Whether you throw a launch party or not, you’ll want to be active and available on social media. Are you on SnapChat? Periscope? Twitter? Whatever social media you use, you’ll want to push the limits of the platform to get your message out. Respond to tweets, Facebook messages, reach out to friends, family, fans, etc.
- You could also plan a couple of surprises throughout the day (an impromptu show, an interview, a contest, etc.)
After the Launch
- Stay in touch with your new patrons and remember to thank them. The first week-or-so are particularly important for making these first patrons feel appreciated, so make sure to fulfill or (ideally) exceed expectations.
- You don’t want to turn your fans off with over-promotion but, at least for the first few weeks after launching your page, you’ll want to gently remind them through tweets, snaps, posts, or whatever other means you might have.
- Setup a livestream/webcast to explain Patreon to your fans and to answer any questions that they might have about it. You’ll probably want to do this during the week after you launch your page so that people have a chance to take a look at it first, that way they’ll be more inclined to be involved with your webcast. You could also do an AMA on Reddit.
- Continue to create! This is pretty obvious, but still important. Also, when you post new creations to your Patreon page, you will get a special Creator Page link that you can share on social media. This will push your fans directly to your Patreon page. Since you’re making preparations for your launch, it’s a good idea if you prepare a number of creations to release soon after getting your first patrons. This will take some of the stress out of the launch, and you’ll be able to focus on promoting the new page without having to worry about producing new art to release. If you release it soon after getting your first patrons, you will provide them with an incentive to continue supporting your work.
The above are just suggestions, many of which you’ll want to implement, some of which you won’t. It will depend on where you’re at on your journey, what type of things you create, etc. Hopefully, at very least, it will help you get inspired and focused for your own launch!
Have you done a hard launch for your Patreon page yet? How did it go?
Please share your experiences below, and add suggestions for other things new Patreon creators should consider for their hard launch!