Twelve ways you’re doing Patreon wrong
Some cartoonists have been asking me to give them my thoughts on their Patreon pages. And I’ve opened up a new Hot Seat critique series based on members’ Patreons. And — honestly, I’m a little obsessed — when I see a new Patreon page being promoted, I go over and see how they’ve got it structured. Sometimes, I find ideas worth stealing. But more often, I’m seeing a lot of the same mistakes being made over and over again. And, in my opinion, it’s having an adverse effect on your ability to generate support.
Now, this is usually where I cut the article and throw the rest of the post behind the paywall. But this one is so damned important, I’m not going to do that. If this is you, you need to stop, rethink and rebuild.
It’s not charity. It’s a business transaction
Asking for pocket change, thanking patrons in advance for their generosity, and any appeal that relies more on emotion than on the value of your work are poor strategies. In general, anything that makes your Patreon campaign sound like a hand-out, an act of mercy, or a charity is setting exactly the wrong tone for what you’re trying to do.
Honestly? I’d make it a point to avoid words like “generous.”
This is the A-1, second-to-none, deal-breaker mistake that people make on Patreon.
Why? Because it not only puts your potential patrons into the wrong mindset, but — more importantly — it puts you in the wrong mindset. And if you’re in that mindset, you’re going to make a bunch of bad decisions.
Keep reading. You’ll see exactly what I mean.
When you’re trying to get someone to give you charity, you make promises — often promises that you have no idea how you’re going to keep. You’re a panhandler on the subway rattling an empty coffee cup. You’ll say anything to get someone to pay attention.
So, what should you do?
OK… Webcomics.com isn’t a charity either…