Doctor Digital, what is Patreon? I heard people give you money - can I use it for my business?
Doctor Digital Says
The blissful world where people give you money, its what we all aspire to. And in fact that is what our businesses do, meet needs that people have that they are inspired to give us money in recognition of how we have provided for them. Patreon takes an age old concept - that artists/creators provide a service that meets a human need, and those in the culture with the money to support them do so. The Patreon platform was created to allow subscribers to financially support creatives on an ongoing basis. The platform hosts a range of creatives, including musicians, photographers, writers, podcasters, and artists. On Patreon, those who subscribe to the work of a creative are called patrons.
Patreon has evolved from that basic premise to a smart way to provide a fan base with exclusive content. Patreon launched in 2013 with a mission to help creatives monetise their content. Within 18 months, 125,000 “patrons” were using the platform to make recurring payments to creators. And total monthly payments hit the $1 million landmark. Patreon has continued to grow and now boasts more than 6 million active patrons. The platform supports a network of more than 200 000 creators who make a collective $1 billion annually. As of 2021, nearly half (48.04%) of all creators on Patreon produce content within one of four categories: video, podcasts, music and gaming. 90,292 profiles are dedicated to these areas. Video content is the single most popular category, making up 26.06% of all Patreon profiles (48,970 creators).
Using Patreon is simple. Creators set up pages for subscription payments from patrons by offering certain perks or incentives, and donors can pledge certain sums of money based on those tiers and perks. Patreon allows creators who struggle to find the right brand partnerships based on their content or who are still establishing followings large enough to entice brand partnerships to support themselves while staying in close contact with their most loyal fans. As a creator you can be making content on a number of different platforms like YouTube or Spotify and providing additional access via Patreon. This avoids some of the issues of content control that YouTube have, and algorithm issues of Facebook. Fans get direct access and creators get direct payment.
As the statistics above show, there are certain businesses that are suited to Patreon more than others. This platform was built for creatives, and as such fills a big gap in the market, especially with COVID closing many venues that allowed fans to interact with their peeps. If you are creating video content and podcasts, this is a great way to monetise them, along with providing something extra that extends your reach. Even for businesses like consultants and thought leaders, this is where you can offer courses or one-to-one consults with fans which are exclusive for additional sponsorship. The platform handles the financial side, and the creator gets paid.
The set up for Patreon as a creator is pretty straightforward if you are ready to go with content and offerings for your fans. You have to set up an account, then the platform takes you through the process of creating your profile, your content, your tiers of payments, how you'll get paid, what taxes are needed (this money is seen as income for services and is taxed accordingly) and then you are ready to go live.
So if you have desires to be an influencer, build your brand, get noticed and hit the big time, Patreon might just be the platform that helps you get money for just being you.