Is it worth it for you to set up a Patreon?

What you'll learn in this post:
  • How to receive a monthly income directly from your fans through Patreon
  • The reason why only very few succeed
  • How to promote your Patreon

When a fan truly wants to support their favourite artist, then the fraction of their streaming subscription won’t be enough. That’s why a lot of them are happy to support musicians with regular donations on platforms like Patreon. And now, during the pandemic with the income losses it has brought, the platform has experienced a resurgence in popularity. But for which artist is Patreon really worth it and how does one find enough supporters?

Only very few cash in

While revenues from streaming or merch sales are uncertain and can fluctuate constantly, Patreon offers a way to receive a steady monthly income directly from your fans. However, only a few can manage that. A study has shown that 72% of musicians on Patreon have less than 10 fans supporting them. This means that around three quarters of these artists barely make 100 euros each month.

What this shows is that the majority of musicians either have not reached the point where they can mobilize enough followers or they are simply going about it the wrong way. To be able to use Patreon in profitably, you need to bring an already solid fanbase with you. The analysis shows that you can get approximately 1% of your fans to join in on Patreon. So, for instance, if you have 500,000 followers on Instagram, you can realistically expect 500 patrons.

Offer something to the fans

But having a bunch of followers are obviously no guarantee, because in order for someone to pay you every month, they really need to be a die-hard fan. It is therefore all the more important to keep in close contact and have a lively interaction with your fans. What is equally important is offering these fans something exclusive, for example showing them songs early or giving them a peek behind the scenes. They want to get something out of their monthly payments.

No income without promotion and time

You will additionally need a clear strategy on how to promote your Patreon. Many artists forget that this can’t just be a one-time promo, but should instead be planned with longevity in mind. This is because on the one hand you need to continuously win over new fans, but on the other also because there will be people backing out constantly. There is also no getting around investing a little money into advertising on social media, otherwise your posts will only be shown to a fraction of your followers.

Last but not least, Patreon requires you to invest time both into creating additional content for your patrons and into keeping in close contact with your fanbase. The goal should be to create a community in which not only the fans can exchange experiences with each other, but also where the artist themselves interact with their followers.

If you have a strong fanbase as well as the willingness to invest time into Patreon, you have the prerequisites you need to use the platform to get a steady income.