CROWDSOURCING YOUR COMIC PART 2: Creating & Running a Great Patreon Page for your comic

by Matt Russell - Posted 3 weeks ago



Welcome, my CryptoComic Compatriots! For the next step in the Blog Series on Crowdsourcing your Comic Book from CyrptoComics, we are learning how to set up and run a great Patreon Page. This will allow you to earn money for your project in order to get your comic made.


WHAT IS PATREON?

Right there on a simple google search for the term “What is Patreon” I get an answer directly for Patreon. Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to get paid. Join over 200,000+ creators earning salaries from over 4 million monthly…”


Over 200,000+!?! That many users couldn’t be wrong. 


Now I first heard about Patreon after the major demonetization of YouTube during the Adpocalypse (a term coined in 2019 when independent creators were denied paid advertisement revenue on their videos). 


I followed a creator by the name of “Fluffee Talks” and he threatened to leave YouTube because he went from making thousands a month from his videos to less than $50. He created a video of him crying about this and since YouTube was no longer going to be paying for it, he jokingly posted the video to PORNhub. 


He came back to YouTube to announce that he will be moving to Patreon. At first, I was excited and quickly clicked on the link. That was when I was faced with the harsh reality that I would be paying him directly. Sponsorship costs the end-user money now. 


I have since followed other creators such as Cardell Cole and Gerimi (both can also be found on CryptoComics Marketplace. Links below.



Many times you can get so much more than just videos. There is early access to videos, giveaways, or extra content. You can choose your support levels via varying tier, and so much more.

WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT PATREON

Patreon Is a great way to fund your comic while you are getting it made. I will be walking you through how to set up your account, but I will also make some recommendations for various tiers that you will want. Keep in mind those will just be recommendations. 


Let’s assume that you followed my last post’s suggestion to create a GoFundMe account, and currently have the most basic amount needed to get your comic created. Let’s start to get you paid while it is getting made. Keep in mind, this stage is pure profit if you have not changed your plans for your print run and it was already funded.


Now, let’s get on with it...


IS PATREON RIGHT FOR YOU?

That is a good question. As I have said with my last post in this series, the “Field of Dreams” idea (if you build it, they will come) is false on so many levels. Many people start a Patreon page with the expectation that because you started a page people will just give you money to be creative.


They lacked a clear plan as well as consistent work. Again, they think people will just simply pay them to be creative. As a result, they end up with 1 or 2 sponsors, that they must either appease at a financial loss to themselves, or they end up with a tarnished reputation of being unmarketable and unreliable.


There is no platform that exist where you get money simply thrown at you because you want to be creative. You are still required to create some time of product that is appealing to your market demographic.


This could be a videos, photography, video games, music, artist, and in our examples; comics. Create something that the community can get behind. Give them value. Give them a reason.


So, before you begin on this journey, you must ask yourself, “Are you willing to put in the work?” Let me fill you in on a secret, it’s a lot of work. Not for the faint of heart. If you're willing to consistently put in the work when there aren’t many or any new supporters, then Patreon is right for you.


STEP 1: BEFORE YOU BEGIN...

A successful Patreon page starts with a prebuilt community. You have to somehow get your name out there. Join Facebook groups, get involved in LinkedIn groups. Start up a Twitter account and start “tweeting”. 


You want to set yourself up as an authority in whatever niche you love. Talk to people about comics. Show them that you are creative. If you're a writer, tell people that. If you're an artist, get your work on as many different places as you can. 


When people hear the word “comics” they should automatically think of you. Let people know where they can support you. More on that later.


WHAT BENEFITS CAN YOU SUPPLY YOUR PATREONS?

I usually discourage overthinking, but in this case, nope. What can you provide to your patrons that won't break the bank? You have to think long and hard and even pull out a calculator on this. 


If you ask most of your patrons will support you simply to support your work and the benefits they get as a supporter is the “icing on the cake.” That being said, without that icing, you don’t have a cake. 


Offer up rewards that will inspire them to give more. As an example, at a higher tier, Cardell Cole offers to turn you into a character within his comic. This is a drastic step up from the lower tier that offers early access to videos.


My suggestion is to check out various Patreon pages dedicated to comics and make a list of things that you could offer and for how much. Put them into several lists ($1 tier, $5 tier, $10 tier, and so on). 


Don’t just look at comics for inspiration. Check out some other categories to see what they can offer as well.


There is another option of the monthly tiers (charged at the first of every month) and it is the ”Pay Per Creation”. This tends to be the less popular way of doing it. This nitpicks so you will have to pay to read every single post, watch every single video, and read every single page. 


This will make it far more expensive as a supporter of a creator, so my personal recommendation is to avoid it entirely. Some of you may find benefits in this, but I don’t and wouldn’t support a creator that takes this approach. Other people would, but I (me alone, I don’t speak for everyone) wouldn’t.


PATREON PAYMENT FEES

There are a bunch of hidden fees with Patreon so be careful. For this reason many people don’t encourage a $1 trier. You can still make money off of this, but it is significantly harder. I recommend a $2 tier instead. For the sake of this post, due to the fact that many creators still offer the $1 tier, I will include it in a suggestion. See what works for you. 


Platform Fee

This is the fee simply for using the Patreon Platform. Patreon needs to still make money or else they won’t be able to offer the platform itself. They are still a business after all, so don’t hold it against them. 


This payment will vary depending on the various account type that you sign up for. It starts with the “Lite” plan that only takes 5% off the top. This is the most basic package and comes with 

  • Hosted creator page

  • Patron communication tools

  • Patreon workshops


Then comes the “Pro” plan that is the recommended level at 8% earnings. This is the plan that I personally recommend. 

  • Everything in Lite and...

  • Membership tiers

  • Analytics and insights

  • Special Offers promo tool

  • Creator-led workshops

  • Unlimited app integrations

  • Priority customer support


Unless you have an entire team and are running everything as a business, then there is no point moving onto the next tier. If you are a Comic Publisher, not just a creator with a single comic series, then the premium is right for you. 


The premium will run you a high 12% of all earnings from the Patreon platform, but they do offer some pretty cool perks. 

  • Everything in Pro and...

  • Dedicated Partner Manager

  • Merch for Membership

  • Team Accounts


Payment Processing Fees

This is the basic cost of collecting funds from your patrons. I absolutely hate trying to collect fees. Thankfully they do it nicely. This payment also handles things like fighting fraudulent charges, recurring billing, as well as recovering declined payments. 


The Payment Processing fee is pretty basic at 2.9% + $0.30 for donations over $3. This is for each pledge on an individual basis. 


Payout Fees

Now, you will need to get paid so you need to transfer the money into your account. Keep in mind that until you actually hit that “Payout” button, the money sits in Patreon’s account and they make money off of the interest that it incurs during that time. 


My suggestion is don’t wait too long and do this once a month. You won’t want to do this for every payout as you will have to pay a fee per payout. 


This is how it actually breaks down: 

  • For every payout, you will pay a fee of $0.25 

  • If you are receiving money via PayPal, there is a $10 minimum plus a 1% amount just like the regular fee listed above with a minimum of $0.25 and a cap of $20.00

  • If you live outside the US and use Payoneer then it changes slightly. As I have never used Payoneer I will let them explain it

    • Taken from Patreon

    • ($25 minimum to be able to pay out): $1.00 USD per payout to your Payoneer account. Option to withdraw funds from your Payoneer account to your local bank account or the Payoneer Prepaid Debit MasterCard®, or $3.00 USD per global bank transfer.*


Conversion Fees

Well, you have to decide what currency that you want. Since I am in the US, I will choose the US Dollar. If you gain a patron outside the US, Patreon has to convert the money into your currency of choice before paying out. 


There is a 2.5% fee on every transaction that needs to be converted. You can avoid this by only marketing and appealing to US based contributors, but I wouldn’t recommend this. You will be alienating a large market group just to avoid 2.5% conversion fee. 


HOW TO SET IT UP A GREAT PATREON PAGE

It’s time to get into the nitty gritty of Patreon. If you want to actually get everything rolling, here is everything that you will need.


Settings

When setting up your Patreon page start by your user name. Make sure it matches your other social media accounts. For branding reasons, you want to keep everything the same so that when people come to support you, they know it’s really you.


Add every single social media link that you can. Filling out everything to completion will help you get the work out there and allow you to maximize your Patreon experience.


About

Write about you. Use the same content that you created for your GoFundMe page but tweak it for a new audience. Don’t copy and paste it from the GoFundMe platform but tweak it. Give each platform original content to work with. This will help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Value. 


Be thorough and build yourself up as a creator. Don’t over reach and claim that you paint better than Claude Monet or bolster your abilities, but be honest about your skills and reasons for creating a Patreon page to begin with.


Rewards

These are the tiers that your patrons will select. I told you we would be back to this subject. I wouldn’t recommend doing more than 5 tiers as they will become very hard to manage. 


Divide them up and offer whatever you want. Below is an example, nothing that you will need to follow but just to see how you want to write everything up. Give them a memorable name and give me a graphic to go along with it. Have the names relate somehow to the project. 


I will name the tiers after fish (its a size chart thing) and have an cool graphic that I would draw for this.


For the sake of this example, we will say that I am writing a 3 panel comic called Dad Jokes illustrated by Andrew Frey. How cool would that be? Comment below if you ever want to see this. Lets also pretend that I have been doing this for 2 years. Neither is true but let’s pretend for a moment and see what we could do for out tiers.


$1 Tier -  Nemo

  • Thank you shout out on my next video

  • Early access to my videos (3 hours early)


$5 Tier - Puffer Fish

  • Everything form the previous tiers plus

  • Get access to Patreon-only sketches and sneak peeks and whatnot.

  • Post tomorrow’s new 3 panel comic strip a day early.


$10 Tier - Baracuta

  • Everything form the previous tiers plus

  • Access to PDFs of Dad Jokes book 1 & 2.


$15 Tier - Shark

  • Everything form the previous tiers plus

  • Access to CryptoComics digital blockchain version of Dad Jokes book 1 & 2.

  • Survey access to help decide what happens in future issues of Dad Jokes.


$25 Tier - Whale

  • Everything form the previous tiers plus

  • Physical copy of Dad Jokes 1 & 2 signed by both creators.

  • Become a character in dad jokes (every month that you are on this tier, you will get a new character based on whoever you want, yourself included, with written permission)


Now I really want to start working on this project. Let's all try to talk Frey into doing this with me. If enough people want it, I’ll do it.


I would also write about a paragraph description for each tier so that it completely clarifies everything that you will get when the contributor clicks the read more button.


Goals

You can skip this section but...DON’T!!!


People like it when you have a goal in mind and they can help you reach it. You can set your goals for either money raised, or by amount of contributors. Set some goals and have fun with it. Things like everyone gets a print, or I purchase a new camera at such and such goal. 


They don’t all have to be rewards for yout contributors, but some definitely should be if you want them to help spread the word.


If you hit all of your goals, you can always go back and create new goals. Share them with people. 


Thanks

You will want some content thanking new signups. This is important as you want to them to feel connected to you. More than just a thank you note, you can add more than just a letter. 


One suggestion I have would be a video. It doesn’t need to be high quality Hollywood production level. Just make a video 2 minutes or so long to say thanks and welcome to your Patreon family. 


Since you are a comic creator, how about some art that they can download or use as a phone wallpaper. Either way, give them something fun as a way to say thanks for joining. Not every patron will watch it, but some will. 


BUILD UP

Your page is ready. Everything is approved and you are ready to launch. So, what happens now? 


Nothing!!! Don’t just hit launch!


This is your time to build everything up. If you just launch it and then post everywhere “I now have a Patreon page” not much will happen. Take a month and get people excited. 


Announce “I’m launching my Patreon page in 1 month!” then every week showcase a tier. Get people interested in it. Get people to follow you. Share it out to all of your friends and family. Have them share it to all of their friends and family. Share it out to various groups and have them share it out. 


Have a brainstorming session with some type of advisory committee (a group of friends that actually know something about marketing would work - if you buy them pizza) and come up with a solid plan to get the word out.


I have seen it time and time again on so many platforms. They just release their project with no hype and then all they hear is crickets. I’ve seen projects fail on Kickstarter from this. I’ve seen people never get momentum on GoFundMe or Patreon for the same reason.


Share out something like “ I have a Patreon page coming. Here is one of the tiers. How cool is this. Look what you can get here.” In a couple of days do the same thing again with another tier. Plan it out so that you can run out of tiers BEFORE the launch. Right before the launch share out a calendar that has all the stuff you will be doing on Patreon and here is the link!


Get that Hype and when it’s ready to go live, it should feel like a party. Once the buildup is complete and it’s time to launch, all that's left is to fulfill your end of the deal and to cash out as explained before. 


Also, keep the hype going. If you are ever given the chance to jump onto someone’s podcast, plug your Patreon page. Add it to your business card. Add it to your Facebook. Paint it to the side of your car if you think that would help. 


THE MONEY

So, its live, you're making a few hundred a month (after a while). Now is something very important, taxes. Yes, in the US this is an income and you have to file taxes accordingly. Don’t forget about this or it will bite you in the end. 


Talk to a tax rep and have them take a good look at it. They will be able to help you. I can’t give any legal advice other than to say, talk to a licenced professional.


NEXT IS KICKSTARTER

If you will be following this series, next we will tackle the dreaded Kickstarter. Watch as we either terrify you with the complexities, or shock you at the ease of use from their platform. Check back with us as we give you a simple step by step tutorial. I might even break this next part into several pieces so we can clarify everything and there aren’t any surprises. 


Follow us on social media and you will see that coming soon I will have a live video showing how to get your GoFundMe account live as a follow up to the article that we wrote. 


Until then I would love to see your creations on the CryptoComics Marketplace so get them uploaded and lets see what magic we can make together. Stay safe out there.