A Grand Experiment in Crowdfunding!
09 Friday Jan 2015
It’s a beautiful thing, to have so many avenues for creativity. As yet, I had not dipped a toe in the crowdfunding waters, as each of the different sites serve a slightly different purpose with varying goals, none of which lined up with my ongoing projects. But a few of my artistic friends have set up Patreon accounts, and something pinged in my hindbrain, “aaaaah, patronage.”
I actually have thank you notes printed from the time of the theater books that thank readers and fans for their patronage. And there is something incredibly romantic and lovely about supporting an artist, and in these times, that isn’t only the realm of the 1%ers.
On Patreon, you can become a Patron for as little as a dollar.
So yesterday I sat myself down and starting reading the FAQ. There’s a lot of good information on the site, as well as helpful videos. The first thing to note as a creator is that there are two separate kinds of accounting: your patrons will either subscribe for a set amount per month, or they will pay per creative upload. When they pay per creative upload, they can put a limit on how much they are willing to pay per month ($1 per upload, max. $5 per month, for example.)
The tips I will offer are the same as I would recommend setting up any crowdfunding project:
- Make it look professional. You are asking people to buy a product, and you are far more likely to appeal to consumers if you take the time to add a well-done pitch video and copy about what it is you’re offering
- Make it personal. Explain what it is you’re offering that’s special and wholly your own. I went with glitter and goofy (as evidenced by the video… you’ll know what I mean as soon as the music kicks in.)
- Deliver on your promises. Here’s the tricky part, and the reason I went with Patreon, as opposed to Kickstarter or GoFundMe… I know I can deliver 1-4 writerly snippets a month. If more people fund, I can make them longer and more involved, adding art, audio, or video, at which time I can scale back the number I put out every month. There are no deadlines, and with the model I’ve chosen, people only pay when I post.
The very worst thing you can do in crowdfunding is disappoint the people who believe in you.
One day in, I cannot claim to be an expert on any of this; check back in a month or two or three and I’ll be able to give you far more insight as to whether this is a legit way to connect with fans while actually paying a bill or two. I have fingers crossed, and hope you will join in the fun!