Creatives, or content creators, need support for their work. And Patreon, a crowdfunding membership platform, does just that, through providing business tools for creators worldwide to run a subscription-based content service. Through Patreon, members are able to build relationships with the creatives and receive exclusive experiences on their work.
It is not a new phenomenon; it draws its existence from the idea of ‘patronage’. Artists of yore like William Shakespeare, Mozart, Leonardo Da Vinci had aristocrats who supported their work; their quid pro quo was the satisfaction derived from the masterpieces produced. That arrangement also afforded them bragging rights to their friends about their links to famous artists. This enabled the creatives have a steady source of income while focusing on content creation. This is generally the idea behind Patreon.
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Say you are you a journalist/blogger, photographer, YouTuber or a podcaster. By using Patreon, you crowdfund by allowing your supporters and audience to become ongoing supporters of their favourite pieces of artistic work. It is a way of fans and creators also connecting. With Patreon, funding does not end with a single project but is continuous as long as the creative continues to produce their work.
Initially the creative must have a particular field in which they are creating content. From this platform you will have a fan-base who regularly follow your updated work, thus the creative can set up a subscription payment page. From this page, the creative will offer incentives and donors (patreons) can pledge certain amounts of money based on the respective tiers that the creative deems suitable.
Noteworthy is that Patreon is not just crucial for creators; existing brand and advertisers can find relevant creators and use their platforms to sponsor their brands. A number of these content creators normally command good social media following, and can act as influencers for the brands with their highly engaged users.
In a country where many youth lack jobs as well as hard economic times that result in job losses, a number of Kenyan creatives have taken to using social media tools to expose their creative content. While many still rely on Google AdSense, Patreon offers an alternative route to earning income from
your creative work.