Sunday, 15 April 2018

Patreon Revamp and Re-launch!

Well, this is a challenging post to write, so please, bear with me!

I've already talked about this a few places online, but I want to talk about it here, too.  See, I recently did a huge update to my Patreon About page, so I think it's a good time to have this conversation go live, and I admit, I'm rather nervous about it!

People usually ask me two questions when the topic of Patreon comes up. The first question is "Wait, what is Patreon?"

Patreon is a crowdfunding platform specifically geared towards artists. It's a way for people who love something to be able to support that something without having to shell out lots of money, and get some cool things in return.  At it's simplest, it's a crowdfunded version of artistic patronage.  People pledge a monthly reoccurring amount, and get cool stuff in return!

Patreon LogoThe second question I often get asked is, "Well, why are you on Patreon?"   The answer to that question is another question, this one, with a much longer answer.

See, I've had people openly ask me how they can support my work more then they already do. And  "How can I support your work further?" is a very exciting thing to hear as an artist!   For example, when I've done commissioned knitwear, I've had people offer me tips (and you folks are total sweethearts, just in case one of you is reading this!)  So clearly, people actually do want to support me (I admit, I would not have thought that true when I started this business)!

But, most of my business is digital patterns, and my customers are from all over the world.  My digital marketplaces don't have an option for tips (understandably), and straight Paypal donations play havoc with international tax laws.   I needed, -- for lack of a better descriptor -- a 'digital tip jar,' that would do things like handle VAT; and Patreon fills the role nicely!   So, now, when people ask "how can I further support and get involved in your work?" I now have an answer that isn't convoluted:  Become a Patron.

I'm thrilled that by using Pateon, it's not just about awesome, kindhearted people giving tips.  Through Patreon, I have the option to offer something in return!     Patrons get get cool stuff, like signed books, early access to test-knit drafts, access to my self-published pattern library, live Q & A, and lots more!  Most other 'donation' style platforms don't offer the option for me to provide stuff in return, but Patreon does!   Plus, Patreon provides financial security -- I never see your credit card info -- and it's risk-free pledging for Patrons, since you can cancel at any time! 

The other thing is, that the people who do become Patrons -- well, they support amazing stuff.  They help keep the fiber world open, they make it so I can produce more free content, so that I can give teachers and classes patterns at a discount (or even free!).   They're supporting my (upcoming) free Youtube tutorials, and helping to make sure that everyone, regardless of situation, has access to resources in the Fiber Arts.  And, you can some of the people who've signed up to support the making of amazing stuff over on the Patreon Sponsors Page! (Not everyone is on my Sponsors Page -- some people aren't interested in being credited, and that's fine too!)

With all this said, though, please, I want to be absolutely clear:  This isn't about "give me money."  I really want to make that point, because I think it sometimes does get lost with Patreon Campaigns.  If you don't pledge to me, that's perfectly ok too!  Becoming a Patron is not a requirement, or me trying to guilt-trip, or anything else of that nature.  Sure, Patreon pledges are amazingly helpful, I won't deny it.  But, they're in no way required or expected.  Rather, it's me saying "hey, for the folks were looking for a way to tip me - here's a way to do that!  If you want to get more involved, here's a way to do that!"

So, for those who are willing to pledge on Patreon -- you're amazing! Thank you for your awesomeness! And for those who aren't, please, please, don't worry! Even just by being here and reading this blog, you're helping me out!  (No, seriously, -- the more views and readers I have, the higher this blog ranks in search!)

Well, that's it!  I know Patreon is new to some people, and can be a divisive topic for others, so I wanted to really sit down and go through what it is, why I'm using it, and why it's an effective way to further support my work, for those so inclined.   Thanks again for reading!  And, for those who are willing, I'd love to see you as Patrons! 




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