How to promote everything you offer on Patreon

By Wynne Renz

Photo by Jeremy Cohen featuring Randy Lau of Made With Lau

How do you let your fan community know about the creative world that awaits them when they join you on Patreon? In this guide, you’ll find effective strategies for getting the word out about everything you offer.

Bringing more people into your creative world on Patreon requires promotion. Even so, marketing your creative home and your creative releases can feel uncomfortable: What if I come off as salesy to my fans? Or like a leap of faith: What if I spend all this time and effort getting the word out — and it falls flat? Or: What if it sounds like I'm "begging" for money? While these doubts may be well-known to many creators, the ways forward aren't always clear-cut. With cultural trends and ideas constantly shifting, especially on social media, there isn't a magic promotion solution or marketing method when it comes to "what works." You often just have to try different paths, stay open to learning, and keep making tweaks.

So, get ready! Whether you want to invite your fans to join your community on Patreon for free, or you'd like to promote paid offerings — like digital products or paid membership tiers or both — you'll find a range of ways to get the word out.

Invite fans to join you on Patreon

To build a buzzing home base on Patreon, invite your fans to gather around your creative work and be part of your community in a welcoming space. To have the most impact, post invitations to join on platforms where you frequently engage with your audience, like on your social media channels, emails and newsletters, and podcast platforms.

Ready to invite fans into your community on Patreon? Follow these steps to get out the word:

  • Share across your channels. Whether you're just getting started on Patreon or have an established paid membership that you'd like to build, melding this message into your regularly scheduled content posted outside of Patreon can help bring in new members. For example, book podcaster Traci Thomas from The Stacks reaches her listeners directly from her episodes — a place where she knows they're already engaged. "I run dynamic ads on my show, so oftentimes, if I don't have an ad in a pre-roll or mid-roll slot, I'll do a Patreon promo."

  • Show what you offer fans. Highlight how Patreon is where your fans can get a closer connection to you to your creative work than they can elsewhere. Pepper in keywords like "bonus," "exclusive access," and "available right now," and any other relevant and enticing terms that highlight the benefits of being part of your Patreon community. Illustrate that they can reliably access things like ongoing updates (such as regular newsletters or roundup style posts), exclusive and early access to content, companion content like behind-the-scenes videos, polls, and more in one central place — outside of the noise of social media.

    Pro tip: To clearly show what you offer on Patreon, pin a post to your creator page that doubles as an easy-to-find guide or an index, like how documentarian Danny O'Dwyer maintains a list of quick links to members-only videos.

  • Encourage fans to take action. Use call-to-action words or phrases like "join" or "join my Patreon." Pro tip: You can create a sense of urgency by publishing a new public post on the first day of your dedicated promotion and then teasing it out on other platforms. Don't forget to include the link to your public post on Patreon where fans can click through to join and see the work you're sharing. Here's a template to get you started: "Join me on Patreon to get exciting updates like {{highlight content}} and {{benefits}}. Check it out at {{link}}."

For early access to connect with fans outside of paid membership, join the waitlist. Keep reading for more ideas on how to establish a home base on Patreon.

To build excitement about the possibilities that come with joining your paid tiers, give meaningful incentives to join and foster some friendly FOMO.

Get the word out about your paid options on Patreon

When you set up a creator home on Patreon, you make it simple for your community to discover, buy, and engage with your work. Whether you're thinking about launching your Patreon or you've been at it for a while, crafting a smart marketing plan will help you connect your fans to all the ways they can enjoy your work — including buying your digital products and signing up for membership levels.

How to promote digital products

You can use Patreon's built-in promotional tools to share your digital products on and off Patreon, and grow your customer base from all corners of the internet. Here are some tactics to try:

  • Announce any new digital products. By promoting standalone products in your shop, you can bring more people to your Patreon, regardless of their interest in membership. To let all your fans know about your store, spread the word across social media, in emails and newsletters, and on your Patreon creator page — and share your shop's link (like this:[creator]/shop) or point to specific products. You can share the inspiration and story behind your products to get your fans excited and interested in your shop.

    Here's a template to get you started: Now you can shop my digital products like {{highlight digital products}} on Patreon! Check it out at {link}."

  • Communicate visually. Enhance your messaging with eye-catching imagery. Since motion has a particular way of grabbing attention, consider making a GIF or a short-and-sweet video to showcase what you sell.

  • Cross-promote in your most relevant channels. Let fans know about your digital products by embedding shout-outs within similar pieces of content. For example, if you host a show on YouTube, mention the bonus or extended episodes that you sell in your shop.

  • Make public posts on Patreon. Dropped a new digital product in your shop? Share it in a public post to let everyone know about it. Looking for feedback on what to sell next? Post a poll to drum up participation — which can lead to a sense of involvement that may inspire a future purchase.

Keep reading for an in-depth guide to selling digital products on Patreon.

How to promote paid membership

To build excitement about the possibilities that come with joining your paid tiers, give meaningful incentives to join and foster some friendly FOMO. Try these tactics:

  • Share across your channels. On social media, in your emails and newsletters, on your Patreon page in a public post, and any other platforms where fans interact with your creative work (like YouTube or Spotify, for example), go into detail about the benefits of each membership level you offer. Use enticing call-to-action words or phrases like "join" or "exclusive content" and share links to trending paid-only content to further drum up interest.

    Here's a basic template to get you started: "Join me on Patreon as an exclusive member and get insider-only updates and content {{highlight content}} and {{highlight benefits}}. Check it out at {link}."

  • Post peeks of exclusive content. Share clips and cut-downs of complete and extended video and audio content, "director's cut" content, early-access and first-look content, materials that only live on Patreon (like videos or podcast episodes that have been demonetized on other platforms, for example) to show the value.

    Here's a basic template to get you started: "Join my Patreon {{at the $X level}} to get the full episode right now. Check it out at {{link}}."

  • Host exclusive experiences. Let everyone see what paid membership is like by occasionally inviting your whole community to listen in on exclusive conversations (like ask-me-anything threads and live-streamed webcasts and events) — and reserve special access, like asking questions, just for paying members. Or you could make a public post on your Patreon with an ad-free episode once a month to illustrate what it's like to listen without sponsor messages interrupting the conversation.

  • Let fans try membership for free. With seven-day free trials, you can show fans what membership is like without committing to a full membership (yet). After they get the chance to experience your awesome exclusive content and the creative work you offer in one of your paid membership tiers, they're more likely to join as paying members. You can see which of your fans joined through a free trial in your relationship manager and how many converted into paying members at the end of their trial.

    Here's a basic template to get you started: "Hey fans, I've got some great news: You can now get a 7-day free trial of my exclusive content like {{list of exclusive content and experiences}} so you can see what it's all about. Go to {{link}}."

  • Poll your audience. Ask fans for input on the type of content that they would like you to create for paying members, like helping to decide the color options on a new merch offering or topics they'd like you to delve into on future episodes. Post polls in a public Patreon post to give your entire community a window into the ways they can participate.

Keep reading for more advice on how to turn fans into members with authentic marketing.

How to promote paid membership and digital products, all at once

Having a broad suite of offerings can be a real boost for your creative business. Bringing your community to your home base on Patreon to shop for a digital product, for example, means they might get inspired to stick around and enjoy all the other things you offer, like membership and the exclusive community experiences that you offer.

Ready to go all in? Show the full range of your creative world by promoting everything in one motion. Here's how:

  • Guide fans through your entire creative world. Some people may only know about one part of what you offer on your Patreon, so craft clear messages to make sure everyone knows all the benefits you offer and everything that they can take part in, including shopping for digital products and upgrading to paid membership tiers. Promote your entire slate of offerings anywhere you typically interact with your community, including on your social media channels, newsletters and emails, podcast platforms, YouTube channel, and public posts on your Patreon.

  • Craft a clear message. Here's a template to get you started: "Join me on Patreon! Get everything {{your business name}} has to offer, including {{highlight benefits, digital products, and anything else you'd like to highlight }}, and try out my most popular membership level with a seven-day free trial. Get it all at {{link to creator home}}."

  • Spotlight your digital products in member spaces. Feature products directly in your Patreon posts for easy cross-promotion and to build awareness. For example, you could embed your latest make-up tutorial, illustration, music video, or comic into a post for members to see. Ginny Di, who creates D&D-inspired videos, music, costumes, and downloads, features products, like enamel pins and downloads, in a monthly wrap-up post.

  • Mention membership in your Patreon shop. Customers who buy your digital products are clearly already interested in what you do. So, you can show them what a deeper, ongoing experience looks like by talking up membership in your Patreon shop, in relevant item descriptions. In a listing for beautifully illustrated digital wallpaper, for example, you might write, "To receive a whole pack of graphics every month, including wallpaper like this, join my {{name of membership level.}}"

Looking for more advice on generating income? Keep reading to learn how to make money on Patreon, directly from fans.

The more you can speak to your fans on a human level and lean into the real value of your content, the more impactful your promotions will be.

Bring it all together

Whew, that's a whirlwind of ideas! Effective promotion takes consistency, repetition, and variety; still, be realistic about how much time and effort you can put into your promotions. Find the cadence that works for you — so you can spend more time creating and doing what you do best.

And, whichever approaches you choose to take, keep in mind these big-picture approaches for best results:

  • Fine tune your goals for promotion and your overall strategy. After you define your goals, keep these objectives top-of-mind as you market. (Maybe even post your goals and strategy where you can see them, so they're easy to reference.)

  • Create a content calendar to plan, schedule, and track your marketing and promotions. Here's a customizable content calendar template you can use.

  • Seek inspiration by following other creators to see what works, what doesn't, and what you could do differently to stand out. You can join our Creator Community Discord or sign up for an A. Club to talk craft and connect with fellow creators.

  • Leverage cultural moments and social media trends in your promotions to gain traction and ride the waves of popular content, when you see a relevant opportunity. For example, you could participate in a themed month, like how the illustrator behind erikathegoober made mermaid-themed art to share during MerMay.

  • Look back regularly on hits and misses to see how you can improve for the future. You're in control of your success, and learning from the past is a helpful way to see ahead. For inspiration, here's a reflection post from Patreon CEO Jack Conte on maintaining a growth mindset and learning from his mistakes, and a video of him at SXSW sharing how creators feel a "relentless" feeling to keep things afloat — and what he's learned to do about it.

  • Ready to dive into all things membership? In this class from Patreon, start learning level-up strategies, including the REAL Growth Cycle, a simple and repeatable process for honing your Patreon offering, launching (or re-launching) it, and planning for growth. Enroll in Membership Mastery for free — and get two free months of Skillshare classes.

The more you can speak to your fans on a human level and lean into the real value of your content, the more impactful your promotions will be. And if you're at all nervous about promoting your Patreon, think about what your favorite creators would do: Would you want to hear about x, y, or z from them? You likely said, "Of course!" And that's exactly what your fans are thinking about you. You've got this!

For more ideas fo getting the word out about what you do, read this guide to authentic marketing.

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