During the Renaissance in Europe, creative geniuses such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci relied on the patronage of merchant guilds, the wealthy Medici family, and even the Pope to provide them financial support to create their masterpieces.
But in 2020, the majority of us don’t know a modern-day Lorenzo de’ Medici to help fund our books, podcasts, artwork, videos, and other creative activities. So how can creative folks get financial support for our projects?
This is where Patreon fits in— a website that allows even a modern-day YouTuber or indie author to have patrons.
What is Patreon?
Patreon is a membership platform that allows creators the ability to offer subscriptions to their fans in exchange for special and exclusive perks. Unlike crowdfunding campaigns (like Kickstarter or GoFundMe), Patreon offers individuals a way to show their support on an ongoing, monthly basis.
A typical Patreon user — such as an author, painter, or filmmaker — will build a campaign (say, to support an ongoing video series) and ask for financial support. Fans of theirs can sign up for a monthly subscription to support their favorite creators, and in return, they receive rewards such as access to exclusive online content, behind-the-scenes updates, early access to new products, or special Q&A opportunities.
As a creator, you can embed videos or other content and even set up discussions. You can also send emails out to your Patreon subscribers notifying them of added content or other updates. You receive a monthly payout of all patron fees minus Patreon’s commission (a percentage of your overall earnings) and payment processing fees.