So, you’ve built up a little bit of a YouTube audience around your channel, and you’re wondering, when is the right time for me to take the plunge into Patreon, and start an ongoing, crowdfunding campaign that let my audience and my viewers financially support me on an ongoing basis so that my content can become sustainable long term.
Well, my friend, Emily, is here to share with you guys exactly how she has done that on her YouTube channel. Taking a modest subscriber base, and turning it into a full time income for her through Patreon. She’s going to give you a lot of step-by-step tips, ideas and practical advice for how you can imitate her results on your channel.
Hi, my name is Emily, from the channel, Bite Size Vegan, where you get fun, friendly, fast, fact-based information on why and how to live vegan. Its veganism simplified, with a healthy dose of sarcastic wit and ridiculousness. Now, first off, I am honored to be appearing on the Video Creators channel. Tim has been a guiding light for my own YouTube journey, and his passion for helping others is evident in his work. So, onwards to the topic at hand. How do you have your YouTube channel funded by your audience?
At this point, I work on my channel full time. Actually, more than full time. And my main source of funding, in relation to my channel, is from my viewers. Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to accomplish such a thing, let’s address a practical issue. To be funded by your audience, you, kind of, have to have an audience. Now I’m not going to cover how to build an audience, but rumor has it, that Tim has a free ebook on that exact subject.
Establish Yourself or Channel as a Source of Value
Before asking for funding from your audience, it’s important to establish your channel and yourself as a source of valuable help and information. Whether you provide tutorials, education, beauty advice, or even pure entertainment, which is incredibly valuable as well, you want to be of service to your viewers. Engage with them. Answer their comments and questions. Spend time investing in them and their needs. People will want to support someone they feel has given them something of value and who has valued them in return. And they will get behind a mission that they believe in.
For more on how to hone the exact mission or value of your channel– Now a quick note, approaching crowdfunding with the mindset– how can I get money from these people– is not going to lead to much success. YouTube is a free platform. Our viewers do not owe us anything. I know that as a creator we often pour our heart and soul into what we do. And it can be frustrating that people on the other end may not seem to appreciate it. But in the end, we are voluntarily creating free content, and our audience isn’t obligated to pay us for it. So, just keep that in mind when asking them for financial support.
So, once you’ve built up your channel and created valuable content and interaction with your audience, you can look into crowdfunding opportunities. The one that I use and will be speaking about is called Patreon, but it’s not the only option out there. And the principles we are talking about can apply to any crowdfunding method.
If you’re not aware already, Patreon is a platform where creators can receive funding from their audience, who, in return, receive perks and rewards that vary with the level of their support. It’s kind of like Kickstarter, but instead of a one-time donation, it’s ongoing. Patreon has an awesome feed function where you can interact with your patrons like you do on YouTube comments. Only it’s a little more personal and far more respectful than the majority of YouTube comments. You know what I’m talking about.
One element of Patreon I love is that you can embed a video at the top of your page, which is usually a call for support explaining why you need it and how it works, which you can release on your channel as well. Whether you use Patreon or not, having a call to action video for your campaign is key. As YouTube creators, for the majority of us, the majority of our audience is on YouTube. And it’s the most effective platform for us to reach out with a message. Also, since you’re asking for support for your channel, it makes sense to ask on your channel.
Explain Why You Need Support
In your video, you want to include– why it is that you need support. Be honest and open with your audience, and share with them the behind the scenes of what it takes to produce your content. Many viewers who don’t have channels of their own honestly don’t know what it takes and or assume that if you have 1,000 views, Adsense makes you a millionaire. If only. So, show them the work that you put in without slipping into martyr territory. Explain to them that you want to keep creating the content that they love, but can only do so with outside support. And most importantly, let them know that your content will remain free, that they don’t have to pay to watch your videos, and that you appreciate their support in any form.
Value Your Supporters
Once you have some supporters, value them immensely. These people are voluntarily choosing to help you do what you love and reach others with your message. That’s pretty incredible. Continue to show them appreciation, because they deserve it. I personally feel that I can never show my patrons enough gratitude and thanks for their support. They are superstars in my eyes, because they are allowing me to do my best to make a difference in the world. And to me, that’s everything. Got kind of passionate there for a second.
Keeping Your Campaign Ongoing
And to keep your campaign going, you can always mention your crowdfunding at the end of your videos, or wherever it feels natural, so that viewers that may have missed your initial announcement can still be aware. I personally have mine on my end card, which looks like this. And I use annotations, and now the cards as well, to make accessing my Patreon page easy for viewers.
YouTube allows you to link to Patreon and other crowdfunding sites in annotations and cards. Just find a balance with your mentions. You may want to throw it into every video. See how your audience responds and go from there. Another thing you can consider, in addition to, or in place of, something like Patreon, is utilizing YouTube’s fan funding, or setting up a one time donation option through Paypal or another platform.
So, to review, build up your channel, create value and serve your audience through helpful interaction and quality content, choose a crowdfunding method, make your call to action video, being open, honest, and genuine. Appreciate the pants off of your supporters, always and forever, because they’re majorly awesome. And continue to be helpful to your audience that isn’t financially supporting you, because they’re pretty awesome themselves.
Call to Action Your Crowdfunding
Continue to mention your crowdfunding campaign through a combination of verbal calls to action, visuals, annotations and cards, and most importantly, subscribe to Video Creators, and check out Tim’s incredible amount of video and written resources. This is where you want to be to create the engaged audience that will help you follow your passion. And hey, also check out Tim’s very own Patreon page to support the incredible resource that he so generously provides to us creators.
I hope that this has been helpful. I would love to hear from you on this. Have you tried any crowdfunding methods? What methods did you use? And have they been successful? Thanks so much to Tim for having me on. It was an honor, and thank you all for watching. I’ll see you around the Video Creators community.