ComixLaunch | 30 Day Patreon Launch Journal: Goals, Mindset, Strategy and Tactics for Getting More Patrons

30 Day Patreon Launch Journal: Goals, Mindset, Strategy and Tactics for Getting More Patrons

August 11, 2016

Okay, so you’ve pressed launched your Patreon page. Now what?

One of the things most creators are stumped by when it comes to Patreon is really the most basic question of all:

“How do you get Patrons?”

I recently surveyed over 100 creators about their knowledge of and experience on Patreon. The challenge of growing Patrons beyond a few immediate family members and diehard of fans was a prevalent theme for many.

“It’s difficult to attract new patrons. I have a bunch who are regular readers of my comics and have been for a long time, but it’s been much harder for me to get new patrons on board.”

Sound familiar?

It should because that’s a question every creator wrestles with.

How do you encourage readers, fans, subscribers, and followers on social media to actually become Patrons?

It’s a question I know I’ve been tackling for the past decade, building a small press comic book company, a children’s book line, and most recently, a podcast.

Here’s What I Know About Building an Audience That Will Support You Monetarily…

There is no silver bullet.

There’s no one single action you will take that will take you from a new Patreon page with 0 Patrons to a page full of Patrons throwing money at you every month.

But because there’s no silver bullet does not mean there’s nothing you can do about it.

Rather, increasing your Patreon Patrons is the culmination of a series of actions, the alchemy of fan engagement, and the ability to craft the right message, in the right way, to the right audience, at the right time.

I also know that what you measure you can manage, and what you manage, you can improve.

I realize, though, that all sounds like very general advice.

If you’re like me, you love a good framework, you understand the importance of having the right mindset, but above else, you love the actual tactics!

“Skip the woo-woo stuff, and just tell me what to do!” you might be thinking.

Alrighty, then. Let’s do it.

To demonstrate the principles laid out above, and hopefully demystify the Patreon Launch process, I’ve decided to keep a “Patreon Launch Journal” for the first 30 days after launching my first Patreon, documenting actions and results.

I’m committing to devote at least some time every single day for the next 30 days to take some action intended to increase the number of Patrons backing my new Patreon project for Club ComixLaunch.

And I’m committed to documenting in this blog post, in detail, every action taken and the specific results from those actions.

Sound like a plan?

Who am I, what’s my project, and how can this help you?

I’m Tyler James, a comic creator, publisher, award-winning game designer, and host of the ComixLaunch podcast, where I teach creators the mindset, strategies and tactics to crowdfund their creative projects and take their careers to the next level, particularly on Kickstarter.

I’ve successful managed 9 Kickstarter projects for myself and others and have raised more than $220,000 in funding on the platform.

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For the past year, I’ve shared my crowdfunding insights as well as the best practices of more than 60 of the top minds in crowdfunding on the free ComixLaunch podcast.

On August 5, 2016, I launched Club ComixLaunch on Patreon as a way for listeners to support the show and for me to provide extra value to the ComixLaunch community in exchange for monthly Patronage.

Patreon_MainImage_1200x600_ClubComixLaunch

ComixLaunch.com/patreon

Though I consider myself a crowdfunding veteran and knowledgable Kickstarter practitioner (I hate the words expert or guru), I am a total Patreon Neophyte.

In this context, though, I see that as a strength, as I’m seeing everything through fresh eyes.

How big does your audience need to be to have success on Patreon?

Creators often wonder how big your audience needs to be to “have success” on Patreon or to make Patreon “worth it.”

Obviously, that’s going to depend on your definition of success.

Patreon is currently paying out more than $6 million dollars in monthly payments to thousands of creators.

Now, there are creators who are happily relying on Patreon as their primary monthly salary, and making a living off of the platform.

Many others are also happy simply to be making pizza and beer money every month.

So, whether or not Patreon will be “worth it” to you depends on:

  1. How much funding would make it worth your while? ($5 a month? $50? $500? $5,000? You tell me… only you can answer that.)
  2. How big and engaged an audience your currently have, and whether that audience is big enough to realistically hit your “worth while” funding amount?

In their Launch Guide, Patreon instructs creators to expect that for every 100 people you send to your Patreon page, roughly 1 or 2 of them will become your Patron.

Patreon’s search functionality is atrocious. Unlike Kickstarter, where popular projects are often discovered by people unfamiliar with the creators behind them, on Patreon, creators are largely responsible for driving all traffic to their page.

So, it all boils down to a simple question:

How many people can you drive to your Patreon page?

I can’t answer that for you and your audience, but I can for mine.

The ComixLaunch podcast audience is a small, but relatively engaged audience.

The podcast has been downloaded a total of 19,500 times and there are currently 450 people on the ComixLaunch email subscribers list, as of 8/9/2016.

So, knowing my audience size, I can make a rough estimate of how many Patrons I can hope to get, which allows me to set a goal.

Setting a Patronage Goal

One of the biggest mistakes most creators make when it comes to building an audience is the same mistake dieters make when trying to lose weight…

The goal they set isn’t SMART.

And by SMART, we’re talking:

  • SPECIFIC
  • MEASURABLE
  • ACHIEVABLE
  • RELEVANT
  • TIME-BOUND

“Grow my # of Patrons” is not a SMART Goal.

It’s not specific (grow by how many ?) and it’s not time-bound (by when?)

A true SMART goal for Patron growth, would instead look like this:

Goal: “Grow my # of Patrons from 0 to 20 patrons by September 4, 2016.”

Specific: Yes. (20 Patrons.)

Measurable: Definitely. On September 4, I’ll either have 20 Patrons or I won’t. Easy to measure.

Achievable: Indeed. With 450 subscribers on an email list, 45 positive reviews on iTunes, and hundreds of podcast listeners, 20 Patrons is doable.

Relevant: Okay, 20 Patrons isn’t going to change my life or drastically improve the show. But it will cover the cost of at least one episode each month, and is a foundation to build upon.

Time-bound: Yup. September 4 is marked on my calendar.

So, I have a goal, but I’m actually going to take it a step further and do a best practice taught by many goal-setting experts, and actually set three goals:

Goal: 20 Patrons by 9/4/2016. (A basic SMART Goal.

Stretch Goal: 45 Patrons by 9/4/2016. (An ambitious goal. Still attainable, but represents a reach.)

Hairy, Scary Goal: 100 Patrons by 9/4/2016. (This would likely cover all podcast costs, definitely not a walk in the park, and probably unattainable without a whole lot of hustle, and a little luck.)

With three goals set, I won’t let myself take the my foot off the gas should I hit my first goal early on.


Note: With goal setting, I’m choosing to focus on PATRONS as opposed to DOLLAR AMOUNT. You might choose to go the other way. There’s no right or wrong approach here, but I’m more concerned about the number of people in my audience who choose to vote with their wallet and declare that the podcast has real monetary value to them by supporting it, than how much value they’re placing on it.


Each day, I’ll be journaling my activity towards growing a following on Patreon, starting from 0. Each journal entry will contain:

  • Date
  • Commentary – What I’m thinking about or focusing on to clarify or help explain the reasoning behind the actions?
  • Actions – What specific actions I took to directly or indirectly promote the Patreon?
  • Results – How those actions directly impact the number of Patrons who have sized up?
  • Reflections – My thoughts and emotions about the actions/ results?

Patreon Launch Journal for Club ComixLaunch

LOVELYFLOWER

Day 1 – 8/5/2016 – Patreon Goes Live

After working on the Patreon Page for about a month, on pushed the launch button on a Friday afternoon. My page had everything I wanted for launch, except a video, but I decided not to delay the launch to create a good video. Rather I’ll use the addition of the video as another marketable event in a few weeks.

I pushed launch on a Friday afternoon, not because I thought it’d be a good time to launch, but rather the opposite. I wasn’t planning on promoting my page to my audience until Sunday’s podcast release. I launched it early so that I could test the page and make sure things were working prior to promoting it.

Actions

Capture_FBPost1

Results

  • A few hours after this soft launch, Club ComixLaunch got its first Patron.
  • Total Patrons: 1
  • Goal Progress: 5% (1/20 Patrons)

Reflections

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit disappointed to only receive one backer after launching… even though I wasn’t planning on promoting the launch until Sunday with the podcast and more importantly Monday with an email to the ComixLaunch subscriber list.

But, as I teach creators in the ListLaunch course, it’s a numbers game… and the conversion rates of a single Tweet or unpromoted Facebook post are astronomically low. So, 1 Patron given the amount of promoting I was actually doing, wasn’t bad.


Day 2 – 8/6/2016

Another day in “soft-launch” mode, where I wouldn’t be actively promoting the Page, as I was waiting until Sunday’s podcast Episode Patreon Launch #1: Kickstarter vs. Patreon (Which is Right for You?) went live. But that doesn’t mean I was idle.

Rather, I spent Saturday composing a few emails to my email list, and scheduling those in ConvertKit, which is the email marketing service provider I use and recommend.

Action

  • Wrote an email to the ComixLaunch list announcing the opening of Club ComixLaunch. Scheduled for Monday.
  • Wrote an email to the ComixLaunch list pointing out the FREE Club ComixLaunch VIP Monthly Resource they could get for free to experience the priveledges of membership in the club.
  • Reviewed early survey results from first 100 creatos on the Patreon survey. Flagged some of the key pain points and questions that would need to be answered in my Patreon series on the ComixLaunch Podcast.

Results

  • No new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 1
  • Goal Progress: 5% (1/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Not surprised that there were no new Patrons today, as I did 0 external promotion. Was really setting the stage for Monday’s email blast, which was when I expected the first Patrons would actually start coming in.


Day 3 – 8/7/2016 – Patreon Launch #1 Podcast Releases

The ComixLaunch podcast goes live on Sundays. Today’s episode was the first of a multi-part series on the Patreon platform, and yes, I was strategically launching my own Patreon to coincide with the launch of the ComixLaunch podcast series all about Patreon. I decided to make Club ComixLaunch on Patreon the sponsor of this episode of the podcast, with a call to action for creators to check out the Club.

Action

Results

  • No new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 1
  • Goal Progress: 5% (1/20 Patrons)

Reflection

I thought I might get one or two Patrons who would listen to the podcast Sunday night and immediately become Patrons, but that didn’t happen. Of course, as this Tweet by Michael Perlman reminded me, most of my listeners listen to the podcast on their schedules, not mine.

Capture_Perl1

Capture_MPearlman

Still, I was excited to finally be getting a little more active about promoting it Monday. Gloves coming off!


Day 4 – 8/8/2016 – Active Promotion Phase Begins

Okay, Monday… this is the usual day I start promoting crowdfunding campaigns when running Kickstarters, so it felt good to be promoting the Patreon for real. At the same time, because there’s no pressure for a HUGE Day One Launch to get out the gate strong and feed the Kickstarter agolrhythm, I took a much more laid back approach to active promotion of the Patreon. The goal for today was simply to let the ComixLaunch subscribers know Club ComixLaunch was open for business.

Action

  • Sent email “ComixLaunch is now open! (Get your Welcome Kit)” to 450 ComixLaunch subscribers.
  • Recorded a ComixLaunch podcast interview with Anthony Christou of Luminous Ages.
  • Posted about unlocking first Club ComixLaunch Goal on Facebook and Twitter.

1

Results

  • 10 new Patrons.
  • Unlocked Patreon Goal #1 – $20: Monthly Media Hosting Covered
  • Total Patrons: 11
  • Goal Progress: 55% (11/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Well, if nothing else, todays increase in Patrons is illustrative of the lessons I teach students in the ListLaunch course: If you are [podcasting, blogging, YouTubing, webcomicing, arting, writing, etc.] and you want to make an offer to your audience, and you don’t have an email subscriber list, it’s like running a race with your shoelaces tied together.

Pretty cool to get to 55% of the goal I set more or less after a single email. Also very cool to have the support of Anthony Christou, who I interviewed for ComixLaunch Session 58 that day. He became a Patron right after we ended our Skype call. (Anthony has a great Patreon page himself.)


Day 5 – 8/9/2016

Today was spent primarily working on the podcast, specifically Patreon Launch #2. One of the challenges with promoting a Patreon is that it’s another something to do on top of keeping the thing the Patreon is for (in my case a podcast, but for many of you it will be a blog, webcomic, video series, etc.) going strong. If you’re not careful, in promoting the one, you’ll let the other slip.

Action

  • Email went out to the ComixLaunch list letting them know about the free Kickstarter Update Guide: 19 Types of Updates That Add Excitement & Funding to Your Kickstarter Campaigns. Those who download will get a follow-up sequence of emails with more training on Kickstarter Updates, followed by another invitation to join Club ComixLaunch.
  • Started drafting this Patreon Launch journal blog post.

Mock-Up

Result

  • 2 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 13
  • Goal Progress: 65% (13/20 Patrons)

Reflection

I meant to schedule some social media around these pieces of content, but simply haven’t gotten around to it. Boston Comic Con being around the corner and me being woefully unprepared for that Con has sucked up a ton of time that would otherwise be going toward the Patreon Launch.

But again… I didn’t set out for the Patreon Launch to be the ONLY thing I’d focus on this month. I simply committed to doing at least one thing very day to keep it moving, and I have been able to stick to it.


Day 6 – 8/10/2016

The big to do for today was to do essentially an audio version of the “Club ComixLaunch pitch” that makes up the the Patreon page, and release that as a special, mid-week, bonus episode.

Action

  • Sent the weekly ComixLaunch email blast to 450 subscribers + an additional 200 subscribers on our media list and Patreon interest lists, announcing the new Patreon launch series. The email included shoutouts to our first wave of Patrons and mentioned passing our first goal.
  • Recorded and posted a podcast episode titled “A Special Invitation to Join Club ComixLaunch.

Result

  • 2 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

I was hoping the bonus invite episode would be short and tight… 10-15 minutes, but it ended up running over 26. I like doing bonus episodes of the podcast for special occassions and to make direct pitches to the audience, but keeping those separate from the value packed regular Sunday episodes. 75% to the 20 patron goal, and pretty close to getting that full episode a month funded.


Day 7 – 8/11/2016

Today was largely spent packing for, driving to, and setting up a Boston Comic Con, which didn’t leave any time for Patreon promotion, besides posting this article. (I decided to keep it in draft form until I had a solid 7 days of Actions and results to share.) It will be difficult to promote the Patreon at Boston Comic Con, but I expect to promote the podcast and hopefully talk to some listeners, which may help.

Action

  • Posted this Patreon Launch Journal article.
  • Scheduled Tweets promoting this Patreon Launch Journal, the Kickstarter Update Guide, and Patreon Launch #1 for over the weekend while I’m at the con.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

First day with no new Patrons after starting to promote. With a convention the next three days, expecting to hit a bit of a wall. Going to focus on


Day 8 – 8/12/2016

Up early because I’m heading in to Boston for a convention. Just time to post a quick update to Facebook and send a schedule a quick email letting people on my Patreon interest list know about this article series, as they might find it helpful.

Action

  • Posted link to Patreon Launch Journal article on Facebook.
  • Emailed Patreon Interest List about the article.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Convention day! Boston Comic Con will take center stage, but I’ll try to make sure that I’m taking at least some action to move the Patreon and podcast forward.


Day 9 – 8/13/2016

Day 2 of Boston Comic Con. Did get to talk to a number of ComixLaunch listeners in person, which is very cool.

Action

  • Chatted in person with ComixLaunch listeners including George O’Conner (Healed), Rich Clabaugh (The Graveyard Gang), Jim Whiting (Margo), and Dylan Andrews (WarHood Odyssey).
  • Introduced myself to the head of marketing for Line Webtoons and discussed having her on the ComixLaunch podcast to discuss the recent collaboration with Patreon.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Boston is HOT! (Literally. Day one was murder. Day 2 a little cooler, but by mid-afternoon, the AC was not doing its job.) Excited about that Line Webtoons get… that will be a great episode of ComixLaunch if I can swing it.


Day 10 – 8/14/2016

Final day of Boston Comic Con. Again, that’ll be the focus, but will try to promote the podcast.

Action

  • Had a clipboard going to collect email addresses for comics, children’s books, and creators. Will add creators to the ComixLaunch podcast and ComixTribe creators interest lists.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

No movement at all on the Patreon side of things in terms of Patrons. Too exhausted from the con to fret much about that today, though.


Day 11 – 8/15/2016

Woof. Exhausted from the Boston Comic Con, but had to be up and at ’em at 7am to return the U-haul and unload all my con stuff at the ComixTribe storage locker. Patreon taking a bit of a back seat.

Action

  • Responded to a few ComixLaunch listener emails, providing some advice and feedback.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Patreon is a long-term play, it’s not a short-term cash grab. Knock on wood, ComixLaunch will be here a year from now and five years from now. So, I’m trying to take the approach of adding value to creators’ lives first. Do that and the rest will sort itself out.


Day 12 – 8/16/2016

Today was focused on getting the next episode of the podcast recorded and sent to my editor.

Action

  • Recorded an episode of the ComixLaunch podcast.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

We’ve flatlined on the Patreon support, after a strong launch. But you know what? I’m kind of glad about that… because this is the reality that many creators will face. Truth is, for the past several of days, Patreon growth has not been top priority… con prep (pre, during, and post) has been. But it’s all about continuing to move forward, and do things today that have the possibility of producing results tomorrow.


Day 13 – 8/17/2016

One thing I hadn’t given much thought to when it came to launching a Patreon page for ComixLaunch was what I would use the Patreon Posts for… beyond “extra value.” Obviously, that’s not much of a plan, and Patreon does tell you that maining an active posting schedule on Patreon is a “best practice.” Creators have the choice to post public posts (everyone on Patreon can see) or private posts (only Patrons can see… and you can restrict based on Patronage level.) So, I decided to post my first public post on Patreon, containing some raw thoughts and takeaways related to my recent Boston Comic Con experience.

Action

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 15
  • Goal Progress: 75% (15/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Day three after a three day convention weekend and I’m still in recovery mode. I’m out of shape! (Convention and otherwise.) So, I’m going to have to take a Action/Result style approach to address that as well.

The positive… thanks to the obsessive “hand sanitizer must be present at all times and liberally used” policy recommended Mr. Joe Mulvey who I tabled with at the show, I did not get a case of con flu this year.


Day 14 – 8/18/2016

Never a dull moment when you’re a creator. I sat down to update this very journal first thing in the morning after completing a morning workout and brewing a fresh cup of french press coffee only to find the ComixLaunch website completely down! An automatic WordPress update was incompatible with a single line of code in this site’s them, and “FATAL ERROR” was what all vistors would see at the site (including me.) Though I have very little coding expertise, I was able to change a single line of code in an obscure file on my site, hit refresh and pray… and what do you know, it worked! Site back up and running, me feeling like Mr. Robot.

Action

  • Updated the Patreon Launch journal.
  • Recorded an iPhone video about this Patreon Launch Journal.
  • Shared the update on Twitter.
  • Sent the weekly ComixLaunch email blast to the latest episode of the podcast. The email also pointed out the fact that we were just $14 away from the next goal.
  • Recorded an episode of the ComixLaunch podcast.

Result

  • 1 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 16
  • Goal Progress: 80% (16/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Hey, we broke our patron-less streak and added a new VIP Insider. Awesome!


Day 15 – 8/19/2016

Decided to review the Patreon Survey results for more topics and insights. Also realized that it would be worthwhile to let all the creators who asked about the difference between Patreon and Kickstarter know that the Patreon Launch #1 Session of ComixLaunch tackled that question.

Action

  • Emailed 6 creators pointing them to Patreon Launch #1.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 16
  • Goal Progress: 80% (16/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Busy with a lot of ComixTribe stuff, so today was a “just one action” kind of day.


Day 16 – 8/20/2016

Bought a car today. (#Protip: Don’t leave a pound of chicken breast in the trunk of your car for 5 days in the summer. That’s not why we traded it in — it was on the way out — but it sure made certain we HAD to get a new car.) Also went to a wedding… didn’t leave a lot of time for ComixTribe/ ComixLaunch stuff.

Action

  • Replied to a few ComixLaunch emails and voicemails, hopefully pointing creators in the right direct on a few queries.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 16
  • Goal Progress: 80% (16/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Now in the second half of the 30 Day Challenge, I still feel confident I’ll hit the 20 Patron mark… but it may be time to mix things up and try a few new strategies this week.


Day 17 – 8/21/2016

Hey, in super cool news, Searnold, a comic book writer, has decided to take me up on the 30 Day Patreon Launch journal challenge and has started sharing his progress publicly here. He also because a Patron of Club ComixLaunch. (Here’s his Patreon page where he posts unique comics.)

Action

Result

  • 1 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Thrilled to have another creator joining me in the 30 Day Challenge. You never know when you throw a challenge out there if anyone will accept… but happy to have Searnold joining me in the experiment.


Day 18 – 8/22/2016

Being totally honest here… it’s hard to keep Patreon growth the primary focus when so many other things are demanding my attention. But that’s kind of the point of this journal. Do at least one thing. And do it every day.

Action

  • Added an email sharing a Kickstarter Page Critique video critique to the Club ComixLaunch interest automated sequence, that introduces the concept of monthly Kickstarter page critiques as a bonus piece of content for the Club.
  • Added that same tutorial video as a Patron-Only post. (My first!) As an unexpected bonus for my Patrons.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Three more Patrons will hit goal.


Day 19 – 8/23/2016

Been doing more short, quick, videos recorded and edited on my iPhone and posted to Facebook.

Action

  • Posted a new video on Facebook titled “How Important are Patreon Rewards?” which was intended to share some of the misconceptions about Patreon rewards that I’m hearing from creators and drive people to the latest episode of the podcast.
  • Decided to do a $10.00 Facebook ad spend over 5 days to boost the video videos of the above reward. I will likely do some more targeted Facebook ads to encourage Patronage in the final leg of this 30-day challenge.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

No movement in Patrons, but I set up a couple of great guests for upcoming ComixLaunch interviews.


Day 20 – 8/24/2016

20 days in. Just gotta keep taking action.

Action

  • Emailed a set of 4 of the most commonly asked questions on the Patreon Survey to the creators who filled out the survey and have Patreon pages in order to get their insight. Not something that directly grows the Patreon… but will help improve the Patreon launch series and my own understanding of the platform.
  • Recorded an awesome Podcast interview on Patreon for Writers with Jim Zub (Skullkickstarter, Wayward.)

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

While I’m definitely seeing the value of the daily journal, part of me wonders what my results would be if I literally made this Patreon Launch my number one priority for 30 days in a row. While I have been getting something in each day, Patreon promotion certainly isn’t tops on my to-do list.


Day 21 – 8/25/2016

Got a “great” idea today for a new workshop, and decided to implement.

Action

  • Started outlining BADASS Productivity Workshop.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

One major difference between the ComixLaunch podcast and the courses I’ve been putting together is that I allow myself to skip around on the Podcast… Stuff will be posted out of order, or I’ll interrupt a nice and tidy series on Patreon for example, to inject something real, and raw, and that I just have to get off my chest. I think it works out great that way.


Day 22 – 8/26/2016

A big principle behind this launch journal is that if you want to capture value (get more Patrons) you need to create more value. Hence the new workshop… The idea I had was that I’d do a workshop for the public live, but then archive it as Club ComixLaunch exclusive content. This was an effort to have a bit of the best of both worlds… not put my content behind the Patreon paywall, but require some buy in (attending the live stream) in order to access it. We’ll see if it works!

Action

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Excited to be talking about productivity and putting it together into a valuable live workshop format.


Day 23 – 8/27/2016

Working on putting some elements in place for the workshop, including learning Webinar Ninja.

Action

  • Created the Webinar registration page for BADASS Productivity Workshop.
  • Recorded ComixLaunch Podcast episode content.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Always great to see people sign up for a live workshop.


Day 24 – 8/28/2016

Getting excited about the workshop!

Action

  • Emailed list a second time about the BADASS Productivity workshop, teasing more of the content.
  • Promoted BADASS Productivity on Twitter and Facebook.
  • New episode of ComixLaunch pushed live. This one was titled, “The Struggle is Real, Creators, and Never Going Away” and a break from the Patreon Launch series.
  • Result
  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

I like giving my “speed of implementation” muscles a workout from time to time. This was workshop idea to filling up the workshop and executing it in record time. It should create a great Club ComixLaunch resource.


Day 25 – 8/29/2016

Getting excited about the workshop!

Action

  • Recorded a ComixLaunch interview with Mike Kennedy of Magnetic Press. (Mike runs an awesome Patreon for his company.)
  • Emailed list a second time about the BADASS Productivity workshop, teasing more of the content.
  • Promoted BADASS Productivity on Twitter and Facebook.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 17
  • Goal Progress: 85% (17/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Great chat with Mike about Patreon. Will make a strong upcoming episode.


Day 26 – 8/30/2016

Hosted a live workshop for my listeners and other creators today.

The Good: More than 80 creators registered for the event and more than 50 showed up live.

The Ugly: The technology platform I was using, Webinar Ninja, absolutely crapped the bed. Instead of my normal speaking voice coming through, every heard me talking like Alvin from the Chipmunks! Despite testing it out and having it work fine a few days earler I was completely bummed that a tech issue spoiled what was going to be a rocking presentation on that platform…

The Good: I was able to bring a good % of people from the Webinar Ninja platform over to Facebook Live, where I gave the presentation. You can watch the workshop there. (Because of connectivity issues there, there is a Part 1 and a Part 2.

Action

  • Promoted BADASS Productivity on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Hosted the BADASS Productivity workshop, teasing more of the content.

Result

  • 1 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 18
  • Goal Progress: 90% (18/20 Patrons)

Reflection

I say it a lot on the podcast… that you need to stand up tall, plant your feet, but always keep your knees bent so you can pivot when needed. Calling the audible to move to Facebook Live definitely helped me salvage a trainwreck of a technology issue.


Day 27 – 9/1/2016

Hitting the road for a long vacation today! The downside: limited internet connectivity and limited ability to push the Patreon in the home stretch here.

Action

  • Emailed BADASS Productivity Workshop attendees an email loaded with some of the best resources from last night’s talk.

Result

  • Got some good feedback on the BADASS Productivity workshop and resources, despite the technical difficulties.
  • 1 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 19
  • Goal Progress: 95% (19/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Hey, the first of the month means Patreon Payday!

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And we are officially on the board!

Is $53.63 lifechanging money? Certainly not. It just barely covers a single podcast episode each month.

And if Patreon was the only source of revenue for ComixLaunch, the business model would need some serious work.

But we’re on the path towards sustainability for the show via Patreon, and that’s more than I could say a month ago.

So, progress.


Day 28 – 9/2/2016

Second day of vacation. Got to hangout poolside with my dad, who is loving retirement. Another spotty internet and light promotion day.

Action

  • Responded to some emails and Facebook comments about the BADASS Productivity Workshop.

Result

  • 1 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 20
  • Goal Progress: 100% (20/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Was a bit perplexed because we added another Patron, but my Patreon pledge number didn’t go up. I was looking around the Patreon app to try to see if one of my previous Patrons had dropped, but couldn’t find any evidence of that.

What I ended up discovering is that often what’s shown on the Patreon Page isn’t necessarily synched with what’s showing under the hood. Two of my Patron’s cards were declined when they were charged, which has the effect of removing them from the Patron’s displayed on your page. It’s an interesting choice, and makes things like a daily Patreon journal a bit more tricky to keep up on than you’d think it would be.


Day 29 – 9/3/2016

At the lake for Labor Day Weekend.

Action

  • Exchanged a few Facebook messages with a few ComixLaunch listeners, answering a couple of questions.

Result

  • 0 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 20
  • Goal Progress: 100% (20/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Definitely tough to take action and get results when you’re on vacation. At the same time, sometimes I feel like this guy:

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And need to recharge those batteries.


Day 30 – 9/4/2016

Well, here it is, the last day of the 30 Day Patreon Launch challenge.

Definitely an anti-climatic end, seeing as I spent it at my family’s lakehouse, without internet connectivity and without doing any active promotion, besides releasing the regularly scheduled update.

Action

Result

  • 1 new Patrons.
  • Total Patrons: 21
  • Goal Progress: 105% (21/20 Patrons)

Reflection

Here we are, 30 days from launch, and I hit the modest launch goal established for the Patreon Launch.


A Few Parting Thoughts from a 30 Days Patreon Launch

Well, I did it.

30 days later, I have the start of a Patreon page, and even managed to hit (and just barely surpass) the Patronage target for the first month.

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A few parting thoughts, with the launch month behind me:

1.) It’s hard to stay focused on a new thing for 30 days. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m somewhat addicted to plate-spinning, probably to the detriment of my own productivity. The “novelty” of Patreon promotion wears off pretty quickly… so it’s important to find ways to build ongoing Patreon promotion into your normal workflows.

2.) That said, actually staying focused on that new thing will result in some surprising discoveries and ideas along the way. The BADASS Productivity workshop and resources that I pulled together got a lot of positive feedback, and I’ll likely continue to work on that as a program or mini-course. Likely that would not have happened had I not been focused on how to deliver value for present and future Patrons during this launch month.

BTW, if you’d like to get your hands on the BADASS Productivity Resource Guide, it’s one of our Club ComixLaunch VIP Resources.

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3.) Not surprising, but email really is the best way to get people to back you on Patreon. That spike of 10 Patrons on Day 4 was triggered by sending an email invitation to the small ComixLaunch list. If you haven’t set up and email list yet, do it.

If you haven’t set up and email list yet, do it.

If you need help setting up your list and building it to 1000+ engaged fans, check to see if the ListLaunch course is open for enrollment.

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ListLaunch Includes:

  • 20+ Training Videos
  • Checklists, Worksheets, Templates and Real-World Examples & Case Studies
  • Lifetime access to the Private ListLaunch FaceBook Group for support and accountability
  • Beta Enrollment – Which means additional instructor support and a chance to shape the course curriculum.
  • ListLaunch students also get priority enrollment for the limited number of spots the next time The ComixLaunch Course opens.
  • Access to the ListLaunch Exchange for creator cross-promotion.

Click Here to Find out more about ListLaunch and sign-up!

4.) “One is greater than zero.” This is a common Gary Vaynerchuk quote, and one that we all need to keep in mind. You’ll see a lot of blog posts out there that talk about making a gagillion dollars in a week. This one, is decidedly not that. And I think that’s a good thing, because most creators out there will not have a meteoric rise on Patreon. But some support on the platform is better than no support at all, and it’s a foundation you can build upon.

So, rather than hem and haw over whether or not Patreon will be “worth it” for you… why not just launch one, and commit to taking action for 30 Days to build your following?


Patreon Launch Journals from Other Creators

No one has a monopoly on good ideas, and that’s why I’m excited to share the ACTIONS / RESULTS of other creators launching (or Relaunching Patreons.)


Searnold is creating Completely Different Comics on Patreon

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Read Searnold’s 30 Day Patreon Launch Journal here.

View his Patreon page here.


Natalie Dawn is creating music.

View how Nataly Dawn increased her Patronage from $1.5K to $6K in 30 Days!

View Nataly’s Patreon page here.


Big Tim is creating Funny Books

Click here for Big Tim’s Patreon Launch Journal.

View Big Tim’s Patreon Page here.


Are You Game for a 30 Day Patreon Launch (or Re-Launch) Challenge?

One of my goals for this series is to inspire those of you who are launching a Patreon page soon or have already launched your page but your Patrons support has flatlined to really give building your support on Patreon a concentrated effort.

If you’re willing to:

  • Set a SMART Goal for Patron growth on Patreon over the next month.
  • Commit to taking at least one action every day to promote your page and
  • Track and share your Actions and Results publicly on your blog or website.

Then I would love to include a link to your Journal on this article and highlight your progress on an upcoming episode of the ComixLaunch podcast.

If you’re up for the 30 Day Challenge, here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Set your SMART Goal and 30 day time-frame.
  2. Decide where you’re going to write about your actions and results and start writing your post.
  3. Start taking action each day to grow your Patrons.
  4. Journal your actions and results each day.
  5. Once you hit 7 days of continuous Actions and Results, send me an email ([email protected]) or Tweet me (@tylerjamescomic) with a link to your article.
  6. Note: If you’re excited and in to do this, great! But I don’t want to hear you’re going to do it… which is why I want you to wait until you’ve actually taken a week’s worth of ACTION and seen a week’s worth of RESULTS before you tell me that you’re in.

Here’s one thing that has always been true:

When you take action, you get results.

Now, the results aren’t always the results you wanted, hoped for, or expected… but they are results nonetheless.

And with results comes insights, and with insights, often come breakthroughs.

So, Patreon Creators…

Are you in?


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