Fan interaction: why Patreon creators are setting up messaging communities

Written by Ben Barbersmith

If you’re reading this as a successful Patreon creator, you’ve already done the hard work. You’ve created a community of like minded people, who love what you do so much that they want to help you do more of it.

Nailing it, my friend.

But in your quest to offer good Patreon rewards, have you fallen into the trap of taking that extra income, and basically using it to fund the production of the rewards you’ve promised subscribers? And now you’re caught in an endless loop of making extra podcast episodes, filming exclusive videos and making sure there are some hilarious bloopers that you can share with your fans?

You’re not the only one. Loads of people feel like they’ve gone from a career as a creator, to a career in reward fulfillment (a career change no one asked for).

When it comes to content, good Patreon rewards take a lot of time and energy to fulfill. They’re definitely worth offering to your Patreon subscribers, but you don’t want to rely on them as your only reward.

In today’s world, it’s interaction that fans really get excited about. The chance to chat, ask questions and feel like they’re part of an inner circle is something that super-fans are super-happy to pay for.

Creating a messaging community for your subscribers is a logical step for any Patreon creator wanting to upgrade their rewards, either adding it to what you already offer or creating a brand new tier. Levellr works with clients from Fall Out Boy to Starbucks, using the same core principles to engage your superfans.

You can create your messaging community on a number of different platforms like Discord, but we recommend you think about Telegram. Three

  1. Unlike Whatsapp, you can hide your mobile number and maintain some privacy from fans.
  2. Telegram has incredible functionality like polling & live video which creators and fans love.
  3. Telegram is the easiest messaging app to pick up and get comfortable with for the majority of people who aren't familiar with Discord and Slack. (But this doesn't apply in all cases — if you have a gaming community head to Discord, and if you have a business-focused community head to Slack!)

The massive advantage of a messaging community reward is that it’s all done in real time. Say goodbye to long-form content creation fatigue! You don’t have to sit down, plan and then record an additional podcast episode or video, you just get on the messaging app and get chatting to your subscribers. You could host an AMA or just send a spontaneous voice note when you’re struck with inspiration.

And of course it’s a two-way conversation, so you have the chance to find out more from your fans. Ask them what they love. What they want to change. What kind of content they’d like to see more of. It’s an unbeatable opportunity to run a focus group that can level up your content creating game both on and off Patreon.

Launching a messaging community with your Patreon subscribers will also have a positive effect on your monthly recurring revenue. Why?

  1. It is a superb way to retain your existing subscribers who fall in love with being a part of the messaging community.
  2. It is a great way to drive new subscribers, by telling your social media followers that if they sign up to your Patreon, they can now become part of your exclusive community.

Eventually, a messaging community will run itself as fans start chatting to each other, which means you’ve basically won the Fan Funding rewards lottery!

At Levellr, we’ve seen users be super-successful in building these kinds of communities. Check out our guide to launching a messaging community.

Your superfans are waiting. Contact Levellr today to find out how you can build a community which works for your brand.

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