If you are looking into making your own cosplay Patreon page, or even if you already have one, then you have probably discovered that running your own Patreon is exhausting work. There’s a lot to take in, and even if you have brilliant ideas for your Patreon rewards, you may still be struggling to actually get patrons.
I’ve only had my own Patreon since January 2019 (about 7-8 months at the time of writing this blog). I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt frustrated with this platform. I keep asking myself, “should I have waited until I had a bigger audience?” (under 5K at this point) or “what should I be offering in order to get more patrons?”
The thing is, these are difficult questions to answer if you don’t do your research. And while I’m still building my own platform, I thought I’d throw together this blog for anyone who wants fast, easy, and direct information on starting or amping up your cosplay Patreon.
So, if you’re struggling with your own Patreon, don’t worry– we all are. But with some research and patience (what’s that?), I’m confident that all of our cosplay Patreon pages can be successful. You just have to really, really want it.
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Should All Cosplayers Get A Patreon?
First things first: what the heck is Patreon?
Patreon is a membership platform that allows creators (see: cosplayers) to offer a subscription service to their followers. Notice the word “service.” This means you are providing a service to people. Or even a product, which is the case with many cosplayers. People like to refer to Patreon as a tip jar, but I feel this term is off the mark. Servers and bartenders live off of their tips, and Patreon should only be one avenue in which you make money as a cosplayer. Some cosplayers are successful in making Patreon the bulk of their income, but from my research, this is only a small percentage.
So, should all cosplayers get a Patreon? Why not? There’s no harm in setting one up, especially if you need an extra way to earn money for your cosplay tools. However, you shouldn’t expect to be successful if you’re not willing to put in the work. And if you can’t, that’s totally fine. You can still make extra money for your cosplay supplies by sticking with platforms like Ko-Fi where there isn’t really a product or service expected in response to a donation.
Why You Should Start A Patreon
If you’re in the cosplay community and you’re looking for cosplay-related income, you should at least have a profile set up. Not only can you support other cosplayers this way, but you can use the app to get ideas from successful cosplay Patreon pages. You can “follow” people on Patreon just like Instagram without having to put in your credit card information. I get email alerts for Kinpatsu Cosplay’s Patreon page at least once a week, despite the fact that I have yet to sign up for her Patreon rewards (which is my next step).
If you want to become a content creator of any kind, Patreon is going to be an undeniable asset to your endeavors. Without having instant access to Patreon as you have with your other social media platforms, you’re going to be clueless about how this whole process works.
Filling Out Your Cosplay Patreon Profile
Now that I’ve convinced you to log in to Patreon and start following other cosplayers (right?), it’s time to fill out your own cosplay Patreon profile. You don’t have to do this right away, but the more you familiarize yourself with this platform, the more motivated you will be to start marketing your page.
I recommend setting up your cosplay Patreon on a desktop. In fact, I don’t know if you can do it on the Patreon app (but you need to have the app anyway). To the left-hand side, you will see the little pencil icon, which is where you can edit your page. Here is just a brief breakdown of what you will need to consider along with some pointers:
Name: Keep it the same as all of your social media accounts so people can find you.
What are you creating: You will need to consider your rewards for this if you want to be specific. For instance, mine says “Cosplay and Coffee is creating cosplays, video tutorials, and eBooks.” However, “cosplay” is a simple enough term for now.
Profile Photo: Professional pictures are going to be more eye-catching than selfies. The recommend size is a 256px by 256px image.
Cover Photo: Many people use this larger section to show off cosplays in a collage that they’ve already created. Make sure that the photo is cohesive on all devices, from a desktop to the Patreon app.The recommend size is 1600px wide and 400px tall.
Page URL: This should be the same as your Name.
Visibility: This is up to you. You can limit whether people can see how many patrons you have, though I wouldn’t suggest that. In addition, if you’re trying to hit certain monetary milestones, then it might be worth it to show anyone who visits your cosplay Patreon profile exactly how much you are earning each month in order to encourage them to subscribe.
About: Include pictures (and preferably an introduction video), a brief outline of your cosplay history, and why you’re on Patreon. Most importantly, tell your audience how signing up for your Patreon benefits them.
Patreon For Cosplay
We all know that creating cosplays is enough work on its own. However, you should treat your cosplay Patreon page as a second job, because essentially, that’s what it is. If you’re only putting in a few short hours into the content you’re creating for your fans, then only expect a few, short dollars coming from your cosplay Patreon page.
Tiers: Your tiers are going to be the rewards you offer your fans each month. You need to make sure that not only are these rewards valuable in some way, but they need to be subtly different than what other cosplayers offer. The more niche you are, the more you will stand out.
If you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t recommend physical tiers (such as prints) until you have a consistent group of patrons. It doesn’t really make financial sense to spend money mailing items if you only have two $5 patrons. In the meantime, you can offer desktop or phone wallpaper downloads of your cosplay pictures.
When it comes to naming your tiers, most cosplayers also give their Patreon tiers a fandom-related name. Mine, on the other hand, is coffee-inspired with my Tall, Grande, Venti, and Trente tiers.
Pro Tip: Set up your Patreon to Charge Up Front. Just do it, trust me.
Goals: Patreon suggests that the more goals you have, the more likely you will be to gather more patrons. Your goals can be something such as your first ten patrons, hitting $100 in Patreon revue, or funding your first full cosplay. You can choose to display these numbers or keep them private, but your goals should always be filled out for your fans to see.
Rewards Versus Pay-Per-Creation: So believe it or not, you don’t even have to offer monthly rewards. You can set up a pay-per-creation, which means that your patrons will only be charged when you finish a cosplay/video/eBook or whatever it is you need funding for. Keep in mind, that the pay-per-creation seems to be more successful for cosplayers who already have a large, established audience.
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Patreon will charge your fans on the first of every month. You can access these funds by going to the Income section on the left-hand side of your cosplay Patreon account (desktop version). You can choose to have your patreon income deposited to your Paypal account or direct deposited into your bank account.
Patreon Transfer Fees:
- US and International Paypal: 1% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $0.25, capped at $20.00 USD
- US Direct Deposit: $0.25 USD per payout
- International Payoneer: $1.00 USD per payout. See more here.
Cosplay Patreon Research
While I’d love to give you literally everything you need to know about starting a cosplay Patreon page, there is simply too much information for one blog post. Be honest, did you even fully read this whole blog? Probably not! And that’s okay– I plan on writing more about Patreon the more I learn about it myself.
Here are some additional Patreon resources that I recommend for cosplayers to optimize their Patreon content:
- Cosplay and Coffee Patreon Tips: Yes I am making this a thing
- Ginny Di’s Patreon eBook: How to Launch a Successful Cosplay Patreon
- Patreon Blog: Unlimited Patreon tips and platform updates
- Top Cosplay Patreon Accounts: See which cosplayers are doing the best and study how they run their cosplay Patreon accounts.
Have more cosplay Patreon tips to contribute to this post? Leave them in the comments below!