Patreon Launch Journal

What a great challenge set forth by Tyler James of the Comixlaunch podcast: set a goal, take one step every day towards reaching that goal, and chronicle those actions and their results so that others can learn from my journey.

My goal is to raise $75 per month on Patreon by the end of September.  You can see my Patreon by clicking here:

https://www.Patreon.com/CompletelyDifferentComics

wereforce one thumbnail

DAY 1, 8/10/2016, 2 DAYS BEFORE LAUNCH

My birthday is August 12th.  I decided that would be a great opportunity to convince friends and family to support my Patreon, to get it off to a strong start.  In order to build up a little hype for this, I created a Facebook event called “Searnold’s Birthday Surprise Announcement” and sent out invitations to all my closest friends (and a couple less-close-acquaintances.)

Action

Created Facebook event
Sent out invitations
Hyped the mysterious announcement

Results

Well, no direct results towards my SMART goal.  But I did get 37 people to agree to come to my Facebook event.

Reflection

I made a giant blunder that I think made this event much less successful than I intended, and I chalk that up to last-minute un-planned actions.  (Better than nothing, certainly, but not nearly as powerful as they could have been.)  I accidentally created the event as a PRIVATE event (rather than public), which limited the number of people I could invite and my ability to promote it on my regular feed.  Switching a private event to a public event is not an option Facebook allows (grrrr…. seriously people?)
Anyway, I still got my closest friends to come, and built up a little excitement for what my announcement might be, which was the idea behind the event.  So I ultimately call it a success.


DAY 2, 8/11/2016, 1 DAY BEFORE LAUNCH

I spent today finishing my actual Patreon page, which is a big important part of launching a Patreon page!  I also continued to hype my surprise announcement with teaser videos about what it wasn’t (I’m not having a baby, I’m not getting married, I didn’t develop superpowers – that kinda thing.)

Action

Finished Patreon Page
Hyped my mysterious announcement

Results

The results from today were a Patreon page that I could be proud to showcase to the world!  Tomorrow we’ll see if the world is as receptive as I hope they’ll be.

Reflection

Yeah, I shouldn’t have made my page the day before I launched it.  I wanted to do so much more with my videos – graphics, sound, etc.  But it’s just me in front of the camera blabbing about what I do.  It’s decent, but not great. Then again, it’s 1,000% better than nothing, and one lesson I have learned about myself is that I’m not great at working without a hard deadline.  I forced myself to launch “Completely Different Comics” by telling people I would be promoting it at Emerald City Comic Con.  And once it was live, I’ve had a monthly deadline to hit. I forced myself to launch this Patreon on my birthday, and now that it’s live, I can continue to improve on it over time.


DAY 3, 8/12/2016, LAUNCH DAY… ALSO, MY BIRTHDAY

Happy birthday to me!  I am not a super great promoter.  At least, I don’t feel like one, because I often feel self-conscious or unworthy when telling people about my comics.  My dad says I’m a GREAT promoter, because I’m able to engage despite those fears and insecurities.  Everything is, indeed, relative.
For me, I felt much more comfortable using my birthday as an excuse to talk non-stop about my Patreon launch.  It’s socially acceptable for my birthday to be all about me.  I have a lot of people who I only see occasionally thinking about me today and coming to my Facebook page.  Plus, giving me gifts is part of the birthday tradition!  So it was easy to convert that into, “Gimme gimme on my Patreon.”

Action

Launched my Patreon
Revealed my “Surprise Birthday Announcement”
Promoted my launch to my friends through Facebook and Twitter

Results

+2 Patrons, +$6 per month, @$6, 8% of goal

Reflection

So, would my friends have donated even if I hadn’t hyped the launch with an event?  Probably.  I think the reason those who were most active in the “Surprise Announcement” event were also the first to donate is because they are my closest confidants, my shoulders to cry on, and my biggest cheerleaders.  Which means the event probably didn’t convert anyone who wasn’t going to support me into a patron, but I like to think that all of the positive hyped up energy behind the event at least made donating a more enjoyable experience for those first few supporters.


DAY 4, 8/13/2016, MY WHAT A BROKEN CAR YOU HAVE…

Yep.  On my way home from a birthday dinner with friends, my car broke down.  I spent Saturday the 13th getting it fixed, and NOT being connected to the internet to promote my Patreon.
“When life gives you lemonade, make lemons.  Life’ll be all like ‘whaaaaa–??'” (my favorite line from “Modern Family.”)
Anyway, even though I wasn’t as active today as I had hoped to be, I was still pleasantly surprised that all the hype from yesterday had continued to bring donors to my Patreon.

Action

Desperately tread water and relied heavily on momentum
Okay, I know that doesn’t count, but look how successful it was!

Results

+3 Patrons, +$12 per month, @$18, 24% of goal

Reflection

Life brings ups and downs and having friends to help you get through the rough times is the best lesson I can impart from today.  At my level of income, a car breakdown is a complete nightmare scenario.  I literally could not have gotten it fixed without the support of my friends, some of whom had already also donated to my Patreon.  Today, I feel the love.


DAY 5, 8/14/2016, BIRTHDAY THANK-YOU’S

About 100 people left some sort of “Happy Birthday” message on my Facebook wall.  I spent today individually replying to every single one of them with a personalized (not copy-and-pasted) version of “Thank you – how have you been – have you seen that I’ve just launched a Patreon?”  This took quite some time, and I had wanted to do it yesterday, but alas, wishes aren’t horses.

Action

Sent out 100 customized thank-you messages on Facebook

Results

+4 Patrons, +$35 per month, @$53, 70% of goal

Reflection

I know for certain that one of today’s patrons was previously unaware of my Patreon until I sent him the “Thanks for your birthday wishes” message.  Two other friends replied to my message that they will donate “when they can”.  The rest of today’s progress I continue to chalk up to momentum.  (Which is a great force, by the way.  I’m not knocking momentum.  I just wanted to point out that the “thank you” messages were not directly responsible for all of today’s success.)


DAY 6, 8/15/2016, I GUESS I SHOULD PROBABLY MAKE A FACEBOOK PAGE

Yeah, see, this is my procrastination being a demon.  As of this point, I still don’t/didn’t (I’m writing in the present tense, but you’re reading in the past tense.  Time is weird on the internet…) I don’t have a Facebook page for “Completely Different Comics.”  I learned from Tyler Jame’s ComixLaunch podcast that in order to optimize the effectiveness of Facebook ads (which I would like to use someday to drive new readers to my Patreon), I’m going to need a solid Facebook page, with plenty of likes.  I never got around to building one because I kept managing to prioritize something else, instead.  Well, no more.  I decided I would use “Hey, I just made a Facebook page, too, would you like to like it?” as a call to action to keep my momentum rolling.

Action

Created a Facebook Page for “Completely Different Comics”
Asked my Facebook friends to start liking the page

Results

+13 likes, @$53, 70% of goal

Reflection

Wait, what?  Only 13 likes?  Isn’t liking a page just about the easiest thing in the world?  I feel like every week I get 2 or 3 requests from various Facebook “friends” to like a page for something I’ve never heard of.  I always like the page no matter what, and then only if it actually interests me, I’ll take a minute or two to look at it.  I had thought it would be much easier to get Facebook likes.  I guess I’m in for a harder fight than I realized.  That’s okay.  I’m ready for a fight.


DAY 7, 8/16/2016, MY FIRST PATREON EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

I promised behind-the-scenes stuff to all my $5+ patrons.  Well, the Patreon is live, and I have patrons, so I guess I better provide some content, yeah?  Today, I posted full-resolution pre-lettered artwork from August’s Completely Different Comic, “T&A”.  And I made sure everyone on Facebook knew they could see it if they supported me on Patreon!

Action

Posted first Patron-exclusive content
Promoted the new content on Facebook

Results

0 anything, @$53, 70% of goal

Reflection

Okay, I think my initial roll-out might be over.  I think, at this point, whoever actually sees all the stuff I post on Facebook know that I have a Patreon.  Will continuing to post about it convert more of them into donors?  Will it annoy them?  I need to put more time into planning my next steps.


DAY 8, 8/17/2016, PATREON LAUNCH JOURNAL

What a convenient day to discover something new!  I’ve been listening to Tyler Jame’s Comixlaunch podcast for about 2 months now, hitting about an episode a day.  I finally caught up to episode 50 and learned that Tyler was branching out onto Patreon.  Lo and behold, he wants a little help learning about Patreon from fellow creators who are already on the platform.  Creators like me.  Today, I went back in time and started this Patreon Launch Journal in hopes of both helping Tyler and using that exposure to start to grow a support base that extends beyond my closest Facebook friends.

Action

Created this Patreon Launch Journal

Results

0 anything, @$53, 70% of goal

Reflection

I mean, nothing went live today, so it’s not surprising that no one reading this blog didn’t convert to any patrons.  (Was that a quadruple negative?)  Now that the Patreon is live, I’m slowly beginning to develop a long-term plan.


DAY 9, 8/19/2016, DINNER WITH DADDY

My dad spends most of his time in Africa, so I don’t see him very often.  He’s in the states for about a month, and today we had a nice happy dinner.  We caught up, he agreed to support me at $5 a month, and we strategized other ways I may be able to develop a following.

Action

Had dinner with Daddy that doubled as a strategy session

Results

+1 Patron, +$5, @$52, 70% of goal
Wait, what is math?
Now that I’m live-tracking these rather than reporting from memory, I’m using Patreon’s official total, which automatically takes out the 5% cut that goes to them.  So, despite having a new Patron, my monthly total actually went down $1.  Whatchagonnado.

Reflection

Wow, there is so much to do that I feel completely overwhelmed.  Fortunately, I don’t have to do everything right now.  I’m aware of the fact that I’m doing a slow roll-out, and I choose to be okay with that, because that’s what I have time for.  I actually really like Tyler’s plan of making sure you do one thing per day.  Some will have long-term payoff.  Some will have more immediate payoff.  Some have to be done in order to optimize other things that will come later (like building up Facebook likes before paying for Facebook ads, or journaling for seven days before showing this journal to Tyler.)


DAY 10, 8/20/2016, WEDDING ADVENTURES

Every time I post a tweet with a generic hashtag, I tend to get 2-3 new followers.  Is this because I’m so awesome that anyone who becomes newly aware of my existence feels compelled to join me in my life-adventure?  Probably not.  They’re probably spammers who follow literally everyone.  But I still figure more followers is good.  It certainly can’t HURT.

So I used the fact that I was going to Seattle for a wedding as an opportunity to try to grab a few new Twitter followers.  I “live-tweeted” my #weddingadventures, and lo-and-behold, got 4 new followers.

Action

#wedding
#hashtags

Results

+4 Twitter followers, @$52, 70% of goal

Reflection

Yeah, this one’s a slow-burn.  I doubt if any of these particular 4 followers will convert into patrons, but doing something is better than using the wedding as an excuse to do nothing.


DAY 11, 8/21/2016, TIME FOR SOME FOLLOW-UP

More than a few people at the wedding asked what I was up to these days.  What a perfect opportunity to talk about Patreon!  Today, I followed up with personalized Facebook messages to say “See, this is that thing I was telling you about.”  I’m also slowly sending out personal invites to “like” the Completely Different Comics Facebook page (I don’t want to get too spammy, so I’ll be sending just a few every day, until everyone I know on Facebook has been invited.)  I also sent private messages to yesterday’s new Twitter followers to say, “Hey – thanks for the follow!  Guess what?  I’m on Patreon.”  And finally, I finished this blog post and contacted Tyler about helping each other support and promote our Patreon launches.  No immediate results, but I’m excited to finally (wait, it’s only been a week?? it feels like for-ev-er) to finally start growing beyond “friends and family.”

Action

Follow-up messages to wedding acquaintances, Twitter followers, and Tyler James

Results

Nothing yet…, @$52, 70% of goal

Reflection

I was hoping that a few of the people I had talked to at the wedding would be so excited to actually see the Patreon page that they would support me immediately.  Does this mean my Patreon page needs some tweaking?  Perhaps.  The real test will be seeing whether or not I can excite complete strangers.


DAY 12, 8/22/2016, COMICS EXPERIENCE

Many of you have probably heard of Andy Schmidt’s Make Comics podcast or his community called Comics Experience, where creators of all levels talk about the business, craft, ups-downs, and et ceteras of comics.  Well, I am a proud member of that community, so today I reached out to them to announce the launch of my humble Patreon page.

Action

Posted about my Patreon launch on the Comics Experience message board

Results

I took this action late in the evening, and am now going to bed, so we’ll check back tomorrow for any potential results.

Reflection

There’s a lesson in here somewhere about not overlooking the obvious.  I don’t know why it took me 12 days to announce my launch at Comics Experience.  Maybe I was worried it wouldn’t be met with the type of happy support I was hoping for?  Maybe I was worried that once I tell the Comics Experience community I’d be out of people to reach out to, and didn’t know how to proceed from there.  It’s hard to say for sure – but I finally overcame my fears and posted.  Stay tuned to find out what happens next!


DAY 13, 8/23/2016, LETTERING

As Tyler mentioned in his launch journal, balancing the excitement involved in promoting your new Patreon is difficult to balance with the need to continue creating the content that your Patreon is supporting.  I spent today lettering my next comic, “Prom Night,” which will go live on CompletelyDifferentComics.com on September 1st.  I did also tweet about lettering, including a message that this might be the last Completely Different Comic that I letter myself, since I’m so close to that $75 goal.

Goal screenshot

Action

Lettering
Tweeting about lettering

Results

I got some engagement from Comics Experience about my lettering, and any engagement is good engagement (even if it isn’t a measurable increase toward my actual goal)!

Reflection

Today was a good day.  It always feels nice to get engagement, to know that people out there are actually seeing what I’m posting.  Also, I got some lettering done, which is an essential step in the comics creating process, and moving forward with that always leaves me with a rewarding feeling.


DAY 14, 8/24/2016, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH

Research is an essential step towards doing anything well.  Faking it till you make it works, sometimes, too.  But research helps us open our eyes towards ideas we didn’t realize we hadn’t thought of yet.  It can show us areas where we can improve.  And sometimes, it can point out an obvious thought that we’ve overlooked.  Today, I read the below article, and listened to Tyler James’s latest episode of the ComixLaunch podcast (third in his series all about Patreon.)

How Nataly Dawn Increased Her Patronage From $1.5k to $6k in 30 Days

And yes, I also left a comment on the article.  You never know who’s reading.  Engage anywhere and everywhere you can.

Action

Researched best practices for growing my Patreon audience

Results

Learned the best practices for growing my Patreon audience

Reflection

I’ve got to remember to be patient.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the potential of everything I COULD be doing to promote that Patreon.  That’s one reason I think this particular launch strategy is extremely helpful – one action a day forces me to continue to progress, without demanding I do everything immediately.


DAY 15, 8/25/2016, DON’T LET ONE MISTAKE HOLD YOU BACK

Today (as I write this) is actually August 29th.  I’m 4 days behind on this journal because I haven’t been able to think of a way to tie one of “today’s” actions into achieving my Patreon goal.  I’ve done things on all proceeding days, but have failed to post because of being “stuck” on today.  Well, instead of staying stuck, I’m just going to learn a valuable lesson that you shouldn’t let one slip-up hold you back.  Today I did nothing.  Today I did not succeed.  But I’m no longer going to let that hold me back tomorrow.

Action

Failed to keep up with this daily journal

Results

Learned a valuable lesson about the difficulty of committing to daily tasks

Reflection

I actually feel REALLY GOOD right now, having, in its own way, come up with SOMETHING to say about today.  Even if that thing is publicly admitting I messed up, now I can be done with it, move on, and focus on what comes next, rather than what’s behind me.  (Or in this case, what isn’t behind me.)


DAY 16, 8/26/2016, PERSONAL INVITATIONS TO “LIKE” CDC ON FB

Here’s another example of where patience pays off.  While not many people “liked” my Completely Different Comics page on Facebook when I first created and announced it, I have found that personal invitations have had a much higher conversion rate.  Somewhere around 95%.  So, I’m building my likes, which will eventually help when it comes time to run some Facebook ads.

Action

Sent out personal invitations to “like” the Completely Different Comics Facebook page

Results

As of this writing, I have 41 likes.

Reflection

Slow.  Patience.  🙂
I know we all want everything to happen quickly, but that just isn’t the way of the world.  Even after everyone I know has liked the page, it’ll still be time and money (years?) before that converts into readers and dollars on my Patreon.  I’m only sending about 10 invites per day, for fear of being flagged for spam (which happened when I invited my entire friends list to my “Surprise Birthday Announcement” event.)
But that’s okay!  Slow doesn’t have to be bad.  There’s something about a turtle and a race?  But I can’t remember it right now…


DAY 17, 8/27/2016, PROMOTING THIS VERY JOURNAL ON COMICS EXPERIENCE

Today, I posted a new thread on the Comics Experience message boards which is, essentially, a duplicate of this journal.  I’m hoping for 2 things: 1, more people will see my A/R’s; 2, some people will be able to learn from them.  And I suppose if someone from Comics Experience decides to promote or support my Patreon, too, well, that wouldn’t be so bad.  ;-p

Action

Posted my Patreon Launch Journal on Comics Experience

Results

I generated some discussion.  All interaction is good!  I’m building awareness.

Reflection

I sometimes feel weird (or awkward) being like “promote promote promote – look at me!”  Even this journal exists as an excuse / opportunity to reach out to more people and tell them about my Patreon.  I hope that my A/R’s also provide a learning opportunity for those who hope to launch a Patreon one day.  But if that were the only benefit, I don’t think I’d be putting so much effort into this.  I suppose I should be grateful for win-wins.


DAY 18, 8/28/2016, FACEBOOK GROUPS

Lots of slow progress eventually builds to something big.  I’m slowly finding and joining Facebook groups of like-minded comics folk to help get the word out about Completely Different Comics (and its corresponding Patreon.)  Today, I was accepted into the “Comic Book Creators Interested in Promoting One Another” group, where I posted a brief summary and link to my Patreon.

Action

Joined the “Comic Book Creators Interested in Promoting One Another” Facebook group
Posted about my Patreon

Results

Sometimes results are hard to measure.  If I get a new patron today, is that because of this post, or because of something I seeded in the past that is just now paying off?
(I didn’t get any new patrons today.  I’m just saying.)

Reflection

There’s a difficult dynamic here, because I don’t actually EXPECT these actions to lead directly to new patrons.  The conversion rate on something like a Facebook group where no one has ever heard of me has got to be… really small (I have no actual stats.)  But the point is I’m building a BASE so that as I CONTINUE to promote in the weeks, months, and years to come, people will say, “Oh yeah, that guy.  I’ve heard of him.  Maybe I’ll check out his stuff.”


DAY 19, 8/29/2016, OTHER FACEBOOK GROUPS

I feel a little repetitive here, but that’s part of progress.  It would be QUITE a feat to post in every applicable Facebook group in a given day (unless that was the entire day’s primary focus.)  Anyway, today I posted about my Patreon in the “Sacramento Comics Creators Group” Facebook group.  I don’t live in Sac anymore, but I used to, and I have a lot of friends in the group.

Action

Posted about my Patreon in the SCCG Facebook group

Results

Was something supposed to happen?

Reflection

Yeah, okay, it’s time to step up my game.  I need a plan, so that I can know what my actions are going to be each day, rather than scrambling around last-minute trying to be like, “Ah!  What can I do to promote that’s super easy cause I need to go to bed?!”


DAY 0, 9/04/2016, TEMPORARY…? HIATUS

Hi people.  I don’t know if anyone is actually reading these updates live, or if all of my readers exist in the future (or if none of my readers exist.)  But you’ll notice I’ve fallen behind.  Part of this is due to being called in to my day job on my day off.  Part of it is due to over-committing.  Anyway, in order to “catch up”, something’s got to give, and I’ve chosen this.  Hopefully, this upcoming week will bear many fruits, and I’ll be able to finish strong.

Action

What are actions?

Results

A very overwhelmed Searnold.

Reflection

One of my weaknesses, not just as a writer, but as a human being, is that I get easily overwhelmed, and in that state, I fail to be productive.  I know this about myself, and yet I still over-commit.  I want to do everything!!  (And I’m also bad at judging how long/ how much effort something will take.)

Do.  Learn.  Do better.

Today I have learned.  Tomorrow I will do better.


DAY 20, 09/30/2016, WHO EVER SAID THE 30 DAYS HAD TO BE CONSECUTIVE?

Okay.  I’m back.  What a month.  I really wasn’t prepared for how difficult maintaining a Patreon was going to be.  Actually, a lot of the stress comes from feeling like I want to do MORE and just not having the time or energy to do it.  (I could be posting more.  I could be giving away more content.  I could have kept up with this journal.)  But health and sanity are important, too.  And, really, my primary goal is to make sure that a “Completely Different Comic” comes out every month.  Anyway, I’m back, and I’m excited for tomorrow because I’m going to be revealing my Patreon to my e-mail list.  Today, I composed tomorrow’s newsletter.

Action

Composed an e-mail for my newsletter to announce my Patreon

Results

I’m not sending it until tomorrow, so, let’s wait and see.

Reflection

Pretty sure I already covered this…


DAY 21, 10/01/2016, E-MAIL NEWSLETTER

Well.  There you go.

Action

Sent out my monthly e-mail newsletter
Announced to my fans that I’ve launched a Patreon

Results

+1 Patron, +$100/month, @$143, 191% of goal

Reflection

Part of me just wants to let those results speak for themselves.  So that’s what I’m gonna do.


DAY 22, 10/02/2016, GOALS

Yesterday’s new donor put me above my first goal, which means I now have sufficient funding to hire someone else to start lettering my comics.  In order to maintain engagement, I’m celebrating publicly, and making sure to include many thanks.

Action

Sent out a thank you message to my Patrons for helping me hit my first goal
Shared that message publicly on Twitter and Facebook

Results

+0 Patrons, @$143, 191% of goal

Reflection

Apparently e-mail “marketing” works.  My $100 donor is a family friend that I haven’t spoken to in a few years and isn’t on Facebook.  But she quickly and happily threw her support my way when she found out what I was up to.


DAY 23, 10/03/2016, LETTERING

Okay, well, I actually got some feedback from someone I trust on the Comics Experience boards that I should continue lettering my own comics.  This has left me uncertain, so I sent out a survey asking what my friends, colleagues, and patrons think.

Action

Sent out a survey about my lettering

Results

+0 Patrons, @$143, 191% of goal

Reflection

This is a tough one for me.  My lettering isn’t great, but it’s decent.  It takes some time, which would be nice to get off my plate, but $75 a month could be spent on a lot of things (perhaps some ads so I can actually start reaching a NEW audience?)


DAY 24, 10/04/2016, NOW WHAT?

The survey was inconclusive, with a pretty even 50/50 split, and both sides making good arguments.  One friend brought up that I promised I would use my $75 per month on a letterer, and if I’m not going to do that, I need to explain what else I’m going to be doing with the money.  That makes a lot of sense, but there’s an interesting dynamic at play here that I think is pretty unique – all of my Patrons are close personal friends and family.  This is great, and I am honored to have their love and support, but it doesn’t create the same type of reciprocity arrangement that I would have with strangers who were fans.  Right now, none of my backers care what I “do” with the money, they just want to help me succeed in my dream of making comics.  Obviously, my goal is to push beyond that, and I definitely don’t want to take their generosity for granted, but that is the current reality of my situation.

Action

More open discussions on Facebook and on the Comics Experience forums about lettering myself vs. hiring a letterer

Results

Nothing conclusive

Reflection

I want to be clear – I feel REALLY GOOD about the STRONG START I’ve managed to build for my Patreon.  But I also want to grow beyond friends and family and am just not quite sure how to do that.


DAY 25, 10/05/2016, CSULA ALUMNI AWARDS

A few years ago, I got my Master’s in Writing from CSULA.  Today, there was an alumni awards event, and I went to shamelessly promote my Patreon.  Lots of hands were shaken.  A handful of cards were handed out.  A few people said what I was doing was “cool.”

Action

Promoted my Patreon in person at an alumni awards event

Results

Seeds.  Planted.

Reflection

An event like an alumni gathering is PERFECT for this sort of thing.  Because the traditional intro question is, “What are you up to these days?”  Which is the perfect transition into, “Well, I just launched this Patreon for my comic.  What is Patreon, you ask?  Well, let me tell you all about it.”
This particular event was a little more difficult for me, though, because about 95% of attendees were people I didn’t know during school and required fresh introductions – making a pitch a little more socially awkward.


DAY 26, 10/06/2016, REACHING OUT, PERSONALLY

I sent a few personal e-mails today.  A few to friends who had indicated an intent to support the Patreon “later” and a few follow-ups from last night’s alum event.

Action

E-mailed some folks that I know

Results

+1 newsletter sign-up

Reflection

As I reflect upon this whole process, I discover that I’ve learned a lot and am actually quite excited about where to go from here.  I think I’ve gathered all the support I’m going to get from people I know.  I thought a few more “acquaintances” from Facebook would support the Patreon if I pushed it enough, but I guess not.  What I see now that I haven’t done ANY of is reaching out to STRANGERS.  A lot of that is not knowing HOW.  A lot is also time constraints.  But I feel like I’ve built a really solid foundation of support from friends and family that I can now begin to build upon.


DAY 27, 10/07/2016, TWITTER

I’ve made a switch that I can (immediately) tell is working better.  I always message new Twitter followers (of which I get 4 or 5 a week) with a “Hey, thanks for the follow, check out my Patreon”.
Now I’ve switched that to, “Hey, thanks for the follow, sign-up for my newsletter and I’ll send you free comics every month.”  And I already got a new subscriber.  I will continue to promote the Patreon in my newsletter, so I think this indirect route is going to work a lot better than trying to send people DIRECTLY to my ASK.  First, provide value.  (Where have I heard that before?)

Action

Switched up my Twitter pitch

Results

+1 more newsletter sign-up

Reflection

I’m all out of thoughts.  ;-p  Keep in mind, this is hard stuff.  Rewarding, but hard.


DAY 28, 10/08/2016, GOAL #2… OOPS.

Okay – this was poor planning on my part.  I am actually WOEFULLY under-prepared to have met my second goal.  Both temporally and financially.  Adding another “Behind the Hero” once per week uses up all of that $150 per month.  When I was crafting these goals, I was imagining I would sit under them for awhile before hitting them (i.e. I would be at $120-$130 for at least a few months before gaining the bump to $150.)  That was going to provide time and money to get AHEAD on content so I could be READY when I hit this goal.  Well… oops.  Learn from me.  Don’t structure your goals like that.

Action

I got a new Patron today as a direct result of Day 26’s personalized e-mails

Results

+1 Patron, +$25, @$168, 224% of goal

Reflection

Ooops ooops oooops.  That’s all I’ve got right now.  Still working on how I’m going to handle this.


DAY 29, 10/09/2016, BONUS LINES

Hitting the $150 goal also means that everyone currently supporting me gets to suggest a “Bonus Line” for me to try to work into “Behind the Hero”.  This is a fun creative challenge I do.  So I’m promoting that aspect (on Facebook and Twitter) to try to get some folks to share what their bonus lines are going to be and hopefully use that to generate some interest in the wackier side of my Patreon.

Action

Discussed bonus lines with my Patrons and Facebook

Results

Just some talking.

Reflection

This is the sort of thing I need to continue to do a better job of.  The discussion I had here was a BARE MINIMUM that had LITTLE REACH.  I’m learning more and more that I really need to put MORE EFFORT into PROMOTING.  It’s hard, but without it, I’m just going to keep treading water – I’m not gonna grow.


DAY 30, 10/10/2016, FLEEN

In my Googles, I stumbled upon a site called Fleen that covers and discusses webcomic news.  Today I made my first step into reaching out to the broader world by contacting them to tell them about “Completely Different Comics.”

Action

Contacted Fleen

Results

I imagine it’s going to be awhile before I hear anything back.

Reflection

This is the end!  What now?  How about a wrap-up section?


30 DAY REFLECTION: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Here we are.  30 (+) days after the launch of my Patreon.  I reached my funding goal, which is great.  But 100% of my support is coming from close friends and family.

From here, I plan to start finding more and more ways to reach out to strangers, using my newsletter (wherein I send out a free comic every month) to build a following and slowly convert them into Patrons, rather than going straight for the ask upon first meet.

There’s a lot to do, but I’m feeling pretty good.

Got questions about my process?  Feel free to e-mail me:

SuperSearnold@yahoo.com

And best of luck with your own Patreon launch.  I hope this journal was helpful for you!  Thanks for reading.  And you know what?  Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so that I can send you a free comic on the first of every month.

CLICK HERE FOR SIGN-UPS!

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