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Is it a good idea to use Patreon at a very early stage in business?

Hi everyone!

I've just started a podcast for Spanish learners and I'd like to create a very specific course in my area for people to learn language and culture at the same time. In order to do so, I was thinking I could use Patreon to cover some costs I may have (travel expenses, video editing, hiring other experts, creating transcriptions, etc). The problem is that I still don't have a really big audience but I believe many people would be interested in this material.

So my question is, should I start a Patreon in a month or two when I only started my brand in July or is it too early to do this?

Thank you very much for your opinions, Mariel

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Hi Mariel!

As someone trying to pick up Spanish let me first of all say thank you for your efforts!

My impression from a lot of the influencers and content creators I see is that it's most common to first deliberately build a community or following, and then later look to monetize once a level of trust and loyalty has been built up. Often that phase 1 is as much driven by passion as it is by any commercial intent, i.e. they enjoy doing what they do and continue doing it even though it's not necessarily good business.

That said, the online marketplace for these services is also becoming more and more mature and people are getting more used to paying for things they like. A lot of the content creators with the largest followings today may have started out 5-8 years ago when commercialization was harder, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is the case today. I would like to believe either strategy can work, and of course just because you offer Patreon services does not mean you cannot also build a following with a free offering at the same time.

At the end of the day quality is likely to win out, and if you can deliver a great offering (free and/or paid) that has the potential to do well. I think you can start the Patreon offering already now, the only thing I would maybe be careful about is to not also offer some high quality free content. I do think that is instrumental in showcasing your skills, attracting a following and showing people that you give before you ask. Right or not that has become what most online consumers expect.

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