It’s been brought to my attention that some people are not completely comfortable with how Patreon works or if it is secure & safe … and that is ok. I completely understand that this is a newer platform and can be pretty scary if you don’t have a good grasp on it. Please let me ease your minds.

What is Patreon and Why Was it Formed?

Many of you have heard of Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Pledge Music (what I used to raise money when I recorded Missing October). All of these are well known crowd funding platforms for one project at a time. Patreon is a new crowd funding platform, but intended to be an alternative on-going mission to enable creators freedom to create.

Patreon was formed for people like myself. Musicians that do not collect a lot of income from their online digital products such as streaming music or YouTube music videos, due to the new music industry. I get a fraction of a penny every time someone streams one of my songs. That just doesn’t add up; especially when one song costs between $1000 – $2000 to professionally produce, record, and master. Now my fans can join an exclusive community gaining access to Patreon-only content and special private rewards and, in turn, I get to dedicate more time and effort to what I love.

Patreon isn’t just about musicians though. It is about creators. A creator is anyone that creates something: musicians, artists, photographers, writers, chefs, comedians, etc. Creating all kinds of things: clothing, knowledge tutorials, food, fitness routines & videos, podcasts, forecasts, and the list goes on. There are over 50,000 creators using Patreon today. Here is a blurb taken from Patreon directly:

“Finally, creators get what they deserve.”

“In 2013, YouTube musician Jack Conte was looking for a solution to his problem: millions of people loved his videos, but only hundreds of dollars were hitting his bank account. This didn’t add up, so he drafted up an idea (hi, we’re Patreon) and brought it to his college roommate Sam Yam. Now it’s 2017, and Patreon is the solution to this same problem for over 50k creators.”

It’s not just for local or up-and-coming creators either. Plenty of well known creators use it too. Ever heard of Pentatonix, Peter Hollens, Home Free, or Taylor Ray Holbrook? All of these musicians are using Patreon and their fanbase to help achieve their goals and dreams. The well known podcast, Chapo Trap House, thrives on Patreon as well with 20,448 patrons. Some are 100% financially funded from Patreon, no recording label or contract needed. That is something to be proud of!

How Do The Patron Subscriptions Work?

After exploring some of the aforementioned names, you may notice some creators show “Per Creation” instead of “Per Month” to join. Patreon offers two different types of platforms. Per creation means that a Creator’s patrons are charged every time they release a new creation, such as a music video or podcast. Per month means that a Creator’s patrons are charged once per month no matter how many creations are released.

I get paid per month. Patreon takes 5% and I am left with 95% to use in the production of music material and audio/visual artwork … as the case may be. The 5% fee Patreon takes is why my “per month” amount on my page might seem less than it should.

I chose per month for a few reasons. Lets say I have a really productive month and release more material than normal. If I chose per creation, you would get charged significantly more that month and I don’t like the idea of that. It works for some in particular, but not me. The graph below shows that most creators choose monthly. Per month is also beneficial to me so that I can better budget and plan for my upcoming creations and releases.

Patreon Graph

Is Patreon Safe and Secure?

If you have ever used Amazon to make an online purchase then you are using the same internet security protocols. Patreon offers credit card or PayPal and is just as safe stating:

“No credit card information is ever stored on our servers. We use Stripe.com, one of the most secure and reputable payment processors available. All card numbers are encrypted on disk with AES-256 and decryption keys are stored on separate machines. None of Stripe’s internal servers and daemons are able to obtain plaintext card numbers; instead, they can just request that cards be sent to a service provider on a static whitelist.”

“Stripe’s infrastructure for storing, decrypting, and transmitting card numbers runs in separate hosting infrastructure and doesn’t share any credentials with Stripe’s primary services (API, website, etc.) In other words, your credit card details are safe!”

For more information, you can visit Stripe’s security policy right here!

How Do I Sign Up?

For you brave souls that are ready to take the plunge, hop on over to: patreon.com/jcourseywillis and get to it.

For those that would like a step-by-step guide on how to sign up for Patreon and become a Patron of yours truly, click the link below and keep reading.

J. Coursey Willis Patreon page:  patreon.com/jcourseywillis

Thank you for clicking the link to visit my Patreon page. This is the hub of my exclusive community and team.

Feel free to check out my video, read about who I am and why I’m on Patreon, look at my goals to the left to see what my plans are for your pledges, and scroll through my rewards to pick the one best suited for you. Not only will you be joining my journey into the great wide open, but you will play a vital roll in my music career. Don’t think I take that lightly.

Once you’ve found the right rewards package, click “GET $ REWARD” or “BECOME A PATRON” to sign up for an account.

Now double check everything to confirm the reward package you selected. If everything checks out, click “CONTINUE”.

Fill in the required fields on the sign up form, check the box to agree to the terms (feel free to read the “Terms of Use”), check the box to ensure you are who you say you are, and click “Sign Up”.

The Summary page that you see now will explain when you will be charged. Choose “PAY WITH CREDIT CARD” or “Pay with PayPal” and begin secure check out.

I will assume that if you choose PayPal, you know what you’re doing. I will continue with the “PAY WITH CREDIT CARD” option.

Enter your credit card information and Zip code into the pop-up box. “Remember me” is optional and just allows easier check outs in the future if you choose to subscribe to another Patreon creator. If it makes you feel safer, do not select it. Now click “Pledge”.

Feel free to “GET THE WORD OUT” and share your recent subscription with the world. Also head over to your email and find the “Patreon Support” email to click and confirm your Patreon registration.

Welcome to the J. Coursey Willis exclusive community and thank you for your pledge and support!