Today I want to talk a bit about Patreon, and how it is helping people like you and me support the creators they love, even with minimal time and funds. If you’ve never heard of Patreon before, the concept is both simple and brilliant! It provides a platform for Creators to access ongoing financial support from patrons, who commit to paying a certain amount per month to support their vision. This means that independent Creators can focus on doing what they’re best at, without worrying constantly about funding their work.
Of course, Patreon wouldn’t work at all if it didn’t have Patrons, which is why I wanted to talk to you a bit about the benefits of being a Patron today. I have been aware of Patreon for quite some time now, having seen some of my favourite yoga teachers sharing links to their own Patreon pages. But, as you know, money has been beyond tight for us this past year or two, and ongoing funding was something I simply couldn’t guarantee.
However, it was my birthday in April and I received more money from family than I had expected, and so once I had bought the things I really wanted/needed, I still had around £30 to spare. Instead of simply spending it on something I didn’t really need, I decided to put it aside so that I could cover the costs of funding someone for the next 12 months (by which point I’m hoping we’ll be a little bit more financially stable and able to carry on supporting the Creators I chose to support).
support your favourite creators for as little as $1 per month
Yes, you didn’t misread that – I’m supporting not just one, but two Creators on Patreon for a whole year for £30! Isn’t that amazing? £30 doesn’t sound like much, does it? But if just 10 people put that into the pot each year then it begins to add up. And, of course, other Patrons who are able to can choose to pay more per month, because Patreon offers tiered funding options to all Creators. Which means that people like me can become Patrons from as little as $1 per month (which is less than £1) for some Creators.
“But what’s in it for me?” I hear you say. Well, I’m glad you asked. As with most crowdfunding options available online these days, Patreon allows Creators to offer incentives to their Patrons, as a way of saying thank you for their support. Incentives can include things like behind-the-scenes footage, early release copies of content, and conference calls with the Creators. Incentives tend to increase with each tier, but even those of us offering just $1 per month get goodies just for turning up and supporting them.
support creators whose work you already admire
One of the best things for me about Patreon is that it enables me to support Creators I already love. The two that I chose to support (who I will talk about in a minute) are both yoga teachers, creating change one step at a time via free YouTube videos. I’ve benefited from having access to their channels, and love their vision to expand what they do beyond this medium. They both want to get out there and help others discover the joys of yoga, whilst continuing to provide free content (which, if it isn’t already obvious, may be free to the viewer but certainly isn’t free for them to create).
I am incredibly limited in what I can do at the moment (both physically and financially), so to be able to make a difference by adding to the pot in this way feels amazing. It really does take in the whole ethos of yoga as well, that simply showing up and doing what you can, even if that looks a millions miles away from what the teacher is able to do, is what is most important. By supporting these two creators, I am showing up in the best way that I can.
cosmic kids – the first creator i’m supporting
I immediately published a post about his first experience of yoga (doesn’t he look so small?) and since then we have been thrilled to watch as Jaime and Martin expanded their video library, published four adventures books (amongst other things), and developed an amazing Teacher Training Course (which I have signed up for and plan to continue as my health improves).
We even had the absolute joy of attending Cosmic Kids Live and doing yoga with Jaime at Google HQ in 2015. That was actually the last time I managed to do a proper adventure with Little Man, and I almost didn’t apply for the chance to go as my health was already starting to fall into a quick decline. So I am doubly glad that we made such amazing memories that day, and whenever I’m asked what my favourite blogging opportunity has been, it is supporting Cosmic Kids as much as I’ve been able to.
But I still wanted to do more. I still wanted to be able to support them on an ongoing basis. So they were my first thought when I realised I had some money to invest in Patreon. Here’s what Jaime has to say about the difference your support can make:
I joined them on the Super Banana level, paying just $2 per month, which I set up through PayPal, so I could put the money for the year in there and not worry about it. This is their most popular tier, and it means I get access to exclusive news, behind-the-scenes footage, and video updates from Jaime.
If you’d like to support Cosmic Kids too, you can pledge to support them on Patreon here.
Holla with your dolla – The Second Creator I’m Supporting
Holla with Your Dolla was set up by Shiv and Ceemaj, who I originally found in 2015 when I first discovered Kundalini Yoga. Their Yoga to Feel Better, Beginners + Beyond Intro Class was my first real experience of Kundalini Yoga, and I was hooked from the very first moment.
I’d been to a yoga class in my teens with my dad, and had tried to practise it intermittently over the years since, but I’d never found anything that made me feel quite so in tune with my body! As you may know, I have the Hypermobile form of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). This is a genetic condition that affects the collagen in my body, causing joint pain and instability and issues with my Autonomic Nervous System. And in 2015 I was beginning to experience a rapid decline in my overall health and well-being, which was both terrifying and frustrating.
So finding a form of yoga which focused on a combination of movement, mantra, and mudras was pretty much life-changing for me, especially when taught by someone as down-to-earth as Shiv is. You only have to look at their YouTube channel – Shiv and Ceemaj The Feel Better Way – to see just how much they share with others about their life. There is a true openness and authenticity about the way they create their videos. Shiv recently told me that she’s a “one-take” kinda gal – they hit record, she shares what she needs to, and then they upload with minimal editing. In a world of heavily edited videos and photos, it’s so refreshing to see the all-too-human moments when she gets distracted or stumbles over some words. Because it reminds you that it’s okay to be who you are, in every single moment.
There are over 800 videos on their YouTube channel, and there really is something for everyone. There are 3 minute meditations, kriyas to help all kinds of issues we face in life, a whole Q&A series on Kundalini yoga, and general snippets from their life. Whatever you need at any given moment, you can be sure to find something to help on their channel. Which is why I was so delighted to be able to support Shiv and Ceemaj on Patreon too. They have a beautiful vision for creating change globally, starting with YOU. $1 really can make all the difference, and that’s why they called their campaign, “Holla with your Dolla”. Here’s what Shiv has to say about it:
Isn’t that amazing? Can’t you just feel their passion for creating change and doing it together with you? And I have to tell you, they really do mean it when they talk about coming together as a community. Over the past few months I have had lots of wonderful little glimpses of what they’re up to via updates they share via Patreon. Even though I am on the lowest tier, I get access to so many things. Between the updates on Patreon and instagram, I feel like I have come to know Shiv so well. And the more I get to know her, the more I care about what she’s doing.
You really can make a difference with just $1. So why not head on over to Patreon to check out Holla with Your Dolla. If you join them you’ll even get your very own video welcome. They’re so much fun, and seem to get crazier with time. Here’s mine:
tHere’s a creator for everyone!
There are, of course, so many different creators you can support via Patreon. Just a quick glance at the “Explore Creators” page shows how varied the range of talent and focus areas are, so why not head on over today and see who you could support. It really is a wonderful feeling, to know that you’re helping to create real change with even the smallest amount of money.