Our little experiment in freelance Patreon funding is changing in preparation for an even bigger 2021. The Freelance Jungle Patreon has made it possible for us to continue the Freelance Jungle since 2018. The support, large and small, offered by a variety of members past and present has been nothing short of mind blowing.
In 2020, Patreon has recognised new features would help creators such as the Freelance Jungle move forward. We’re taking advantage of some of these features and giving you a fat rundown of all the things we have ongoing.
Here’s what’s happening to increase our abilities with this here freelance Patreon adventure!
Easy payment options
Prior to today, new members (known as Pinkies) to the Freelance Jungle Patreon would wait until the 1st of the month before their payment was processed. This meant there would often be a backlog of work with sending out rewards in the post such as our postcards, cards, and gifts.
It also meant that sadly, some people chose to abuse the system and receive freebies as we would mail out stuff ahead of time in good faith as well as give access to Jungle Jobs, only to find the card was fake or had insufficient funds. Fortunately, while this was damaging, it wasn’t widespread.
However, it did create a culture of concern over whether people would rort the system. So, the bottlenecks it created were very real. You can’t run an effective freelance Patreon if you are scared of giving or too tired to do it properly!
Now, with processing payments on the next working day after someone pledges, we can easily trust the validity of the payment and manage it well.
What does it mean for you? You will be charged within a day or two of joining. And then you will be charged on the 1st of each month going forward after that. Simple!
One-off and annual payments are now an option
Monthly payments to Patreon keep the Freelance Jungle alive. They also make it much easier to maintain production on an ongoing basis.
But there are people who don’t want to use monthly subscriptions.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Personal preference, plus also shuffling money around, and of course that Patreon doesn’t support AUD currency means the conversion rate to USD can swing a bit month on month.
Many people have asked if they can make a one-off pledge. I can now say this is possible through an annual subscription.
All of this is perfectly reasonable. But until now, I had to focus on the needs of the greater volume of freelance Patreon participants over the smaller amount of people who wanted annual or one-off opportunities to participate.
Thankfully, this has changed.
I have launched an ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP option with Patreon’s help. This is in addition to the monthly one. Annual is for those who just want to hit it once and not care for another year and then evaluate it then.
Also, if you want to do a one off but don’t want to continue, you can theoretically make an annual payment and then cancel the membership one month after. You still receive access to all the goodies for that annual pledge for that year. And you don’t have to worry about remembering the charge will be taken out next year if you cancel before it ends.
And if you want to continue after that date, you can do so. Win, win!
For November, we’re offering a 5% discount for anyone who joins the annual membership to kickstart it. We’ve even had our first yearly membership purchase overnight as a result!
This 5% discount is ONLY for November 2020. This will be changed back to normal from Dec 1st 2020, so they are simply parallel membership options.
So, if you’ve been considering joining the Freelance Jungle Patreon or making a one-off pledge, now you can!
Freelance Patreon exclusive merchandise is coming
if you’ve ever wanted to wear (or see, or use) your Freelance Jungle Patreon pride, Patreon is now offering merchandise. Coming in November, we’re trialling merchandise through the Patreon fulfilment service. Jess has given me the artworks and we’re going to be breaking out a few things as a trial as part of the Freelance Jungle Patreon. This is in addition to (not replacing) the existing Freelance Jungle Redbubble shop. As such, it will be offering different items with sassy new artworks that are exclusive to freelance Patreon Pinkies.
Here’s a little sample:
To qualify for Freelance Jungle Patreon merchandise, you need to:
1. Be on a level that offers merchandise. As we are trialling this option, it won’t be available to everyone just yet.
2. Pledge at the same level consistently for 3 months to receive your merch item. This is how Patreon merchandise fulfilment works. This is to ensure that the pledges are legitimate before items are sent
3. Supply a postal address. Patreon doesn’t chase people who do not use a mailing address, so if you have opted out of supplying your address and want to receive merch, you will need to update your details. And keep your current address current. Patreon will not check to make sure your address is current.
4. Give for 3 months AFTER it launches (so the first shipment will release next year in March/April after I switch it on in November). We know many of you have been members since we began but again, this is how their mechanics’ work.
5. Answer questions about the merch from Patreon. As Patreon does the fulfilment, you will need to answer any questions from them for it to be fulfilled. They will NOT be sent by the admin team. That means checking your Patreon emails and getting back to Patreon HQ in a timely fashion if needed (re: sizing or preferences) to secure your swag!
What else is on offer via the Freelance Jungle Patreon?
You’ll be seeing more of what is happening with the Freelance Jungle Patreon shared in the Jungle. In that past, most of the information has been there for you to find if you so desire. Clearly, that’s a bit silly!
For those of you wondering why you should join a freelance Patreon (or you joined the Patreon at the start and left), this is how things work these days:
1. There’s a jobs board. All Pinkies receive access to the Jungle Jobs group where you receive updates on jobs, projects, part time work, funding opportunities, PR opportunities and other relevant information every week. You can also post and apply for jobs from other members
2. Bek writes to you when you join. Every member who gives their postal address receives a welcome postcard if you’ve supplied a postal address (you can opt out of mail though if you so choose)
3. You can Zoom learn with Bek. All Pinkies receive free classes offered via the Jungle Jobs group. These are almost every month in some form or another. Classes have included work on personas (via pains and gains), shaping your business (via the anti-problem classes), and developing an elevator pitch. These will also be offering in 2021
4. On the Freelance Jungle Crowdcast, we also offer select Pinkies only sessions. These include special classes from Bek as well as including special guest events. These have included topics such as grant writing, community management, accounting and so on
5. You’re invited to special events. We’re starting our first ever DEADLINE PARTY so you can complete that project you never get to in a supportive coaching environment from November to December 2020. You can join this for as little as $2 USD a month. $4 USD is a small price to pay to see one of your visions come into fruition
6. Every member on the $5 USD or above level receives a monthly tips sheet (now on the blog). In the past, this has included deep dive information into how to create strong social media posts, how to make use of SEO, ways to write content that stands out from the crowd, how to ace LinkedIn, and more.
7. We have minkey reflection cards for $10 USD or more. Every member on the $10 USD or above level receives a set of business decision making cards when they join. And you also receive focus cards. We will be producing another set of cards for 2021 as well
8. Mini courses are happening for $10 USD or more. More classes are being trialled for the $10USD level under sessions called “Death by PowerPoint” on Crowdcast. Marketing for introverts is one such event and is a specialist course over four weeks that also launches in November. Every Friday morning for four weeks, I will personally take you through that marketing cringe and help you build your presence for only $10 USD (or above) a month. That’s only $20USD!
9. Things get even more tailored on the $20 USD level. We’re wrapping up the first version of “how to keep working when you’re dying on the inside”, a ten lesson, fortnightly coaching course to help you recover from burn out, get through 2020 and help you stay on track for members on the $20 USD or above level. It ran from June and finishes in two weeks’ time. Already, rave reviews are coming through. It will return in 2021 (unsure of format). AND there will be another course to help build your offerings on that level. Stay tuned for more details.
10. Accessible business coaching is only $50 USD. If you need business coaching but can’t afford a big, fat, fee, you can get Bek on tap for $50 USD a month on Slack. We set goals, create targets, solve issues and you have me basically on tap in a virtual environment. You can come at this with a specific freelancing issue or habit you want to change. Or it can be able tuning up some vital access of your freelance business. It’s also month by month, so you can come and go as you need. And if you can also take up virtual one on one sessions with Bek on an ad hoc basis
11. You can access all the past content with tips, information, freebies and fun from previous months that have been offered to your level. Plus, you can access gated content on the website, including a Freelance Playbook with advice, downloads, cheat sheets on responding to client requests and more on a surprise, ad-hoc basis
12. Fun and creativity is part of the mix. There is ongoing fun stuff added all the time. Jess, Jinny and I have a blast by bringing you everything from origami to jokes and colouring in, permission slips and more. I also record the odd audio tip which is proving popular. So, all this ad-hoc stress busting content is going to be expanded in 2021. Again, this is usually a surprise basis.
13. 2021 looks pretty damn cool. Other courses planned include ones on community management, general freelancing, dealing with difficult clients, recovery and more.
Also, putting it bluntly, the Freelance Jungle can only continue with support. It’s Rebekah’s aim to create greater value to entice more people with answering the “what’s in it for me” question. By adding value, the aim is to make the freelance Patreon a viable way to reach out to more and more freelancers. We can bring in people even that maybe don’t hang in the community group (and giving you the chance to get off Facebook if you want it) but still joining in the fun.
What appeals is that it doesn’t make learning about freelancing the domain of only people who have money. It means that you get access to support, information, jobs and resources for a fraction of the cost of standard workshops and events, coaching and advice.
Pinkies will be polled on what classes they’d like to see in 2021, so feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.