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Buy Me a Coffee? A phrase we’ve probably all said at some point in our lives. But why have people started saying it more and more during the past two years? During the Pandemic many small businesses had to close, freelancers weren’t getting as much work and the cost of living was increasing. This meant that these people had to find alternative ways to make a living.
Many content creators, small businesses and freelancers turned to the website Buy Me a Coffee.
Buy Me a Coffee was launched in 2018 as a crowdfunding company, which allows creators to collect donations from their supporters. Crowdfunding helps to finance a project by raising money from many people all donating a relatively small amount. During the pandemic, Buy Me a Coffee allowed a different type of crowdfunding to happen. One that helped pay rent on the shop’s of small businesses, cover daily bills for freelancers but also allowed them to sell their services through the same platform.
It also allows creatives another way to monetise their content by simply adding a button to their website or sharing a link to their social media. Think of it like tipping a waiter, for a relatively small amount of money, you can show your favourite creators your thanks for their work.
Supports can give a one-off payment for the price of a cup of coffee (£5), or multiple cups of coffee to a creator. Of this donation, 95% goes to the creator with 5% of the transaction going to the platform itself. The platform accepts payments from all major credit and debit cards as well as apple pay, google pay and local payment methods. Donators don’t have to sign up as the site uses a one-tap payment model – and the website doesn’t email your supporters.
Buy Me a Coffee also introduced membership options; these often include attentional perks as they are for regular givers. Memberships may include access to members only discord groups, exclusive posts, members-only live streams and more. In addition to memberships, you also have the option to add extras: these allow you to sell goods or services to your audience. From artwork commissions, drum lessons, eBooks and 1 to 1 consultation, there are many ways to make extra income through the platform.
The initial set-up of the page is free, but they take a 5% transaction fee on all donations so roughly 25p per £5 donation. In addition to this, funds raised automatically go straight into your bank account whereas on some other platforms you may have to wait up to 30 days for a pay-out.
Aside from the knowledge that they’re helping you stay afloat in challenging circumstances; they may also benefit from extras that you offer. By offering memberships, you get a guaranteed monthly passive income from Buy Me a Coffee as well as the opportunity to build strong relationships with your supporters. Also having different levels of memberships allows you to have different perks for different monthly payments. From a basic level with access to a members-only Facebook page to a higher level monthly zoom call. The opportunities are endless.
Setting up your page is relatively straightforward, it’s only a few simple steps before your page comes to life. Sign up on the website by filling in the relevant information or by connecting it to your Facebook account then confirm you’re over 18. Pick a payment method and you’re all set on the basics.
You can then go on to personalise your page – add a bio about yourself for your supporters to get to know you. Choose a colour scheme and upload a featured picture or video to really give your followers a sense of your work and vision. The more full your profile the more likely potential donors are to buy you a coffee.
Whilst they are in essence the same thing, Buy Me a Coffee seems much more casual than traditional crowdfunding. Whilst we have shared articles on how to crowdfund medical expenses and living expenses, Buy Me a Coffee is definitely aimed more at creatives. The button can be quietly added to blogs, websites and social media pages. Whereas, traditional crowdfunding tends to need a bigger campaign to gain traction, buying someone a coffee can be done without social media hype.
If you’re creative, this could be a great way to supplement your income, or you could use the money to reinvest in your business. You could buy new equipment or take a training course to further your creative growth.