If I work on a project with someone, then that person is a colleague. If I chat industry stuff with them at an event or somesuch, then they are a professional acquaintance. Either one may indeed lead to said person becoming a friend.
Neither case makes said person an audience member. Neither case makes said person a fan of my work. And damn certain neither case makes that person my patron.
With the amateur hour that is the current state of social media marketing and crowdfunding, I can't help but wonder how many young artists today are fucking themselves right in the long-term career by assuming the exact opposite.