One of the hardest parts of developing a strong following on Patreon is figuring out a rewards structure that works for your fanbase. Having a strong mix of rewards is more than just an incentive for people to support you. It’s a way for you to establish a personal connection with your fans, making the whole Patreon experience far more enjoyable for you and them.
If you dream of being up there with Patreon’s most successful artists, the following reward ideas will help you establish the relationship you need with your fanbase.
1. Useful products featuring your art or branding
Whether you’re a visual artist, musician, or novelist, branded promotional gifts are an amazing way to share the love with your loyal patrons. People get to feel like they have a special little piece of your work, and if you sign the merch, it becomes that much more precious. Best of all, you can get top-quality, custom-made promotional items at a surprisingly low cost, especially if you buy in bulk.
2. A secret society
Okay, so secret society is probably a bit extreme, but creating a members-only artistic community is going to be hugely rewarding for you and your fans. You’ll need to establish a theme, and this will be highly dependent on your artform. For example, a digital artist may decide to create a private group for masterclasses and critiques, while a fantasy writer may want to create a digital guild or coven that brings their fictional world to life. The beauty of this reward is that once you’re up and running, your fans will play a huge part in keeping the community active.
3. Digital gifts
Once again, these will depend on your niche. You could offer templates, brush sets, sheet music, instructional videos, and all sorts of digital goodies related to your craft. These rewards are ideal for artists who have a fanbase of people who are keen to launch their own creative careers.
4. Cameos, collabs, and commissions
These are great top-tier rewards that allow your fans to see themselves in your art. Comic book creators and novelists can give fans the chance to appear as minor characters in their work. Or they might allow someone to create an alternate ending for one of their popular works. A musician might offer a talented fan the opportunity to collaborate on a song. Meanwhile, a painter can give fans the chance to request a personalized piece. The opportunities for cameos and collabs are endless, and they get a monumentally positive reaction from fans.
You’d be surprised at how far a simple, heartfelt “thank you” goes with people. If you follow other artists on YouTube, you’ve probably seen them list their patrons at the end of their videos. However, there are many other ways to say thanks. For example, an author might give top-level patrons a dedication in their novel, a musician might give them a shout-out after a performance, and then there’s always the option of sending them personalized thank you messages.
There are many ways to reward your fans on Patreon. Use this list as your jumping-off point and develop a tiered structure that offers the most tantalizing rewards to your most generous patrons. Though this is important, it’s also essential to ensure that fans at all levels are rewarded generously and thanked genuinely for their support. Doing so will enrich the experience for all involved and go a long way towards ensuring you have a prosperous career as an artist.
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