When you commit to a platform like Patreon you need to take time and consideration to create rewards and goals that interest (hopefully even excite!) your collectors. Today enjoy 4 tips for creating worthy rewards on Patreon.
What do people want from you?
What kinds of questions do people have about your art? What do they want to learn more about?
Do you have collectors or fans that ask for certain things from you? Lots of patrons I observe on Patreon appear to enjoy slow film of artists working on paintings to model from, for example. Others want original artwork, so you could do smaller works or drawings like Gwenn Seemel. Do some research, note which artwork gets the most response or feedback on social media and seek out real conversations that include your community in the decision making process.
Take Action: Talk to five people about your work (the more the better) and find out more about why they like it and what else they want to see or learn about.
Be clear about benefits
What do your patrons get for helping you out? Be clear and concise. It’s not just about you. I’ve seen countless profiles where people only focus on how the rewards help them reach new levels with their work. This is your community, obviously these people want you to succeed, but make it about them. Show them how much you genuinely value what they do for your work. Be clear how the rewards you offer are celebrating your patrons. Keep the focus on your community. I check in with myself once a day and ask: how can I serve? When I focus on service to all of you, my work is more expansive and impactful; increased sales is a byproduct of that focus.
Take Action: Draft explanations of each reward you plan to create. Review the language you use and try to word and frame things keeping in mind: how can I serve my community?
Keep it sustainable
If you already do a lot to promote and connect with community don’t make more work for yourself. Instead, do things that feel good, align with other offerings, and complement the art you create. This is a constant struggle for me: to keep my work feeling sustainable, and maintaining a feeling of ease. So when I thought about joining Patreon (ANOTHER place to manage?) I decided to focus on rewards that not only support these special people who value my work but also have rewards that don’t double the work for me. I use a popular artwork of mine as a limited edition print series ONLY available to Patreon patrons. This way, as my work grows in value, their prints can increase in value as well. And no one else can get these prints! I also raffle off art that people may not be able to buy on their own. Each dollar contributed by my patrons earns them raffle tickets for drawings of these prints. This means people could win an artwork worth hundreds of dollars for giving me as little as 1 dollar a month. Not bad if you ask me!
Take Action: List 10 things you already create around your artist practice. Which creations best pair with the benefits and things your community seem to want from you?
Test, test, test
Trial by error. Put up some rewards and ask valued community members whether they like them. Commit to a series of rewards for several months. Actively direct people to your Patreon page and ask for their support. See what takes. Is one reward not doing well? After a few months consider switching that reward out for something new. Announce the new reward and promote. See what takes. It’s through trial and error we learn. Your first profile and rewards do not have to be your last.
I had no idea what to offer for my highest price point reward. Initially I offered people the right to decide content for my next artwork. No takers. And to be honest, the idea didn’t excite me. I put it up anyway to have something up and to test it out. After a while I realized people value my knowledge and expertise (duh, hehe). Now my highest price point includes a private video call for anyone at that monthly price point. Once a month, people have a group consulting call with me to talk about their art, their business, my work, you name it. And it’s MUCH less expensive than a private hourly consult is with me. This is a great incentive for people to sign on early, too, because if they are the only person doing the monthly call in the beginning, they get a private consult. Building in ideas that incentivize sign ups at different price points is smart.
Take Action: Create a poll with all of the rewards you could offer and ask your community for feedback. How can you incentivize interest and desire at each reward level?
I have an ARTsheet for you today. It’s all about brainstorming worthy rewards for your Patreon profile. Sign up and access your ARTsheet here:
One thing I want to note before I close today is it’s okay to model your rewards after other people on Patreon. EVERY SINGLE person is unique. So is your art and what you offer the world. So while your rewards could be the same, different collectors will be motivated to support you depending on your personality, artistic voice, etc. etc. We are unique individuals. And by learning from one another we all grow. I highly encourage you to review successful Patreon accounts and observe their rewards. Feel free to start with mine here. Will any apply to what you do?
Be Creatively Courageous: Do you have a reward idea that could help others? Let’s start a brainstorm below.
I’ve tried out my rewards since your webinar but they’re not working at all. I still don’t have a single patron. So I guess it’s time to update them. But I won’t have the energy to do that until after the Arthropoda Tarot deck is done. I still have 42 drawings to do, plus the insert and the extra marketing.
Hi Linda, I have a few thoughts.
(1) Are you comfortable sharing the size of your email list? I do believe you need a pretty size-able, engaged following to get support on a platform like this.
(2) How often do you ask your community for support? I ask once a month, maybe twice a month, and I generally get 1 follower a month. I have currently a list of over 2000 and a FB group of 1800 as of the date of this comment. (I ask in both those spaces once a month).
(3) It is very important to test your benefits. I will be changing mine in the next month or so. The more people who begin to support you, the more you can figure out benefits that make them feel rewarded.
I hope you get some better results when you are done with your tarot deck and have some time to rework your page!
Thanks ☺ I have around 400 on my email list and around 10000 over social media. I have the button and cta on the website and ask about as much as you. I’ll do some thinking about my rewards
Thanks for sharing! To be honest, I don’t feel social media reach is as important for Patreon – unless you are super engaged in those spaces. The only people who contribute are in my FB group or on my email, I think because both spaces really let them get to know me and enjoy free content.
Another area a lot of people don’t think about is how we ask. Our language and copy around asking for help is very important.
Yes. I haven’t quite cracked the code on that copy yet. I should probably ask in my group again.