How do you promote your Patreon at live shows?

I have a gig coming up next week outside of Boston, a performance of my multi-media solo show, and I am trying to think of a way to encourage people to join my Patreon community at the merch table. I’ll be selling books, download cards, some t-shirts, and other stuff.

I’m thinking of doing something like a free sticker if you join Patreon for $5 and maybe add a download card for $10, and a free book at $25. Feels like I should be able to come up with something more interesting here, though, so I am wondering what other folks do.

Tell me your secrets!

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That’s an interesting idea. Do you think it might congest the line at the merch booth if people are signing up right there, at the booth? We usually try to get people in and out as fast as possible, so we can give the whole line an opportunity to purchase our merch.

What’s worked for us in the past is just creating handbills to give out with every merch order. We’ve also made bags and pre-stuffed them with handbills, so if people purchase 1-2 items we’ll put them in a bag. You could potentially do this with plastic bags that you “borrow” from your local grocery? :wink:

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ahhhhh thats a good point. Maybe I can ask them to step away from the table and tell me when they join so I can give them their free merch. I love the handbill idea, but I worry people might not feel as motivated to join after they walk away from the show. I wanna get 'em in when they are still enthralled with my genius! :joy:

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Another thing I’ve been doing lately (which has increased signup) is sending a welcome email to those who signed up for our email list at the last show. Something along the lines of “If you LOVED Lords of the Trident and you want more, you can get a bunch of exclusive songs, etc. at (patreon here)”.

I’m interested to see how your signup idea goes! Please report back and let me know!

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I definitely will! A big challenge for me is to promote Patreon confidently and without “sorry for asking” in my voice, if that makes sense. That’s going to be my big goal with this event, no matter how this turns out!

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I’ve done this and it totally works.

Getting someone signed up to a Patreon campaign from a cold start can be time consuming though. They’ll likely need to walk away and come back.

Make sure to make clear signage about the campaign so you don’t need to constantly be trying to talk people into it.

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Not sure what you do but I’m an author. I give away free bookmarks with a sticker on back directing them to my Patreon page.

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LOVE that idea @pattyloof :slight_smile:

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I’ve tried a couple times and been unsuccessful. I found it hurt sales.

What might be a better idea, and I haven’t tried it, just occurred to me, is to make the sale. Then afterward tell the person about Patreon. Offer them a free gift if they sign up right now.

Then your sales aren’t hurt and you get a new patron.

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We are experimenting with a flyer to display at gigs with Patreon info (and other social media handles) as well as business cards with QR codes to hand out. We’re also going to try live Patreon sign-ups via an iPad at an event we’re hosting next week.

Ideally, I’d like for the QR code to link to an exclusive download via Patreon, but right now I’m trying to figure out if it’s better to make the QR link for Patrons-only (downloads are available at the $10 tier) or if there’s a way to make the download available via Patreon immediately (a free, onetime giveaway as a “taste” of Patreon benefits). The catch is that I don’t want the download to be available to the general public - that takes away from the “exclusive giveaway” feel of the QR code. Any ideas on how to host something like this on the website?

Looking forward to hearing more about how your sign-up process goes and reading more ideas about how to handle sign-ups at live gigs!

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Really love these suggestions! I have a physical store (junk store, but I do have a small section for my art)and there are big gaps between customers in which I’m doing art and have plenty of time to engage customers who are interested in what I’m doing.

I’m going to try a sign offering a gift if they become a patron while they’re in the store. I’ve always wanted to make a prize wheel and how fun would that be to spin to see what your patron gift is?

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Thanks for these suggestions! My show was kinda poorly attended (waaaaaah) and I let that take the wind out of my sails and didn’t really push the patreon. I sold a couple books, but didn’t do a special offer or anything.

I am going to put these ideas in my pocket for next time!

I found that trying to pitch Patreon to customers canibalizes sales. Better to save it for the fan who has everything already.