I wanted to share my success since the start of the year. I’d seen other artists (specifically Pete Mohrbacher) do this which is to offer a gift (in this case an enamel pin, like I did) to patrons who sign up by X date. There are a few other artists I’m seeing doing this too with promising results.
I decided to give enamel pins to ALL my patrons from 2017 who were still with me by 31st March and anyone joining in 2018 at $5 and up will get one too. I said that any pins that were left over in April will be moved to the $15 and up tiers until they are all gone.
Here is the last three months since starting the pledge drive:
I think the biggest bump I got was when I started advertising my highest tier ($30) reward in a different way.
Previously I had just posted images of the rewards I was sending out to my patrons saying ‘this is going to my $30 patrons’ and that was it. SO frustrating that out of that $831 so much of it goes to VAT and other fees! Painful!
THIS time I posted a picture I was sending out and said ‘This is going out to one of my $30 patrons, there are now only 6 spaces left!’ (I limited this tier to 10 as I don’t want to be making tiny paintings all month and I can do 10 in a day as they are small fun watercolour sketches). Previously to this post I was making these paintings in a 4x3" size and decided to change it to a 4x6" size. It might be that a lot of people just didn’t see the value in a really tiny painting but as soon as it was postcard sized they were interested. It’s also much easier for me to paint on the larger piece of paper!
I think that telling people there were only X spaces left might have been the key here though so if you do anything similar I highly recommend it and using that wording! This month my patreon income has actually paid my bills so if it continues to grow it is getting very close to being able to support me without me having to get external illustration jobs which is a dream come true.
I’m considering doing a pledge drive now maybe once a year. Possibly not an enamel pin every time but maybe in future I could do an exclusive patreon only print or similar.
Let me know if you’ve done anything like this and how it worked!
Oh and also, last month I changed back to showing my income again and that has not seemed to deter anyone which is great! It might even be encouraging more upping of pledges in order to get to the next goal which will mean monthly hangouts with all my patrons while I paint and they can ask questions.