We had a pretty active brainstorming session happening in the comments during our live cast, so let’s keep that conversation moving here. Your “Dream It!” worksheet has some great prompts to determine 5 possible benefits to offer. Please share those, and any other ideas you have here!
I am excited about getting some fresh ideas from fellow creators. I have found a lot of success from polling my community on Facebook and YouTube so I will probably do that once I narrow down my ideas for the special offer.
Personalized Post Cards (with artwork from one of my tutorials) for my $10 level. Possible con - high cost & time involved to personally address, write and send 290+ cards. Brainstorm ways to make it more efficient but still personal?
Special “Get to know you” Group Chat (not sure how that would work but would be no cost and low time involvement) - $10 level. I already do weekly live chats in the Facebook group for that level so this would have to be extra special somehow.
Special shout-outs or event during my Monthly Bonus Video (scheduled for Sept. 16) - $5 level. This would be easiest since it is already scheduled for the target dates and no cost involved. Might have to have a rolling credit at the end because we can’t possibly read off all 800+ names. Brainstorm ideas for an event that I can include while still painting and doing the normal video. Might have to do a second bonus video?? Or maybe include the rolling credits at the end of all new videos for the 2 weeks - that might have lots of drop off when it ends).
Access to a Special Studio Tour Livestream Video. $5 or $10+ level. It is something I have not done in a couple of years and would probably be interesting to a lot of folks. Also fairly easy to do, low time involvement and no cost. Main problem would be figuring out how to use my good camera with all the wires, etc. May have to use phone, which has been glitchy during livestreams in past. This could be the additional bonus video mentioned in #3 above.
Christmas ornament or personalized jewelry with my artwork. This would be high cost so I would have to create a brand new level. $40-50 maybe.
That is all I have so far. I am excited to hear other’s ideas.
At first brainstorming ideas stressed me out, because I often feel like I need to offer something more interesting but can’t think of anything, or struggle to find rewards that will interest the entirety of my very diverse patronage. (I also brainstormed quite a few things that would create way too much extra labor for me — a problem I often have.) In the end, the main ideas I liked (all centered around Halloween, which is very relevant to me as a cosplayer) were:
Zine — I think someone in the chat suggested doing a 'zine, and I like the idea a lot! My Patrons really like photo prints and polaroids and handwritten notes, so I think they’d enjoy a unique physical item like this. Unfortunately, it would be a lot of labor into design and printing/binding, plus the cost of shipping. This is probably something I’ll consider for a future special offer (maybe for New Years — a recap on my 2018 major works, perhaps?)
Enamel pins — I very strongly considered this one, because everyone is into enamel pins right now and I think with the right design, they could do very well for me (I actually plan on offering them as merch in the future). However, I think the price point would be too high to make a good special offer, and I don’t know that I’d be able to come up with a design that suits all my Patrons. Plus, I’ve never designed a pin before, so the labor involved is difficult to predict.
Exclusive shoot and/or song — A lot of cosplayers do Patron-exclusive photoshoots, or I considered doing a Patron-exclusive song, probably a Halloween-themed cover… but doing entirely exclusive projects KILLS me because I hate having good content that I can’t share with my full audience.
Stickers — I think I’ve settled on this one as my special offer: Everyone at the $5 level and above will get a Patron-exclusive die-cut sticker of my brand new Halloween-themed cosplay. I did the math and even internationally, my max spending on shipping a single sticker is $1.59 ($1.08 within the US). Plus, I’ve introduced other stickers in the last year-ish and they’ve been popular.
I’m considering also including early access to my full Halloween photoshoot, although I do want to keep the special offer concise and easy to describe, so that might be overkill.
Looking forward to reading other folks’ ideas! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with the same few ideas when you don’t have any outside input.
I think I am going to go with enamel pins because I have a new logo for my podcast so I could use that as the reason why I am offering pins.
From what I understand, you just need a high resolution image to use for the pin.
I think I will offer the reward to $10 backers even though the pins will cost more than $3/pin to make and ship to backers. I have many backers who have backed me for years and I want to reward them.
I had some trouble thinking about this at first, but I think I’m going to print a poster. I do the same outro for every episode, and I get feedback ALL the time about how much the outro means to them. Its sort of an affirmation that people are loved and cared for. I’m going to take some of the lines from my outro and print an exclusive poster for current patrons and those who sign up during the special offer period. I think I’m also going to print some exclusive buttons to go with it. Here’s what I’m struggling with. Generally I’m thinking I want to offer it to everyone who pledges above the minimum 1 dollar pledge. I do a podcast, and those folks get the newest episodes a day early and a shoutout. I generally only give other rewards to the tiers above. But if I’m going to try to encourage existing patrons to maybe move up a tier, I’m thinking about doing different sized posters? Maybe a smaller size for the lower tiers and bigger size for the bigger tiers? I’m interested on feedback on that.
Oh goodness. The live cast yesterday had me so excited but I still haven’t figured out what is it that I want to do. The few times I’ve polled my patrons about rewards, I’ve met the “we don’t mind, we just want to support you” response more than a few times (which is AWESOME and generous, but it doesn’t help me get a better grasp of what would be desired)!
I have many ideas like signed posters and other physical rewards (I already do postcards and stickers twice a year, so I’m avoiding that), but Brazil is in such a delicate moment right now that most of anything involving physical mailing would be too expensive to really consider. :’<
Those of us who are writers and don’t really do physical object stuff, has anyone come up with ideas for special offers beyond Tuckerizations?
I am STRUGGLING on this so hardcore, and I’m trying not to let that get me down! I’m thinking of polling my patrons on final choices for the Special Offer, but I was wondering if anyone here can help me narrow it down? Here are my ideas:
Signed 11x17 concert poster to commemorate my 3 year anniversary on Patreon (which is this December). Each patron’s name would be written really tiny on the poster. Pro: Super special and name recognition. Con: Might be too expensive to print and ship, especially overseas. TIER: I’d want to do this for $5+ patrons, but I’d probably lose money. Another option is to only ship to my $11+ tiers but to give it to everyone as a digital download to print on their own.
A collectible 3rd anniversary zine with selected lyrics, handwritten music sketches, drawings, poetry, photos, lyrics, and every patron’s name printed in it. I share something on Patreon from time to time called my “Everything Journal,” which is photos from my paper journal that has all that kind of stuff in it. It would be like a physical snippet of that Everything Journal. [PRO: Again, super special. CON: A lot of time to make and might be expensive to print. I’m guessing shipping wouldn’t be as bad as the poster, but I could be wrong. PRICE TIER: $5 or $11? I’d offer a digital download to all patrons though (but that would be a whole other layout process).
A 3rd anniversary celebration card with a personalized line of music written for each patron. I could give patrons the option to share the card on social media and I’ll play their music for them in return. (PRO: cheaper to mail out. CON: I don’t think it’s special enough to really get people excited to sign up? I don’t think my non-musician patrons are particularly interested in sheet music they can’t read; they’d rather have a recording. TIER: $5)
While I wish I could do something obvious to understand like “names on an album,” I don’t have any albums in the release-ready aspect of the cycle at the moment, and it would take me too long to deliver that offer. I could do a single, but I don’t know how to incorporate patron names in just a single, since it’s kinda weird to do a physical CD for just one song.
Another note: I’m so eager to grow my Patreon family that I’m definitely willing to do whatever hard work is necessary to go through the agonizing process of producing/mailing this stuff…but what would be sad for me is going to modest on my special offer and then people not getting excited about it.
I’m also interested in starting a Discord server for my patrons, but that’s not really a special offer-type thing.
Any other ideas? Here’s my Patreon page, if that provides more insight. Thanks so much, Special Offer community!
Personally I’d recommend keeping it simple. The more complicated you make it, the harder it gets not just for you to manage, but also for you to explain to your Patrons! If you want to encourage upward tier movement but don’t want to deprive anyone of a reward, maybe offer it at a higher tier (like $5) and then allow $1 Patrons to purchase it in an online shop, or maybe download a high res file to print themselves or something?
I really like the zine idea, and I definitely think it would be more cost effective to ship than a poster (I’ve tried to ship posters before — now I’ll only do it if it’s a fold-out poster that can fit in a 9x12 envelope!) Is there a way to reduce your labor on that to make it more feasible? Like hiring a designer to lay it out or something? I think the card is a sweet idea too, but I completely understand the fear of offering something that people don’t get pumped about. Maybe you could combine something with the card, like a sticker or digital download code?
I’m thinking of doing an enamel pin of one of my skull drawings OR a hand-made art card (not original art, just a hand-made card with a print).
I just sent off an image to get a quote from a pin maker, so I’ll see how much that’s going to run me. I’ve already got most of the materials to do art cards, but the thing is I have absolutely NO IDEA how my fans will react to either on seeing as they never really comment on any of my posts at Patreon.
I took a poll from my patrons, and 9/10 voted on a postcard – I don’t normally get more than 1-2 comments, but polls are easier than words for most people. So, I’ll be getting some postcards, and if I can get a certain amount of new patrons/increased pledges I’ll add a sticker set to the bonus (I print my own greeting cards s I have a TON of extra envelopes and it’s not a big deal to pop the lot into an envelope instead).
You could also possibly have one lucky give away of a pin for lower tier backers - so they have the chance of a reward. And/or a lucky draw for a pin on your other social media for anyone who promotes your patreon/show and tags you into it to help spread your word.
Could you do digital rewards for the lower tiers, and then the same but printed by your hand and sent (perhaps with a personal message written on the item) to the higher tiers?
A wallpaper of the poster as an affirmation they can see on the screen of their phone/computer could be a lovely and low energy addition.
I think the written piece of music on a postcard is really a lovely idea - you could angle it like historical letters composers wrote as they were creating - if the internet fell they could still take that note to a musician and say “could you play this for me?”
It is a tangible thing they can look back on in the future and know what it represents - especially if they can hear it played - and or make that music into a ringtone for them self.
AND you could encourage, if they are musicians, or have musical friends, for them to share a version of what you wrote back into your community.
I struggled a bit (and continue to do so) with what to do for my offer.
As with some other creatives in this forum, my Patrons have generally been “We love what you do, keep on keeping on with whatever.” which doesn’t provide much external direction for what will attract further patrons.
I both like and loath the idea of creating merchandise - I love seeing my work in print but I am not fantastic at selling it. I’d rather be making fresh content than promoting things I already have.
I have a box of clockwork creature colouring in books as proof… Though this offer could be a way to help motivate me to shift those and develop brand too.
Not in any particular order my current ideas are:
Stickers I like the idea as I can use these to promote my patreon/brand elsewhere and it could be the beginning of an ongoing series, but what to draw for them? And how to reach an audience that would want them? Hmmm…
Paint swatch portraits - original draws on 3x4" colour swatches that you get from the hardware shop. Cheap on materials, easy to post and fun to create, if a bit time consuming, but I don’t know that there would be interest.
Original sketch on a postcard I have a pile of existing postcards already, it would just be the time taken to sketch something. As with the paint swatches, I am not entirely confident there would be interest enough from a wider audience in my drawings …
Book plates Digital for lower tiers, printed for higher tiers, with the patron (or a giftee’s) name included in each design. I’d be doing one botanical and one fantasy based (possibly steampunk) for the two genre that my existing patrons seem to fall into. I do love bookplate designs.
Enamel pin. or fabric patches I have been lusting after doing a pin and patch series for the last two years but setting it aside because I need to sink some time into a) pricing and feasibility b) deciding on one picture to start with. And also, as with any merchandise, my little inner inertia-demon says that the box of the them will end up sitting on a shelf, unmoving because people aren’t interested or I don’t have the focus to market them.
Other ideas I had that don’t have as many feathers to fly with are:
Illustrating songs - a patron gives me a particular song, I listen to it and draw something inspired by it
bespoke magnets One of designs on hand cut magnets
a zine of Patreon sketches I like the idea but it’s too work intensive at the moment - I might aim creating this for my next Anniversary.
I’m wary of doing give aways because of the various rules about doing them. I thought it wasn’t allowed on Patreon.
Sounds like a lovely concept. Patreon suggests you charge 3x price of producing and shipping the item, so I think $10+ for a printed poster. You’ll lose money sending them to everyone won’t you?
I’m having difficulty wrapping my mind around the hierarchical tier schema. Right now I have just 1 level starting at 1 dollar. What if someone doesn’t have 5 dollars or 10 dollars to donate every month? I don’t want to discriminate against them. But with that said, I’m having this sense that the special offer promotion will work better if you implement multiple tier levels. I’m stuck, I don’t know what to do.
So far I have sent all my patrons hand-made posters in decorated envelopes + an individual thank you youtube video. Of course they don’t realize they get these things when they sign up, but it makes for a nice surprise. If I make tiers, I fear I will lose that element of surprise.
What to do?
I’m currently on tour around North America, and I’m a big fan of tacky postcards from random roadside attractions.
I’m thinking about adding a bonus to one of my tiers that’ll give me the excuse to pick up batches of these weird postcards, write a quick note and maybe a drawing of a cyborg-dinosaur or ninja-owl (fun little doodles I sometimes jot into books while signing them, if I have the time) and sending them to folks along the way.
It looks like it’ll cost about $1.25 to send a postcard just about anywhere in the world from the US, and a lot of these postcards cost $1-2 apiece. It would be smart to add this to my $10 tier, but I’m of course tempted to do it on a far lower level.
I’m also tempted to make it a regular or semi-regular thing, rather than a one-off. Maybe do it once as a special one-time thing, and figure out how to standardize it (at least while I’m on tour) if it goes well, after that?
Would love to get some feedback on this, in terms of practicality, but also whether it would be interesting to anyone but me