5 Free, Quick and Easy Rewards to Give Your Patrons

5 Free, Quick and Easy Rewards to Give Your Patrons featuring a young smiling woman holding a white and tan dog on her lap.

Photo by Samson Katt: https://www.pexels.com/photo/smiling-african-american-lady-cuddling-with-dog-in-living-room-5256179/

When first starting out with a Patreon account, it can be hard to find rewards to give your paying patrons. Luckily, there’s a simple way to find ideas that will cost you nothing, take very little time and make your patrons super happy. Think of your patrons as friends. What would you share with your friends today? That’s what your patrons want. They want to feel like insiders more than anything else. In fact, if you just deliver that feeling, most won’t care one bit if you never send them physical swag.

Here are five ideas to get you started:

Employ any or all of these on a weekly or daily basis, or anywhere in between.

  1. A short note sharing what you’re working on, how it’s going, what’s challenging, what’s rewarding, etc. Bonus: include a quick candid photo of your workspace at the moment. Are you working from a coffee shop today? Is your cat sitting on your computer mouse or your dog at your feet? (ALWAYS include a cute pet photo when you have it. It’s magical.) Take a quick candid shot and include it with the update.

    Think of it like a journal entry. Keep it light, informal, personal and authentic. Think of it like the kind of text message you’d send a friend. Your patrons want to feel like they’re your friends more than any other reward.
  2. Take requests. If you do the kind of work that’s compatible with taking requests, this is a delightful reward. Artist and comics maker K Lynn Smith used to do a few portraits of patrons’ pets each month. Sometimes she’d make portraits of patrons, themselves. Her fans absolutely loved it.

    If you’re a writer, you could do a flash story (a 100-word story) each week based upon a selected patron suggestion or request, or just using the name of a selected patron.
  3. Post a short video each week sharing what you’re working on and thanking all your patrons by name. Like idea #1, make it light, informal, personal and authentic. If you have a furry office mate, make sure to include them!

    You can think of this video much like a TikTok or YouTube Short. Do a quick POV of your routine in the morning, or your favorite walk in the park to clear your head, or your dog ripping around the dog park like a wingding. It’s worth repeating: patrons want to feel like insiders, like your friends. Give them the kind of content you’d give your friends as rewards. They’ll love it.
  4. Share other creators who inspire you. This is really and truly a gift to your patrons. If they like you, they’d probably like other creators that you like. Share that stuff with them. You’ll be improving their lives and you’ll be improving your fellow creators’ lives to boot. So much Karma!
  5. Share whatever it is that you’re into at the moment. What are you reading? What are you binge-watching on TV? What movie did you just see? What podcast are you addicted to? This is all stuff you’d nerd-out about with your friends, right? It’s fantastic material for a short, chatty post on your Patreon. Ask your patrons what they’re into right now. Get a discussion going.

Your Patreon isn’t just a place to deliver a product. It’s a place to engage with people who like what you do. That’s the beauty of it. Start a conversation with your patrons, because that’s really what they want. Most of the time they’re not there for the swag. They get a little hit of dopamine whenever you engage with them on a real human level. You’ll find engaging with them will give you a little hit of dopamine, too, and much more.

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