Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face – Victor Hugo
For those of you that have the flair to make others laugh, being a comedian (either as an individual or performing skits) is a calling from heaven. And if you have a large fan following that has unfailingly watched your shows (live or on any platform), they could help you achieve financial independence. To convince more fans to support your art, offering them a wide range of rewards would sweeten the deal. Read on to know more.
Reward Ideas for Comedians to Offer Their Fans
1. Community Access
One of the easiest to set up, granting your fans community access is a preferred way to stay connected with your followers. Since they have a common interest (aka you and your work), they would love the camaraderie they can share with other like-minded fans. Moreover, you also provide them (and yourselves) a safe and chill environment that will not be invaded by trolls and people that may not understand your humour.
You could offer equal access to all levels of supporters, or create multiple tiers based on their membership fee. Another perk that you can offer your fans would be voting rights on the next topic to cover in your sketch.
2. Bonus Content
If your audience love your content, they would love to watch more of what you do. If you are a stand-up comedian, you could put up behind the scenes footage of the live shows that you do, or collaborate with other comedians to make a special premium show. Both you and your collaborator would see a spike in the number of new followers… which will result in more paid supporters.
If you are a group, the bonus content that you provide your fans would look a lot different. You could either upload bloopers of the most recent shows, or make a video with all the cast and crew guiding the viewers through the creative process. You could also collaborate with another group, but this will require a lot more planning on everyone’s part.
3. Fan Recognition
Having been a part of this industry would have given you an idea about the importance of your fans during the initial stages. Being thankful for their support is a lovely way to acknowledge them.
For the mid-range tiers, you could tag them on a post or a tweet, or mention them in the end credits. Giving a shout-out to those fans that are present in a live show, or calling them on stage would grant them bragging rights for life. For comedy sketches, you could use their names as characters in your play.
4. Fan Participation
This is a perk that will directly affect your work – so offering it to the higher-paying fans would be ideal. You could Skype them and discuss the points that you would be covering in your next routine. For all you know, your followers could surprise you with some funny quips that you could incorporate in your next stand-up. Giving them recognition would cement the admiration that your fans have for you.
Those of you that make plays and sketches, you could either invite them to a brainstorming session over the details of the next sketch or have them join in as extras.
5. Live Chats, Ask Me Anything (AMA), Hangouts, and Live Meetups
Grant your backers a chance to be able to speak with you either via live chat or host Q&A sessions occasionally. This would require you to commit a lot more of your time, but the connections that you can create with your fans will strengthen your bond. You could also host a live Hangout session with the higher paying supporters. For the highest sponsors, you could have them come and meet you in person (if this is possible).
If your brand resonates with a lot of people and your fans love your merch, sending out free merch to a certain tier of fans would work out in the long run. You could gift it to those fans that have just joined or upgraded to a higher level, or give them hefty discounts on the product of their desire.
Moreover, if you don’t have any merchandise, a handwritten note can also be a treasured artefact for your followers. For the higher paying bracket, you could also mail them the tickets to the next show if it is happening in their city.
7. One-on-One Tutoring
The expertise that you would have of the comedy circuit will be a huge boon for up and coming comedians. Providing tutoring sessions as a perk will have a few takers that would want to know how to break into and thrive in this cutthroat industry.
Your experience as a group can also be leveraged as a reward for your supporters. You could show the ins and outs of backstage settings, on how the writers come up with new ideas for the next episodes, or just the motivation to keep going in the face of adversities that you face collectively.
8. Sponsorship /Patronage
Getting sponsorship is a lucrative approach to getting a steady income. If you are confident that your sponsors would not affect the direction or tone of your comedy, then it could also ease up on your worries of generating revenue through memberships.
Keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for implementing these ideas – try various combinations and check what works with your audience.