Online communities may vary depending on the type of community that is being run; it could be one started by someone who wants to rescue animals or a group that collectively decides on the next book they want to read together. Whatever it be, a community leader has the responsibility of bringing people together and instilling a strong sense of unity in them.
For those of you that want to gain support through their community, giving out rewards that mean something to your fans would motivate them to join the membership plan. Do remember that the perks you offer your community members would be highly dependent on what your community is based on. A group that was formed to help out the poor would not have the same dynamics as that of a gaming community.
Reward Ideas for Community Leaders
1. Access to your community
Your followers have rallied around you for a reason – they want to support you and the work you are doing. When you create an exclusive community that can be accessed by being a paid member, this ensures that all the unnecessary noise and trolls are kept out, leading to a superior user experience. You could either give full community access or give tiered access depending on the membership fees they pay.
One of the perks you could give your members is regular Q&A sessions, where they get to ask you about your personal life, or the work you do. This is one of the easiest ways you can convert supporters into paying fans. Those backers that pay a larger sum could be given early access to the content you put up.
Another benefit that you could also offer your community members would be the right to vote. Depending on the type of group, the polling matter would vary significantly. It could be on the design of the next merchandise you sell, or the topic you could cover in the next session.
You could also give the higher paying members priority in certain services. For example, you could give more priority to their questions for the Ask Me Anything (AMA) meetings or give precedence to the things they want from you.
2. Bonus Material
This is going to be dependent on the type of content you provide. If you have footage of the behind-the-scenes of any of the content you produce, you could give that as a reward. For example, the community that specializes in rescuing animals could give out updates on them. It doesn’t have to be the same thing that you do regularly, just something easy and fun.
If you are in the field where information keeps changing (stock exchange, for example), or have data on matters that are valuable for your supporters, you could be sending out action alerts and updates on the same. You could either choose to do it daily or weekly (example: news, sales and discounts). Then again, you could send out newsletters with essential facts and figures to your members.
3. In-Store Products, Digital Goods and Personalised Letters
If you have merchandise, you could give it away to a select few members or give a discount code. For those that don’t have any products, sending out letters to the most dedicated fans (but only to a limited number of people) would strengthen the connection you have with your fans.
4. Webinars, Live Chats, and Courses
If you are not particularly interested in having a Q&A, you could always try arranging for a live chat session with your fans. This would provide you and your followers with a more laid back environment where you can just talk about stuff in general.
If you happen to be a subject matter expert in your field, you could also host webinars, which only a certain tier group can attend. Your knowledge could be invaluable to many of your supporters, and could also lead to an increase in pledges.
While we are on the subject of webinars, if you have any material that can form a part of a course, you could offer that to your followers. It could be a one-off lesson of your fans’ choice, or you could also opt for one-on-one tutoring.
5. Fan Appreciation
Quite often people tend to support those they follow monetarily for the feel-good factor. So a show of appreciation, even a simple thank you can do wonders for your community member’s morale.
You could have a supporter hall of fame if you have a website. Conversely, you could also post it on your group’s page. If you have a podcast or a video show, you could give a shout-out or display their name in your content description. You could also tweet them or tag them in one of your social media posts.
6. The VIP Treatment
For those superstars that have outdone every expectation you have had of your fans, you may have to go all out yourselves. You could opt for an in-person visit with a few people that can tag along. If the fan doesn’t live in a location from where he can meet you in person, you could also offer to Skype them and have a long heartfelt conversation. You can come up with a number of other unique ideas for these special fans.
You might be hesitant to go for sponsors, but it might be worthwhile and can be explored by certain types of community leaders. As long as your work remains impartial, there shouldn’t be any issue pursuing this route.
Hopefully, this curated list helps you either to implement a few of the ideas or inspires you to try new things with your followers.