Soon, Stareable is launching its biggest feature yet: Stareable Enrich, which will allow you to create support tiers so your fans can pay a monthly fee in exchange for bonus and behind-the-scenes content. Additionally, you’ll be able to enable (in tandem or on its own) one-time donations. The following is best practices for setting up monetization on your Stareable page; it’s never too early to start planning your strategy!
1- Decide which method works for you: one time or recurring
You can absolutely enable both one-time donations and repeating payment tiers on your Stareable page. However, these two options are unique and your show and situation may be best suited for one or the other.
Reasons to go with a one-time donation button:
You’re not making more episodes and won’t have much related supplemental content (new or existing) to offer on a tiered system
You don’t have time to dedicate to actively making content for subscribers, but want to give fans a way to monetarily support your show
You’re looking to do a pledge drive or small-scale crowdfunding campaign to raise a lot of funds at once
Reasons to go with membership tiers:
You’re actively (or planning soon to be) uploading episodes
You have a supplementary content plan to offer supporters
You’re willing to make (and have time and access to resources to make) supplementary content for supporters
You are confident you can maintain a regular schedule of posting updates and delivering “rewards”
Again, you can enable both, just make sure you’re doing so thoughtfully!
2- Customizing your donation button
Crafting the donation option has a few different steps to it. First, you have to choose text for the button your supporters will see. Stareable has provided a few preset options, but you can also customize it to give it a little flare! Some things to consider:
- Make sure it’s clear that the button leads to a donation option. No sense trying to trick people.
- Keep with the tone/theme of your series- if your show is set in space, try “rocket fuel fund;” if your show is a comedy, “money please” might be just the ticket.
- If you want to pair your recommended donation amount (we’ll talk about that next) with the text of your button, tell supporters what their cash will buy you. A coffee to get through script editing? A new tripod? A prop or wardrobe? You can always change your button’s name, so maybe keep refreshing the text and amount so people get the sense you’re constantly moving forward.
Your recommended donation amount comes next. Supporters will have the ability to customize this field depending on what they want to give, but to make it easier on everyone, the recommended amount will populate first. The average individual crowdfunding contribution is about $25, but also keep in mind your audience. Do they trend younger, where $10 might feel more possible? Or perhaps you’re targeting 30-somethings who might be comfortable with a number closer to $50? Do some research, poll some fans, and pick what feels best.
Finally, it’s time to craft your thank you message. This will appear once payment has been confirmed, so make sure it’s extra special. Since this is a one-time interaction, definitely include a link to your social media, or a newsletter subscription, or some other place where you can keep in touch! If you’re running a special where you’re giving away a piece of unique, exclusive content to anyone who donates, drop that in here as well! There’s no upkeep if you’re just including a link, which is a great way for everyone to get something!
3- Choose your subscription tier amounts
For now, Stareable only allows two repeating tiers, meaning you can pick two price points and two accompanying levels of access to extra interaction and content to offer supporters. We suggest you choose a small option, between $5-10/month, and an intermediate option, between $10-30/month, to start off, but again, depending on your audience demographics, you may feel more comfortable with different numbers.
Because these are repeating monthly payments, you need to make sure the access offered at each tier is sustainable for you and your team to provide. For smaller tiers, below $10/month, stick with things like “early access” to episodes and other content, since that’s content you’re making and releasing anyways. You can also offer exclusive screenshots and BTS photos, since you’ll likely have quite a few of those floating around.
For higher-priced tiers, you’re going to start wanting to craft a supplemental content strategy, which doesn’t have to be that much work all things considered. We’ve actually put together a list of ideas for supplemental content, broken down by how much work is required for each type, that you can peruse here.
4- Customize your subscription tiers
Name: While you can certainly use the “name” field at the top of your tier to be descriptive about the rewards offered, it’s much more fun if you spice it up a little. Perhaps name each tier what the supporters themselves can be called if they claim those perks, like “Fans” for the low tier and “Super Fans” for the higher one. You can also name your tiers after what you can purchase with the money each month (coffee, props, Adobe Cloud subscription, etc) or after show inside-jokes.
Image: 16:9 aspect ratio recommended. This image should either be an example of the reward associated (a recent episode thumbnail if you’re offering early access, for example), or just a high quality, representative photo from your series to set a tone/theme.
Description: This is where you should explain the what, where, and when of your tiers. What should they expect to receive, where should they expect to receive it (via tier-locked Stareable Updates, via YouTube, via email, etc), and when they should expect to receive it. First/end of the month? The day before new episodes premiere? Quarterly? Whatever you describe here, stick to it or revise. You can always add more later, but if you’re new to a regular reward delivery, start small.
Backer Preferences: If one of your tiers is limited availability, like merch, art commissions, or access to events, you might want to restrict access to a set number so you don’t get overwhelmed. Similarly, you can also choose here whether to showcase the number of subscribers on each tier or not. A total personal preference, so we have no advice there!
Be sure to quality check your tiers before enabling them on your page. It’s a much harder sell to promote a subscription riddled with typos and confusing syntax.
5- Set up a schedule for yourself
If you’ve opted for tiers, you’re now on the hook to deliver your promised what on a regular basis. Stareable is not liable for late or incomplete delivery of reward tiers, so if you forget, that’s on you, and you’re not likely to keep supporters for long if you’re inconsistent. Set up a calendar reminder, or even pre-schedule a Stareable page update so you’re never late. If something is still going to be late as a result, just make sure you’re communicating with your subscribers so they aren’t unpleasantly surprised when their feeds are unexpectedly empty. You’re building a relationship, and you need to take that seriously.