How Danny O’Dwyer is Using Membership to Run his Video Production Business

 

Danny O’Dwyer has been making internet videos with his friends since before YouTube was popular. It all started as a means to an end for landing a job at his favorite video game website, GameSpot UK. While the video making eventually got Danny his dream job, it also gave him something he wasn’t expecting: his own enthusiastic fan base.

Years later, Danny’s amazing relationship with his fans guided him to launch his own business, allowing him full creative freedom.

“My fans are the only reason anything of mine exists. Much of my career in the games press was spent making things that management didn’t think would work, but having my decision justified by passionate fans. To have hundreds of thousands of people give me the thumbs up while the people around me were shaking their heads, kept me sane. Noclip was my dream, but my fans were the ones that made it a reality. I’m incredibly fortunate to have such a passionate group of people around me. I don’t consider them “fans” to be honest. I feel like we’re all part of a movement, and I’m just the one with the megaphone.”

In 2016, Danny lead his fans to Patreon, announcing that membership would allow his videos to remain ad-free with zero sponsorships from the gaming industry. Within hours of launching, Danny was one of Patreon’s highest earning creators. Now with over 4,000 patrons and $21,800 a month, Danny is building his empire as a video game journalist.

You might be wondering how Danny got 4,000 fans on board. The answer lies in the special experiences Danny has chosen to share with his fans. Here are some of the ways that Danny is rewarding his patrons and inviting them to take part in his creative business.

How Danny O’Dwyer is using Membership to Run his Video Production Business

Community

Danny offers two rewards that support his community and bring him closer to his patrons. The first of these rewards is a Patron-only Discord Chat. Discord is a thriving community chat platform for gamers. Danny found perfect use for Patreon’s Discord chat integration and created a space for his fans to all join in conversation with him, and with each other. For $3 a month, patrons can participate in this exclusive community.

“Enabling my patrons to chat with me directly via the Discord chat is an incredibly powerful tool for keeping me in contact with the people who matter the most to this project. But much more than that, it encourages patrons to communicate with each other. Allowing the bonds of our community to strengthen, even when I’m away somewhere on a shoot or fast asleep after a long day streaming.”

The second community reward that Danny offers is a monthly Google Hangout. For $20 a month, patrons receive access to speak with Danny face-to-face. This is a great way to reward higher paying patrons with a very intimate experience that isn’t available to the public. Again, this reward is all about Danny building meaningful relationships with his patrons.

Exclusive Bonus Content

Danny offers a variety of bonus content to his patrons. Just as one would subscribe to Netflix for their favorite TV show, Danny’s patrons subscribe for bonus, exclusive content. Each of the following rewards provide a look into Danny’s creative process that wouldn’t otherwise be seen by the public:

1. Exclusive making-of videos: Offered to his $5 patrons, Danny creates behind-the-scenes videos that reveal what it’s really like to be on a shoot.

2. Q+A videos: Every few weeks, Danny collects questions from his patrons and films a video of himself answering them. This is an amazing reward for any creator because it doesn’t take much extra work to plan, and patrons get personalized answers to their burning questions.

3. Pre-release unedited content with deleted scenes: This reward is only offered to Danny’s $10 patrons. These videos are released as “early-access” a week before Danny releases the content to the public, and include unedited scenes that might be cut out for the final cut. This is a fantastic reward option for film creators because, not only is it a privilege for patrons to receive the content before it’s released, but it’s natural step in the creative process along the way to a final product.

“And while the public enjoyed those {videos}, our amazing patrons got access to much more. Behind-the-Scenes features showing how we produced each project. Early access to all of our popular extended cut interviews with people like Hugo Martin and Mick Gordon. Not to mention all of the amazing conversations we’ve had on our Discord chat, and bunches of Q&A videos and Hangouts. We’re building a community here at Noclip, and we want you to be part of it.”

Name in Credits

Displaying the name of a patron on a work of art is an age-old tradition, dating all the way back to the Medici era. Now, in the world of digital media, highlighting patrons is still hugely lucrative for creators.

Danny lists the names of his $30 patrons near the top of the closing credits in his videos. When a patron’s name appears in the credits of Danny’s videos, it’s displayed to thousands of fans in the game community who follow Danny on YouTube. It’s a chance for Danny’s top fans to declare their commitment to his creative productions.

“Let’s preserve gaming’s history. Let’s make entertaining docs about games. Let’s educate young designers and players. I truly believe that together we can change games coverage forever. I’m excited to have you on this journey with me. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.”

Want to say hey? Reach out to Danny here:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Danny O’Dwyer on Patreon

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