It’s June. Comic Con International is only weeks away. Many of your readers are going to be out of school and enjoying summer. And maybe your own kids are, too. There’s a lot to get to, so let’s get cracking.
ComicLab Ep 86: What do you want to be remembered for?
This episode of ComicLab is sponsored by Wacom! In this week’s show, the guys talk about the long paths they took to become full-time cartoonists. Then, they look at the importance of livestreaming, and share some tips on doing that well. […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
ComicLab Ep. 85: A typical day in the studio
Today’s show is sponsored by Wacom! Cartoonists Brad Guigar and Dave Kellett are talkin’ comics. The guys talk about how their drawing styles evolved, and then detail what a typical day in their studios looks like. Next, they talk about strategies […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Social media shifted — did you?
Social media undoubtedly changed the landscape of digital publishing. It has taken the focus away from individual websites, and it moved the game to a small handful of of hubs — with Twitter and Facebook being the largest. But in doing […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Comic Lab: Launching a webcomic for the very first time
This episoide of ComicLab is sponsored by Wacom! Now that Dave Kellett is settled in from his trip to San Diego for Comic Con International, so it’s time for Brad Guigar and him to get down to answering some listener questions! […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
Coming soon: Patreon’s Post Dashboard
NOTE: This feature is currently in beta, so you may not have access to it yet. Following on the heels of its unveiling of multi-image posting, Patreon is currently beta-testing another feature sure to please webcartoonists: Performance stats for individual […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
ComicLab Ep 82: Dave’s Comic Con recap
This episoide of ComicLab is sponsored by Wacom! Dave Kellett has returned from San Diego, after spending a week exhibiting at Comic Con International, and he brought stories and analysis with him. In today’s show: Dave and Brad remember the first […] ↓ Read the rest of this article...Read more
August To-Do List
We’re well into the second half of the year, believe it or not. Now’s a great time to start planning the rest of your 2019.Read more
Kraken Print is a company that handles print projects for indie creators. They act as a conduit between publishers and printers. Only, recently, there’s been less and less “go” in their go-between functions. Here’s what you need to be aware of before you place an order…The content you are trying to access is only available to members.
This week on ComicLab, Brad and Dave discuss…
- When doing a Kickstarter for a product that hasn’t been started yet, what should the visuals be?
- Would you still do a comic — even if nobody was reading it?
- Longform story advice
- The best posting schedule
- Leveraging readers from your old project to your new one.
But first, Dave discover’s Brad’s first comic strip. “Googar.”
Dave Kellett attended Comics Camp, an event hosted by Alaska Robotics, and he’s back — filled to the brim with joy and enthusiasm — from this annual retreat/comic convention. You can get on an e-mailing list for next year’s event here. He shares stories from the week, including:
- Ursaphobic Stan Lee
- Classes taught by fellow cartoonists
- The importance of play in revitalizing an adult’s creativity
- Anonymously sharing income sources
- Dissatisfaction and Imposter Syndrome occur at all levels of success
- Dave Malki, Scott C., and Dave Kellett… out-of-sync snoring
- “You’re kinda like a Comics Dad!”
- Re-evaluating happiness after bring offline for four days.
- New projects launched that weekend.
This post originally ran in May 2018. I’ve added updated analysis near the end.
I hated Bonjoro.
I discovered it during a Patreon video conference, Hang Time. They were pushing it hard, and I decided to give it a shot.
Bonjoro is an app that you can pair with Patreon to enable you to record a personalized greeting when a new backer makes a pledge. (You can also pair Bonjoro with other services such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Slack, MailChimp and Stripe.) It works like this:
- Backer pledges to your Patreon account
- You get a notification on your Bonjoro app
- You record a greeting to the person
- You have a “Call To Action” button on the bottom that you can use to link wherever you want
- Send the video greeting and you’re done
Interesting? Sure. But when I tried it out, I found that I couldn’t stand the way I looked. I sounded dumb. And I couldn’t imagine that anything could be worth this amount of trouble. On top of that, the app costs $20 per month.
I didn’t like it at all. In fact, I ridiculed it on ComicLab.
Then something happened…
He was talking to me.
I felt special. I felt important. I felt significant.
And — in an instant — I got it.
Video is powerful. And personalized video is doubly so.
But still… was it worth $20 a month? I was doubtful.
However, my ComicLab co-host, Dave Kellett, was intrigued. So he linked Bonjoro to the ComicLab Patreon account and began sending out personalized greetings. And, on his first video, a person who had pledged $2 increased their pledge to $10 after seeing the video.
I assured him that this amazing return on investment (R.O.I.) was a fluke.
Then he sent out a second video, and a $2 backer suddenly became a $5 backer.
He immediately paired Bonjoro with his other Patreon accounts — as well as with his Shopify and eBay account. And these videos have encouraged an impressive average of backers and buyers to increasing their buy-in.
Part of the reason Dave was happy with his results was the increased pledges. The other part was a result of the Call-To-Action (CTA) button that Bonjoro enables you to code into the video. You can write a call to action — “buy my book!” — and link to your store, for example.
Dave sent me a copy of the first video he did with the CTA button, and we discussed it.
“I don’t like the message, ‘buy my book,’” I told him.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Everything about this video is friendly. It’s personal. That’s its power,” I said, “But ‘buy my book’ removes the friendliness and turns it into a sales pitch.”
We batted that idea back and forth for a little while, and then it hit me:
“How about instead of making a sales pitch, you give them a special just-for-you discount?”
So Dave’s CTA button became 20% off your next Sheldon book. It linked to a special page on his ecommerce site that automatically added a 10% discount.
By the end of the week, between the increased pledges and the additional sales, he had made enough more than enough money to pay for at least two years of Bonjoro.
That was enough for me. I signed up and immediately started sending out Bonjoro greeting to new Patreon backers featuring a CTA button that offered a discount on items in my estore. I’m still not thrilled with how I look in the recordings, but I’m getting better.
Update: One year later
It’s now one year after this post originally ran, and I’ve used Bonjoro to reach out to every single Patreon backer — for my own Patreon as well as the ComicLab Patreon — as well as every new Webcomics.com subscriber during that time. I remain convinced as its effectiveness in on-boarding new members, establishing a sense of community, and spreading a sense of specialness to becoming a backer/subscriber.
Patreon says that their research show that backers who received a Bonjoro message tended to maintain their pledge for several months longer than those who hadn’t received a video, and my own results don’t offer anything to refute that.
Since this article was originally written, Bonjoro has made several improvements. One of the most important of these, for me, was the ability to easily create several different Call-to-Action buttons to use in different situations. Each of these may be branded distinctly, as well. Currently, I use four
- Discount from the Evil Inc online store / branded Evil Inc
- Discount from the Evil Inc online store / branded Evil Inc After Dark
- Discounted “Webcomics Handbook” eBook / Webcomics.com
- Discounted “Webcomics Handbook” eBook / ComicLab podcast
Message templates, too, have sped up the recording process.
Be sure to set a follow-up notice. You can do this in the desktop version of Bonjoro under Settings / Resend Workflow. Here’s why. The general public on the Internet is very jaded, so when they see a message that you’ve recorded a video “just for them,” they roll their eyes. Several of these go unopened at first. When they get a follow-up message that says, “Just checking you received the video message I recorded for you a few days ago,” they tend to become curious.
When they realize you’ve created a special message just for them? That’s when you’ll (often) get a thank-you message from an amazed backer! I currently have mine set to send a reminder 7 days later.
As far as getting better at recording the videos goes, all I can say is my old stand-by: “It’s hard to get worse at something you do every day.” The more I recorded Bonjoro videos, the more comfortable I became. Today, I can sit down and rattle off a half-dozen of these (if needed) in a few minutes.
*Full disclosure — the links in the post above are affiliate links, so I will get a free credit on Bonjoro if you click them and sign up. However, I would have endorsed Bonjoro with or without the affiliate reward. If this is something you find disagreeable, please click this non-affiliate link to —> Bonjoro.