On my Patreon donation page, the reward I have set for a pledge of $30 or more will get the pledger a 15-minute Skype video chat with me. At first, I was a little apprehensive about this, because contrary to what some may think, I'm very awkward talking to people - especially new people. Plus, I wasn't even sure if I would get any donations for that amount.
I have gotten three pledges that included a Skype call, thusfar, and I have to say - I'm VERY glad I did it! ^_^
My first call was with Connie and her husband last week - which was a cool conversation with two very funny and sweet people :) We had messaged back and forth on Facebook a few times, and they had sent me some things - but it wasn't until the Skype call that I felt like I really connected with them. I'm a visual person, and when I only know someone on the basis of text exchange, it doesn't go as deep as it should with me for wanting to really feel friend-y with someone. So seeing them as actual real people on a screen in front of me, and being able to banter back and forth in real time... wow.
I did my other two Skype calls today, and I very much enjoyed them! First, I talked to Reanna, who I learned is an accounting teacher at a college. It's strange to think that I was actually a little surprised to learn that about one of my viewers. That's exactly what I mean about how much of a difference the video chatting makes vs. messaging... I never would have thought that someone so normal (in a good way, lol) would be a fan of my videos. I'm very happy to have met and talked with Reanna, and learn about her as a person - not just as a LeahMouse viewer behind a screen.
My second call today was with Roy (aka "Jester"). I very much enjoyed talking with him. It was funny because we were both nervous, as we both lack certain social skills - but we managed nicely, I think :) There were only a few awkward silences and they passed quickly, lol. But I found myself very intrigued by his personality and ended up asking him more questions about himself than he had to ask about me. He'd messaged me on Facebook before, but I wasn't able to reply...so I'm very happy that I could connect with him on a more personal level - actually see his happy smile and hear his voice.
At first I thought that the Skype reward would mostly be beneficial to my viewers, because they would get the opportunity to talk with and ask me things one-on-one, but I'm thinking it actually might be doing more for me, instead. It's giving me a chance to actually SEE these people and interact with them and get to know them, rather than just reading their comments on YouTube. I like being able to put faces and voices and personalities to the people who watch my videos. It makes me feel much more connected with my audience, and is bringing a new passion to what I want to put into my videos - for them.
It's one thing to just make videos, upload them, and sit back and be like, "Yeah...34,000 people in the world know who I am," but when I can say, "...and hey...I know some of them, too!", then that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that has had me smiling more than ever :)
I wish I had the time to just sit and Skype with anyone and everyone who wanted to - but alas, I don't. But I think having the opportunity open as an affordable Patreon reward will give me (and them) the chance to really get to know each other without that pesky internet buffer. I'm really excited to meet and talk with more people, so I really hope that more people choose that pledge - not even for the money...but so that I can really connect with more of my viewers in this way. I want to know them and hear what they have to say and learn about them. I'm excited to see who else I will get to meet, and I look forward to getting to know everyone that I can ^_^