Did you know Discord is actually a powerful tool to actively grow your following and create a more engaged community while you are at it?
For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Discord is a messaging app that allows users to create their own groups (called servers) to chat with text, voice, video and memes about literally anything.
Among an infinite number of use cases, gamers use it to organize play sessions and chat during matches, entire fandoms use it to chat about their favorite shows, and programmers use it to send code back and forth to one another for projects.

Discord also lets you make a server private, which is great for selective community curation, and even better for creators, as you can connect with exclusively your fans and supporters to create a digital community solely centered around your work to really push it to the next level.
In short, a private Discord server is a really cool Extra to offer your fans as a perk for supporting you on Buy Me a Coffee.
However, because Discord is such a fluid and flexible platform with over 130 million users, the possibilities are endless, and can be a little overwhelming, for creating your group of engaged fans. So, here are some pro tips to get you started.

Try To Consolidate Preexisting Groups

First things first, before you create a new Discord server, you have to survey the landscape.
Because the Discord user base is so large, it is entirely possible that someone somewhere has created a server about you or your content. If this is the case, there are some really cool opportunities here to promote your new server while thanking fans for furthering a discussion about your work.
To get started, do a Google search for “[insert your name here] Discord server” and see what pops up. Some Discord servers aren’t listed, so you may need to do a little deeper dive by messaging your supporters or putting it out there in a video or social media post, but do your best to see if there are any related Discord servers you can join.
if you’re lucky enough to have engaged fans who have created a Discord server to talk about you and your work, make sure to engage and chat with your fans for a bit before putting in a plug about your new server.
Thank them, laugh at the memes, enjoy this moment. It’s a great thing to have fans this enkindled.

Building Tiered Communities As A Perk


Now that you have checked in with any fan-run Discords, you can get around to creating your very own.
Even though creating your own server is super simple, there a few things to remember to maximize value for both you and your fans.
A Discord server is made up of channels. Those channels can be either for text or voice chat, depending on how they are set up. Effectively, these channels are chat rooms that allow you, as the creator to guide, to guide the conversation therein by naming, describing and nudging them appropriately.  
A few suggestions for starter channels might be a general chat channel, something related to upcoming content that you are releasing, a meme or joke channel, and maybe a voice chat channel to let folks get to know each other outside of standard text chat.
With Buy Me a Coffee, you can go a step further and create premium private channels for your superfan supporters and offer access through perks, and that is a great way to keep your community engaged while offering a different level of access that can mean a lot to your fans.
Some examples for premium channels could be for a personal voice chat with you, links to early access of upcoming content, live stream events that you put on for your superfans, or even a gaming chat for a few games of Among Us with the crew.
These unique experiences really create value for your fans and, beyond building a connection with you, make them glad they chose to support your work.

Promoting Superusers to Moderator Roles

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Once your Discord gets up and running, it is unlikely that you will have time to spend hanging around in the server 24/7.
However, it is important to make sure folks are following basic ground rules, and this is where moderators comes into play.
Moderators are essentially the governing body of a Discord server and act to maintain order and limit troll activity. They can delete offensive or off-topic chat, ban server members, and even serve as community managers to get conversations flowing in the chat.
Unfortunately, even with solid curation of your Discord community, it is possible that you can have some bad apples in the crowd. In these cases, it is not uncommon to see bullying, hate speech, or to have folks posting gross content in the chat. This takes away from everyone’s experience and can even cause fans to leave your Discord. Moderators can help limit with these bad moments and are essential to building a bigger server.
So, who is going to be your moderator?
Have you noticed a fan hanging around the Discord a lot more than the other users? Maybe there’s a group of them? Approach them and ask if they would like to moderate the server when you are not around. Chances are pretty good they will say yes and then you can work out what being a moderator means for them and any extra perks they might get for moderating successfully.
Great moderators are key for keeping an online community running smoothly, so make sure you take your time in picking the right ones.

Upgrade to Nitro

If you want to spend a little bit of money every month to really upgrade the overall experience for everyone in your server, you can spring for a Discord Nitro membership. For just $9.99/month or a discounted yearly rate, you get a ton of value for everyone who uses your Discord server and it’s a great way to keep things fun and interesting.
For server owners, you get 2 server boosts, which, if you use both of them on your own server, unlock the following:

  • 100 custom emoji slots to pack with relevant community memes and other inside jokes.
  • 256 kbps audio for voice calls, which really ups the audio fidelity.
  • 1080p/60fps live streaming for live shows, video game streams, or whatever you’d like to showcase to your fans.
  • A custom server banner space to really boost the aesthetic.
  • 50 MB upload limit for all server users, which means more bandwidth for your fans to share what inspires them.

Can you get by without a Discord Nitro membership? Yes, but if your Discord community is really moving, it is definitely worth the price tag.

Get Verified

Finally, this may not apply to you just yet, but if you already have a strong following, you may qualify for Discord verification. Basically, this means your server is the real deal and, if someone is looking for your server and happens to run into some fan-run knockoffs, it will help limit confusion.
Plus, you get some increased value for your server. Verified Discord servers get access to higher quality voice chats, and you get indexed publicly, so your fans can find your servers directly through Discord.
Applying for verification doesn’t cost anything, but Discord does have a fairly stringent set of criteria for who can and cannot be verified, so check out their article about this before you waste any time applying.

Great Examples

Wall Street Yoda is a day trader extraordinaire who uses Buy Me a Coffee to get support from his community for his sharp stock market insights, trading tips, and content geared around making his followers big returns on stocks and options trading. We think he does a great job of leveraging all that Buy Me a Coffee has to offer.
When you support Wall Street Yoda on BMC, you get early access to free content and members-only content. You also get access to a private Discord server with daily stock tips on options plays, stocks to watch, and other incentives that make supporting him as a creator much more enticing.
While we are not financial experts when it comes to the stock market, we can tell you for sure that Wall Street Yoda does a great job of connecting with his community by using a private Discord server accessed through Buy Me a Coffee to grow a more supportive community and connect with his fans!

Have Fun

Overall, Discord is a great place to engage with your fans and curate a stronger community. The world is packed with creators who do not engage with their fans in a genuine and meaningful manner, so when you do just that, it goes a long way toward engendering goodwill and good vibes with your supporters.