Why Isn't Anyone Joining My Guild?
A number of times I have entered the guild boards to find hopeless guild leaders
posting the question "why isn't anyone joining my guild?" While the answer is
in part due to the advertising techniques of the guild leader and in even larger
part due to the poor quality of their guild set up (in comparison to their "successful"
guilds of Neopia), I will, in this article, attempt to explore the former of these
issues. Hopefully, with this article, my readers will become more effective recruiters
and act as a catalyst for the growth of their guild.
The actual words that you use to advertise your guild are very important.
Including the link in your ad is always helpful and makes the guild easily accessible.
Despite what some people may say, pre-made ads are definitely a good way to
go. I have found that the most effective pre-made is in list form, with the
link to the guild at the bottom. Big advertisements in paragraph form, while
seemingly creative and thoughtful, are often overlooked by the average guild
searcher. Many just want to see things simple and straight forward. Now, what
about those Neopians who suggest that the advertiser not post pre-mades? Well,
post the link, the guild name and add a few comments of your own. In fact it
is most effective if you post a few personal comments with every advertisement.
If the searcher is asking for an “active and friendly guild,“ be sure to mention
your great members and say how active they are. Now, you should not lie. If
your guild is new and is NOT active, but you come across a person who is looking
for an active guild, be sure to tell them that, while your guild does not offer
what they are searching for at the moment, the guild could have it in the future:
“All we need is more members like you!”
Say the guild searcher writes:
“Post here if your guild is well developed. New guild welcome as long as they
are willing to give me a spot on council! Also, if not new, I’d rather be in
a guild that is active, has 1np auctions, newbie packs, etc.”
To this you may respond:
“My guild is relatively new, and while I can’t promise council yet... we do
have council open and will be chosen at 20 members (we are at 17 right now).
We are active and do offer newbie packs.” This would be followed by a copy &
paste ad and link.
It is much better to tell your potential member exactly how it is at your
guild, and then hint at what it could be (most effective in brand new guilds).
While it may seem that you may be turning the guildless away by stating what
you do not have to offer, you are actually being honest and providing a more
friendly tone to your advertisement, not to mention performing the once-thought
impossible: making your pre-made advertisement unique!
Note: Obviously don’t lie about what it could be either. This strategy is most
effective when the guild leader is advertising, for they already know what they
have in mind for the future of the guild.
If you are creating your own board to advertise your guild be sure to write
the name of your guild and some characters or smilies in the topic to make your
name stand out. For boards you made you most likely only need to post your pre-made,
and perhaps a little more in other posts to keep your board bumped up (avoid
Greater Power in Numbers
Now that you know what to write, the question is how to write it. By this
I mean, what techniques are best for getting your advertisement out there? If
you are advertising alone it is best to have more than one window open. Try
one window open for making your own board advertising the guild and then another
one open to refresh and look for new “guildless” boards. I myself like to have
three windows open: two for making my own advertising boards and maintaining
If you already have members in your guild and they happen to be on, invite
them to advertise with you. The more people you have advertising, the more people
will notice your guild. You can also start advertising boards where your members
can gather and chat while at the same time attracting attention to your guild.
These stay at the top of the guild boards longer than boards created by individuals
and also show that your guild is active.
It’s the Leader’s Job
The guild leader cannot depend on its members to advertise. While offering
incentives to members who advertise is a nice way to get their members to help
in the effort, it should be the leader’s responsibility to make sure that people
are referring, and, above all, refer with their members, and then some. Too
often, leaders think that once they get a few members that they no longer have
to refer. However, the leader should constantly refer until they have reached
a guild member count they are satisfied with. No one knows the guild like the
leader, and that advantage attracts more members.
Have you ever seen those boards where the topic is something like “guildless...”
and you enter thinking the person is looking for a guild, only to find an advertisement
and a taunting statement “I got you to come in.” I have frequently seen this
scenario (or something to that effect) played out on the guild boards. The fact
is, this is not an effective way of advertising. The only people you get to
come to those type of boards are those who already have guilds. These people
obviously like their guilds enough to be advertising them, so very rarely will
you get members with this “guildless” act.
Also, try to avoid posting your advertisement on boards started by other guild
advertisements. While it may get you members, it just annoys the original poster.
If a guildless user neomails you saying that they are considering joining
your guild but they want to check out their other guilds first, be nice to them.
Say “take your time,” and maybe start a conversation (as long as you are not
annoying them). Your kindness may help them make their final decision and draw
them towards your guild.
Keeping the Members
Whenever you advertise make sure you have a window open to your guild message
board. There should always be someone on the guild boards when a new member
joins. Good members want to see that the guild is active. If there is not anyone
on to greet them, the potential active member is more likely to leave shortly
after joining. Some guild leaders have also been known to send neomails welcoming
new members as they come in. This is a great tool to utilize when looking to
make your new members active, and at the same time make them feel some obligation
to their new guild. Mention to the new member that you cannot wait to see them
on the guild boards some time if they have not posted already, thank them for
joining, and direct their attention to the major activities of the guild and
where to find them. This early neomail will not only get them well acquainted
with the guild, but also, perhaps, make them less likely to leave so soon (if
they were to have any doubt to begin with).
Remember, referring the members is half the battle; while this article may
help you with your referring techniques, nothing beats a nice looking guild
with tons of activities! So make those guilds beautiful, happy referring, and