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Successful Guild Management


by harper_1618

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GUILDS - I am here today to discuss guild management. Have you ever been to the Neopian Guild HQ in search of a guild? Ever wondered why so many guilds have either gone completely inactive or been deleted completely? The simple answer- there is no easy way to lead a guild. So many people set out with high hopes, having dreams of creating a wonderful, large guild, only to delete it or quit working at it after the first month. Hopefully this article will help those interested in creating a lasting, successful guild, and give some tips and tricks of the trade to recruiting new members, keeping members, and avoiding failure.

First and foremost, you need to brainstorm what kind of guild you wish to create. Make sure it is something you are interested in, something that will continue to hold you interest in the future as well. If you want a big guild, I suggest making it's theme broad (Example: Instead of making a guild centered around one particular band, make a rock music guild instead). If you would rather a small guild, make the theme more limited.

Coming up with a good guild name can be tough. Currently, there is no way to change the name of your guild, so MAKE SURE it is something original and catchy. Since there are already so many "Neo. Fill-in-the-Blank" guilds, why not come up with a more original title for your own? It may indeed help you bring in more members in the future.

Once you have created your guild, you will need some kind of a layout. If you are an expert at CSS or graphics, create your own. If you're not so hot at that kind of stuff, I'd recommend asking around for help. Some people offer pre-made guild layouts. In my experiences, guilds with pre-made layouts do not usually work out, so make an effort to find a new, creative layout for yourself. Make your front page professional. Try to spell check everything you write down, and check for typos. You'll want to make a good first impression on people, and since the layout is usually the first thing people see, be sure to make it inviting for them. You can always go back and change your layout later, too.

The next step (and perhaps the toughest) is recruiting members. So you have a catchy guild name, the best layout ever, now all you need is members. Using the Neoboard Guild Chat is probably your best bet. Let me warn you- advertising on boards other than the Guild Chat probably won't get you any members. In fact, you'll probably succeed only in making people angry at you or even getting a warning for spamming. If you have any Neofriends that are guildless, send them a personalized Neomail asking (not begging) them to join.

Begging people to join won't get you any members. Be polite and personal at the Guild Chat. Don't create long, pre-made advertisements. People looking to join guilds will be more apt to join if you stick around and chat personally with them. I find that posting any pre-written advertisements at all usually don't succeed in people joining your guild. Also, make sure you READ what people are looking for. If someone wants a Baby Neopets guild, and your guild is about Darigan, I wouldn't suggest trying to get them to join your guild. Simply look elsewhere to recruit.

Once you get a few members, there is no time to relax. You must KEEP them in your guild now, and that means being creative, a good listener, and finding council members. Contests are against the Neopets rules, so unless you want your guild frozen, I wouldn't recommend having any. So you are asking, what CAN we do, then?

There is an endless list of activities you could come up with. How about a reading list? Members could suggest books to read and post them on a volunteers petpage. Or what about doing some kind of Round series for the Neopian Times? Or maybe guild roleplaying, or secret avatar help. How about a guild mascot? The possibilities are endless! If you are a particularly uncreative person, you may want to select a good council to work under you.

Selecting an efficient council can be a long process. Let me stress this: Do not select a council member directly after they join the guild. Too many times, I see guildless people demand they have a council position right away, or else they will not join. You need to wait a while (I still haven't selected a final council member after five months, for example) before you select council members. Be observant and see who is active and helpful.... and who isn't. If you feel like you are picking favorites, put up a guild poll and let the members decide who they want to see on the council.

Being a good leader means listening to what your members say. You cannot ignore their requests and feedback. If someone criticizes your guild, you must be able to take it. Arguments do break out in guilds. You must be able to be civil, and not take sides. Good communication will resolve problems. Being friendly is always a plus. Welcome new members to your guild and make sure they know that you want THEM in the guild, not just another number to raise your guild status.

Rules: All stable organizations need a set of rules. The same applies for guilds. You can create a few simple rules, such as being respectful and considerate, or, depending on the theme of your guild, you may wish to be more elaborate, creating rules such as no chatspeak, no short posts, and so on. It's totally up to you, but you'll need at least a few enforced rules.

Private guilds: There is a nifty guild option, and that is making your guild private. This way, only people that you invite can join. People have private guilds for different reasons and the decision to go private is totally up to you.

Things not to do:

Referral programs. Many times, I see people that are advertising say 'If you join, tell the leader that I referred you!'. I find this incredibly disrespectful, and so do most guildless people. It makes it look like all you want are more members, and that you don't care at all about WHO the members are as people. I suggest you not do this.

Pre-made advertisements: I discussed this earlier, but I cannot stress this enough. Pasting some long, pre-made advertisements are rude. Make the time to type out a personal message. If you don't want to take the time to do this, then don't create a guild.

Guilds are hard work to manage. They take time and patience. Don't expect to see a guild bloom and develop overnight. You must be prepared to work your tail off if you want it to be a success. This article has hopefully covered the very basics of successful guild management. I hope it will assist you!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and create your dream guild!

 
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