Continuing in the vein of the previous post about the guild website, this post dives into another very important aspect of growing a new guild; recruitment. Recruitment is a complex topic, and one I will probably touch on again at a later date, but here are a few points to mull over…

Recruitment

  • Think about what makes your guild different. What do you have that other guilds don’t? Why should someone join your guild over any other? Maybe you have a casual raiding approach. Maybe you hit content harder and faster than any other guild on the realm. Maybe you only raid 4 hours a week. Maybe you have the realm clown in your guild. In my case, my guild was the only one raiding on the particular times that I selected, and therefore I was uniquely attractive to people in that timezone – and I made sure people knew this. You should not consider having a guild bank, tabard, website, or Vent server as being differentiating factors. Advertising these as special will only make your guild seem laughable.
  • Trade/general chat spam is an interesting tool. Used correctly and sparingly, it can be a great way to get your name out. However, before you go rushing off and creating a 4-line macro and spamming it for hours on end, have a think about the following points:
    • Why are you creating such a macro? Is it just because you’ve seen an endless stream of other guilds do it in the past? Think about whether this is actually a good reason to be doing it yourself.
    • Think about how you felt about such macros prior to creating your guild. In truth, if you’re looking for a guild, they are potentially quite useful. However, your primary goal at this stage is not only to recruit as many people as humanly possible to launch your raid team, but also to get your name out there as a quality raiding guild. If the only way that people know you is as a spammy macro in trade chat, then their first impressions of your guild are not going to be good ones. When you do later become a big successful guild, that impression is going to last, and you’re still going to be thought of as that spammy desperate guild, even though you might now be quite the opposite. Image is everything, and first impressions last.
    • If you are going to create a trade chat macro, keep it short. Don’t mention that you’re new. Mention the guild name, your website, your raid times, and not a lot else. You should also include your differentiating feature in a succinct form, if applicable. Use proper english – no TXT speak. “<The Guild> is recruiting! Raids at 6-10pm server. Visit theguild.com or PST for details. Canadians are people too!” would be an example of a good trade macro. Bonus points if you can make people laugh or get a little interactive conversation happening in response to your ad – as long as the ad itself is kept short. If someone is actually interested, they will either check out your website (which must be useful and accessible, as outlined in the last post), or they will pst you, in which case you have an excellent opportunity to convey the full details that you were going to put in your trade spam originally – only now you’re conveying them to someone who’s actually interested, and not the entire population of trade, most of whom couldn’t give two shits.
    • Not only should you keep your macro short, but don’t spam it every minute for two hours. I’d suggest once per half hour, a maximum of 4 times in an evening – maximum. Make sure it’s during peak time. Remember, the key is to get your name out there (and get a few bites along the way), without coming across as the spammy, desperate new guild.
  • Perhaps the best way of getting your guild name out there in a way that doesn’t come across as spammy and desperate is through various public forums that are available to you.
    • First and foremost, create one in your official realm forums (on forums.worldofwarcraft.com). As with all your threads, keep it regularly updated and bump it every few days.
    • Additionally, create a thread in the Guild Recruitment forum on the official forums. If there are any local gaming forums for your country/region, be sure to check out if they have a guild recruitment thread or forum.
    • Similar to the trade macro, make sure you’re not annoying people by bumping every 5 minutes. Once every few days is plenty.
    • I won’t go into details about content, apart from saying: follow a structure, keep it concise, and mention your website 2 or 3 times. The aim is to drive traffic to your website which you then convert into applications through making it easy to apply.
  • Write down names. Everyone you talk to that shows the slightest bit of interest. Get out a piece of paper, and write down their name. When you’re starting out, you pretty much have to take what you can get. If someone is talking to you from an alt, make sure you find out their main’s name. When I first started, I had a bit of paper that grew to about 20 names. If someone is showing interest, but doesn’t actually fill out an application or pursue your guild further, then wait till they come online, and talk to them. “Hi, it’s ___ from ___, was just seeing if you’d had any further thoughts about joining?”. If they’re not interested, ask them if they have any friends that might be. Be proactive.
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