Discord is a platform that’s probably best known to gamers.
Its text and voice interface makes it easy for gamers to communicate with each other during a session, helping teams coordinate or get together and chatting about strategy.
However, although Discord is still a favorite gaming tool, it has started to see much wider usage.
Not only is Discord a gamers app, but it’s also a community app with a range of features and functions that are helping to increase the platform’s popularity.
Discord is a platform that some people turn to when they need more flexibility and more functionality, or even just different functionality.
Many also turn to Discord when they want to monetize their social media following.
The platform has much to offer, but most creators with a social media following still haven’t ventured onto the platform yet.
So, we’ve created this beginner’s guide on how Discord works, and how you can make it work for your personal brand or business.
👇Want to listen to the audio version instead? Check out the Clubhouse Replay now👇
What Is A Discord Server?
Discord is accessible via a website or an app you will need to download.
Download the Discord app if you need to, set up an account, and you’re in…you have your very own Discord server.
A discord server is very much like a group or page that you will find on Facebook.
You get to customize your server to an extent, invite who you like, set your own rules, and so on.
So far, it probably sounds just like a typical social media group.
But it does get more interesting.
Discord has two main types of channels: Text and voice.
You can add different channels on different topics so people can talk about specific topics, either verbally or through text.
So if, for example, your discord server is focused on digital marketing, you can set up channels on specific digital marketing topics such as PPC, Facebook ads, and so on.
Check out the image below to see some of the topics we set up in our Gary Club Discord server.
As you can see we created topics like mental health, crypto, metaverse, food, books, marketing, and of course we had to add a meme channel for a little humor.
You can also have a lounge channel where people get together for a casual chat about anything they like - whatever kind of topic you want to set up, you can.
In a sense, a Discord channel is very much like an individual Facebook group on a specific topic, so, in a sense, your server is an easy place to access different groups on specific topics.
The beauty of it is that you still get to keep all of your members in one place instead of having to manage them over numerous accounts.
Discord also offers another specific type of channel, which is very worthy of a mention - stage channels.
Stage channels are voice channels where only selected members can speak, and everybody else in the audience.
There are two categories of people who can speak.
Speakers: Speakers are the people who will be holding the discussion. It could be an individual speaking to the group or several people having a conversation amongst themselves.
Stage Moderators: Stage moderators are the people who will help to manage the event. They are in charge of functions such as controlling who is allowed to participate, etc.
Other members can listen in only unless they are invited to speak by a stage moderator.
The ability to let the audience speak by invitation lets the audience ask questions, encouraging an interactive format.
Some of you might be thinking that this sounds just like a seminar. Those who have might also have thought that you can monetize seminars.
Hold that thought!
Discord roles are where things start to get really interesting and lead to monetizing your community.
Roles are similar to moderator and admin settings in Facebook groups in that the people who hold those roles have access to certain permissions and functions that others don’t.
Such features include the ability to restrict other peoples’ memberships, the ability to mute other people, and so on.
Where it starts to get REALLY interesting is that people with particular roles also get access to specific channels.
Different Discord channels can effectively be locked, or gated, only allowing access to people who belong to particular roles.
It is behind these channels that you can place your premium content. Your stage channels, (or Discord webinars) can also be behind a gated channel.
Or, if you’re somewhat of a guru in your field, members can get direct access to you in one of these exclusive channels.
How To Monetize Discord
Related Post: What are Creator Coins?
The ability to keep premium content behind gated channels is the main incentive behind monetization on Discord.
People can pay you to get access to more content on your discord server.
Not only that, but you can also set up your own shop on your discount channel, selling products like merchandise, eBooks, or even your own cryptocurrency.
You can also assign roles to people who purchase products from your shop, encouraging them to purchase your goods with the incentive of more access to the premium content on your server.
If you sell your own cryptocurrency, for example, people get access to increasingly exclusive channels the more cryptocurrency they buy.
As an example, I gate many of my Discord channels with my cryptocurrency $GARY COIN.
You can view all $GARY COIN details and uses at rally.io.
Of course, monetization doesn’t always have to be direct – it doesn’t always have to mean giving people access to certain channels or permission in exchange for money.
For example, you can use gated channels as an incentive for people to sign up to lead magnets.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, you can use gated channels on your discord server to build a database of warm leads.
There’s no limit to what you can do, provided you have something of value that people are willing to give something for in exchange.
Create A Community
Although direct monetization is obviously a clear benefit, it shouldn’t be the only goal.
Otherwise, you might be wasting opportunities presented by features that help you to grow a loyal community.
Not only can Discord members chat with each other, but they can also speak directly with each other, helping to bring people closer together.
Your community doesn’t have to be strictly about business, either.
You could also consider channels where people get to chat about sports or share their favorite music, food, or health.
By creating a place where people want to be, you can create a whole community around your business or your products.
If you’re a coach, you can have an entire community of people interested in what you can teach them.
If you’re a marketing guru, you can have a community of marketers that are in your community and not just for you but also for each other.
As your community grows, word will get around, and more people will join.
Why Not Get Started?
Discord is easy to use, and it’s just as easy to take advantage of its many features.
What’s even better is that it’s free to set up your own Discord server so you can start experimenting with the features before you take the plunge.
The platform is an ideal replacement for other social media groups if you need more (or different) functionality, while it can also complement your existing groups.
One thing for sure is that if you can build a healthy Discord community, it can do wonders for your business or personal brand in addition to monetization from the community itself.