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Discord For Musicians: The Ultimate Setup & Growth Guide

By Matthew Vultaggio

February 15, 2022

If you want to learn how you can set up, launch, and grow a successful Discord server as a musician, music artist, or creator, I’ve researched this and wrote down everything you need to right here.

To create a successful Discord server as a musician or music artist you need to clearly define your server’s value, map out your first channels and roles, decide how members will find you, and then launch your Discord server to the world.

Creating a Discord as a musician or artist is perfect for engaging with your fans on a more personal level and creating an online community that you own (and Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform does not).

Your Discord can also be a great space for your fans to feel connected to people who like similar things as them (in addition to the actual creator themselves).

To learn more about how you can plan out, launch, and grow your own Discord server, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

How To Plan Out Your Discord Server

There are 3 things you will need to plan out before even signing up for Discord:

  1. What your Discord channels will be
  2. What your Discord roles will be
  3. Exactly how members will discover you in the first place

The best way to start with this planning process is to clearly define the value that your server will provide to your fans.

Once you have an initial idea of your Discord server’s value, it is just a matter of quickly creating the first version of your server, launching it to the world, and adapting it based on member feedback over time.

It’s important to remember that should be an “iterative process” meaning that you should plan out your server and then quickly launch it to the world.

Your fans and community will tell you what they like and dislike if they are actually engaged with you, making it super easy to modify your Discord server over time to suit their needs.

You can spend 6 months planning out the “perfect” Discord server but if your fans and community don’t actually want what you planned out then that was all just a colossal waste of time.

The best way to prevent wasting your time is by starting now and evolving later based on community feedback.

So, let’s get started with the first crucial step to planning out your Discord server the right way…

Step 1: Clearly Define Your Discord Server’s Value

The very first thing you should do before even setting up a Discord server is to clearly define why anyone would want to join your server in the first place.

By researching (or straight up asking) your audience what they would like to get out of a Discord server, you will have a much better idea of what channels to create, what events you may want, and what your Discord roles will be.

Here are some simple ideas to consider:

Early access to content, songs, episodes, or videos that you would be offering publicly anyway is a great way to provide value without too much extra effort on your part.

Behind-the-scenes content like early drafts and works in progress as well as an “all-access pass” to all of your previously released, archived, and/or unreleased content.

Fan participation of content in the form of voting and focus groups or having a say in what content you create in the form of requests (what merch designs to print, what songs to make, what songs to cover, what kind of videos to do, etc).

Additional access through live chats and hangouts, live-streamed rehearsals, creation sessions, or jams.

Spending some time thinking about what your audience wants and even consider asking them for input to really define what kind of value you can provide.

Nailing this step will make all the following steps much easier to complete.

Step 2: Map Out Your Initial Discord Channels

Once you have clearly defined the value of what your Discord server will bring to your fans, you can simply start mapping out what your channels will be.

Discord channels are the places where your fans can interact with you and each other. These can be either text or voice chat channels.

The first 3 channels you will need to create are:

  1. #general – for general discussion
  2. #welcome – for welcoming new members to your server
  3. #rules – for presenting your channel rules

In addition to these super basic channels, I’d recommend starting small with just 2 or 3 specialized channels that are focused on delivering on the value you defined in the previous step.

Remember that you can always add more channels over time and that you should focus on starting small with a select grouping of channels that you will actually be able to engage with.

If one of the values you defined was providing early access, then create an #early-access channel.

If one of the values you defined was to provide behind-the-scenes content, then create an #behind-the-scenes channel.

Here is an example of the channels I created when starting my own Discord server:

My focus was on early access and behind the scenes, and because I freely release 2 different types of content (music and DJ mixes), I created an early access channel for both of these content types.

Step 3: Map Out Your Initial Discord Roles

Discord allows you to create “roles” for your members that give them a pre-defined set of permissions such as being able to view channels, message on channels, moderate conversations, etc.

You can name these roles anything you want which gives you a great opportunity to be creative or to have some kind of theme going throughout your Discord server.

In addition to basic roles for administrators (you), moderators, and any bots you install, you will want to have some roles for your members.

I’d recommend starting simple here with just 2 or 3 different roles for your members.

For my Discord server, I started with a role for members that join for free (Club Members), members that are paying for the membership (Club Supporters), and for members that are part of my music marketing membership program (Music Marketers):

Start small and simple when planning out your Discord roles but also remember that these roles can also be seen as “badges of honor” to your members.

The role of a member is publically displayed throughout the server so anyone that has a higher role will be seen as more special and awesome.

Step 4: Figuring Out How Members Will Discover Your Discord Server

An incredibly important step to consider before even starting your Discord server is clearly defining how potential members will discover your Discord server in the first place.

Discord has very few features for people to find your server, meaning it is completely up to you to do ALL of the work bringing people to your Discord server and convincing them to sign up.

The best way to get Discord members is to first build an audience and community around your art or creative endeavor off of Discord and to freely provide that audience and community with overwhelming value.

Although you can do this by paying for ads or by being that annoying person that goes around messaging people to join…

I’ve found the most effective way is to consistently release new social media content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar.

A recurring content strategy is simply a defined structure of different content types that you release on a regular schedule (ie: posting performance videos on Mondays, unreleased songs on Wednesday, and promotional content for new releases on Fridays).

A content calendar simply takes the content you have mapped out with your recurring content strategy and plots out when each piece of content should go live (and where) on a calendar so that you actually follow your plan.

…the best part?

This strategy is not only effective in getting your first Discord members but is also an effective strategy to continuously grow your Discord server over time.

To learn more about this, I’d highly recommend checking out my article on How To Get Patreon Supporters & An Audience That Supports Your Art.

Although I mention Patreon as the example in that article, the strategies and tactics can apply to any paid membership program and so can definitely be applied to getting people to join a free Discord server.

Step 5: Creating & Launching Your Discord Server

Once you have thought out, planned, and mapped out what your Discord server will look like, it is not time for the easy part:

Creating and launching your Discord server.

Here are the basic steps to do just that:

  1. Sign up for a Discord account
  2. Click on the plus icon on the left to ‘Create a Server’
  3. Fill in the basics for your server such as the name and profile photo
  4. Create your channels
  5. Create your Discord roles

At this point, you can also customize the look of your channel a bit further by placing your channels under categories and adding in server management bots like MEE6.

One type of bot you may want to consider is a membership or subscription bot so that you can lock certain channels so that only paying members can see them.

To learn more about these kinds of bots, check out my article on Discord Memberships & Subscriptions. 🙂

Once you have a basic first build of your Discord server, you can click on your server name at the top left and then select “Invite People” to grab your Server Invite Link.

Add the Server Invite Link to your social media profiles and link in bio pages, and then start mentioning your Discord server in the content you are posting to social media.

In addition to passively mentioning your Discord at the end of videos, in video descriptions, or at the bottom of your social media post captions, you should also consider lightly mentioning it to anyone that messages you directly.

Anyone messaging you is clearly interested in engaging more, so you can mention that you don’t spend a lot of time on Instagram (or whatever) but if you’d like to continue the conversation, your Discord server is where you spend your time.

Don’t be too pushy, just mention that your Discord server is the place you focus your time and energy on engaging with your community since it is your own safe space.

6 Tips For Promoting Your Discord Server

Here are 6 tips that you should consider when trying to get more Discord members as an artist, musician, or creator.

  1. No “Selling”: Don’t be pushy by directly asking people to join your Discord, instead you should allow potential members to make the decision to support you themselves based on the value you are already providing to the world with your freely available content.
  2. Mention Your Discord Everywhere With A Light Touch: Lightly mention your Discord at the end of your content, durring your content (if relevant), and in things like at the bottom of email signatures, YouTube descriptions, and the captions in social posts.
  3. Personalized Messages: When having natural conversations with your supporters, it can be a good idea to lightly mention your Discord if signing up is relevant to the conversation you are having and can actually be valuable in someway to that person.
  4. Limited Time Promotions: You can consider offering a special bonus for anyone who signs up over the next few days or a giveaway for a prize for anyone that is signed up for your Discord for the month.
  5. Ask Your Audience For Help: A really useful way to figure out what you should do or offer on your Discord that will make potential patrons want to sign up is to simply ask your current membersor any potential members that currently engage with you on social media, email, etc.
  6. Facebook Advertising: Although you can use Facebook Ads to reach people who may be interested in joining your Discord, I’d recommend using ads to target people who have already showed an interest in you by retargeting ads to “Custom Audiences” based on Instagram and Facebook Page engagement to name a few.

Bonus Tip: Study Other Discord Servers

Another way to figure out how you should organize and promote your Discord server is by taking inspiration from other artists and musicians are using Discord.

To help you out here, I found some solid Discord servers for you to check out for some great inspiration.

Check out this article on The Best Discord Servers For Music Artists, Musicians & Creators to learn more. 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Facebook Ads For Spotify Success

Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.

This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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