Blog Header
Nevo David

The Discord Plan for open-source in 2024

December 30, 2023

Nevo David

Hi everyone!

I wish you all a fantastic New Year 🥳

Mine is going to be stressful and fun. I hope yours is too!

Discord is a chat messaging platform you can run to interact with developers for your products. It can be used for marketing, support, or to build a strong community for your product.

During my time at Novu, we always tried to make the Discord server “active.”
This is something that I have experienced with many founders.
They want their Discord to be more than just a “support” channel.

Most founders aim to make the Discord channel active just from people engaging with each other, but how do you do it?

Here is a list of things you can try that worked well for me in Gitroom and HackSquad Discord servers.

1. Make people come back for more

I want to start with the simplest example - Midjourney.
Their main product lives on Discord; if you want to generate images, you must do it with the Discord bot. Whenever people come to create pictures, they are exposed to other people and interact with them. That was a genius move.

In Gitroom, I implemented a mechanism for people to launch their content. Since most people launch their content every week - they have to come back every week and, at the same time, interact with other people.

That’s why you usually see tons of activity in Gitroom every Monday.

2. Make a “non-product” Discord

When your Discord server is something like “Novu,” visitors of your Discord have the concept of “This is the Novu product. Let’s talk about that,” while this is what most products do, you don’t have to.

Our Discord server could be as well as “Notification Infrastructure.” Now, we have broadened our audience and given them a place to learn everything about notifications.

HackSquad was super active because it was a developer-based server where people could talk about anything.

3. Join with intent

Lately, I have experienced that people that I give a pitch over our Discord server during my calls are a lot more active than people who join on their own.

I think that’s the main secret in building an active community - and while you can’t talk to everybody, only a few are already pretty good because they will be active and involve other people.

Other options you can do are:

  • Give more information during the Discord “onboarding” wizard so people can understand what they can get by being active.

  • Show some content or a YouTube video next to the discord link so people can learn about the value of the server.

  • Tag people who join in different activities and ask for their opinions.

4. Retain

Bringing people to your Discord is a part of the “Acquisition” process, but making them stay is part of the “Retention” process.

In HackSquad, bringing people back to Discord makes them more active.

For example:

  • Instead of making a YouTube Live of a webinar or a Zoom Live, I would make a Discord Live and then send people back to Discord through the newsletter.

  • I run repeatable events that go beyond “How to use Novu.” I would actually do more generic stuff to attract more people.

  • I run Discord giveaways, making developers come back.

  • I constantly write on Social Media about the benefits of being a part of Discord.

5. Appoint moderators

The first thing I have done with Gitroom is find the first active and talented people on Discord and make them mods. That’s one of my best moves to make the community 10x more alive.

Once the community grows a bit, I intend to bring more mods.

In HackSquad, I appointed ten moderators in 1 month - Best Decision Ever.

I am so happy to have such talented people as Nathan and Saurabh, who help me grow the community and put it all together.

Mods automatically become more active when you give them “power”

6. Create an onboarding funnel

When somebody joins your Discord, that will be the time that they will be the most active and motivated.

You should use this time!

Ask them some questions on Discord and include them in some conversations to give some opinions.

Also, DM them. While this is not connected to being active on Discord - it’s an excellent time to understand your community members and extract some information from them:

  • Why did you join?

  • What are you building?

  • Who told you about us?

  • Why do you want to get from this community?

Try even to go for a 10-minute call if you can.

Here is the thing: you are not active 24/7, but if you have mods from around the world - they can help you!

Just make sure not all the mods DM the same person at the same time - that’s not nice 🙂 

And last thing 🤣

Create a lot of bugs - that brings people in (I am kidding, of course.)

For the new year, I want to offer my services.

I run a CMO-as-a-service where I run the entire marketing for your OSS startup, including (Social Media, DEV articles, Reddit Promotion, Influencers) and basically everything.

That fits mainly funded startups. If that thing is for you feel free to schedule with me a call here.

See you Next Year 🚀