In this short guide, I will be touching the (for some, “scary”) subject of collaborating with other communities and give you some tips if you choose to do so. Both sides of the spectrum will be discussed being you/the staff team and the impact on the community members.
Why should I collaborate?
Great question! The idea of you as two communities working together might sound weird and perhaps intimidating (you hiding skeletons in your closet huh?!) but there are some potential benefits attached to it for both parties. Working together is great for expanding your network, a way to learn from each other, allows you to explore new ideas and it can be great fun for you and your members. Besides that, it’s a great way to spice things up!
What are the options?
There are a lot of ways you can collaborate with another community. This all depends on the ideas both parties bring to the table. When brainstorming it’s important to think outside of the box, know what your community is interested in and most of all think of something that’s fun to do.
Some ideas: set up an event server together (community vs. community matches or a special gamemode/rules for a limited time), merge together, try out hosting a completely different game server, create (video) content, giveaways, help out starting communities etc.
Take our community for instance (Angry-Mob), we started as Garry’s Mod community and kept expanding into new directions. Over the years we have collaborated with a number of communities by setting up events collectively, the partnership program (us setting up servers for other communities and guiding them) and having communities merge with us.
It goes without saying that the interviews we do currently is also a form of collaborating due to the social aspect and name dropping.
Note: we are always open for collaborations, feel free to contact us!
Communication & research is key
Working together with a different community can make or break your server so its key to do research before you start contacting the right people. Do they have a bad rep? Is their community still active? How active is the owner/staff team? How old is the owner? basic questions like these and more need to be answered before you start the initial contact. It goes without saying that there needs to be a vested interest between both communities.
Some tips when pitching your idea: be sure to introduce yourself briefly, be patient, get to know each other, play on their server, use proper grammar and most of all be yourself. Yeah yeah, I know it sounds cliché but you and the other party need to click. If you are not being yourself this will lead to problems further down the road (you are a bad actor).
Proceed with caution
As I said before, working together can make or break your community. You and the other party need to be on the same line and have set rules in place (have a fallback plan). In the past many projects have died due to internal beefs within the staff team or the community not accepting the other party.
A failed collab is not the end of the world if done right. You gain valuable experience in doing so and have expanded your network (who knows what the future will bring).
Big tip: start small, don’t go overboard on your first collab. Starting small is a great way to get to know your new partner(s) and their community. And most of all, listen to your own community.