Clutch BoyWonder, a musician, animator, twitch streamer and content creator, has managed to build a solid community revolving around the endeavors of the BGG (an acronym for Blerd Goon Gang, as Clutch – one of three founders – and his co-creators are longtime friends, and New York native Blerds).
Clutch BoyWonder uses the app Discord to both build and stay in touch with his ever-growing and supportive community. Be it a new single, a merch sale, or a friendly community watch party, Clutch BoyWonder keeps his fans close, and his friends even closer.
Today I was lucky enough to have a sit-down with Clutch to discuss his experience in community building.
Arkayde: So I’m going to bypass the usual introductory questions.
I was reading about how artists can and should utilize discord for community building and it got me to thinking about your own discord, and how personal it feels.
From the daily conversations to the anime watch parties, the community feels alive and inviting. And I think other artists could benefit from learning how to create a unique but similar experience of their own, all through the utilization of Discord.
However, for some, discord can be difficult to grasp. Which leads me to my first question….
What initially prompted you to start a discord server?
Clutch: I totally agree! I believe other artists should utilize discord to build a community because of the features you previously mentioned. Discord can be a learning curve but that’s only because of how much it has to offer. I’ll admit it was a bit challenging for me at first. But after engaging with a couple of communities from people I support genuinely, pc gaming friends, and research, it made it easier for me to understand it better.
Sorry that was a bit long winded. But to answer your question; I was prompted to discord once I realized making engagement groups for IG wasn’t a genuine way to build a community. Once I realized some of my favorite influencers outside of music utilize this program/app to stay engaged with their community and some that were building ones. I instantly made it my Job to learn it along with my team around me.
Arkayde: That’s a great answer. It really is a great way to build solid engagement from what I’ve seen in the various communities I’m apart of as well.
You mentioned PC gaming. You’re a multitalented individual. As your website states “Musician, Animator, Content Creator, Video Editor, Graphic Designer, Full-Time Twitch Streamer, & Personality.” An extensive skill set.
I must ask….
Do you think that having such a tech Savy background has helped you to implement discord more easily as a community outreach tool?
Clutch: I appreciate it! Yes, I hope more people understand the power that discord holds. You don’t have to have the craziest numbers everywhere on socials to build a community.
As for PC gaming I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a PC gamer I just invested in a pre-build gaming PC for creative program uses. Music, Animation, Editing Photos, Videos, Clothing Design, Social Media Management and Marketing. Having people I’ve networked with through Twitch and my Instagram along combining some prior pc knowledge did give me an advantage in terms of the “learning curve.”
So, to answer the question in short, it helps to have a tech savvy background!
Arkayde: I can’t help but notice that Twitch has already been mentioned in our conversation a few times. And it’s worth noting that hip-hop artists such as T-Pain, Soulja Boy, and producers Kenny Beats and Illmind have built quite the dedicated following on Twitch.
Discord did initially start out as an app for gamers and Twitch streamers. With that being said, do you think that more artists should consider expanding their outreach by using livestream platforms such as Twitch to further strengthen their discord communities?
Clutch: Yes! I noticed some big-name artists doing this and it’s just smart in my humble opinion.
I believe artist should consider utilizing live streaming on Twitch to enhance their growing community. Especially if you have a following who mess with you HEAVY. You’re allowing yourself to reach people without even leaving your place. Also, you don’t have to stop being an artist just because you’re live streaming I am now actually discovering this.
Arkayde: That’s a fact. The two are not mutually exclusive. One can do both. But I think some artists begin to draw a blank when it comes to merging the two.
The reality is, if an artist can successfully utilize live streaming to access a new audience while simultaneously entertaining their preexisting one, then they’ve unlocked a cheat code of sorts.
For example, some artists use live streaming to supplement their income via subscriptions and donations. Others use it to host game nights with their community and “just chat” with friends. Whatever these artists are doing on Twitch, by directing these potential new community members to a dedicated discord server, they can provide fans and viewers with an intimate experience that also allows the artists to stay in almost constant contact with their audience.
As a music artist, what has been the biggest benefit of having such intimate access to your community members via running your own discord server?
Clutch: I completely agree with this. Depending on how you brand or put yourself out there as an artist sometimes can vary on how your community wants to engage with you.
I think the biggest benefit I have gained from intimate access from community members is building a certain trust level amongst people. Sure I don’t know everyone personally or every little detail, but the trust that is instilled along with my voice is a HUGE responsibility. I’m realizing that people do listen to what I have to say. So it is EXTREMELY important to me that I never mislead anybody, that I provide opportunities to meet new talented people from all walks of life, and whatever I decide to “serve” is always 100% genuine.
Its corny but with great power does come great responsibility so I’m always conscious on not abusing or wasting the gifts God gave me.
Arkayde: “Trust” … that’s an excellent point and it explains why your community flows in the natural way that it does.
By being authentic and even vulnerable, it opens the door to trust. And when people trust you, and can see that your motives are genuine, they’re far more likely to support your endeavors.
But staying in contact and engaging with that many people can be time consuming and exhausting.
Do you ever find it difficult to maintain engagement for both you and the members within your discord community?
Clutch: Yes, I agree being authentic and genuine is the best way to not only have people believe in you but also being honest just helps any relationship in my opinion.
Staying in contact with everyone can get exhausting at times mentally which is why I believe organizing your time for yourself and community must be balanced. I just had two meetings telling both of my team members to find one day out of the week where you do absolutely nothing. No calls, no social media, no drama. Just do whatever it is you want and unload for a day. Being on 100% is cool but one thing I learned about myself is whenever I’m burning out, I get angry, easily annoyed and just an overall more difficult person to be around. Then I become more isolated, which could honestly tear down everything I build if I’m not careful.
Arkayde: That’s big facts. Having a schedule, a team, those are vital for creatives if they want to prevent burnout.
Speaking of your team, what would you say is the top pro and con about running your discord server as a group?
Clutch: Exactly! You can’t do everything alone!
I think the top pro of running the discord as a group is that it allows us to get more done within the community. While the top con is just having the patience to teach someone everything you know but they may not. Sometimes that part is exhausting and it’s not anyone fault it’s just sometimes my expectations are too high, and need to be lowered until someone understands the situation fully.
Arkayde: That’s a gem. Having patience is key when working as a team.
Alright, last question cause I’ve taken far too much of your time.
What is one piece of advice that you could give to an artist looking to start their own discord server?
Clutch: My advice to any artist, ESPECIALLY if you’re not a networking kind of person, is to pay attention to some of your favorite influencers and see how they run their discord communities. From there study on YouTube about the things you want to learn. That way the learning curve on how running a solid community is less of a curve!
If you’d also like to start your own discord server, here are a few extra resources that I recommend for additional reading.