They say 75% of all startup companies fail within their first 2 years. This is also true with clans, only perhaps even more clans fail than companies. I would say the percentage is probably somewhere around the 85%-90% mark. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already taken into consideration running your own gaming clan. I will say, as a former leader of my own for around 3 years, this is no easy task. There are certain things you have to ask yourself before you begin, that will ultimately lead to either the demise or rise of your new organization;
Questions to ask yourself: (So you don’t end up wasting your time :))
#1) Do I have enough time? To successfully lead a large clan in this day and age, you need to plan to devote at least the time you would to a part time job. Especially during startup. I would say that you should plan for a minimum of 20 hours per week, and as high as 40 during startup.
#2) Am I alone? You will never be able to get a clan off the ground on your own. Starting a clan takes a team-wide effort. You will need a minimum of 3-4 VERY dedicated members to help you get this thing on its feet. The more the merrier.
#3) Am I/my founding members mature enough? Age certainly comes into play as a leader. You have to be willing to put up with a lot of bullshit. You will hear a lot of complaining. Maturity is certainly a necessity. I have never seen a clan successfully run by a 13 year old.
#4) Do I have the motivation to put in the effort? You can have all time in the world, but if you don’t do anything with it, you get no where. You had better plan for those 20 hours per week, to be 20 hours of work. If you sit around and chat for 10 of those you’re getting nowhere.
If you answered all these questions in the correct manner then you have just met the basic requirements of being a clan leader. There are literally hundreds of other things that play into a clan being successful. Now, to get started:
First, decide what kind of clan you want.
You and your founding members must decide the basics about the type of clan you are preparing to found. All decisions are relative to what game you play. (Typically first person shooters like counter strike will not be looking for large numbers on the member list. Real Time Strategy and MMORPG’s also have different sets of core values). Do you want a lot of members? Small amount? Will there be ranks? If so how many? Will you be using the standard military ranks, or going for something original? Once the ranks issue is decided, then you must decide which founding members will hold what place in the ranking system. This can get sticky, so try to be as democratic about it as possible. I would suggest having only you, as the founding leader be the commander (or comparable rank), and perhaps let all other founding members be your general staff.
Tip: Save transcripts of all meetings, and keep them for a later date, or to post on your message board later.
Once these things are decided, you begin to create.
Open a website.
Make sure that you have your own .com/.net/.org domain for your clan, and a pay-per-month hosting plan. (This can be purchased at godaddy.com).
The website is the most crucial piece of any clan. The website, or perhaps even more importantly, the forum/message board gives your members a place to chat and get to know each other outside of the game. It gives your clan more of a community feel to it. Your site should, at minimum, have a page devoted to news, rules, members, and a message board for chatting. It is absolutely imperative that you have a message board. Oftentimes, your webhost will have message boards that can be automatically set up in the cpanel.
Make your website look as professional as possible. Do your best to make sure it is neat and orderly, and has a minimal amount of spelling mistakes. The more seriously you take yourself, the more seriously potential members will take you.
Find your place in-game
Depending on what game you are launching this clan for, there are certain steps that need to be taken in order for you to have a meeting spot for your members in-game. For Counter-Strike, and other first person shooters, you must purchase a server. But, for the rest of this article, I will assume you are a battle.net clan. In which case, you must get a clan channel. It really does matter if you have a Clan ______ channel, or an Op _______ channel. Just make sure one of your founding members can keep a bot sitting on ops (ops controls the channel, can kick/ban) 24/7. Make sure that you trust this person, and in fact, it is even best if you yourself hold ops. Make sure this bot is able to delegate out power to others in the channel.
Depending on how you answered your questions earlier regarding the size of the potential clan, you begin recruiting in a number of ways. Most clans like to start off recruiting as many people as possible. Make sure to tell each and every recruit about your website.
Post on Forums about your newly founded clan, and let them know that moving up is an option.
Make recruitment games to reach out to new members. Always have your best player online at the time play the potential members.
When playing alone, make sure to ask anyone you encounter that is of the appropriate skill level, if they would be interested in joining.
Essentially, in creating a clan, you are a salesman. You dress up your website in it’s finest business attire to attract the most business-like crowd. You have to SELL your clan to every potential member, and make them excited to join. The best members are always the ones who were excited from the get-go.
All potential clan-leaders have been provided enough info in this basics to get going. Please refer to our other articles for more in-depth looks at how to successfully run your clan.