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It's Friday and I hope you have some cool plans for the weekend.
1. Sorry to Tell You, You’re Not That Special: Online community plays an important role in the overall sense of community a member feels when engaging with an association. It helps bridge the gap between membership, volunteering, events, chapters, content, and anything else that helps members feel connected. However, unless it is specifically called out in your association’s strategy, it’s not top of mind for most leaders within your association. And that’s something we need to get comfortable with. That also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put everything you have into building a strong and connected community. That is, after all, why you are in the position to manage it. Just keep in mind that there are other priorities. When you talk to senior leaders about your priorities, come to them with the understanding that there is a myriad of other things ahead of your program on their to-do list. When you talk with other colleagues around the organization, know that they may have heavy revenue or other business goals that are top of mind for them. And then remember what you said your community would solve for and start making those connections. Online communities provide a lot of value to an organization. It can help move the needle in ways that associations didn’t think were possible and can be the catalyst for digital transformations. But here’s the thing – your online community isn’t that special. Read more about how online communities and strategies should align with your organizations' business goals by Marjorie Anderson
You've asked us to send content related to community management and job updates, here it comes! Oh if you are here for jobs, scroll down directly. :)
2. How to Send Email Developers Want to Receive: At Cooper Press, it all starts with the audience, something familiar to anyone doing developer relations. While Peter thinks you can get away with a broad audience definition, most of his publications focus on languages or specific technologies. The specificity helps them gain—and keep—the developer attention. “From our point of view, it’s quite easy because we are only sending email to people that very explicitly signed up to us,” Peter says, “They want weekly emails about XYZ, and so, I think that’s actually our key advantage is they signed up for it, they want the email.” Understanding the audience—and what the “XYZ” is they want—is where Peter and anyone in developer relations should start. Otherwise, you’re just tacking on a newsletter on top of your developer product, he says. In many cases, companies will simply subscribe everyone who signs up for an account. With that frame of reference, the topic ends up being about the product, rather than the problem that initially motivated the developer to try it out. So, make sure you start with what your audience wants to hear about via email on a regular basis. “If you don’t know who you’re targeting and who you’re trying to reach,” says Peter, “then you don’t really have a newsletter.” Managing a developer community and engaging them over newsletter is very hard. Developers hate email. Well, some of us believe that but they hate unwanted email. Read the full article on how Peter Cooper and his team at Cooper Press have made a business by managing 12 different publications with over 400,000 subscribers
3. Are You Doing Indispensable Work? The biggest reason why most communities aren’t indispensable is most community managers aren’t doing any of the work which makes communities indispensable. While researching The Indispensable Community, there was a clear difference between the work of the typical community manager and the work of an indispensable community manager. The indispensable community manager spent far more time doing the following:
1. Building internal relationships. They spent far more time attending meetings to build stronger internal relationships and understand exactly what colleagues need. They focus on urgent needs (i.e. not “generate more sales” but “collect powerful case studies”). They worked to proactively identify and overcome concerns. 2. Plug the community into broader goals. They pulled together all engagement activities (events, social, customer support, etc…) into a single unified community approach. This is far harder than it sounds.
3. Develop long-term roadmaps. They built long-term roadmaps which they used to drive discussions. These roadmaps highlighted which goals they would tackle, in which order, and what financial, people, and technological resources they needed to get there.
4. Build useful decision-making systems. They didn’t just collect data, but developed dashboards which highlighted where to focus limited time and resources to have the biggest impact. Activities were properly measured and acted upon. Most of this was automated.
5. Design unique user segments and journeys. They built unique user segments based upon a member’s time, talent, or motivation to contribute. These were validated into user journeys and for members through the community based upon their time, talent, or motivation to contribute. They validated these user journeys with data too.
6. Spend a lot of time talking directly to members. They tended to spend a lot more time in the field talking to members or scheduling calls and discussions with members.
Richard from Feverbee just released his new book called "The Indispensable Community: Why Some Brand Communities Thrive When Others Perish " and he's been publishing snippets from the book including the above points. You can read the full article on how you can become an indispensable community manager
4. Offline participation: Getting Members to Show up and Participate in an Era of Busy Schedules and Distractions: We live in the internet age, where everything online competes with everything offline for our attention. This phenomenon is of special interest to community managers who understand very well the significance of offline interactions within their communities. Meeting at offline events establishes real bonds among members (which are then reinforced online), and also lends a sense of legitimacy to the community. Ask any CM and they will rant about how difficult it is to achieve offline event participation by members. We realized the importance of tackling this challenge, and hence set off to brainstorm and come up with a manifesto that helps CMs in improving their offline metrics. How does one even start addressing this problem? The answer lies in the word ‘problem’, the engineers amongst us realized. We adopted a problem-solving and first-principles approach to model and break the problem down into easily addressable pieces and to then identify solutions to each piece. This article has been structured to serve as a troubleshooting manual for CMs to identify and address their offline participation barriers. Visit this link to read more about the offline participation funnel
5. [Podcast] How to Build Community in a New Category: Nick Mehta joined Gainsight in its Series A and has since grown the company into the customer success management category leader. In this episode, Nick shares what it takes to build an industry-leading company in a previously non-existent category, how to use customer conferences as a way to build community, and how to attract a roster of all-star VCs. Listen to this conversation by Nick Mehta and Glenn Solomon - Managing Partner at GGV Capital
P.S Gainsight focused on community building stuff for 4 years and then started doing sales to showcase their product. This is a great example on how one can start a company by focusing more on community building and not on sales. What worked for Gainsight might not work for you but this is a great episode to learn more about building a community around your product.
--> COMMUNITY JOBS :
Roomi, Microsoft, Udemy, PlanGrid, Sony, ConsenSys, Yelp, Coursera, King, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Pulumi, Skip Scooters, Plug and Play, Magic Leap, Wooplr, Kaspersky Lab are looking for people in community management and developer relations. Head over to Community Manager Jobs for details and apply. Share it with your friends who are on the lookout for opportunities.
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If you come across an interesting article on community management, developer relations then please reply to this email with details and I will make sure to plug it in the next newsletter. 🙏
Mohammed Rafy (@rafyasarmatta)