What do you like best about being a community manager?
Besides the short hours and huge paycheck? Hmmm…Seriously, I just like working with people to help them solve their problems, help them express their ideas and provide a space where people can make friends and connections. Plus, it’s an ever-evolving field. Who knows what community management will look like look like in 2016? In 2020? (Ooo, I think I just came up with a chat topic. Tim, Sherrie & Brandie!)
What skill should every community manager have?
A good community manager has honed those ever important “people skills.” A community manager worth his or her salt knows when to jump into the conversation and when to hang back, when to speak with a formal voice & whn it mks sense 2 spk N tweetish. To build those skills, I think you have to have a natural personality trait – empathy. It’s a word we speak a lot in the community manager community. A community manager is not a dictator; the job needs someone who really wants to help. You need to be able to be a person who can stand in the spotlight, but not have a desire to stay there. BONUS: Good writing, concepting and logic skills.
Tell us about a success story you’ve had as a community manager.
No major successes so far, just thousands of little wins.
What advice would you give someone wanting to become a community manager?
Make sure you understand all the job entails. Reach out to community managers you encounter in communities you frequent. Ask them how they got started, what they like most about their work, and what they like least! The community manager community is full of wonderful people that love to share their passion for their work. They’ll be happy to talk to you. Jump into #cmgr chats like the #cmgrhangout! You’ll gain a lot of valuable insight in rapid fire! And when you’ve done your homework and think you have a handle on the job, volunteer your time. Put your new knowledge to the test for a local animal shelter, your church or even a neighborhood acting troop. Or volunteer to help as in online communities you frequent. Build up that valuable experience, hone your own style and keep networking. The right #cmgr job will find you.
Tell us about a job that helped prepare you to become a community manager and why.
I don’t tell many people about this, but since it is just you and me…When I was younger, I was into building funny little fan sites with HTML. I was self-training in site building and coding (just because I wanted to see if I could do it and I had a free copy of FrontPage ;p), but I was also instinctively, unknowingly community building. I learned how to respond to site fans and readers, providing the right content with the right timing, being there when the community was there to nurture the conversations and feedback. But, I didn’t know that was a job! I just thought I was having fun. Then, I got a “real job” in advertising. But, a few years ago I found my way back to community management. I’ve been having a blast ever since.
Would you like to be featured as Community Manager of the Day?
Be featured as the Community Manager of the Day on mycmgr.com and get your very own badge to show off your achievement on your own site.