The first 30-days in any role are equal parts exciting, overwhelming, and confusing. It’s also really important as it’ll set the tone and direction of your role for years to come.
The most common mistake new community pros make is skipping right to tactics: launching forums, sending emails, and hosting events. As a result, they spend months building community, but spread themselves thin and struggle to prove their value.
The first 30 days of your new role should be focused on sponging in as much information as possible, and starting to build relationships internally with team members and externally with community members and leaders.
Community is the kind of role that must work closely with teams around the org in order to be successful.
This is true for two reasons:
You’ll also find that most people in the company probably don’t know exactly what community is, or they have different perspectives on it. It’s helpful to get everyone aligned.
Next up is getting alignment with the members of your community. This is something you’ll do for the entirety of your time leading community but in these first 30 days, you want to spend a significant amount of time getting up to speed on your members’ identities, needs, and hopes.
If the company doesn’t have a community up and running yet, then speak to customers and anyone who might potentially be a member of the community. If there’s already a community, make sure to speak to a range of different kinds of members, and make a point to get on a 1-1 call with every community leader you can.
Now that you have an understanding of what your team and what your members expect from the community team, you’ll want to get an understanding of what the community stack looks like today.
Established community programs can get quite complex in terms of the different tools that are used to host and manage the community.
Even if there isn’t a “formal” community program in place, there are likely a lot of channels that are being used to communicate with and connect customers. Get familiar with all of it.
Now that you have taken the first steps, it is time to get into execution mode. You might have many new ideas to try and test out but it’s important to look at the bigger picture and prioritise.
Pick the first three things you want to change or try out in the first month. Next thing would to align these with the organisation and team’s goals. Once you have understood what your team/company needs, put all the timelines of your ideas on a calendar.
This will help you and your new team to stay on track with all the deadlines. It would also help the other teams understand what you are doing and improve cross collaboration.
Your first 30 days as a community manager can be exciting as well as daunting. There is too much to learn, adapt, execute and improve. The one thing that will help you stay on top of your goals is feedback. Feedback from your reporting manager and your other team mates.
Don’t hesitate to schedule 1-1s with your team mates and your manager. Ask feedback on your overall plan, ideas to evaluate your next steps.
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