I’m so fortunate to know so many great community managers from all over the world! Just a handful of the top of my head: Heather Ritchie from Lymbix of Moncton, Erin Bury from Sprouter, TO, Ros Hodgekiss from Campaign Monitor in Sydney, AU, Vero Pepperell of Pepsmedia in Cambridge, UK… These are just a few I know personally.. there’s a lot out there.
And now, through the Ottawa Community Manager Meetup group started by Angelina Munaretto and me, I’m fortunate to be constantly meeting great homegrown community folk. Over 60 current and wannabe community managers in our little town, who knew?! It’s fabulous news because I happen to think community management is a really hot career to be in and I love meeting others in the same boat…
So thinking of all the awesome community people I know, there are many qualities we all share that I think make us all good at what we do. Here’s five I can pick out right away:
Social – Perhaps this one is a big “duh!” but I’m going to throw a little hook in it. By social I don’t mean popular or outgoing. I mean someone who can easily connect to others and is interested in meeting both like-minded people and those with different view points. Although communities are almost always formed around common interests, that doesn’t mean all the members are the same. In fact every community I’ve been involved in is quite diverse, and a community manager needs to be able and interested in relating to all of them.
Curious – In my mind, being curious means willing and able to learn quickly. A community manager need not start out tech savvy but if he/she is really curious about how something works, learning about it quickly is easy. Also back to the social point. If you’re curious about people it means you’re willing and able to listen and ask questions and that’s the best way to get to know your community members.
Boundless Energy – Have you ever looked at a community manager’s day book or agenda? A community manager thrives off being around people, both online and off. As much as I love the occasional lazy day in front of the TV, I’d never do it at the sacrifice of a good time. Even if a community manager has family commitments or otherwise can’t be available always, you will find him/her taking advantage every given opportunity.
Multi-disciplinary – While community managers come from all different backgrounds, many share similar skill sets that crossover into several disciplines. Perhaps a by-product of curiosity, but you’ll never hear a community manager say “that’s not in my job description!” (Though this could be because he/she wrote the job description).
Passion – OK while it may seem like a real cliche thing to say, it’s totally true. I’m not sure any of us could really dedicate so much to what we do if we weren’t completely passionate about it… Am I right?
I listed five for the sake of brevity, but I’m sure I could go on about this all day. However, I’d love to hear what you think… Either from other community managers, or those who observe them.. What would you add?