How to build your community skills: a story of constant learning
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Let's start from the very beginning: community managers are coming from diverse backgrounds which means we all come with a great package of transferable skills.
I come from project management with a backpack full of learning courses in communication, team building, marketing, and several technical training courses.
What led me here? My passion for people and communities and the desire to find meaning in what I am doing.
I am a passionate self-learner, I believe we have to constantly adapt and learn new things. From platforms to improve my listening skills and great online workshops, I have an entire world at a click distance.
This article is written to give ideas and inspire you to continue learning and develop yourself.
Don't wait, create and co-create!
If you follow me for some time, you already know I am not someone who doesn't wait for opportunities, I am creating them by trying and experimenting with ideas until they become projects.
This is for me a must-have skill because any community manager knows how important is to listen to your community and support them to thrive in their careers, projects, personal and professional development.
Suggested training course: Effective Listening with Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes on LinkedIn Learning
One of the perks of having a LinkedIn Premium account is to have access to a wealth of quality courses on different topics with high-level trainers. This particular course helped me understand the challenges to effective listening (distractions, multitasking, too much information) and is packed with practical exercises to understand what are my own limitations and overcome them.
Empathy & Confidentiality
Empathy should be listed on the top of any community-manager role because being in charge of a community, means also that you will have to support your community members with advice or information. Surround yourself with other specialists in different fields, you might have to answer all types of questions.
And, of course, let's not miss confidentiality, what is said in a group, stays in the group. Psychological safety and trust are key elements to keep your community members feel that they belong there.
Digital Marketing and Storytelling
When I started working in community-building, I found an amazing learning community, Live Mentor, that guided my first steps. They are now famous in the francophone world and they have been training 100.000 entrepreneurs to design their projects from scratch. The method is disruptive and it's all based on transmitting knowledge from the mentor to the learner.
The learning language is French for those of you who speak this beautiful language.
Digital Marketing is quite popular at the moment, so you will find a wide range of courses online.
Constant reinvention and learning
This one comes is a tricky one (and I imagine you probably smile while reading), but I have to list it because it is an essential part of any profession now.
And no, I don't have any training course to suggest, it starts with an open mindset and willingness to learn and accept that, sometimes, you will fail or make mistakes. And it's ok, it's part of the learning process.
Platforms after People
I see community managers as busy bees juggling multiple platforms and social media channels while also learning all the administration sides related to them.
Here the sky is the limit, I am still learning and, because platforms are developing more and more, I sometimes struggle to keep up with so much information.
Take a breath and enjoy the ride, I would say!
Now I am learning how to use Later, yesterday I followed a training course on LinkedIn (yes, again) and tomorrow I will probably check Pinterest to see how I can incorporate it in one of my projects.
For LinkedIn specialized hacks, you can follow Melanie Goodman and GrowthTribe, they are sharing their knowledge and a lot of insights online.
If curious, you can check my first article of this blog: 4 tips to build an online community from scratch where I talk about the People before platforms concept.
Top 4 webinars (or courses) I took last year & had a blast:
Focus and Get more done: Jane Piper has created a great online course to help you learn strategies for managing your attention and focus
Poise, Presence, & Power - Communications from the Heart: Denise Nickerson, the co-founder of Women Rock Switzerland, spoke in a webinar to Professional Women's Group Zurich about authentic communication and positive impact
Feedback, May the Force Be with You!: Michelle Guiliano, the co-founder of Women Rock Switzerland, spoke in a webinar to Professional Women's Group Zurich about how crucial is feedback and which are the danger zones to avoid when giving feedback
Fanocracy: Turn Your Customers into Fans and Your Fans into Customers, an engaging course from Hubspot Academy who also has free certified courses in Content Marketing & more you can follow at your own pace
I would love to read your ideas and comments.
Which training courses or webinars you liked, you hated, or brought some food for thought?
Looking forward to exchanging with you on this fascinating topic of skills for community-building!