Community Strategy & Management with CRM Tools

Community Strategy & Management with CRM Tools

I once sat down with a fellow community manager who told me, “The tools you use can make or break your community strategy.” And she was spot on.

Community management isn’t just a buzzword; it’s an art form that requires the right blend of technology, strategy, and human touch. In this guide, we’ll explore how CRM tools can be the secret sauce to effective community management, enhancing your overall community strategy.

The Intersection of Community Management and Technology

Remember when managing a community meant scrolling through endless spreadsheets and manually tracking every interaction? Those days are gone, thanks to CRM tools designed to streamline community management.

Here’s how these tools can become a vital part of your community strategy:

  • Personalization: Tailor your engagement strategies based on individual preferences and behaviors.
  • Automation: Free up time for more valuable community-building tasks by automating repetitive processes.
  • Analytics: Understand the pulse of your community by tracking key metrics, just like you’d track the success of a local community event.

Choosing CRM Tools That Resonate with Your Community Strategy

You wouldn’t use a hammer to paint a picture, would you? Selecting the right CRM tools is like choosing the right brush for your masterpiece.

Community Management Best Practices with CRM Tools

  • Integration: Ensure that the tools integrate seamlessly with your existing platforms.
  • Scalability: As your community grows, your tools should grow with you.
  • Usability: If it takes a Ph.D. to figure out how to use it, it’s probably not the right tool.

One tool that I’ve personally found invaluable in community management is Attio.

Just having the tools isn’t enough; it’s how you wield them that defines your community engagement strategy success.

  • Be Authentic: Use CRM tools to personalize, not to mechanize. Your community members should feel like they’re talking to a person, not a robot.
  • Encourage Collaboration: Foster a sense of shared ownership by enabling community members to connect with each other.
  • Regularly Evaluate: You wouldn’t keep a car running without regular check-ups. Similarly, constantly evaluate and tweak your community strategy based on real-time insights from your CRM tools.

Conclusion: Building a Community Strategy That Works

Investing in CRM tools for community management isn’t just a tactical move; it’s a strategic one that could redefine how you engage with your community.

It’s like hosting a community picnic where everyone feels welcomed, understood, and valued. The CRM tools are your picnic basket, packed with everything you need to make the event a success.

Don’t just measure your community’s pulse; understand it, engage with it, and grow with it. That’s the true power of a well-implemented community strategy.


Decoding Community Metrics: Data-Driven Growth Strategies

Decoding Community Metrics: Data-Driven Growth Strategies

In the bustling tech landscape, where buzzwords flutter like a swarm of bees, a few terms stand out not just for their buzz but for their genuine impact: “Community Metrics” tops that list. But why zero in on these metrics? They’re the compass that guides your strategies and the mirror reflecting your community’s health and engagement. Getting them right can mean the difference between a community that actively supports and promotes your efforts, and one that remains indifferent and disengaged. Whether you’re looking to enhance user experience, increase retention, or drive growth, understanding and utilizing community metrics effectively is key to unlocking the potential of your digital environment.

Community Metrics: Not Just Numbers, But Narratives

Community metrics are essential for diagnosing the overall health of your online environments, serving not just as mere data points, but as compelling stories about your users’ experiences and engagements. These metrics help you paint a detailed picture of your community’s landscape, highlighting what draws people in, what keeps them engaged, and what might be turning them away.

The Lowdown on Community Metrics

So, what’s the big deal with these metrics? Think of community metrics as your business’s pulse check—are people merely stopping by, or are they sticking around, engaging, and becoming advocates? These metrics include traffic, active users, signups, and sentiment. They’re not just numbers; they tell the story of your community’s health and enthusiasm.

Traffic and Active Users: Your Community’s Heartbeat

Traffic is great; it means eyes on the page. But active users? That’s the heartbeat of your community. It’s one thing for people to visit; it’s another for them to interact, contribute, and return. Tracking these can help you understand what’s working and what’s just taking up space on your site.

Signups: Turning Casual Dates into Committed Relationships

Signups are your conversion success stories. They transform passersby into participants. Watching this metric helps gauge how enticing your entry gate is. Is it welcoming and promising enough to get a second date?

Sentiment: The Mood Ring of Your Community

Think of sentiment as your community’s emotional pulse. Just like a mood ring, it shifts shades based on the collective vibes—be it jubilation, frustration, or elation. This metric acts as your early warning system, cluing you into how folks really feel, often before they put it into words.

Understanding and Leveraging Community Metrics

Community metrics such as traffic, active users, signups, and sentiment aren’t just numbers; they’re narratives that tell the story of your community’s engagement and health. Each metric offers unique insights:

  • Traffic and Active Users reveal the level of interest and engagement in your platform.
  • Signups show conversion effectiveness and user investment.
  • Sentiment Analysis serves as your community’s emotional barometer, guiding your responses to their needs and moods.

Focusing on these metrics enables a deeper understanding of what drives your community, helping you craft strategies that enhance user experience and retention.

Tracking community metrics has never been easier, especially with platforms like Slack and Discord. These tools not only facilitate vibrant discussions but also provide built-in analytics to monitor engagement and activity levels in real time, allowing you to make data-driven decisions swiftly and efficiently. Additionally, using a platform like Common Room can further streamline this process, offering deeper insights into user behavior across various channels, helping you to not only track but also analyze the impact of your community engagement strategies in a comprehensive dashboard.

Unlocking the True Potential of Community Engagement

In conclusion, community metrics do more than fill spreadsheets; they fill gaps in our understanding and strategies. By closely monitoring traffic, active users, signups, and sentiment, you’re not just counting numbers—you’re making every number count towards building a more vibrant, engaged, and committed community. Each metric is a chapter in the story of your community’s journey with your brand, providing crucial insights that can transform passive observers into active participants and vocal advocates.

Embrace these insights as your roadmap to not only meet but exceed community expectations, ensuring your digital ecosystem thrives. Remember, in the dynamic world of tech, being data-informed is being future-prepared. So, dive into your data, decode what it tells you, and let that knowledge guide you to smarter strategies and stronger connections. Join the ranks of those who don’t just wonder about success—they measure it, achieve it, and set new benchmarks.

8 Essential Social Media Tips: Insights from the Community Leadership Core

8 Essential Social Media Tips: Insights from the Community Leadership Core

Ever find yourself lost in the labyrinth of social media strategy, unsure of where to focus your efforts for the most impact? The digital world can be overwhelming, but it’s also brimming with potential. In one of our Community Leadership Core (CLC) calls, we brought together a group of CLC community members to uncover effective strategies for leveraging social media to enhance community engagement. Here are eight insights that will help simplify your social media game:

Target Carefully

  • Each social media platform has a unique audience. Don’t spread yourself thin by trying to be everywhere at once. Focus on where your audience spends their time.
  • LinkedIn, for instance, shines in the B2B space, offering targeted campaigns to reach specific demographics.

Create a Social Calendar

  • Organizing your social media posts with a calendar helps maintain consistency.
  • Use tools like CoSchedule, Hootsuite, and SocialPilot to schedule posts and ease the workload.

Diversify Content

  • Mix it up with announcements, tutorials, and wisdom nuggets to keep your audience engaged.
  • Video content often performs best on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, so don’t shy away from it.

Focus on Design

  • People are drawn to visually appealing content, so invest in tools like Canva and Unsplash for high-quality visuals.
  • Eye-catching designs help improve community engagement by grabbing attention and keeping viewers interested.

Incorporate Hashtags Thoughtfully

  • Hashtags can amplify your reach, but don’t go overboard. Use them strategically to boost your posts’ relevance.
  • A few well-chosen hashtags can significantly improve community engagement metrics.

Engage Every Day

  • Reply to comments, retweet interesting content, and actively engage in conversations.
  • Quick responses show your audience that their engagement matters, encouraging more interaction.

Leverage Community Engagement

  • Amplify the voices of your community members by sharing their content.
  • Mention others to nurture a sense of community and enhance engagement metrics.

Track the Right Metrics

  • Monitor likes, shares, comments, and follower growth to understand what’s working.
  • Focus on trends in community engagement metrics to refine your strategy.

Navigating the Shifting Landscape of Social Media

Social media is constantly changing, and it’s natural to feel uncertain about platforms like X, formerly known as Twitter, due to recent shifts in reliability. However, every community and audience is different. It’s crucial to understand where your audience is most active and to diversify your strategy accordingly. This way, you can engage effectively and not miss out on opportunities due to over-reliance on a single platform.

If you’re looking to refine your social media strategy and grow your brand’s community, the Community Leadership Core (CLC) is here to help. Visit our webpage to discover how we can empower you with insights, tools, and strategies to build a thriving community.

Boost Your Slack and Discord Community Engagement: Tactics and the ‘Awkward Small Talk Pattern’

Boost Your Slack and Discord Community Engagement: Tactics and the ‘Awkward Small Talk Pattern’

Ever joined a Slack community buzzing with ideas or a Discord community where everyone felt like a friend? Boosting Slack and Discord community engagement is how you achieve that vibrant atmosphere, and it can be tough when you end up with ghost towns instead. The “Awkward Small Talk Pattern” is your secret weapon to turn things around and transform those silent chats into vibrant spaces.

What Are Effective Ways to Boost Engagement in Slack and Discord Communities?

Get To Know Your People: Getting right into the heart of what makes your community tick is where it all starts. Running a Slack channel or guiding the chat on Discord? It’s super important to get what your members are all about. This deep understanding allows you to implement specific strategies that transform passive conversations into active, meaningful engagement.

Why Quick Wins Matter for Engagement in Your Community

The value of quick wins cannot be overstated in building vibrant communities. These are immediate solutions that address specific member needs, encouraging the conversation to continue. From tech tips on Discord to success stories on Slack, quick wins build a foundation of trust and keep the community engaged.

How to Initiate Meaningful Conversations in Slack and Discord

Using the ‘Awkward Small Talk Pattern’ is a smart move for Slack and Discord communities. It’s all about firing up interesting conversations. Start by asking a wide range of questions and lead by sharing from your own life. This lays the foundation for a friendly space where everyone feels encouraged to join in and connect.

Strategies for Re-engaging Inactive Members in Slack and Discord Communities

Re-engaging inactive members is a universal challenge across digital communities. Strategic use of external pulls such as email notifications, social media shoutouts, or collaborative promotions can bring people back into your Slack or Discord group. Highlighting vibrant discussions or key resources serves as a beacon, drawing members back and showcase the community’s value.

Creating Vibrant Community Spaces Beyond Basic Interaction

Building true communities on Slack, Discord, and other platforms means creating spaces where every member feels valued and connected. It’s more than just chat – it’s about fostering an environment of genuine belonging. There’s this fascinating piece from ScienceDaily that caught my eye. It talks about how genuine interactions online can seriously lift people’s spirits and create a sense of belonging. It’s like discovering the magic ingredient to not just getting folks to talk but making them feel really good about it. This is where our trusty “Awkward Small Talk Pattern” comes into play. It’s more than just chit-chat; it’s about sparking those connections that leave everyone feeling a bit happier and more connected.

So, by bringing real, meaningful conversations into our communities, we’re doing a whole lot more than just keeping the chat lively; we’re actually boosting the vibe and making our digital hangouts places where people feel at home and valued. The “Awkward Small Talk Pattern” and similar strategies spark the meaningful conversations that are key to this transformation. Research shows that this kind of online engagement has the power to boost well-being. By prioritizing authentic connection, we create digital communities that offer far more than just a place to type – we create places where members thrive. Let’s commit to building communities that are hubs for support, connection, and belonging.

Craving more tips on firing up effortless conversations in your community? Check out my YouTube video, “How to create conversations in an online community (that feel natural).” It’s great for anyone looking to bring even more life to their Slack and Discord groups. Packed with practical advice, it’s the perfect companion to our dive into the “Awkward Small Talk Pattern.”

Online & Open Source Community Management: Simplified Strategies

Online & Open Source Community Management: Simplified Strategies

Ever caught yourself overwhelmed by a seemingly insurmountable pile of tasks? You’re not alone. In the demanding worlds of DevRel and open source community management, stress and the nagging doubts of imposter syndrome can frequently surface. However, it’s crucial to remember that feeling overwhelmed is both normal and manageable. Let’s explore three effective strategies to declutter both your mind and schedule, tailored for those steering open source communities and developer relations.

The Reality of Overwhelm

First, feeling overwhelmed is part of the job. It affects everyone, from interns to CEOs, in all industries, including community management. Often, this overwhelm is a sign of your commitment and creativity. Rather than suppressing these feelings, it’s better to manage them with clear priorities.

Golden Rule: It’s Not the Load, But How You Carry It

Overwhelm doesn’t stem from the number of tasks alone but from unclear priorities. Once you’re caught in this storm, thinking about all you have to do and what you’ve dropped, it escalates. Fortunately, we’re naturally capable of handling more than we think. Realizing this can help us shift from focusing on quantity to emphasizing the quality of our focus. This shift is vital for managing dynamic environments like open source communities.

Now, onto the three steps to simplify your workload:

  1. Brain Dump: Begin by going analog—take a pen and paper and jot down everything, from minor tasks to major projects. This method clears your mind, helping you step away from digital distractions and gain a clearer perspective.
  2. The Urgent-Important Matrix: This is your battlefield map, categorizing tasks into quadrants of urgency and importance. It’s a simple yet potent tool to prioritize effectively, giving you a visual grip on what demands immediate action versus what can simmer on the back burner.
  3. Action Stations: With priorities set, it’s time to get moving. Focus on the ‘urgent-important’ tasks, lining them up for action. This step is about transforming planning into doing, ensuring that you’re not just plotting the course but actually sailing the ship.

Leveraging Tools for Efficient Management

In closing, don’t overlook the power of task management tools. They turn chaos into structured plans, boosting motivation. Tools like Trello, Asana, Motion, and ClickUp have become go-to solutions for community managers dealing with the fast-paced world of online and open source communities.They help organize tasks, set deadlines, and encourage team collaboration. By using these tools, you can turn overwhelming task lists into structured, actionable plans.

Wrapping Up: From Overwhelmed to Overachiever

In summary, mastering the art of community management, especially in the fast-paced worlds of online and open source projects, is about making strategic, focused moves. By adopting a clear method to cut through the clutter, leveraging helpful tools, and committing to action, you’re not just surviving; you’re thriving.

Feeling ready to tacklåe that to-do list with a new perspective? Or maybe you’re looking for more insights into building and maintaining vibrant communities? Keep an eye out for more tips, strategies, and tales from the trenches of community management. Together, we’ll transform those overwhelming mountains into molehills, one step at a time.

Elevate Your Community with the Community Leadership Core (CLC)

For those of you seeking more in-depth guidance and strategies to supercharge your community’s growth and engagement, consider exploring my accelerator, the Community Leadership Core (CLC). The CLC is designed to provide community managers with the tools, knowledge, and support needed to build thriving online and open source communities. Dive deeper into the art of community management with personalized coaching, actionable insights, and a network of like-minded professionals.

Finally, if you found this blog TL;DR, dive into my video “Feeling overwhelmed and overloaded? Fix it in 3 steps” for a fun, no-fluff guide to tackling that to-do list mountain. Check it out and let the stress-busting begin!

Rethinking Online Events: Beyond Boring Webinars

Rethinking Online Events: Beyond Boring Webinars

Remember that time you found yourself stuck in yet another lifeless webinar, counting down the minutes until you could escape? We’ve all been there. But what if online events could be different? What if they could be so engaging and interactive that attendees leave feeling energized and inspired? As someone who works closely with people in developer relations (DevRel), I understand the importance of creating interactive and educational sessions that resonate with tech audiences. Today, we’re diving into strategies that not only enhance community engagement but also foster a stronger DevRel ecosystem by making every online meetup a valuable touchpoint. These strategies are enriched by real insights from our Community Leadership Core (CLC) members, who shared what makes an online event truly unforgettable.

Setting the Stage: The Power of Pre-Event Prep

Imagine receiving a video right before an event, giving you a sneak peek into what’s in store. This isn’t just any video—it’s a personalized invitation from the host, outlining the key activities and what you’ll gain by attending. This isn’t just helpful—it’s pivotal in setting the tone and building anticipation. So, why not start your event with a bang? Send out that intention video and watch the RSVPs roll in.

Kickoff with a Bang: Icebreakers that Actually Break the Ice

Think back to the most memorable events you’ve attended. Did they start with a mundane “Welcome” speech, or did they kick off with something that made you sit up and take notice? We like to get the party started with an icebreaker that’s actually cool. No more clichéd “tell us your name and fun fact.” Instead, how about a quick round of community trivia or a live poll predicting the session’s outcomes? Make it fun, make it lively, and above all, make it interactive.

Training that Sticks: Short, Sweet, and Interactive

Here’s the scoop: nobody wants to sit through an hour-long lecture. Keep your training segments to 15 minutes max, and follow up immediately with an activity that puts that new knowledge to work. Think of it as “learning by doing” in a virtual setting. Whether it’s a quick breakout session to discuss the key points or a hands-on activity using digital tools, make sure your training is something attendees can immediately apply.

Community Spotlight: Let Your Members Shine

There’s something special about hearing from different voices within your community. Set aside time for a few “community spotlight” moments, where members can share their own experiences or showcase a recent project. Keep these to 3-5 minutes to maintain energy and interest. This not only enriches the session but also strengthens the community bonds.

Harnessing Community Metrics for Better Engagement

Understanding and leveraging community metrics is key to driving successful online events and enhancing community engagement. Here’s how you can use these insights:

  • Pre-Event Engagement: Analyze past participation rates and feedback to tailor content that resonates with your audience.
  • Real-Time Engagement Metrics: During the event, track metrics like participation rates, poll responses, and session engagement to adapt the flow of the event and keep energy high.
  • Post-Event Feedback: After your event wraps up, harnessing the power of post-event feedback becomes crucial. Why not conclude with a quick feedback form? By asking just three simple questions, you can gauge what resonated and what didn’t. This immediate survey collects insights that are essential for refining future events. Informed by community engagement metrics, this feedback loop is invaluable—it ensures that each event is an improvement over the last, continuously enhancing community satisfaction and engagement. Consider this feedback gold; it allows you to tweak and evolve your events, ensuring they consistently meet the mark and keep your community eagerly returning for more.

By closely monitoring community engagement metrics, you can tailor your events to better meet the needs and preferences of your audience, ensuring that each session not only captivates but also actively involves every participant. This strategic approach not only boosts attendance but also increases the overall effectiveness of your community interactions.

Your Turn!

Now that you’ve got a playbook for creating online events that are as engaging as they are informative, what will you try first? Dive into your next event with these strategies, and watch your community’s engagement soar.

TL;DR: Was this article too long for you? Just watch my video on jazzing up your webinars—it’s everything you need in half the time!

Mastering Time Management: Collective Wisdom from Community Leadership Core Members

Mastering Time Management: Collective Wisdom from Community Leadership Core Members

Time is a precious resource we all crave more of. In the relentless whirlwind of daily tasks and responsibilities, discovering effective time management strategies often feels like a quest for the Holy Grail. This challenge becomes even more pressing in the dynamic, fast-paced tech and leadership sectors. That’s why in our latest Community Leadership Core (CLC) deep dive, we tackled this challenge directly, pooling our collective wisdom to find practical time management hacks and resources that can significantly help.

Some of the ideas from our CLC members

The Ever-Shifting Sands of Prioritization

One theme that consistently emerged is the fluid nature of priorities. Many of us find that what demands our attention can change not just day-to-day, but hour-to-hour. Long-term planning turns into a puzzle, with pieces that shift and change shape. This variability underscores the importance of flexibility in our time management strategies.

Finding Time as a Team

Another insight was the challenge of carving out enough time for meaningful team collaboration. This is especially important in the early stages of forming a community or project group. The consensus is starting with a small time commitment and being ready to adjust as the scope of your goals—and the time to achieve them—expands.

Delegating: A Double-Edged Sword

Delegation was highlighted as a critical tool for freeing up time, yet it comes with its own set of challenges. Handing off responsibilities doesn’t always go smoothly, and finding the right balance between oversight and autonomy is key.

Tools and Techniques for the Time-Pressed

Our community members shared a wealth of strategies and tools they’ve found effective:

  • Asana for Project Management: A favorite for keeping projects and tasks organized, with the ability to assign due dates and responsibilities.
  • “Getting Things Done” by David Allen: A book that continues to be a foundational resource for managing tasks and decluttering the mind.
  • The PARA Method: A modern approach detailed in a recent book by Tiago Forte, emphasizing the use of digital tools for managing notes, tasks, and priorities.
  • Time Blocking and Task Tracking: Many of us are finding value in dedicating specific blocks of time to tasks and utilizing apps like Motion Calendar to keep track of the minutiae.

Innovative Solutions to Time-Old Problems

Our discussions also explored innovative solutions like AI-driven tools and physical desk timers for maintaining focus. The concept of “No Meeting Fridays” became popular as a way to secure large, uninterrupted time blocks for deep work.

Final Thoughts

What stands out from our deep dive is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to time management. It’s about finding a mix of tools, techniques, and philosophies that resonate with your personal and professional rhythm. Equally important is staying adaptable, as today’s most effective strategy may need to change tomorrow.

..and there you have it. Our deep dive into time management is just one facet of the myriad activities we engage in at the Community Leadership Core. This investigation is part of our broader mission: providing hands-on coaching, training, and accountability. Our accelerator is designed to meet your organization’s needs, aiming to deliver clear, consistent results every quarter—with less stress and more satisfaction.

Curious to learn more about our initiatives and how they can benefit you? Dive deeper here.

Unlocking the Power of Discord: A DevRel Guide to Boosting Community Engagement

Unlocking the Power of Discord: A DevRel Guide to Boosting Community Engagement

Engaging community members on Discord can sometimes feel like solving a complex puzzle. 

You may have noticed a trend: new members burst onto the scene with enthusiasm, and there’s a surge of activity when a specific technical question pops up. But in between these moments, regular members often seem to hang back.

Acknowledging and understanding this pattern of engagement is a fundamental step towards morphing your Discord server from a simple question-and-answer hub to a lively, continuously learning, and interactive space.

Yet, for a DevRel community to genuinely flourish on Discord, we need to evolve this platform from being merely functional into an ecosystem that fosters growth, shared learning, and encourages vulnerability.

Identifying Your Audience and Delivering Quick Wins

A key component of transforming your Discord community involves knowing your audience inside out.

Understand their needs, wants, and the obstacles they face. Once you’ve done that, the next step is to provide quick wins that address these issues.

Quick wins can be anything that provides immediate value to your community members, solving a problem they have, or giving them new insights or tools.

Consider this: in a DevRel community focused on cloud development, if members often find it challenging to choose a suitable tech stack, a quick win could be a curated list of popular tech stacks within the community. Couple this with reviews and user experiences, and you’ve got a helpful resource that not only solves a problem but also stimulates conversation.

The key to making quick wins work for your community is consistency.

By regularly providing quick wins, you subtly shift members’ perception of your community from being just another Q&A forum to a learning hub where they can engage in exciting discussions and acquire new knowledge.

Engaging with the Community

The next piece of the puzzle is building awesome community engagement.

To engage with your community effectively, start by understanding your audience through data. Identify the conversations that generate the most replies and likes and try to pinpoint why these topics resonate with your members.

With this understanding, focus on initiating conversations and producing content that strikes a chord with your community.

An excellent strategy is to create one piece of content per week and start at least two conversation starters. This might seem simple, but it is incredibly effective. (Curious what devs are interested in? See the data.)

When members visit your community, they should encounter engaging discussions, relevant content, and intriguing finds, not just a series of question-and-answer exchanges.

If you keep up a steady stream of content and conversation starters, you provide more reasons for members to engage and come back regularly.

External Pulls: Drawing People Back In

Another important factor to consider is the role of external pulls – the things you do outside of Discord to draw people back in.

For instance, you might send an email update about a new piece of content, or post on social media about a conversation that’s gaining momentum in your Discord community.

If members have been dormant in your Discord channel, these external pulls can serve as reminders, nudging them back towards engagement.

The Journey Towards a Thriving Discord Community

Remember, progress trumps perfection.

Start with small steps like initiating a couple of conversations each week, and observe what resonates with your community. As you learn more about your audience and refine your strategies, you’ll find the puzzle of engagement becoming less complex.

With time, you’ll spot trends in the content and discussions that often stir up interaction. This will help you create more engaging DevRel content and spark lively discussions on Discord.

Creating a thriving community on Discord doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistent effort, creativity, and a willingness to listen and adapt to your audience’s needs. But the reward—a vibrant, engaged community—is well worth the journey.

As always, I’m here to help. Reach out if you have any questions or need guidance on boosting your Discord community’s engagement.

Together, we can unlock the true potential of your DevRel efforts on Discord.

Curious to get an awesome job in DevRel? Read my guide.

Decoding DevRel: Exploring Job Roles in Developer Relations

Decoding DevRel: Exploring Job Roles in Developer Relations

DevRel, short for Developer Relations, is a critical part of many tech companies. It refers to the strategic efforts aimed at engaging and nurturing relationships with the developer community.

This involves creating a conducive environment for developers, facilitating productive communication, and promoting the company’s products or services among the community.

But what roles form the crux of DevRel? Let’s dig in.

Key DevRel Jobs

DevRel usually consists of three primary roles: Director of Developer Relations, Community Manager, and Evangelist.

Each plays a unique part in establishing and cultivating relationships between the company and its developer community.

1. Director of Developer Relations

The Director of Developer Relations is often a senior role within companies that are further along in their growth.

This individual is responsible for overseeing the DevRel strategy, ensuring that cross-team collaboration occurs effectively.

They usually interact with different departments like marketing, sales, product, and engineering, making sure these teams align with stakeholder requirements.

The Director of Developer Relations role isn’t typically the first hire in a nascent company. Rather, this role becomes crucial as the company matures and requires a leader to synchronize the DevRel activities with the broader company strategy.

2. Community Manager

The Community Manager is akin to the backbone of the developer community.

Their role involves building, nurturing, and growing the community by creating engaging content, managing community channels, and organizing events.

They are also responsible for improving the onboarding process for new members and creating engaging experiences for existing ones.

The Community Manager’s role becomes significant in the early stages of community-building, with the primary goal being attracting and retaining members.

This role is often the starting point in setting up a solid developer community structure.

3. Evangelist

The Evangelist, the voice of the company, is primarily tasked with creating awareness and excitement around the company’s products or services.

Their responsibilities include delivering tech demos, advocating for the company, performing outreach, and creating compelling content.

They are often the face of the company at conferences, webinars, and other public forums. Once a robust community structure is in place, the Evangelist plays a crucial role in driving traffic and attention to it.

DevRel Salaries

DevRel salaries varyies widely depending on the specific role, company size, and geographical location.

Be sure to check out this link from Glassdoor which provides some fairly current salary information. This is the salary for DevRel at the time of writing:

Developer Relations (DevRel) Salary

Who do you hire first?

For a successful DevRel strategy, I usually recommend companies start out with a community management role. This role establishes the necessary foundations for the community, ensuring that there’s a structured delivery system in place.

Following this, an evangelist should be brought in to generate excitement and awareness around the community. Ideally, when the community structure is stable and operational, the evangelist drives traffic towards it.

Lastly, as the company grows and matures, a Director of Developer Relations can be introduced. This person coordinates the activities of the community manager and evangelist, aligning these with the company’s overarching strategy.

It’s crucial to remember that while these roles have distinct responsibilities, there is often overlap, particularly in smaller teams or startup environments. Flexibility is a must, with the success of DevRel lying in the balance and synchronization of all these roles.

What about a DevRel Engineer?

A noteworthy role in the realm of DevRel is the DevRel Engineer. This role, while not as prominent as the aforementioned ones, is increasingly becoming essential. But what is a DevRel Engineer?

A DevRel Engineer is a hybrid role, combining aspects of software engineering and DevRel.

These folks are technically skilled, often with a strong background in software development, and carry the responsibility of representing the developers within the company.

Their role includes writing code, building demos, providing developer feedback to the product team, and communicating technical aspects of the product to the developer community.

Their position serves as a bridge between the company’s technical team and the developer community, which allows them to understand both parties’ needs and communicate effectively.

Stay focused on value

However you hire, ensure you focus on these key elements as you start to build out your developer community:

  1. Community First: Always prioritize the community. The developer community is not just a customer base; it’s a group of individuals who can help improve and promote your product. Listen to their needs, consider their feedback, and communicate openly with them.
  2. Authenticity: Authenticity is key in DevRel. The community values genuine interactions and honest feedback. Therefore, maintaining authenticity in your communication helps build trust and fosters a strong relationship.
  3. Value Delivery: Ensure that you’re not just promoting your product but providing value to the community. This could be through educational content, insightful discussions, or useful tools. Delivering value helps maintain engagement and loyalty within the community.
  4. Collaboration: Collaboration is a vital aspect of DevRel. Whether it’s collaborating with the community, with other teams in your company, or even with other companies, successful DevRel involves working together to achieve shared goals.

DevRel is a dynamic, multi-faceted field, providing a variety of job roles, each playing a unique part in nurturing relationships with the developer community.

From community managers and evangelists to the director of developer relations and DevRel engineers, these roles each contribute significantly to a successful DevRel strategy.

Keep in mind the importance of authentic communication, delivering value, and fostering a collaborative environment for a thriving developer relations program.

What is Developer Relations (DevRel)? A Complete Guide.

What is Developer Relations (DevRel)? A Complete Guide.

Developer Relations, commonly known as DevRel, is a rapidly growing field within the tech industry that focuses on fostering relationships between companies and their developer communities.

DevRel professionals bridge the gap between companies and developers by providing technical guidance, support, and resources. This allows companies to better understand the needs and perspectives of their developer communities, which ultimately drives the growth and adoption of their products and services.

Here is a video guide too that might help:

What are the roles and responsibilities in devrel?

DevRel professionals come from various backgrounds, often with experience in software development, technical writing, community management, and marketing.

The primary roles within DevRel include Developer Advocates, Developer Evangelists, and Community Managers.

Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of activities such as:

Technical content creation

DevRel professionals create technical resources such as tutorials, blog posts, and documentation to help developers understand, use, and integrate a company’s products and services effectively.

Public speaking and workshops

Developer Advocates and Evangelists often attend and speak at conferences, meetups, and webinars to share knowledge, engage with the community, and showcase the company’s technology.

Community engagement

DevRel professionals facilitate communication between developers and the company by engaging with the community through forums, social media, and other channels. They gather feedback, address concerns, and provide support to enhance the user experience.

Internal advocacy

A key function of DevRel is to represent the developer’s voice within the company. DevRel professionals collaborate with product, engineering, and marketing teams to ensure that the company’s products and services align with the needs and expectations of the developer community.

Developer programs and initiatives

DevRel teams often create and manage developer programs, hackathons, and other initiatives to incentivize and recognize community contributions, drive adoption, and strengthen the developer ecosystem.

Why is devrel so important?

Developer Relations offers numerous benefits for companies.

By fostering relationships between the company and its developer community, DevRel can significantly impact the growth, adoption, and success of the company’s products and services.

Here are some key benefits of DevRel for a company:

Improved product adoption

DevRel professionals create resources, provide support, and share knowledge that enables developers to understand and use a company’s products and services more effectively. This leads to increased product adoption, usage, and market share.

Enhanced user experience

DevRel teams gather feedback and insights from the developer community, which helps the company iterate on its products and services to better meet the needs and expectations of developers. This leads to an enhanced user experience and higher customer satisfaction.

Stronger brand loyalty

By fostering meaningful relationships with developers and providing valuable resources, DevRel teams can create a sense of trust and loyalty towards the company’s brand. This can lead to long-term commitment from the developer community and promote advocacy for the company’s products and services.

Faster innovation

An engaged developer community can contribute valuable ideas, features, and improvements to a company’s products. By encouraging collaboration and innovation, DevRel can help the company stay competitive and agile in the fast-paced tech industry.

Expanded developer ecosystem

DevRel initiatives like hackathons, developer programs, and open-source contributions can attract more developers to the company’s ecosystem. This can lead to the development of third-party tools, integrations, and add-ons that enhance the functionality and reach of the company’s products.

Valuable feedback

DevRel professionals serve as a bridge between the company and the developer community, ensuring that feedback from developers is taken into account when making product decisions. This can help the company prioritize features and improvements that truly matter to the users.

Increased visibility

DevRel professionals often attend and speak at conferences, meetups, and other industry events, showcasing the company’s technology and sharing expertise. This increases brand awareness and visibility within the developer community and the broader tech industry.

Cost-effective marketing

DevRel initiatives can provide a cost-effective means of marketing and promoting the company’s products and services. By focusing on creating valuable content and resources, DevRel teams can organically attract and engage with the developer community, reducing the need for traditional advertising and marketing campaigns.

Internal advocacy

DevRel professionals act as the voice of the developer within the company, ensuring that product, engineering, and marketing teams understand and address the needs and concerns of the developer community. This leads to better-aligned products and services that cater to the actual needs of the users.

What is a typical devrel salary?

The typical salary of a DevRel engineer can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, location, company size, and industry. In general, DevRel professionals can expect to earn a competitive salary compared to other software engineering roles.

Over the course of my 22+ years helping hundreds of companies build technical communities, the average base salary for a DevRel engineer in the United States is around $90,000 to $130,000 per year.

However, more experienced DevRel engineers, particularly those working for large tech companies, could earn significantly more, with salaries exceeding $150,000 or rising above $400,000 in some cases. Some of the larger companies even get to $1m+ for notable devrel leaders.

It is essential to note that salaries can also vary significantly by country or region.

In addition to the base salary, DevRel engineers may also be eligible for bonuses, stock options, or other benefits, which can further increase their total compensation.

To get a more accurate and up-to-date picture of DevRel engineer salaries, you can consult various resources such as Glassdoor, Payscale, or other job and salary websites. You can also network with DevRel professionals in your area to gain more insight into the earning potential within this field.

How to measure success in developer relations?

Measuring success in Developer Relations can be challenging due to the diverse range of activities and goals associated with the field.

However, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that can help evaluate the effectiveness of DevRel efforts. Here are some common ways to measure success in Developer Relations:

  1. Community growth: Track the number of developers joining your community, participating in forums, or subscribing to newsletters. A growing community is a strong indication that your DevRel efforts are resonating with developers and attracting new members.
  2. Engagement: Measure the level of interaction within the developer community, including forum posts, social media mentions, or event attendance. High engagement levels show that developers find value in your content and resources, fostering a more active and vibrant community.
  3. Technical content consumption: Monitor the usage of your technical resources, such as blog views, tutorial completions, and documentation page visits. This can help you understand which topics are most valuable to your audience and guide your content strategy.
  4. Developer satisfaction: Conduct surveys or collect feedback from developers to gauge their satisfaction with your products, resources, and support. High satisfaction levels indicate that you’re meeting the needs and expectations of your developer community.
  5. Product adoption: Track the number of new users, active users, or API calls made by developers. An increase in these metrics demonstrates that your DevRel efforts are contributing to greater product adoption and usage.
  6. Developer contributions: Measure the number of contributions made by developers, such as bug reports, feature requests, or pull requests. This can help you assess the impact of your DevRel initiatives on fostering collaboration and innovation.
  7. Internal advocacy: Evaluate how effectively your DevRel team is representing the developer’s voice within the company. This can include the number of product improvements or feature requests driven by developer feedback or the level of collaboration between your DevRel team and other departments.
  8. Event success: Assess the impact of your events, such as webinars, workshops, or conferences, by tracking attendance, feedback, or leads generated. Successful events will increase brand awareness, community engagement, and product adoption.

Remember that not all KPIs and metrics will be equally important for every organization or DevRel team…

…so, identify the key goals of your Developer Relations strategy and select the most relevant metrics to measure success. Regularly review and adjust your strategy based on your findings to ensure continuous improvement and alignment with your organization’s objectives.

How to find a developer relations job?

Here is a video I put together that will help:

Go on…go watch it…it just might help. 🙂

Finding a Developer Relations job involves a combination of research, networking, and showcasing your skills and experience. Here are some steps to help you find a DevRel job:

Start by researching the industry. Familiarize yourself with the DevRel landscape, including the various roles, responsibilities, and skills required. Understand the differences between Developer Advocates, Developer Evangelists, and Community Managers, and determine which role best aligns with your interests and strengths.

Next, update your resume and online profiles. Be sure to highlight your relevant experience, technical skills, and accomplishments related to DevRel, such as public speaking, content creation, community management, or event organization. Ensure your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or portfolio showcases your expertise and passion for DevRel.

If you haven’t already, create a presence in the developer community. Actively participate in developer communities, forums, or social media platforms related to your area of interest. Share your knowledge, answer questions, and engage with other members to build your reputation and visibility.

It might sound a little cheesy, but network with DevRel professionals. Connect with DevRel professionals through social media, conferences, meetups, or online communities. Networking can help you learn about job opportunities, get advice, and gain insights into the DevRel job market.

As part of this, be sure to attend industry events. Attend conferences, meetups, workshops, hackathons, or webinars related to DevRel or your specific technology interests. These events can help you learn about the latest trends, network with professionals, and discover job opportunities.

Be sure to develop a content portfolio. Create and share technical content, such as blog posts, tutorials, or videos, to demonstrate your ability to communicate complex topics effectively. This will serve as proof of your expertise and communication skills, which are highly valued in DevRel roles.

Always start by leverage your existing network if you have connections. Reach out to your professional network, including colleagues, friends, or alumni, to inquire about DevRel job opportunities within their organizations.

If you don’t have connections, use job search platforms. Use job search platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, or specialized tech job boards to find DevRel job listings. Set up job alerts to receive notifications when new positions become available.

A great way to get started is to apply for internships or entry-level positions. If you’re new to DevRel, consider applying for internships or entry-level positions to gain experience and build your portfolio. This can increase your chances of landing a more specialized DevRel role later on.

Importantly though, tailor your application. When applying for DevRel jobs, customize your resume and cover letter to match the specific requirements and responsibilities of each role. Highlight your relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments to show your fit for the position.

How to prepare for a Developer Relations interview?

Preparing for a DevRel interview involves understanding the role, showcasing your technical knowledge, communication skills, and passion for engaging with developer communities.

Here are 10 tips to help you prepare for a DevRel interview:

  1. Research the company and its products: Learn about the company’s products, services, and technology stack. Understand the target developer audience and familiarize yourself with the company’s existing DevRel efforts, such as documentation, blog posts, and community forums.
  2. Review the job description: Carefully study the job description and note the specific skills, responsibilities, and requirements. Be prepared to discuss your experience and accomplishments related to these aspects.
  3. Prepare your portfolio: Compile a portfolio of your technical content, such as blog posts, tutorials, videos, or code samples. Be ready to discuss your thought process, challenges faced, and the impact of your work. If you have experience speaking at events or hosting workshops, mention those as well.
  4. Be ready to showcase your technical knowledge: DevRel roles often require deep understanding of the technology you will be advocating. Be prepared to answer technical questions related to the company’s products or your area of expertise.
  5. Practice storytelling: Develop clear and concise stories about your experiences engaging with developer communities, solving technical problems, or creating content. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your answers and demonstrate your problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills.
  6. Prepare for behavioral questions: Be ready to answer questions about your teamwork, conflict resolution, time management, and adaptability. DevRel roles require strong interpersonal skills, so interviewers will be looking for candidates who can work well with others and handle challenging situations.
  7. Demonstrate your passion for developer communities: Share your experiences participating in or leading developer communities, forums, or open-source projects. Highlight your enthusiasm for helping others, learning from peers, and staying up-to-date with industry trends.
  8. Prepare questions for the interviewer: Show your interest in the role and company by preparing thoughtful questions about the DevRel team, company culture, goals, and expectations. This will also help you determine if the position is a good fit for you.
  9. Practice your communication skills: DevRel roles require excellent communication skills, so practice speaking clearly and confidently. Consider rehearsing your answers to potential interview questions with a friend or recording yourself to identify areas for improvement.
  10. Follow up after the interview: Send a thank-you email to the interviewer, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterating your interest in the position. This can leave a positive impression and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.

All in all…a fun and rewarding job

So there we have it, a comprehensive overview of Developer Relations. If you want to up your game in DevRel, be sure to join the Bacon Bulletin, where I regularly send out valuable tips, tricks, and guidance for building incredible communities. It is totally FREE.