The Unexpected Thing High-Performing Community Pros all Do

It's not engagement, it's not measurement, and it's not swag.

There's one thing that I see the most successful community professionals do, and it has nothing to do with engagement OR measurement OR swag...

It's talking about what you do.

I know, that might seem dumb. But take a second and think about how often, and in what formats, you actually tell the rest of your team what it is that you and your community team are doing?

How often do you communicate out your goals, your metrics, your programs and initiatives? How often do you show off what’s happening in the community?

There's a good chance it's not enough.

When I interviewed Josh Zerkel from Asana on MoC recently, he preached the importance of doing what he calls "internal PR". He said, "A lot of teams struggle because they just want people to care about community, but the rest of the company doesn't have visibility into what they're doing. They're doing sales, they're doing design, they're doing marketing, they're doing other things. So it's your job to make that clear."

Josh says his team is probably exhausted of hearing him talk about the importance of doing internal PR, but he doesn’t care because it’s so important.

Nisha Baxi from Gong told me this week that she allocates 50% of her work hours to communicating internally. HALF of her time!

Talk to any accomplished community professional and ask them how much time they spent communicating what they’re doing to the rest of their team. I guarantee you it’s much more than you think.

So if there's one thing you can do to start being more successful as a community team today, it might just be this:

Tell people what you're doing. Tell people what's happening in the community. Then tell them again. Then tell them again.

Notes and Updates

I had the opportunity to interview three incredible community leaders at CMX Summit a few weeks ago: Seth Godin, Sahil Lavingia, and Marius Ciortea. All three interviews are available to listen to on the podcast.

Everywhere I turn people seem to be talking about Web3 communities. We’re going to be hosting an event to introduce community builders to the world of Web3. If you know of someone (preferably women and people of color) who would be a great person to teach the basics of Web3 communities, let us know.

We’ve almost crossed 80 Amazon reviews for The Business of Belonging! Getting people to submit reviews has proven to be one of the hardest parts of publishing a book. Let me know if you drop a review so I can personally thank you.

Someone asked me what I thought the impact of VR would be on community experiences. I told them that it won’t be like anything we have today. Every channel has its pros and cons. I still love phone calls because it feels low pressure compared to video calls. VR will solve the spacial awareness challenge of Zoom (ie. you can sit in a circle and “read the room”) but it won’t replace in-person as we’ll still lack touch, smell, true sound, subtle movements of the face and body. So it won’t replace today’s channels of communication, it’ll just add another option to the mix.

I bought my first NFT. It isn’t a trendy ape or anything. It’s a buddy of mine whose digital art I really love. Something about supporting an artist you love feels better to me than jumping on hype trains. Next I’d like to join a DAO to get the experience of being a part of one and learn what the community dynamics look like.

I still have no idea what I want to do with this newsletter, but I like that I have a direct channel to you all. A lot of what I want to write and talk about feel too raw for the CMX blog. So I’ll just keep sending you emails like this, when the inspiration strikes, if that’s cool with you.

What’s happening in your world? Smash reply and say what’s up.

-David