Only the core of all your efforts.
Community is probably the #1 theme that came up in our podcast episodes, coming strong even from the first one. As soon as a product/service is available, a community will be created with regard to your product. Mary, Adrian, Jeremy, all DevRel professionals, agreed on what “community” means. It’s people who interact or work with it and get together to seek information on how to best solve problems or talk about features they love or hate.
The strategic decision is where you will choose your community to live. Are you going to leave it “out in the wild”? Andreas asked in our first episode. Jeremy discussed how running a coffee shop helped him better manage a community in episode 4. You just have to offer a space that people will want to visit and make sure you take different tastes into consideration. Adrian gave us the basis for all communications with your community: be authentic.
Mary sums it pretty well:
“Your community is out there so it’s just a matter of how and when you’re going to engage with them and engaging with them where they already are, is your starting point. Then bringing them back to your site or creating a forum, if that’s even necessary, is the next question to ask. But figuring out where your community exists is the first step in where they’re already talking so you can be engaged in the conversations of the platform where they already are.”
Short answer – no.
You don’t need to be a developer. But you need to be tech savvy and have the 4 skills we mentioned in Part 1: passion, curiosity, empathy, inclusion. Curiosity will get you started. You need to be curious so you can understand how your product/service works and what users have to say about it. Passion is a must. DevRel is based on being in the middle: between the company and the community and you need to be passionate in bringing those two to work together effectively. Empathy is also crucial, if you don’t understand the struggles or concerns developers have in using your product/service, you won’t be of much help to them. Inclusion is key, make sure you are taking care of all members of your community and offer a welcoming space for the newest members.
Every developer is valuable as they add to your community and help it grow. Adam adds the business value of each developer:
“Talking to developers is a critical part of what means ‘business success’. A developer actually means something to you. It might even mean that the solution you just sold to a customer will be implemented in a correct way and become successful.[…] By engaging with developers you open up your ecosystem to expose yourself to new opportunities and potential customers.[…] If you know what the value of the developer is to your business, you can use that to work out what you can be doing to change or invest in those different channels.”
How do I engage my community?
For this question, we will rely on wisdom collected from all episodes. To keep engaging your community, you should offer a space that serves your community’s purpose. A space where all developers can interact, share and solve problems. Communities are self-sustained when built but you need to be there and help Make sure you remain authentic and inclusive, the community should have a place for everyone. Stay up to date and make sure your space is tidy – trolls are everywhere – but to offer real value, focus on content that helps developers be and work better. If all goes according to plan, the result will be a community that functions independently and you should only take action when and if needed.
Hopefully, it will be one that even your engineers will want to crash their meetups as Arabella says in episode 6.
Season 2 is now live. If you like what you read in these posts, make sure you listen to the episodes. There are a lot of insights that couldn’t fit in these blog posts.
If you want to join as a guest in season 2 or want to be notified for new episodes, check out our podcast page at developermarketingpodcast.com