You need a long-term focus – but it’s hard.
Yes, you can answer the question – but it’s far more valuable in the long-term if you can persuade another member or another staff member to dive into the community and answer it. That builds habits and stops you from getting sucked into a customer support role.
(By the way, this is the most obvious difference between doing community and customer support work).
Yes, you can create content or run a webinar – but what if you could persuade your members to do it?
Yes, you can launch a fancy community with every feature members might need – but it’s far better to only embrace the features they do need.
Yes, you can promise your bosses amazingly quick results from the community – but it’s far better to educate them about the community lifecycle and why the long-term matters.
Yes, you can measure the engagement metrics your platform gives you – but it’s far better to build your own measurement tools to track valuable changes in behavior.
Two important things are critical here. The first is that most of the long-term value you can create comes from you managing to build relationships with members.
Every minute you invest in building a personal relationship with a member (or senior exec) pays off many times over.
The second is you need to constantly resist the pressure for the short-term solution. There are hundreds of them – but they simply push the problem from today until tomorrow.