Last year we worked with a community manager in the most dire of situations.
Her product was bad, they couldn’t fix it, and the community of customers was furious. They complained in the customer community. The company decided to stop participating there, essentially banning the community manager from her own community.
You’re going to be doing this work for a while. Your reputation is going to rise and fall with your successes and failures. I know community managers still riding a wave of goodwill after developing a successful community from years ago.
Here’s the problem.
You will never, ever, be a successful community manager if your product is bad.
You won’t ever be happy or content in your job. You won’t be respected by your audience. The best you can hope for member sympathy and a nice pay check. But sympathy won’t boost your reputation and a nice pay check won’t help you sleep at night.
You need more than that and we need more from you.
If your product is bad you’ll be forced to lie to your community. You’ll be forced to fake enthusiasm for something you don’t believe in. You’ll have to go to bed and wake up every morning knowing that’s what your job entails.
Knowledge of the product and passion for the sector matters, for sure. Far more important is your own passion for the product and company. If you think the product is awful, your customers do too. If you think your company treats people unethically, your customers will soon know that too. Worst yet, they’ll associate you with them. You don’t get to create a separation by being nice to people online.
Your time and energy are two of the most precious things you will ever give. Don’t give them to companies you don’t believe in. Work for less if you need to and help companies thrive. You’re far more likely to succeed and you’ll be amped every day to help make your community better.