Professional development suggestions for a newbie


(Alex Armstrong) #1

We don’t have a community manager at my organization, but we do have an online community. By virtue of my role, I’m the most relevant person to level up and tackle some of that work more strategically.

It’s a private community for a consortium of international higher education institutions. Our members are academic staff (librarians, technologists, etc.) and faculty.

I’ve been looking at FeverBee’s courses. Given that we already have a community in place, should I skip the “How to start an online community” course and go for the “Successful community management” one?

What other professional development resources have you taken in the last couple years that were useful to you in your work?

I’m interested in conferences, online training, books, what have you – even interesting people to follow on the Twitters.

The other part of my role has to do with the consortium’s communication strategy. Since we’re geographically dispersed, most of this happens online, though not all of it in our community system. I’m especially interested in the intersections between community management and organizational communication more broadly – email marketing, webinars, f2f events, etc.

(Kathleen Ulrich) #2

I skipped the first course - quite by accident - and I highly recommend the 2nd course.

We have a monthly webinar series and 2 f2f events per year,.
I also suggest training videos and member update,

Like you, I have an industry group - very smart and passionate members - and we are very geographically diverse . the course gave me a way to determine target audiences and a new way to talk with governance,

(Richard Millington) #3

Hey @alehandrof,

Welcome to the community and thanks for checking out the courses. I love that private communities do.

I strongly recommend you skip the ‘how to start’ course. If you already have a community, this isn’t for you. I’d suggest you go with either Strategic Community Management ( or Psychology of Communities (

A lot of people here have taken them already if you want testimonials, but generally speaking these are the ones I think would best fit your situation. Ideally beginning with SCM and then considering POC. SCM also taps into the intersection between community and others parts of communication.

Feel free to drop me a line personally if you like.

(Alex Armstrong) #4

Thank you both for your responses.

@richard_millington, how does the Strategic CM course relate to the Successful CM one? I understand that it’s more basic, but I’m interested in some of the material. I’m planning to read Buzzing Communities over the summer. Would that help round out my understanding in a similar manner to the Successful CM course?

Any other ideas?

(Richard Millington) #5

Strategic Community Management is more advanced than Successful Community Management (the content and material is much more recent as well as we created it this year.

Strategic community management helps you link everything together. Your goals, objectives, strategy, tactics, and developing the plan of action.

Successful community management will help you get engagement and focuses solely at the tactical level (growth, creating content, etc…).

What we can do if you like is if you sign up for SCM, and you don’t think it’s a good fit, I can switch you over to the right course.

(Alex Armstrong) #6

Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. I’ll plan out my prof dev for the coming year and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for the additional info!

(Alex Armstrong) #7

Richard, one of the goals for my prof dev is to be better able to assess and improve our community. We’re a non-profit, funded by grants and member fees. Those revenue sources are set up already and not subject to much variance. Will the SCM course give me tools for assessment/evaluation? I see a lot of ROI talk that I suspect won’t be applicable to my case.

(Richard Millington) #8

Hi @alehandrof,

You’re right that we do cover the ROI but only within a far more expansive session about the goals of the community. You can get a lot of the pure ROI material from: anyhow.

More important, we cover how to set reasonable targets for the community, how to make sure you achieved those goals, what behaviors you need members to perform to hit those targets and then how to get them to do it.

What’s most important to us is that by the end of the course you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve (outcomes), you know how to measure that achievement, what your core strategy is and the specific actions you take to acheive those goals.

A lot of people are good at one or two of these, we find that most people benefit from some help in the other areas.

What we can also do if you find the material not relevant is either refund you or upgrade you to another course. So hopefully that reduces any possible risk on your side. Let me know if that helps.

(Alex Armstrong) #9

Thanks for the details, Richard!