Are you curious about the community industry and looking to gain hands-on experience in community management? If so, the Talkbase Friends Community Ambassador Program might just be the opportunity you've been searching for. I was in your shoes not too long ago and, after being part of the first cohort of Talkbase’s Ambassador Program, I’m here to bring you the scoop.
The Whats and Hows of Community
If your journey is anything like mine, you’ve been hearing about “community” for a few years now. And for good reason; although it’s hard to define, community humanizes business. Gone are the days of one-sided communications where companies simply told us how great their product was and why we should buy them.
Community (when used right) turns that into a two-way street that can help a build a raving fanbase while gathering client feedback and making consumers feel heard, understood and included in shaping the product. It makes sense that community management is a growing field, and the Talkbase Friends Community Ambassador Program helped me gain a better understanding of it while also providing hands-on community experience (and it might help you do the same).
The Talkbase Friends Community Ambassador Program
The Talkbase Friends Community Ambassadors is a 4-month long program that provides you hands on experience in the community industry, networking opportunities and education sessions. If you’re new to the community management industry and looking to gain experience and practice, this program is for you.
I loved my time as a Talkbase Community Ambassador! Even though I could only give the program 3-4 hours a week, I was still able to:
- Foster relationships with my peers and Talkbase staff.
- Attend a few education sessions.
- Finally have a better understanding of community
- See how my work and skills in event management, customer service, social media and operations directly transfer to the field
- Work with my group partner to create an awesome final project– ✨The Ultimate Community Playbook for Community Newbies.
My Journey as Talkbase Ambassador:
I found Talkbase last year while looking for a new job. Although I had no direct community experience, I applied for their Community Lead position. Shortly after, Klara, Talkbase’s founder, invited me to apply to the first cohort of the Talkbase Friends Community Ambassador Program.
As someone who loves learning, I said yes and applied. I started the Ambassador Program in tandem with a new full time job (literally, I started my job on a Monday and had my first Talkbase meeting later that week). It was a challenge to figure out how to manage my time while adapting to a new workplace in the middle of event season, but I made it work.
The creation of a community-related project is woven throughout the four-month experience. During the first week, you get to meet the other Ambassadors and get a feel for their areas of interest within the community industry, which is key in deciding how to move forward with the Program. You can either choose to fly solo, focusing on a project of your choosing, or partner up and enhance your team-building and project management skills. I chose the latter.
If you’re reading this thinking: “Vanessa, how am I going to know what kind of project I want to do? I came here to learn more about community, I literally have no clue!” Don’t worry. My teammate and I had no clue either, and the team at Talkbase knows that you might need some inspiration and will provide some ideas for you. My advice? Roll with one that feels good and don’t get too attached to it. As you go through the program, attend the education workshops, and connect with your mentor, your project will start taking shape.
In our group that looked like:
- Run a community survey to better understand what kind of content our members needed.
- Create a knowledge base for all things community.
- Research frameworks and best practices on creating a knowledge base.
- Engage members in creating articles for the knowledge base.
- Execute a launch campaign on Slack to drive usage of the knowledge base.
- Run a post-launch survey to analyze our wins and areas of improvement.
- Partnering with a fellow Ambassador to insert our questions into her project (an onboarding community survey) to understand the content needs of our members.
- Analyzing survey data and deciding to focus our knowledge base on entry to mid-senior professionals interested in community building, engagement and operations.
- Researching frameworks and best practices (and getting overwhelmed with information paralysis to the point of needing to pivot our end project).
- Creating the document we wished we had coming into this field (because we were our audience).
How I Used the Program to Further My Career
At the end of the day, your project is your ticket to tap into that hands-on community experience. As part of the program, you gain access to a pool of industry professionals that are willing (and eager) to help you execute your ideas; a real-life, virtual community you can test your initiatives with, a network of fellow Ambassadors learning with you, and the opportunity to present your final project to community professionals as part of your “graduation.”
My favorite part about being a Talkbase Friends Community Ambassador was the opportunity to work with the Talkbase team and working with my partner on the Community Playbook. The level of collaboration, communication and encouragement from Talkbase was incredible, and I’m very happy that our work can now help generate leads for Talkbase and provide value to fellow community people.
Needless to say, ✨The Ultimate Community Playbook for Community Newbies is my superstar portfolio item. It is such a useful document that has been downloaded 379 times and it has brought in 12 new members to the Talkbase Friends Community. Plus, my work at the program has kicked out my imposter syndrome, allowing me to brag confidently about my project management, presentation and copywriting skills.
Where do I Apply?
Application for the next cohort of the Talkbase Friends Community Ambassadors opens soon, so if you’re new to the community management space, now is the time to learn by doing! ➡️ Fill out the interest form here.
February 22, 2023
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