When people ask me what I do, I tell them I run my own company and that I”m a communications specialist — it’s sort of PR (darling).
Fundamentally I’m a people person — I’m compassionate and curious about other people’s lives — it’s why I initally went into magazine journalism. When I was approached over a decade ago by Justine Roberts, CBE and Carrie Longton, to help with their venture mumsnet.com I didn’t know anything about parenting other than being quite an enthusiastic aunt to seven nieces and nephews.
Since then, I have served as a community manager on the boards of Mumsnet helping make parents’ lives easier on a huge variety of topics that affect women on all levels from breastfeeding to Brexit. It’s a cross between being an air traffic controller and Chloe from CTU. I’ve had four children of my own and now know more about Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig than any adult not involved in the production company ever should.
Managing a community is about making sure that you’re always honest, transparent and empathetic to the concerns of the people in your tribe. Mumsnetters generally like it when I’m around because I understand what they’re going through — I’ve been there too. But even if that’s not the case, it’s important to look at your clients and look at where their pain points are and see how you can help.
What can you do to help your community of existing and potential clients? How can you make them crave what you do? Perhaps you can bring them value? In the case of Mumsnet, that value comes in failsafe parenting tips from people who’ve been there, done that, and got the stained t-shirt and the online companionship in doing so — knowing that there are other mothers out there who don’t know what heck to cook for supper again!
In the case of a consultancy business you can be sure to put yourself top of their call list by ensuring that you’re looking at upcoming events and being ahead of the game — and bringing them something that your competitors aren’t.
This is the best way to make people know, trust, and ultimately buy from you.