Yes, The Community Managers Are Taking Over


Originally published on

community-manager-takeoverThere’s been a big trend in the community space lately.

Name a startup and they probably have a community manager… or they’re desperately looking for one.

Not only that, but more and more community managers exist on the executive level…they’re finally getting seats at the table.

VC’s are hiring community managers now too. Spark Capital, Quotidian Ventures and FoundersClub all have full time community managers and they’re no interns. Spark just hired all-around badass Danya Cheskis-Gold who previously ran community at SkillShare.

Media sites, marketplaces, collaborative consumption platforms, social platforms, game developers and even developer platforms are ALL hiring community managers.

It seems many companies are discovering that yes you can build it, and yes they might even come.

But you have to be focused on the customer, on building engagement amongst users, on listening and learning, on making the sure product properly represents the needs of its people and on improving retention.

Community is no longer being looked at as a fluffy, “nice to have” role. It’s a necessity as it’s been proven to greatly increase retention.

So for those of you looking for the next hot job in the tech world, think about getting into community.

Salaries are about to shoot up. If you’re a CM, ask for a raise.

Salaries will shoot up for 3 reasons:

1. Increasing demand.

Pretty simple.

2. Low supply.

It’s incredibly difficult to hire for a community manager. This is because the role has two important factors; experience and relevance. You can find an experienced community manager but if they’re not relevant to your community, they won’t be a good fit.

There aren’t a great deal of highly experienced community builders out there given the relatively recent resurgence of the role. And the ones who are that good already have amazing jobs.

The good news is there are a lot of new CMs being trained by companies like Google, Yelp, Airbnb, Soundcloud, all of whom have community teams in the double digits.

3. Difficult to outsource

What’s interesting is that while developer salaries are at an all time high, that profession has less defensibility than community. Products are becoming easier to build with out of the box solutions, developers are being pumped out by boot camps and much of it is being outsourced.

Community needs a platform to exist which you can get out of the box, but the relationships that make up the actual community cannot be automatically implemented and its very difficult to outsource.

It’s an exciting time to be a community manager.  There are a few good resources out there that can teach you the skills you’ll need.

Get on board.


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