Nisha Baxi

Head of Community at Gong
October 13, 2021
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Kirsti: In your blogs, you’ve talked a bit about how much you love community and bringing people together — can you tell us about a time or situation that recently brought you joy, or made you feel like you were making a difference?

There are so many new communities that are out there and everyone is looking for direction (myself included). It's been wonderful sharing my experiences with folks that have reached out in my networking asking, "how do I get started?" and "does it make sense for me to do this?" The Gong Community is at the beginning of its 'Yellow Brick Road' and I've loved helping people step on their own path too!

Max Pete: What are some similar traits from your previous marketing roles that you were able to bring over to your community journey?

I'd say being able to hone into the persona you're working with. In marketing, rule #1 is "know your audience" Community folks do a great job understanding the "who"! BTW, this is probably because Community Managers are highly people-oriented and naturally curious so this is a supremely transferable.

Katrine: Considering you've successfully launched a community with multiple channels in under 90 days... how the heck did you do this?! What tips do you have for others that are trying to quickly launch a community from scratch as well? What were the steps you took first?

My big thing is plan the work, then work the plan.
There are also many resources out there, you should use them! In Before The Lock Podcast has a list of tools that is the best resource in the whole world!

Sagi: What communities do you draw inspiration from?

As an InSided customer and B2B company, I got a ton of inspiration from Adam at Docebo and also from Nádia Vieira's LinkedIn Community! There are so many amazing communities and I cannot wait to explore and learn from!

Ayu: What are some of the tasks that we should offload as a Community Manager to our second hire and where should we put our entire focus on?

Good question! I have a philosophy for every new hire I have: give them a program that they can be successful in the first 90 days. It is imperative that within the first 3 months the company sees their value and they get a great win under their belt! That being said, I also have the expectation that they'll manage the day-to-day online community, document how to do it so there is a playbook so that one day when they get promoted or specialize in something else in the community, they'll be able to transition this role to someone new very easily.

Jocelyn: You mentioned having a back-up plan. What would you recommend for folks who may be a one-person team?

I am currently a one-person team so I feel ya here! I treat myself as two different people and spend 50% of my time getting things done (meetings internally and with customers) and the other 50% doing deep work! If you have to go on vacation, you have your bulldog team or v-team to fallback on. Building great internal partners is helpful for keeping the lights on when you need time for lights out.

Lindsey: I was intrigued to read about your experience creating customer evangelism stories for IBM as an Intern! Would you mind unpacking how that formative experience at one of tech's most legacy-ed companies led to your success in community?

Thanks for reading my bio! I didn't know folks actually go through them. IBM gave me two really important things:

1) the opportunity to get comfortable meeting customers and partners. I honed into my interviewing skills and was able to understand very clearly: "What is the customer's problem, what was the solution we provided and what were the benefits"? This a framework you can use over and over again. Even to answer the question "Why am I in this meeting?" This happened yesterday in a meeting and just going back to this really helped.

2) Confidence that I was smart enough to get meaningful work done and work with "adults" as a 20-year-old. It can be really intimidating working with folks that have been working for decades. So this really helped me gear up for my first full-time job. Will always be grateful to IBM!

Want more from Nisha? Check out her Creator Guild Spotlight Profile or read her article Marketing Skills That Make For Great Community Managers