is community management right for you?

Everyone’s talking about community management. Could it be your next career move? We prepared this guide to help the community managers of tomorrow explore this emerging career path.

0. Community is everywhere

Cultural factors and business trends are bringing community building to the forefront, and a new career path is emerging for those who manage online communities. Community manager is the career of the decade. From fitness to education to software and beyond, community managers are ushering in a new era. Could you be one of them? 

2020 was a big year for online communities. As a global pandemic forced many to retreat from their in-person social networks, they turned to online versions of the town square to find connections, friendships, and a place to pass the time in the company of others. Online communities sprung up to accommodate the demand.

  • Grassroots networks created Slack groups to facilitate neighbors helping each other buy groceries.
  • Fitness apps started communities to help their users, now working out at home, find camaraderie and motivation they could no longer get at the gym.
  • New college students created Discord servers to get study help and chat with classmates during boring Zoom lectures. And so on. 

Even before to the events of 2020, many niche online communities were thriving under the radar and had begun to garner discussion in the business world. Whether self-organized or supported by a brand, most of these spaces relied on the leadership of community managers to keep them healthy. As online communities become more common in the business world, the role of community manager is evolving from a niche hobby to a bonafide corporate role. 

Throughout the next decade, we predict that most organizations—from tiny startups to non-profits to the most recognizable names in business—will employ at least one community manager. As traditional marketing reaches a saturation point, brands are having to radically shift their approach to customers, and they’re turning to community managers to do it. As with any role in its nascence, the professionals who will grow and define this field may not even know it exists yet. We prepared this guide to help the community managers of tomorrow explore this emerging career path.

  1. Community is everywhere
  2. What is community?
  3. Capital C communities
  4. Community-led
  5. Why are companies investing in community?
  6. What does a community manager do?
  7. What skill sets do community managers have?
  8. Community career expectations
  9. Community career paths