How getting dumped (often) taught me to be a better community manager

by Sarah Blue | Culture

It’s hard to believe, I know, but I’ve been dumped more times than I can remember. I’d like to believe it was because no one can keep up with my fierce strength, but I suspect I just wasn’t very good at dating for a really long time. While I don’t recommend becoming an expert at heartbreak to anyone, I do recommend learning from my experiences. The next time you get dumped, don’t focus on the bonbons, think about how it’s making you better at your job and giving you these nuggets of insight:

A high level of empathy. Sometimes, getting dumped feels like the world is ending. You’re friends will tell you it’s no big deal and that it happens to everyone. This is true. However, understanding how much it hurts helps you understand how other people feel. Don’t discount something that could be a really big effing deal to a community member. Paying attention to details like this makes community members feel like you care…and really, if you are good at what you do, you *should* care. 

Realizing that no one is thinking about you, they are thinking about themselves. Whether it’s first-date nerves or “Why hasn’t he called yet?” jitters, know that everybody else goes through the same thing. When people say, ‘What a great idea!’ or ‘Let me know how I can support.” They are probably serious. However, they’ve got a pile of work of their own and time is precious. They might not follow up with joining your community for no other reason than being busy. If you want people to come to your site – gently nudge them a reminder that they liked it. If you want them to contribute, show them how they’ll benefit. If you want them to spread the word, give them the message.

Not everyone will like you, but plenty of people will. Yes, in fact there are plenty of fish in the sea. Much like dating, figure out your target market then go after it. Start with the scatter gun approach, it’s ok to date around while you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Once you’ve nailed it (your target market, not the girls that like you), focus on being the best you can possibly be.

Stop. Breathe. Think. It’s easy to get upset over every little thing, especially if it’s something you are passionate about. If you do this with dating, you turn into crazy-girl-that-no-one-wants-to-date. Don’t do it. If you do this with your community, you kill your community. Fight for what really matters, let the rest go. Community managers are brand champions, not brand pit bulls. Pick your battles, ignore the trolls and every time something happens you don’t like, choose to celebrate something you love. 

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Sarah Blue

Sarah Blue

Sarah is currently in charge of community outreach for Cardinal Media Technologies. Cardinal is a music participation and insight platform that lets users share what they're listening to, discover new music and friends, create ad-hoc location-based networks, and influence what's playing at 'Cardinal Powered' venues. Sarah has partnered with startup and community leaders to educate... more

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