#StandApart: Crystal Henrickson, Head of Community Management, Invoke Labs

This is the fourth installment of our @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series, “If I knew then…” Peter Reek facilitated a panel of five leading Vancouver marketers. He asked them to examine ‘aha’ moments, epiphanies, and things they may have done differently in their careers.

Crystal Henrickson has worked in community management since its birth in 2009. Making a difference at startups like Yelp and ChimpFund before landing at Invoke Labs, Crystal has become an expert at building community. Today she dives deep with us on how to be a #StandApart Community Manager.

At their core, people want to feel like they belong to something. – Crystal Henrickson

You are going to be receptacle of feedback. People want to tell you everything you should do with your product. Relaying that information back to your team is an art form, choose your words wisely.

Prepare to be a therapist, cheerleader, and a friend maker. But still, keep your phone number for your personal circle of friends only. Building community means getting people to come out of their shells, encouraging them to socialize, eat sushi, have beers, and ultimately, make friends.

Be a role model and a leader. Community Managers are the doers in startups, they are the CEO’s of whatever their domain is. The capacity to take a product or project from beginning to end is essential.

Have the ability to work on your own. How simple or complicated to make a project depends on your resources, and if you only have yourself, that’s how simple you have to make it.

We learned from throwing spaghetti at the wall, seeing what stuck, and continuing to do those things. If wed measured, we would have been better able to focus. – Crystal Henrickson

Switching between being a doer and being a people manager isn’t simple. Yet Community Managers need to do both of these things; flexibility is a necessary asset.

Burning out serves no one. Professional development for Community Managers is important. Crystal is currently involved in creating conferences of this nature at Invoke Labs.

Invest time in cross-functionality, such as coding.

Focus on fewer projects, and give these projects your undivided attention.

Recognize the builders and maintainers, and hire these people at the right point in the project.


Crystal’s presentation slides:

[slideshare id=35893250&doc=bcamadirectorsforum-140615132912-phpapp02]

Next in this series: