None of the businesses in today’s digital landscape can survive without a strong and sustained community. While presenting your brand’s online face, you need to have solid community managers at your back who are efficient enough to cultivate trusted and long-lasting relationships with customers. Without having proactive community managers or specialists, your brand may miss out on a golden chance to increase brand awareness.
Since community building and management can help you to foster positive relationships, businesses now need to understand its importance for their ultimate growth.
We interviewed Atinuke Oluwabamikemi Kayode, usually known as Bami. She is a Developer Community Manager at Tunga, Community Manager at Layer5, and Frontend Lead at SheCodeAfrica. Managing three different communities with different objectives and key results could be challenging, but let’s hear what Bami says about her role as a Community Manager.
Ashmal: Hi Bami, it’s lovely to have you with us! It would be great if you could start by telling our readers about your background?
Bami: Hi everyone, I am Atinuke Oluwabamikemi Kayode, preferably called Bami. I am the Developer Community Manager at Tunga, a Community Manager at Layer5, and a Frontend Lead at SheCodeAfrica. My journey into the Tech space started in 2020 during the Pandemic. I
studied Computer Science and graduated as the best Female student in my department, putting me in the top 4 students in the department. I graduated in 2019. I was waiting for the National Youth Service Corps one-year program we observed in Nigeria when the Pandemic started, and we were all forced to stay home. I applied for SheCodeAfrica Mentorship Program and was picked.
I learned Python and Technical Writing during the three months program at SheCodeAfrica. I joined Layer5 right after it. Contributed to the projects before I fell into Burnout from November 2020 to June 2021. It was a dark experience, but I made it through it. Getting out was the start of my Community Management career full-time.
Ashmal: We first met on Twitter, and then I learned about your incredible journey related to Community Building. Could you please tell us about your journey in detail?
Bami: As I said, I’ve been doing the Community Management role without realizing it with what I do in Layer5. Layer5 being an Open Source Community, I was just contributing to the community the best way that I could until September 2021, when I got a message from the CEO saying I’ve been considered for the role of Community Manager due to what I have been doing in the community and that was how it started. Fortunately, it was almost the same time I applied to be the Frontend Lead for SheCodeAfrica, and I aced the interview.
I began to volunteer for the two communities to give back to the Communities that gave me the privilege and improved my career while I was still searching for a job. By January 2022, I thought of starting a Community of Community Managers in Africa. I spoke to a couple of people and concluded the best way to start the community was through Twitter Space.
I have hosted quite a number of phenomenal folks in the community space like Cecelia from Cypress.io, Aniedi from Google, Dabit from Edge and Node, Anita from ApacheAPISIX, and many others. I have used this to reach a lot of people, and in the process of building a community, I also got my job on Twitter one month after I started hosting Twitter Space.
Ashmal: You’re working as a Community Geek at three different companies. Please tell our audience about these companies, their primary objectives, and how you manage them all?
Bami: Yes, I am. Tunga is my prominent place of employment, while ShecodeAfrica and Layer5 are Volunteering roles. Tunga is a staff augmentation firm that works with African software developers. We have helped 150+ companies worldwide with IT staffing and software outsourcing. We have a Developer Community of over 800 Developers across Africa. We help African Developers land their international roles.
While Layer5 is a Cloud-Native Management of Developer-define infrastructure. An Open Source-first Community of Cloud Engineers. We are open to new contributors, both code and no-code contributors.
SheCodeAfrica is a non-profit organization aiming to build a community that embodies technical growth, networking, mentorship, and visibility amongst all career roles in Technology.
Managing all of these Communities is not easy, but I can handle them with my team’s help. In each of these communities, I have a working team that sees achieving the organization’s goal. So I am not working alone. I get my deliverables done, and when I can’t, I communicate with the necessary people informing them I will not be able to meet the deadline and give a suitable, reasonable time.
Ashmal: In your opinion, what’s the importance of a community, and how can a beginner start their own community?
Bami: For me, I would say the importance of a community is underrated. It’s safe to say thank God for the Pandemic, which has opened the eyes of many organizations to the importance of a Community. A Community gives a sense of belonging and values. Being in a community bonded with values, goals, and good attitudes is essential in building and sustaining any product.
So for a newbie that wants to start their own community, I’d advise you to cross your ‘t’ and dot your ‘i’. What do I mean by this? Know your values because the community is about Trust. You have a value you want to give to your audience, they see this value and trust you to deliver, and they join your community and invite others. The best three things to do are:
- Define your goals and Strategies.
- How do you want to measure your success?
Lastly, know your target audience and how to get them.
Ashmal: Being a community geek, what tools do you use on a daily basis, and how do you track community engagement?
Bami: Mostly Slack. Slack sends weekly reports of the community activity. Another is ClickUp and Google Analysis, which also help monitor success.
Ashmal: What’s your most successful growth hacking strategy?
Bami: Events and Giveaway.
Ashmal: Please share learning materials or guide you follow for learning and practicing community.
Bami: I follow the CClub, CMX, and amazing community folks like David Spinks, Beth Mclntyre, Krystal Wu, Carrie Melissa Jonas, Roxie Sherry, Daniellexo, and Peter ONeil Aniedi Udo, Cecelia, and many more. I’d recommend books like:
- Art of a Community
- Building Brand Communities
- The Community Manual
- The People Power
- The daily Laws and many more.
Ashmal: Life is all about ups and downs; what were the challenges you faced at the early ages of your journey? And, how did you overcome them?
Bami: The most challenging moment for me was my burnout phase; I was in total depression. I was really struggling. I wrote about it on my blog “2021 Year in Review Article”
What are your plans? Are you planning to work on your venture?
I am still planning to work with organizations with an amazing community like Google, Reddit, and others. I’m still working on building the Community for Community Managers across Africa. Given that I didn’t get all the help and resources I needed while building my career, I want to create a platform where community newbies can get resources and the bonds they need to get started.
Ashmal: What’s the biggest motivation in your life?
Bami: Feedback and Money
Ashmal: Please share your professional pro-tips about SaaS products with our readers?
Bami: So, here are them:
- It’s ready to go
- Easy to Upgrade
- It can improve all areas of business
- It’s simple to scale etc.
Ashmal: It’s time for rapid-fire!
Rapid Fire Round
|Product Management or Product Marketing
|Tea or Coffee?
|LinkedIn or Twitter
|Traveling or Watching a Movie
|Can I pick both? Watching a movie while Traveling
Ashmal: Apart from where & how do you spend the rest of your day? Also, please share an image of your workstation or a memory of your favorite memory.
Bami: My day starts at 8 am, couples of meetings, sometimes plan events, sometimes host events. Drive engagement in the community through content. Etc.
And that’s a wrap-up! We are thankful to Atinuke Bami for her precious time and for sharing her detailed community management experience with our champ audience.