“Great to meet you, what do you do?”
This past weekend we hosted an event in our home for a large group of people. I didn’t know most of the people who attended and inevitably this question was asked of me a number of times. I don’t have a job that’s simple to explain like “accountant” or “architect” which are basically self-defining. When I say I’m a consultant the respond I almost always get is “yeah, but what do you DO?” I also hear this question all the time in my work life too, even here on LinkedIn. So let me take this opportunity to re-introduce myself…
Hello, my name is Jake. People call me The Community Guy. I’ve spent the bulk of my 20+ helping organizations of all sizes and in all industries better connect to their customers and communities. My work is focused on building online communities, programs for growing rabid bans, and bringing the customer voice into the product development process. (And yes, I’d consider this all “Community” work!)
For more than 20 years, my mantra has been: Everybody goes home happy”… making sure that both customer and company are getting value, joy, and benefit from the interactions.
These days most of my work is retainer driven, from tiny retainers (5 hours/month to give quick answers to ad hoc issues) to significant engagements (20 hours/week each week to help develop strategies and support execution). My approach is “sleeves rolled up, part of the team”.
Examples of work that I’ve done recently:
- Community Driven Product Development projects, helping to insert Community Voice into the product development lifecycle so you can launch new products/services with less risk, better ideas, and existing customer advocacy.
- Customer Journey mapping to help understand the full scope of a community member’s experience and how to best address the points of friction discovered through this mapping process
- Long term community development retainer helping the client conceive and sell in a community business plan, platform selection, vendor selection, agile planning and user story development, ongoing product management and community manager training and support
- Building, launching, and supporting a Product Insights Program (PIP) for a client launching a new product, bringing 40 community members together in a private space for feedback and initial user testing that helped dial in the product before launch
- Community assessment projects looking at what is and is not functioning effectively in the platform and experience of client communities
- Speaking, strategy session facilitation, and training sessions that help client teams work through complex customer engagement challenges
If you’re struggling with how to better engage your customers or have a specific community/customer engagement question, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line so we can talk through it!