The Role of a Community Manager in a Learning Business

The role of a community manager in a learning business is essential to creating a positive learning experience and therefore, driving growth for your learning business.

What you'll learn in this article:

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Taking an active role in managing your community of learners, instructors, and/or members is key to creating a positive learning experience and therefore, driving growth for your business.

To manage your community successfully, who you bring on as a community manager is a mission-critical decision. The role of “Community Manager” is relatively new and growing in popularity. Below we describe the role of a community manager and what skills and traits to look for when hiring one. 

What is the Role of a Community Manager? 

It cannot be overstated: a community manager is critical in fostering transformative learning experiences for your members. Who you choose as your community manager - and how you define the role - will have a huge impact on the quality of the learning experience(s) you deliver, and therefore, your growth. The community manager role is a multifaceted position that requires a range of skills.

Despite its complexity, being a community manager is immensely rewarding as you contribute to the learning business’s revenue growth while being deeply immersed in your members’ transformation. If these two factors are important to you, then you should pursue this career.

Let’s dive into some key questions around community managers: 

  1. The increasing popularity and demand for community managers.
  2. The essential skills and experiences required in this field.
  3. The profound impact of community managers on the learning business.
  4. Exploring the community platform that propels learning businesses forward.

The Rising Popularity of Community Managers

A quick LinkedIn search will highlight that there are 2,282 search results for community managers. Indeed boasts 11,767 related positions. It’s clear that global demand for community managers is rising, in tandem with the rise of virtual learning businesses.

LinkedIn search of 'Community Manager'
Source: LinkedIn

While online communities include a wide range of interests--from gaming groups to digital marketing courses, let's focus on the learning business aspect and explore what's driving their demand.

The End of Traditional Classrooms

The global pandemic turned the world upside down. Learning and teaching changed dramatically. Zoom became the new classroom for both teachers and students.

With the rapid pace of technological and economic change, there has also been a significant shift towards learning new skills. This made online learning communities popular, and the rising demand for a community manager role followed. Groups from various fields established virtual hubs for collective learning.

Customer Communities Are Everywhere

Community managers can also manage customer communities. Customer Communities are digital spaces built by companies to promote a positive brand image. Recently, online forums and communities topped the list as the most trusted sources for buyer decisions.

Chart showcasing the most trusted source for B2B content

Community managers use their customer community as a channel to teach their audience how to use their product effectively and establish themselves as subject matter experts. They often educate members through virtual events, free webinars, training, and online forums.

The Surge of Decentralized Organizations

Tech-oriented online communities play a pivotal role in this trend, with many creating their DAOs. This surge in decentralized communities significantly increases the demand for community manager positions, as they are the driving force behind these decentralization movements.

Evidently, community managers in learning business are in high demand. In the following section, we'll delve into the skills and experiences essential for a community manager position.

Essential Skills for Effective Community Management

Whether you are a career shifter looking for job opportunities as a community manager, or a founder/executive of a learning business who wants to build a community to drive growth--you are in the right place.

Our team at Disco looked at the key skills and experiences needed for a community manager. We've analyzed 10 community manager job descriptions of companies ranging from educational startups, and tech companies, to nonprofits. We provided the result after the overview section.

An Overview: Community Management Jobs are Skill-based

Community management involves 4 core skills: manage, engage, create, and monitor. There is a range of experience required, but we’ve noticed that the most common experience level is 2-5 years of experience with these core skills. Having a background in the company’s industry is nice to have.

The degree requirements for a community manager vary. Most companies didn’t mention if they want a candidate with a bachelor’s degree or someone who participated in a masters-level program. We did notice that a handful of job postings highlight that having a bachelor's degree or even a Master's in communication, public relations, or marketing is a bonus.

In short, companies are looking for professionals with essential skills rather than degrees. So, if you want to venture into this career, take a chance to polish your skills and stand-out with an exceptional portfolio.

On the other hand, if you're a founder or a business professional, here are the core skills, experiences, and responsibilities that you should look for in a community manager.

Our Methodology

Note: Feel free to skip this part if you aren't interested in digging deeper into our research.

With the help of AI, we managed to get the keywords mentioned frequently, highlighting their relevance in the context of the described roles and responsibilities. We came up with the top skills and responsibilities for the community manager role. For this segment, note that we only analyzed the "skills and responsibilities" section of the job description.

Top Skills for a Community Manager based on Keyword Analysis:
  • Community Management: Clearly important, as the word "community" is consistently mentioned 11 times in the context of community management and development.
  • User Engagement: Vital for fostering engagement, maintaining community growth, and understanding users' needs and preferences.
  • Technical Proficiency: Indicated by phrases like "Expertise in consumer-facing internet technology" and "technical enough to liaise well with the product and engineering teams."
  • Communication Skills: Both clear and persuasive communication and excellent written and verbal skills are emphasized.
  • Project Management: Skills related to project management, including managing multiple projects, are crucial for effective community management.
  • Content Creation: Relevant for creating engaging content and fostering community engagement.
  • Strategic Thinking: Implied by terms like "strategic thinker" and the ability to "build a plan, drive execution, and measure success."
Core Responsibilities of a Community Manager
  • Project Management: Responsible for driving projects and initiatives to completion. It often involves multiple cross-functional teams and aligning priorities with user communities and organizational goals.
  • Community Engagement: Essential for fostering a positive and vibrant user community. Community managers engage customers on various platforms, answer questions, and organize community events and gatherings.
  • Content Creation: Involves developing content marketing strategies, and crafting compelling content such as social media posts, blog posts, and newsletters. It ensures the quality of deliverables.
  • Communication and Advocacy: Represents the voice of the community, gathers user feedback and insights, and advocates for user needs within the organization.
  • Strategic Planning: Developing and executing community engagement strategies, content strategies, and community growth plans. This may include identifying and recruiting partners or influencers to advocate for the community.
  • Monitoring and Analysis: Keeping a close eye on community trends, tracking performance metrics, and using analytical tools to optimize content and engagement strategies.
  • Technical and Educational Expertise: Some roles may require knowledge of technology and educational systems, particularly when dealing with educational communities. This expertise helps in delivering effective solutions and engaging the education community.

Now that we have an overview of the skillset needed for community management, let's proceed to the importance of community management in the learning business.

The Impact of Community Managers on Learning Business

So, what does a community manager have to do with learning business? Let's take a look at their impact:

The Learning Part

Community managers serve as a connector. They bridge the gaps between the community and the company. They create a learner-centric learning environment by supporting stakeholders such as learners, instructors, alumni, community members, and subject matter experts. Without them, it's hard to function efficiently and succeed in an education business.

Imagine not having a community manager:

  • your learners won't be able to feel welcome and supported
  • you won't have a clear communication flow with your stakeholders
  • there will be no engagement among learners which could lead to low completion rates

The Business Part

The most exciting part of the community manager's role is helping the learning business to scale. In fact, an online community is primarily built for business growth. Keep this in mind when hiring a community manager.

Example scenarios of organic growth via community platforms:

  • Example #1: A Bootcamp alumni recommends your course to a friend or colleague. This happens mostly when the offered courses exceed the alumni's expectations. Key factors can be community support, learner engagement, and content quality. Additionally, they post their success stories on social media platforms, which is a good sign of organic growth and free marketing!
  • Example #2: A potential customer joins your community. Due to the high engagement and user-generated content posted in discussion threads, the user subscribes to your basic plan in just 3 days! Imagine if this story happens to 100 potential clients every single day. Your community is converting 100 leads daily.

At last, we've come to the final part! Community managers will have a hard time managing a long list of tasks without a platform. Discover how you can accelerate profitability with the leading learning and community platform for learning business.

Supercharge Your Learning Community

A step-by-step guide to build and grow a thriving learning community.

The Learning Community Playbook by Disco

A Community Platform That Accelerates Your Learning Business

In the world of learning business, a stellar learning community platform is your key to success. You've got a winning combination to boost your business when combined with a skilled community manager.

Meet Disco, the finest among all learning community platforms. Disco is trusted by industry giants like Y Space, Dribble, AllWomen, We Are No Code, Agile Academy, and more. We empower educational businesses worldwide, accelerating revenue, providing transformative learning experiences, and simplifying community management.

Disco: Powering the learning businesses of the future

We are versatile. Our platform caters to various learning business types including:

  • accelerators and incubators
  • paid membership communities
  • professional associations
  • cohort-based programs
  • academies and Bootcamps
  • Slack learning communities, and
  • customer communities

Whether you're launching your online community or have been nurturing it for months or even years, Disco is here to propel your business!

Start your 14-day trial and witness the difference for yourself.

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The Learning Community Playbook by Disco

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