I made it! One year as a solo entrepreneur and what an insane year it’s been! Who would have ever guessed that the year I decided to strike out on my own the whole world would turn upside down…but maybe that’s just my style. I wanted to reflect on the year’s biggest learnings and get ready for an amazing start to year #2!

Ask for help — this is top on the list because it really was the most instrumental in getting me off on the right foot from the very start. This is historically not something I’ve very good…

I had some incredible mentors when I was getting my consultancy off the ground but one thing they failed to mention was the box of tools that would be dropped in my lap during the process from signing a contract through completing the work. These would be tools I have never used before and would be expected to use immediately and seamlessly — no questions asked! This doesn’t even include the Community and Event platforms I had to learn as well.

These tools fall into different categories and in different parts of the consultant process. The process starts with being…

It’s been a week where #EpicFail is heavy on my mind. With injustice everywhere, I feel like I’m failing by not saying the right things or saying nothing at all. As a privileged white person, I understand that my role in this is to listen to voices different than my own, reflect on how I can contribute to be part of the solution, and act. I thought I’d share what I know I can help from failing…Community. Building a Community is HARD business so let me help you from falling into these common #EpicFail potholes.

Stealing a much quoted line…

I was recently asked to be one of the keynote speakers at an event called CMX Global Connect, a virtual conference for Community Professionals. The title of my presentation was: The future of the Industry: How one community changed a company forever”.

As a part of my prep for any big presentation I go through a visualization exercise. I picture the audience listening, the room I’ll be in, and stage I’ll be on. I deliver the whole presentation word for word and anywhere I trip up I know I have tweaks to make. This is a different exercise when it’s…

We are not on the other side of this pandemic and quite frankly it doesn’t seem like we are close. But I’m already starting to think about what it might look like when we come through this. Community has emerged as a critical factor helping us bond together leaning on our powerful networks to get through. The Community genie is out of the bottle and has been a bright light during these difficult times. …

Jeremiah Owyang posted something on LinkedIn that got me thinking — he said this “Please, companies/marketers, let’s take a pass on any April fools’ jokes this year.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement and think it should apply to everyone today.

It’s been an incredibly stressful time and no one knows exactly which way is up at this point. There’s a LOT of noise going on right now in the news, on social, and in our minds. So I propose that we make today April Forgive Day instead of April Fools’ Day.

A day to forgive ourselves for:

  • Not…

I’ve been doing a lot of puzzles lately as a part of our new house bound norm. Like 10x the amount I’ve done in the last 10 years. I’ve mostly been doing them with my daughter and turns out this is a hidden skill I didn’t know she had. She comes from a long line of puzzle lovers, her papas on both sides of the family. My dad always loved puzzles, the harder the better. His most epic puzzle accomplishment was an all green glitter square.

I’m not quite as talented as my father and the most recent puzzle I’m…

I spoke at an event this week about the journey of the Salesforce Community from inception to ultimately becoming a strategic differentiator for the company. As I was building the presentation it took me down memory lane and it also had me reflecting on what led me to loving Community in the first place. Community is still relatively new as an actual field so it draws people with a wide variety of backgrounds and personalities. The reasons people are passionate about this field go way deeper than “I’ve always been a people person”. …

I’m slightly…well totally obsessed with Podcasts these days. I quote them all the time in various situations. I feel super smart when I can recall and share a cool tidbit from one of the podcasts. I also love recommending things to others that I enjoy, it’s the community builder in me — ever present. I tend to love two different categories of podcasts, ones that make me say things like “hmmmmm, wow, cool, so interesting” and ones that me me say things like “yikes, gross, freaky, this can’t be true!” Yah, I’m strange and I know this fact about myself.

Even though the Community industry has come a long way, there’s still a lot that is unknown. We are getting better at defining what makes a good Community Manager with characteristics and qualifications like: great listener, highly empathetic, skilled moderator, people focused, and strong collaborator. What we still haven’t quite nailed is what makes a good Senior Community Professional.

There’s a big difference especially if Community is one of your top business goals and you want real value outcomes. All too often I’m seeing people getting hired into senior roles with no experience or not the right experience. So I…

Erica Kuhl

CEO & Founder of Erica Kuhl Consulting Former VP Community at Salesforce, Community Builder & Dreamer, Podcast Host (https://ib4tl.fm) Wife/Mom/Ski Bum/Runner

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