The Buffer Slack community is a supportive and positive space for social media marketers and enthusiasts to discuss the latest in social media, help and learn from one another, and meaningfully connect on a deeper level.
I first joined the community sometime in the spring of 2016. When the Buffer team launched the “Community Host” program, I was thrilled to be part of the first cohort. Community Hosts are volunteer leaders in the Buffer community who come onboard for 6-month terms. Each cohort works together to build a thriving, active, energetic community of social media enthusiasts. The Community Host program is a brilliant way to engage passionate community members to help keep this wonderful community active and happy.
When it came time to cultivate another amazing cohort, I decided to ask to stay on because I enjoyed my time so much. Thankfully, Buffer’s Arielle Tannenbaum gave me the thumbs up to join cohort #2!
Arielle rolled out a new aspect of the Community Host program for cohort #2 that sparked a lot of excitement in me. In our new cohort’s 6-month period, we were each given the task to choose one project to cultivate. The project could be something like a new recurring gathering in the community (like our Social Media Masterminds on Thursdays) or planning an activity to engage folks who aren’t able to be as active in Slack. Anything to support the community in some way and leave our mark on the community! Arielle had been gathering a big list of ideas for projects that she shared with each of us as we brainstormed our projects.
In the previous 18 months or so, I had started to become more and more interested in producing video content. Most of my videos lived on my Instagram account, and I documented things like a flea market in Berlin, Germany or an epic horse ride through diverse ecosystems in Concòn, Chile. Because I’ve had such a good time sharing travel moments through video, I thought it would be fun to share knowledge with the Buffer Slack community about a topic I’m interested in: remote work.
What if we produced a video series answering some of the community’s questions about remote work? What if we could gather folks from inside and outside the Slack community to answer those questions via recorded videos?
In the Buffer Slack community, we have a channel called #topic-remotework where we discuss topics related to telecommuting, working from home, and working remotely. Questions about co-working spaces, productivity challenges while working from home, or asks for team management advice are posted. What if we gathered the top 5 questions our community has about remote work to see if we can get some great crowd-sourced answers?
I created an Upvoter to ask for remote work-related questions from community members. Over the next few days, we had 14 questions submitted and over 80 votes. The top questions became the jumping off point for the “Ask a Remote Worker” video series:
How did you land a remote gig?
What is the biggest challenge you face as a remote employee?
What is a unique thing your remote team does to stay connected, organized, or productive?
What “hacks” have you discovered from working remotely?
How do you manage a remote team?
Once I had our questions, I could gather our team of experts. Nearly a dozen remote workers submitted answers to one or all of the questions asked by community members. After I collected the recorded answers, I had a blast editing them into the video series with the guidance of Arielle acting as a sounding board.
The people who submitted video answers spanned the globe! Some of them mainly work from home, while others are full-time digital nomads and travel the world as they work. All of them had unique experiences and stories to share — some as entrepreneurs, others as full-time freelancers, some who lead remote teams, others who are part of full remote teams, and individuals who are the only remote worker on their team.
A special thanks to the people who took time to record insightful answers for this project:
Come check out the final videos!
What else would you love to ask remote workers? Do you have any advice for those looking to kick off their first remote role?
We invite you to keep the conversation going in the Buffer community on Slack!
Join in here: www.buffer.com/slack