The Rise of the Community Leader - Meet Scott Baldwin

  • The Uncommon Team

    August 5th, 2021

Image of Scott Baldwin, Community Lead and Product Evangelist at Prodcutboard

Community leaders have a lot in common, like their enthusiasm for teaching and learning, and a passion for building meaningful relationships within and across communities. As community leaders, their goals are similar, but their paths to community leadership are surprisingly diverse and often surprisingly...surprising.

Our series,ย "The Rise of the Community Leader,"ย celebrates these uncommon paths, the people who took them, and what they learned along the way. Want to connect with more community leaders like them? Join Uncommon.

Meet Scott Baldwin, Community Lead and Product Evangelist at Productboard.

How did you get your start in community?

I've been a long-time product leader and kind of fell into this role over the past year. I'm sure it's my background, experiences, and love of people that have led me here very circuitously. At Productboard, we had a Slack community (closed to customers) and I was active in that community as a customer before joining Productboard. When I joined I was working as a strategy consultant and often would chime in on community discussions about product strategy, how to do things in Productboard, or help folks troubleshoot issues and it slowly grew into me running the community day-to-day. In Q1 this year I shifted roles and now community and product evangelism are my full-time focus.

Tell us about the community you currently lead.

We just launched our new community Product Makers at the end of June. Our mission is to bring together product makers so they can learn, grow, shape, and advocate for product excellence. Unlike our past community, this one is open to anyone (I even have competitors in our community) and not solely focused on Productboard as a product, but rather that journey of building products that matter. Building products is hard and we're excited to provide a space where everyone can learn from each other and find value and also get to know Productboard and how it can help them. When I say "product makers" I mean anyone who's working to build products โ€” so not just product managers but also all the other people that work to bring a product to life from designers, UX, engineers, product marketers, etc. So it can be an interesting audience to work with.

Whatโ€™s a key piece of advice you wish you would have had when starting your community career?

Find your tribe. Nothing beats having a group of people that have done what you're trying to do or people that you can lean on to provide perspective and advice when you need it. Community can sometimes be a lonely gig even though you're talking to lots of people (much like product management can be for some).

Investment in community is growing. Where do you see it in 5-10 years?

I love that it's growing. There are a lot of new tools emerging and lots of buzz that reminds me of the early days of product. In the next 5-10 years I would expect to see more tool integrations, better capabilities for managing large and scaling communities beyond just people, more effective data management and reporting capabilities, and other platforms re-thinking what community can do to add value (looking at you Slack!)

What's your favorite part about working in community?

Hands down the people I engage with in our community.

Weโ€™re all about celebrating our community members and their accomplishments. Is there anyone in the community youโ€™d like to appreciate?

It's early days in the Uncommon community but it's been nice to be so welcomed by folks like Rebecca, Linda and Melanie.

(Note from the editors: Thanks Scott! We're blushing ๐Ÿ˜‰)

How do you see your role as a community manager evolving?

I'm really interested in exploring more of how I can leverage community for evangelism. I'm pretty active in other communities, but feel I haven't yet cracked that nut fully. Also as a former product manager, I'm really interested in community as a product. For context, products have a lifecycle - introduction > growth > maturity > decline. They also need to be nurtured over each of these lifecycles -- creating demand, undertaking discovery, growing demand and reasons to prefer our community over others, exploring new distribution channels, and getting in-front with the next thing before you slip into decline.

And now some fun questions we ask our Roomies when they join the team ๐Ÿ™‚

Favorite emoji?

๐ŸŒฎ or ๐ŸŒฏ

Favorite quote?

"Nothing changes if nothing changes" โ€” Rich Roll

If you had a food truck, what might you name it?

I actually have a plan to one day open a food truck called Stew that would just serve beef bourguignon until it runs out.

Next travel bucket list item to check off?

Spain (can't wait to go back!)

Thanks for sharing your story with us Scott! We'll be first in line at Stew ๐Ÿ˜‹

We're continually looking to highlight community leaders, voices, and storiesโ€”if there's someone you'd like to nominate to share theirs, let us know. See you in Uncommon!

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