Succeeding by knowing your customers with Rachel Perkins – Ep 83

04d2845This week we talk about listening to your customers and using that to figure out what your job should be. Three years into her job as Director of¬†Technical Publications, Rachel Perkins,gave a full year’s notice that she was going to quit. Now, almost eight years in at the same company, she’s the Senior Director of Community. She doesn’t have a job description, but she knows what she’s doing.

  • Getting started in tech writing
  • Writing for sysadmins
  • The epiphany: talking with a customer
  • The result: super-shocked that somebody is reading this stuff OR they have a valid concern. There’s no other way for that conversation to go. There’s nothing but upside.
  • The story in between: after three years as Director of Technical Publications, Rachel told her boss she was going to quit in a year. HR suggested a sabbatical, and then come back and figure out your new job, which she’s been doing for almost another four years.
  • “I did whatever I felt was a good idea for a while,” and that turned into the Sr Director of Community role.
  • Rachel admits her role¬†does not have a job description.
  • Being a representative of the customer can involve telling people they’re wrong
  • Growing with a company; managing operations at a bigger company
  • Splunk is just a T-shirt company that happens to make software
  • Geeksourcing – “what will the nerds find funny?”
  • Jumping to a new role: need to put in the time and be good at the first one
  • Community and the org chart
  • What is community for? In Rachel’s case
    • Case deflection for support
    • Expansion of existing accounts
  • Amy maps influencer marketing to a traditional marketing funnel. She feels like influencers act at the top and the bottom of this funnel.
  • Getting farther from the product over the course of your career
  • Always be honest, first with yourself, then with your colleagues
  • Rachel can be found at @djpiebob on Twitter

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