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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