The Community Club

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Creator Guild Spotlight: Nisha Baxi

Head of Community at Gong, Nisha Baxi, talks the joys of bringing people together, how to handle your 'off days' and why the future of community is bright.

Tell us about your journey to community as a career.

N: "I joined a meetup called SVNewtech in 2009 to meet other startup marketers like myself. In 2010, I ended up taking over the group, helping increase membership to 15,000 members over the course of 8 years.

I was shocked when I was approached by Microsoft a few years later – who knew my passion project could become a career? Unbeknownst to me, a Community Manager from another CM community I was part of recommended me for the role. Before I knew it, I joined their Developer Evangelism team — and the rest is history.

I love bringing people together, and I’m grateful to be able to do that professionally.

I wrote about my journey from marketing to community — you can read all about it here."

What's your community superpower?

N: "My superpower is seeing the best in everyone, and finding ways to weave that into the community to make everyone feel welcome. This even turned into an engagement strategy at Gong. Whenever I meet another Gongster (Gong employee) that loves community, we'll get talking about their role and why they love it. I'll often ask them to write a blog post about that, or even to help moderate a group that directly relates to what brings them joy. It's a great way to get the rest of the company invested in our community."

What's the best career mistake you've ever made?

N: "In 2008, during the economic downturn I was laid off from my HIP Management Consulting job. I saw this as an opportunity to take a long, hard look at my career and ask myself, 'Is this REALLY what I want to do?'

Turns out, it wasn't. From there, I found my way to a startup and took my first job as a Product Marketer. I look at my career as a collection of experiences that otherwise wouldn’t have made sense without my previous decisions. I hate when people say this but everything happens for a reason!"

What's the one thing you wish you'd known when you were first starting out in community?

N: "That it’s okay to have off days. Community folks often feel that they have to be extroverted, happy, and energetic all of the time but sometimes we need a day off from that sunshine attitude.

Have a back-up plan for when you feel like this — is there someone that can cover for you? Can you do back-office type work for half of the event and have someone else man the check-in area? Do what you need to replenish your energy, your community will thank you for it later."

What's your hope for the future of the community?

N: "The future of the community is bright! I foresee online communities becoming a must-have for every company, especially as remote-work becomes the standard. Online communities are the only large scale, two-way connections that people can make organically. We have a chance to build the hybrid online, offline framework that will be the blueprint for future community leaders for years to come!"

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