Are you an accidental community manager? Did you start a group or a social media page or profile because you believed in something? Did you love your local area or want to boost business in the area? Were you excited by the prospect of finding other people who loved craft beer or crafternoon as much as you do? Was it time to bring people in your industry together for support, shared knowledge and more?  Did you see others struggling during COVID-19 or the bushfires and launch a community to support people?

You are not alone.

Photo by Mike Erskine via Unsplash

There are so many of us holding neighbourhoods, scenes, and society together through social media. We’ve jumped online to support each other. Social media has given us the ability to share information and comfort. We can rally people in record numbers. And we can try to bridge the gap left by reduced in-person interactions.

If this sounds like you- congratulations! You’re officially an Accidental Community Manager.

It doesn’t matter the circumstances that inspired you. So many people begin their own journey as an Accidental Community Manager as I did. It begins with a keen interest in bringing people together to share and find connection.

Yet investing time, energy, effort, and money into a community is often an unsupported labour of love. We learn on our feet. We face all kinds of issues in relation we never anticipated. And we become the unofficial leaders in our communities.

But at what cost?

Social media platforms can be tough at times. There’s bullying, trolling and disinhibition to contend with. There’s also a lack of consequences and a lot of high expectations, too. With pressure from COVID-19 making our online interactions even more intense, it’s tough being an accidental community manager. We’re dealing with people surviving off online interactions. Stress and negative interactions are on the increase. And we’re doing more with less.

So, I decided to help as many of my fellow accidental community managers as I can.

Introducing the Accidental Community Manager course range

After decades of helping people build healthy, thriving and inclusive communities, I am offering you direct support. I’m offering not one but two specialised courses, tailored to meet your needs.

 

I am offering the Accidental Community manager course in two formats:

  1. An audio coaching course – this includes recorded lessons, workbook and working solo on your community. That way, you can learn in your own time and on your own terms with a minimal outlay. This is ideal for the community manager who wants to self-directed learning.

 

  1. A full course experience – this includes fortnightly lessons with virtual classes, homework exercises (and feedback), group workshops, role plays, and more. Your community is your project and we work on it together to achieve your goals. This is ideal for community managers who want to take your community to the next level. All with expert advice, structured learning, and tailored support.

 

Each course is designed to help you gain confidence and knowledge while honing your community management style.

 

The Accidental Community Manager full course experience will allow you to:

  1. Improve your understand of community management fundamentals
  2. Gain a foundation in sensitivity and diversity training across various cultures and subcultures
  3. Deal with disaster situations and planning contingency
  4. Not only survive membership growth but thrive when it happens
  5. Convert community interest into financial support via crowdfunding, products and other paid offerings
  6. Protect yourself (and your team) against compassion fatigue, burn out and overwork
  7. Understand the law in relation to social media and develop best practise skills
  8. Manage the impacts of stressed members, bad actors, and trolls
  9. Create a likable, sustainable communities
  10. Centre your learning on developing the next phase of your community.

 

Why me?

Check out my about page to get a sense of the kind of person I am. In the 1990s, I became an Accidental Community Manager. I loved IRC so much, I was one of the first Australians to get full rights to many Canadian servers. That probably says I spent way too much time online (I did!) but it set me on a career path I love. And that is, building likable, sustainable and positive communities.

From dabbling online in my own time, I have translated my accidental community manager skills into a fully-fledged career. I worked in the dating industry, one of the first versions of online community management. There, I helped hopeful people find partners for long term relationships, friendships and more on the phone, online and on mobile. I worked events, online and off, across the straight and LGBTQIA+ communities. I spent my days helping thousands of people navigate the virtual world to meet their match and make new friends.

After helping singles click, I moved onto large-scale events and running community activations in music, arts and culture.  I helped foster communities in online gaming, virtual worlds, and in Australia’s online education scene. And taught a host of start-ups, small businesses and NFP endeavours to create community online and off at agency and freelance level. I freelance in culture and community building.

You can experience my community management style as the founder of the grassroots community, the Freelance Jungle. The Freelance Jungle is one of the largest Australian online freelance communities on Facebook today. We help over 6400 members end the isolation inherent in freelancing. We remind freelancers stress have a productivity cost and raise the knowledge bar for the self-employed. The aim of the Freelance Jungle is to build a compassionate, intelligent, and supportive freelance community. In 2019, the Freelance Jungle won the Mental Health Matters Workplace Wellbeing Award from peak mental health body, WayAhead.

 

The Accidental Community Manager – coming to you in October!

 

Join me to take your community to the next level in October 2020. Register your interest now.

 

In the meantime, check out what my previous students have to say about my coaching and teaching:

I’ve been benefiting from the brilliant resources and community support of the Freelance Jungle for some time now and have recently taken advantage of a small-group workshop to gain clarity around my business offerings and how to communicate them more clearly. The Freelance Jungle has been crucial to my professional development and beyond that, has been a fantastic community network, helping to ease the feeling of isolation solo business owners can sometimes experience.

Lisa Burns, designer and branding specialist

 

The Freelance Jungle and Rebekah Lambert have supported and challenged me in my freelance journey to exceed my own expectations. I have received coaching and attended workshops run by The Freelance Jungle, they have all been excellent, insightful well-structured and fun.

Mariela Diaz, Lead designer, Quirks Studio

 

Insightful, thoughtful, amazing strategic brain, caring & funny. Bek has been my business coach for a while now. Her ideas & solutions have not only reinvigorated my business but boosted my creativity with personal writing projects. Thanks, Bek!

Kylie Saunder, medical writer

 

I’d started freelancing and I had no idea what I was doing on the business side of things. I went to Rebekah for business coaching and by the end of the session I felt much clearer ( what’s the opposite of completely confused- I felt like that ) not only had Rebekah helped me work out what I needed to do, she’d given me some quality suggestions on how to do it.

So happy. I’m recommending Rebekah to everyone. I’d still be lost if I hadn’t have done the coaching session.

Sam St Jon, photographer

 

I attended an Anti-problem Zoom session in May and it was an inclusive, constructive and enjoyable two hours. The outcomes were useful and the sharing of collective wisdom invaluable.

Sarah Williams, owner, Cedar Cottage Meander

 

And some of the testimonials on my community work:

I bloody love the Freelance Jungle ❤️ Bek Lambert and the mods team do a great job at creating a safe and welcoming community, and everyone in the group is so supportive. I’ve learnt a lot here and built great connections. I find the blog and FB group posts that Bek writes so informative. Thank you.

Carly Findlay OAM, writer, speaker and appearance activist

 

Rebekah has been an important part of shaping Brio. Her work has meant we have attracted and built an engaged community. Bek will listen to all issues, then step back and consider what needs to be done. Wonderful to work with, loaded with experience and so glad she is part of our business journey. Highly Recommend.

Natalie Verdon, co-founder of Briometrix (wheelchair accessibility tracking app)

 

The Freelance Jungle is a wonderful & incredibly supportive community for Australian freelancers, offering collective guidance and support for all. The Freelance Jungle advocates for the Australian Freelancer in a way that’s not seen anywhere else. The administrative team and founder, Bek Lambert, do any incredible job of facilitating both an online and offline platform for a greater good of the Australian freelancer. A beautiful heart and purpose driven community helping thousands across the country (and many abroad).

Holly Shoebridge, Oceans Accounting and Advisory

 

I don’t know where I’d be without the Freelance Jungle, quite frankly. The isolation of freelancing can be debilitating at times, and the support I get from the jungle is invaluable. It’s such a great resource for business info & advice as well as a safe space to share frustrations and wins with other like-minded freelancers. I can’t rave enough about it!

Mel Archer, founder of Foundry Coworking, Central Coast NSW

 What are you waiting for? C’mon little accidental community manager- register now for info. I look forward to working with you!


The Freelance Jungle has a Facebook community, virtual catch-ups for stress reduction and networking, and a commitment to education via podcasts, blogs, and online learning via our website.


 

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

Mailing Address:
The Freelance Jungle
PO Box 68
Windang
NSW 2528

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.