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My Story

Valentina Ruffoni

Community Experience Lead

Colour: Pink

Book: Atomic Habits


Pets: Yes, a 3-month-old puppy called Ollie who loves belly rubs and gives you those puppy dog eyes when he knows he’s done something wrong 😂

How did you start in community management? What was your career path across the years?

I started in the industry “officially” when I created my own community Eat Out Madrid, a community for sharing the best places to eat and drink in the Spanish capital. I spent hours building it up each day and realised this was what I wanted to do.   

Previous to this, I had an events background, so decided to fuse them together which lead me to join the CMX Connect program as a chapter lead. Organising monthly in-person events on various topics made me realise I wasn’t alone and that others wanted to hear my story.

I began to start speaking and hosting more events which lead to taking opportunities with CMX and Disciple as Community Managers. As time went out the community at Disciple grew and required more attention which allowed me to dedicate all my time to building our customer community, The Collective! 👏🏻

What have been the main challenges of your career?

Imposter syndrome has been a huge thing for me and I know it happens to many others in the industry and that has stopped me from performing at 100% in the past and doubting my work and abilities.

However, constant learning, keeping up with trends and hearing other people’s stories have definitely helped with that and even though not every day is perfect, I am feeling more confident each day in my abilities and what I can achieve 💪🏻

What have helped you develop yourself as a community professional?

Being a CMX Connect host did wonders for me, allowing me to meet so many people in the industry at events here in Madrid and worldwide online.

Taking The Community Essentials course with C School confirmed much of what I was currently doing was spot on but also opened me up to strategy building and taught me so many valuable skills to help me work better in my role and with other teams. 🎓

What's your favourite community platform?

Disciple duh 😂

What is community for you?

Community is realising you’re in a place where there are others just like you. Community is about feeling safe to share your opinion. Community is knowing others have your back.

What's one single strategy that you may suggest to increase member engagement?

It would have to be the P from my SPARK ⚡️ framework which stands for Participate. Set time aside in your calendar to be in your community with your members, asking questions, and getting to know each other in comments.

Community building IMO is all about relationships & habit building so get in there and model how you want your members to communicate with each other and you’ll soon see your engagement increase!

What would you recommend to those just starting into community management?

🤝 Network with others in the industry.
I learned so much from jumping on calls, attending events and putting myself around others to learn and get my name out.

🛑 Set boundaries. Both for yourself and your work and be consistent in making sure you hold yourself accountable to them. As Community Managers, we often say yes more than no, work longer than we should and not prioritise what is important.

✍🏻 Start simple. It can be easy to come up with elaborate ideas and plans, but try to take a step back and not do everything at once, instead put your ideas into your strategy for further enhancements.

PS: Thank you so much, Valentina, for letting us kick off this section of our website with your fantastic story! 

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