Beyond the technical roles: Community Management

Are you interested in the world of cyber security and technology but assume a technical background is the only way in? Think again! There are multiple roles within cyber security and tech that don’t involve technical hands-on skills. These roles can also transition into more technical roles due to their transferable skills and on-the job-learning. Our next non-technical role within cyber security and tech is Community Management. We spoke with Illyana Mullins who shares her key insights on how Community Management plays a vital role within the cyber and tech industry.

Illyana Mullins

Founder of WiTCH (and BSides Cheltenham, and Tech Forward)

A self-proclaimed AuDHD entrepreneur whose tag line is #LoudForGood, Illyana did not start her career in tech and cyber security, instead working in finance and pensions for nearly 10 years. In 2021, she joined a cyber and tech-focused workspace. During that time, she also found a passion for bringing people together. Starting with small events and networking opportunities led to the founding of BSides Cheltenham, one of the largest cyber security conferences in the south-west. In October 2022, she founded Women in Tech and Cyber Hub, better known as WiTCH, a community whose sole purpose was to get women into tech and keep them there. This quickly became her full-time role as she started mentorship programs and expanded into other cities. Illyana is also the Community Lead at Bristol and Bath Cyber, where she works to connect cyber security professionals and business together to create a vibrant ecosystem.

Community Management in Tech and Cyber Security

From gaming companies to cyber security companies, community managers help connect the company with their audience. They act as a brand ambassador who helps with engagement both online and in person through support, content creation, and authenticity. They are often the first line of support for customers and stakeholders. While there is no need to have a technical background, the role will mean you quickly become immersed in the product, terminology and ecosystem making it a great starting point.   

Embracing the Power of People

Being a community manager within a technology company, whether a penetration testing company, gaming company, or not-for-profit, blends a love of technology with a passion for people. While the role can vary from recruiting hackers for an online platform which uses a crowd-sourcing methodology for penetration testing to liaising with gamers and streamers for an MMORPG, the fundamentals are the same: They work to connect people to a product in a more personal and individualistic way, helping turn regular customers into brand ambassadors.  

Building Relationships

Being a community manager means becoming a face for the company, whether this is working with marketing to create campaigns and engagement or often going to conferences and working on company stands. This requires community managers to be incredibly knowledgeable about all areas of the business and be able to talk about those areas to everyone. Whether that’s helping translate feedback to help make technical changes or explaining technical specs to other non-technical roles. One of the most common metrics for a community manager is engagement, which is driven through the creation of these relationships and understanding (and often anticipating) the needs of the community. Which leads to the community manager’s hidden weapon.

The Hidden Weapon

Community Managers often come from various backgrounds, from marketing to engineering. This can be a great entry point into tech and cyber security because it relies less on a degree and more on soft skills. Soft skills are the hidden weapon of any good community manager, relying on creativity to create engaging posts, contests and events. Technical knowledge can be taught, but innate curiosity and passion, two of the most sought-after traits for a community manager, are much harder to teach. Community managers also need resilience as they are often the first point of contact for unhappy community members, and, unfortunately, they often handle online presence trolls.

Development on all levels

These soft skills are vital when collaborating internally and externally. As said previously, the community manager’s front and centre role makes it imperative to work with all areas of the business. They will often work within the marketing team, helping with social media campaigns and will need to have a deep understanding of the company’s brand as they are the public representation of this. They will also work closely with sales teams to help manage the sales pipeline and help convert potential leads they get through community engagement. They also have to develop the community and create a knowledge base that the community feel safe enough to share expertise and opinions with. This continuous exposure to a variety of people, roles and skills provides endless opportunities for self-development.

The Face of Technology

In an industry defined by fast-paced innovation and change, which can often seem overwhelming, community managers help bring people along for the journey. At the end of the day, the community manager is responsible for creating relationships that help amplify the brand, raise awareness, and drive adoption. This makes the role an invaluable asset to the companies who employ them and puts them at the forefront of cyber security and technology.

P.s. Please don’t get caught up in the terminology of technology or cyber security; often, these can seem obscure and overwhelming, with many people only relating it to coding or hackers in black hoodies. So many people don’t think they are technical or have cyber security knowledge without realising exactly how they have integrated it into their everyday lives at home or in the workplace. No matter the industry (finance to floristry), there will be technical components in this day and age, meaning making the leap into the cybersecurity and technology sectors won’t be nearly as intimidating as people can make it out to be.

Remember to remain curious.

InfoSec People is a boutique cyber security and IT recruitment consultancy, built by genuine experts. We were founded with one goal in mind: to inspire people to find the careers that inspire them. With the success of companies fundamentally driven by the quality of their people, acquiring and retaining talent has never been more important. We believe that recruitment, executed effectively, elevates and enables your business to prosper.

We also understand that cyber and information security recruitment can genuinely change people’s lives, that’s why we take the duty of care to those we represent very seriously. All our actions are underpinned by our core values:

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We work with businesses in the cyber/tech arena, from start-ups and scale-ups to FTSE100 and central Government, many of whom are always looking for great people.

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