It's always fun to see what everyone is focused on in their new year. I used to giggle a little because I'm a very goal-oriented person and making goals at the beginning of the year seemed silly. I would think, "why aren't you writing goals all year long?" Only to set goals for my own personal life and almost always de-prioritize them due to work being too busy or not having enough time to focus on myself. I've done the same thing with my dreams and goals for Devocate.
When I started building my first superfans program, otherwise known as ambassador or advocacy programs, I couldn't believe the lack of resources and tools to support such a program. I mean, cmon, it's scaling your business through your best customers, how does everyone not do this and want this? That's where the idea for Devocate came about. I was bound and determined to build a platform that would help you elevate your superfans and build programs that would change their lives and the success of the company or product they adored.
I won't dive into my personal life too much, but my momentum fell apart due to some deep depression, that I admittedly didn't even know I had. I just knew that the energy didn't remain constant for driving Devocate forward, at least not the product.
I served many clients through consulting and coaching and wrote a lot of great content, but I never focused on the product—it was too daunting of an idea. I was making excuses about funding & resources. Let's face it, VCs will give money to just about anyone nowadays, but I didn't have the energy to even put together a pitch deck.
Fast Forward to 2022
I'm still scared to death to approach funding, this time not due to depression, but due to all the horror stories you see about investors and losing ownership of something you worked so hard to build. However, I've been working hard on writing goals and figuring out how to make Devocate the product a reality and it starts with education & bootstrapping my MVP.
What we're focused on
- Driving revenue to bootstrap our product MVP
- Providing education around developer relations, community, & building superfan programs.
- Providing mentorship & resources for those who are struggling to find their footing in the developer relations industry.
How we're doing it
Educational Resources & Courses
We've launched what we're calling Devocate Learn. They are educational programs, like courses, that walk folks through a developer relations subject deeply. The DevRel industry is a fairly new space (even though Apple's been doing it for years) and there is minimal content and resources. It's definitely coming along, but because no developer program is exactly the same, it's incredibly difficult to try to teach. You see a lot of high-level content, but it's rare to find something that walks you through exactly how to do something. We're changing that.
Our Pro community is an offering that coincides with the Learn programs and provides a space for our Pro members to dive into our Learn programs deeply, ask questions, access other premium resources, and attend weekly office hours and other events hosted just for Pro members.
Coaching allows me to help and support DevRel teams and stakeholders find success with their developer programs through recurring check-ins and async communication. Allowing me to be able to serve more clients while still finding time for everything else. It's like having an expert in your back pocket for when you need them. Quick question about setting your goals? I'm just a quick message away.
The offerings above contribute to both driving revenue for our MVP and for providing education around the developer relations industry and fundamentals. However, we have one goal remaining that we haven't touched on yet.
Giving back in an open-source way
Because being someone's mentor is not scalable, we've decided to offer various opportunities that will scale knowledge as well as allow others to help each other.
Hiring and looking for DevRel work is one of the biggest struggles in our industry. There are many amazing places to look for DevRel roles, but we wanted to add an additional platform for our community and users. Check it out, and add your open roles.
DevRel AMA Twitter Spaces
We've been hosting Twitter spaces off and on each week and they have been a major success! We've captured large audiences and covered amazing topics and questions from DevRel folks to recruiters to aspiring DevRel's curious about the industry. We will be continuing to do these and can now record our spaces! Twitter retains access to the recordings for 30 days. We capture our own version of the recordings and share those in our Pro community after the 30-day-window.
Meetsy is an amazing community platform that introduces people 1:1 based on their preferences. I haven't spent much time fostering that community, yet, but people are still being introduced to each other and hosting meetings to connect with one another. It's so cool.
We've welcomed Peter ONeill 🎉 to the Devocate team to be our part-time Head of Community! He will be helping drive Meetsy & other community-focused efforts forward.
Big shoutout and thank you to Commsor for sponsoring our Meetsy community. 🙌
Developer Advocacy 🥑 Community
This project needs a bit more love than the rest, but now that Peter is onboard, we're excited to see where this goes. The developer advocacy community is built on top of the same platform as dev.to—ensuring that developers and developer advocates feel at home when they land there. The focus of this community is to cover two key areas; providing peer-to-peer mentorship & practicing developer advocacy.
With these focuses, we should see a lot of folks in there sharing their work and sharing their passion for products & tools. Join us and gain feedback on your latest projects and content.
Big shout out and thank you to Forem and the folks over at dev.to for sponsoring our developer advocacy community. 🙌
Cheers to the new year
We'd like to raise our water cups (I don't drink) and cheers 🥂 to everyone who has remained a subscriber and supporter and stuck around while we got our stuff together. We've built an amazing community of over 2,000 members‼️—according to our community tracking tool—we can't wait to continue to serve and provide greatness to those community members.
If this post left you with open questions and intrigue, which I hope it did, I'm just a quick message away.
Chief mind-Exploding Officer at Devocate