There’s a lot of conversation and discussion about how community building is vital to marketing, culture, and employee experience. But rarely do we get to hear the other side– that of the people in the community.
Today we are in conversation with Sarath Anil as part of our celebration of Community Manager Appreciation Day 2024– a passionate learner, a well-rounded writer, and one of Zircly’s biggest advocates.
Sarath and His Community
Sarath, what do you do at DCKAP?
In the words of the man of the hour himself, Sarath is a Sales Development Representative at DCKAP. His role involves conveying ideas through content, analyzing information technically through metrics, and driving conversion through sales and negotiation.
How did you get into the habit of writing?
Writing, he says, has always inspired him and helped him clarify his thoughts. It’s his biggest goal-setting tool and medium of manifestation.
Sarath was introduced to Zircly through a welcome post, published pan-org on the day he joined. Curious as ever, Sarath took the time to explore the platform and watched, and learned, as people shared their insights and ideas.
Inspired, one day he wrote and shared his first post, and went from a newbie to one of the most renowned people within his community over time through insightful and inspiring posts.
One of Sarath’s communities is his workplace– DCKAP. DCKAP is an organization that prides itself in putting people first and building a community of people rather than an assortment of teams.
It’s a fully distributed organization, and like with most fully distributed or remote organizations, DCKAP too struggled with the connection. Out of that struggle, Zircly was born as a place to bring people together and keep everyone connected.
How does Zircly help Sarath?
- Sharing Learning – Sarath has the habit of spending his weekends and sometimes weekdays, and Zircly gives me a platform to share what he learns and have people add their wisdom to it.
- Get better at writing and understanding audiences – Through writing over and over on the platform, Sarath has learned to write better and understand audiences better. He elaborates on what he means with his most recent experiment.
Sometimes, he says, his writing ends up being too long, and over time people started to give him feedback that his posts today needed to be shorter. So, he’s now experimenting with disclaimers- either mentioning the post is going to be a long post in the beginning, or mentioning the kind of people most likely to be interested in the day’s post at the very beginning.
- Celebrate People: As we spoke about experimenting, Sarath mentioned that writing about work, and more specifically celebrating people and acknowledging people’s efforts is an important aspect of the way that he and his community use Zircly.
Celebrating each other is a boost in morale even the most self-assured person needs at times, and Zircly gives organizations and communities the space to do that.
- Clarify Everyone’s Roles: As he spoke about celebrating people, he also brought up that celebrating people also helps clarify their roles, and as a second-order consequence, everyone else’s role in the organization.
- Get new ideas and inspiration: Can we inspire others without being inspired ourselves? Of course not!
And Sarath could not agree more. When talking to us about writing and inspiring, he also spoke about getting inspired by the community. With a plethora of posts being shared every week, inspiration is at every corner.
- Connecting With People: As he spoke about how Zircly has been pivotal to him connecting with the DCKAP Community as a whole– something people in fully distributed environments often struggle with– Sarath shared a wonderful story that demonstrates everything writing and Zircly have done for him.
The 2023 DCKAP Annual Thanksgiving Event was Sarath’s first live big event DCKAP, and the first time he got to meet everyone he’s only seen through the lens of webcams.
To his surprise, Sarath found a lot of people coming up to him and saying– “You’re the guy that always posts on Zircly, aren’t you?” and “You’re Sarath Anil, aren’t you?”
Writing consistently on Zircly, and engaging with other people’s posts helped him form connections, making him more approachable and breaking the awkwardness of meeting in person for the first time.
The Bottom Line
As a closing thought, what’s one piece of advice you would give to people about community building?
Shaped by his experience, Sarath’s best piece of advice for people is “Without you there is no community.”
Elaborating on what he means, he explains that no matter where a person works or how they work, their organization is their community just as much as everything else, and that making it a habit to write and share their writing will help with documenting their work, bettering their careers and breaking the ice for introverted people.
Sarath is a testament to the fact that writing can change the trajectory of your career and learning, and participating in your community can change your career. From connecting with people across the globe and various teams to getting the opportunity to discuss ideas with some of the best people at DCKAP, writing has given Sarath more opportunities than passive participation in the community.