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It’s hard to overstate how crucial a role developer communities play in spreading awareness nowadays, and developer ambassadors are at the epicenter of all that.
For this reason, many companies nowadays opt to establish their own developer ambassador program. Getting a team of passionate individuals who will do all the talking for you is an exciting prospect for all parties involved. However, just recruiting new ambassadors is one thing. You still need to guide them.
We’ve assembled this comprehensive guide for you so that you know exactly how to go about establishing a clear and effective onboarding process for all your fledgling developer ambassadors. Follow our tips and you’re bound to get everyone on the same page in just a few simple steps.
Why creating the perfect onboarding process for new ambassadors matters
After you’ve done scouting out your ambassadors, you’ll want to get their feet wet as soon as you can. However, just because they already came equipped with all the passion they’ll need to get everyone on board with your products doesn’t mean they’ll instinctively know what you want them to do.
As the main person in charge, you’ll be responsible for making sure that your new ambassador has everything they need to work their magic. While making sure that they know all their duties and anything else that is expected from them is part of the deal, it’s even more important that you get them properly hyped up and make sure they feel at home.
In order to get your ambassadors on board not only in practical terms, but also emotionally, the best place to start is to write a well-crafted onboarding email. We’re not talking about a simple template here. While a lot of the things related to onboarding emails will appear obvious, this can prove to be quite deceptive. The devil is in the details and making sure that your email is tailored to your ambassador’s individual needs will be what determines the success of the entire program.
In summary, then, there are two main goals to an onboarding email: making your new ambassador feel at home and educating them on the next steps they are expected to take to fulfill their role. Follow our guide to find out the most efficient way to achieve those goals.
Boost the engagement of new members with a well-crafted onboarding email
As the head of your developer ambassador program, you want to get your new members up to speed as soon as possible, and the best way to do that is to make sure they’re engaged. Content is still king, so it’s important that your newbies waste no time in creating their own. Your onboarding email will help get them in the zone and respond to contributions made by other members quickly, further increasing engagement within your community.
The best you can go about making them really hyped up about their ambassador work is by making them feel right at home. It’s your job to guide them, introduce them to the others, help them familiarize themselves with the rules and resources you use, as well as what they should be doing next. It might also be a good idea to make sure they have a person they can turn to in case of any immediate problems.
As we’ve already established, an email is the best way to get that engagement flowing right from the start. Send them an email right at the beginning of their ambassadorship and send them on their merry way. While we’re going deep into what such an email should have to be effective in this very article, there are tools you can use to make composing and sending such an email even easier. Advocu offers one such too, so make sure to check it out!
What to include in onboarding email
By this point you should be well aware of the many benefits of a solid onboarding email. It’s time we gave you a complete rundown of what actually makes it a good one.
#1 Introduction to your program’s mission
The first thing you want your ambassadors to know is what you’re all about. Give them a warm welcome and introduce them to your vision. Make sure your email is clear in the message it conveys. Tell them what your company stands for, what your mission as a community is, and what value you want to bring into the world.
Still, we know that as someone who’s the most passionate about your business you might be tempted to write an entire essay about your vision. That’s something you definitely want to avoid. Instead, make sure you link any and all materials, your mission page, etc. in the email so that the new ambassador may familiarize themself with it at their own pace.
#2 Developer Ambassador's Guide, Contributor's Guide or FAQ
Now that you’ve made sure they’ve been welcomed into the community properly, it’s time to lay down all the guidelines they’ll need to do their job. The best way to help new members make their contributions is to provide them with examples. Provide links and explanations, a guide to the entire process. Point them to a good starting point and they’re sure to work their magic effortlessly from there.
If you’ve taken on an ambassador who will speak at conferences, provide them with a list of conferences they can sign up for. Additionally, make sure that you explain the application process is clear. This includes all logistical aspects of it as well, such as travel reimbursement.
Make sure that you provide them with all the necessary assets for content creation as well. They may require tech content and documentation, graphical resources, such as brand materials, logos, etc. Of course, make sure you are clear when listing all of your content-related expectations.
In general, while it’s important that your email be comprehensive and informative, it also needs to be concise. Don’t overload them with information. Instead, provide general guidelines and add links to more resources for further reading later down the line. Always keep in mind the purpose of the email: getting your new ambassador up to speed as soon as possible so that they can work on their content immediately.
#3 Access to your community platform - Slack, Discord, Advocu, etc.
In order for your new ambassador to play their part, you’ll need to provide them access to all the platforms your community is currently relying on for communication. It’s very likely you already have those set up. These include Slack, Discord, Telegram, Google Groups,and others, all very easy to use and crucial to making sure that your community works like a well oiled machine.
Aside from those, make sure you provide them with links to any other platforms you use for your developer program. We’re talking about platforms like our very own Advocu, where they can report on any contributions they make, as well as stay on top of all the things happening with the program.
#4 Perks and swag
Sometimes the best way to put your best foot forward in terms of building morale for new members is simply giving them things (to see how that works out, check out Women Techmakers). If you are offering perks and swag for your community members—which you should!—make sure that you include any necessary links within the onboarding email. Whether it’s a link to collect swag directly or to add the ambassador’s address to a listing, make sure it’s there.
#5 Meet your "Buddy" - a helping hand to overcome challenges with
An email can only go so far as a housewarming gift. When it comes to making someone feel at home and know exactly what they’re doing, it’s best that they have someone to show them the ropes directly. We strongly recommend implementing a buddy system, where you assign any new ambassadors a friend who’s already been there a while and knows how everything works.
Make sure your onboarding email introduces the buddy to your new member, providing all the necessary contact info. This will give them much easier access to information, with a first contact option that’s more or less on an even playing field with them.
#6 Upcoming events or team meetings
While you’ll definitely be focusing on the general culture and practices of your community in your onboarding email, keep in mind that you’re never sending it out in a vacuum. You might be in the middle of preparations for a big community event. Perhaps you’ve set up some onboarding calls or welcome meetings for the new ambassador to attend. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you mention those in your onboarding email.
#7 Social media toolkit and hashtag
The moment you welcome your new developer ambassador, they’ll be at their most hyped. Make sure to strike while the iron is hot and provide them with a link to all of your program or company marketing materials. Proud of their new position as ambassador to your program, they’ll want to spread the joy on social media. Make sure that you supply them with all the hashtags and graphical assets they can use to start raising awareness of your brand right away.
As an example of how this works out in practice, this is how Women Techmakers do it:
#8 Onboarding checklist
Finally, we come to the onboarding checklist. This is the quintessential part of any onboarding process as it can help your new ambassador or advocate organize their work much better. After all, this line of work involves a large amount of moving parts, which can end up confusing someone who’s just started out.
The best option here would be to provide your new member with a ready-made checklist that they can just check off. This way, you’re pretty much delegating the rest of the onboarding process to them, leaving you with more time to handle the rest of your job, while also giving them some hands-on experience.
To get a better idea of what we’re talking about, here’s an example of an onboarding checklist:
- Set up an account in our Slack workspace, add a profile picture, and drop by in the #introductions channel to say hello.
- Share your success on social media! Yous the hashtag #AdvocuAmbassador to show the world that you’re with us and make the post visible to us, so we can shower you with likes.
- Join our ambassador meeting next Tuesday. You’ll find the invitation in your calendar.
- Study the Ambassador’s Guide linked here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your onboarding buddy.
A developer ambassador program can bring a whole host of benefits to your business, but you need to ensure that your ambassadors are well taken care of to do their job well. A properly conducted onboarding process is key, and the easiest way to do that is through an email.
Creating your own onboarding email can be quite complicated, but with our help, you should be able to do it without issue. Check how Advocu can automate your Developer Ambassador onboarding process.