Community-Messaging Fit

March 7, 2023 (1y ago)

For startups, having product-market fit means you're building the right product for the right people. For DevRel, having community-messaging fit means you're using the right words to describe the product for that community.

This post will outline a few examples of how I've found community-messaging fit and some tips to help you iterate with your messaging.

What is Community-Messaging Fit?

Marketing to developers should be clear and relatable.

  • Clearnot simple. The product often isn't simple, but the impact can be clear. If your explanation isn't clear yet, iterate and try again.
  • Relatablenot obscure. Use language or analogies the community is familiar with. Connect new concepts with existing technologies or mental models.

Your community members have unique backgrounds. They've learned to code from university, bootcamps, or are self-taught. They started with C, or PHP, or Python, or JavaScript. Different descriptions of your product will connect with groups of the community.

Community-messaging fit is when you've found the right description of the product that connects with the majority of your community.

Finding your fit isn't a one-time process. Your product will evolve and your community will grow. You have to be constantly iterating on the right messaging.

Finding Community-Messaging Fit

Two good indicators for community-messaging fit are virality and sharability.

Developers want to share good content. When they've learned something new, or found a new way to explain a topic they're interested in, they will voluntarily amplify to their audience. When they have a “lightbulb moment”, they want to share this excitement.

When the topic is explained clearly, and it relates back to things the developer understands, it makes it easily sharable. This is how virality happens.

Community-messaging fit is never finished because your community is ever-evolving.

You take the input (questions, objections) and iterate towards the new output (analogies, clarifications). If you're not seeing virality, keep tweaking the message until it's clear and relatable. Build an inventory of analogies and examples to help connect the dots with the community.