Being a solo admin can be challenging and even lonely. While blogs may help, nothing can replace one-on-one conversations with other admins. Even if you don’t have one at your office or within your company, there are communities of fellow admins who can offer support.
Just ask Alexandra Ervan of Cloud for Good, who has been a solo admin for over seven years.
Joining Salesforce communities “has given me my social life, which is great, and good friends, but also keeps me going from a work perspective and from a growing and learning perspective,” she says.
In this episode of Serious Insights for Salesforce Admins, Alexandra joins host Kristi Campbell, Senior Salesforce Admin & Salesforce MVP, to discuss her Salesforce journey and how these communities have helped her thrive.
Listen to this episode to learn:
- The benefits of joining Salesforce communities
- How solo admins can expand their network
- Where to find the best online communities and resources
If you’re the only admin at your company or an admin who works from home — or even both — you’re probably familiar with the feeling of scrolling through Salesforce blogs for resources, tips and inspiration.
With no one to learn from or discuss ideas with, being a solo admin can be challenging. Just ask Alexandra Ervan of Cloud for Good. She’s spent over seven years as the lone admin at her company. But by making time to join local in-person and online Salesforce communities, she’s become better at her job and developed a lively social life, too.
In fact, Alexandra and Host Kristi Campbell, Senior Salesforce Admin & Salesforce MVP, first met at a Salesforce Saturday event in Los Angeles.
“It has given me my social life, which is great, and good friends, but also keeps me going from a work perspective and from a growing and learning perspective,” she says.
In this episode of Serious Insights for Salesforce Admins, Alexandra joins Kristi to discuss her Salesforce journey and how becoming part of numerous communities has helped her grow and thrive. Getting involved doesn’t always have to mean traveling far, but you do have to be proactive about building your tribe, Alexandra says.
“There's a level of intentionality that you have to have. You just have to want it and do it. I don't know that it necessarily even takes that much effort [...] to start meeting people and creating your own little community.”
Tune in to this episode of Serious Insights to learn more about how you can benefit from Salesforce communities, and some personal recommendations of the best groups and resources from Alexandra and Kristi.
Salesforce communities are an asset to solo admins.
Being the only admin at your company can be lonely, especially in the work-from-home era. Without colleagues to discuss questions or ideas with, scrolling through blogs in search of solutions or trying to figure things out on your own can sometimes feel like grasping in the dark.
That’s why when Alexandra started her new role as the lone admin at her company, she started seeking out community wherever she could find it. Joining local Salesforce communities where she found support and like-minded colleagues is “well worth the time,” she says. “I always came out with something new that I could apply to the organization that I was working at and make it better.”
Seek out conversations with other admins.
One of the best parts of events like Salesforce Saturday or other user meetups is having the opportunity to connect with other admins. Take advantage of this time to ask questions and network, especially with admins who have more experience than you.
And don’t forget to pay the favor forward by sharing your own experience with others. We are all on continuous journeys of learning, says Alexandra, especially as Salesforce continues to grow and change. Getting together with other admins just makes it less overwhelming, and a little more fun.
Be intentional about expanding your network.
Growing your Salesforce network, especially if you’re a solo admin or if you work from home, is an intentional effort. “You just have to want it and do it,” Alexandra says. It sometimes requires getting out of your chair and driving to an in-person meetup on a Saturday.
But there are also plenty of online community groups connecting users across the world and providing invaluable resources and advice at your fingertips. Try Slack channels, Discord servers, and even the #AskForce hashtag on Twitter. The Salesforce Success Community on Trailhead comes personally recommended by Alexandra.
Featured Guest: Alexandra Ervan of Cloud for Good
💥 What she does: Principal Consultant at Cloud for Good, a premium Salesforce implementation partner.
🧠 Alexandra’s big idea: “There's a level of intentionality that you have to have. You just have to want it and do it. I don't know that it necessarily even takes that much effort, but if you start in the community, I think that's a really good place to start — to start meeting people and creating your own little community, and I highly recommend it.”
Key excerpts from the episode transcript
💡 Salesforce communities are an asset to solo admins.
[02:21] Alexandra: “I was like, I need help, I need support, because I was on my own at my organization. And so that was sort of my start into the Salesforce community. And I really just joined all of the groups I could join, so the nonprofit user group, the admin user group and went to all of the things. And that was just my way to sort of figure things out and meet as many people as possible so I could learn and participate.”
💡 Salesforce Saturday can be a great opportunity to network.
[06:46] Kristi: “Salesforce Saturday is an interesting one, too, as an idea if people are looking to get more involved, or maybe they can't get out during the work day. And I think there's an interesting element to Salesforce Saturday as well in terms of self-improvement. Not that we don’t talk about work stuff — ours specifically here in Charlotte is at a coffee shop, with your laptop kind of conversation. We don't really do presentations and topics; some groups do. But I think it's also about the investment in your own learning and your own advancement. And I'm talking about certifications. We set a goal together to go get certified — that final push of, just schedule it and go do it. That was really helpful.”
💡 Seek out one-on-one time with other admins.
[08:34] Alexandra: “I think [Salesforce Saturday] is a really good way to just get in. You can really ask people questions and have really good one-on-one time. I think that's the benefit of Salesforce Saturday, is you get one-on-one time with people, ask questions, learn things, talk about literally whatever. Talk about getting certified or talk about a problem you're having at work that, maybe someone who's there has a little more experience in, that can literally look at what you're doing and try and help you. So I think that's a huge benefit of Salesforce Saturday.”
💡 Always keep learning and sharing your knowledge with other admins.
[10:00] Alexandra: “When I first started my journey — I'm still on a learning journey, but I was on a much more rigorous learning journey. And so I'm on the other side now, whereas I feel like I can give back, which is really exciting for me. And so it's a really good way to make sure that I'm still learning. I have things to teach people and so I try to volunteer as much as possible to present so I make sure that I'm continuing to learn and I'm up on everything that is going on.”
💡 Be intentional about expanding your network — online or IRL.
[13:27] Kristi: “I think the key is really being intentional about trying to grow your network. It's a unique industry in that you can just stay home, or stay in your silo and learn things, and work, and that's fine. But I think just putting yourself out there — for me — has given so many opportunities of meeting people in other countries, especially now with a lot of online user group meetings, meeting people in other areas, getting more active on Twitter and following the people who write the blogs. Just [using] #AskForce, seeing the questions that people are asking, and being helpful to people and learning the resources that you have.”
[12:54] Alexandra: “[Joining a Salesforce community] has given me my social life, which is great, and good friends, but also keeps me going from a work perspective and from a growing and learning perspective.”
[13:37] Kristi: “It's a unique industry in that you can just stay home, or stay in your silo and learn things, and work, and that's fine. But I think just putting yourself out there — for me — has given so many opportunities of meeting people in other countries, especially now with a lot of online user group meetings.”
[20:11] Alexandra: “Being a part of the community has made me ultimately overall a better Salesforce admin and a better consultant. And that's ultimately what I'm trying to be in my life and career. And so doing all of that is, I think, so important.”