When creating a personal brand, people often spend too much time on “brand” and not enough time on “personal”. Amanda Natividad, VP of Marketing at SparkToro, has found a way to tell your story in an authentic — and compelling — way.
In this episode, she dives into how to build a personal brand without losing your soul, why knowing your “why” is the key to building an audience, recent trends, and much more.
- Test out content ideas at events
- Refine ideas through feedback
- Quiet quitting can be good
- How to build an audience
- Personal content strategy
- Try telling your story
- Act like you belong
- Check out SparkToro’s Audience Research Newsletter! https://sparktoro.com/audience-research-newsletter
- Follow Amanda Natividad on LinkedIn and Twitter
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Test out content ideas at events
Social media and events provide opportunities to test out ideas before presenting them as polished products.
“I see opportunities social media and events slash whether that’s physical or whether that’s digital in person conferences or webinars. These are live opportunities, they’re live in some way, a tweet is alive in the sense that generally you’re tweeting something or you’re posting on social media as the experience is live to you. Generally speaking, and then I see the blog as the source of truth, this is where the final information goes and I’m seeing this as this is a counterintuitive finding because most people or most marketers tend to see events as ‘ Oh, that’s the final product.’ You write blog posts or you write some tweets, you write LinkedIn post but your webinar, that’s a final presentation. Get it all buttoned up for the presentation. I’m going to say it should be the other way around, the event is one of your testing grounds for a concept for an idea and your blog post is the final product because your blog post is the thing that stands a test of time. That’s the thing that people are gonna be searching for on Google or they’ll stumble upon on your website. Nobody’s going to stumble upon your webinar or your conference speaking slot. I’m going to challenge people who see these events as the final polish opportunities and challenge them to think of those as those should be near final. You shouldn’t get on stage, whether it’s virtual or physical, and say random things you should have a strategy involved. You should have an idea that’s fully fleshed out with concrete talking points and evidence, but take the opportunity to continue to refine that idea that when you do the blog post it’s final.”
Refine ideas through feedback
People may get bogged down thinking that an idea needs to be perfect before it can be presented, but live feedback can help add new dimensions and make the idea more defensible.
“I love that you call these feedback opportunities cause that’s exactly how I see it. Whether it’s a small, whether it’s an exchange with a colleague. That’s a live feedback opportunity or a smaller closed door event or webinar, those are all opportunities to continue to refine. I feel people maybe get bogged down and ‘ Oh no, it needs to be perfect. It needs to be final,’ it needs to be the perfect, whatever final thought with all the things. But when you get that feedback, that live feedback. Maybe you’ll get people who add onto your idea who are ‘Oh, I like that concept.’ I would also suggest, citing this thing or looking at this other brand that’s doing this well and then you can continue to, as the owner of that idea, to speak, you can continue to refine that piece and add more defensibility to it to speak.”
Quiet quitting can be good
More people in the workforce are prioritizing work-life balance.
“’m hearing a lot,in the news about something called quiet, quitting. Where there’s a negative way to look at it, which is the way that most, most media publications and the general zeitgeist is conveying this, which is Gen Z is lazy, they don’t wanna work too hard and people are ghosting their bosses and all that stuff. The positive side to this, which is the way I’m seeing it, is it’s that people are, and maybe it’s, it’s primarily Gen Z, people are, Now taking a stance and being I have boundaries. I’m not gonna be checking my email at midnight. I’m not gonna respond to that thing. At 10:00 PM when it can wait in, when it can wait until the morning, or I’m not gonna do all this extra work and then not get paid for it. And I’m saying this because I feel I’ve been able to adopt the sort of quiet, quitting mentality, but I see it as a positive thing If I’m, if there’s a big project at Spark to, or some big launch, the way I see it is, of course I’m going to work harder, maybe longer hours be, be online a little more. I see that as that’s a normal thing. but when we don’t have a big deadline or a big thing that we’re working on, then I’m gonna take it easy. And it’s helped me to create better work life integration. I’ve been able to. Spend more time with my family in ways that.”
How to build an audience
The term “audience building” can be loaded and polarizing for some people.
“I feel I don’t know if there’s any best phrasing for it other than audience building. I don’t know what else to call it but with that, I feel it’s such a loaded term in that some people are cool, normal term. That’s what you would call it or they’d say, I wanna build an audience or they would say, that sounds gross and that sounds super douchey and why would anyone admit to doing that? But there’s many it can be polarizing but the way I see it is It’s not so much about building the biggest audience possible. To me, it’s not about I wanna get to a million or 500,000 or 100,000. To me, it means defining who it is that you wanna speak to, who it is you want to reach, and then creating content for that audience and then hoping, that the content you create resonates with them. When I say creating content for a specific group of people. I also say, I also mean doing this with a goal in mind. Is the goal to drive more leads for your business? It could be, it could be wanting to meet new friends, wanting to meet intellectual peers within a certain sector or hobby that you have.”
Personal content strategy
Remember that you’re creating your own content, not someone else’s.
“When I say personal things for which I have a unique perspective on, or I feel is, my perspective on. I would love for more people and lots of people to do this. To figure out your personal sort of content strategy. Figure out why you want to post online in the way that you do, and then, leveraging your experience or expertise to propel yourself forward.”
Tell your story
Lean on your experiences — they’re unique to you.
“When you talk about your experiences, things you’ve tested, things you’ve done, things you have studied, studied or have been able to do some intel on maybe interviewing a friend about something. Those, doing those things or sharing your experience, for instance, it might feel scary. But I it’s less risky to go that route because if it’s an experience that you have and that you can talk about, you can crystallize, you can prove essentially, then there’s less for people to poke holes into.”
Act like you belong
Defeat imposter syndrome by acting like you know what you’re doing.
“The best piece of advice I’ve received is act as if. Act as if what you’re doing, as if what you’re gonna say. And I got this advice from a former manager who I was, much younger in my career and had had much struggled with having a strong presence, in a meeting and stuff. And she was act as if you deserve to be here. You can do. Act as if and the rest will follow. It’s a flipping imposter syndrome on its head.”