Amanda Natividad is VP of Marketing for audience research startup, SparkToro. She’s also a contributor for Adweek, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, and a former journalist.
Amanda Natividad is VP of Marketing for audience research startup, SparkToro. She’s also a contributor for Adweek, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, and a former journalist. Amanda previously led marketing for Growth Machine, led marketing for Liftopia, built Fitbit’s B2B content program, and led content and communications for NatureBox.
In this episode, we talk about Amanda’s path into marketing, her advice for growing your Twitter following, her new live talk show on YouTube called The Menu, and what she’s doing to encourage more inclusiveness online.
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Amanda Natividad 00:00
When you create more viral content then other creators with large followings notice that and then they include you in like, oh, you should follow this person for this content. And then that explodes your growth.
Jay Clouse 00:13
Welcome to Creative Elements, a show where we talk to your favorite creators and learn what it takes to make a living from your art and creativity. I'm your host, Jay Clouse. Let's start the show. Hello, my friend, welcome back to another episode of Creative Elements. It's really starting to feel like spring here in Ohio and I am loving it. One of my favorite things to do is to go for a long run while listening to audiobooks or podcasts. And this is the time of year when I can really cover some distance outside instead of on a track or a treadmill. In fact, as I'm recording this, this is the last task on my to do list today, standing between me in a long run. I find that running not only calms me down and gives me a nice emotional reset but it's where I do some of my best thinking too. All often come inside from a long run and immediately sit down to dump the thoughts and ideas that I had on that run on to the page. And I spend a lot of time thinking these days, thinking about strategy on how to grow and improve my business, thinking about ideas that can become content, and thinking about how to better market my work. In fact, two things on my mind a lot lately are marketing and Twitter. So it's no surprise that I reached out to today's guest, Amanda Natividad, to chat about both. In her nine year marketing career, Amanda has managed B2B and B2C marketing teams across consumer packaged goods, software as a service and agencies. Earlier in her career, Amanda created Fitbit's B2B content program and helped build their B2B marketing team. She also led marketing for a ski lift ticket company called Liftopia. And for an SEO content agency called Growth Machine.
Amanda Natividad 02:08
I started out my career in tech news, so was sort of a behind the scenes editor and producer over at paidContent.org and it could go home.com, which are some of the original tech blogs. I think they even, they might have even predated TechCrunch.
Jay Clouse 02:23
As we'll hear in the interview, Amanda parlayed her writing ability into content marketing, eventually working her way to her current role as VP of Marketing for an audience research startup called SparkToro, which was founded by Rand Fishkin.
Amanda Natividad 02:36
SparkToro is an audience research tool, we help you find your audience's sources of influence, the podcasts they listen to, YouTube channels they watch, websites they frequent and social accounts they follow. So for instance, let's say you wanted to look for other people in the creator economy, maybe you would do a search for my audience uses these words in their profile, creator, founder, podcast host, self identifiers like that, that people are likely to use in their public facing profile. And then from there, we can show you insights like the websites they frequent, or the social accounts that people who follow them also follow. And then other things that that audience does online, like hashtags they use, topics they frequently discuss, and so on.
Jay Clouse 03:28
It sounds pretty awesome, right? But how does SparkToro get that data?
Amanda Natividad 03:33
We get all those data through what people say and do publicly online. So through social networks from anything like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, to GitHub, YouTube, and then from there, you know, we, we crawl these websites, and then use them or map them to the way people self identify online. And we present this to you anonymized and on aggregate.
Jay Clouse 03:58
If you're familiar with Amanda's work, or at least recognize her name, it might be because you've seen her on Twitter, where she has nearly 85,000 followers at the time of this recording. And that number is up from around 50,000 followers at the time of this interview. But Amanda actually had a very different reason for building an audience on Twitter. She said she wanted to build a name for herself so that she would never have to do a traditional job search ever again.
Amanda Natividad 04:25
I think sometimes people think, oh, if I'm going to use Twitter as a job networking thing that I can't talk about my hobbies, which I disagree with, I think you can bring your whole person self to Twitter and use it as a as a career networking tool.
Jay Clouse 04:42
So in this episode, we talked about Amanda's path into marketing, her advice for growing your Twitter following, her new live talk show on YouTube called, The Menu, and what she's doing to encourage more inclusiveness online. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen, you can find me on Twitter @jayclouse or on Instagram @creativeelements.fm, tag me, say hello, let me know that you're listening. And if you haven't signed up for my weekly newsletter, Creative Companion, take a minute to do so. You can visit creativecompanion.club or click the link in the show notes. That's creativecompanion.club. Okay, let's jump in. Let's talk with Amanda.
Amanda Natividad 05:25
So had my quarter life crisis and decided, you know what, I want to work in food, I want to go to culinary school and I want to be a food writer. It was just something I decided kind of out of the blue. And I had learned that at the time, and it Le Cordon Bleu, which has shut down in the recent couple of years in the US. But Le Cordon Bleu had started a part time program which was geared towards people who worked full time. So it was, had my full time job every night drove down to Pasadena to Le Cordon Bleu to get yelled at by a couple of chef instructors, so much fun. And then ended up interning at the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen, where I did everything from the cold calls to get recipes from restaurants, tested their recipes, and then foods styled all the dishes prior to publication. So super fun job. Then came the time to find a food writing job, an industry in which I did no research and realized pretty quickly oh, there are like eight food writing jobs in the country and they're all taken. And that is that and you got to find your own way. So I ended up just picking up random freelance marketing and social media work. And just sort of creating my own content, I created an iPad cookbook, just started creating more original recipes. And then eventually realized, oh, I can parlay this into a content marketing career. Because I can write, I can make things. Well, what I did was I made a spreadsheet of all the food tech startups in the space that had recently gotten funding and research all the companies and then started cold messaging all of them to say, hey, I don't have formal marketing experience. I would love to work with you, here what my skills are, what do you think, and that was pretty much what launched my marketing career because one of them actually replied and said, you seem like not a weirdo, let's talk. And then little did I know I was kind of a weirdo, but it was a good fit.
Jay Clouse 07:28
I have a confession to make. And I want to hear your reaction to this. I kind of hate the word marketing. It's so loaded and it's just, we don't have a common definition of what it means. And it's used so often as like this magical solution to my problem of I'm not good at selling my thing or talking about my thing, or I don't even have a good product. So they just think like, if I just sprinkle marketing on top of it, my problems will be solved. All the things like inherent in good marketing, big fan of, but the word is so loaded, that I just like struggle to even use it intelligently. How do you feel about the word marketing? Like what does that word mean to you?
Amanda Natividad 08:07
Well, that's so funny, because as a marketer, I don't think about that too often. But maybe what you experience or that feeling you have towards marketing is the feeling that a lot of marketers have towards the term personal brand, or personal branding, or it feels like a little bit achy, a little bit like you're trying to put band aids on the solution, or you're trying to cover something up. So I think there are similar parallels there. But
Jay Clouse 08:35
I like the practice of marketing. I'm not I'm not at all, like talking down on the work that you do.
Amanda Natividad 08:39
Yeah. Oh, yeah, for sure.
Jay Clouse 08:41
I, you know, to me, like marketing is, how can I reliably get my message in front of the people that want to and should hear it. But so often people are like, this isn't working for me, I just need better marketing. And like there's some truth in that, but they don't even know what that means. They just think that's like the the catch all solution.
Amanda Natividad 09:00
Right. And I also imagine that you, you know, as a creator, as a community leader, you don't you really don't think about marketing, you're thinking about like, how can I be helpful to my community? What can I say that has resonance, that has reach, all those things that are related to good marketing. But you probably just don't think about it that way.
Jay Clouse 09:21
Yeah, I think, I think about marketing in terms of communication more, if I'm applying it to my own business, I often think about like, how do I communicate this idea, this intent, this opportunity to the people that I have the privilege of being able to reach?
Amanda Natividad 09:35
Yeah, I love that. I feel like what you're describing is really the, the holy grail of content marketing, right? Where you are really trying to meet people where they are to communicate what you are saying in a way that will deeply resonate with them that might move them, that might inspire change, and they think that is the thing that scammy spammy marketers just sort of can't do.
Jay Clouse 10:01
Amanda Natividad 10:01
They just kind of think like, I'll just take a course or like, can't you just write a quick guide that I can skim? And then I'll just do it really quick, where it's, it's not really a tactic. It's sort of a, it's a core value. It's how you live and how you breathe. And it's how you do the job that you're doing.
Jay Clouse 10:17
Yeah, I think there's like a spectrum of, we'll call it resonance, where, on the far right side, when something really resonates, that's like, you hit the nail on the head, that's awesome. I feel like there's a step before that, which is just understanding that is like the first threshold you have to cross if you are marketing something, if you're communicating something, you have to at least get that person to understand and align with you on what you're trying to say. And if you can go beyond that, to get it to like really resonate with them, that's even better. But I feel like a lot of people really struggle to even get to the point of how do I get this to be understood by someone who isn't me, who isn't so close to it. In a world that is so noisy, and there's so many tweets or so many emails or so many campaigns. Understanding is like the first hurdle, you have to clear I feel.
Amanda Natividad 11:04
Yeah, and it takes a lot of work. It just does. It takes empathy, and it takes the hard work of, you know, finding where your audience is or what they're already doing, or what they're already searching for, and understanding the intent behind that or what they're doing with that information. I think that is part of the, it's part of the hard work that not everybody wants to do.
Jay Clouse 11:27
So you're sitting here today, you have 60,000 followers on Twitter. I'm curious if you woke up one day, and you said, you know what, I'm going to take Twitter seriously. And here's how I'm going to do it. Or if it just started happening organically and you kind of leaned into it, how did, how did that growth happen?
Amanda Natividad 11:44
So I started more intentionally using Twitter when I joined Growth Machine as our head of marketing. So Growth Machine is an SEO and content agencies sorted by Nat Eliason. Nat is a well known online writer and marketer. And so he was very much the face of the brand. When I joined, they wanted someone else to also be the face of the brand. And that was when I realized, okay, this is an opportunity for me to kind of build my personal brand and get more visibility here. So that was a little bit of it. And then along the way, the way that I, I came to see my overall Twitter strategy was, I want to not have to do a traditional job hunt again. And that was my heuristic for how I thought through the content strategy or how I would use Twitter. So that helped me figure out, okay, I'm going to tweet mostly about marketing and content marketing, that's going to be the main stuff. But I am also a regular person and I love food. And I know a lot about food. So I'll tweet my recipes too or tweet things about home bartending, just things that I'm interested in. And just doing it more intentionally, right? So not going crazy and tweeting 50 cocktail tweets in one night, right, just you know, like, like a normal, like a couple per week or whatever it was. And then also engaging with other people in Twitter in a way that I would conduct myself at an office, right, which is sometimes being witty or goofy, but then also adding value to what other people have to say. We're asking them questions, to bring the best out of their expertise. So that's kind of how I think about it now.
Jay Clouse 13:33
Where does Twitter growth come from? Like what pushes people to actually follow another account in your experience?
Amanda Natividad 13:42
So I think the key to Twitter growth is choosing a niche, like, maybe want, no more than two topics, and sticking closely in that niche, maybe like 90% of your content. And I say that because then that way people who don't know you, they know why to follow you, right? So maybe somebody who follows me knows I'm gonna get a steady stream of content, about content marketing, and that's what I'm looking for. So I'm going to follow this person. That's the first step. The second step is creating thoughtful tweets. It's even just spending spending a little bit extra time like an extra 10 minutes after you've drafted a tweet. And you know, editing it, making sure it's making the point you want to say, making, making sure that it is resonating with people that you want to target your audience. And just being intentional about that. Like, I think if you were to scroll through my timeline, you'd probably see that I only really tweet maybe once a day, maybe twice a day if I have a lot to say, but I'm not normally that chaotic on my timeline.
Jay Clouse 14:51
I've kind of assumed this, but I want to confirm it. Do you find that your growth on Twitter comes predominantly from threads versus stand-alone tweets?
Amanda Natividad 15:00
Definitely, most of my audience on Twitter came from threads and being mentioned in other people's threads. I guess that's the other thing I didn't mention like when you, when you create more viral content than other creators with large followings notice that and then they include you in like, oh, you should follow this person for this content, and then that explodes your growth. So I do try to write maybe one thread per week. That's how much I can sustain for my workload, I still work full time, have other obligations and other commitments. So and it takes me a long time to write a thread. That's the other piece too. I think when you focus on highest signal to noise in the content you create, that will serve you well in Twitter. So for a given thread, I think the fastest I've been, I've ever been able to write one was maybe an hour and a half. And yeah, it usually takes me a couple hours to write something. I think if, if you are serious about growing your Twitter following, threads is the key way to do that. I think in some of, some of my most viral threads where I've gotten more than 4000 likes, those have resulted in a couple 1000 new followers overnight. So those are a big deal. But I think it's, you know, kind of digging deeper into the why behind that. I think, you know, when you're writing a really good thread or a solid thread that delivers on the hook, you are proving why you're worth the follow. Like you're, you're demonstrating some kind of expertise in either the category for what you create for, or the category for what you curate for, right, if you absent original ideas or semi original ideas you could also curate, but I think proving a strong ability to do that, de-risks you as a follow to strangers.
Jay Clouse 16:51
Yeah, it makes sense. I mean, if somebody who doesn't follow me, runs across eight of my tweets, they're probably more likely to say I keep seeing this person's name. And I like the way, thanks, I'm gonna follow him. But a thread can introduce them to eight of those tweets in one go, which again, is giving you kind of like the same exposure, just a more potent dose.
Amanda Natividad 17:10
Jay Clouse 17:10
Does that make sense?
Amanda Natividad 17:11
Oh, well said. Yeah, I agree.
Jay Clouse 17:13
After a quick break, Amanda and I dig in even deeper into her process for coming up with threads on Twitter. And later we talk about her newest personal project that she's really excited about. So stick around and we'll be right back. Welcome back to my conversation with Amanda Natividad. Before the break, Amanda started telling us about her approach to Twitter, and threads in particular. So I asked her to explain her process for ideating in structuring threads.
Amanda Natividad 17:42
Sometimes I'll just have an idea for something like one of my threads is about getting marketing or content inspiration, so applicable to marketing teams, and to solo creators like prompts to never run out of ideas. So for something like that, which is purely a list, like here are 20 ideas or I think it was like 10 ideas, then I just started thinking of ideas and writing, writing them in my Evernote, kind of chipping away at the list. And then in the end, after I wrote all that, then I then I did the hook, I guess I usually do the hook last, because that's the most important part. If you don't have the attention grabbing hook, the thing that makes the reader say, I need to know this, the thread won't do well.
Jay Clouse 18:26
I want to talk more about that. Like how do you know if that hook is good enough? When do you say, okay, I've whittled this down enough that I think this is gonna grab somebody's attention.
Amanda Natividad 18:35
So there are two sources that I have to cite because they are my greatest sources of inspiration for writing hooks. One is Julian Shapiro and his breakdown of what makes something novel or novelty. And so his list is it's on his website. It's counterintuitive. Like, I never realized the world work that way, counter narrative, wow, that's not how I was told the way the world worked. Shock and awe like, oh, that's crazy. Elegant articulation. Beautiful, I couldn't have said it better myself. And making someone feel seen. But oh, that's exactly how I feel. To make someone feel seen, I think is especially key. That's I think one of the things that gets someone to go, oh, I gotta retweet this. The other source that I'll cite is Shaan Puri. He's had a couple of frameworks for this.
Jay Clouse 19:28
I've seen this too. Yeah, this is really good.
Amanda Natividad 19:29
Like his emoji thing, like LOL, WTF. Like he kind of thinks in emojis, which is kind of funny. But one thing that he has said before, in one of his webinars was when he writes a hook, he dials it all the way to a ten. Like what is the most extreme thing I can say? Or he starts, he suggests this as a starting point, download up to a 10 and then scaled back to what you're actually comfortable with. And then make sure the content you create delivers on that.
Jay Clouse 19:59
I just put up Shaan Puri's eight strong emotions for folks listening who want to dig into this. And you can find the video by searching on YouTube, Viral Writing 101 with Shaan Puri, Dickie Bush and Nicolas Cole. It was a webinar that he did with the Ship 30 for 30 folks. The eight of them are number one, not safe for work, which is the reaction of that's crazy. Number two, LOL, that's so funny. Number three, Oh, now I get it. Number four, wow, that's amazing. Number five, aw, that's so cute. Number six, yay, that's great news. Number seven, WTF, that pisses me off. Number eight, finally, someone said it. I shared this with somebody because I love this framework also, and they replied with that is essentially the categories on Buzzfeed, which is true. And that's very interesting also.
Amanda Natividad 20:48
Ooh, that's great. That totally makes sense. That's, that's a big key to it. I know. I mean, my boss, Rand Fishkin has his own criteria for what makes something amplification worthy. So that could be the version of if people listening are like, I don't really want to go into WTF territory, totally fair. But Rand has his own criteria, criteria for what makes something worthy of being amplified. And he has a longer list. It's on a SparkToro blog, blog post called Who Will Amplify This and Why. But some of the additional things that I'll call out are belief reinforcement, that's a good one. So it taps into getting people to choose aside and seeing your tweet, right? Like, oh, this, this resonates, I already believe in or it's maybe it's, I don't believe in this at all. And they're, they're still gonna engage with it.
Jay Clouse 21:45
I love that because people if you're stating something that people feel but haven't been able to articulate, them amplifying what you said is their way of expressing themselves, which is something that they're trying to do with their own feeds as expressed themselves. They're just expressing it through your language that makes total sense to me.
Amanda Natividad 22:01
Yeah. And the other one that I'll add is data, like using data or a visualization of data, to tell a story or support a point, something that gets people to share or save for later, that will, I think, inspire people to retweet or like, and otherwise, you know, engage or amplify the content.
Jay Clouse 22:22
I'm sitting here today with 12 and a half thousand followers. And I feel like there's just still so much opportunity for growth on Twitter right now. And I don't know how wide that window is. And I feel like I'm in a pretty good starting point to accelerate that. What advice would you give somebody in my position, who is starting out not nothing, but is saying I want to turn this up to 11 over the next six months?
Amanda Natividad 22:46
Oh, you should totally do a thread on podcasting. Because it's still, it's, I mean, podcasting has been around for years, we know that, but it's still such an under leveraged or lesser known area of content, right, like podcast metrics are hard to get. I think, what does it, does it the vast majority of podcasts don't even go past episode five?
Jay Clouse 23:10
Yeah, I think it's I think it's seven. But yeah, the pod fade is a big thing. I mean, I had a tweet this morning that caught pretty well, where I said, unpopular opinion, podcasting is not a good medium for building an audience. And I believe that, like, I think it's really hard to build an audience from zero in podcasting. If you can start with an audience, then you're much better off, like, with all things, right? But it is a very good medium, regardless of how big your starting audiences for deepening relationships I feel because you really get close to the podcasters that you follow.
Amanda Natividad 23:43
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I mean, when I think about, even when I talk to other friends who have podcasts, who've been doing it for years, and I'll pose the question to you, too, but a lot of them have said they didn't see any kind of measurable growth until after a year. Okay, a year of of steadily publishing. Like, what was the inflection point for you, or, or the point in which you started to really see like, oh, this is taking off.
Jay Clouse 24:09
I feel like I'm seeing it right now, actually, on the organic side. Like I'm looking predominantly at listeners on Apple podcasts and Spotify, because it's the two biggest players. So if I see organic growth on those two players, I know things are going pretty well. We came out of the gates pretty hot because I'm on a network and the network has some levers they can pull with relationships to different podcast platforms, because most discovery happens in like the discovery section of podcasting apps. So they got me some early placements there. So I've actually been off to a good start for a long time. But now I feel like I'm starting to see the word of mouth growth happen. And I'm lucky for a couple of reasons. One being that, I don't remember if this is intentional or not, but my episodes are pretty evergreen. Sure, there are like some very relevant advice like what we're we're talking about here with threads and Twitter growth, but a lot of stuffs pretty evergreen. What is hard for a lot of podcasters I think is, if I have been publishing for a year, I've built some inside jokes and things my listeners that if I'm coming to this new a year from now, where do I start? Do I go all back to episode one, if I started and wasn't creating great products in the beginning, because I didn't have experience with podcasting, that person is probably not going to stick anyway, because it's not going to sound good. So it kind of seems to me like in the podcasting space, your show is going to build an audience like pretty quickly, or just not at all, unless you're doing something really novel, the format that's incredibly episodic, does not need history of other episodes, but they're all kind of evergreen.
Amanda Natividad 25:48
Wait, so this gives me an idea for you. What if you did a podcast episode that was kind of about you, like, that is sort of the intro to who Jay Clouse is, without it being, you know, you saying to my, here's who I am, but also gathering from your favorite interviews that sort of exemplify your values and the things you care about most. And so it's kind of stitched together from past episodes, past audio, but wrapped up into the newness of this is who I am. And if you're a new listener start here.
Jay Clouse 26:18
Yeah, I think it's a really good idea. I've been asking around to folks who have been podcasting for several years, like, where do you send people if they're new to your show? And everyone says, oh, I haven't thought about that. I should think about that. There's one example, which is Jonathan Mendonsa. He was episode five of the show. He has a podcast called ChooseFI, one of the biggest like finance podcasts out there, for their, I think it was episode 100 or 101. That's exactly what you're saying. Where it's like, if you're new the show, listen to that episode.
Jonathan Mendonsa 26:46
Alright, guys, welcome to the ChooseFI radio podcast. This is our episode 100. And we knew we wanted to do something special for this particular episode, because I think this show and this community have really grown over the last two years. And this is an opportunity for us to kind of go back to the beginning of this and realize that while so many of you have been with us from day one, there are over 100,000 people that are going to be finding this podcast for the first time within the last couple of months or into next year. And we wanted to set the stage for that we wanted to set the frame. This is our episode 100. Welcome to the FI community.
Jay Clouse 27:21
And I'm nearing technically more than 100 episodes on the feed, but I don't have them all numbered. I'm nearing episode 100. So maybe I will do that. Because I think that's a really smart thing for an established show that still wants to bring in new listeners and give them an on ramp because there is no like onboarding to a podcast.
Amanda Natividad 27:39
Yeah. Oh, wouldn't it be fun if like, maybe your maybe your biggest fans send an audio clips that give testimonials of your show? And it's sort of like the 100th episode anniversary and as people just saying, like, oh, I love your show, for this reason. Keep it up. And it's like, voicemail like style.
Jay Clouse 27:57
I love that, I have, I have that capability on the website. So listeners go to creativeelements.fm, leave your voicemail. Let me know why you liked the show. We'll include it. Love that idea.
Amanda Natividad 28:09
Oh, okay. I'm gonna leave one. Oh, got another question for you. So did you launch the show within within network or did that come later?
Jay Clouse 28:18
Launched it with the network. I'm not sure I would have launched it without the network, because I wanted to de-risk the incredible amount of effort that I knew it was going to put into this. So I mean, I did a lot of the legwork before I approached the network. I had artwork done. I had a prototype episode, I had a premise. I had custom music, because I wanted to sell them on it. It's a lot of work for them to take on a new show. But yeah, I had with them from the beginning. So I was recording episodes in October of 2019. But we didn't launch the show until March of 2020.
Amanda Natividad 28:50
Oh, well, then that could be a really good Twitter thread. Like, should you launch with a network? Yes or no? Or if yes, here's how you do it or here's how you secure that.
Jay Clouse 28:59
Yeah. So if I'm reading between the lines for me on Twitter, you're telling me just do threads?
Amanda Natividad 29:06
Yeah, do at least one a week and then lean into like,
Jay Clouse 29:09
And focus on the hook?
Amanda Natividad 29:10
yeah, and like, it could be like I've recorded 100 podcast episodes. Here are the 5, 7, 10 things that most hosts get wrong.
Jay Clouse 29:20
Yeah. Probably a quarter of my following right now came from one thread on my birthday last year. I said today, it's my 30th birthday. Here are 30 lessons I've learned in three years of life, just went crazy.
Amanda Natividad 29:34
I remember that. Yeah.
Jay Clouse 29:35
I'm not gonna do like, it's my 31st birthday, here 30, but those things seem to work really well.
Amanda Natividad 29:40
They do. But you say that and I remember that. And that I think that was how I think I was already following you. But I think that was what made, what made you stick in my mind of like, oh, he had this really good thread and all these things he learned and like I really enjoyed reading that.
Jay Clouse 29:54
More or less, threads, focus on the hook, more or less. You mentioned that this also maps to LinkedIn a little bit. What's your LinkedIn strategy? How does that relate to what you're doing on Twitter?
Amanda Natividad 30:05
So for LinkedIn, I spend less time there than I do on Twitter. But I treat LinkedIn posts as sort of. So they're not quite threads, and they're not quite blog posts. They're like mini blog posts. So I'll, I'll try to write something meaningful in like, 150 words, I think I kind of go around that count. I don't think that's a hard rule, or a real growth rule, by the way, but I think it's enough of a word count where I can say, a meaningful message or make a point without going too deep in the weeds. And then also just using if you're, you know, if you want to grow a LinkedIn following, I'd say, engage with all the other content there, the other creators there. I think what's unique about LinkedIn, well, two things are unique about LinkedIn. One, it is the only social network where you can target people or find people by their job function. So it makes it a great channel for B2B relationships. And the second piece is, there is a greater demand for content than there is a supply. So what that means for you as a creator is your content has a longer shelf life, like when you post something, when you post something on Twitter, usually engagement dies after like one or two days. But on LinkedIn, when you post something, that content will usually get engagement for as long as like two weeks I've seen. So it's good ROI for your time, because you don't have to spend a ton of time there to get engagement. And you can still get the word out. And people are looking for content. And then it's also that, you know, when when you're new to Twitter, you're starting with zero, right? You don't, you most people don't have a ton of friends on Twitter already. They have like five friends and they're all in different industries in different niches so it doesn't really help you. But on LinkedIn, everybody has a couple 100 connections. So you're not starting from scratch.
Jay Clouse 32:00
Yeah, yeah. So smart. I really do think people are sleeping on LinkedIn a little bit, where I get hung up is I can post on there, I can get a lot of engagement. But where are they going? I feel like it's harder for me to move someone from LinkedIn, to email, or podcast, or purchasing a product. It seems like it's really good for clients. But curious if you've seen the opposite, have you had success moving them to a more owned platform or even a product?
Amanda Natividad 32:32
So that's a great point that you bring up because that, so I haven't had much experience personally with moving the rented audience there to other platforms. But I've seen it like I have observed people who are growing audiences there, who are then bringing people to like a podcast and more of an own platform and have seen that the growth or the transference isn't that substantial. Like relative to something like Twitter. So I think that's interesting. I do think it's great for client side stuff because, and I think in large part, because if you're sourcing clients for your business, you're not trying to get like 300 people a month, right? All you really need are like one or two, or I mean, hopefully more, but like, you know, having at least one is pretty solid.
Jay Clouse 33:21
When we come back, Amanda and I talk about her newest personal project, a live video show called The Menu on YouTube. And later we discuss why inclusiveness is so important to her and what she's doing to lead by example. Right after this. Hey, welcome back. Besides her day job at SparkToro and her writing on Twitter, I asked Amanda if she's focused on any other personal projects right now.
Amanda Natividad 33:47
So aside from SparkToro, I am also starting to create a course in Maven. And I see that you're one of the instructors or one of the mentors there. So I'm super excited for that session. So I'm doing that. And then I am launching a live talk show on YouTube. So I'm really excited about that.
Jay Clouse 34:07
Let's dive into that. You specifically used a couple words that I'm really interested in live and talk show. Tell me about those words and how they relate to this project you're doing.
Amanda Natividad 34:15
Yeah, so for the past, maybe a year plus, I've been wanting to launch a podcast or a show, but didn't really know, you know, I didn't know what my, what my premise would be, what it would be about really, because I tend to think about things like oh, what's gonna be fun? What's going to be fun and sustainable and something that I look forward to doing every day, which isn't, I think nice, but it's also pretty vague. It doesn't really give you a whole lot to strategize with, right? But that was kind of what I was just percolating on for quite a while. And being meantime, I had I done a lot of podcast interviews in the past year, I think I think I spoke on like maybe 40 different podcasts or events.
Jay Clouse 34:59
Amanda Natividad 35:00
Which was a lot, but it was definitely working over my capacity, but was really trying to learn from, from every experience, I very much learned by doing so as wanting to, you know, get better at not even just public speaking but public conversationing, which is what you do in a podcast, right? It's not really, you're not really, you're not emoting to a room of 5,000 people, you are trying to have a meaningful conversation that we know with the host, and hopefully with the audience who cares and who was interested in what you have to say. So I've been doing all that. And I was thinking about the things that are really exciting to me, and all kinds of podcasts and events. Part of what has been exciting to me as both a speaker and as and as an attendee, is the live element of, you know, being able to watch the people on screen, being able to participate in the chat. And then when those speakers call you out in the chat, and they interact with you, and they say, oh, Jay, had a really good question about this or Jay had a really funny joke. Like, all of that is really fun to me. And I think we are at this stage, you know, in the digital era, where all of these tools and platforms have never been more accessible. And I think it's so possible, and so within our reach, to create a live online event that's genuinely fun, casually valuable, and that resonates with people. So I just became really interested in how can I architect that experience. And then the other piece is, I have hosted a podcast before and this was for the agency that I used to work with Growth Machine. It was a lot of fun hosting that. But as as I develop the, you know, the SOPs for that and created a repeatable process, the thing that kind of bogged me down was the sort of post production. Like I didn't have fun with picking out the call up quotes and like putting together show notes. For me, most of the fun was in the upfront work of like preparing for each interview, trying to come up with questions that I really thought would surprise or delight my interviewee. And that then that then so as I developed the show, I thought about how can I focus on that then? Because that's what I like to do. That's what I'm interested in. And I think that's what I'm better at.
Jay Clouse 37:22
Okay, fun. Tell me more about the format. How long are these sessions going to be? Are you going to have guests? Are you going to do skits? Will there be a musical guest?
Amanda Natividad 37:31
I would love to one day have a musical guest. So the format will be 30 minutes, 30 minutes only. And I'll have one guest on each episode. Maybe I'll have more at some point. But so far, the goal is one guest. And we will, we plan together upfront what we'll talk about. So my thought is we'll focus on maybe one or two topics to discuss, that's related to the world of B2B. So it can be pretty vague there. And I hope is to do one sketch or one bit, and develop it with the guests, right? So it wouldn't be something gimmicky that I forced someone to do last minute and surprise them, I don't want that. What I want is to collaborate in advance and think of something or develop something that is on brand for them. But that is also fun for the audience to watch.
Jay Clouse 38:17
I love that, you've unlocked an idea in me, because podcasts, as you know, from running a Growth Machine podcast just so difficult for organic growth. It's an order of magnitude harder, in my opinion, than an email list or a social media following for sure, or YouTube, because there's just so much more organic sharing and discoverability in those mediums. I've been thinking about what would a video version of the show look like because I do so much post production, because I care about it. And I want it the audio product to be really good. But all my interviews are remote. So I have this hang up that if I just recorded video in squad cast, like we're doing right now, it's not a super compelling visual experience to watch a side by side of the two of us or even if I was kind of flipping back and forth, and it wouldn't be as good of a product as the audio product. So I'm like really hung up on that. But now I'm kind of thinking it might be fun to have a participatory live video chat with the guests like like we're doing right now that's a little bit more casual. That we do live and maybe that's like a subset of the audience. Maybe that's like, a premium membership to Creative Elements, like a supporters package like that.
Amanda Natividad 39:35
Oh, yeah or and the way that could work really well too is maybe I don't know if this is the right answer, but maybe you kind of use the podcast interviews as sort of a testing ground for the live interaction. So maybe like I mean, you know, I'm sure you have all kinds of interactions with different guests, right? But if you have a guest who you feel like you're especially vibing well with or you're like oh, this is super fun. I know this person has a lot to say on this other topic that we didn't cover. And then you can invite them on the live format. And it's a you know, it's kind of an extension of the episode like a bonus part of the episode. That's more casual. That's fun because it would be cool to do screen shares, too. There's a lot of value in that I feel. But you mentioned earlier that you did like 40 podcast appearances last year, did you have an objective with that or a result you wanted to see from that? So a little bit, I had a soft expectation or a soft hope that this would result in some kind of brand lift for SparkToro, that you know, we would get more traffic or more signups. It's really hard to attribute that to, you know, to a podcast, but sometimes you can find it through Google Analytics. I guess I did, it felt like we were getting pretty good traction from it, because people would reach out to me and they would say, like, oh, I, I listened to your podcast on, you know, the SAS, the SAS growth show, or like the SEO growth show, you know, want to learn more about SparkToro. So that was pretty cool. But since it's so hard to measure, I didn't have like, hard goals of like, I really want to get to this number, the way I, my main objective was, can I be a better speaker? Or can I be more charismatic in a conversation? So kind of that selfish self serving, like, can I be a better guest? Because I wanted at some point and think it's gonna be this year, I wanted to be a decent guest for shows like this, where it's like, okay, this is a show that I admire, that I respect, or like, a webinar or opportunity that like, I'm really excited about, like, how can I make sure that I don't suck in those things?
Jay Clouse 41:41
What about did you see anything in terms of follower growth or list growth from that personally?
Amanda Natividad 41:46
I think there was a small amount of list growth, like email list growth, Twitter growth, I don't I don't think so. I think it's possible. But if that were the case, I think it makes up a really small amount of my audience.
Jay Clouse 41:59
Did you do outreach to the shows that you're on or was a lot of that inbound, hey, will you come on my show?
Amanda Natividad 42:04
All of it was inbound. Like I would say, 95% of it was pure inbound of like, hey, come on my show. The other 5% were through Rand, like maybe Rand saying, oh, like I was on this show the host now wants to interview you or I have a conflict at this time, can you do it?
Jay Clouse 42:22
I feel like there's, there's a lot of opportunity for me as a podcaster to go guests on other shows. But I really feel like there's a clear separation between shows that are going to bring you results versus just nothing at all, like there's a huge continuum between the show will actually get heard by people. These shows won't, and you could spend 30 hours on 30 shows that have no audience and there's no real return to you. Or you could spend 30 hours working to build a relationship that gets you on one bigger show with a legitimate audience and changes your life.
Amanda Natividad 42:59
Jay Clouse 42:59
Amanda Natividad 43:00
One way to do it too. And this is true, not just a shameless plug, is if you do a SparkToro analysis of your own social account, for instance, then you can see which podcasts people in your audience also listened to. So then you can go to that podcast and say, hey, based on my on the SparkToro search that I pulled, you know, 10% of my audience listens to your show. So we have some nice audience overlap. I'd love to join your show to talk about these two topics, like, you know, here's my media kit, like what do you think? That way, you're kind of proving, you're giving the data of like, this proves that we have a shared audience. So there's something in it for you. And then also, you know, putting in the thought of like, here's some things I want to talk about.
Jay Clouse 43:44
I got excited and a little off track from Amanda's new YouTube show, The Menu. So I took a step back and asked her if she has any specific goals or aspirations for that project.
Amanda Natividad 43:54
I haven't done a true passion project in quite a while. Most things I've been doing has been for work, or a very small creative endeavor, or one that I do privately, like, you know, creating a nice three course meal at home, right? But I've been interested in figuring out, you know, what is something just something I can do sort of a built in public thing that is purely for my enjoyment that I think other people will have fun with, too. So my goal is to come up with a repeatable format or repeatable show, that truly makes me excited because I think it's engaging because I think it's adding value to the world of video based podcasts. And finally, a goal that I have is being able to use the audience I've been building to help elevate some emerging voices, or lesser known people in this space or people who are just getting started and want to get their name out there. I really want to use whatever I have to help lift them up.
Jay Clouse 45:01
I love that. Let's talk more about that. When you say this space, are you being industry specific to start and say like people within the B2B industry, for example?
Amanda Natividad 45:11
Yeah, I am thinking more B2B industry. And it can be more broadly applicable to I think the creator economy, which is B2B Ask, right? But really anybody who is wanting, who's doing something cool, who's doing interesting work, something may be unique, and that just hasn't had the opportunity or hasn't had the platform before to speak up. Did you have that experience when you were getting started with somebody else? You mean, have I been the kind of emerging player who needed a voice? Yeah, I think so. And I think most of us have, right at some point in our lives when we're young, or when we're new to something, especially if you were, if you are young or new and passionate about the given subject at hand. I think I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder for some of this. Because, you know, in the pre work from home world, you know, it's going to an office like anybody else was, and the feedback. The quote unquote, feedback that I that I got pretty often was, you look young. And I know that as I get older, I'm going to miss that, right? Of course, haha. But as a 20 something year old, in the professional world, that hurts, right? Because it's like, it's someone's veiled way of saying you're not credible, or you don't, you don't deserve this opportunity, or you just need to biologically be older, which is wrong, right? So I've just always felt like I, I've had a lot of great opportunities come my way. So I am appreciative and grateful for that. But I've also wished for more instances in which there was a seat at the table for me, or that somebody or that I felt like somebody was making space. And people have, right, I mean, it's not I'm not saying that I've never had that kind of mentorship. But it is something that I have felt like has been lacking, especially in my corporate experience.
Jay Clouse 45:44
Yeah. So you mentioned inclusivity being important to you and your approach to Twitter. Can you talk more about that?
Amanda Natividad 47:25
So I guess, the way I see it is, when you experience a bunch of microaggressions throughout your life, you know, as opposed to anything really major or egregious, you learn to minimize your pain. And so for me, those experiences have been these small ways in which I've been othered throughout my life, you know, from childhood to adulthood. And I guess where I stand on that now is, I don't think it's productive to try to put people's negative experiences into a hierarchy, because I think ultimately, there's, there's room for everyone's experiences, right? So that's kind of my approach to inclusiveness, which is, you know, I, I want to be inclusive of everybody. I don't want, and then I just don't want anyone to feel othered or to feel excluded or to feel less than in any way. So I just do my best to try to be inclusive of everyone. And sure, you know, I will pay extra attention to, you know, to women, people of color in the LGBTQ community because they deserve to be amplified. But yeah, that is my approach to inclusiveness and sort of the way I look at it.
Jay Clouse 48:40
One of the Twitter threads that really took off for you. You had, Twitter has 206 million users. 99% of them are focusing on following the wrong people, if you're 21 must follow accounts who give incredible value for free. And I believe they're all women, or at least non men. Correct?
Amanda Natividad 48:59
Jay Clouse 48:59
Tell me about that.
Amanda Natividad 49:00
I think it was 22 women on that thread. Yeah, I hope you liked my, my very bro hook there. Millions of users, most of them are doing it wrong. I think we've all, I think we've all seen and been triggered by that kind of hook, right? So I knew that that was going to do well because of that hook. But I really leaned into the full bro because my intentions were good. By lifting up and elevating other women across tech and across, across many industries. I think it was mostly tech and marketing. But that is part of my secret agenda to do sort of sneak attack inclusiveness. My belief is that the key to creating the change you want to see in this case, inclusiveness is normalizing and celebrating that change. And I think I wrote this thread after someone had created some thread of people to follow and happened to include only men. And I was I was triggered by that, right? That annoyed me. And a couple of people call that person out and said, oh, there are no women here. And I'm sure that person felt bad. Like zooming out, right? I think it's fair to assume positive intent. I think that person, just, they didn't think about it. I think that's all what it came down to. They didn't realize they were excluding people of color, and women, and mistake, but my belief is that, well, one, well, that deserves to be called out, I'm not going to be the person to call that out in that way. Because I'm going to be the person that's going to take the opportunity to win instead. And to be like, well, I am going to take my bro hook, I am going to create more opportunity for other women in this space, and I'm going to lift them up. And that's going to be that and then we can celebrate that change. And I think that thread got close to 6000 likes.
Jay Clouse 50:56
Yep, yep, close to 6000 likes, almost 1500 retweets. Crazy, crazy reach.
Amanda Natividad 51:02
Crazy reach. And some of the women on that list, they gained 10,000 followers from that thread. And that was incredible. Like that was that certainly blew any expectation I had out of the water. And I was just super pumped for them. Because these are truly all women that I admire that I think are doing great work that I think are at top of the game in their spaces. And they deserved it.
Jay Clouse 51:27
I've been trying to challenge myself, if I'm going to reference somebody for something, or do a case study or find an example, go beyond the first other white guy that comes to mind. Because that is that is the habit that's usually like what's most readily in my mind, because that is what is most readily in my network. And I feel like that is the work to do better on including, you know, interview requests for this show. It's not surprising that when I share an episode of the show, and the guest is not a white guy, different people engage with it. I'm like, oh, wow, I didn't even realize that this person was following along with my work. But they notice and they probably noticed that representation is not something I do as good of a job as I could be doing. And that's, that's helpful actually, when when they they respond in that way. And I remember like, oh, there is more diversity to my own audience that I am not appealing to or representing as well as I could.
Amanda Natividad 52:29
Yeah, that's really cool, though, that you that you see that there are different people who engage, you know, engage with their content, depending on who the guests are. I mean, that must stand out to you more than.
Jay Clouse 52:41
It does but I mean, I also want to be better and different. Like there are a lot of guys like me on Twitter, saying things that are similar to things that I'm saying and trying to like, teach the same skills and help people in the same way. And I realized that I can be different in the way I approach and connect to people. It's not all about like the pure utility of what I'm sharing. It's, it's the approach is the way I connect. And I want to be someone that connects with a broad base of people. You know, I don't want to be just your everyday think boy on Twitter.
Amanda Natividad 53:19
Exactly. I think that's a good mantra for all of us. Let's not all be your everyday think boy on Twitter.
Jay Clouse 53:33
I appreciate Amanda for giving me the space to ask questions about how I can be more inclusive, something that I genuinely want to improve, especially with the platform I'm building on this show. And it was encouraging to hear Amanda's experience with Twitter as well. I feel more and more comfortable all the time that I know how the Twitter game is played. And it's a priority for me to spend more time playing it. So if we aren't yet connected on Twitter, give me a follow, give me a shout, @jayclouse. And if you want to grow along with me, I recommend you join the tweet 100 challenge I created. It's a free 100 day challenge to grow on Twitter. Just visit tweet100.com That's tweet100.com. If you want to learn more about Amanda, you can visit her website amandanat.com or find her on Twitter @amandanat. You can also subscribe to her new show The Menu on YouTube. She is currently on a break in between seasons, but you can watch season one and season two will air in a couple of weeks time. Links to all of that are in the show notes. Thanks to Amanda for being on the show. And thank you to Emily Clouse for making the artwork for this episode. Thanks to Nathan Todhunter for mixing this show and Brian Skeel for creating our music. If you liked this episode, you can tweet @jayclouse and let me know and if you really want to say thank you, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Thanks for listening and I'll talk to you next week.