Christina Garnett – Principal Marketing Manager, Offline Community and Advocacy at HubSpot – Building Authentic Community and Advocacy in GTM
Quote of the Show
Your consumers can spot trends, and if they see the same thing over and over again, it becomes exhausting and has a negative effect.
- Building a community requires letting go of narcissism and ego to let others thrive.
- Personal branding should focus on providing value and showcasing unapologetic humanity.
- Advocacy and community building should prioritize customer needs and create spaces for connection and dialogue.
- Curating social feeds is essential for a healthier online experience and personal growth.
In this episode of Revenue Today, Jared Robin is joined by Christina Garnett, a community leader, advocacy strategist, and customer marketer. She is currently the Principal Marketing Manager, Offline Community and Advocacy at HubSpot.
Christina Garnett discusses the importance of building a community as part of a go-to-market strategy and debunks the myth of personal branding. She emphasizes the need to let go of narcissism and ego in order to create a thriving community. Christina shares examples of successful community building and advocacy strategies, such as HubSpot’s Inbound Correspondents Program. She also highlights the impact of social media on personal validation and the importance of curating social feeds for a healthier online experience.
[00:00:40] Welcome everybody to another episode of Revenue Today. I’m your host, Jared Robin. Um, we’re joined by a really exceptional guest today. She is a community leader and advocacy strategist and customer marketer. She’s been at HubSpot for a hot minute and currently is the principal marketing manager, offline community and advocacy.
[00:01:05] Welcome Christina Garnett.
[00:01:07] Christina Garnett: Thanks for having me excited to chat.
[00:01:10] Jared Robin: I I’m so excited to have you. We’ve been having a lot more community leaders on of late, um, because. We are a community, but also, uh, GTM is so open to understanding how to, how to build it into their strategy and, and, you know, want to come out with, with a hot one, debunk a myth about building community as a part of GTM.
[00:01:36] Christina Garnett: I think when it comes down to it, you have to let go of your narcissism and your ego in order to be a door instead of being the main character. And I think that that’s where a lot of people struggle. They, they want to confuse audience and community and use them interchangeably. And I think at the end of the day, in order to succeed, you have to take a step back and let other people thrive.
[00:02:03] And a lot of the businesses that are doing such a great job with that, that are letting the voice of the customer be the one that shines. That’s what’s working. Instead, what you’re seeing on Twitter is. Here’s a thread of how much money I made this past week, or here’s this thing about, and it’s me, me, me, me, me, me, and what that does is it only attracts the people who want to be like you, but it doesn’t attract the other people.
[00:02:29] It doesn’t attract a worthwhile community, because what’s going to happen is. They feel like if they follow you and if they listen to all your advice, they’re going to, they’re going to be you. And when they don’t, because either you don’t give them the secret sauce, there’s nuance that isn’t provided or you’re lying, then they’re going to leave.
[00:02:50] And what you’ve done is you’ve created like an anti community of that. And I think you also see that. I think there’s a lot of like anti hustle bro, like communities that are actually on Twitter right now and on threads and things like that because of that myth.
[00:03:03] Jared Robin: Yeah. Uh, and this is interesting because this is the age of personal brand and like use that to build your company up.
[00:03:11] And you’re seeing people try to use that and create community from that. Oh, 100% their brand.
[00:03:19] Christina Garnett: 100% people want disciples and then that makes their personal brand feel like it’s gone to the next level when that’s not necessarily true. It’s really this like bastardization of what community really means when what they want is.
[00:03:36] They don’t want a community. They want a cult. They want a hyper diligent follower base. They want an audience that will live and breathe by every word they say. That’s not a community. And so I think that that’s what you see with a lot of the personal brand and people are getting really sick of it. You do social listening like when threads came out.
[00:03:55] There were a lot of personal brand people who immediately want to be the 1st person to stick their flag and be like, I totally get it. Here’s the strategy. I can tell you how to do all of it. And a lot of people are like, dude, please let us breathe. We’re tired. Like, just just let us breathe for a 2nd, please, please, please.
[00:04:14] And so what you’re saying is. Consumers are smarter than a lot of people want to realize and. Social media managers and CEOs and CMOS are not the only people who can spot trends. Your consumers can spot trends and one or two or three times they see something like, oh, that’s really cool. I never really thought of that.
[00:04:33] The 30th or 40th or 50th time they’ve seen something, it’s exhausting. It’s tired and it has the negative effect. Great example of this is email that first, like, oops, we messed up. We’re going to extend the sale. Brilliant. Amazing. Love it.
[00:04:50] Jared Robin: Or the HBO email that said, um, uh, sorry, we screwed up. It was our intern.
[00:04:56] Really it was, but we’re treating them kindly.
[00:04:59] Christina Garnett: Yeah. Yeah. At some point. Everyone realizes, all right, we got to hop on this trend, but they don’t do it in their own way. They copy paste, they rinse and repeat, and then you have, you cut to people showing their emails on Black Friday. And it literally is like, oops, one down, oops, one down, oops, one down, oops.
[00:05:20] And what that tells you is like, we’re not even trying. So it’s just, it’s important to think about that.
[00:05:28] Jared Robin: Oh my gosh. It’s, it, this is such an interesting angle, um, that you took. Uh, and, and I love it with the personal brand. Like, have you seen folks do it successfully? Like transition their personal brand to email?
[00:05:44] Like, what can you share with us, uh, the personal brand to community? Amen. What can you share with us? Like the play by play with how they did that because yet they need to take it to another platform or how does that look?
[00:06:00] Christina Garnett: So what I think is really interesting is I really like, um, what a man in a Tividad is doing.
[00:06:06] She’s with, um, spark Toro, but she also has her own personal brand and she grew it like doing, doing threads on Twitter, doing all these other things. But the thing that she does that a lot of the personal brand people don’t do is she will still call it. Like, she sees it and when people do something that she does, she’s able to say, like, when I did it, I thought it was cool.
[00:06:28] And when I see other people doing it, I realized maybe that’s not, or maybe now it’s icky and like 2 months ago, it wasn’t. And so I think that there is this, the thing that I want personal brands to get to is, yeah. You need to, you need to be able to showcase how unapologetically human you are, especially in this age of AI.
[00:06:51] When you mess up, own it. When something’s icky or you’re having a bad day, own it. It doesn’t mean that you’re wallowing in self pity. But to be able to showcase, like, yeah, I totally had a typo. I’m tired. My fingers were typing too fast. Or whatever. Showcase that human side of you that’s beyond… What you’re watching on TV or what your next product is at the end of the day, you contain multitudes and a lot of personal brand doesn’t want to show their multitudes.
[00:07:25] They want to, like, hyper focus on their niche and that’s fine up to a point where it just feels like you’re a robot and you, like, when I see people, like, doing their hustle stuff on Saturdays and Sundays, and I’m like, baby, I just want you to have brunch.
[00:07:43] Jared Robin: It gets me anxious, like, like, to be honest, and, uh, and, and like, I have to follow along and, uh, disenfranchised follows that.
[00:07:55] Christina Garnett: Yeah, well, I think, I think that what’s really happened to is in the past few years, we’ve essentially kind of pivoted to the fact that we live online and I’m incredibly guilty of this. I live on Twitter. It feels like, and so. You see other people’s perspectives, what they’re doing, what they’re willing to share, what they’re not willing to share, what that looks like.
[00:08:16] And at first you do feel like you have to use those hustle kind of like, Saturdays, we’re going to be doing this and I’m checking my LinkedIn on Sundays and I’m doing all this other stuff. And at some point you hit a wall, where you’re like, what am I really hoping to achieve? By doing this and what am I sacrificing in the name of this and for some people like, no, no, this isn’t a sacrifice at all.
[00:08:44] This is this is what it takes. Okay, cool. You do you. Enjoy it. Have a great time. But for a lot of us, we’ve been, like, different cycles of burnout for a very long time. And so, I wish that more people in the personal branding space would have that kind of, like I said, that unapologetic humanity. Like, I’m, things are weird.
[00:09:10] I’m, I’m going to go off for a couple days. Or, I’m going to go on vacation, and I’m letting you know, because I know you follow me here, but like, I’ve got to take a break. I got to leave. I got to just whatever that looks like. And I know that some people are like, it’s not an airport. You don’t need to like announce your departure.
[00:09:27] But for some people you kind of have to, because if you have a huge follower base and you’re gone for a couple of days, people are like, what happened?
[00:09:35] Jared Robin: So it sounds like the people that are the most authentic are probably geared up to, to create a meaningful community. And when you use. At least in Amanda’s case and, and seemingly others, but, um, when you use the word community as it pertains to social, like, are you keeping it on social media with that?
[00:09:57] Or are you bringing it somewhere else? Whether it’s a discord, a slack, um,
[00:10:04] Christina Garnett: I think it depends on what. You want that peer to peer community to community communication to look like sometimes that can live in, like, on Reddit, it can live in the subreddits and it can live in these places and dialogues other times.
[00:10:23] These other times, these platforms don’t really allow for that. And so. If the platform that you are currently nurturing this community, if it’s not able to create. Transcribed The communication levers that you need, then you do need to migrate and give them a place where it’s like, all right, well, we’re going to do this thing on circle, or you can join this LinkedIn group, or you can go on whatever slack, discord, whatever.
[00:10:53] But it really comes down to hate to be the person says it depends, but it depends. What do you want that community to be able to do? And what do you want them to be able to do outside of you? You, you, you aren’t the sun, you’re the bridge, you’re the door. And I think that that’s what people need to really get to is, how do you want them to talk if you are not necessarily involved in the conversation?
[00:11:16] Because if they’re just living within your responses, and that’s the only place they can talk to each other. That isn’t necessarily providing them with a community infrastructure that’s going to benefit them the most
[00:11:30] Jared Robin: understood now from a brand’s perspective, how can it leverage personal brand, um, to, to hit its KPIs and yeah, and once you make the post on social.
[00:11:48] How do you change a post to community if you were to stay on that platform? And then, and then how can the brand really leverage it to not be like the whole hustle culture, CEO example.
[00:11:59] Christina Garnett: Kyle Jepson is like the gold standard at this. So Kyle Jepson, if you don’t know, is one of our HubSpot Academy professors.
[00:12:07] He’s done an incredible job of evangelizing and creating content that not only says like, Hey, HubSpot’s great, but he actually shows you how it can benefit you. And so recently he’s moved away from that professor position into more of an evangelist position. He has a LinkedIn, a LinkedIn page for HubSpot tips and tricks.
[00:12:29] He does daily videos that walk you through different things. It could be a feature update or something maybe you’re not aware of. And then to kind of like encapsulate that to get that to the next level. He has a hug group, which is a house by user group. So he has a hug that specifically for HubSpot admins.
[00:12:46] So they can go in, they can talk to each other. They can meet each other. And they can really kind of create that peer to peer community that we’re talking about while they’re learning together, sharing their knowledge. And really kind of up leveling everyone, and so his personal brand, because he’s very well respected in the HubSpot community, and that’s taken years.
[00:13:05] People have taken his HubSpot Academy courses. They’ve seen what he’s done in the community. People have learned so much from him, so he continues to be a pillar based on the value he provides. He’s never doing a video telling you how great he is. If anything, he’s self deprecating. He’s constantly showing value.
[00:13:23] You know that if you see his face anywhere, you’re going to learn something. And so he’s used his personal brand to be this door, the hub spot. If you follow me, I’m going to teach you how to use it best. I’m going to teach you how to get to the next level. And so he’s done that by creating a social platform for himself.
[00:13:41] His personal brand is tied to that. He creates these community events that now people can learn with each other, communicate, talk to each other. It really is the gold standard because that feeling that you get with Kyle, that like, he’s really here to help me. He’s really here to help me understand. That like warm and fuzzy warms off on HubSpot.
[00:14:03] And so now, you know, that like that, that connectivity between the two of them. It essentially like solidifies this positive sentiment around HubSpot as a brand, and you know better how to use it because Kyle Jepson was the door. He was the bridge for you. And so if we’re talking about from like a brand perspective, what Kyle Jepson is doing with his hug, with his page, with his daily videos on LinkedIn, you can see them if you just search HubSpot tips and tricks, gold standard, absolute gold standard to be able to go from personal brand
[00:14:40] Jared Robin: Now, how, as, as a brand, uh, you know, we don’t have to dive into the nitty gritty with HubSpot, but like, um, how do you set KPIs around this? Like what, what, what are the most important KPIs for social engagement?
[00:14:59] Christina Garnett: So it depends. It depends on a few things. So it depends on like the maturity of your channels.
[00:15:05] So if you just started your account yesterday, the KPIs of that versus someone who started it 5, 10 years ago, very different because the maturation is in a different stage. And so, and it’s very early, you’re looking at more of those vanity metrics. How many people are looking? How many people are following us?
[00:15:22] Those sort of things. And those continue to be important, but less or so as you add more KPIs, then you want to look at engagement. Then let’s say that you have UTMs in there. How many of those when you’re looking at these campaigns? Is it driving net new revenue? Is it if you look at the people who are paying attention to these videos versus people who aren’t, are you seeing retention percentage changes?
[00:15:45] If someone is in a hug or someone is a part of 1 of his groups. Do they have a higher retention rate than someone who isn’t? And so a lot of companies right now, you’re looking at those 2 things. You’re looking at net new revenue. You’re looking at retention, whatever that looks like. And so basically, you’re going to go deeper.
[00:16:05] Into the funnel, or you’re going to see, like, what part of the fly? Well, you need to be a part of as you get more and more mature in that customer journey. But it turns into, like, what are the behaviors that they’re doing? And what are those behaviors look like to us? Does it mean that they are paying us more money?
[00:16:20] Does it mean that they’ve added new services? Does it mean that they left? Does it mean that they, um. Referred someone else for business. What does that look like? So having an understanding of what are all the different behaviors that your customers and prospective customers could have during their customer journey, and then where can you tie them into their behaviors with say a LinkedIn video or a Twitter poll or a paid campaign versus organic things like that.
[00:16:50] Jared Robin: How do you determine if you, if, if you go all in on threads?
[00:16:53] Christina Garnett: You, you, well, you don’t go all in on anything.
[00:16:57] Jared Robin: Yeah. What’s, what’s, what’s your, what’s your go to channel, um, plan?
[00:17:02] Christina Garnett: It depends. It really, I’m going to say that like a million times because it really depends. It depends on what your goals are. It depends on what work you’re pushing out there.
[00:17:10] Like the KPIs for paid versus organic are going to look very different because you’re not going to be able to target people specifically on organic versus paid. You can kind of really kind of zero in and hone in on people based on their personas. And so looking at conversion rates is going to be very different.
[00:17:26] Um, for threads, I think it’s very important to plant a flag. So creating an account, they’ve made it very easy. It’s attached to whatever your Instagram is. If your brand has an Instagram account, you don’t have to worry that someone’s going to swoop in and take your handle. Um, so it’s necessary to go in there.
[00:17:43] I’d go ahead and create an account and I would play around with it. I wouldn’t 100% go all in just because Twitter has survived a lot of alternatives. The one thing that Meta and Facebook, Instagram, whatever you want to call them, they have network effects that the other alternatives did not have. And so the, the network effect that that lever, that meta can pull is going to impact people.
[00:18:12] There’s a lot of people who are on Instagram who would never be on Twitter, but because it’s an Instagram kind of adjacent platform, they’re going to try it out. Their handle already exists. And depending on if people automatically follow all the people they follow on Instagram. There are a lot of really big accounts who don’t have to regrow their account.
[00:18:32] They, that first day, they already had 25, 000 followers because a certain percentage of their Instagram followers already migrated over. And so the network effects and it’s, it’s connection to. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, all of these products as met as trying to essentially create that ecosystem. That is what that is for me, what I think creates the staying power doesn’t mean it’ll make it because I’m already bored of it.
[00:19:00] It’s going to need things. It’s going to need to add things for it to be sticky. It’s not sticky right now, but a lot of people want an alternative. And a lot of people already know Facebook. Like, I already know what I’m getting with this product. I already know what rep service looks like if I have to do if I do scheduling, it’ll probably be in like Facebook studio.
[00:19:21] Like, I do for Instagram and Facebook. So I know what that would look like. I think a lot of people are also prepared myself included. I need a desktop option, especially for brands. Having it so like I can only do it on my phone, you’re asking, you’re asking a lot and creating a lot of friction for absolutely no reason.
[00:19:37] Desktop option, absolutely necessary. It wouldn’t go all in, but you should 100% have a toe in there, and you should be watching, and you should be paying attention, and seeing just how, like, just, it’s honestly like a sociology project. The way people were behaving that first couple hours, very different than how they’re acting now.
[00:19:58] And every time someone joins, depending on how large or small their account is. They create ripples, and if they, they could start a new trend or they could do something else. You’re seeing also brands doing trends that were really popular on Twitter, like, 1 or 2 years ago. They’re recycling them again on threads to see, like, does this have traction?
[00:20:18] Will this go viral again? Is it playful? Whatever. And so just seeing how the trends and the life cycle of how people behave those, those user behaviors. Has shifted even in this the past week, though you should 100% be watching. You should 100% be paying attention. But should you make your aim do like a 50 page deck on it?
[00:20:38] Absolutely not. Let them do other things.
[00:20:42] Jared Robin: I don’t know if team should make 50 page decks on anything.
[00:20:48] Unless you’re being like acquired or something, like I don’t see the, the, uh, the need, but talk to me about advocacy. Like y’all, y’all have used this as an ex HubSpot is phenomenal with partnerships with advocacy and like, and, and, and they’re kind of deviations. Of, of, of something similar ones with companies, ones with humans, right?
[00:21:15] Like in particular, how
[00:21:21] can you set up, like, like what have you done to ensure success just did to set it up? Um, and yeah, what, what type of advice do you get in part on others?
[00:21:31] Christina Garnett: So I was left with a very strong foundation HubSpot at its core is customer centric. And so that is the foundation of everything that I do. Is it serving the customer?
[00:21:41] Is it taking care of them? Is it getting them to the next level? And so when I joined, and I knew what my work entailed, I immediately started interviewing customers. What do you love about us? What do you not love about us? When was the last time we made you feel special? When was the last time you felt loved and returned?
[00:22:00] And because I had been a fan for so long, I was able to kind of bring that outsider perspective in to say, like, what’s going to make them feel loved in return? What’s going to make them feel like they get to go to a different level. And so for me. It’s very much about keeping them close and keeping their voice as close to me as possible.
[00:22:19] If they’re angry, I need to know why and I need to know who I can talk to to, like, pass that on if they’re happy. Same thing. My job in a nutshell is to give them the Mike. How can I make them louder? How can I make them prouder? How can I make them feel special feel loved? So that they know that HubSpot as a brand as a company understands gets them wants to hear the feedback.
[00:22:42] Wants to know that they, they are seen and heard and that honestly is the most human thing. That’s why social exists. We want to be seen and heard if we didn’t have that intrinsic need social wouldn’t work. Because there’d be no need to go out there and be like, all right, what did I have for breakfast today?
[00:22:58] Good morning. Everyone. You don’t need that if you don’t have that, if you don’t have that core, like, inner need and so how can I create a space for them to connect with each other for them to talk to each other for them to enjoy each other, hang out and be that that really strong voice for us. Great example.
[00:23:21] The Inbound Correspondence Program is something that I created a couple years back. It’s coming again this year for the third year at Inbound. Incredibly exciting. And what we’re doing is we’re treating our customers the way that most companies treat their influencers. We’re going to give you a ticket to Inbound and you are going to share your knowledge, not because you have 50, 000 followers or a million followers here or 20, 000 followers there.
[00:23:44] You’ve earned this. Because you are a power user that gets us that understands what HubSpot does and when you are talking about it, you’re not saying it because you are paid to you’re saying it because you believe it. You’re saying it because, you know, it’s true that it’s worked for you that this. This presentation that you saw on email marketing or this presentation that you saw on pipeline that it works for you.
[00:24:07] And here’s the takeaways and here’s how you would implement those takeaways in your work. You’re not saying it because you feel like you have to. You’re saying it because it’s true. And so by really harnessing and harnessing that voice, the customer, they get to be treated the way a lot of people wish they were treated.
[00:24:27] A lot of like, TikTok is a great example. There’s so much aspiration there. We all wish we had, we got PR boxes, free stuff, just boxes and boxes of free stuff because we exist and create content, but we don’t. But what if brands started treating their customers the way that they treated influencers?
[00:24:46] Imagine, I think Tart, Tart kind of got this message. They did an influencer trip that kind of land blasted by it because it was. It’s very interesting. I’ll just leave it that, but a lot of people were in the comments saying, like, I’ve been a customer for years. Oh, I can’t I get free product. Why can’t I go on a trip?
[00:25:03] Because I, I live and breathe your brand. Imagine if brands started treating their customers. The people who love them, the people who are always retweeting them on on Twitter or writing comments and LinkedIn or attending all of their webinars. Imagine what would happen if brands started treating their customers the way they treat influencers.
[00:25:25] You have diehard fans. You’ve elevated people who love you to hold like a whole different tier of love. There is the rider dies now, and they feel special and they feel heard. And what does that do? That in turn creates positive reinforcement for others. But now, other people who aspire, they don’t aspire to be the influencers who are being paid.
[00:25:46] They aspire to be the customers who are being treated. Well, we’re being treated above and beyond. And that I really challenge companies to do. I think that that is such an untapped opportunity. Because we know influencers are paid. We know that they may or may not really mean what they say. But when customers and case studies and video testimonials and demos and all of this content, when that’s created, you believe it more.
[00:26:14] So you get to create a deeper connection with your customer base and you get to create content that people will believe. It’s a win win.
[00:26:25] Jared Robin: How do you, uh, how do you find people that are going to be the perfect advocate?
[00:26:31] Christina Garnett: You gotta do social listening. You have to, like, put your FBI hat on and, like, stalk people.
[00:26:37] What are they talking about? What kind of customer are they? What tools do they use? How often do they use them? How are they perceived? And that’s the thing, too, about my job. Is I’m not in a position to not just create customers, treat customers like influencers, but what if I can give them the tools so that they can then get to the next level in their own personal brand?
[00:26:59] We talk about, like, personal branding earlier. Imagine customers who are able to get to the next level. Great. Great example. This choice. And it’s 1 of the most amazing people you will ever meet is motivation walking. And he was a correspondent for us. Our 1st year. And he was absolutely amazing. He, he was tweeting so fast.
[00:27:18] I still don’t know how he tweeted at all. Like, my, I can’t even do it. I live on that platform. And so last year, he became our host for the main stage. We flew him out, took care of him. He was the host and he was absolutely phenomenal. That’s a perk or an opportunity, whatever you want to call it. It’s something that only we could give him, but that is something that will open other doors for him that he can MC other events.
[00:27:49] He can take his career to the next level because we opened that door for him. And so you have this opportunity if you find somebody and you’re like, I love them, maybe they don’t have enough followers. What could we do to get them to have more followers? What can we do to amplify them, pass the mic to them?
[00:28:08] So now they have that opportunity to grow personally, and we get to tag along. We get to be a part of that person’s journey. We talk about customer journey all the time. We don’t talk a lot about, like, advocacy journey and taking your advocates from, I love this brand to, this brand helped me further my career.
[00:28:26] This brand helped me get opportunities I never would have had otherwise. That’s incredibly empowering. And that’s something that can’t be bought.
[00:28:40] Jared Robin: Now, not every, uh, uh, I’m curious to understand, like, um, what are some of the downsides you’ve seen from advocacy building and What’s the easiest way to get started?
[00:28:53] Christina Garnett: So a lot of the downsides, I would say the downsides of I want to say downsides,
[00:28:56] Jared Robin: like, like missteps, I should say.
[00:28:58] Christina Garnett: Yeah. Um, the, probably the biggest missteps with advocacy and community are very similar.
[00:29:04] What works six months ago isn’t necessarily going to work tomorrow. There are variables that are impacting your customers and your advocates and your community members that you may not be aware of. Great point of, of, um, of example, this year have been a year of layoffs. So there’s a lot of people that you could have in your community who could be advocates, but they’re saying, like, I can’t go to this event.
[00:29:30] I can’t afford it or I can’t go to this event. My company won’t pay for me to go. Or I’d love to do this, but I’m busy trying to find another job or all these other things. And so what you’re doing is there’s variables that you have absolutely no control over that will impact how much or how little your advocates and community members can be engaged.
[00:29:52] And you have to, you absolutely have to be empathetic with that. I understand that you aren’t going to do anything for out of state program for like 3 to 6 months, but I’m going to share jobs that I find that I think you’d be a great fit for. And when you post on LinkedIn that you’re looking that you just got laid off, I’m going to share it to my personal network because we are more than just names on a spreadsheet.
[00:30:14] We are people and we are connected. And so I’m going to take care of you while I can. And when you land back on your feet. You’ll know that I was there for you and you’ll be right back and we’ll start working again and we’ll just cross that bridge and we get there. But there’s a lot. It’s, it’s really tough to handle variables like that because they will impact your KPIs.
[00:30:36] And you have to be very honest and transparent about why that’s happening. Why is why are the numbers down? Well, it’s summer and people are on vacation or. We had 10 different advocates who got laid off. And right now I’m spending a few minutes every day trying to see if I can help them writing a reference for them on LinkedIn, whatever that looks like.
[00:30:56] But it’s advocacy and community are so deeply human. You are doing the most human work you will do as a marketer. And because of that, it’s going to change daily. You’re walking in and you’re like, I don’t know what I’m expecting. It could be just like yesterday. It could be just like two months ago. I have no idea.
[00:31:14] But we’ll see when we get there, you’ll never be bored.
[00:31:17] Jared Robin: I had the coolest interview where I was being interviewed before where we talked about mental and emotional health for probably 80% of the interview because it was top of mind for me And then I said see this conversation. This is how you build community.
[00:31:34] Christina Garnett: It is though. You have to be There’s that sense of like humans. It’s the humans that unapologetically human that thing that we were talking about previously That’s what it comes down to is saying like I totally get it I totally get it. I understand. Like, I had someone who messaged me yesterday who’s been like head down and work doing all this stuff and they wrote me to let me know like, Hey, sorry, I’ve been a wall for a little bit, but I’m back and I’m ready to go.
[00:31:57] I’m like, I’m just glad you’re here. How are things you want chat? That’s honestly what it comes down to is you need people who deeply care about the people that they’re working with. And then all of the steps that you need to take will naturally occur because you’re genuinely curious. You genuinely care.
[00:32:14] All the little things that need to get done, they get done because that person instinctively knows that’s what you should do in that thing. That’s why empaths are the most important people you could have in your community, because they will naturally step up, even if they’re not paid, even if they’re like community members and they’re not on the staff, they will genuinely step up because that is how they operate.
[00:32:35] I just generally make sure you’re okay. You need anything? Like, how can I help? Like, you’re good. And it’s not because I have like a to do list that says like, check in on so and so. You just know, like, that’s what I’m going to do next.
[00:32:48] Jared Robin: I love hearing this. Um, you speak to 10 people that get it with community and you’ll have.
[00:32:57] 10 variations of the same thing, probably the other words, right? Um, the other side of the thing and is, is the stark contrast, the narcissism on social and, um,
[00:33:13] it feels like you have these two worlds at odds. Talk to me about, um, narcissism on social media. You, you, you touched on it earlier, you know, with building personal brand, but would love to hear your thoughts on it.
[00:33:28] Christina Garnett: Yeah, so there is this social exists because of narcissism. We want to take pictures of ourselves.
[00:33:35] We want to be on video and we hope that we’ll put our words or whatever into the void and someone is going to respond either because we’re attractive or because we say something smart or because we say something witty or whatever. But a lot of that is like those likes that’s validation. This retweets that’s double validation.
[00:33:55] We are putting out content because we need it to be seen. We need to be seen. We need to be heard. There is this level of narcissism. I think that we just need to accept that because that is just an innately human thing. You can be narcissistic. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a narcissist. I think there are plenty of people who have narcissistic tendencies, but that doesn’t.
[00:34:17] Okay. Tendencies. I would say that like a narcissist is someone who is like long term. You’re seeing it, not just on social. You’re seeing it in their, in their like family life and their relationships. They tend to, um, they, they have to be the main character essentially in all things. They can’t concede other people having opinions that disagree with them.
[00:34:41] They have delusions of grandeur, they have this sense of entitlement that isn’t necessarily earned, um, and I think that if I think that there’s been a lot of conversation about like therapy speak, like, because of tick tock, and there’s a lot of therapists and people talking about therapy that, like, everyone gets called a narcissist.
[00:34:59] And I don’t think that’s fair. I think there are narcissistic traits that people have. Like, where they, I’m just, I’m going to post this TikTok video, I hope it gets a lot of, I hope it gets a lot of likes, so, but it was viral, whatever that looks like, um, there’s this thing for, like, need a validation versus someone who is, like, toxically in need of being the main character, is, is never wrong, is gaslighting other people because how dare you disagree, it must be because you didn’t understand me instead of, oh, there’s nuance here.
[00:35:35] And so I think that for a lot of us, I think that because of everything that’s happened since 2020 and how we’ve lived on the Internet, a lot of our validation lives there. So there are people who have, who’ve had to like, adjust what validation looks like to them if they can’t go and like, hug their family.
[00:35:57] Or they can’t meet up with their friends anymore. They can go on social and hopefully they can make someone laugh or they can go viral or they can grow their personal brand or whatever that looks like, but it all comes down to this, like, internal need for validation and the narcissistic need to be seen and heard.
[00:36:12] And so. When you, when you are plugged into a social platform as your food source for your soul, that’s unhealthy, you have to be looking for validation outside of that. Because if it’s, if it’s tied to, if this doesn’t get a certain number of likes, then I failed, or I don’t know what I’m doing, or I need to have this many things.
[00:36:38] And that’s what happens is you, you tend to see these and influencers do this a lot where they. Okay. They blow up on TikTok, they blow up on Twitter, they blow up somewhere. They got the validation that they needed and then they got so much that now they’ve, they’ve lost touch and now they’re talking to the audiences that made them.
[00:36:59] Now, they’re talking to them very differently, or they’re gaslighting them, or they’re being patronizing or condescending. And so, but that’s all rooted in the fact that, like, they got so much validation that they did not that that became their new reality, but they don’t see themselves as this, like, person who makes, like, tick tocks.
[00:37:16] They see themselves as this like celebrity who’s entitled to whatever, and it’s incredibly dangerous. To be able to, if your, if your personal worth is tied to that, it’s very unhealthy because how do you sustain that? And what happens when it doesn’t and you fall? Like how do you accept a new reality when your old reality was shattered because you’re no longer that quote unquote person?
[00:37:46] Jared Robin: Well, what’s even crazier is when social is a prime channel for your business growth. And your personal brand is also driving business. Um,
[00:38:07] that’s insane. Like that, that it kind of forces you to, um, to be on social, right. Which is, which is a first challenge.
[00:38:19] Christina Garnett: It does. There are a lot of social media managers that I’m friends with who they, and I think there’s even plenty that have like talked about this where they feel like. The work they do isn’t enough.
[00:38:31] They almost have to have a personal brand. Otherwise, they’re not taking it seriously and vice versa. There are tons of personal thought leaders, like personal brand thought leaders out there that I know their work and I wouldn’t follow them anywhere. Like, I would not follow any of their advice, but because they have a certain follower count or because they speak with their entire chest, you tend to believe them.
[00:38:52] That’s the thing is, um, I tweeted this a while back, but it’s confidence does not equal competence. And I think with personal brand, what you’re seeing is this elevation of people who are hyper confident. And because they leave with confidence, you’re very likely to believe them, but it doesn’t mean that what they’re saying is true.
[00:39:10] It just means that they said it confidently, they’re giving you tips, but they may or may not have the experience to back it up. And so we are in with everyone trying to have a personal brand. It’s just more and more important for you to be incredibly thoughtful about who do I follow? Who do I not follow?
[00:39:30] Is this person like coming from a place of experience or are they coming from a place of confidence? And. Like, curating your social feeds as a consumer as well as someone who wants to build your brand is incredibly important because if you’re spending a lot of quality time on social, what you follow becomes how you think it becomes how you speak.
[00:39:50] It becomes how you see the world. It slowly bleeds into your point of view. And so you need to be very thoughtful about, like, what is the energy that you’re letting into your space? Is it just negative people in your feed? You need to clean it. Is it people, if you’re on Instagram and your entire feed is people who make you feel fat or make you feel ugly or make you feel not good enough, curate your feed.
[00:40:16] Because you’re not helping yourself by giving yourself an entire feed that shows you that you’re not good enough. Like, that’s not serving you. And so, whether you’re building your personal brand or you’re just a consumer, curating your social feeds is incredibly important. Because you’re putting, you’re letting all of that into your space.
[00:40:35] Jared Robin: What, what, what’s been keeping you up at night? Is it narcissists in Twitter land that are coming into LinkedIn land, LinkedIn people coming into Twitter land? That’s a big one right now. Or, or,
[00:40:51] Christina Garnett: um, the thing that if we’re going to do from like a social perspective, the thing that keeps me up at night is I think that we are at a, um, like a precipice for social.
[00:41:03] We’ve done this for an awfully long time, even though a lot of people still don’t see it as like a mature thing. Um, with and social, I think we are seeing the evolution of what social looks like more and more people just want their people. That’s honestly, the 1 thing that’s great about threads right now is there’s not any ads.
[00:41:22] So, it tends to be the people that I follow and. So, what you’re seeing is people want, I’ve seen all the things I want to spend more time with my people. I want. To be able to talk directly to the people that I care about. A lot of us found our people in, like, 2020, 2021, when we were all trying to deal and cope online.
[00:41:46] And so we have our crews, like, we have our people. So, what you’re saying is. What does social look like once you’ve created your micro communities? What does social look like when you know how to get to the people you want to get to and you don’t have to deal with a platform and you don’t have to deal with a newsletter or whatever that looks like, you know how to get to your people.
[00:42:09] I think that that’s incredibly important. I think I is another tool that’s going to be utilized for good and for bad, like all things. It’s only as good and as bad as its users. You’re going to see the LinkedIn Twitter thread, bro, crowd go in and create, like, all right, give me 30 threads on so and so. And I’m just going to sprinkle them wherever.
[00:42:29] Like I said earlier, we want an apologetically human. And so what people want is they want human connection. They want human connection with people who will acknowledge that they’re human, that they have problems that they have laws that they’re tired. That they’re funny, they’re self deprecating, they’re whatever, but they’re not this, like, polished thing.
[00:42:52] That’s what people want, and they will go to whatever platform will give them that, or they will simply find their people another way and connect that way. But we are on this precipice of we are adding AI when we most need human connection, people are going to flood it with AI content. We’re going to know what it is immediately, maybe in one or two years, we may not, but now we do, it’s, it’s all about the unapologetically human.
[00:43:23] Jared Robin: It’s funny, uh, it’s funny to say that, like, we’re, we’re thinking through, uh, redefining community as collaborative growth, taking it back to the roots. What’s interesting in this in community led GTM, it’s the whole thing. Yeah. It’s the whole thing. It’s not just one GTM. It’s, it’s the whole thing that’s, that’s the core difference.
[00:43:51] And um, and it’s not just a GTM thing. It’s creating abundance. I’m not sure. Um, I’m not sure our current direction is doing that fully. It’s a zero sum, but what, what, what, what really excites you about the future? You talk about AI,
[00:44:17] Christina Garnett: what excites me is honestly, what’s happening in, um, LA right now with the writer’s guild and SAG AFTRA, the strikes that we’re seeing.
[00:44:33] I am very honestly excited about that because. And like, right now, like, there’s, there’s animators for Warner Brothers and Cartoon Network that are also thinking about unionizing, and I am a fan of the creators. And so, even if you’re not one of those union, even if you’re not in one of those unions, you as a creator, especially with AI on the line, as being one of the basic agreement things and what they’re trying to fight for.
[00:45:01] That’s going to set a precedent that other companies and other verticals are going to utilize. Like, how can I be utilized to replace humans? And so I’m very interested to see and hope hope that more writers, more content creators, more social media managers, more people on the creative side. Stand up and fight together.
[00:45:23] That’s what I’m really excited about, because we need to fight for each other. Like you said, like, right now, it’s currently a zero sum game. I don’t like a zero sum game. I want the opposite. I want I want that abundance mindset where I can lift you up and that doesn’t remove opportunities for me. We can both thrive.
[00:45:43] We can there’s enough. There’s enough. And so that is that is what I’m hopeful about is seeing that movement. And I’m hoping that more and more people fight for them, whether they’re in that union or not, because it does have circling effects that affect others, rising ties, lift all boats. And so I, I am excited about that.
[00:46:03] I am hopeful for that. And I hope that more creatives. Um, stand in solidarity, because it’s important and it does it may not think it impacts you now, but it will impact you down the line.
[00:46:17] Jared Robin: I watched this on the news this morning. Um, and so does. opportunity. Uh, my partner is, uh, the creative director of Cosmo and, um, the whole principle of taking. Somebody else’s works feeding that, that, that are owned or copywritten or, yeah. Um, and feeding it in to create something new that doesn’t sit right with me, whether it’s unions that need to solve it or, or legal or whatever.
[00:46:51] Yeah. And, uh, I’m really happy you said that that’s like, that’s super, uh, that’s super top of mind and, uh, and interesting. And that’s just, that’s like one of like a couple or three points, but that is, that is a big point. For why they’re going on strike
[00:47:09] Christina Garnett: and the thing is, is that we’re not like, I’m not anti AI.
[00:47:12] I think AI is very important. I think it’s a singularity. I think it’s here to stay, but I do think it’s important to see it. It is creative destruction. It’s going to remove a lot of jobs, but it’s also going to create a lot of jobs, but instead of saying, like, how can I replace us? It’s how can I take, take the menial tasks off my plate?
[00:47:32] So that I can then take care of the next evolution of my work. When you think of AI as a worker, you should think like, if we took the 10% of your job that you absolutely hated, Or was beneath you or was like, we wish we could automate it, but we can’t and now with that 10%, what would you dream about doing?
[00:47:55] What would you want to do? That’s the next level of your work. That’s what we should be doing. But what instead what you have is you have workers who are terrified. That it’s only a matter of time before there is an AI that replaces them and we’re seeing this in journalism. There are plenty of publications who have literally said, like, we’re going to lay off all of our writers and we’re going to have AI do all the stuff from now on.
[00:48:18] Like, that’s not science fiction. That’s here. Like, that’s already here. And so when you read the basic agreement, where they’re saying, like, all background characters can basically go in for a day, be paid for 1 day. They’ll be completely scanned. And then they’ll be able to use that scan in perpetuity. So basically they’re CGI ing background characters.
[00:48:36] They’re basically saying like, you’re never going to work again. You get one day of pay and then you will live on, but you won’t see any money from it. That’s just ethically wrong. In my opinion.
[00:48:51] Jared Robin: Solving this. Exciting. Um, and it’s, it’s so important. How can people get in touch with you, Christina?
[00:49:05] Christina Garnett: Um, I live on Twitter. They can follow me at that Christina G I’m also on LinkedIn. So feel free to say hi. Um, I’m on other channels, but it’s mainly, it’s mainly Twitter and LinkedIn. So feel free to reach out and yeah.
[00:49:18] Jared Robin: Thank you so much for coming today. This has been wonderful talking about Um, personal brand. Advocacy, Narcissism, HubSpot, and Human Connection on Revenue Today. Um, Really appreciate your time and for everyone listening. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this, tell a friend we’ll be back next week.
[00:49:47] Take care.
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