Every few years, I stumble across a human being whose personal values, professional work, and communication style so perfectly resonates with my own that I can’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy that we don’t get to work together. I do my best to keep those feelings in check, soldier on, amplify their work, and hope that perhaps, someday, the stars will align.
Today, those stars aligned. Amanda Natividad, one of the finest marketers and people I’ve met, is joining SparkToro’s team as Marketing Architect.
Amanda, Geraldine, and Rand after a lunch in Los Angeles
Amanda has a wealth of experience in the marketing, software, and B2B worlds, including stints with Fitbit (where she helped build their B2B marketing program), Growth Machine (where she served as head of marketing for their agency), and Liftopia (leading marketing for their high volume ticketing business). That combination of in-house, agency, and self-employed roles is an especially superb fit for SparkToro because those folks are precisely our customers, and Amanda has empathy for their precise pain points.
Initially, Amanda’s joining us for a 6-month contract where she’ll help SparkToro:
- Establish a coherent, consistent social media marketing strategy (as social is already our largest top-of-funnel channel)
- Create new onboarding, training, and education workflows to help everyone (free users, too) better understand and take advantage of what the product offers
- Build a new video series with me (for all those folks who’ve been missing my whiteboard video tutorials)
- Audit our marketing funnel and help us craft more effective home, product, pricing, and checkout experiences
You may also see her replying to support emails, giving webinars about SparkToro, or reaching out 1:1 to learn more about how y’all are using the product and getting value.
And now, a little bit of extra transparency, because that’s why SparkToro’s blog exists.
Amanda didn’t join SparkToro via any traditional sort of channel. We didn’t put out an ad for a job, nor did we intend to hire (even for a contract role) this early. But when serendipity strikes, we’ve learned to open the door. Amanda and I started chatting a few months ago on Twitter. We shared interests (food, marketing, being kind to people, corny* sense of humor). We had overlapping visions for what SparkToro could be, what it was missing, and what needed to be done.
Geraldine (my wife) and I visited Southern California to see her family in early June, and since we’d become Internet friends, Amanda set up a website with SoCal food recommendations based on a series of humorous tweets. We grabbed a late Sunday lunch, where the three of us got along like a house on fire. At the end of the meal, Amanda and I couldn’t help but talk about potentially working together someday. Someday turned into “life’s short; why not as soon as possible?” and we were off to the races.
During our subsequent conversations, we had an exchange I wanted to share.
I don’t think I’ve ever sent an email like that to a potential team member, but I wish I had. The older we get, the fewer opportunities we have to build lifelong personal friendships or rewarding professional experiences. There’s no time to waste working in environments, on projects, or with people we don’t love.
Casey, Amanda, and Rand on this morning’s kickoff call
Casey and I are building a weird, different kind of company with SparkToro. We raised money in a unique way. We’re marketing in a very different way. We’ve got an odd approach to churn and lifetime value. And now, we’re hiring differently, too. I’ve got a good feeling about all of this, but I’m not willing to lose people I care about if it doesn’t work.
So, here’s to friendship, to partnership, to doing great things together and to staying friends even if it doesn’t all go to plan. Oh, and don’t forget to follow Amanda on Twitter; her feed is a case study in great marketing.
*Prior to publication, I asked Amanda to review this post. She had only one edit: “Excuse me, please change “corny sense of humor” to BRILLIANT, APPROPRIATELY-EDGY, WORLD-CLASS sense of humor.”