Today I’m talking to Violeta Nedkova, from VioletaNedkova.com and The Creative Rebel Academy. She’s a creative rebel: she does things in her own way, instead of following what everybody else says. She can help you to stand out from the crowd as a digital marketer.
Listen to this Episode:
Topics Discussed in this Episode:
- Violeta’s interesting life story and approach to positivity
- Tips to deal with bullshit overload on the internet
- Tools and methods for using Twitter efficiently
- Website ‘pollution’ and user experience
- How to really stand out as a marketer and a business
- The Creative Rebel Academy
- Violeta on Twitter – @VioletaNedkova
- Twitter tools: TweetDeck, Buffer
- The Imperfect Boss
- Purple Cow by Seth Godin
- Start With Why – Simon Sinek TED talk
- Gary Vaynerchuk Website
Louis: Bonjour, bonjour. Welcome to everyonehatesmarketers.com. I’m your host, Louis Grenier. everyonehatesmarketers.com is a podcast for digital marketers who are sick of shady, aggressive marketing. I interview no nonsense marketers who are not afraid to cut through the bullshit and say things as they are. During this show, we’ll learn how to get more visitors, more leads, more customers, more long term profit by using good marketing, by treating people the way we like to be treated.
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In episode number five of everyonehatesmarketers.com, I interview Violeta Nedkova from violetanedkova.com. She also has an academy that she calls the Creative Rebel Academy. You can find that at creativerebelacademy.com. She’s all about connecting with no bullshiters and world changers. She really wants to do marketing her own way. She really wants to help others manage their business their own way which is really interesting.
Her life story as well is really interesting. She’s going to tell us how she went from job to job before finding what she loved. She’s going to tell us how to deal with bullshit on the internet and how she deals with it. She’s also going to share how she uses Twitter efficiently. I learned a few bits from her on this one. She’s also going to share her biggest pet peeves online and there are quite a few and I have to agree with. Finally, I think the most important thing, she’s going to share how to really stand out as a marketer as a business. I learned quite a few bits from her on this as well. Have a listen and let me know what you think.
Violeta: Hi, Louis.
Louis: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today, talk to me. How are you?
Violeta: I’m very good. It’s cold here in Bulgaria.
Louis: Is it?
Louis: First question for you, what’s better, is it to take care of your stray cats or is it to take care of your tribe of digital rebels?
Violeta: What do you mean by better?
Louis: You decide, you tell me.
Violeta: Oh gosh, these days, I’m split between the two because I never used to be like this. I used to just walk down the street and close my eyes to the reality of things and then one day, I just open my eyes and I can never close them again. It’s like when you realize for example, something horrifying like oh my God, the government is lying to you or recording stuff or something like that and you’re like in shock and you can never trust anyone ever again. Just like that.
Louis: You still need to answer the question.
Louis: You still need to say which one is better. No, you don’t have to. It was just a way to introduce the fact that yes, you are quite active online. I’ve been following you on Twitter for the last few months. I like what you do because it’s very positive. I do follow you because it gets me in a good mood. I know that if I read your tweets, never going to be about complaining, it’s always about positive things. I think in this day and age, we need that.
You have a business, I’ve seen that on Twitter recently. You also take care of stray cats in where you are, right? You’ve raise funds for them which is quite nice of you to do.
Violeta: I’m trying to be a positive force in the world because there is enough bad stuff out there and I feel like there need to be people who are rays of sunshine. In my latest blogpost, I just wrote What Do You Want Your Emotional Legacy To Be. I really believe in that because if you’re sharing positive stuff today and negative stuff tomorrow, what are you doing? What are you trying to accomplish? You need to be consistent and you need to decide for yourself what you need to be in the world.
Louis: You need to decide whether to be positive all the time or negative all the time.
Violeta: No. Obviously, I have negative moments like everyone but I try not to share them because I know people have enough of those. I try to just limit to them to my immediate friends or just to my cat or something like just to myself and then try to overly share when I’m positive because I know people need that. I feel like I’ve decided that and I’m going to stick with that decision, whatever comes.
Louis: Do you have one cat or many cats?
Violeta: One cat but I’m feeding so many cats right now on the street.
Louis: What’s the process that you have to do to take care of those cats?
Violeta: There used to be little kittens and I used to build houses for them and just feed them and stuff like that but unfortunately, most of them died because people don’t tell you that when they’re in the streets, the little ones die from viruses. I was just so upset, that’s why I started to gather funds because I want the cats to be castrated. I want there to not be any baby kittens in the streets because it’s just depressing, it’s sad and it’s horrible of us to allow it to happen. Anyway, I just feed them and try to castrate as many as I can.
Louis: So far, what’s the result in terms of numbers? How many have you helped?
Violet: We’ve cured a few kittens. We’ve castrated a few cats and little by little, baby steps, because it’s just me and a couple more women because apparently men don’t care about that. Sorry. I’m just kidding. My three first, what do you call them? Sponsors? Donators?
Louis: Sponsors, yeah.
Violeta: They’re men. They’re all men. No women donated.
Louis: Bad. Bad, bad, bad. That’s very nice of you to do. I don’t know if you saw it. You probably haven’t, there’s this guy in front who’s quite well known for having done a lot of prank videos in the last few years. It’s not a negative story actually, it’s very uplifting. He decided to get into a cage in an animal shelter. He got into a cage in an animal shelter. He said he won’t leave the cage until they raise, I think it’s $150,000 or euros. But he’s staying there 24/7. He’s doing everything there.
He’s literally taking it to the next stage and he made so much noise out of it that they raised already more than €150,000 but this guy used to be quite not hated but a lot of people would love him because he’s very funny and there are other people would hate him because he is doing stupid things like blocking the traffic while wearing a snail costume, all that kind of stuff. These kind of things are actually needed sometimes to wake people up, right?
Violeta: Yeah. Exactly.
Louis: Talk more about you instead of cats. You studied Psychology, right?
Violeta: Yeah. In England.
Louis: In England, yeah. There is one aspect of you that I like you to tell me more about which is positive psychology.
Violeta: Oh, yeah. I love that. That was my favorite kind.
Louis: What is it?
Violeta: Positive psychology is just not focusing on the past and on the negatives and helping people to overcome whatever, but actually focusing on the positive things in your life to build them up. You focus on the positive, more positive comes and more positive and more positive, until at one point, you’ve built these positive habits of thinking, of doing, etc. and then, there comes a point where this gratitude and this positive thinking attracts more gratitude and positive thinking.
It’s like instead of oh my God, I’m so sad, or this sucks or whatever. Instead of trying to fix negative things and looking to the past for reasons why everything sucks, you actually look at the good and soon, you forget about the bad. It’s like you focus on one and the other one just fades away. That’s what I love.
Louis: Yeah. I like this idea. When you do that, when you try to fix bad things, you focus on them and therefore, it’s difficult to make some room for the positive in your life.
Violeta: In positive psychology, you focus on gratitude, mindfulness, thinking about the good things that happened to you throughout your day. Everything is about habit, building those habits every single day. When you wake up, when you go to bed, you think of the good things. That’s it.
Louis: We’ll talk more about that because for the digital marketers out there who are listening, I think this is something that is relevant to them as well as anybody else. I will ask you a few questions in the next few minutes about actual tips on how to stay positive, but before that, you studied psychology and then you started as a freelance writer, correct?
Violeta: It’s a long story. What did I start off as? I worked in a kitchen, I guess. While I was studying, I worked in a kitchen. After that, I started working on online projects. While I was working on those projects, people were contacting me for my writing. So yes, I wrote a little, I consulted a little and I ended up just consuming everything about marketing as I could because I realized what I love doing was marketing. I didn’t even know it was. Blogging, social media, etc. It was just some kind of organic marketing that I was just in love with. It kind of happened naturally.
Louis: You worked in a kitchen until you were able to fund yourself to work full time on this?
Violeta: Yeah. It was expected of me to find a job. I was looking for job after job and they all sucked. Taking care of people and just working in kitchens. I never tried waitressing because I’m very clumsy but I tried almost everything, flyers and stuff. I did that because I was supposed to find a job because everyone was saying that I was a flake, that I was not serious enough, that I was weird, that I was creative and I always did those projects on the side. Never for money, just for fun.
At one point, I realized why am I always doing this and never making money? Why am I not trying to make money? Because I never believed it to be work. I thought it was just fun, a hobby. I was just buying into this crap that society teaches you that you’re supposed to find a job, a boring job that’s going to bring the money and you can do whatever you want in your free time. This is bullshit because in our generation, we can do whatever we want and we can make money off it. I really believe that.
Louis: In terms of timeline, when was the first time you received money from your fun work, the work you actually love doing?
Violeta: I think it was an article about using the Tarot Cards for writing exercises. It was a writing exercise with the Tarot Cards. I don’t know why but they paid me $.10 or something. It was back at the day when nobody paid you for writing, I guess. It was really early. Maybe I was in high school, not even in university. It was just like a while back.
Louis: When you are working on the side, you were doing those projects for fun. Was there a time between when you started your business as a marketing coach and before that, was there a time where you were making money on the side as well? Do you know what I’m trying to say?
Violeta: Yeah. I graduated. After graduating, I was really, really confused. I had no idea what I wanted to do so I decided to travel. I’m a young person. I wanted to travel. I tried all pairing like looking after kids and living with the family to save money for bills and stuff.
Anyway, I went to live in Rome and that’s when I started yet another project. Because I always did those but I never made much money off it because I wasn’t starting with this money mindset. I was just thinking of it as a hobby, as a fun thing to learn, websites and to learn how to blog properly and how to learn branding and whatever.
In 2012, I believe, I went to Rome and I think in 2013, I started the project. When I started the project people started noticing my writing and once they started this avalanche of few months of my name getting out there and then people coming to me instead of me having to go to them. Someone asked me, “Why don’t you consult or something?” That was 2014 and I was like, “Me? Consultant? I’m like a child. I don’t know anything.” But of course, that was in my mind. I wasn’t saying that.
But people are trusting me to consult them so I was like, “Okay, I can make money doing this.” I did and then I saved up my money to start a business. Basically, I didn’t start a business just from nowhere. I had saved up money from the consulting and then I jumped because I had a safety net of saved up money so I could start my business. Just be patient, don’t be like, oh my god! I have to make money right away, because that’s stressful. That’s really stressful.
Louis: It is indeed. Do you remember how you got your first big client when you started your business?
Violeta: Yeah. Do you mean from the consulting or from the coaching?
Louis: From consulting first. Whichever came first.
Violeta: The biggest for consulting was my friend Mike. We were working on this meeting app that he’s still working on, but unfortunately, there was a problem in communication and even though we worked so well for six months or so, eventually, we just grew apart.
I don’t know if you know this kind of thing that happens between people when they’re super similar, they mold together and start brainstorming and everything is so similar and you’re getting along and stuff but you’re not complementing each other. In time, you just start arguing. You know what I mean?
Louis: Yes, I do. The first few weeks or months would be very good because you share stuff that you agree with and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I completely agree with you. I share the same vision.” But I think after a while, when you dig into the actual things and the to do’s then yes, you might argue.
Violeta: Yeah, exactly. I have no regrets, I don’t think he does either. After that, I had one more big client and after that, I had my first big coaching client. I was super excited because she was the most positive person in the world and I enjoyed so much working with her. It was like a dream come true. It was like, “Oh my god this is actually happening.” And then, it was a fall because every time there is going up, there is going down.
Louis: Yep. Do you remember how did she get in touch with you? How did she find you? This ideal client?
Violeta: Oh yes. She had read my articles and she said, I followed your articles, I followed your emails for awhile, and I finally decided to reach out. Basically, it was the content marketing side of things that drew her in, because I really believe that content marketing is what draws people in instead of you trying to push them to buy or whatever.
Louis: It’s probably the best type of lead or prospect that you receive because those people have been reading your stuff, they’ve been educated about your way of thinking. If they decide to contact you, then there must be a fit into the way you think and the way they think.
Violeta: Yeah, exactly. It’s really important to be really, really clear about what you’re about and what you’re not about because for example, at the start of my business, I was very general and I was a little bit confused but in time, it kind of narrowed down. It’s like sometimes you have to have faith in the road ahead. You just have to know that it’s going to happen eventually and if I were worried about money, I wouldn’t have let this road unveil, if you know what I mean. Basically, it’s really important to have a safety net so you can take this time to discover that road that’s perfect for you and perfect for your business, I guess.
Louis: Yeah. Instead of having to rush to make money or something you don’t like.
Violeta: Yeah, exactly. I’ve done that a lot. We all have.
Louis: Exactly. A lot of people have. I wanted to come back to what we started to touch on a few minutes ago. This podcast is really for digital marketers who are sick of marketing bullshit but I think that there’s a lot of tips that you could tell us now that they could use in their daily work because it’s not easy to go against the grain. It’s not easy to call bullshit when you see it. It’s not easy to forget all the bad things happening in the world.
The first question around that is that how do you disconnect from all the bullshit around you?
Violeta: That’s a great question because I feel like I connect to it every day. It’s everywhere and there is no way not to see it. I feel like when I deal on the bullshit, which is almost every week, maybe once every two weeks. I actually stop doing what I’m doing and try to have an entire day of only seeking information or content or just doing the stuff I love that inspires me, that is pure and truly inspirational.
For me, for example, sometimes it’s TED talks, sometimes it’s just reading articles by my favorite rebels, sometimes, it’s just painting or going for a walk or just spending time, whatever, just the complete opposite of what I’ve been doing to get in so deep with the bullshit.
Obviously, every day you have to make a conscious decision to lean towards your preferred content, or marketing, or businesses, or philosophies, or whatever. It’s like every single day you’re tempted to sink into the bullshit but you have to remind yourself.
For example, I’m scrolling down Twitter and there’s so much bullshit. I’m like okay, no, no, no, this is bullshit, bullshit, bullshit and then something like a gem in the rough but the thing is that with Twitter, I use lists. Most of my lists do not have this bullshit everywhere. It’s inevitable but it’s not like every single tweet. It’s like every other tweet.
Louis: So you create your bullshit free Twitter list. To summarize, tip number one, if you really feel overwhelmed by all the BS out there, read or watch content or resources that make you…
Violeta: Basically reconnect with your purpose, with your core, with whatever you believe in.
Louis: For example, what I do when I feel down and I feel quite negative about it, I would watch videos from Gary Vaynerchuk. In two minutes, this guy just turned me around. Like why are you fucking complaining, get your ass in, do some work. Like okay, Gary, okay, I promise I’m going to start working again.
I think a good tip as well for people using Twitter because as you mentioned, I think this channel could be very negative especially when there are news that are quite bad for the world or whatever it is, I think there’s a lot of novice around it. Using lists, selecting people that you know that are very positive people or at least don’t talk about politics or don’t talk about subject we don’t want to hear from is also a good tip.
What’s a Twitter tool you use? You just use the platform or what tool do you use?
Violeta: I used to use TweetDeck and I do use Buffer, always. Without Buffer, I would be crazy because I manually program all the tweets for the next week or two and that’s not all the tweets, that’s just 30% of the tweets but it reassures me to know that everyday, there is going to be these five times of the day that there is going to be a tweet going out so that people don’t forget me, I guess.
Louis: I’ve read that on your post and you’re completely right to say that. If you are consistent and you post things regularly, people will see you as somebody who’s very positive and consistent. I think consistency is key to build trust, right?
Violeta: Yeah, exactly, and value. You need to give people value every day and I feel like one of my strengths is curation. Finding the best stuff out there and no bullshit stiff and I’m happy to share it with people because it makes me happy too.
Louis: What tool do you use to manage your lists then if you’re not using TweetDeck anymore?
Violeta: My fingers.
Louis: Wow. So you go to twitter.com and you just go to the lists, do you know what I mean? How do you read the tweets from a particular list on Twitter, what tool do you use to do that?
Violeta: Yeah. I just go to the list. I know what you mean, sometimes it’s easier to use TweetDeck and look at them in parallel but the problem is that it makes me a little bit distracted like I’m seeing so many things that I can’t really see anything. You know what I mean?
Louis: I do. Okay, that makes sense. I’d like to dig deeper into the marketing, the digital marketing more particularly. What I like to do now is trying to get into the daily action plan we could get into, actual tips, actual things that people can take away from this conversations and apply to their job tomorrow or even today.
But before that, I’d like to ask you a question about the internet in general and the state of it. Yesterday or two days ago, I was looking at this webpage where basically 2/3 of it was full of ads. You had the top of it with ads, the bottom with ads, within the text, there were interstitial ads, that kind of stuff.
We call that in our business marketing bullshit. It’s basically internet pollution. It pollutes a very beautiful tool and you make it horrible for us to use. My question to you is how do you think we, as marketers, what could we do to make the internet better?
Violeta: First of all, don’t use ads. I don’t even see the point in ads because nobody really makes a lot of money from it. Secondly, it just ruins the reader experience. For example, I have a few people that I really admire and this one time, I went to one of these people’s website and I noticed there was an ad at the top. Okay, it’s not too obvious but I was questioning her judgment. Why would she do that? Why would she put it there when it doesn’t really bring you that much money and it ruins your website because your website is branded. Everything fits together and suddenly, you see this kind of thing that’s flashing, or scrolling, or moving, or whatever.
It just makes me question people’s judgment especially when I go to a website, okay, this time definitely not of a person I respect. I go to a new website and there’s pop ups, okay close, another pop up, close, third pop up, oh my god! I’d kill for this.
Louis: I think you mentioned something interesting. For the first example you gave, you were questioning her judgment. Do you think it had an impact on your trust to her?
Violeta: Honestly, I respect everyone’s decision. They can do whatever they want with their brand and there are a lot of people I respect who do things I don’t like but that doesn’t mean that those are bad things because sometime I just don’t like something.
The fact that I don’t like pumpkin juice. Some people like pumpkin juice, it’s not a big deal. But yeah, sometimes, when there’s serious pollution on their website, my judgment of them has to lean from really good impression to bad and I have to ask myself are they really a rebel? I’m compiling this database of creative rebels and as a result, I have to look at the whole picture. Are they giving value? Are they spamming people? What strategies do they use? What are their values? What do they believe in? etc.
I feel like only a few people have dropped out because I can’t decide. On the one hand, they’re doing great stuff and they’re giving value. They’re saying things from their mouth that are great. But on the other hand, some of their strategies are really, really not sleazy but really annoying. Really annoying. It ruins the experience, my experience. It wastes my time. My time is precious. Basically, a few people have dropped out because of this. But only a few because I mostly forgive stuff that is not really important.
Louis: Are there any best practices or conventional wisdom about marketing on the internet in particular that you think that are just plain wrong?
Violeta: There is one thing that I think is wrong but I feel like that’s my opinion and I’m not sure how many others feel it’s wrong and there’s some things that I know a lot of people hate. There are some things, yeah. For example, webinars. I don’t like webinars. It looks fake to me when in the beginning you say, “Hey, hi Lisa, hi Chelsea.” And you’re thinking, “Oh, I’m having contact with these people.” But no. You’re not having contact with these people, you’re listing names.
And then you’re giving your presentation, your workshop. This is great value but then you ask for money at the end. If I ever do a webinar, my webinars are going to be different because I do respect that this is a very solid strategy and I believe it works but mine are going to be different because there are these pet peeves that I need to change in my strategy. Other people can do whatever they want but the things I don’t like, I’m never going to do.
Louis: What are your alternatives to webinars?
Violeta: Probably just a workshop where there is more of a conversation and more of an exercise that you’re doing something together. I’m doing these video exercises now and I’m really looking forward to doing something together with the viewers but we’ll see how that goes. I feel like I really like interactive things where there’s a real connection and there’s something going on instead of me teaching someone. You know what I mean? It’s like I don’t want to teach people, I just want to engage people.
Another thing that I don’t always understand in marketing is income reports. Those I really don’t get because I don’t really care how much money you made. That’s transparent, I’ll give you that. Transparency is great. I really love transparency. But if there’s something really valuable like a valuable conclusion or take away from your income report, I am going to appreciate it. But if you’re just giving me the numbers and what you did and what you got and taxes and stuff. I’m like, “What is the point of this? What is the reason? What is my take away?” You know what I mean?
Louis: I do. To come back to the first point you made about the webinars, which I think is really good. I think it’s a good idea for people out there instead of just doing a one way conversation where you just present slides. It could be a great idea to have much more of a dialogue as you said where you invite people for five minutes at a time and you help them individually on their business or whatever it is that you’re helping them with. I think that’s a very good tip.
The second thing about the income reports. That’s actually funny because we started to do them to produce. I agree with you. On its own, transparency for the sake of transparency is complete bullshit. Transparency, in order to build trust, to be a better leader, to connect with customers, I think it’s great.
Our income reports, we do them for two reasons. Number one, internally, you keep us accountable and number two, we try to give context to each of them. So when we had a bad month, we try to explain why we had a bad month and try to help people who had a bad month to understand that it’s okay as well to be shitty.
We don’t only publish income reports when things are going well. I think that’s bad if you only do that. You’re right. I think it’s important to challenge this because sometimes we can be quite complacent about talking about ourselves and forgetting that people are reading it.
Violeta: Yeah, and you made a really important point not just sharing things just for the sake of transparency because sometimes you get an email and you think, “Oh my god, this person just wanted to be transparent. This is not authentic, they were following a trend because there has been this trend to be transparent.” That’s a great thing but it fuels a fee, you feel when it’s not authentic coming from an authentic place.
You feel that they did that for the trend, for the building trust as a marketer but you’re not supposed to think about it. You’re just supposed to do it, you just do it. You just enjoy the process, you do it and whatever comes. Of course, you have to have strategies and that’s a valuable strategy but when you do it just for the trend, it kills the mood, I guess.
Louis: I don’t remember who said that but it’s an interview we made, an episode of the podcast before. I’m going to have to find the name, he mentioned that those type of companies and people who just follow trends for the sake of following them will die anyway. It’s going to die anyway, the way they are doing it and only the true transparent people would really believe in it, will keep doing it and be authentic, right?
Violeta: Yeah. Can you imagine someone following all the trends every day, they would be doing different things every day. They would not be consistent in brand. They would not be a whole brand. They would be scattered and that’s not a viable strategy at all.
Louis: Absolutely not. I completely agree. Now, to talk about more positive things, is there any website or marketing campaign you saw recently that really moved you?
Violeta: Yes, yes. When you said campaign, I thought of the Imperfect Boss by Ashley Beaudin. I can’t pronounce her surname. This happens a lot. But she’s amazing. She did this Instagram campaign but you can also do it on Twitter. This is a social campaign where you share a transparent confession. For example, sometimes I do this and I’m not really good at this and you kind of write it down on a piece of paper with your face and you just take a picture and you share the hashtag.
So many people joined and everyone was just super, super honest. Some people were sharing mental illness, some people were sharing just really bad choices and we all felt more connected because I know these people and I connected further with them when I saw their pictures.
Louis: That’s very interesting. We’ll definitely link this campaign in the blog notes with this episode. But it’s part of being vulnerable which I think is part of being transparent to yourself and to others.
Now, let’s consider something. Let’s say I am a digital marketer, I work for company, maybe 20 people, 30 people. One of the things that, in my team, we’ve identified is that we need to stand out more. Our company is dull, it’s very not unique whatsoever, like there is 200 companies that are the exact same, the same city. The boss has told me, “We need to stand out more.” How would you do it?
Violeta: The brand needs its unique value. It just needs a differentiator because for example, you can be a small company of 2 people or 10 people who are doing something everyone else is doing but you’re doing it because. For example you need purpose, you say we do it because, and this is your big why. You also need to hone in on your message. How do you want people to feel when they read your content, use your product, visit your website, how do you want them to feel? What message are you sending and also exactly what kind of people are going to fit with you?
For example, no bullshit marketing. Not everyone is going to relate to that but that’s great because you have a great authentic niche that you’re going to love and everyone else can just bite it.
Louis: To summarize the three things you mentioned. Find your values and purpose, so why are you doing what you’re doing, your big why. I think you like the TED talk from Simon Sinek.
Violeta: Start With Why. I love that.
Louis: Start With Why. The second one is, I forgot already. Oh my God, my memory is really bad.
Violeta: Unique value. How do you want to make people feel?
Louis: How do you want people to feel? That’s a very good one. And then the third one that you mentioned is…
Violeta: The unique niche. Yes. The last one maybe, although it’s not the last. Have you read Purple Cow by Seth Godin? It’s also a talk. Basically, you see cows and they are all boring and at some point you see a purple cow and that’s exciting. It’s not about just being contrarian or just being different.
I feel like if you are yourself, you will be different because everyone is already different. I feel like people forget that, they’re like, “Okay, what strategies can I learn? What I can I do that everyone else is doing?” No! Start from inside and just that way you’re going to be unique naturally. Just allow yourself to open like a flower. I don’t know, is that sappy?
Louis: I think that’s a very good advice specifically for people who are consultants or freelancers who want to get their own. I guess, for digital marketers who are part of a company where they are not anyone to take decisions, that’s a great first point.
Let’s say now it comes from you. You are the digital marketer in the business. You know that this business has to stand out but your boss or the people in the office upstairs needed to be convinced. How do you convince those people?
Violeta: Honestly, I’m not a really good person to ask that because I could never work with other people. It’s not even funny. I have a really, really big problem with authority. I guess you can call me a real rebel because when someone tells me what to do, I just want to do the opposite.
I’ve had problems with bosses and even just co-workers, I find that I work best when I am in charge and I direct other people or when I work with others on the same level. For example, when it’s a collaboration and everyone’s equal, I really enjoy it but when someone’s trying to control me or micromanage me, I just get crazy. I have to get out.
Louis: But let’s say it’s a good boss. I’m not saying it’s a controlling, manipulating unarticulated boss. Let’s say it’s a boss who listens to you and doesn’t necessarily consider you as an inferior. Even a colleague, how do you convince people who are skeptical to do this? To actually go against the grain a little bit and find your unique purpose?
Violeta: I don’t feel like the odds are so bad these days that I feel like the only way to stand out is to actually stand out. There are so many lifestyle blogs. There are so many digital marketing agencies. There are so many this and that. Everything is so much. There is such an overflow of everything that the only way is to just stand out. I see it honestly, that’s the only way to succeed. Not the only way, you can try the sleazy techniques and sell your soul to the devil. That’s the other way. No, I’m just kidding but I feel like to convince someone, I don’t really like convincing people because I think they should have their own opinions but if I have to, I guess, I would point out that it’s the only way.
Louis: I guess a good strategy would be to just start taking a bit more risk as it you’re a marketer, being yourself more and show that it actually works, people connect with it and that it’s not that bad, right?
Violeta: Yeah. Risk is so scary, I guess, but the only companies that can afford to not take risks are the big ones because they’ve already succeeded. But if you’re a small agency or whatever and you’re trying to make it, you’re not really going to make it by staying safe or whatever. It’s why 10% of startups make it because they take risks and they’re different, they’re interesting, and they’re new.
Louis: Talking about the future now, what do you think marketers should learn now, today that will help them in the next 5 or 10 years?
Violeta: This is a hard question because marketing is now different that it was 5 or 10 years ago. If they learn something now, maybe it’s not going to be the same in ten years. Maybe it’s going to be useless but I feel like you need to adapt. Maybe this is the only useful thing that’s always going to work. You need to adapt and iterate and just keep progressing without stagnating.
For example, right now, I’m not talking about following the trends, no. Right now, marketing is in such an authentic place. Human connection is more valued than ever and this is because there is an overflow of bullshit and there is content shock and there’s all kinds of negative stuff that’s going on with consumers so they need actual authentic people behind those brands to give their money to. Because there is this need right now, I’m really happy obviously, because I believe in the same things.
But is it going to be the same in 10 years? Probably, but maybe with different tech. For example, right now it’s live streaming and I don’t know what. In 10 years it’s going to be, I don’t know, virtual reality. I have no idea what it’s going to be but I feel like one thing can be always be valued and that’s human connection. That’s humanity because we are at our core humans and we’re never going to change. We’re always going to care about love, about emotion, inspiration. Those things are never going to die, never going to get old and strategies are always going to change.
Louis: I completely agree with you. I think learning to be authentic, learning to be true to yourself, learning to listen to people, empathy is very important. That’s never going to change because people are people and evolution has created us for the 4 billion years it took to create us, it’s not like we can forget all about that in the next 10 years so there’s a good chance that keep being authentic is a good strategy.
You mentioned a few resources already in the podcast in this episode which I think were really good. If you could choose the top three resources for digital marketers out there, whether it’s a book, a video, what would it be?
Violeta: Definitely the Start With Why TED Talk by Simon Sinek. I feel like Gary Vaynerchuk is very motivational. He hustles too much but he is true to himself so I give him that.
Louis: He does hustle too much.
Violeta: But he does really know his social media and he knows the trends. He’s intuitive about the trends and where they go and where they’ve been so that’s really hopeful to people who have no idea. What else? Just anything by Seth Godin because he’s my hero. He’s a hard core rebel. Everything he writes is so good and he’s authentic.
I have a separate section in the database for marketers. I’m just trying to remember who I put there. I think it was just three or four people and I was like why? There’s so many authors, so many bloggers. Why so few marketers? I guess because there are so few marketers that are authentic. That’s why.
Louis: That’s a very good point. That’s what we’re trying to do with this podcast and I’m working now with our approach is to bring back the authenticity in marketing. I think it’s a start from HubSpot. They say that only 3% of people trust marketers so there’s a connection between the two, isn’t it? Where can listeners connect with you, find more about you?
Violeta: They can find me on my website, violetanedkova.com. I share everything, my latest projects, I blog a lot and obviously, if you add /now, you can actually see what I’m doing right now. They can find me tweeting 24/7 at @VioletaNedkova, really 24/7. I almost never sleep. That’s mostly it. I have a Facebook group called Creative Rebels but it’s not too active so just go to my website and tweet at me and I’ll answer.
Louis: Fantastic. Thanks again for all of those resources, Violeta.
Violeta: Yeah, thanks. It was fun.
Louis: Yeah. It was definitely fun. Thanks to the listeners listening to this episode and we‘ll share all the resources on the podcast on the podcast notes. All the stuff we’ve talked about right now. In the meantime, thanks again Violeta. And I’ll talk to you soon.
Violeta: Yes. Bye.
Louis: That’s it for another episode of everyonehatesmarketers.com. This is the moment where I tell you to subscribe to our email list. Before you leave and go to another podcast or listen to another episode, I don’t treat email lists the way people usually treat their email lists. I really treat that as a one to one conversation. I’m going to send you very short personal emails every two weeks, I would say. I’ll inform you of guests in advance, I’ll share with you my numbers, and how many listens we get. I’ll also ask you for your feedback in terms of the questions we can ask future guests. Perhaps we can also have you in the show someday. Don’t be afraid to subscribe. I’m not going to spam you. You can always unsubscribe for sure, if you wish.
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How to stand out: 9 bullshit-free lessons from world-class tech marketers
Insights from Seth Godin, Rand Fishkin, David Darmanin and 6 other world-class tech marketers.
I’m a no-fluff marketer living in Dublin, Ireland (but yeah, I’m French).
I believe you can treat people the way you’d like to be treated and still generate results without using sleazy, aggressive, hack-y marketing. This is why I’ve started Everyone Hates Marketers – a no-fluff, actionable marketing podcast – as a side project in April 2017.
I’m also the Content Lead at Hotjar – a powerful way to analyse people’s behaviour on your website or app and understand how you can improve their experience.