Principal Marketing Manager for HubSpot

For this episode of the Essential B2B Podcast, Joe was joined by returning guest, Christina Garnett MBA, Award-Winning Advocacy Strategist at HubSpot. Christina gave some really insightful answers to the Essential B2B questions and you'll really enjoy getting to know her a bit better!

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Joe: Hello and welcome to the Essential B2B podcast brought to you, as ever, by Lead Forensics. I am your host Joe Ducarreaux. This episode features a conversation with Christina Garnett, MBA, Principal Marketing Manager for HubSpot. Christina was a wonderful guest who offered up a lot of insight into her work in marketing, particularly around the perception of people who work in social media.

Remember to subscribe to the Essential B2B podcast wherever you get your pods and give us a five star rating where possible.
So without further ado, here is Christina Garnett on the Essential B2B podcast.

Joe: What do you love about your industry and is there anything you would change about it?

Christina: So my work is the intersection of community, brand affinity and social. So marketing as a whole, that whole span. And for me, I get bored very easily and it is impossible to get bored in my job. There’s updates, there’s things that change, there’s algorithms, there’s new Twitter owners, there’s all these things that throw a monkey wrench into things, but I’m never bored and I absolutely adore that about it.

Joe: It’s fast paced and it’s an ever-changing world, isn’t it, I suppose. So is there anything you would change about your industry at all?

Christina: I think that I would change the way that social media people are treated. I find that we’ve done a really good job of educating people, but they’re still not really given the respect that they deserve. They are working weird hours. The Super Bowl, that’s a working day for them. They’re in a war room. They are ready to go. I think that we take for granted how much we all live on social, but that content doesn’t just magically appear.

So I think that the understanding that they have to have, the strategic understanding of analytics and audience understanding and just meme culture and pop culture and everything in between. They are like a bustling nexus of online information. I don’t think that after years, after over a decade and a half of social, I still don’t think they have the respect that they deserve. So that’s what I would change.

Joe: I wholeheartedly agree with you on that Christina because as somebody who has run socials for various different companies and some pieces around that. I do think there is definitely still this perception of oh, they just put pretty pictures up and write nice stuff about it. It is a little more in depth than that. Who inspires you?

Christina: I would probably say from a work perspective, Matt Navarra, absolutely adore him. He is on the cutting edge. I find new stuff about him. He dropped stuff before the news does. Absolutely a must follow.

In terms of just like a human, Chef Jose Andres. I think he is just like a saint. I think he’s an absolute saint. You can almost tell where something bad has happened because he will be there, feeding people, taking care of people. He is a saint, modern-day saint, absolutely I love him and so when it comes to being a better human he’s who inspires me.

Joe: That sounds like a very worthy sort of thing to spend your time doing. This next question I have for you Christina, this can be personal or professional or it can be both, perhaps they bleed over but what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Christina: My greatest achievement is my kids. Without divulging too much, I didn’t have the happiest childhood and so I never saw myself having kids because I didn’t want to repeat the cycle that I was born into. My husband reminds me all the time, you’ve broken the cycle. They’re happy, they’re healthy, they feel loved and so that’s it.

Joe: Yeah, what more could you ask for! What really motivates you, at the start of the day, at the start of your week what gets you out of bed?

Christina: For me, I was that tortured gifted kid. So it’s always what’s next, what’s next? What, where do we go? So I’m always looking for the next thing I can do. Where can I excel at the next thing? Get the next A? So it’s that for me. It’s that overachiever kind of thing. It never goes away.

Joe: What is the next thing? What are you chasing currently then, Christina?

Christina: I’m writing a book about brand affinity.

Joe: Fantastic. How’s the writing process? How are you finding that?

Christina: It’s hard. I was an English major in college and so a lot of my natural writing is fiction and this is clearly non-fiction. So it takes a completely different muscle. I would write fiction, and it would just pour out of my fingertips. I would just type feverishly and then I look up and there’s all this prose. That’s not how this book is happening. It’s very different. It’s very different.

It’s not often in fiction you have to write a citation or link to the bibliography, anything like that.

Christina: Yeah. Yeah.

Joe: Have you tried the Haruki Murakami writing style of getting up at 4am and writing?

Christina: No, anything that involves waking up …..if it’s not a flight or an emergency I’m not getting up at that time. That’ll be a very violent book I would write. I’d just write in anger and exhaustion. It would not be very good.

Joe: I look forward to your book coming out. 100% I will be reading that one.

Christina: Thank you.

Joe: How do you then decompress from work and how important to you is that divide between your work and your personal life?

Christina: It’s huge. It’s absolutely huge. I’m a bit of a workaholic and my husband is very good about keeping me centred. He waits till there’s a point then it’s nah you’re done. I don’t care what’s left and he’ll just say pencils down. So he’ll just say pencils down, but I know that’s me and he’s basically giving me permission to be like you’ve done enough today. You can just walk away from it.

I surround myself with people who make me laugh. That’s the best thing I can have in my life that helps me decompress. People who don’t take themselves too seriously. I find that’s an energy I immediately gravitate towards because it immediately is, I’m not curing cancer. It’s not and so it’s okay, the work can wait for 24 hours.

Joe: It’s very easy to lose that perspective, isn’t it? It’s good to work hard, obviously, and everything like that but if you don’t get this social post written today, if you don’t finish this report until tomorrow morning, is that really the end of the work? It can feel like that, can’t it? It really can feel like, I need to get this finished. But having an absolute finish point, and by the way, I am adopting that for my wife, that pencil’s down there.

Christina: Do it, do it.

Joe: Because that is adorable. What a lovely way to say it.

Christina: I absolutely love it.

Joe: Come on, that’s it now. Let’s go and make dinner or something. Amazing! If you had to give one piece of advice to the listeners of the Essential B2B podcast right now, what is that one top tip you’d like people to take away?

Christina: Give yourself grace. It’s been a really long three, three and a half years for many of us. We are still punishing ourselves for things that we didn’t control or couldn’t control. I think that’s also a reason why so many of us are burned out and exhausted and tired and also have imposter syndrome on top of that. We’re burning ourselves out, but then when we look at what we’ve accomplished, we’re like, nope, still not good enough. You just have to give yourself grace. Got to give yourself grace.

Joe: It’s a lovely sentiment. Just to touch on the imposter syndrome. Bizarrely, it’s come up a lot on the Essential B2B.

Christina: Not surprised!

Joe: I heard something that really put it in perspective for me, in terms of imposter syndrome. I was listening to a podcast, and it was funny enough it was with a musician and he said he plays in orchestras. He gets imposter syndrome all the time but then he said if you’re an imposter why do you keep getting asked back? Why are you still employed? Why are you still in that position if you don’t really know what you’re doing? That is completely recontextualized how I think about things like that. Because I think imposter syndrome, we’ve all experienced it to some sort of extent but that is exactly how I’m going to internalise it from now on.

Christina: Oh, 100%. I think it’s also a symptom of caring so much because you get to a point where if you are passionate enough about the work that you do that you want to protect it from frauds, even if you yourself are a fraud. I also think there’s this understanding of, especially in professionals, as professionals, we’ve gotten to a point where our entire life is essentially like different sprints.

For me, I find that imposter syndrome always hits me hardest after a win. I feel like on cloud nine for a good 10-15 minutes and then that voice in my back in the back of my head is like, it’s not good enough. But I think it comes down to, we’ve gotten to the point where it’s like finish the sprint, launch the campaign, celebrate for 5 to 15 minutes, next sprint.

So I think it’s a mixture of those two things. We care so much, we want to protect it, but we also are in this rote process of next sprint, what’s next?

Joe: Absolutely.

Christina: So we take that little cupcake, we’ve got that little cupcake and we’re like, and we’re done and the win doesn’t exist anymore. Sadly, but it’s a shame.

Joe: Yeah, it’s a shame. Christina Garnett, thank you so much for joining me for the Essential B2B Podcast today.

Christina: Thank you so much for having me. It was great.