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The Art of Influencer Marketing: Lisa Hackbarth's Strategies Revealed on Tea Time

Kerry Guard • Thursday, November 9, 2023 • 61 minutes to listen

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Lisa Hackbarth

Lisa Hackbarth is a professional marketer with a unique background in photography. For seven years, she pursued her passion for photography while raising her son. This allowed her the flexibility to work around her husband's schedule and spend quality time with her family. However, as her son grew older and her husband returned to school, Lisa decided to transition back into the corporate world and pursue a more stable career. She reentered the field of b to b marketing and slowly phased out of photography. Despite this transition, Lisa still cherishes the memories and connections she made as a photographer. She often sees people sharing the pictures she took of them on social media, and occasionally receives requests to resume her photography work. Lisa's journey reflects her commitment to both her family and professional growth, showcasing her ability to adapt and thrive in different fields.


Welcome to a brand new episode of Tea Time with Tech Marketers! In this episode, we have a special guest, Lisa Hackbarth, joining our host Kerry Guard to dive deep into the world of marketing and influencers.

Lisa, an expert in B2B SaaS tech marketing, shares insights from her vast experience in the industry, including her time as a professional photographer and her recent transition into starting her own marketing consulting business. From the importance of repetitive processes to the value of measurement and utilizing advanced tools, Lisa provides valuable advice for tech marketers.

Tune in as they discuss the challenges of running a business, the role of influencers, and the power of thought leaders in today's marketing landscape. Don't miss out on this fascinating conversation filled with practical tips and inspiring stories from a true marketing leader. Let's get brewing with Tea Time with Tech Marketers!


Kerry Guard: Hello. I'm Kerry Guard, and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders. Welcome back to the show. Excited you're here as always. If you are here with us in this moment, Trying to find this little time to get people on and situated because the beautiful thing about being Live as we get to see who's here and answer your questions and have this more be less about Lisa and I hang out and more about a community of people trying to understand the topic and digging into it. So If you're here with us, please say hello. Let us know you've joined. Even if you're joining late, that's cool.

Chime on in. And, and Please ask all the questions, not all the land, so we can make sure you can leave feeling like you know how to go do this thing Because you have an expert here and you should lean into that. It's gonna be awesome. I had a similar conversation with Brian Grove a few weeks back. If you listen to that conversation and have questions, this is a great opportunity to bring those to Lisa and I. It's also an, you know, the difference between Brian and Lisa is that Brian Spoke from a researcher lens. I talk to a bunch of people. This is how they approach it, where we're gonna talk to an expert who actually does this thing.

So it's, similar but different in terms of the conversation we're gonna have, and we want your questions, so bring it. Bring it.

Speeking of being live. Lisa. Yeah. Welcome.

Lisa Hackbarth: Thank you. Thanks so much. I'm excited to be here.

Kerry Guard: So excited to have you. Usually, I do this like, this is Lisa and this is her background. But really, at the end of the day, you do a better job of saying that. So tell us your story, Lisa. What do you do, and how did you get there?

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. Well, at first, I was a little intimidated by you calling me an expert. But I did listen to Last week when you and Bryan were talking about, you know, 10000 hours, and then I literally, like, got out of calculate well, opened the calculator app on my computer, let's be real, And did the math, and I was, like, 5 years, give or take. Okay. Alright. Put that down. Here we go. I don't know everything, so I've been doing it.

Kerry Guard: Yeah. 10,000 it's true. It's true. 10000 hours. So, talk to us about those 10000 hours and what you've been doing in the last 5 years to get you from point a to point.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. That's a good place to start. So I think yeah. Just I mean, the quick, I guess Cliff's notes version of my my, career. I started out in marketing, from college, you know, right after college. And then kind of did that, you know, the the the out of school thing where you're, like, figuring out what you want to do. But I was lucky enough to kind of jump into a Sales and marketing support role. So I really have liked it from the start.

It's hot out there. I'm over it.

Kerry Guard: Oh, amen, sister, about that. I did wedding photography. This is cool, and and I'm good and fulfilled Yeah. And moving on. Yes.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. Us. Yeah. So then, when I got back fully into marketing, I got Kind of into the b to b SaaS tech space around 2015. Although looking back, I was like, it really feels like it has been, like, 20 years. Because I think it's we joke about it being, like, b two b tech SaaS world is, like, dog years, you know, in marketing. So I'm like, Well, how many years does that sound like? It feels like 50 years probably in, in that world. Yeah.

Kerry Guard: It's true. It moves so fast. Trevor, hello. We Got Trevor Van Worten with us. Aw. Wanna call that out?

Lisa Hackbarth:  Trevor. Yes. He intro ed us, I think.

Kerry Guard: He did. But, oh, So grateful for that. Alright. So, you did photography for a bit. You got back into the SaaS world. And then Yep. Where are you today? What are you folks?

Lisa Hackbarth:  I've worked for I mean, since I've kind of gotten into the tech world, I've I've worked for companies that have man run ad tech, low code app dev, RPA, so robotic process automation, intelligent automation, cloud data, ETL. So that's kind of like my world. And Now, you know, this far in, I finally feel like I'm sort of understanding it, so which is good. And, So I think, I can I guess jumping now to what I'm doing now? So I was I was part of a big layoff, this spring. And so, 5 days later, I decided I was gonna just go ahead and launch my own marketing consulting business. And so that has been going great so far, other than Kind of like what we talked about with photography. Well, I don't know if we talked about it. But part of what I didn't love about photography is that you're like managing your your own marketing and finance and, You know, everything.

Everything. So I'm, yeah, kind of like, do I like all these hats? Or might I be interested in Going back to Yeah. Full time, eventually. We'll see. We'll see. But I am also giving myself a minute because I'm like, every time you do something new, it's always hard to start. So, You know, let's give it a minute, see how we like it, see if we can get in the groove. So that's where I'm at.

Kerry Guard: I also feel like you probably learned so much from owning your business as a photographer So today, like, running a photography company isn't just about taking pretty pictures, y'all. Let me tell you. It's not that That's like a fraction of the job. There's so much that goes into getting the work. Mhmm. Could like, tracking down tracking down the work and then sustaining the work and then actually doing the like, there's all this work to To you before even doing the work, it's yes. Finance, sales, and the product all before you actually take a photograph.

Lisa Hackbarth:  It's Yeah.

Kerry Guard:  Wild. And it'll Yeah. It's so much fun business orchestration that you figure out. So it sounds like you get to merge the world's marketing and knowing how to run a business.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. Well, it actually it is funny because I feel like after I got out of photography and got into back into marketing, it was, like, You know, hindsight is always 2020, and I'm, like, I wish I knew then what I know now from working with all these really smart people. And now I'm like, I started my own business. I'm like, oh, I guess I get to take all that stuff that I learned and do it now. So it's a lot of it, Like, you know so one of the things that it was, like, I wish I would have known then, like, how to let go of the things I didn't like to do and hire those out. But you kinda it's like because you're like, I have to trust that if I pay someone to do the work I don't wanna do, that more of the work I want is gonna come to me. So that's the space I'm in now is just and then also, like, do I wanna manage people, and do I wanna you know? So then there's those decisions of, like, do I wanna make it Kind of an agency model. Anyway, we could get all into that.

But, yeah, it's just a lot of learning, but it's really good of how I've been able to learn from The different spaces and bring them together. Yeah.

Kerry Guard: We'll take that offline. Yeah. I got you. It's cool. It's cool. I've lived both worlds. It's cool. Let's talk about a challenge you're currently facing.

So you're solopreneur, you're on this cusp of do I, don't I, but you You are doing work right now. So 2 questions for you. 1 is, what work are you currently doing, and what's one challenge you're currently facing in that work?

Lisa Hackbarth: Let's see. I mean, I think it's, like, just what we talked about where I'm trying to balance the, you know, wearing all the hats plus Getting into having multiple clients. So it's just like, trying to figure out how to have the brain space for those. And, you know, I think I have a lot of learning to do about Wearing more of a fractional, leader role. And then also, I think, what was the other thing I was thinking of? Yeah. Just kind of how to how to manage all that. Oh, and then how to be more of a consultant versus a doer because I tend to like my natural tendency is to get into the weeds and wanna be like, let me just do it for you. And it's like, That's not actually the work that I like.

Just sometimes it's easier than having to explain it or train someone. So So that's where I'm at kind of as as the challenge, I think, right now.

Kerry Guard: Yeah. We have something called SOPs, which is, operating procedures. Service operating procedures. Right? So, like, getting down, how do I actually do this thing? If I was to step By step process it, what would that look like? Loom is your friend. Loom is everybody's friend. Trevor knows. Loom is your friend. Train all the people on all of the things because it it does help you scale, and but it is hard to it's so Yeah.

Lisa Hackbarth: Well and I think too the way that I stepped into this consulting role was and I've heard this from tons of people that I've talked to, As I said, hey, everyone. I'm launching a marketing consulting business. And it's kind of like when you sit at a table with 10 people and say, what is account based marketing to you? You'll get 10 different answers. So when you put it out to the world and say, I'm doing marketing, you get 10 different things that people want or need. You know? And so then I'm kind of Saying, well, do I take the business because you wanna work with me? Or do I say, no, I don't really do that? You know? So some of it's kinda figuring out now, you know, how do I Figure out what is it that I wanna offer and then productize it versus always kind of being in the space of trying to figure it out. So yeah.

Kerry Guard: I kinda love the world. I'm sorry. We're gonna tangent here for a bit because we are. Because it is this weird transition that you have to make from being a figure it outer.

To to knowing them what works and then being able to train other folks. But with the way that the marketing world is moving So fast right now. And, Trevor, I'm gonna come back to your question because I think that's an excellent one, and I wanna know more about that too. But I think in In the way that marketing is moving so quickly that we all end up being these figure it outers, but there are these tried and true Situations that do become the SOPs and then you can train other folks, but it is is a delicate balancing act. So How are you, like, approaching these things from are you still are you still living do you wanna be a figure it outer? Or do You like, I'm a figure it out because I have to be, but I, like, really wanna stop being. Like, what's sort of your feeling on Going back to what you know, but knowing what you need to, like, that next step you need to take.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. I I mean, I think it's I'm right in the middle of figuring that out. Like, literally, today's shower thoughts We're, like, about this. You know, about how do, you know, how do I kind of re and I had a great conversation with another marketer who kind of launched into the same world, at the same time that I did this spring. And so I was really helpful to bounce some ideas. And Some of it's just, like, I gotta come back out of the weeds, and I gotta think back to when I started working with a client. What did I Tell them we were gonna do, and then we've kind of, like, lost track of that. So it's like, we gotta reset.

We gotta come back to this. And then so the the builder, doer kind of question was, I think it's getting people to kind of trust that you know what you're doing because some of it has been like, That didn't work immediately. Let's try something else. And you kind of have to balance the, like, you gotta give it a minute. We also gotta do what we said we were gonna do. But I think for me, personally, I really like being the I was actually gonna talk to you about this because I thought of this as, like, a random other question that we could Talk about because I saw you just posted about Ted Lasso. And so one of my questions I was thinking through is, like and I was gonna ask you. If you could be any of the characters on the show, like who would you like? Who are you closest to being? Do you Have an idea off the top of your head which character you're most like?

Kerry Guard: I'm  mostly Ted. I'm that, like, that tried and true believe mentality. I can't play football to save my life, but I can See who can, and I'm gonna put those players in motion and go team. Got a little Roy Kent in me in those moments of, like, oy. Right? Like, those, like, those, those

Lisa Hackbarth: Let me get off the bleep button. Hold on.

Kerry Guard: Yeah. Totally. And then I also got a little Jamie Tart in me of, like, when I can see it's like total football. Right? And I can see the pitch, and I can see where all the players are moving, and I know how to, I'm not a scorer, but I know how to pass the ball really well. And so, like, I got a little I got a little bit of those 3, I think, mixture. How about you?

Lisa Hackbarth: That's healthy. I have been thinking about it just, actually, today. Probably the closest one, Not in all facets, but beard coach beard is probably my one that I most am like, if I had to say, you know, who who I'm similar to. And I think it's because and it's kind of a funny way to say it. But my whole life, I've always been a really good number 2. 

I yeah. Like, I'm a good I like someone else to kind of make the big decisions. And then I'm like, I agree or I disagree. And, you know, if I agree, we come together, I'm with you, and then let me go do it. So I'm usually the person that's like, okay, in the leadership, You know, head of the company discussion. We're trying to do this. And then I'm like, okay. Let's go.

We gotta do that. Let's figure out what are the tasks and steps and teams we gotta pull together to get those things to happen. So I think right now why I'm feeling a little off kilter is because I'm going into companies, and I'm having to be the marketer. And I'm used to being in a role that's, like, on a team going for something that we've all already agreed on versus, like, what's the plan. So Yeah.

Kerry Guard: That's a totally different it is like being coach Beard trying to step into being lassoed. Like, that is You know what? Here's here's the reframe I will give you whether it works for you or not. Danny wrote, you are totally Danny. Football for life. Yes. Football is life. Yes, Trevor. I love that.

Kerry Guard: Here's a reframe I will serve and you take it or leave it, but it feels like you need to be less of a coach beard and more of a Roy, not from a The world's ending and I hate everything, but more from right. He, like, he takes he he Takes Jamie and cultivates him. Right? And allows him to be a better player. But more so that he's gearing up to be Ted. Right?

They never quite serve it up that way in the show, but, like, that was always felt like this directory that they were gonna bring Roy in to essentially take over for for Ted. And I think that's like he is the number 2 for a while, but not all not forever. Where beer is always gonna be a number 2. We love beard for that, but, like, You know, he's always be blowing the whistle and, like, just repeating Ted where Roy is stepping into that role, and I think

Lisa Hackbarth: I really like that. And, actually, it's really funny because there's something in characters that are, like, just brashly Straightforward with what they think and what they wanna say. And I've always admired that. And I've never you know, it's been like the, Oh, I wish I could be more like that. So yeah. Okay. I'll own that. F, yeah.

Kerry Guard: This is after hours. We can we can own it. I love it. Especially, if you're gonna Roy it out, man. That's amazing. I think that's a really hard challenge. Right? That's a that's a huge it took me years To move through that, I was number 2. I was the COO at my organization before I became CEO.

I was at number 2. I saw the vision of what was trying to be done and then I could figure out the players and the motions then put in place to make it happen. Then I was like, no. Like, I can see the bigger picture. There's this moment that sort of happened for me where I was like, oh, I can see how these things all need to fit together and I need to step in to make it all happen. But I wasn't ready until I was ready and Mhmm. You know, I think it's just being open to that. I look yes. s transition. It's hard. It's going from, like, Marketing manager, VP to like CFO, like that's a huge leap. That's a big leap.

That's fair. Let's talk about influencer marketing. I had a great conversation. We've you brought this up with me in my prep. So thank you for doing my prep for me. That was fantastic. I had a conversation with Brian Grover a few weeks ago about I've been having multiple conversations throughout my Show these last few weeks about influence for marketing in in different ways. Brian and I specifically talked about it as a channel which is what we're gonna talk about today, but I wanna be really clear in In setting the stage for this in that, Brian says in the onset of our conversation, he never has actually done this.

He has had multiple conversations with folks. He's done a ton of research to figure out how to approach this, and now he's writing a book about it. But now I get to sit down with an expert who's, like, done it. So we get to come at it from a different angle. And I think it's really helpful as we all think about what influencer influencer marketing could mean for our brands. Trevor and I have a ton of conversations about this. Actually, Trevor and I Trevor's gonna be on my show y'all. Get ready.

Yes. November, Trevor Van Wharton, come to Tea Time. It's gonna be great. And one of the things we're talking about is how to position sort of that evangelist Influencer within the organization to be that, to be that Jamie Tartt of it all. Right? So I'm calling back Ted Lasso because that's just what's gonna happen at the show as we, yeah, touch into. It's gonna be great. Into touch. It's great.

So for influencer marketing for you, Lisa, the Brian conversation happened, that was great, but Let's talk about how it relates for you, and if if there's repetition that's okay, like, there's gonna be overlap, but it's great to hear from multiple perspectives. What's influencer marketing mean from your perspective?

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. I think, so The I think for me, the work that I've done is a little bit different than when someone says influencer marketing. I think you guys kinda talked about that. Like, b to c is definitely its own thing For me, and I think what we're talking about specifically and I don't really know what to call it because it's sort of it has elements of influencer. But, like, The programs that I've run as an example, we worked with a a a company, an organization, That was more of, I would say, like, an analyst firm. So they sat in the space that we were in. They were they talked about data, cloud, cloud architecture, moving to the cloud, that kind of stuff. And so we ended up partnering with, Kevin Petrie is his name.

Eckerson, shout out. We love you. So super smart guy, very knowledgeable about the industry. And, we partnered with him to create some content. So Mostly, it was white papers. And then, of course, you know, the marketing campaigns thing that you do. We created some derivative content. We worked with him on a webinar.

I'm trying to think. We, I think we had him come speak at an event. So it's, you know, kind of, a little bit different than the, hey, just go and talk about the The company or the industry or the topic put it on social media. It was like we really partnered with him to create content. And I was thinking about To how, normally, as a company, we create tons of content. But it's like we have all these kind of anonymous people internally that are Doing the doing research, talking to people, and then you're putting it out as you know, this is like from the company. And I think the little Tiny difference is that you're actually basing some adding some clout behind the content based on who's saying it. So it's like, Ideally, you're partnering with people who are known in the industry, have some of their own audience that you can kind of audience jack or, you know, take advantage of.

And then that they're putting their seal on it where if they're a trusted name, hopefully, you know, that's adding to the value of the of whatever it is they're saying. And then I think too, as long as it's presented in the right way, it's it's like People trust them, because they're a third party who knows what they're talking about. And then they are talking about your space, usually, you know, creating a guide or you know, hey, if you're Searching for this technology, here are the questions you should be asking a vendor, and here's what you need to be thinking about. And here's how you should Build your team to support this new initiative. And then, by the way, there is this technology called, you know, x y z, and they can help you do that. So they're one of the options. So, yeah. Yeah.

That's kind of the a little bit I think of the the nuance, and in I guess what we're talking about more than the, you know, someone that you know who's just gonna be posting on social and that kind of thing.

Kerry Guard: Oh, good question from Trevor. Audiences are fickle though. Are the thought leader promotion posts viable for influencer.

Marketing. Well, and I think I think that's where there's that nuance, where it's like, is this actually influencer marketing or is it something else? Is it thought leader? Is it, you know, Yeah. Is there a difference, I guess? So I Is there a place where we draw the line?

Yeah. So here's the line I will draw. Just agree, disagree. Let's hash it out here, Lisa. Influencer marketing for me is an outside person who feels one way about the topic. They're probably not not always I shouldn't say that. Thalia for me comes from inside the organization, In one way or another versus influencer, which can, you know, as Brian and I talked about could come from inside the organization, but They sort of set up their own audience and and, like, who they are and what they talk about outside, and then they come inside and then talk about it. So It Mhmm.

It it is like a slippery slope, but I feel like influencer is more taking the brand idea and then launching it versus being inside the brand, cultivating it from the ground up and then bringing it to fruition from a thought leadership standpoint, trying to change someone's mind. It's Yeah. It different, but the same just of who's saying it.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. And I think and that's one of the the things that I was thinking about is, like, kind of who who is the person. And I think it's someone who is a lot more like an analyst or a Industry strategic thinker, more of a consultant. So they could go in, and if someone said, this is the problem we're trying to solve, they would say, You know, you you this is the approach you should take. And maybe here's like a handful of the, choices of the tech that you should check out or people you should talk to. And then I was also gonna say, one of the things I think that makes, these sort of influencers or analysts The most successful is, that I've seen I've seen a correlation between the higher more the more snarky they are, the more the audience trusts them. So it's but it's kind of a prickly thing that you kinda wanna work with with, snarky people, but then you're also sort of, like, afraid of what they're gonna say. It's like a fine line.

Kerry Guard: No. But that's true. Because if they're willing to push back a little bit, And they're willing to stake the like stake their claim of, like, what's true for them, what's not, but then still represent a brand. I think that does absolutely build that trust, and I think that's The beauty of being an influencer versus working for the company. Right? If you're working for the company, chances are you're not really gonna push That line where if you're outside of the company, being brought in to analyze, oh, man, I haven't heard that word either, like calling an influencer an analyst. Tell me more about, like, that language and how you see those 2 things, It's both the same but also separate. I mean, they're somewhat different ideas doing similar things.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. And I think and based on some of the comments that I'm seeing from Trevor, My opinion on this is that if you you need to find people who either have done it or they know so much, they really know the audience, they can be in their shoes. And I don't know if this is just repeating kind of what I was saying, but yeah, that they're really just sort of, Someone who's looking at the industry as a whole and trying to understand the space. Like, one of the people that I follow, is the Marketing AI Institute. So, You know, as a marketer, that's someone I follow. And I don't know that I would necessarily call them an analyst, but, it's Paul and Mike are the 2 main kind of people that are just talking. And it's like they're just staying up on, like, what's the news? What's the latest, AI tech that's coming out? How are marketers using it? And so like, 100%, I trust what they're saying. And then I also see them partnering, like they get sponsorships.

So they're kind of, you know, on the side being like, hey, guys. Check out this sponsor. And, you know, what they're offering, we think, is pretty cool, honestly. And, yes, they're paying us, you know. So it's that's the hard thing. And and really, the people that we've worked with, you know, and Kevin in particular has said, Yes, I want to share what you guys are doing in your perspective. And I really need to put my audience first. So I'm not going to say anything that I don't believe is true.

I'm not gonna say you're better than someone else if I don't know it. But I think it's just like being able to get on their radar. And then my Goal of the programs, really and this is one of the things as far as, like, a tip that I would say to bring to your organization is that if you do start partnering with someone Like this, and maybe we'll get to it when we're talking about kind of how you get started with them. But it's like the organization needs to understand how important it is because it's like, I think one of the best it's almost like a PR type move too because it's like, you know, if I can get an analyst to use my company name, Sort of like how we say Kleenex instead of tissues. You know, like, if if you can get someone to kinda say, if you're trying to solve this problem, like, you need a x y z company, and they're, like, using your name as the generic. You know? Mhmm.

Kerry Guard: It's pretty magical that you make that happen.

Yeah. That's like when you know you've made it. Yeah. That your name becomes an an adjective. Brand name match tip. Yes. That's the goal skull. Let's talk about, activating influencers, and analysts.

So the first thing is, where do you find these folks? Especially analysts is really curate I'm really curious about that because when Brian and I talked, it was more about influencers and combing LinkedIn and combing.

Like Slack channels and communities. But for For finding people who are more analytical in the space, in the industry of looking at your product objectively, That seems like a different avenue in terms of alignment. So where do you find those folks?

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. I think, One of them, I would say, is ask the people on your team because, usually, whoever is at your company, you know, product marketing, sales, you know, kind of all the the folks on your own team are going to know who those people are in the space. And so, you know, you'll probably get 80% of the way there just asking around because that's who they're paying attention to too, because it's, like, whoever's Talking about the space and talking about your competition. And then the other one is, like, pay attention to who's speaking at at, Events. Like, they're probably gonna be giving keynotes and hello? Guests. So So they're gonna be giving keynotes and that kind of thing. And then some of it's just, you know, searching for content like you're gonna be putting out. So it's like, can I look for other white papers and see if there's a byline or see, you know, see who's putting those out?

Kerry Guard: One program we did a long time ago, Long time ago, it was ages ago. We did it with VMware. We did an influencer program with Twitter. It will always be Twitter. My heart opens up Twitter. It was really, really cool. It was, like, the 1st influencer program we did. It was for they were launching a new product, and they needed beta testers.

And so we did 2 things. The first thing is we found this amazing group, they were called VMUG. They were like a dedicated VMware community. Before communities were cool and everybody was doing them, There was a VMUG community, and so we were able to somehow tap into them through the magic that was one of my, employees, Adam Bullock, you magical human you. And and so we did a email newsletter blast to them that said, hey. We're doing this program. Is there anybody interested in being a beta tester, you can beta test the product as long as you do a, Twitter write up for us on how it's going and the people with the most we gamified it. And we said the people with the most shares and the most likes and the most comments would then win a chance to be interviewed by one of the biggest VMware CTOs or whatever.

And it was crazy, like, between the magic of tapping into the VMOG community, but then also tapping into their, their audiences, like, because they all had individual audiences too on Twitter, Like, it exploded. It was wild. And it was my 1st experience with, like, the power of, this Like, community and influencer. Mhmm. The other magic with it, it was like this trifecta, well, I'll never recreate again, my wildest dreams, is that they were all experts in the field. So when you're talking about that analyst role of like, we were giving people an out, right, like when we when we messaged the community, we weren't signaling anybody out and saying you need to go do this. It was like, hey. If there's anybody in this community who has the expertise in this thing and wants to beta test this product, and also get out on Twitter and get some clout about it.

Clout was a thing back then, that k l o u t. Let us know, and we'd love to have you part of this program. So it was this amazing thing that happened. I haven't been able to recreate it. I don't maybe because I haven't had the right client or the right product or the right whatever, but it feels like that's sort of what you get to do on a Regular basis, content, community, influencer, People who are experts in their field who get to, sort of, decide how they show up here. Like, is that

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. Yeah. I think I mean and for me and I was gonna kinda talk to you about sometimes it is very a lot more kind of project based, where We're just kind of, hey. Can we work with you on this 1 white paper and, you know, maybe do a webinar? And then it sort of time bound, so we have to take advantage of that, amount of time. But then sometimes it's like, hey, that went really well. Let's keep in touch with this person. And next quarter, we'll do the same thing because we had really great results. And then, You know, before you know it, they're, like, coming to our event and standing at our booth.

And, you know, we're, like, tapping into their audience, and their audience knows who we are because they Say our name all the time, you know, so it's just sort of this nice, like, it just kind of keeps, you know, whereas the the 4th program is gonna be exponentially better than the first just because we have all Momentum behind it.

Kerry Guard: Trevor does a really great job of this, and and, actually, that's how we got connected too is one of the tricks, The LinkedIn tricks and tips I took from Trevor, is stacking people who are who I've had connection with and have, like, even with this post, right, when I wrote about it, I tagged people who I had similar conversations with to bring them in. And there's something magical about bringing folks together too who have similar viewpoints in terms of, that in a that influence analyst point of view. I love this idea of thinking about influencers as analysts. I can't get over it and I'm not going to and we're gonna move on. It's gonna be great. Let's talk about what influencers do. So I mentioned, like, they wrote these tweets and they got the word out. You've mentioned content A bit when you activate the analyst influencer community in terms of bringing them into a brand, what is it you're asking them to do?

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. So I think, I kinda mentioned it, but a few of the ones that we have started is the white paper, or a buyer's guide, or usually it's so when I'm thinking about content creation, and I know some people hate it, because they hate Gating content, but I'm like, it's we're sort of in this world. And so we we play the game, because we need leads, because that's what we're better on, you know, that kind of thing. But it's like, you know, but also I'm very, like, I'm an empathetic person. If anybody knows the Enneagram, I'm a 9. So I find it very easy to put myself in the shoes of my audience. And for so for me, it's Self in the shoes of my audience. And for so for me, it's like, I don't want to put anything behind the gate unless Someone not necessarily that they would pay for it, but it's like that I'm providing them value.

So do I put a demo behind the gate? No. Because that's me wanting to say something to you. But if it's like, hey, here, if you're in the market for this solution, here are all these questions that we have curated and the stuff you need to think about. And you know, it's just it's like a helpful thing. So I usually am thinking about what can we create that would bring value to the audience and not just be like, look how great we are, you know, but teaching them something. So a lot of it is that kind of content or in that realm of, you know, being helpful. And then, you know, so thought leadership kind of stuff. But then we're also asking them participate on a webinar, a podcast, collaborate on short videos for social.

So, like, one of the things that I try to do every time is if we're On a prep call where, maybe we're getting close to launching the if it's a white paper, or we're doing the prep call for a webinar, Where I'll say, hey, can we record this part of the call? And you just do like a very quick, you know, hi, this is, you know, I'm this person, and this is What I do when I'm gonna be doing this webinar with these people, you know, that kind of thing. So it's like, kind of getting them to do, like, super low lift things that will add value to the campaign as a whole. Speaking at events of like, for example, you know, we're gonna be at the AWS Summit. And this person is gonna be there not with us, but on their own, like, hey, can we pay you extra to come to our booth and be available from 2 to 3? And then we promote that to To get people to come just talk to the person in the booth. Obviously, if we can get them to speak during our session, even better. We're hosting a happy hour, can you come and just be there? And that's a draw for people to come to the happy hour. And then, you know, we'll Pay you to be there, basically. But you could say whatever you want when you're there.

It's not a commercial for us. It's really just, you know, giving people the opportunity to talk with you. And since you know about us, some people might I want to talk to you, you know, and then we'll also likely have customers there who can reinforce, you know, if they really like our product, they're going to talk to you, which reinforces What you believe about our product. So it's kind of this creates a symbiotic relationship, I guess, by having them more involved with customers, our team, that kind of thing.

Kerry Guard: So the the folks that you bring on to be influencers, do they actually use, I mean, it sounds like they have to really know The products, if they're either writing content or out there out there speaking about it or do do they just get demos? Are they users? Are they Do you find these folks as super fans of the product? Like, I don't think you could sort of just knock on someone's door who happens to be an expert from the space, but has never used the product and expect them to, like, walk into an event and talk it up.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. And I think that's the and that's where it does get tricky to find the right people. And, you know, because it's a lot of times practitioners aren't the ones that are out there speaking and vice versa, you know, so it's like, you have to find that little magical unicorn of a person Yeah. Who has, you know, done the thing and uses the tech. And, Like, there's, I don't know if the audience is familiar with Corey Quinn is somebody that's coming to mind. He's really involved with AWS in that space. And he's definitely a user, and he writes about his experience. And he writes about AWS just released this, and this is good, or this is bad, or you know, that kind of thing.

And it's, Like kind of no holds bar. But he's definitely a user. And so if you explain, you know, if maybe we're in an adjacent space, he'll get in there and try it. But then other people that we work with more on the analyst level, just yeah, kind of have the broader understanding. So Some of it's like, and that's part of, I think, the activation, which I was gonna say is when, you know, we're bringing someone in To start to work with them, how important it is to get your CTO, your product marketers, like people in the company that are not only in the weeds, so they are, you know, working on the product and know it, but then they also understand where it fits in the market. So it's like your team That's you know, it's the same exact process, basically, as when you're talking with Gartner, to prep them and, you know, educate them and that kind of thing. It's you kinda have to shift that mindset to, you know, we want to have this meeting in the minds to make sure this person understands where we sit in the space, And then, yeah, how we differentiate and how you know? And the and the why behind why we created what we did, because a lot of times that speaks to the differentiation even down to, like, the values because it's like what a company believes and what they're trying to accomplish is Impacted a lot of times by what the values of the company are. And so it's, you know, kinda just getting them a little bit entrenched as much as you can, Yeah.

In the in the onboarding. But, yeah, getting them to really get your your vibe.

Kerry Guard: Well, they wanna feel prepared. As well as their Imagine they wanna feel Heard about being able to speak to it and and speak to it intelligently. Who's responsible for Finding the right folks and and then onboarding them, bringing them inside marketing is that to see, like, who? This feels like a tall, like this this unicorn you're 2 are talking about, like, is it anybody who happens to come across this person who would be a perfect fit or is it marketing or some sort of marketing, arms of going out and being really intentional finding this person. Like, Does influencer marketing happen because you're intentional about it and you go after it or is it more something that like, oh, this could be interesting because we have this right person who could do this thing. That's unusual. Yes.

Lisa Hackbarth: That's the easy answer. But no, I think I mean, I've seen it work both ways where We sat down and strategized, like, who can we work with? And let's go Google and find people and research. But then there's also like, You know, such and such that's in charge of product, and they're out speaking and their customers. And, you know, so it's like, they have those connections. And then we can tap into, like, hey, can you be our go between, make that intro, see what how we could collaborate with this person, you know, and and hopefully make it like a, you know, you scratch our back, we'll scratch yours like, you know, that That's the the ideal is when you already have some sort of foundational relationship. But yeah, I think I mean, it's both. And a lot of times, You know, even if there is already that introduction, the role that I'm in is usually the program manager or facilitator of the relationship. So it's Like, I'm saying, let me set up time with you, talk to your assistant, and then, get together on the call.

But I'm, like, prepping my people. Like, this is what this call is 4, and here's what I'm gonna need you to tell them. And then here's where we're trying to go with that. So it's kind of, You know, take making the most of that relationship. So it's I think in my role, it's it's definitely the putting on the Program manager hat, and I've got my tasks in Asana and where we're trying to get to and what we're trying to produce. And so just making making all those connections To get whatever wherever we're trying to go, put putting the boots on the ground to make it happen. Persona.

Kerry Guard: It's the best. It's the best. God, you said so many things in there that I like one is I wanna unpack for now. I just wanna be cognizant of time. Let's talk about how we support influencers. So we, you know, one thing I mentioned in our prep call And in previous conversations is that, like, this isn't the end all and be all of the thing that you wanna do. You can't just show up one day and you go, you know what, we're gonna stop all of our other marketing efforts, and we're gonna focus on influencer, go team. Like, it is 1 channel, part of many.

Oh, Trevor, we'll teach you the ways that'll be okay. Asana asana's magical. It's magical. But what other programs have you seen in your experience of like, okay, we stand up the influencer system and process. We got our influencer going. And then what are you running around in terms of supporting that influencer from other marketing channel efforts?

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. I think for me so I definitely my background and my sweet spot before going out on my own was The campaign manager role. So I was super lucky early in my career in b two b to kind of work at a company that started out with 200 employees and, like, 10 or 15 people in marketing. And by the time I left 4 years later, we had a 100 people in marketing and 1200 in the company. So it just I got to, like, be aboard this rocket ship. And when I first came in, you know, I'm wearing I'm marketing ops. I'm doing emails, I'm doing campaigns, I'm doing ads, kind of all of it. And then, you know, as we started to be able to hire, my manager was amazing.

I was like, do you not wanna do? Let's hire that person. And so I really no. So I got to really, like, hone in on The fact that I really love campaign management, I always say I love being that hub who's kind of, you know, as I described, like working with the people creating the content and then working with the team to Get it on the website, social, you know, PR, just getting it out there. So it's kind of but it's this person that sits in the middle and is like the air traffic controller, I guess. So I think Yes. So that's how I think about this is, that that's 1 piece. Like, whatever they're creating, whether it's The actual content they're creating, whether they're speaking at an event, it's kind of like this is the message and the person who's gonna say it. And then I yeah.

I'm surrounding that and getting that out They're on all the different channels. So, I mean, I don't wanna get too in the weeds, but, yeah, it's kind of all the campaign okay. So, I mean, it's the the campaign activities that we do for, I would say, like, standard white papers and webinars and stuff where you're, You know, with content I mentioned earlier, we like to create derivative content. So it's you know, can I pull out snippets if it's a webinar? Can I pull out A graph or a chart if it's a white paper and put that on social and say, you know, here's a super interesting statistic? If you wanna read, You know the story around this. Here's the white paper you can go look at, creating blog posts. So there's, you know, a white paper. It's Kind of doing the the teaser or the free version, putting it on the vlog, after a webinar, putting a little bit of the summary of the event and saying, do you wanna go watch that promotion. So it's getting, obviously, people to go want to, fill it out.

And I think we talked about I I kind of I in my brain, I was taught when I started, like, you focus on owned, earned, and paid media. So it's I'm always kind of looking at from the high level, what can we do that we own? What Can we pay for, and what can we earn? And so it's, you know, kinda just I mean, can we create ads and put those up? I'm very I'm a big believer in ABM. So most of the companies I work at have some sort of account based marketing platform. So, you know, we're putting that message in front of those accounts we here about, keeping an eye on activity from the accounts if they're interacting with the content. So I feel like I'm just, like, dumping my Asana list.

Kerry Guard: No. I think that's really helpful because the things that I heard in there that really support influencers is social media. Social media newsletter, are like the top 2 things that, you know, the influencer goes out and does a bunch of things, Whether that's writing or at an event or on a podcast, and then you take that content and you duplicate it multiple ways across social An email, essentially, which I think is what's really helpful. If you can look at, I'm boiling this down, maybe oversimplifying it but I think bubbling it back up, right? We got in the weeds which Great, now let's bubble back up. If you can look at an influencer as an ultimate creator for you, right, who already has an audience, Right. It's coupling those 2 things together, so you've got this beautiful creator who also has an audience who can speak to those folks It's about what it is that you do through the way that they create, and then being able to take whatever it is that they create and Bringing it into your own marketing materials and elevating it that way is a beautiful marketing program that I'm seeing more and more of, but it takes an enormous amount of effort. I mean, you have to have I just talked to David Mundy who's gonna come back on the show. He was on my show years ago.

We've been in contact. The creative him and his team are pumping out at Desirae is just I'm, like, Like, is this AI? Is this photoshopped? Do you have a graphic designer? Like, what are you doing over there? Because, oh my gosh, it is Gorgeous. Right? And so when you have that sort of person who can create that kind of content in a white paper, These beautiful white papers about cybersecurity but marrying it with chess, like, what?

Right? Like, you need to elevate that in a way and get it out in the world that's that Can couple it down and then rebroadcast it in multiple ways, and so I just Yes to all of this, and if you can think about your creators that way, how magical.

Lisa Hackbarth: Yeah. Well and I think and the other piece that I left out is, or didn't say explicitly, I guess, is the loop back to working with that influencer to take advantage of their channel. And then if I already have a team behind me creating stuff off of what they're doing, it's just like getting it into their hands and making it really easy for them to, like, You know, it's it's sort of like you said this. Can you just tell your your audience that you said it? Or, another thing that happened that was really cool and kind of organic was just, like, being on the prep Fall with someone and watching him and, like, the CTO take it up to the industry level, you know, and saying, like, And so they're, like, popcorning on off each other of, like, oh, I'm connecting the dots here. You know? And then for me to summarize that and be like, can you Guys go talk about that on your LinkedIn and just mention each other and then say we're gonna be talking about that more, you know, on this webinar or that kind of so it's like just looking for those little Nuggets and, like, you know, telling someone, like, can you just go talk about that? You know?

Kerry Guard: I think that's so helpful. I also think one one of the powerful things That I don't know that all companies have is that internal influencer, that internal voice. So when you can couple an outside analyst with an inside expert. Oh, my gosh. Magic. Right? And cultivating that. And I love if could get people on my team just go hang out on LinkedIn and talk about their experience and then the expertise they have. Ma'am, would that be? It's It's really hard to do though, especially with practitioners. They're they're a bit gun shy that way. So, what do you say to companies who know they need this thing, They need both, right? They need because I I think that is where, like, some real magic happens. How do you help build internal Influencers.

Lisa Hackbarth: Going off script here. I think it's yeah. It's I think part of it is well, for me, and I know this is, like, the most boring answer, but it's almost like so I have this philosophy. And I know not everyone is on the same page as me, but how, I guess what I've learned over the years and what's, I think, made me really successful is that I just kind of focus on Nailing down my boring processes. And I think we kind of talked about it before. But it's like if I have a template for how I do something every single time, It's not that you do it exactly the same every time, but you don't have to like recreate the wheel every time. And so if I say, Hey, this is a program that we want to do, and here are the steps that we need to do it, then it's just like you can get creative within the little space that you're trying to do. But you don't have to think about what are we gonna do.

It's more like how are we gonna do it, and what are we gonna say, and what's important here. And so that's The mentality I think that I carry to my teams is to say, there's just this task, this, you have to do it. So if you know, Twice a month, you have to come up with something you're doing. But if you kind of know that you have that that task waiting for you, like for me, I have so many things that are like buckets where I need to put things. And one of them that I use that has been amazing is with my teams, like, when I'm Meeting with someone for a 1 on 1. We meet every Monday. Well, as you think of things throughout the week that you wanna talk about, you just put the thing in the bucket. And so for me, like, it's the same as social media.

When I think of an idea, I have a little bucket in Evernote that I go put the idea. So I think if you get your team thinking about, This is what I I need you to produce. Then they're in the shower. They're riding their bike. They're washing the dishes, and they go, oh, I guess I could talk about that.

Kerry Guard: That's where the ideas come from. It's true. That's totally where the ideas come from. I don't get the best ideas when I'm on my bike. I think that's one of the reasons why I love riding my bike, but then I know where to write them down. But that's okay because I love this idea of, you know, having buckets too. I do them in Asana. I have my little my little Clutter board, and I drop ideas on there, and then I make it a task. So I know that I gotta go post it when that happens too. So Evernote, wherever, jot it down, make it happen, y'all.

Lisa Hackbarth: Voice note. Yep.

Kerry Guard: The last question I have for you, Lisa, is around measurement. Right? I always wanna come back to, like, how do you know this thing's been successful? So you have these influencers and analysts that you bring in to help cultivate content and webinars and podcasts, And then we're using that content across social and then having your team bubble it up. But how do you know that that's the right thing to be doing?

Lisa Hackbarth: So I actually love because earlier in the chat, Trevor mentioned dashboards, and, yes, he. So this is the very quick tangent about this was I posted, the one of the standard things I do is I create a deck. So after you know, if I'm running a campaign or a webinar, I have a deck where it's kind of like, here's what we're doing. Here's the timeline, you know, yada yada. But then at the end, I create a dashboard that's just like a visualization or sort of infographic infographic y depending how much time I have. So that's what he's referencing as I had made a I think it was that one. That was a dashboard of my webinar results. And, I think, Oh, and then I also shared I had done the whole deck, and I did a screenshot.

So he was, like, saying he was trying to zoom in and see all everything that I had on there on the the image. But, Yeah. So I think I mean, as far as the what we're measuring, a lot of it's just sort of the standard, you know, if it's a download page, What kind of traffic did we have? How many downloaded it? Can we optimize the landing page to get more downloads? A lot of times, like now, I'm working for some companies that have Some nicer, like, PathFactory or, I'm trying to think of the other one that I use, Folian, which is a competitor, I think of Cirrus. Cirrus is another one. So it's like it instead of PDFs, where people are just filling out a form, and you email the PDF, and you have no idea if they ever look at it. I'm really loving the new tech that allows you to create almost like a white paper, but it's more of a embedded, like landing page experience where it's like an interactive thing. So I'm loving those because you can actually see what people are consuming. And then, you know, it's just more fun.

It's more interactive. And if you're on your phone, you're not, like, trying to zoom and turn and, like, PDF's stuck on your phone. So if I can create an experience that's, like, mobile friendly, you know, and see how people are consuming it, win, win, win. So So that's one of the things that's just kinda shifting your mindset about how you're creating content so that it makes it easier not only for your audience to consume it, But to see if it's working. And then, you know, the standard for webinars, it's like, are people coming? Are they staying? Are they participating. Are they downloading your downloadables? And then outside of those all the standard things you normally measure around a campaign, I think you mentioned it in the prep kind of work is just kind of the sentiment or the key, you know, brand keyword lift. So a lot of times I'm working with, you know, usually it's an internal team who's measuring that already. So just seeing, you know, can we correlate anything around, when we worked with that person.

And then I would say the last 1 is qualitative, where I'm really trying to be super good about I just see huge value in aligning with my sales teams. So making sure That we're formalizing some kind of program, especially just to say, hey, every time you have well, you know, whether it's a discovery call or whatever you call it, Can you ask them how they heard about us? And then making that a field in Salesforce, it's very, you know, just like open field. But just to get that idea of, like, you know, people might have seen ads on Facebook or LinkedIn and not remember, but the thing that stood out and made them wanna call us Might be like, oh, I saw Kevin, at this event, and he had mentioned you, and that's what made me decide to reach out.

Kerry Guard: I think that's really helpful, because at the end of the day, you need to know that it's impacting revenue and there's a lot of correlation things you mentioned, but there's also direct impact, right, From going to an event and then having an open field and writing who you interacted with, I think it's really helpful to give credibility to these because at the end of the day, you can Tell your board member that you got, you know, that you you feel based off of the impression and and keyword lift volume that you've had that that it should have impacted pipeline in this way based off of, you know, percent of, conversion rate optimization on your website, but it's not It's not one to 1.

So there are some nice one to 1 things you mentioned there that I think is really helpful that we you know, having that even that just that drop down list of referral is huge. Huge. Lisa, I can keep going, but we're out of time. I do wanna ask you. This has been so helpful because I feel like it's so much more tangible in terms of how, like, specific things people can go do and how they can bring influencers in from finding them from an analytical standpoint of being an analyst in the field and being experts then bringing them in from a white paper. Are they writers? Are they speakers? Can you know, how do they talk to their audience? How do they engage in bringing them in in that way? And then the way that you did it, which I think is really interesting, is whether a white paper or a webinar is basically a lead generator. So Being able to, you know, from the onset, interact with those, influencers in a way that actually generates leads is really fascinating as well.

And then measuring it all the way through is is is pretty magical. I love it. Thank you so much. Before we close out, I do have my people first question, which is, have you picked up any, you know, the world has changed in the last 3 years and we all have found a new Experience outside of marketing, so what new hobbies have you picked up, given the new world order?

Lisa Hackbarth: I would say I mean, I don't know that they're new, but, yeah, I kind of, I guess, had more time for, I'm a very, like, crafty sort of person. And, actually, I was thinking, like, I so you can kinda see the edge of it. I'll just take it off the wall. I made a vision board and I actually got together with some friends. And we got magazines and just like spent half a day listening to music And eating food. And so this is, I framed it as my vision board. So this was kind of a fun so this is right up my alley of, like, I don't know. Just being visual and crafty and stuff and getting together with friends.

So, that's That's just one thing. Yeah. And then I started, recently, I'm I took a barre class, so it's kinda like, ballet barre, but, like, Pilates, but standing. And It's kicking my butt, but it's really good.

Kerry Guard: I left every barre class, I call my mom and I go, I wanna die, I wanna die, everything hurts. I wanna die. How bad do I feel great?

Lisa Hackbarth: I'm shaking. I know. I get the, like, runner's high from it now. I love it.

Kerry Guard: Oh, that's so amazing. I do miss bar. I miss bar. Well, Lisa, this was amazing. Thank you so much for joining me. And thank you to our listeners, Trevor Van Worten. I Appreciate you. Thank you for connecting us.


Thank you for hanging out, asking all those amazing questions. If you liked this episode, please like, subscribe, and share. I, if you have any questions, drop them in the comments. We will get back to you. I pinky swear.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

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