How do you make an impact with others? Purple hair can help. But Holly Rushton’s secret sauce is being a “yes” person and tapping into positive energy.
These two simple –– yet highly effective tips –– have helped her navigate a major acquisition and make a name for herself at Salesforce, where she is a senior manager of content marketing, works with Salesforce’s Trailblazer Community and oversees content for AppExchange. Her “you get out what you put in” attitude has also been highly effective in her ability to manage the highs and lows that come with working remotely –– namely helping her build and maintain solid relationships with her coworkers.
In this episode of The Success Lab Podcast, Holly talks about the journey that led her to Salesforce, how she has navigated her role through acquisitions, and reveals what she’s most excited about from a content marketing perspective in 2020.
Read on for a selection of questions, and listen to the entire interview by clicking the player above.
How did you land at Salesforce?
Looking back, I think it was always a goal to work for a larger enterprise. I worked for a Midwestern tech startup called ExactTarget, and we were acquired by Salesforce in 2013. And the rest is history.
What is one of the most rewarding perks of working at Salesforce that only those on the inside would know?
I don’t want to give away all of our secrets, but you’ll probably hear two things. The first one’s a bit tongue in cheek –– we get really great snacks in the office. There’s a whole cult following of all of our wonderful snacks, which is a testament to Salesforce and how much they care about their employees and want to make sure that they’re productive.
However, I think the most rewarding part of working at Salesforce is the ability to try new things and to grow. I have worked for a handful of other companies prior to coming to this ecosystem and the opportunity to grow your career path has not been there. I would work for companies where you had to literally be fired and rehired if you wanted to change departments or your level of contribution –– and that’s not a way to run an employee culture.
How do you maintain strong relationships being a remote employee?
It actually hasn’t been a very easy journey for me. I started working remotely in 2016. It was a really hard change for me and it was difficult for me to feel connected and motivated.
What helps is to identify people who are also not based at HQ that you can develop strong relationships with. We have an internal network called Ohana at Home. It’s for all remote employees. We share photos of our cats or our workspaces and we participate in a lot of general conversations.
Also, being present helps. Video conferencing is a game-changer. I used to never turn on my webcam but being in front of people and showing your face, even if it’s just to nod or say hi, is really important. You really need to put in the energy. At least that’s what I’ve found has been successful for me.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to fellow marketers looking to make impactful connections?
Being open and being willing to say, “yes.” Bringing the energy to building relationships because connections aren’t going to be made. Connections take work. You have to be at certain places or talk to certain people. You get what you put in.
What are you most excited about from a content marketing perspective for 2020?
I was recently reading a piece from the Content Marketing Institute, and Jay Baer, from Convince & Convert, was talking about the importance of user-generated content. He said for 2020, you’ll need to determine what inspires your audience to create and share your story, and that it’s not about changing the message, it’s about changing the messenger. I think that’s a really exciting prediction.
Coffee drinker, yes or no? Yes.
One business tool you’re geeking out over right now? I love this Chrome extension called Momentum. Every time you open your browser or a new tab, it displays a beautiful photo and an inspirational quote. You can also keep a digital to-do list on there, which is really helpful for me.
Favorite marketing tool? The Salesforce Marketing Cloud. We also use a tool on my team called Social Studio, which is also owned by us. It’s really great for engagement.
What’s one book you’d pass along to a fellow entrepreneur? It’s not a traditional marketing book, but Stephen King’s On Writing was an important book for me when I was just finishing up college and knew I wanted to do writing in some format.
One person you’d like to make a connection with? Barack Obama. Definitely.
What’s your favorite ice breaker when introducing yourself to someone (either online or off)? I like to do Two Truths and A Lie.
How many hours of sleep do you get each night, on average? Probably, five to six.
What’s your favorite board game? I’m a big board gamer and I would have to say I really love Lords of Waterdeep.
Which was your favorite musical act from this year’s Dreamforce? It would definitely be Fleetwood Mac.
How can people connect with you? You can always give me a follow on Twitter –– you can find me at @hollymrushton. I’m also available to connect via LinkedIn. Just look for the girl with purple hair and black glasses.