S4E2: Sam Mallikarjunan, @mallikarjunan (#45)

Storytelling with CMO and social media strategist Sam Mallikarjunan

In this episode, we hear from the CMO of BirdEye, former marketing genius at HubSpot and cigar & scotch aficionado… this guy has quite a story. Lucky for me, I’ve been a part of his story for about 7 years now. Today, Sam Mallikarjunan shares with The Storytellers Network his storytelling craft, his passion for story and more… in other words, HIS story.

Sam’s story include world travel as a professional speaker, traveling the United States in a van with his bride, and experimental marketing at sales giant HubSpot. The power of Sam’s story is the impact of the stories he’s had the privilege of hearing. Sometimes the power of story is all in the perspective.

“I was in Pakistan at a conference, talking to an entrepreneur. He told me ‘I used to leave the house everyday not knowing if I would make it home to my wife. I think I can handle the stress of pitching to investors.’ That’s a short story… but wow.” - Sam Mallikarjunan on the power of perspective

Stories let us live “bigger” lives

Stories not only connect us, but help us live “bigger” lives than we could ever live. That’s part of what Sam loves about story. In this life, we have our one perspective. Even “The Most Interesting Man in the World” only has his perspective. How do you find a new perspective? Through story.

“…it’s the way the story makes you feel, the way it challenges yourself. Stories let us live these lives that we never could have, or that maybe even never existed. You see people who feel like they’re friends with Harry and Hermione as they’re walking the halls of Hogwarts. There’s no greater magic than that.” - Sam Mallikarjunan on the power of story

Social media’s part in personal stories

A lesson Sam learned over the years using social media personally and professionally is that the persona we create can have a huge impact on others, and it’s not always what we think. For instance, do you think sharing the positive points of your life in a highly curated feed inspires others or turns them off?

Sam learned from a long-time friend that his feed highlighting his world travels, his speaking opportunities and his successes actually led to a friend feeling bad about his own life. He says that part of the problem is that we spend too much on social media telling the story that we wish was true, both personally and as businesses. It’s this highly curated version of ourselves. And that creates a lot of negativity, actually.

“I had a friend of mine in my hometown … and he told me ‘Seeing your posts on Facebook made me feel bad about myself.’ And I’m like ‘But my life also has the really horrible parts, I just don’t tell that part of the story in social media.’ I don’t want to focus on the negative and amplify that into the universe. But people look at my [social media'] and think I have this perfect, idealized life.” - Sam Mallikarjunan on the power of social media

Connect with Sam:

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