Storytelling, Personal Brand Building and Following Your Passion with Tulani André

In this episode, I sit down with Tulani André, Vice President, Social Media at National Geographic, to discuss the power of storytelling, brand building, and following your passion in career transitions and professional success.

[00:00:00] Introduction: Tulani André is an expert in creating successful social media campaigns and brand presences for major organizations. Tulani shares insights from her diverse career spanning National Geographic, Amazon Prime Video, and Fox Corporation.

[00:01:00] Tulani’s Career Journey: Tulani emphasizes the importance of aligning career paths with personal passions rather than specific industries or companies. She shares her experience transitioning between sectors, emphasizing the value of social storytelling and connection.

[00:02:00] Career Transitions: Tulani offers practical advice on preparing for career transitions, stressing the significance of having an exit plan and cultivating positive relationships within organizations.

[00:03:00] The Power of Storytelling: Tulani discusses the importance of storytelling in engaging audiences, particularly for scientists and engineers. She highlights the need for authenticity and a clear understanding of the “why” behind one’s work.

[00:04:00] Crafting Impactful Narratives: Tulani advises professionals to take a step back and view their work from a broader perspective, identifying the significance of their contributions within larger ecosystems and societal contexts.

[00:05:00] Key Takeaways: Tulani underscores the value of following one’s passions, developing exit strategies, and building positive relationships within organizations to drive career success.

00:10:00] Connecting with Others: Tulani emphasizes the importance of adopting a broader perspective, encouraging professionals to elevate themselves above the minutiae of their work to understand its broader impact. By making connections and leveraging social media, individuals can engage audiences and foster curiosity about niche topics.

[00:11:00] Building Your Personal Brand: Tulani offers practical advice for professionals entering the job market, emphasizing the importance of leveraging writing and speaking opportunities to showcase expertise and thought leadership. By sharing insights and engaging with industry conversations, individuals can amplify their personal brand and attract opportunities.

[00:12:00] Writing and Speaking Opportunities: Tulani encourages professionals to seek out writing and speaking opportunities to showcase their expertise and perspectives. Whether contributing to publications or participating in conferences, these activities can help individuals establish themselves as thought leaders in their field.

[00:13:00] Embracing Exposure and Connection: Tulani shares her approach to speaking engagements, emphasizing the value of exposure and connection over monetary compensation. By seizing opportunities to share insights and engage with audiences, individuals can build meaningful connections and enhance their personal brand.

[00:14:00] Amplifying Industry Conversations: Tulani advises professionals to actively participate in industry discussions by sharing relevant articles and insights on social media. By contributing to ongoing conversations and amplifying important topics, individuals can position themselves as valuable contributors within their field.

[00:15:00] Buidling Your Brand: As professionals navigate their career journeys, Tulani encourages them to embrace opportunities for self-expression and connection. By leveraging writing, speaking, and social media engagement, individuals can build their personal brand and establish themselves as influential voices within their industry.

[00:17:00] Making Authentic Connections: Tulani emphasizes the importance of genuine connections in networking and personal branding. She acknowledges the courage it takes to reach out to others and encourages individuals to find common ground and genuine interests when initiating conversations or collaborations.

[00:18:00] Balancing Reverence and Relevance: Tulani discusses the challenge of maintaining a historic brand’s reverence while making it relevant in today’s world. She highlights the importance of creating timely and engaging content that resonates with audiences, driving conversations and fostering connections.

[00:19:00] Segmenting Audiences and Tailoring Messaging: Tulani stresses the significance of understanding diverse audience segments and tailoring messaging to meet their unique preferences and interests. By segmenting audiences and crafting personalized content, brands can effectively engage with their followers and build meaningful connections.

[00:20:00] Partnerships and Multi-Platform Engagement: Tulani explores the value of strategic partnerships and multi-platform engagement in reaching diverse audiences. By collaborating with other brands and leveraging various channels, brands can expand their reach and create impactful content that resonates with different audience segments.

[00:21:00] Emotional Connection and Brand Impact: Tulani emphasizes the importance of fostering emotional connections with audiences to drive brand impact. By considering the desired emotional response and crafting authentic messaging, brands can create meaningful experiences that resonate with their followers and drive engagement.

[00:22:00] Goals for Nat Geo’s Social Campaigns: Tulani shares her goals for Nat Geo’s social campaigns, focusing on increasing relevance, engagement, and visibility. By creating timely and compelling content, Nat Geo aims to captivate audiences and reinforce its position as a leading source of exploration and discovery.

[00:23:00] Crafting Relevant and Engaging Content: Tulani discusses the process of crafting relevant and engaging content that resonates with audiences. By aligning content with current events, trends, and audience interests, brands can capture attention and foster meaningful connections with their followers.

[00:24:00] Reverence Plus Relevance: Tulani highlights the importance of balancing reverence for Nat Geo’s legacy with a focus on relevance in today’s media landscape. By combining respect for the brand’s heritage with innovative approaches to storytelling, Nat Geo aims to captivate audiences and drive meaningful engagement.

[00:25:00] Providing Accessible and Memorable Content: Tulani discusses the importance of providing accessible and memorable content that resonates with audiences. By making complex topics understandable and engaging, Nat Geo aims to inspire curiosity and empower audiences to explore the world around them.

[00:26:00] Goals for 2024: Tulani shares her personal goals for 2024, focusing on fitness and creative expression. By pursuing activities like running a half marathon and writing a romance novel, Tulani aims to challenge herself and find joy in new experiences.

[00:28:00] Wrapping Up: Mark expresses gratitude to Tulani for sharing her insights and highlights the importance of connecting with audiences through authentic storytelling. He commends Nat Geo’s efforts to engage with diverse communities and inspire curiosity through compelling content.

[00:29:00] Impactful Social Engagement: Mark reflects on Nat Geo’s ability to create impactful social engagement by providing accessible and engaging content. He praises the brand’s commitment to fostering connections and driving meaningful conversations about important topics.

[00:30:00] Making Science Accessible: Mark acknowledges the role of organizations like Nat Geo in making science accessible and engaging for audiences worldwide. He emphasizes the importance of storytelling in conveying complex scientific concepts and driving positive change in society.

[00:31:00] Personal Growth and Development: Mark encourages listeners to pursue personal growth and development by setting goals and challenging themselves. He applauds Tulani for her commitment to fitness and creative expression and encourages listeners to find joy in new experiences.

[00:32:00] Authenticity and Creativity: Mark highlights the importance of authenticity and creativity in personal and professional endeavors. He commends Tulani for her passion and dedication to her goals and encourages listeners to embrace their unique interests and talents.

[00:33:00] Building Meaningful Connections: Mark underscores the value of building meaningful connections and fostering genuine relationships in both personal and professional settings. He encourages listeners to engage with diverse communities and leverage their passions to make a positive impact in the world.

[00:34:00] Conclusion: Mark concludes the episode by thanking Tulani for sharing her insights and encouraging listeners to apply the lessons learned to their own lives. He invites listeners to tune in to future episodes of When Science Speaks for more inspiring conversations with leaders in science, technology, and innovation.