From Conference Attendee to Presenter: Divya Bisht
Published by Spinutech on October 3, 2022
After submitting her application to be a presenter at Content Marketing World, Divya Bisht had no illusions about her chances of being selected.
After all, Content Marketing World is the largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world, featuring more than 150 of the industry’s top leaders and thinkers, with upwards of 2,000 attendees every year. Divya was bold enough to apply a year after attending the conference for the first time, but also humble enough to be realistic about her prospects.
“I was like, ‘There’s no way,’” Divya says, as she recalls waiting to hear back on her application. “They’re going to be like, ‘Yeah, try again in a couple years.’”
Self-doubt is something she has struggled with for a long time. In fact, it was the topic of her proposed presentation: “4 Tips to Beat Imposter Syndrome as a New Content Marketer.”
Imposter syndrome refers to when people feel they aren’t as competent as others may perceive them to be and that soon enough people will discover the truth about them. It’s a feeling Divya is intimately familiar with, dating back to when she first realized she had a passion for writing.
A “Wordsmith,” Not Yet a Copywriter
After she graduated college, Divya declared herself a “wordsmith.” She knew the proper title was “copywriter,” at least in the marketing world, but she didn’t feel worthy of it.
“I didn’t think I was good enough for copywriter-level,” she says.
When Divya started working at a payroll company in the entertainment industry, she was part of the sales and marketing team. Her responsibilities included writing the company newsletter and creating event invitations, but she would also volunteer for anything content-related.
Outside of work, Divya was taking classes to grow her knowledge of digital marketing. She may not have believed she was “copywriter-level,” but her self-doubt was also fueling her to get better and close the gap between where she felt she was and where she needed to be.
“I was using it as motivation to get better.”
As committed as she was to furthering her own growth, Divya looked to her employers to validate her efforts. But few shared her excitement for the ideas and strategies that she had discovered in her research, and she found herself wanting more from a workplace.
“It’s tough when you’re the only marketing person on your team. It’s very isolating,” she admits. “I feel like that has consistently been me in my career.”
That was about to change.
Getting Better Every Day
Before applying for an open Content Strategist position at Spinutech, Divya did her due diligence, exploring the company’s website. There was one thing in particular that stood out to her.
“Definitely the core values. I remember looking at the website and it said, ‘We get better every day.’ That’s literally been me all through my career. So if the company has that value, that means that’s going to be something that they appreciate in me.”
“I felt like this could be a good place for me,” she says.
After Divya was offered the position and accepted, it didn’t take long for the imposter syndrome that had persisted throughout her career to rear its ugly head.
“The first couple weeks, I was terrified. I was like, ‘What if they realize they made a mistake?’ The impostor syndrome was definitely at an all-time high.”
Divya credits her supportive and collaborative team at Spinutech with helping put her at ease. She saw other team members asking questions — questions she herself might have asked, had she mustered the courage — and the responses were always thoughtful rather than judgemental. They were more interested in helping her fill knowledge gaps than shame her for having them.
“It’s nice to be in a place where I can learn and be a sponge,” she says.
From Attendee to Presenter
Nine months into her tenure at Spinutech, Divya was back at Content Marketing World.
Only this time, she was a presenter.
It was a full circle moment for her, taking the stage to talk about how to defeat imposter syndrome, something that very same conference had helped her overcome.
“Attending Content Marketing World changed everything,” she explains. “I got to be around other content marketers and it kind of validated everything I had experienced and learned.”
It provided her the opportunity to connect with other content marketing professionals from different backgrounds and bond over shared experiences. Divya says she may not have had the confidence to apply at a company like Spinutech if not for her experience at the conference.
She concedes that she may never be rid of her imposter syndrome entirely, but it no longer constantly lingers in the back of her mind like it once did.
“I think for the first time in my life I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve finally reached where I’ve been trying to be since the beginning.’ So now I’m like, ‘Well now that I’m here, where do I go from here?’ I don’t know, but it’s kind of a relief because I’m not constantly trying to reach for something that is out of my reach. It was always, ‘You’re not a marketer’ or ‘You’re not a content person.’
“But I am now.”