A New Approach to Content Creation


The Gist

  • Personal triumph. An assault leads to reflection and inspiration, emphasizing gratitude and cherishing ordinary moments.
  • Authentic impact. Embracing raw authenticity creates a safe space, allowing connections, growth and transformation.
  • Audience insight. Digital content success hinges on knowing your audience and using data to tailor content effectively.

In a world where personal survival story meets professional innovation, the journey of connecting with people becomes paramount. As leaders, marketers, and creators try to navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media, content strategy, and customer engagement, the human aspect of storytelling takes center stage. An interview with digital marketer Victoria Davitashvili, an inspirational figure who has transformed personal horror into a lens of gratitude, brings to light not only her resilience but the power of authenticity in building connections. With a newfound mission and evolving personal brand, she is more than just a professional figure. Victoria is the embodiment of growth and empathy, forging new paths in the digital age.

You can read Victoria’s recent CMSWire column “My Personal Survival Story and the Amplification of Customer Experience” here. 

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Dom Nicastro: One. Hey everybody, Dom Nicastro Managing Editor CMSWire here with our latest CMSWire contributor and it’s a new one. Vicki D as they call her, but I’m gonna go for it, Vicki. Here we go, Victoria Davitashvili. Did I get that, did I nail it.

Victoria Davitashvili: You really did. I am so impressed. Wow. Like 10 Bonus points for you today.

Nicastro: In the pre planning, you will give me a free pass to even just go with Victoria D and you’re like, No, I’m going for I’m going all out. Well, you’re a digital leader, a new CMSWire contributor. And we’re talking about your very first post with us. Very personal post. Professional lessons learned in there, too. Good stuff all around. But thanks for thanks for joining our community first of all,

Davitashvili: Oh my god, I’m so excited. The funny part is I’ve actually been a consumer for years. So when I got the email from you guys, I was like, CMSWire I know exactly who they are. So it was a no brainer for me to respond back to you guys. I’m thrilled that you found me.

Nicastro: There’s so many. Yes, so many like you out there just reading the brand. And I’m like, we gotta get those people to write for us because they’re living it. They’re living marketing. They they;re living digital every day. So thank you and welcome. Your first post, let’s get right to it. It’s it just comes out with such a personal story. You were physically assaulted walking home one day, changed things for you. I mean, it was a serious, serious matter. You had to go to the hospital, there was talks of concussion. I mean, it was just the article describes it so so well, so vividly. It was like you felt like you were there. And it was scary. You know, so let’s let’s start with, you know, this moment and what it did for your life.

Davitashvili: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll kind of set it up for you a little bit. You know, I was having one of those like really tough days the, you know, the day when everything is going wrong. So I decided to step out. It was Decembe.r I live in New Jersey. I work in New York City. So I decided to step out get some fresh air. It was actually a semi-decently warm evening, right? For December in New Jersey.

Nicastro: I’m in Boston, in the Boston area. We cherish those rare moments, we’re are like, hey it’s actually pretty nice. 

Davitashvili: Hey, I’m a Boston girl from heart and I’m Boston through and through.

Nicastro: I love it. Let’s go, Tom Brady.

Davitashvili: Oh my god. Last night. I was like, my god, the Patriots aren’t even playing in the Super Bowl.

Nicastro: Weird, right? 

Davitashvili: Like, who do I root for? I was like, I don’t even care. The Pats aren’t playing 

Nicastro: Same. 

Attack Leads to Hospital Stay, Recovery and Reflection

Davitashvili: I know. Boston diehard fans. But anyways, not to digress. But you know, to make a very long story short, I went out got some fresh air.It’d been a tough day. It’s only like, 7 or 730. And the funny part is that it happened in a very safe town. I live in a very, very safe neighborhood in New Jersey, a bedroom community of New York City. And so I step out for a walk as I’m about to head home. You know, there were two young men who attacked me from behind. One held me down, threw me to the ground, the other one grabbed my stuff, ran away from me. And you know, I was in the middle of texting my 10 year old daughter, just letting her know that hey, like, take some fish out of the fridge because we were gonna make, we were gonna make fish burgers. 

But anyway, so I chased them down. And I was very fortunate. And then there was a cop. And you know, we were able to catch the perpetrators, I got everything back. But I did end up spending the whole night in the hospital. And in the hospital, you know, I was faced with so many different pieces of news. One is that they had found blood in my brain. The second one was that I was hardly moving, walking, and I’m a runner. 

So for me to get the news of, you know, we don’t know when you’re going to be able to start walking and whatever again, you know, they didn’t know if I needed plastic surgery because I had such devastating wounds to my face. So to make a long story short, it was quite traumatic. 

But, you know, we as humans, we have a choice. Every morning we wake up, we have a choice of how we choose to see our life, and what we choose to see our situations and what we we choose to take from a certain situation. And so what had happened was, when all of this transpired, there was a ton of news coverage around this incident because it was so highly unusual. So New Jersey, Long Island news, all the surrounding tri state area. This news was going everywhere, and everyone was writing about it. And so there was a choice where I needed to make. Do I continue to hide behind the articles, or do I come out of the shadows? And do I actually go and post about it on social media? 

And the funny part is I’m a digital marketer and a digital product manager so I lead an entire team in the financial services world in my day job, but I was never the type of person who was like, huge into sharing anything personal on social media, you know, I read posts on LinkedIn or whatever, right? I was just one of those people. And I didn’t really want to be very personal. But this was everywhere in the news. Everyone in my neighborhood, everyone was talking about this. And so I decided to come out of the shadows. And I posted about it. And I said, this was me, this is how I ended up spending the night at the hospital.

Related Article: Great Brands Respect Their Customers: 3 Rules to Keeping it Authentic

Inspires Others Through a Lens of Gratitude

Nicastro: And what was that forum and what forum was that?

Davitashvili: That was on two forums, one was on LinkedIn, because I have so many friends that I had made through my, throughout my 20 year career, there are friendships that you form, right, yeah. And then also on Facebook. And so because that was kind of like more of my local community, personal. And so I decided to come out of the shadows. And in my social media post, I wrote about what happened and linked it to the article. But more importantly, you know, I had time to reflect. And as part of that reflection, what came to me, at least while I was in the hospital was, I could feel like a victim, or I could look at this through the lens of gratitude, like, thank God that cops were there, thank God that I have the access to some of the best hospital and medical care in the world, thank God, that there was a CAT scan as scary as it was to go in and out of this cat scan machine, that there was a CAT scan machine that could catch anything, and that they could take care of me, thank God, that plastic surgery is available to me. And, you know, thankfully, I didn’t need it in the end. 

But you know, and I just started to really look at everything through the lens, what I call the lens of love, or through the lens of gratitude. And so I posted about it. And then the other thing that also happened was, as I was in the hospital, and I was laying in that bed, I was really reflecting on the beauty of the every day of the every day, and how amazing it is to be in your warm home. Because I was in such a cold emergency room lying on this bed without a pillow. You know, and how wonderful it is to be in your warm home, hugging your children, having your head on a pillow. And I said, as cliche as it sounds, cherish the ordinary because it is the ordinary that is extraordinary. 

And when I wrote this, I got, I don’t, I can’t tell you how many people wrote me, how many people think to me, and then how many people said I inspired them. And then they were taking my post, sending it to their kids in college, they and their kids were sharing it with their friends in college. And so there was this incredible outpouring of love and support that came out towards me, but also this sense of inspiration and inspiring each other on a human level. Because, you know, I’ve been so used to being an inspirational leader, right? How do you inspire a team, but here you’re inspiring humanity. And so that was extremely personal to me. 

Nicastro: In the world, right there No, in the world, like, it’s like how, what kind of a person like, you seem like an angel. First of all, I mean, to, to be in such physical and emotional trauma, it’s trauma, you almost lost your life, I mean, like that, that could have easily happened. And here you are, like, that was December, by the way, it’s only February. At the time of this recording, there are people who take years, years to to rebound from something like this, if ever, if ever. And you’re sitting here now talking to me in such a positive ray of light, and it made us realize the good things we have in the world, and sharing your wisdom. I mean, to me, like putting yourself out there and getting those responses must be magical, like seeing what comes back at you like people who, have people been in similar situations like writing to you and stuff like that.

Davitashvili: So that’s such an interesting point, because I started so you know how on LinkedIn, you can get people three degrees, four degrees of separation. Right? So they started writing me, and opening up to me, and just sharing with me how they can still feel the assault in their body and how the moment that they think about it, it takes them back to the moment that they were assaulted. And what I realized is that through my authenticity, I created the safe space. You know, we talk about psychological safety at work, right? And up until this moment, it had been a concept I’ll be honest with you, it had been a concept, of course, am I going to be accepting and loving towards every human living being, of course I am. 

But now I know what it means to, to be so raw and so authentic, and what it does for the other person. And this, I take actually into the way that I am as a leader, as a people manager. But by opening up and by being so raw and so authentic, I created the psychological safety for other people to come to me, and to share with me, and to release what they had been holding on to for so long. 

And I’m not gonna lie to you, you know, there are days when I’m walking, and it gets dark out. And I take everything out of my ears, and like, I literally walk myself through and I say, I’m safe, I’m safe, I’m gonna get home safely. I have those moments. I’m human, I have those moments. Of course I do. But what’s been done is these people and you know, it’s been men and women who have reached out to me, it’s not just women, it’s been men and women that have been reaching out to me, and have been sharing. And, you know, what happens is you end up virtually hugging one another and supporting one another. 

Related Article: How Social Media Marketing Has Changed This Year

Turning Tragedy into Growth: A Personal Journey of Transformation

Nicastro: And it’s big, 

Davitashvili: And it’s beautiful. And it’s beautiful. And so, yeah, I’ll pause there.

Nicastro: It’s a lot to take in. And we so appreciate you opening up and sharing this with our CMSWire audience. It’s amazing. And from this, you know, from this moment, you’ve not only gotten stronger, but you’ve taken it as sort of, you know, you’ve become a sort of personal brand, or you’re getting your message out there on different channels. Now you’re exploring YouTube personally, by the way, I would love to see some of those videos we’ll throw the link in the article and everything to your to your personal website, if you’d like, you’re personal YouTube. And then you’ve taken the all this energy and excitement around, you know, getting your message out being authentic, being genuine, being empathetic, sharing your personal horror story, and taking good from it. You’ve also taken that to your larger team. So it’s like, our audience is always trying to figure out like, how do we get better at telling our story. 

Davitashvili: And now this is your mission, you’re telling your story. And you’re even taking those lessons into the into your larger team and your day job? Yeah, yeah, no. So. So yes. And really, you know, I’ll be honest with you, I’m at a point where I’m like, I’m moving on from what happened. And here’s how I’m evolving. And I love the fact that I’m evolving as a human being right? Growth. Growth is so scary, and it’s so uncomfortable, right? But we grow the most in the gray space when you don’t know what’s going to happen, right. And so what this has led me to do is because of this outpouring of support in the world, I’ve actually been inspired to launch people have been saying to me, Vicki, can you coach me, I’m like, I don’t have the bandwidth to coach. And I have like a job. 

Related Article: How to Develop a Content Creation Strategy

From Corporate to Creator: Launching a Personal Brand in the Digital Age

Nicastro: Well, wait a minute now. All right, I’m willing to share my story. But to do it through my content. I can’t take consulting gigs now. Maybe down the road?

Davitashvili: That’s exactly right. I’m like, I cannot be a personal coach to people at a personal level. Because you know, I think about our right. I’m like, hour by hour no way, like, I can’t do it. But the question that I had been asking myself, and that was my second follow up post on LinkedIn was, what am I to learn from this? And what am I to teach from this? And so this is the teaching component. So the teaching component has been that I’ve decided to launch my own YouTube channel, Vicki D, I’ve launched, you know, talk about being somebody who was behind the curtain, was afraid of social media, like to really be authentic in the social media to know like.

Nicastro: Here I am, what’s up? 

Davitashvili: Yes, right. Like your heart is like wide open now because it’s coming from a place of mission, purpose and wanting to help people. But you know, I’ve launched my YouTube channel, I’ve launched my own website, I’ve launched TikTok and Instagram and like all of these digital channels, and the funny thing is, right, I’ve always worked at large companies. Early on in my career, I’ve been at startups, which was awesome. And I loved it. In fact, like, my MBA is entrepreneurship. I’ve always dreamt of being an entrepreneur. Let’s just say that, right? And I’ve always worked on the cutting edge of technology, which I’ve always loved. 

But the thing that you don’t realize about working at a large company, is that you actually have like this magic wand. And the magic wand is all the amazing resources that are at your fingertips that you don’t realize, though, hey, like I come up with an idea. We should do a social post. Awesome. I’ve got a social media team. I’ve got our content team. I’ve got people that are I’ve got my writers just coming to me like Vicki sign off on this awesome. Like, what’s the voice that we’re gonna come across with and like my social media team will come in like run, but they just run it by me like, I don’t have to worry about what are the words going to be? And how do I even press the button to post this thing, right? Like I’ve never had to figure this out. 

So in my personal brand, though, I don’t have resources like that, everything’s coming out of pocket. So obviously, I’m doing everything myself. And so what that’s been forcing me to do is just to like, really get into the weeds of understanding how things work. And so I’ve had to like in my day job, right? Everything is about you live and die by the customer, the customer, the customer, the customer, it’s understanding the voice of the customer. And I always talk about it. And I’ve got like all of these amazing reports that would come to me with data and numbers and verbatims. 

And, but again, this was content that was already coming to me prepackaged. Whereas here, I have to figure this out. So I’m like, Alright, so where would a consumer? Where would my customer start? In fact, who is my customer? Yep. What are they? Like? Do they look like me? Do they look like someone else? Like, I had no idea how to start. And so I went and I read and I’m like, so how do you even start? And do you know what I learned? If you want to start, just start, and then what’s going to be the beauty of it is that the more that you’re out there, the more the algorithms are going to start to tell you. So for example, YouTube has been such a plethora of data, I will give you some of my ahas where I’ve been, like, blown away. So I had a hypothesis of who my customer is. And I assumed it would be me. And it’s not let me just tell you that right. And I will I will tell you who my customer is shockingly, um, I thought that it was like somebody who has money, like, you know, like, I had all of these hypotheses older, you know, professional, blah, blah, blah, right?

Nicastro: Right.

Davitashvili: No

Related Article: Content Marketing: Develop Your Omnichannel Strategy in 9 Easy Steps

Mastering Digital Marketing: From Content Creation to Customer Engagement

Nicastro: Really. Who is it?

Davitashvili: I will tell you I know, you want to know, but I will tell you. So. Interestingly enough, right. So I then now have to now go and figure out like, what are the high ranking keywords? How do I think about the keywords? How did the keywords then inform my content? How will the content then how can I take one piece of content and repurpose it into five or six, because I don’t have a lot of bandwidth. So what I will do is, I’ll come up with one piece of content, I’m like, OK, so today I’ll talk about I don’t know, forgiveness, gratitude, mindfulness, having a practice of mindfulness, right, I’ll come up with a topic in my head. And a lot of times it’s inspired by something. 


Source link