#MadRadRollCall 06: An Interview with Amanda Upadhyaya

I remember meeting Amanda like it was yesterday. It was March 2018 at the exclusive Alaska Airlines x Pink Door House in Palm Springs during Alt Summit. We started chatting and hit it off instantly. That evening we chatted some biz and I had high hopes of staying in touch after that night and we totally did. We ended up bumping into each other multiple times the next days of Alt and I even had the pleasure to watch her do an Alaska Airlines pitch - microphone and all, it was incredible. It's pretty rare to meet someone and within a short time look up to them, believe in them and know they are a genuine human. After Palm Springs we stayed in touch on Instagram and before I knew it, I was preparing for Alt Summit 2019 but this time I had the crazy idea to do a presentation, I curated a talk called "PITCH IT REAL GOOD" to teach others my tips and tricks on how I pitch here at Mad Rad Media. A couple of days before submitting my talk for the voting process a lightbulb went off, I needed and wanted Amanda to join me on stage to share her side of content creation, pitching, negotiation brands deals, all of it. She was totally down and I was ecstatic. We went from Insta DM's to text messages and calls. The trust fell into place and we definitely had some one-on-one time while in Palm Springs to talk about her business goals and next steps. I bet you can guess what happened next...

Amanda signed with Mad Rad Media for Monthly Management and PR. I'm so thrilled to have such incredible talent on our roster. This is an exciting (and new) time for both parties so I thought it would be the perfect interview to share the process of how Amanda knew it was time to take the next steps in her business.. Let's jump into it —

How did you get connected to Mad Rad Media?

I met Hannah at Altitude Summit in 2018. The minute I met her I knew right away she was a bad ass mama and someone who I wanted to get to know. She was 7/8 months pregnant and still rocking events and networking like crazy and I just instantly felt at ease around her. After vaguely discussing her management media company at Alt. 2018 we stayed in touch and remained friends and even worked together on a fun campaign at the end of 2018. At Altitude Summit 2019 I had the privilege of joining Hannah on stage for a Pitch Seminar and it was one of the highlights of my career! She is so easy to work with and be with, I instantly connected her ability to be raw and honest but handle business professionally.

What made you want to start working with the Mad Rad Media team?

I spent over a year getting to know Hannah on a personal level as friends after meeting at Altitude Summit. When I first met Hannah, I didn't feel like I was in a place, personally, to seek media management. I was still growing my business and brand and knew it was something I had to do for myself before I considered passing my brand onto someone else. Hannah became an amazing support on my journey, checking in as a friend and staying in touch throughout the year, and I enjoyed getting to know her and build a personal relationship. This year at Altitude Summit, we sat and had a great conversation about where I was in my business: I had reached a point where running this show on my own was pushing me to my limits and my content was suffering as a result of being overworked and not executing where I could be. I realized while at Alt. Summit this year that I wanted to take my business to the next level and there was no one I trusted more to help me do so than Hannah!

What was the tipping point for your business?

Over the last year I have taken the time to craft my brand and business to be a true reflection of myself, my family, and what I love. I have said no to more campaigns than yes because I value my time and most of all my honest truth about who/what I promote. I would say in the beginning, this was hard for me as I wanted to keep up with my peers and sort of lost the entire reason I started blogging in the first place. Last year I made the decision to take a step back, slow down, and really work on reconnecting with my personal voice and community again to take back control of my blog. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my business. It was empowering and helped for me to fall in love with this business again!

You seem to truly love creating content. How many photo shoots do you do a week/month?

Creating content brings me so much joy! I love planning out outfits that I think will resonate with my readers and that express my personal journey at the moment as well as locations I find myself in throughout the week, who doesn't love a great beach scene. I also LIVE for photography and editing, its such a fun hobby I have always enjoyed so this part of my job has always been natural and my favorite. On average, I shoot about 3 outfits per week (it is probably too embarrassing to share how many photos I have to snap to get the perfect shot per outfit, too many to count, haha!)

I love watching the way you incorporate your family into your feed. How do you decide what to share when it comes to family content?

I love sharing about my family with my audience, I started my blog in 2014 and a few months later found out I was pregnant so I feel like so many of my readers have followed my family journey from the begging and I love that! I do, of course, set healthy boundaries when I post about them which I remain loyal to. I will never force my son to be part of a campaign or photo shoot if he isn't in the mood, as you can tell most photos or campaigns involving him are candid shots; I do this because I never want this to feel forced or to abuse his privacy. Typically when my family is involved, it is completely volunteered or natural/real life events. I refuse to stage a photo with my family for the gram!

What entrepreneurial hacks have you developed to stay focused and productive in your day-to-day life with work, events, mom duties?

Calendars and lists - always! I have a personal/family calendar and a separate business/campaign calendar. Finding the balance and separating the two has helped me feel the most sane, otherwise when I am with or planning family events I get stressed about work stuff and vice versa. You have to divide and conquer and set personal and work boundaries or you will drive yourself mad on both ends.

If you could offer a first-time influencers/blogger/content creator only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Find your authentic voice, do not compare your work to other influencers, share what you know and love and try your best to remain your most true self. We hall have something unique to offer the world: ourselves. If you love something, share it, don't wait for a collaboration or campaign to share what you love. This will resonate with your audience and when you do have campaigns and sponsored posts, your loyal followers are more likely to engage since they trust your voice.

To contintue to keep up with Amanda you can follow her here @southcoaststyleoc!

Hannah WallnerComment