He’s not just a simple employee at Buffer, he’s the founder and the host of the Nudge Podcast and manages to balance these two day by day.
His podcast is one of the best UK podcasts dedicated to behavioral science and he managed to grow an audience around it by using different strategies he sometimes hears in his podcast.
Like when he told people to ignore his podcast episode in a X/Twitter post based on what he learned from Richard Shotton, Founder of Astroten, and actually got more listeners.
But let’s get into more details about Phill and what makes him a B2B creator.
Who is Phill Agnew?
Besides his day to day job at Buffer, Phill is also the founder and the host of the Nudge Podcast, one of the UK’s fastest growing business podcasts dedicated to behavioral science.
He founded Nudge back in August 2019 when he was working at Brandwatch.
Phill is specialized in consumer behavior and has a curiosity about how you can apply science at every stage of the marketing funnel which is why he created Nudge.
Here he interviews researchers, authors, and pioneers, and takes insights from them and condenses them into useful advice that any marketer can use.
You can find these pieces of advice on LinkedIn or Twitter/X, or by taking his course called “The Science of Marketing”.
Now let’s dig into why Phill is a B2B creator.
Why can we say Phill Agnew is a successful B2B creator?
In my article about B2B creators, I defined these creators as individuals who are well-informed about industry trends and can skillfully incorporate them into their content, providing actionable insights for their audiences.
This is exactly what Phill does.
In his podcast he invites marketing specialists, entrepreneurs, and all types of people to learn “the science behind marketing” as he calls it.
Then, he provides his audience with bits of knowledge about what he learned using his newsletter, X/Twitter and LinkedIn.
He sometimes creates X/Twitter threads where he summarizes the lessons he learned from his podcast guest giving his audience tips on behavioral science.
When writing about his future podcast episodes, he uses different marketing techniques to capture his audience’s attention based on his knowledge on buyer’s psychology.
Some of his techniques are:
- The “labor illusion” principle, meaning he shows how much work went into creating his podcast to increase his work’s value in the eyes of his audience.
- The Zeigarnik effect, or the Fear of Missing Out, to keep his audience engaged.
- The Pratfall effect of highlighting flaws to spark the attention.
- Using a framework for the pieces of content he shares showing an image with two variants, one showing what doesn’t work, and the other what does.
- Shares social proof from people listening to his podcast
- Reposts his content periodically, which is a technique I recently experimented with and obtained interesting results.
- Aug 30, 2022 – 12 reposts and 3 saves
- Jan 10, 2023 – 2 reposts, 7 saves, and 806 views
- Oct 26, 2023 – 7 saves and 424 views
Since he’s so into behavioral psychology, guess who’s one of his favorite B2B creators?
Obviously Kate Bourgoin.
He follows her content on LinkedIn and X/Twitter and usually engages with it and sometimes reshares it.
He actually created a podcast episode with Kate in May 2022 about recency bias, loss aversion, and foot in the door.
Kate also listens to his podcast and follows his content.
At the end of 2022, he created a list of the best lessons he learned from talking more than 30 hours with his podcasts invites, and he also included Kate, who then mentioned that Phill’s podcast is one of her favorites to listen to.
Consistency in visual communication
Phill has that strong yellow color on his profile picture both on LinkedIn and X/Twitter, while Buffer’s covers on X and LinkedIn are both with that strong energetic yellow color.
Also on both his bios on X/Twitter and LinkedIn he mentions he’s a Product Marketing Manager at Buffer.
Plus, if you look at Phill’s web page you’ll see that it’s actually powered by Buffer, but other than that there’s no mention of Buffer on the page.
Does Phill talk about Buffer on his social accounts?
Of course he does.
Phill connects his audience with what he and his team do at Buffer, but not in an intrusive way.
1. Sharing Buffer’s updates
He occasionally reposts updates about what they do at Buffer, such as product launches, achievements, or things related to work culture like the Buffer Build Week.
In this way, he connects and keeps the audience informed about the Buffer’s progress without making a huge fuss about it.
In one of his posts he talked about the launch of Buffer’s AI of which he was really excited about and he also reposted from Buffer about this new feature.
2. Sharing content from his Buffer colleagues
Besides sharing content from Buffer, he reposts content from his team mates talking about Buffer.
He reshared posts from Michael Eckstein talking about how you can use Buffer to schedule posts to your Instagram Creator accounts.
3. Sharing content from Buffer’s users
Phill reposts content from other entrepreneurs who are using Buffer creating a sense of connection and community with Buffer’s users.
But does Buffer promote its employees?
And another yes.
Buffer is open to the idea that his employees can and should develop personal brands outside Buffer and the company actually supports them.
If you’re wondering why, it’s because it’s a win-win situation.
All their audiences are later connected to Buffer through the reposts, reshares, and comments that these B2B creators provide to Buffer, enriching the company’s brand awareness among people who otherwise may not have heard of Buffer.
At the same time, Buffer humanizes its brand by supporting its employees creating articles about them, posting on X/Twitter or LinkedIn.
1. What does Buffer say about Phill
For instance, Buffer created an entire article about Phill and shared the news on X/Twitter and LinkedIn.
In the article, they talked about how he built Phill’s audience, about his marketing techniques, about how he plans his content for Nudge, and collaborations.
It also has a dedicated section to his job at Buffer, where Phill says that besides offering him financial stability, it offered him a new skillset which he’s using on his content creation.
My day job isn’t a hindrance – it’s a catalyst. It gives me the financial freedom and skills to invest back into my creative projects.
Phill believes that the experiences and challenges encountered in a professional setting can serve as valuable sources of inspiration and insight.
By drawing from these experiences, a creator can enrich their creative work, making it more relatable and grounded in the real-world context of their day-to-day life.
Buffer talking about its employees
Buffer posted an article about their Content Writer Kirsti Lang where she talked about her first 30 days at Buffer.
This is such an interesting approach to do as a company. It’s like they’re building reviews from their employees on their official site.
So, companies, don’t send your employees to leave you reviews on Glassdoor, make entire articles about their opinions.
Btw, Kristi Lang, is also building her personal brand on LinkedIn talking about content, community, social media, and she earned a LinkedIn Top Voice Star for Top Content Strategy.
Buffer talked about her journey on the company’s X/Twitter account as well.
I was wondering what Joel Gascoigne, Buffer’s founder, has to say about having B2B creators in his company and found this LinkedIn post of his where he talks about strategies.
Which made me think that Joel refers to strategy as key puzzle pieces that are uniquely yours to take.
So in a company, B2B creators can be seen as these unique puzzle pieces. Their skills, expertise, and creativity contribute to the overall strategy in a way that distinguishes the company from others.
B2B creators bring a unique perspective and skill set that can set the company apart in its approach to business and marketing.
And when the unique puzzle pieces are connected and supported by a positive company culture, can lead to differentiated and successful outcomes in the B2B space.
How can companies build B2B creators? (and why should they)
Employees are not no longer just contributors to a company; they can be the creator and distribution channel, building the brand from a more human perspective.
Encouraging personal branding outside the organization can have a profound impact on both individual and company growth.
By supporting employees in showcasing their expertise and actively participating in industry conversations, companies amplify their collective voice and reach a broader audience.
So companies should identify the employees who have relevant skills in content creation, who know the industry really well, and have great communication skills.
Then offer these persons guidance through mentoring, training, and courses to enrich their knowledge. Set them goals like increasing brand awareness, educating customers, or others.
But keep in mind that to create successful B2B creators, company culture is highly important. This has to nurture creativity, experimentation, and personal growth.
Then share success stories of employees who have successfully built their personal brands while contributing to the company’s objectives, like Buffer does with Phill and Kristi.
The journey to building B2B creators is an investment that pays dividends in the form of thought leadership, humanized brand identity, enhanced visibility, or adaptability to industry trends.
I actually wrote an entire article about why companies should cultivate B2B creators if you want to read it.
What B2B creators can learn from Phill?
1. Find a company that supports your creativity
As I mentioned above, it’s important to find a workplace that values innovative thinking and encourages people to explore their creativity potential
Similar to what Buffer does with its employees, promoting them and talking about them on their website and on their social platforms.
2. You are not just an employee, you can be the voice of your company
When you’re a B2B creator, your insights, your endeavors, and your unique perspective contribute to your personal growth but can also shape the identity of the organization.
You can become a powerful amplifier for your company’s values, culture, and vision.
3. It’s ok to have a side project to position yourself and the company
Having a side project is a strategic move for B2B creators.
Personal projects offer you continuous learning, skill development, and positioning yourself as an industry expert.
When aligned with the company’s values and goals these side projects can create a powerful synergy, benefiting both the individual and the company.
4. A B2B creator is more than just a brand ambassador
Similar to the puzzle pieces analogy Joel Gascoigne talked about, B2B creator serves as a key puzzle piece in the company’s larger strategy.
Their skills, expertise, and creative contributions distinguish the company from its competitors.
When the B2B creators are supported by a positive company culture, they become integral components in achieving differentiation and company success.
What I like about Phill is his perseverance. He started his podcast 4 years ago and he keeps pushing forward.
Things have changed for him since then, as he transitioned from Brandwatch to Hotjar and then to Buffer, but one aspect remained consistent: his commitment to his side project.
Curious to see how his podcast will evolve and how Buffer continues to show continuous support to its B2B creators.