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Katy Nally

Katy is a digger, of information and earth. It just depends if her clients want an eBook or some endive. She helps companies across industries find their voices and speak the language of their audience. She’s also fluent in tomatoes.

Managing Storyteller | LinkedIn
Meet Liz, your source for viral content 

03/09/2022

Meet Liz, your source for viral content 

By Katy Nally

Meet Liz, your source for viral content 

Image by Guangyi Li

As a marketer, having your work go viral is like chasing down the double rainbow, discovering its pot of gold, and diving in as if you were Scrouge McDuck. Few have felt that glorious feeling, but those who do will never forget it. Liz Mangini is in that select group.

A lifelong writer turned 2A marketing consultant, Liz not only lends her viral magic to our clients, but she also delivers a consulting experience as thrilling as a DuckTales adventure. She provides a Huey-Dewey-and-Louie trifecta that can’t miss. Here’s what it’s like to work with Liz:

Huey—the brave one with panache

Liz is fearless. She’s always up to try something new, which is why she’s dabbled in real estate, construction, higher education, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, and finally technology. Throughout her long career, writing and marketing has been the common thread. After graduating with a degree in communications, Liz went on to support marketing at a hospital and later founded the Body Image Blog where she wrote posts related to body positivity and self-esteem. No matter what she’s focused on, Liz is driven to help other people succeed. It’s what motivated her to ghost write for c-suite executives at Microsoft and promote small businesses as a writer for Fidalgo Living Magazine.

Dewey—the clever one with great ideas

While running the Body Image Blog, Liz perfected the art of turning great ideas into viral content. Within just one year, the blog reached over one million viewers, as several posts took off and racked up the views. Her Q&A post with model Lizzie Miller quickly spread throughout the blogosphere. She also interviewed big names like Laurel Touby and was invited to Leeza Gibbons’ radio show, Hollywood Confidential to discuss her blog. As attention from the press mounted, Redbook even reached out to see if Liz would write an article for the magazine.

After the University of Washington caught word of her popularity, the school asked if Liz would lead a social media workshop to teach students how to spread their content. She was such a hit that the UW also asked her to serve as an advisory board member for the editing program.

Louie—the charismatic one you can’t get enough of

By the time she landed at Inviso, Liz had so many varied experiences under her belt that she could connect with just about anyone. In that role she also moved away from writing toward marketing consulting. As a natural-born people person, Liz felt right at home helping clients achieve their goals and supporting new hires to build their skills.

It takes a trifecta of elements—a Huey, Dewey, and Louie, if you will—to create the perfect consultant. With Liz at 2A, clients get a fearless writer, creative thinker, and relationship builder bent on success.

Work with Liz to see how she can help you make your next blog, eBook, and case study go viral!

Mai oh my what a writer! 

02/01/2022

Mai oh my what a writer! 

By Katy Nally

Mai oh my what a writer! 

Have you ever met a playwright? I hear there aren’t as many as there used to be. So, if you’re fortunate enough to cross paths with one, consider carving out a moment to chat. If Mai Sennaar is any indication, they’re fascinating.

At 2A we’re always looking to grow our crew of creative minds, so we jumped at the chance to add Mai’s talent to the mix. Mai wowed us with the fact that she ran her own production company and wrote, directed, and produced several plays. Her first production, The Broken Window Theory, starred a Tony Award winner. In addition, her play The Arsonist was performed at both the Smithsonian Affiliate Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and the Berkeley Art Museum.

A natural-born creative with an immense ability to wield words, Mai takes the storyteller position to new heights. Much like one of her plays, Mai’s work at 2A builds the story arc, pulls the audience in, and influences the reader’s point of view.

Building the story arc

Mai comes from a creative household. Her mother was a founding member of Sweet Honey in the Rock and went on to compose music for the Broadway show, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. While at Howard Community College, Mai started channeling her creative streak into theater and even picked up an award for one of her early works. By then she’d caught the playwrighting bug and applied to NYU Tisch School of the Arts to study with the greats.

At Tisch she learned the ancient art of storytelling and practiced building stories to follow a narrative arc. Euripides and Sophocles taught her the origins of dramatic writing, and mentors like Richard Wesley encouraged her own burgeoning voice. After graduating, Mai wrote The Fall of the Kings, which debuted at the Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx.

Pulling the audience in

Mai knows how to expertly uncover cherished soundbites so characters can woo an audience and marketers can connect with customers. Just before joining 2A, Mai worked for the U.S. Senate democrats as a digital creative director, writing commercials to promote mid-term election candidates. In that role she faced a new challenge of marrying scripted and unscripted moments into a piece that won over viewers. Today, she uses those same skills to write compelling blogs and build customer-evidence videos.

Mai also has a knack for interviewing, which she honed through her work for the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) in Washington DC. She interviewed dozens of high-profile individuals and published the conversations in the CLEO Edge magazine to attract more people of color to the legal profession. At 2A she puts her Q-and-A skills to use during customer interviews for case studies.

Influencing your point of view

No matter what she pens, Mai shines when she’s tasked with influencing the audience. Her plays have a way of making you pause and evaluate, while her case studies and videos compel customers to act. Wherever she goes, Mai lets her values lead her. Her most fulfilling experiences have been when her writing has mobilized people who were disenfranchised. When her work was performed for a New York City high school group, they told Mai how they’d connected with her characters, especially around issues like gentrification and displaced families. Seeing those students relate to her work was one of her high points as a writer.

At 2A she’s found a place where she can tackle new writing challenges and push the boundaries of storytelling. We can’t wait to see where she’ll take us next.

We’re not freaking, we’re donating

01/11/2022

We’re not freaking, we’re donating

By Katy Nally

We’re not freaking, we’re donating

Image by Guangyi Li

My dad was a bit strict when I was a kid. In high school I either had to join a sports team or get a job so I’d be occupied after school and less likely to get into trouble. By college I figured this rule no longer applied and was excited at the prospect of nearly two months at home doing nothing. The time between my finals ending and my summer job starting could be filled with episodes of The Wendy Williams Show and napping in the sun.

But alas, he was on to me. He told me I had to find something to fill those few weeks. This presented a challenge, as not many companies are willing to hire a completely untrained 18 year old for less than two months. So I got creative. I looked at summer study abroad programs and discovered I could spend that time on the island of Rhodes in Greece. Napping in the sun here we come!

When I returned to the states, I had a few Greek phrases in my pocket, like σας ευχαριστώ (thank you) and πόσο κάνη ένας σαλάτα (how much is one salad). I also knew the alphabet well enough to read the fraternity and sorority houses on campus.

I wish I could say my Greek faded away unnoticed, but lately the alphabet has been making a comeback into my lexicon. This time, though, the alphabet doesn’t remind me of snorkeling and cliff jumping, it just gives me the heebie jeebies that COVID-19 is a comin’.

As COVID zooms through the Greek alphabet, we’re trying not to freak out, and instead put our energy toward helping our friends and neighbors. In lieu of a year-end gift for 2A’s clients, we donated on their behalf to organizations that are making a real difference in our community. Thanks for helping us support Black Girls Code, Duwamish River Community Coalition, and FEEST Seattle.

And who knows, maybe 2022 is the year that Greek surrenders its variants in favor of sandy beaches and street food.

A nightmare on helm street

10/27/2021

A nightmare on helm street

By Katy Nally

A nightmare on helm street

Image by Rachel Adams

His name is Mano: He’s amorphous, invisible, and slightly threatening. And he’s the latest addition to a family of monsters who persuade my 2-year-old, Rowan, to complete basic tasks.  

The book Hunt, Gather, Parent inspired the creation of Mano, who convinces Rowan to wash his hands when he comes home. You see, Mano lives in our sink drain and eats the dirt from your hands. Luckily for me, he’s insatiable. If you don’t feed him as soon as you get home, he’ll suck you down the drain. Mano is very effective. 

Just a few weeks after introducing Mano, Rowan not only washes his hands, he also polices everyone else to make sure we all wash our hands, lest Mano escape and chase after us. Mano is so effective, in fact, it made me want to invent some technology monsters I can hide in ebooks who persuade technical decision makers to act.  

So, in the spirit of Halloween, here are a few spooky buggers lurking in the shadows of your cloud technologies. 

  • Niner: He jumps up and down on your cloud trying to hamper your availability. Every 9 he finds, he swallows whole. It’s getting serious—you’re already down to 99.9999. 
  • Corny: She eats the last two rows of data in any table you migrate, making it a dark and scary journey to the cloud. Beware! 
  • Webs: He lives in your data warehouse, pulling out APIs and gumming up the works so you no longer have real-time insights. You have (gasp) yesterday’s data! 
  • Kondo: She swims in your data lake and is sick of bumping into mismatched data. She’s on a mission to organize, culling sources so you’re only left with one size, shape, and speed.  

The good news is, 2A knows how technology monsters operate and can help you convince your audience to fight back!  

Meet Brandon, our very own Picasso of PowerPoint

06/09/2021

Meet Brandon, our very own Picasso of PowerPoint

By Katy Nally

Meet Brandon, our very own Picasso of PowerPoint

Image by Guangyi Li

What do Hawaii, Gears of War, and PowerPoint all have in common? They’ve shaped Brandon Conboy into the designer he is today.

Though he’s a Seattle native, Brandon grew up with close ties to both Hawaii and Guam. As a kid, he flew to Oahu several times each year to visit his grandparents. It’s where he learned to keep a mellow head— as his dad calls it—and the value of being calm and collected. That cool, island attitude would come in handy as Brandon carved out his fast-paced, multi-faceted design career.

At Washington State University, Brandon earned his first bachelor’s degree, this one in fine arts, allowing him to continue dabbling in all things design—from photography to illustration. When he graduated, Brandon landed a dream gig doing quality control for the Xbox game Gears of War. As a game tester, he honed his eye for graphical issues like incorrect textures in backgrounds. While the job satisfied his love of video games, it didn’t push his design skills as much as he had hoped.

Brandon made the courageous move to return to WSU for a second bachelor’s degree—this time in digital technology and culture. He even asked the dean to overload his schedule so he could graduate faster. After graduation, Brandon landed at Silver Fox and got his first glimpse into the world of corporate presentations.

When his colleague—who went on to design Satya Nadella’s presentations—showed him the possibilities of PowerPoint, “it was like watching someone play piano,” he said. In no time, his own PowerPoint skills went from zero to 60, as he provided round-the-clock design support at Microsoft conferences. Brandon loved the life of an event-bound designer, traveling once a month to work on-site and cashing in on perks like front-row seats to see Macklemore.

By the time he reached 2A, Brandon was a PowerPoint pro with a sharp eye for design and the ability to stay cool while juggling multiple projects. When asked what are his favorite kinds of assets to work on, Brandon reflects, “I enjoy projects that allow me to create custom graphics, such as key art and cover images; decks and blog posts give me a chance to create something interesting.”

These days, you can find Brandon lending his creative eye to projects ranging from everything to social cards and eBooks as well as PowerPoint and blog posts. Looking for a design experience that brings calm to the chaotic, look no further than Brandon Conboy!

Cats off to a new kind of eBook

04/28/2021

Cats off to a new kind of eBook

By Katy Nally

Cats off to a new kind of eBook

Image by Brandon Conboy

Welcome to the feral world of eBooks—where even the way you write “eBook” can get catty (is it ebook, Ebook, e-book, or eBook?!) First off, many clients confuse eBooks with whitepapers. The former delivers a high-level taste of your product while the latter provides a technical deep dive. And once you finally sort out the deliverable you want, there are many ways to get eBooks wrong, leaving customers disappointed that they handed over their email addresses for a supposedly juicy asset.

The biggest mistake? Content that sends readers straight into a cat nap. They’re longwinded duds. The main points may be there, but readers had to slog through 20 pages to find them. And the next biggest mistake? The story doesn’t connect to the reader’s needs. Without relevant context as to why someone should care, m-architecture diagrams—no matter how beautiful—just won’t land.

Our eBook breakthrough: informative ≠ boring

eBooks can be exciting! Ours take you on big cat adventures and still land the main points. Fancy Feast that! For instance, in our eBook about a NoSQL database, we thought, how about a cat hotel to explain the nuances across database models and entice the audience to dig in—right meow!

While we could write cat puns all day long, for an eBook to land, it has to be built on a solid framework.

Our eBooks are like catnip because:

  • We break down tough concepts: Technology is complicated, but your audience shouldn’t need a PhD to understand how your product works. We break down the technical concepts—and sometimes bring in the purrfect metaphor—so anyone can understand how it works.
  • We grow the flow: There’s always more to the story than just product specs. We keep readers engaged with a narrative that’s easy to follow and doesn’t break the flow with a million marketing benefits or buzzword soup.
  • We put it in context: If the audience doesn’t know why they should care, then a marketer somewhere should be fired. We frame the benefits of your product in a way that resonates with the reader.

So how about an eBook as thrilling as a laser pointer darting along the floor?

Take the leap and land safely with 2A.

Image of Mike in a neon blue and yellow suit next to a license play that says

03/18/2021

Mike—the fresh prince of marketing

By Katy Nally

Image of Mike in a neon blue and yellow suit next to a license play that says

Image by Thad Allen

I always feel a certain kinship with a fellow East Coaster. And beyond that, Mike Lahoda and I both arrived in Seattle—sight unseen—after cultivating an appreciation for the West Coast mostly through pop culture and 90s TV shows. So, in the spirit of our childhood understanding of the sunnier side of the country, I bring you this employee spotlight about Mike, our newest consultant, entirely based off the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. (Many thanks to Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff for this 1992 track.)

Now this is a story, all about how
Mike came to Seattle and made us say “wow”
I’d like to take a minute, so sit right there
I’ll tell you how he became a marketing ace—it’s rare!

In southern New Jersey, born and raised
In the suburbs is where he spent most of his days
Chillin out, biking, walkin to school
While chasin his friends, and actin real cool
When he got an idea, “Let’s do some good”
He started planning ways to help his neighborhood
He studied philosophy and got his bike in gear
Then he moved to Seattle to start tutoring for City Year

The mountains were calling, and when they came near
Mike was ready to climb—he had no fear
If anything they proved he could take on a dare
And he thought, “What’s next—nonprofits? You got it, I’m there”

Mike climbed up through the ranks at a homebuilding biz
His MBA classes made him a marketing whiz
But he still wanted more—to grow with a team
So he joined 2A
now he’s living the dream

The entrepreneurial force is strong in Joe Belcher

02/04/2021

The entrepreneurial force is strong in Joe Belcher

By Katy Nally

The entrepreneurial force is strong in Joe Belcher

Joe likes to get in at ground zero. He likes facing limitless possibilities and the ability to shape what’s yet to come—even if it means getting his hands dirty. His entrepreneurial streak has led him from marketing kids’ bunkbeds, to building a craft-brewing curriculum, to carving out a market for Tombolo Institute.

“I love coming in at the ground level—the spirit, the hope, the opportunity—there’s this energy where people are so willing to work together to achieve a broader goal.” —Joe Belcher

The spirit

Joe got his first taste of marketing straight out of college at Walt Disney in Los Angeles. But the organization didn’t deliver the startup pace of change that Joe’s entrepreneurial spirit craved, so he started looking around. At the time, Hollywood Video was in its infancy with huge potential to take off. Joe jumped right in, accumulated as many hats as they’d let him wear, and finally left his marketing position after the chain had established 3,000 stores nationwide.

The hope

By 2014, Joe had founded his own company, Joe Belcher Marketing, helping companies stand out with targeted marketing strategies and assets. When his professor friends in Portland reached out about a new venture to enable the craft beer scene, Joe couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Crafting A Strategy brought hope to the little guys—the ones driven by their passion for hops and obsession with the perfect pour—to compete against mass-production labels. With all the craft breweries popping up, the three founders saw the chance to educate brewers on the business side of things through an online curriculum. Joe helped launch the new company and led the brand and website creation.

The opportunity

Steeped in continuing education, Joe made his next move to join 2A as an embedded consultant for Bellevue College. 2A had led the brand development for the school’s tech-focused spin-off, Tombolo Institute, and Joe was ready to add some meat to its bare-bones framework. The marketing plan, the reporting, the outreach, the assets—Joe tackled it all. And then, the pandemic. While many industries made cutbacks, tech seemed to be immune. For those who were out of work, the opportunity through Tombolo presented new meaning. And Joe dove right in to energize his team for a new pivot.

Rachel’s hot designs thaw the Seattle freeze

10/15/2020

Rachel’s hot designs thaw the Seattle freeze

By Katy Nally

Rachel’s hot designs thaw the Seattle freeze

She might not wear flannel (all the time) and has more warm than freeze, but Rachel is firmly rooted in her adoptive city of Seattle. In a classic, Meg-Ryan plot twist, Rachel gave up her fast-paced, New-York-City job as design director at Pearhead to move across the country for love. But just because she’s made a new home in the Emerald City, doesn’t mean she’s abandoned all that she learned in the Big Apple.

From intern to director

As soon as Rachel graduated from the University of Miami—where she double majored in creative advertising and graphic design—she set her sights on New York City. Something about the hustle of the Big Apple pulled her in. Against her mom’s apprehension, she answered a job listing on Craigslist for a design internship, then traded in her sandy beaches for skyscrapers. The small startup gave her lots of room to grow. Within six years she was directing a team of product designers and visiting manufacturers in China to talk shop.

She became that high-rise creative

The career she envisioned for herself had come true. She was leading a creative team, exercising her design skills, and breathing in the artistry of the city. From Pearhead’s office in Brooklyn, she developed her love of typography and print, finding inspiration from Pentagram’s Paula Scher and discovering new ways to use words as design elements.

When she decided to leave New York, Rachel was ready to give up the fast-paced hustle of the city. But she still held on to her vision of working at a creative agency. At 2A, she found her New-York-City equivalent, happily trading in her view of the East River for a peek at the Puget Sound. Rachel was excited to dig in to design for the tech industry, and work with big-name clients like AWS and Microsoft. As a senior designer, she’s brought invaluable efficiencies to the creative process and redefined 2A’s approach to ebooks.  

Soaking up all Seattle has to offer

Rachel’s inner flower child fit in perfectly with the Seattle backdrop of farmers’ markets, weekend water floats, and free-for-all blackberries. Even she acknowledges how she’s “leaned in” to Seattle-themed hobbies, from fawning over fresh-cut dahlias to paddle boarding on Lake Union. At this rate, she’s probably hunting for a Tom-Hanks-style houseboat.

Donations on the half shell

09/24/2020

Donations on the half shell

By Katy Nally

I find myself saying “Damn you 2020!” more frequently the closer we get to wrapping this dumpster fire of a year. So many bright spots were snuffed out by 2020, including dozens of events that ended up on the chopping block. For 2A, we skipped our annual summer party, which is normally a non-stop, oyster-and-champagne-fueled mingle-thon.

But fortunately, some good came from canceling our summer event. Turns out 2020 can’t take away our ability to support organizations in our community who do tremendous work. We polled the office and donated to a shortlist of nonprofits, including:

Friends of Youth
Atlantic Street Center
Mary’s Place
Africatown Community Land Trust
Mockingbird Society
Choose 180

We’re bummed our summer party was nixed, but we’re glad to see our donations make the rounds—even if we can’t.

Here’s looking at you, 2021!