Gini Dietrich

The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Amanda Gant

By: Gini Dietrich | June 26, 2015 | 

Amanda Gant and Gini DietrichBy Gini Dietrich

I love Amanda Gant.

For those of you who don’t know her, put this on your bucket list: Find a way to get to Chicago to meet Amanda Gant (and see Gini, of course).

She is the marketing manager at Orbit Media Studios and gets to work with some of the brightest minds in the web development industry, including Andy Crestodina.

I was immediately taken by her a few years ago when I learned she is from Valentine, Nebraska and went to the University of Nebraska (go Cornhuskers!). I’m a Creighton University grad and have lots and lots of friends who are Husker grads (even went to a frat party or 20 there during college) so there is a strong affinity there.

She is ridiculously smart and witty, which makes her hilarious and one of my favorite people on earth.

So here she is…sitting on the Spin Sucks Inquisition hot seat.

What is the Biggest Mistake You’ve Made in Your Career?

The one I regret the most is staying at a job that I really disliked way past the expiration date.

If you’ve lost interest in what you’re doing or why you’re doing it, it’s time to go.

No one wins in those situations. Not you or the company.

What is One Thing about Yourself that Would Surprise Most People?

I go by both Amy and Amanda. Up until I moved to Chicago I went by Amy, but my birth name is Amanda.

It’s sort of a long story so I’ll try to make it short.

Apparently, my dad dated some girl in high school named Amanda and when I was born he wanted to name me Amanda.

Mom was not having it, but she’s a fair woman. She compromised and put Amanda on the birth certificate, but called me Amy.

When I moved to Chicago I worked for a real estate company and there were two women named Amy there.

My boss decided that was two too many so she decided she was going to call me Heather.

I said, “well my real name is Amanda…”.

So, all of my friends back home in Nebraska, my family, and a few select Chicago friends call me Amy but everyone else knows me as Amanda.

The only time I was called Amanda up until 2003 was when mom got really angry.

She’d yell “AMANDA LYNN GANT!”

It packed more of a punch, I think.

If You Could Achieve Everything You Ever Wanted in Life, but Had to Die 10 Years Sooner, Would You Make that Trade?


I think your goals and things that you want to achieve change all the time.

If I died 10 years early, I’d miss out on wanting to achieve new things and achieving them.

Besides, I’ve always pictured my older self shaking a fist at the neighborhood kids and just doing crazy stuff because I can.

Doesn’t translate as well in your younger years.

What Industry Advice or Practice Would You Most Like to Cry Foul On?

People mistaking “best practices” as stone cold tactics. They are meant to be guidelines.

Find what works for you, your business, and (most importantly) your customers.

I hear this all the time, “I read that it’s best practice to have X on your website. Can I add that?”

Sure! With a good content management system or a developer, you can add almost anything to your site.

But should you?

Go look at your analytics first.

Ask your customers what they want.

Is this something that’s going be effective?

Can you justify the ROI?

These are the questions you need to be asking yourself.

Here’s my tip (for best practices and life in general).

Ask yourself “why?” three times.

The second why should question your first answer.

Then go deeper and question yourself again with another why.

If you can’t give a good reason why to all three questions, then nix it.

I think the original technique tells you to do it five times, but I’ve found that three usually does the trick.

What is the Best Book You’ve Read in the Past Six Months?

I’m pretty sure if book ADD is a thing, I have it.

I’m in the middle of three books. Wild, Trust Me I’m Lying, and Becoming Bestimore, which is about my ancestors who came over from Denmark and settled in Nebraska. It’s fascinating.

I also edited all three versions of Andy Crestodina’s book, Content Chemistry, so I’ve read that one more than a hundred times and at least thirty times in the past six months.

Why Does Spin Suck?

Because it’s disingenuous.

I know this has been said over and over again, but it’s true.

People don’t want to be duped. Be upfront, be honest. Teach people. Don’t try to be deceptive.

Where You Can Find Amanda Gant

Like any great web marketer, Amanda Amy Heather can be found in various places.

Stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Slideshare, and on the Orbit blog.

She also is the brains and body behind the Orbit Twitter handle so you can have some fun with her there.

She also has a favor to ask you. Orbit is getting ready to complete their second annual blogger survey and would like you to take it.

Giddy up!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • Great inquisition, Amanda/Amy/Heather! 🙂

  • Ah, Amanda! I remember you! You made fun of me for having a QR code on my business cards at Content Jam. But it was all in good jest. I deserved it, I suppose lol. How are you?! It’s been a while.  🙂 
    Loved this inquisition, by the way! I have book ADD, too. I’m always reading at least 5 different books at the same time. You’re not alone!

  • Yay, Amanda! A great person!
    Hilarious that The Office totally stole your story: Erin was called Kelly but it was too confusing with the other Kelly there so she decided to go by her “real” name, Erin.

  • JRHalloran  I have a QR Code on my business cards….

  • Nobody should cry foul on Amanda’s paragraph response to Industry Advice or Practice: “People mistaking “best practices” as stone cold tactics. They are meant to be guidelines.” The Amy and Amanda are understandable although I can’t quite whether the Heather 😉 No matter the calling card, the excellence of her work for Orbit Media Studios, webinars particularly, are omnipresent.

  • Digital_DRK JRHalloran Me, too! Though I sometimes apologize for it.
    I tell myself it’s okay because: 1) it’s on the back; 2) it’s used for the purpose it was designed for: to link to something valuable, and not just a web page; 3) the destination page has always been mobile friendly.
    But that all sounds like rationalization …

  • Amanda, great to see and learn about here. I ask myself “why” A LOT… Cheers.

  • RobBiesenbach JRHalloran   I removed the QR from my CV ages ago, I think my QR links to my LinkedIn.  Next business card batch – it’s gone.

  • JRHalloran HAHAHAH! That’s hilarious!

  • amandalgant

    Digital_DRK great to meet you too!

  • amandalgant

    RobBiesenbach Thanks, Rob! Great seeing you here. About The Office….. Shouldn’t I get royalties? I’m not sure how all that works.

  • amandalgant

    JRHalloran oh yes! I absolutely made fun of your QR code, but you stood out so I guess it worked! 🙂

  • tim_ash

    orbiteers SpinSucks ginidietrich no

  • orbiteers

    tim_ash hahah just razzing ya 🙂

  • tim_ash

    orbiteers takes a lot more than that… 😉

  • amandalgant

    tim_ash orbiteers challenge accepted!

  • Hey Amanda, Amy, Heather! Great to see you on the hot seat! Enjoy your day!
    P.S: Already done the survey! Do I get brownies???

  • ginidietrich

    tim_ash Are you mad I didn’t use your photo of the two of us? We’re both so sweaty in it! orbiteers SpinSucks

  • Corina Manea Now you want brownies?! Jeez.

  • ginidietrich What? It´s almost weekend, I deserve it! 😉

  • amandalgant

    Corina Manea ginidietrich I’m pretty sure you’d rather have a high five from me than my brownies. I can cook up a storm but baking is not my thing. I think it’s the following directions thing… 😉

  • amandalgant great inquisition!  I love the story about your name.

  • tim_ash

    ginidietrich orbiteers SpinSucks You say “sweaty woman” like its a bad thing… 🙂

  • RobBiesenbach Digital_DRK JRHalloran Mine was on the back, too! I learned from amandalgant to apologize for placing it on there and just tell everyone it was just an error in judgment. (I was a little tipsy when I made mine, okay?)  😛

  • amandalgant Yay!  😀

  • LSSocialEngage amandalgant Me too. I also have a list of names I will not name my future daughter lol. (Amy, Amanda and Heather are still in the clear, though!)

  • tim_ash

    ginidietrich orbiteers SpinSucks you say “sweaty woman” like its a bad thing… 🙂

  • orbiteers

    tim_ash ginidietrich SpinSucks I like to say that we were “glowing” 😉

  • amandalgant ginidietrich LOL, ok I´m sold! 😉

  • Nice to meet you Amanda, Amy, er Amanda, um, Gini’s friend. 😉

  • For sure! There is a list of names I certainly did not pick for my sons 🙂

  • Franklin_Adam

    I love it girls. Great inquisition!  Amanda your survey has been completed too — the data now had a bit of down under flavour to it.

  • “My boss decided that was two too many so she decided she was going to call me Heather.”

    Hahahaha! What?! Oh, sorry…I’m just going to call you “Heather.” It’s like your real estate stage name. 

    And HI BIRTHDAY TWIN!! I waited to come over here because Gini is being very territorial of you and won’t let you be my friend as well. Unfortunately, the universe obviously has different plans.

    Universe: 1, Gini: 0


    Great inquisition! Always fun to learn more about you.

  • Just always shocked not one person would trade 10 years for peace on earth! Not one. I thought amandalgant would be the one. But no…..god forbid she missed out on winning the 2068 Moonbase Alpha Quilathon.

    I decided that instead of Spin….a little Twisted Truth is ok…and if you go really light a Twisted Truth Half and Half. 

    Through these doors walk the greatest fans on earth. Been there,

  • amandalgant

    LauraPetrolino hahaha she can be like that. 😉 Birthday Twins for life!!

  • amandalgant

    Franklin_Adam You’re the best!!!! 
    Sending you dinosaur pics shortly. You could only say that in the spins sucks comment section and no one would question it.

  • amandalgant

    Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Nice to meet you as well! I also used to have a vendor that called me Amanada so just pick one and go with it. I’m cool. 🙂

  • amandalgant

    T60Productions ginidietrich SpinSucks thanks, Tony! 🙂