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Episode 329: How To Grow Your Company by Focusing on Its Strengths With Nathan Bliss of Kinsta

Episode Summary

Nathan Bliss is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Kinsta, a WordPress hosting platform that knows what it does well and continues to get better at it.

“We don’t bend a lot on where we feel we fit in,” Nathan says. “It’s kind of like why you can’t Google a discount code for a Tesla. The price is the price. So that may sound a bit standoffish, but we ultimately feel that we want to provide that level of value.”

Nathan’s previous roles include everything from account executive and solutions specialist to sales coach and regional sales manager, so he calls himself a sales and revenue guy “through and through.” That background gives him a unique approach to his current position as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, in which he combines his passion for recruiting top-tier employees with his knowledge of what strengths a company should emphasize from a selling standpoint.

On this episode of Tech Qualified, Nathan discusses how to move from a broad to a more targeted marketing approach, why it’s possible for a bootstrapped company to grow with the right marketing and the aspect of management he’s currently struggling with the most: delegating.

“We are not institutionally backed and we have no institutional financing,” Nathan says. “So we had to use very scrappy, time-tested methods to grow the business from its historic past. And now if you go to Google and you search a term anywhere related to WordPress or building a website that kind of falls anywhere on that spectrum of interest, it’s hard not to find a search result [for us] on page one of Google.”

Guest Profile

Nathan Bliss

Key Insights

Episode Highlights

“It’s been a lot of, just to be transparent, hiring. A lot of interviewing, a lot of making sure that those experiences, for the right candidates, are right at the right time. … I’m a big sports fan, and I understand why Alabama is the best college football team in the last 12 years. They’re really great at recruiting. The best players make the best teams. So I kind of stay true to that.”
“I think my boss, who’s the CEO and founder of our company, has had to continually drive home to me that you don’t have to work all the time. That you keep grounding on this answer, that the answer is to work more. And I think the answer is for you to work less, and it took me months to be able to actually understand or appreciate or listen to what he was saying. I certainly heard it a couple of times in a couple of conversations, but actually putting that into practice has been step two, to do that. … In the remote work community, you have to have something to pour yourself into — a community.. … I wish I would’ve gotten that message a little bit sooner.”
“Our sales cycles are pretty short. We definitely know where we fit in — I think we have a good self-identity as a software provider to where we know who our audience is and who our solutions work best for. Everybody’s aspirational to kind of move up market and see the dollar signs grow, absolutely. … We can turn it around to customers same-day if they have sort of an innate need that reaches that level. … We want to get out in front of buyers because we are passionate that we are the best solution in the industry and we just want to meet them with that messaging and give them the best information that we can.”
“We understand ourselves as a company really well, and we’re constantly doubling down on what we feel like we do well and continuing to make advanced investments in that way. … There’s a lot of complexity associated with understanding how to best utilize those platforms that we feel that we have the engineering capability, we’ve unlocked that equation. … We don’t bend a lot on where we feel we fit in. You can’t go out and Google ‘Kinsta discount code.’ We don’t even have a discount code built into our shopping cart, and we do that very specifically because we think that we want to remain a sort of top-end provider and provide the most robust solutions and experience.”
“Historically, in the past, I think some of our strategy was to just kind of spray and pray content and write about everything in hopes that we amassed this large pool of eyeballs, and then just hope that they pay us eventually. Now, I think we’re far more specific and targeted today than we were 18 months ago with those sorts of strategies. We understand the movement as people are interacting with our website far better today than we ever have. And then we’re making sure that we understand the context of those buyers and trying to meet them with the right messaging at the right time to create more velocity and momentum up to a buying decision.”
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