6 Questions with Sahil Jain, Co-Founder of AdStage
1. First of all, can you tell us a little about your role and what you do at AdStage?
I am the CEO & Co-founder of AdStage. While the role adapts quite a bit, I spend the majority of my time hiring, working with my direct reports (product, design, sales) and am traveling for speaking gigs and BD opportunities to expand AdStage’s reach.
2. Can you tell us a little about your go to market strategy, current growth/marketing channels are working for you right now?
AdStage is a heavy content marketing company. As a self-serve platform with a free trial we focus on getting as many new trialers per day as we can. The vast majority of which come from our SEO and content channels.
We’ve produced over 300 blog posts to date, none that really have to do with AdStage but are all about educational content for digital marketers. We believe content marketing should be altruistic and that in exchanging high value with readers you’ll inevitably build trust in your brand and product.
While we focus on inbound lead gen tactics, we have started kicking off more aggressive outbound tactics with some paid marketing across search and social.
However, the real magic happens once a lead is in our system and our marketing automation kicks in to nurture them throughout their lifecycle with AdStage from cold lead to customer and beyond.
3. What is the biggest mistake you have made with AdStage so far that other founders can learn from?
LOADS. Honestly, not even sure where to begin as every mistake has built our character as a company to where we are today, and I feel as though we are in great shape.
I think one of the biggest personal aspects to work on as a founder is maintaining your composure when things get tough (and things are ALWAYS getting tough). It’s important to remain calm, resolute and focused even if you’re internally anxious.
As a founder, you’re a leader. Your emotions will trickle down, both positive and negative. It’s critical to be cognizant of that.
4. Let’s talk you… what apps, blogs, and tools can’t you live without?
My stack is pretty standard to be honest. I use my phone (iPhone 6 Plus) more than my computer with regards to sending emails, calls, etc. I frequent gmail, facebook, twitter, linkedin and of course instagram for all of my travel, wine and food pictures that I am sure folks get tired of seeing!
The one app I always give a shoutout to is Yesware. Email tracking may be creepy, but it is certainly addictive and has an interesting meta-game to it.
5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?
Nothing crazy here, just use respectful brevity in any interaction (meetings, casual exchanges in the hall, email, chats, etc).
This is a lot harder to master than one may think. Many of us like the sound of our own voice and for whatever reason like to overcomplicate situations so that there is something to think about a complex plan to execute.
More often than not a complex solution can be broken down into simple, easy-to-execute chunks that require far less orchestration and limit the surface area for failure.
6. What resource have you watched/read/listened to that’s had the biggest impact on your business/life recently, and why?
I grew up reading a reasonable amount of philosophy – David Hume being one of my all-time favorites and likely the most impactful to my day to day. My dad recommended On Bullshit and Fooled by Randomness, which I frequently recommend to others.