Devrims #TechTalk 021: Kathy Zant Talks About Unlocking Success in Digital Marketing and WordPress

Rimsha Victor Gill

Devrims #TechTalk 021: Kathy Zant Talks About Unlocking Success in Digital Marketing and WordPress

Table of Contents

Kathy Zant saw the miracle of internet very early. As the internet grew, she grew with it. From the simple days of HTML to complex universe of WordPress and beyond, Kathy has seen it all.

This is why this interview is packed with information you won’t anywhere else. Like her fellow WordPress influencers, Kathy is open to discuss to pretty much anything that’s related to WordPress, digital marketing, and ecommerce.

Kathy is Director of Marketing at Kadence WP, a theme-based full-scale solution for building robust WordPress website. With her newsletter Zantastic, she informs you about all the latest in the world of WordPress and digital security.

Devrims: Great to have you today, Kathy! Tell us about yourself and how things are going these days.

Kathy: So happy to be here! Things are going great. I’m having such a great time working with people who are building amazing websites with Kadence and WordPress, and also sharing insights about security so people can not only keep their WordPress sites safe but their digital lives as well.

Devrims: We want to know about your journey from a hacker to a marketer. Please share your story and highlight some significant hurdles you encountered.

Kathy: I actually studied communication in college, but as soon as I discovered the internet, I knew I wanted to specialize in communicating online. I was lucky to get started young when the internet was also young. So I learned as the internet evolved: HTML, Javascript, CSS, databases, etc.

Devrims: In your 20-year career, working with Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, what challenges did you face in diverse environments, and how did you adapt your strategies?

Kathy: I’ve spent the majority of my life in smaller businesses as an entrepreneur, both running my own agency as well as partnering with my husband in his content creation business. There are a few strategies that have helped me through challenges, primarily communication, introspection, and patience. Sometimes things just need to work themselves out, but being clear in communication and clear with my intent in communicating with clients, customers, co-workers, and other stakeholders can make all the difference.

Devrims: How do you approach conversion rate optimization for websites and what tactics do you find most effective to improve conversion rate for your client’s website? 

Kathy: Conversion rate optimization is really an exercise in putting yourself in your site visitor’s shoes and crafting a journey that helps a site visitor engage and understand your products and services. By understanding the problems your prospective customers are trying to solve or the aspirations your audience has, optimizing for conversions is simplified. Meet your customers where they are, and guide them towards solutions and the attainment of their goals.

Whether you’re solving for a pain point or helping someone reach a higher summit, closing a sale is really just finding ways to be of more service to your audience.

Devrims: When establishing a successful partnership in the digital industry, what fundamental factors are essential for a beneficial relationship between businesses and individuals?

Kathy: Partnerships come down to synergistic win-wins; when two people or organizations come together.

Devrims: Let’s move on to a quick rapid-fire question:

Devrims Kathy
Mountain or beaches Mountains
Divi or Astra Kadence! But Astra is nice, too.
Tea or coffee Coffee

Devrims: What inspired you to name your newsletter Zantastic?

Kathy: I had a conversation with someone in which I said, “Thank you, you’re fantastic.” They replied, “Well, you’re Zantastic!” I may have had a glass of wine in my hand and a domain registration page open on my phone in the other. Anyway, I saw was available, and I laughed as I bought it. I eventually will have a podcast there, but I also needed to incorporate for a sum of money coming in, so I chose Zantastic LLC as my business entity name. I have so much fun with the play on my name.

Devrims: Let’s discuss WordPress security! Why do you think hackers focus on small businesses, and what strategies you would offer to safeguard their websites?

Kathy: Hackers expect that small businesses have less focus on security whereas larger businesses, that might also be using WordPress, have greater security focus and awareness. As such, it’s just as easy to exploit vulnerabilities in 100 small business websites as it is into one large Fortune 100 business website. The effects are the same: those small business websites have the same resources and capabilities as one large site. Often these smaller sites are used in campaigns to attack other sites.

Devrims: How can WordPress agencies enhance their marketing strategies to achieve better results?

Kathy: Know your customers and help them succeed with whatever they’re trying to do. Solve their problems, make it easier to use your products and services, and foster better relationships. With every email, landing page, receipt, or conversation, businesses have an opportunity to create stronger relationships with their customers and users.

Devrims: Since we are talking about  WordPress, a website’s performance is significantly affected by the hosting service. In your expert opinion, what key elements contribute to an excellently managed wordpress hosting?

Kathy: Having developed websites for over 20 years and starting before WordPress, I’ve seen how well hosting and hosting products have matured. I appreciate great hosting that provides both security and performance optimizations baked within the hosting platform so my WordPress application can focus on doing the job it was intended to do: serve up great content, stellar images, and do so unencumbered by other processes. I also appreciate managed hosting that gives me additional tools to look at log files, the database, backups, and more.

Devrims: What specific features or advantages does Kadence, the block-based editor, offer compared to traditional editors?

Kathy: Kadence is an ecosystem of tools that help people build more effective websites. From the lightweight and highly performant theme to the Kadence Blocks plugin, Kadence helps people build WordPress websites that are both fast-loading and also beautiful. When given the opportunity to help grow awareness about Kadence, I jumped at it. Kadence WP literally changed my relationship with Gutenberg. It took the block editor from a proof of concept to an easy-to-use tool that helped me do more with WordPress. Goodbye page builders! I’m here for building natively in Kadence.

Devrims: What are your thoughts on the growing trend of AI headshot generators in the creative industry?

Kathy: I’ve tried a few of them. One of them was pretty darn good, the other was a complete disaster. The darn good one changed how I saw myself, and I actually use a couple of them as my new headshot. I’d never buy those clothes in the past, but I’ve considered changing my wardrobe and hairstyle based on what the AI tool showed me. I promise, however, to not change my career into either real estate or country music. I don’t think those industries could handle me. 😂

Devrims: We know your love for animals. Please share a memorable moment with us.

Kathy: I was recently reminded of the first family of foster kittens I raised. They came with momma and five kittens. Mama got sick in the midst of their stay, and one of the babies stopped eating and almost died. We turned him around with some intensive care and he went to his forever family. It was a harrowing experience, but it was great seeing him finally thrive.

Devrims: Lastly, name three individuals who inspire you and we should interview them.

  1. Michelle Frechette, Director of Community at StellarWP
  2. Marcus Burnette, Creator of the WP World
  3. Vito Peleg, Creator of Atarim (We love this interview!)

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