If you’re looking to scale your startup from a place of early traction towards a Series A, you’re no doubt aware of growth marketing and growth hacking. Whilst the two concepts have become confused and overused to the point of cliche in the last couple of years, at the fundamental level, both remain crucial functions to achieve strong and sustainable growth.
The trouble is, if you’re trying to figure out where to start with the two, there can be an overwhelming amount of mediocre content out there, as well as agencies professing to be ‘growth marketing consultancies’ who in reality do little more than run PPC campaigns for you. So to help find your feet and sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best blogs and growth hacking resources that you should be following, all authored by some of the top growth practitioners out there.
Every week Lenny’s Newsletter will tackle reader questions about product, growth marketing, people management, and any other topics that give you stress or doubts at the office.
Lenny’s top reads are:
- Overcoming Impostor Syndrome
- The Secret to a Great Planning Process — Lessons from Airbnb and Eventbrite
- The Power of Performance Reviews: Use This System to Become a Better Manager
- What Seven Years at Airbnb Taught Me About Building a Business
2. Andrew Chen
Subscribe for Andrew Chen’s weekly newsletter where he offers thoughtful essays on startups, growth, metrics, and network effects from a true Silicon Valley insider.
Andrew Chen is an investor at Andreessen Horowitz, where he focuses on consumer products, marketplaces, and bottoms up SaaS. He previously led the growth teams at Uber on which he shares his experience in his essays.
His top 3 essays on Growth Hacking:
- The red flags and magic numbers that investors look for in your startup’s metrics
- Why consumer product metrics are all terrible
- How to interview for your growth team (from execs at Atlassian, Gusto, Hubspot)
Brian Balfour, is the Founder and CEO of Reforge, which is a platform that offers masterclasses for experienced practitioners who want to continue leveling up their skills. Before Reforge, Brain was the VP Growth at HubSpot. Having experience founding multiple VC backed startups and growing their user bases to millions of active users, he decided to write essays on growth marketing and user acquisition to help you build your own growth machine.
Besides being extremely passionate about growth through his concentration on the intersection of product development and user/customer acquisition, he also shares strong tips on how to grow teams, implement new processes, build and maintain culture and engage with people. His content is more relevant for digital businesses, but is incomparable in depth and quality.
Here are some of his most popular essays:
- 7 Principles to Mastering Growth
- Why Product Market Fit Isn’t Enough
- Avoiding The Wheel Of Meaningless Growth
We highly recommend signing up for Brian’s newsletter so you don’t miss his high quality posts on growth (this is a monthly newsletter, so it won’t flood your inbox).
4. Reforge Blog
If we’re talking about Brian Balfour’s content, we should also mention the blog of the company he founded. As we said above, Reforge offers training programs for marketers looking to upskill in growth. Their blog is full on tonnes of insightful and high quality content, contributed to by the wide range of growth experts from leading companies that create the course content.
5. Neil Patel
Neil Patel is your go-to marketeer for everything you need to know about SEO, content marketing, PPC, social media, display marketing, e-commerce, email marketing and everything marketing strategy wise. Neil has help companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Airbnb, Google, Thomson Reuters, Viacom, NBC, Intuit, Zappos, American Greetings, General Motors, and SalesForce grow through marketing.
6. Sean Ellis
GrowthHackers mission is to help companies ignite sustainable growth using the cross-functional, value-based approach proven effective by today’s fastest growing companies such as Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon and Netflix.
GrowthHackers has built a platform where you can connect with thought leaders who share insights for driving sustainable growth. You can also use the platform to hire growth talent for your startup.
GrowthHackers’ blog is a great place to ask questions and start conversations with the best professionals in this field. Search for a term you would like to learn more about and you’ll get dozens of questions and posts in response to your blockers.
7. Brian Dean
Want higher rankings and more traffic? SEO will be your top priority and Brian Dean will be the right guy to guide you through this growth process with his many SEO guides on Backlinko.
On Backlinko you’ll find exact tips, strategies and techniques that you’ll need to get ranked higher. Nothing high-level, but very actionable and clear advice (that works).
If you can’t wait to get started, we’d highly recommend to go through these 2 checklists for higher rankings and more traffic:
A bit different to the ones above, Mark Johnstone is a creative marketing consultant who’s game is content marketing. It’s not just any content though, Mark specialises in creating highly shareable, viral content. Check out his portfolio on his website for inspiration. He’s also created this slideshare on how to use a structure to create similarly engaging content.
Related content: The 6 Fundamentals to Scaling Your Startup with Facebook Ads