Growth Hacking is B.S. Follow these Marketers instead

For those of you who didn’t read this earlier post on hacker news,  Joel Andren wrote an awesome post on how “growth hacking” is being used a vehicle to promote oneself. As someone who’s been talking about this for a while,  I was so happy to read this.

That got me thinking – if all the hype is centered around growth hacking, where are the SaaS marketers who provide evergreen content on startup marketing? I’ve been on the hunt for these people, so I figured I’d put together a list of  people you should follow. These are some of my favorites, and they focus on solid marketing principles, not fads and tactics. I split them up into groups depending on what stage your company is at (although some may bridge between different categories).

Bootstrapped

Disclaimer: I tend to gravitate towards bootstrapped marketers.

Rob Walling

Rob has launched a variety of products, and he has some great insight on how to grow your business without outside funding. I suggest checking out his blog, and he’s personally told me he only uses “growth hacker” because it gets peoples attention.

Patrick Mackenzie

Easily one of my favorites, Patio11 deliveries so much value in his email newsletters. If you aren’t on his list, you are missing out. It’s full of advice on pricing (yes, that’s part of marketing) as well as how to retain users, sprinkled with advice on customer acquisition. Do yourself a favor and signup for his email list.

Noah Kagan

Noah has quite a history of marketing & growing companies, and he teaches in a way that cuts through the clutter and buzzwords. It’s always entertaining to read one of his blog posts, or watch a video, but he’s definitely someone you should learn from.

Post-Product Market Fit

(These individuals focus on growth, which is typically venture-funded, but not always).

Brian Balfour

If you are looking for in-depth posts full of insight, you really need to check out Brian’s blog. My favorite part about reading his posts is that you learn solid business practices at the same time. It’s easy to get caught up in tactics, but Brian looks at the bigger picture. One of my favorites is his post on choosing a customer acquisition channel.

Hiten Shah (Kissmetrics Blog)

Hiten Shah is a great person to follow – the Kissmetrics blog is a great way to learn nearly everything you could ever need when marketing a startup. The blog covers a wide variety of topics, so it’s a good one-stop shop.

Sean Ellis

Yes he’s the father of term “growth hacking”, but his posts are full of serious insight and down-to-earth strategies. I spent an entire evening reading his posts, and I highly suggest you do too (most of his posts have nothing to do with growth hacking.)

Jason Cohen

I get the fact that he’s bootstrapped, but he has some awesome marketing posts on growing a company after product-market fit. Here’s a few of my favorite posts:

If you like numbers, you need to read his posts.

Rand Fishkin

The God-father of SEO, Rand (or should I say Moz), delivers so much valuable content on growing your startup. Clearly this is aimed at improving SEO, but there’s some great posts on a variety of marketing strategies. Once again, here’s some of my favorites:

Copywriting

I had to add copywriting because I believe it’s one of the most powerful marketing tactics you can use as a startup. People love to talk about button colors, but from my experience, copywriting has the biggest impact.

Copyhackers (Joanna Wiebe)

Copyhackers is an awesome resource if you’re trying to become a better copywriter. This has been something I’ve been trying to learn, and I highly recommend checking out copyhackers. Here’s a couple of my favorites:

In conclusion: There’s awesome marketers out there, but most of them aren’t always talking about the latest growth hacks. They realize it’s just a tool in a marketer’s toolbox. If you have anyone to add to the list, please let me know. I’d love to have this blog post be a resource for other marketers.

Luke Thomas

About Luke Thomas

I'm a Mainer in technology who likes growing internet companies and sharing stories about what I learn along the way. Also reading, soccer, and experimenting.

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