by Alex Grechanowski
by Alex Grechanowski
Start-Up Chile has grown into one of the biggest and most diverse startup communities, with more than 3,000 entrepreneurs. Some of their startups have been acquired by large corporations (12 startups, such as WeHostels, acquired by Student Universe, CruiseWise, acquired by TripAdvisor, Aventones, acquired by Bla Bla Car, among others).
I’m looking forward to helping the awesome teams find traction and scale growth.
Start-Up Chile has a large portfolio, receiving in between 200 – 250 companies a year. This deal flow is represented by 3 distinct programs based on the stage of the startup.
Start-Up Chile Perks:
LOGIN is one of the largest gathering of technology community in the Baltic States. In 2016, on May 5-6, it gathered more than 100 interesting speakers and 5000 participants from Lithuania and across the globe.
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It was a 10th anniversary event this year so I simply could not miss it and meet some awesome folks for a coffee, discussing Lithuanian startup ecosystem.
See all my photos from LOGIN 2016 on Facebook.
Latitude59 is the Estonian premier tech conference. Two days (May 31-June 1, 2016) full of networking, cutting-edge Nordic and Baltic startups, and investor talks. I was so exited to join the crowd of 1500+ innovators and entrepreneurs just near to the tall landmark chimney of Kultuurikatel / Tallinn Creative Hub.
Another interesting initiative launched in 2014 is e-Residency that makes it possible to register a business in one hour in Estonia. e-Residency offers to every world citizen a government-issued digital identity and the opportunity to run a location-independent and trusted company online, unleashing the world’s entrepreneurial potential. And you don’t have to be an EU citizen to become an e-Resident. At this same time e-Residency does not confer citizenship, tax residency, residence or right of entry to Estonia or to the European Union. The e-Resident smart ID card is not a physical identification or a travel document, and does not display a photo.
Going digital and using digital signatures is also a part of daily routines in Estonia. According to Forbes, “Estonia’s success story suggests that cloud technology is just as secure as the traditional IT environment. Enterprises or governments with apprehensions about trusting their data to the cloud need to recognize that cloud vendors have improved the security of their systems and have qualified IT staff on the job.”
Estonian startup ecosystem is really mature and it’s a strong one, with such players like as Estonian Business Angels Network (EstBAN), Startup Estonia, Garage48, Startup Wise Guys (a leading B2B startup accelerator in Europe), Tartu Centre for Creative Industries (TCCI, founded in 2009), Tallinn and Tartu Universities, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, a business environment with more than 200 technology based companies, Enterprise Estonia (EAS), BuiltIt.
You can see my photos from the conferences on my Facebook profile.
Videos of Latitude59 2016 are here! 🙂 Enjoy!
Here’s the Estonian startup scene in numbers:
A photo posted by Alex Grechanowski, Hustler (@marketingsutra) on
“Purity is something that cannot be attained except by piling effort upon effort.”
― Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
In May 2016, I joined 500 Startups / 500 Nordics Distro Dojo to help post-seed, pre-A companies find traction and scale growth. Here are the teams I’ve worked with: Pacemaker, Bitrefill, Goo Technologies, Content Central, Saffron, Flic.
My 3-day growth marketing mentorship for 500 Nordics at Stockholm Distro Dojo has come to an end. Enjoyed jam sessions with absolutely amazing teams from Pacemaker, Bitrefill, Goo Technologies, Content Central, Saffron, Flic – hopefully, you’ve learned some new moves to survive the startup battlefield! 😉 #startups #500strong #growthhacking #500distro #marketing #hustler #entrepreneurship #innovation #500nordics #stockholm #sweden #digitalmarketing #samurai #sup46 #sthlmtech #svenska
A photo posted by Alex Grechanowski, Hustler (@marketingsutra) on
In 2016, as a consultant I’ve worked with a number of tech startups, SaaS and ecommerce businesses helping them with digital strategy and execution: from website development and Facebook Ads to SEO, CRO, and user on-boarding. My recent focus has been on ‘Growth Hacking’ – a term that is overused and misused in business media, startup blogs and conferences. Another one was ‘Hustler’ or sometimes ‘Growth Hustler’ but let’s stick to the former for now. I tend to shy away from the shiny new objects and so consider ‘growth hacking’ as an umbrella term for overall marketing efforts made by the entire team – CEO, developers, designers, product folks and marketeers – not a single person.
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I’m an avid RSS feed reader. It’s old school I know, but this is how I keep up with what’s happening in the marketing world. 2016 ushered in many gems on digital marketing (aka growth hacking) that captured my attention and required tons of hours to digest. Interesting to look back at the most insightful things that I’ve liked, saved and shared in 2016.
Growth hacking is bullshit by Intercom
“Growth Hacking is the continual promise of silver bullets: red buttons increase signups 80%, headlines with font sizes of “33px” increase revenue 30%, cutting prices decreases churn 27%. But growth doesn’t come from silver bullets. Growth comes from winning a thousand tiny battles: 0.5% here, 1% there. Real growth needs a whole load of lead bullets. Real growth originates from the very first line of code, from a great product, and from the work of an entire team.”
2015: The Modern Marketing Year in Review by Jeff Cohen.
“It might have been the year that mobile finally overtook desktop computing, but it was also the year video exploded on social networks, and with their own, you guessed it, mobile apps. Companies got more efficient, more focused on their customers, and better able to address metrics that matter.”
Pitch, Please: 14 Must-Read Pitch Lessons Every Startup Founder Should Know by 500 Startups
“Building a great business is more important than a great pitch, but if you don’t know how to tell your story, you probably don’t understand what is most interesting about your business. This problem affects more than just fundraising. The hardest part about pitching is that it’s not about you. It’s a delicate balance between being authentically who you are, but more so focusing on what is important to your audience. This is what I help founders understand.”
Why Small Ideas Can Matter More Than Big Ideas by Scott Berkun
“Rather than worrying about the size of an idea, which most people do, it’s more productive to think about the possible leverage an idea has. To do this requires thinking not only about the idea itself, but how it will be used. An idea can have a different amount of leverage depending on where, when and how carefully it is applied. One old idea from one team in your company, reused in the right way on another team unfamiliar with it, might just have transformative effects.”
15 Early Traction Growth Hacking Strategies For Startups by Stuart McKeown
“Getting early adopters, customers and feedback is crucial to the ongoing development of your product.”
Growth Hacking Your SaaS Startup – a Guide by Matthew Barby
We’ve Lost Nearly Half Our Social Referral Traffic in the Last 12 Months By Kevan Lee
“Whether it’s a highly-filtered feed with an algorithm at its core or an overflowing feed full of anything and everything, it’s getting harder and harder for traditional social media marketing to keep a foothold with its audience.”
Great SEO Starts with Your Brand by Ruth Burr Reedy.
“Building a great brand will also help with some of the usage signals that are likely contributing to Google’s machine learning about what makes a good SERP. Having a recognizable brand presence will contribute to increased click-through rate from SERPs, foster visitor engagement and loyalty, and may also help Google better understand the entity relationships between your business and the products and services you provide.”
Why great User Onboarding can increase Conversions 300% by Paul Boyce
“Let’s help each and every user become successful in achieving their goals by using our product.”
17 Killer Strategies For Establishing Audience Loyalty
“To establish audience loyalty, you need to build a reputation of credibility and integrity. Do so by giving your audience a consistent, authentic experience. People want to feel important. Show that you genuinely care about them and they’ll return the favor to you and your brand. It’s amazing what kind of audience growth you’ll see when you focus on building trust.”
Facebook Ads Testing: The Keys to Finding Success by Jon Loomer.
“Don’t rely on the experiences of others to guide you. Don’t be afraid of failure. There is no failure when it comes to running Facebook ads — only lessons learned.”
The Ultimate Guide To Creating The Perfect Social Media Calendar By Sandrine Sahakians
“A social media calendar can help you visualize all your planned posts for the next weeks or months ahead. And on top of that, it will help you craft your posts in advance so that you always have something ready to share.”
13 Amazing Abandoned Cart Emails (And What You Can Learn From Them)
“It’s remarkably effective as a sales recovery tactic. According to SaleCycle, nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site. You have to understand that customers often abandon their carts without meaning to do so, for example because the website crashed, because the process was complicated, or because the site timed out.”
The Content Marketing Campaign Playbook – Guaranteeing Success in 2016 by Simon Penson.
“You should set clear and realistic KPIs against any of these relevant to the campaign.”
How To Launch a Mac App and Become #1 Top Paid App Globally by Denys Zhadanov
“It was crucial to see what other people are doing in this market. So I spent a decent amount of time learning and analyzing how people do business.”
The Ultimate Copy Checklist: 51 Questions to Optimize Every Element of Your Online Copy by Aaron Orendorff
“Why does your copy need to compel your audience to keep reading? Because if it ain’t read, it’s dead. Period.”
10 Content Marketing Goals Worth Pursuing by Sonia Simone
“Content marketing is a meaningless exercise without business goals. Then you can create content that serves those goals, instead of just giving your audience something to pass the time… Search engines are looking for content that’s valuable to their users. If you create that type of content, your SEO battle is 9/10 done.”
Digital Sharecropping: The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Content Marketing Strategy by Sonia Simone
“If you’re relying on Facebook or Google to bring in all of your new customers, you’re sharecropping. You’re hoping the landlord will continue to like you and support your business, but the fact is, the landlord has no idea who you are and doesn’t actually care.”
How to Write a Content Marketing Strategy Step-by-Step (w/ Strategy Template) By Jeffrey Kranz
“A strong content marketing strategy should give you focus, not lock you into less-than-awesome ideas! The key to a great content marketing strategy is being able to tweak, break, and chuck parts of it as you learn more about what works and what doesn’t.”
State of Content Marketing 2016: The Tipping Point Written by Shane Snow
“2016 will be the start of the omni-channel publishing era.”
Using the New Cohort Analysis in Google Analytics by Sayf Sharif
“Cohort Analysis is looking at these groups of people, over time, and seeing how their behavior differs. Think about it this way. If you send out an email to 100 people, some may buy your product on day 1, less on day 2, even fewer on day 3, etc. But if you then send another email out to 100 people weeks later, they’ll be buying your product on their “day 0” while the other email had days prior. A Cohort Analysis can help you compare these people by the way/time they were acquired, in order to make comparisons on their behavior.”
Ten Hidden Gems In Google Analytics: Do Smarter Web Data Analysis! by Avinash Kaushik
The Secret To AdWords Success, Told By A Former Googler by Frederick Vallaeys
13 Bright Ideas for Running Smarter Retargeting Campaigns by Siobhán McGinty
From $1M to $100M+ in AdSpend Managed in 24 months by Armando Biondi
How We Captured 3000+ Emails in 24 Hours (without advertising) by Justin Mares
TOP 10 proven growth hacking ideas for 2016 by Aladdin Happy.
— Anas Bouhtouch (@Bouhtouch) November 5, 2015
Here’s a set of the handy tools I’ve used (or planning to use in 2016) for my digital marketing consulting services.
Competitor Research / Market intelligence:
similarweb.com – Get insights for any website or app.
sitealerts.com – Instant insights on any website.
whatrunswhere.com – See which ads work, keep track of your competition.
mention.com – Media monitoring made simple
quora.com – Possibly the best answer to marketing and startup question.
SEO / Ads Analytics:
monitorbacklinks.com – Check your bad links and your competitor’s good links.
semrush.com – Competitive Data for Digital Marketing Professionals.
keywordspy.com – Keyword Research & Tracking.
spyfu.com – Download Your Competitors’ Most Profitable Keywords and Ads For Paid and Organic Search.
adbeat.com – Instantly uncover any advertiser’s online strategy.
pitchbox.com – Influencer Outreach & Content Marketing Platform.
writeraccess.com – Small army of writers. Big resource in the cloud.
buzzsumo.com – Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor.
myblogu.com – Collaborate to Create and Promote Epic Content.
viralcontentbuzz.com – Social Media Sharing Made Easy.
linkcollider.com – Social SEO Booster Network.
Analytics / Website Performance
mixpanel.com – Learn how people use your app with the world’s most advanced mobile & web analytics.
crazyegg.com – Find out by seeing how users click and scroll through your website.
clicktale.com – Build a Better Online Customer Experience: Visualize Behavior & Optimize Experience.
Webvisor in Yandex.Metrica – It records users’ actions on your site and plays them back to you as a video.
pingdom.com – Everything you need for website monitoring.
Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
kissmetrics.com – Key insights and timely interactions to turn visitors into customers.
popcornmetrics.com – When customers use your website, track and send those actions to your marketing analytics tools.
driftrock.com – Advanced targeting, automation and ad management to give you an unfair advantage.
adespresso.com – Optimize your Facebook Ads Easily, Like Morning Coffee.
Custom Audiences Enhancer – Empower your Facebook ads with ultra-targeted custom audiences.
adroll.com – Helps you reach customers intelligently across devices on Facebook, Twitter, Apple iAd, and millions of websites.
Conversion Rate Optimization:
https://qualaroo.com – Get Voice of Customer Insights for Smarter A/B Testing.
kickofflabs.com – Viral campaigns with pages and forms made easy.
unbounce.com – Build, Publish & A/B Test Landing Pages Without I.T.
optimizely.com – One easy-to-use A/B testing platform for the web and mobile apps.
getrooster.com – Convert abandoning visitors into leads, sales and signups.
leadpages.net – Create pages, convert customers & conquer the world.
mailchimp.com – Online email marketing solution to manage subscribers, send emails, and track results.
getresponse.com – email marketing for small business owners, bloggers, startups and agencies.
mail-tester.com – Test the Spammyness of your Emails.
bananatag.com – See what happens to your emails after you press send.
simplycast.com – Marketing Software & Autoresponder
customer.io – A platform for sending targeted messages.
Retention Marketing / User Feedback
totango.com – Make your customer engagement immediate, relevant, and automated.
optimove.com – Grow your business through your existing customers.
intercom.io – A fundamentally new way to communicate with your customers.
surveymonkey.com – Create Surveys, Get Answers.
google.com/forms – Collect and organize information big & small with Google Forms. For free.
CRM / Sales / Marketing Automation
mixrank.com – Customer Discovery Platform that helps B2B inside sales teams find new customers.
infusionsoft.com – Sales and marketing software For the modern small business.
marketo.com – Marketing automation solution for organizations of any size..
slidebean.com – Create beautiful slides in seconds.
Video Production Services
Feel Good Video, a full service video production company based in the Bay Area. They also serve Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They make videos for tech products and startups, kickass Kickstarter campaign videos, TV commercials, corporate, explainer, animated, and aerial videos.
Have you had your own success with growth hacking in general or any particular tools? Please share your insights and tips in the comments below!
I’m delighted this article is being picked up extremely well on Twitter, with some tweets to 100K+ followers like this one:
Good Resource – Growth Hacking: The Best Nuggets of Wisdom and Tools of 2015 – https://t.co/UWf2gRq8T4
— Peter Kobs (@PKobs) January 6, 2016
Marketing has been my job and passion for ten years, and CONTENT– from ad creatives to a video on Vine – is always a king.
Even though I do content marketing for a living, it’s always just a part of my marketing acumen – the more I know the product and the audience, the better chances I’ll tell the right story in the right way. That’s the situation when CONTENT and CONTEXT work in sync.
It’s very hard to track time while creating content for clients. On October 13, 2004 – ten years ago – I posted my first press-release on PRWeb. To give you some perspective, it was the year when Facebook was founded and a year before Pete Cashmore founded Mashable. In 2010, Scott Berkun, the bestselling author, sent me a signed copy of Making Things Happen after I had found a typo on his website.
Since 2004, as a digital marketeer, I’ve managed to help more than 100 technology startups and small business owners get started in the market, create better products, find their voice and connect with fans – via content marketing, growth hacking, search marketing, AdWords and community management.
“Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience—every reader is a different person.” ― William Zinsser, On Writing Well
If you’re considering hiring me, in addition to my LinkedIn profile, here are some of my writing and content samples:
INTERVIEWS on DOU.ua (in Russian). The largest community of Ukrainian software developers, 75K+ members.
My social media accounts are always active, trusted, and ready to boost your content:
"The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities" ~ Stephen Hawking.
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" ~ Albert Einstein
"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one." ~ Marcus Aurelius