Maker Hunt’s AMA with Sujan Patel from 100 Days of Growth
Today we have Sujan Patel with us. Sujan is a marketer and most- recently he wrote an awesome growth hacking ebook: 100daysofgrowth.com and used his own tactics to make over 250k in revenue and launched a content marketing SaaS business: contentmarketer.io, a tool originally made to help automate his own marketing efforts. We want to thank Sujan for taking the time to do this AMA with us! So let’s get right to it.
Hey everyone, great to be here. I’ve been in the marketing space for 12 years now. Starting out in SEO and eventually rounding my skills to be more a T-shaped marketer. I blog..ALOT at Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur and my personal blog sujanpatel.com. I work full time at WhenIWork.com but also have a few side projects as well: 100daysofgrowth.com & Contentmarketer.io. Ask me anything (ish)
Q: How do you have time for everything?! — Ben Tossell
I moved to Minnesota 8 months ago…and lately it’s been cold as hell so I just sit at home and work…honestly though I try to spend my time efficiently. I write an hour 1 day and 3–4 hours on the weekend
Q: What is the biggest mistake you see startups make in terms of growth? — Violeta Nedkova
The biggest mistakes I see startups make all the time is not focus enough energy and early enough on marketing. Marketing should start the day you start to execute an idea. Marketing pre-launch is really key. With 100daysofgrowth.com I started marketing before we even started writing the book. We validated the idea/interest with marketing
Q: Can you define enough energy? ;) — Rabi Gupta
Enough = as much as you can possibly give. The more time you the spend the better. I usually partner with someone on projects so I can devote 90% of my time on the marketing front.
Q: Recently, I’ve been catching up on TWIST (This Week in Startups) episodes. Fred Wilson said that blogging was key to him becoming a prominent VC in that it helped him gain visibility. How important has blogging been to your career? — Eric Willis
Blogging made my career. During my agency days blogging helped get clients, it opened doors to relationships I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten and was the cheapest way to get exposure
Q: What was your most successful growth hack? — Jonathan
My most successful growth hack was giving way tshirts. I made almost a million dollars from giving away Single Grain tshirts
I'm going to let you in on a little secret... When it comes to business, I'm passionate, motivated and driven. But when…sujanpatel.com
Q: How are sales different for enterprise customers vs others? What’s the key to sell to enterprise? — Rabi Gupta
The key to selling to enterprise is multi-touch, aka try to be everywhere. That’s why blogging is so important. Guest blogging + Company blog + retargeting is how you can be everywhere
Co-sign the marketing comment, product-market fit means 50% should be market/marketing — Chris Toy
I use marketing to validate my marketing. Chris Toy you’re right you have to know the right market and do whatever you can do find that out as soon as possible. I use FB ads & leadpages or unbounce to create landing pages to validate my idea
Q: How can your book help a startup founder like the ones at Maker Hunt? — Eric Willis
My e-book can help founders with growth. There are tons of ideas that are proven..so all a founder has to do is execute.
Q: Do you think it is better for startups to have a “full-stack marketer” or have several people cover different areas of marketing? And do you think a good full-stack marketer is a good place to be if you wanted to run your own startup? — Ben Tossell
Early on in a startup it’s best to have a full stack marketer as you’ll need to do a lot of different things and usually don’t have the resources to hire speciality people. You don’t have to be a full stack marketer to run a startup but it definitely helps get the idea off the ground and faster
Q: What is your opinion/definition of growth hacking? —Violeta Nedkova
To me a growth hacker is a creative, data driven marketer (ideally T Shaped) who has the perseverance to handle failure after failure
I have two questions from people who couldn’t be here — Eric Willis
Q: What growth hacking tools are in your toolkit?
My growth hacking (on a budget) includes:
Sumome (email collection)
Mailchimp (email marketing)
Instapage or leadpages (landing pages)
FB ads (for cheap traffic)
Gmail + Boomerang & Yesware(email outreach)
Google analytics + baremetrics (metrics)
MAN HOURS — (you are your own tool..so put in the hours and do the work)
Q: Can you share some details regarding the impact of being featured on Product Hunt?
I made 250k from being on Product Hunt (30k in book sales + 220k in client contracts)
Q: Have you ever done any unethical growth hacking too? Legal but not so ethical? —Rabi Gupta
I do unethical marketing all the time. Most of the time unknowingly. I’m a fan of automation but when overdone it can be unethical. Most recently I accidentally went overboard collecting email addresses using Snip.ly on links I share on twitter and spammed the audience with my content. People didn’t appreciate how aggressive I was collecting email addresses and sending emails so I stopped…actually slowed down
Q: Do the great marketers ‘create a movement’ around their companies? — Rollo Wenlock
Hell yes! Great marketers create movements
Q: How vital is press for a startup launch and what’s the ideal time for it? — Violeta Nedkova
Press is important for startups but never count on it. It’s not predicable. Start identifying the people in press you want to connect with and do that early (non salesy way) but promote your product when you’re close to launching. At WhenIWork.com we have 500k users..most of which love our product and they are the cause of half of our growth on a monthly basis
Q: How often have you failed when using unethical marketing, and did it have (any?) negative impact? — Gawin
Usually always fail at unethical marketing. Fail being..it’s not long term. Fail also means (to me) that it jeopardizes my brand or companies brand. I spend half of my time every day, every week on stuff that does not work
Q: Was there a time when the negative impact was of any large significance to the brand/company? — Gawin
No I never do anything that has that big of a negative impact
Q: I work with a few filmmakers and non-profits, i.e. folk who are not “selling” in the same way we do in startups. Best recommended growth hack for that group? I suppose visibility/awareness is the goal. — Jonathan
I’m sorry I don’t know. DM and we can brainstorm together
Q: What made you switch from Single Grain to When I Work? — Chris Toy
I was tired of consulting. The deep down honest answer is that I was driving my Porsche around complaining about the lack of parking instead of doing or thinking about something meaningful..so I said fuck the money I want to do something fun, cool, exciting and most of all challenging
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Special thanks to Sujan and everyone who participated. If you’re a maker with a product on ProductHunt, be sure to sign up to participate in the AMAs and connect with others.