This article gives you the 10 growth hackers with the most impressive track records – people who have found success time and again in different industries and with different companies.

More importantly for our purposes though, these 10 growth hackers are the most active. These are the guys who continue to write, podcast, consult and speak to help other businesses find the same success they have.

These are also the growth hackers who are the most responsive to intelligent, well-formulated and professional outreach. If you play your cards right they’ll answer a question. And with their knowledge, that answer might just change the way you run your business.

I’ll also include their elevator pitch, expertise (so you know what they know), a valuable quote and link my favorite piece of growth hacking content from each growth hacking thought leader.

Check out the top 10 active growth hackers…


Sean Ellis – growthhackers.com


Elevator Pitch:

Sean Ellis is CEO at GrowthHackers.com. Previously CEO at Qualaroo and key early growth/marketing exec at Dropbox, Eventbrite, Lookout, LogMeIn (IPO), and Uproar (IPO).

Sean’s Expertise:

Look to Sean if you’re searching for a well-rounded growth hacking and marketing guy. In particular, he has a lot to say about how marketers can start growth hacking. I’d also recommend Sean’s Twitter as his shares are some of the most genuinely valauble out there. It really feels like he puts time into sharing quality content, rather than just sharing titles or the content of friends.

A Valuable Quote:

Once product market fit [is] validated, I would dig deeply to understand why early users consider it a “must have.” I’d ask things like “what is the main benefit you get from the product, why is that benefit important to you, what would you use if the product weren’t available?” I would then try to develop a relevant/appealing promise statement based on the must have benefit. From there I would start optimizing an onboarding flow. This may require me to spend some money on Google Adwords to generate enough user flow in the short term. I wouldn’t obsess on my ROI from that spend, as the goal is to generate enough traffic to quickly optimize conversions – not to scale marketing. Finally, once I had product/market fit and effective onboarding/sales process, I would start testing customer acquisition channels.

Source: Sean Ellis AMA on GrowthHackers.com

What to Read:

Sean’s Ask-Me-Anything on GrowthHackers has loads of value, as he responds to all the questions you’d think to ask him with lengthy, well-thought-out answers.


Noah Kagan – sumome.com


Elevator Pitch:

Noah Kagan is “Chief Sumo” at SumoMe.com. Previously at Intel, Noah was #30 in at Facebook and #4 in at Mint. He’s now a growth consultant and lifehacker.

Noah’s Expertise:

Noah uses his blog at OkDork in a different way than many of the other growth hackers and marketers on this list. You’ll find book reviews, Seth Godin-esque musings and (arguably most valuably for startup and growth hackers) some of the best resource-posts out there. He also has some incredibly engaged comment sections where he’s an active participant. Check it out!

A Valuable Quote:

I want to collaborate with the WISDOM of DORKS! That’s you, btw. I’m going to share my fav tools […]:

Chrome Extensions

  • SumoMe – Best way to grow a website. Install it.
  • Buffer – Easy way to add new things to share to all my social media
  • Quibb – Exclusive network to find great articles about all things business and technology related.
  • BuiltWith – See what tools, hosts and more every site is using
  • SocialAnalytics – See how many social shares an article has gotten
  • Colorzilla – Makes it able to copy any specific color from a screen
  • SimilarWeb – See the popularity of a website, where it gets its traffic from and more

Source: Every tool I use to run a 7+ figure business

What to Read:

The most comprehensive guide to staying organized I’ve ever read is Noah’s “My Organization System.” For any growth hackers out there in need of a bit of structure, it’s well worth a read.

 


Lincoln Murphy – sixteenventures.com


Elevator Pitch:

Since 2006, Lincoln Murphy has helped 400+ SaaS companies accelerate their growth by optimizing the Customer Lifecycle, from customer acquisition to retention to account expansion and advocacy.

Lincoln’s Expertise:

As his elevator pitch states clearly, Lincoln is all about the customer lifecycle. His articles on onboarding, user experience, driving loyalty and mitigating churn are the best out there.

A Valuable Quote:

The first in-app experience your customer has with your product sets the tone for your relationship, and if it’s confusing, overwhelming, or otherwise puts up barriers to achieving success (or at least recognizing the value potential in your product), you’re in trouble.

As I say all the time, the seeds of churn are planted early, and those seeds are planted deep if your onboarding experience for new customers or your prospects during a free trial is terrible.

[…]Regardless of whether it’s a high-touch or low-touch scenario, 100% of the time, the problem is that the SaaS vendor either doesn’t know what the customer or prospect’s desired outcome is… or forgot that solving for that is the most important thing.

Source: The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding

What to Read:

Lincoln’s article “The Secret to Successful Customer Onboarding” is an excellent place to start if you’re looking to understand his growth philosophy.

 


Andrew Chen – andrewchen.co


Elevator Pitch:

Andrew Chen works at Uber on their Growth team. He is an advisor/investor for tech startups including AngelList, Barkbox, Dropbox, Tinder, Wanelo, and Gusto.

Previously, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based firm with $2B under management.

He’s the real deal.

Andrew’s Expertise:

Andrew is a Silicon Valley-focused growth hacker so he’s all about building and growing startups. His content revolves around taking something small and with limited budget and making it explode. He doesn’t play favorites though. He knows and champions anything that works – from social networks to advertising, online games and more.

A Valuable Quote:

Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit, they can help run up the score on what’s already working.

Source: Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing

What to Read:

One of the first, and most formative, articles on growth hacking is Andrew’s “Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing.” It’s well worth a read if you’re looking for the difference between a growth hacker and a marketer, and the AirBNB case study only makes the definition clearer.


Sujan Patel – sujanpatel.com


Elevator Pitch:

Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency helping companies leverage the latest and greatest marketing strategy to fuel their businesses. Sujan has over 13 years of internet marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like SalesForce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500-caliber companies.

Sujan’s Expertise:

Sujan is big on relationships. He has some great thoughts on influencer marketing alongside an impressive breadth of growth hacking know-how.

A Valuable Quote:

One of the biggest reasons businesses struggle with growth is that they get caught up in “glimmer.”

[Imagine] You’re standing at the wheel of a ship out at sea with nothing but an expanse of ocean all around you. Desperate to reach a destination, any destination, you spot a glimmer from land far off in the distance.

So you spin the wheel around, and everyone gets excited.

Not long after that, you (or someone on your crew) spots a glimmer in another direction – maybe it looks closer. Looking between the two, you agree it looks more attainable, so you give the wheel another spin and head that way.

Businesses repeat this process a lot. Trying to jump from one thing to the next in the hopes of gaining ground never really gets you anywhere.

Source: Why Your Company Isn’t Growing (And The Key to Finding Sustainable Growth)

What to Read:

Sujan’s article “Why Your Company Isn’t Growing (And The Key to Finding Sustainable Growth)” is a good example of his style: it’s long form and comprehensive as any other thought-leader. But more than that, and here’s what I like most, he’s extremely confident. His content reads like a definitive guide. Do this. Don’t do that. It’s refreshing and appealing to new businesses looking for concrete guidance.

 


Neil Patel – neilpatel.com


Elevator Pitch:

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.

Neil’s Expertise:

Neil Patel has written with authority on every growth hacking-related subject, and doesn’t seem to know the word “sleep.” Check out his hugely valuable content on SEO, CRO, advertising, content marketing and more.

His content often features case studies, well-analyzed data and transparency. Everything he writes is backed up impressively.

Neil is also the master of pushing the limits on site optimization. I often go to NeilPatel.com just to see what’s new in digital monetization.

A Valuable Quote:

Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing. Growth is the sun that a growth hacker revolves around. Of course, traditional marketers care about growth too, but not to the same extent. Remember, the power of a growth hacker is in their obsessive focus on a singular goal. By ignoring almost everything, they can achieve the one task that matters most early on.

Source: The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking

What to Read:

Neil’s “The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking is just one example of the value he gives his readers and fans. It’s an enviable example of interlinked, high SEO, 10x content.


Brian Dean – backlinko.com


Elevator Pitch:

Brian Dean is an internationally-recognized entrepreneur and SEO expert.

Brian specializes in providing marketing professionals and entrepreneurs practical strategies they can use to get more search engine traffic.

Brian’s Expertise:

Brian Dean is the SEO guru we’ve been waiting for. His content revolves around a few central strategies for traffic growth through SEO and each of them is comprehensively broken down with screenshots, step-by-step walkthroughs, tool recommendations and case studies.

He’s also impressively active on his somewhat ridiculous article comments (about 900 comments on average). Check out his content and feel free to ask a question. He’ll get back to you.

Oh, and his strategies work. Seriously work.

A Valuable Quote:

Here are the 3-steps that make up The Skyscraper Technique:

  • Step 1: Find link-worthy content
  • Step 2: Make something even better
  • Step 3: Reach out to the right people

Here’s why this technique works so well (and what it has to do with a skyscraper):

Have you ever walked by a really tall building and said to yourself:

“Wow, that’s amazing! I wonder how big the 8th tallest building in the world is.”

Of course not.

It’s human nature to be attracted to the best.

And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest “skyscraper” in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.

All of a sudden YOU have the content that everyone wants to talk about (and link to).

Source: Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days

What to Read:

Brian’s article, “Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days” is a good place to start with his content. It gives a good all-around idea of how his strategies work and the results you can get with them. And, in true Brian Dean style, there’s a complete step-by-step walkthrough as well.


7 More Awesome, Active, and Totally Badass Growth Hackers You Should Follow on Twitter:


  1. Eric Ries: Author of The Lean Startup guide – Follow Eric Ries on Twitter
  2. Eric Siu: CEO at Singlegrain. Former Growth Lead at Treehouse – Follow Eric Siu on Twitter
  3. Joanna Weibe: Conversion Copywriter at CopyHackers.com – Follow Joanna on Twitter
  4. Mikael Cho: Founder at Crewlabs. Creator of Unsplash – Follow Mikael Cho on Twitter
  5. Sarah Peterson: Marketing at SumoMe and consultant at Unsettle.org – Follow Sarah on Twitter
  6. Josh Elman: Partner at Medium, MusicallyApp, Jelly, and Nextdoor – Follow Josh Elman on Twitter
  7. Nate Desmond: Growth Marketing at Google – Follow Nate on Twitter