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Another Growth Marketing “Expert” With All the Answers?

Launching a blog feels a little bit like starring in my own supernatural action thriller. The kind where the hero has to trust that as he steps out into the abyss, the path will appear beneath his feet, and he won’t plunge to his death.

It’s terrifying, is what I’m trying to say. I mean, here I am, putting these thoughts out there, and I don’t know if anyone’s listening. And if they’re listening, are they nodding in agreement — or shaking their heads as if to say, “You poor, deluded man. Blogging is so 2014.”

So… why now? Why launch a blog (and a podcast and get out there on social media and everything else) right now? What makes today different from all the yesterdays? Well, I suppose, in a sense, it’s overdue. Apparently, the rest of the world has been out there, interacting, for years. And to a small degree, I resisted joining in on a personal level outside of LinkedIn. I felt like it was strictly business, and the idea of putting myself out there was, frankly, overwhelming. I had enough work — more than enough work — with not only my own companies but also with those of my clients, and I didn’t see why I needed to put myself out there, out into that big, scary online world, a world filled with brilliant marketers, entrepreneurs, and tech-based writers. What more could I possibly add to the noisy conversation?

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Growth Marketing ≠ Lead Generation

But I kept seeing the same major pain point, over and over again, even despite all the noise — some of it really good and some of it really, really bad. Online, in forums, and LinkedIn groups. In email newsletters and when I talked to clients. When friends, family, and colleagues came to me for advice. It felt like every time I turned around, I’d hear, “This marketing thing is KILLING me. What works for a competitor, doesn’t work for me!”

More and more frequently, I’d answer my phone only to be assaulted with questions rooted in “growth”: “How do I really grow my business?” “What’s the best growth marketing tool for my business to get ahead?” (As if any one tool is a magic key to the kingdom of endless customers!) Or I’d pick up the phone, and the panic from the other end would almost spill out into the room. “BUCKLEY! I NEED TO GROW REVENUES NOW! WHAT SHOULD I DO?” And while part of me wanted to say, “Oh, let me wave my magic wand and get you some revenue,” another part of me really wanted to be able to help each and every person do what I’ve done in the past to increase revenues. It was slightly crazy-making.

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Here’s the thing. I’m an experienced entrepreneur who happens to love how marketing (in particular digital, since it’s blazing a new frontier) fosters growth, but I’m not comfortable calling myself an “expert” growth marketer or an “expert” data driven entrepreneur or… you get the idea. That’s partly because you can be an expert in a niche field for about five minutes before the latest and greatest strategies, tactics, tools, and techniques are already on their way to being outdated. You have to keep learning in this business — in any business for that matter. You can’t ever just sit back and say, “Well, I know everything. I’m good.” At least, I can’t.

Also, like I said, there are so many brilliant people in the field of growth and marketing. There are blogs and sites dedicated to going deep into specific areas: SEO, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Conversion Rate Optimization, Data Science and more. My goal is different. I want to help Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, Marketers, Product Designers/Developers and those in charge of Growth put all the discrete pieces of the growth marketing puzzle together so that they can get way ahead of the curve. For me, this is a win-win, because I love people and I love learning. I love talking with people, learning from people, meeting new people, and sharing knowledge with people. Growing a sustainable business starts with growing yourself. Whether you’re an employee, partner, consultant, founder or stakeholder, you usually have one thing in mind: learning the best (or even better) ways to grow your organization.

I love doing the work and research — and it’s a lot of work and research — needed to help companies stay way ahead of the curve. I love developing and training marketing and growth departments to focus on growth by building modern marketing funnels through the eyes of the ideal buyer. I love showing companies the extraordinary things that can happen when they “tear down the silos” and integrate growth into every part of the business. I love showing people how to take the copious amounts of information related to growth marketing and tie it all together — make sense of it, and use it to build something that has a chance not only to survive, but to thrive.

The whole concept of growth and marketing has evolved so much in the last decade that it’s essentially unrecognizable. If you dropped Don Draper into the modern world, his head would explode. If you’re a marketing professional, you know how incredibly infuriating it is to spend months perfecting a marketing plan — only to have it rendered obsolete after a single quarter. If you’re a growth professional, you know how easy it is to get consumed by data which can oftentimes lead to a loss of creativity.  So what gives?

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No Frills. No Tricks. Just Solid, Step-by-Step Advice for Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, and In-House Growth Marketers

The thing is, you can succeed — whether you’re a salaried growth pro or marketer working for a company, an entrepreneur with an idea and a shoestring budget, or a small business that’s stuck doing $500,000 a year and can’t seem to get ahead. You can break through to real sustainable growth if you know what to do. And that’s what I want to help you do.

Spoiler alert: There is no magic wand I can wave to grow your revenues. But I can teach a shift in mindset that I’ve learned and seen from my mentors that will help you stop looking for a magic wand. I can show you a practical growth marketing framework, broken down into step-by-step action items, which will feel a little bit like your own form of magic. At least it feels like that for me.   And I can show you all the mistakes that I’ve made over my career so you can avoid those costly pitfalls.

On top of my own experience, I’ll create Curated Learning Paths on subjects that are key to unlocking growth. Subjects like SEO, Content Marketing and Data Science. For the uninitiated, Content curation in its most simple form is sharing other people’s content and Learning Paths are nothing more than organizing learning through a logical sequential environment that builds on the previous step. The great thing with learning paths is that it allows a learner to master a topic in small steps at their own pace. And what’s cool about In The Know is that I make sure to hit on the key mediums of learning: Audio (podcasts), Written (blogs/books) and Visual (Video). I’m all about personal and professional progress and so if I can help you accelerate your learning, then chalk it up to another win-win.

I’ve spent a lot of money on ad agencies, marketing companies, PR professionals, advertising, consulting, and more. I’ll never stop paying for great help and advice — it’s just too difficult to be great at everything, right Mom? I’ve definitely made my share of mistakes — and I don’t mind talking about them. In fact, I want you to learn from my mistakes, so I go out of my way to talk about them. Of course, I’ll also tell you about the things that work for me. And on my Podcast, you can hear from other people — the kind of people I would call “experts” in their specific areas. You can listen in to discussions and interviews with fascinating — and wickedly smart — experts who regularly charge tens of thousands of dollars to consult with major corporations. You’re an Insider, so you’ll get to hear them for free.

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The companies that are growing quickly are the ones who have done the work necessary to embrace an entrepreneurial and growth mindset as part of the company culture. I’d love to help you make that shift in thinking — and show you exactly how to implement it throughout your company. You can reap the benefits of my years in the trenches with business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs.

I was lucky enough to be an early team member of an Inc 500 fast-growing company where we grew revenues from ~$50k to ~$60mm in a few short years. I was just one of many to make that growth possible, but being part of that explosive growth had a profound impact on me and the way I work. In fact, it changed everything about the way I approach growing a business — and I’ll tell you all about that in my next post, the first in a three-part series on the proprietary marketing model I’ve developed based on the work I’ve done for the past 15 years.   You can also listen to my podcast where I interview the co-founder of that company.

The thing is, that work — learning how to grow companies fast — is a nerdy passion. Growth rarely happens without a solid growth marketing strategy. And let’s clear something up right now: So many people hear “marketing” and think “lead generation” — and then they wonder why, despite all their “marketing” activity, growth isn’t happening. Successful marketing is rooted in growth. It’s not advertising, and it’s not lead generation.

I think of growth marketing as a 5000-piece puzzle where the pieces keep changing shape. I really enjoy fitting those pieces together into a cohesive whole, and I love finding the most efficient way to get it done. But what I really get excited about is helping other people learn how to think about marketing and get the same amazing results for their own companies. Whether you’re just starting a new company, or you’ve been tasked with hitting a single or double – or your goal is to become that next Unicorn, the things I’ve learned – and that I’d love to share – are sure to help to some degree.

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The Journey To A Thousand Comments Can Start With Yours

I have heard people ask, again and again — and, frankly, at times, I’ve asked myself, “Why is it so freaking hard to grow my company?!” Well, my hope is that IN THE KNOW can help you understand why it is really, really hard to grow a company — and help you break down the hard parts to manageable bits and show you how to drive growth. And now that I’ve finally started a marketing education company, I need to go all in. Or all out — out there. Online. On Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook and here. I can’t connect with users the way I want to without actually engaging. So here I am.

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I’m pretty sure I’ll make mistakes along the way — but those mistakes will make some great blog posts down the line. Better me than you, right? You can learn from every mistake I make along the way — in real time. And your opinion matters. A lot. If you disagree with something I say, speak up! I’m excited to get some dialogue going. Of course, you can also feel free to let me know what is working for you, particularly if there’s a specific strategy, tactic, or tool that you’ve implemented and used successfully.

And I really want to hear about your struggles. If you have questions, problems, concerns, unsolvable marketing crises — bring it on. We’ll work through them and get your growth going. And if you ever want to contribute towards the greater good of helping people accelerate their learning, I’d welcome an email.

Let’s do this!

4 Comments
  • Steve
    Posted at 04:02h, 10 August Reply

    Great post Buckley. Excited to read more.

    • Buckley Barlow
      Posted at 03:09h, 17 August Reply

      Thanks

  • Yuko Megee
    Posted at 12:01h, 29 December Reply

    I really like your writing style, superb info , thanks for putting up : D.

    • Buckley Barlow
      Posted at 19:43h, 30 December Reply

      Thanks for the kudos. Back at ya!

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