One of the most common questions I get from early-stage startups, that have decent revenue, is should I go for a freelancer, agency, or hire someone in-house?

Here are my thoughts on this topic:

Hiring a Freelance Growth Marketer

Consider this:

  • They won’t be part of your team long-term so make sure that you’ve got awesome documentation created that you can transfer to the next person that will join the team when they inevitably will leave.
  • Be extremely careful of freelancers who have very little (or zero) working experience yet truly believe they are growth hackers because they’ve watched ConversionXL courses on the topic.
  • Be mindful of security issues, they’ll need access to some pretty critical data in order to properly do their jobs. Don’t willy-nilly hand over access to your billing system database in the pursuit of faster growth. It’s not worth it!
  • Can these freelancers mesh well with your existing team? Growth marketing is a full-stack affair that incorporates product, marketing, sales, and C-suite. Growth marketing does not work with “siloes” and if your organization does not communicate well as it is, it’s definitely not going to get any better by throwing a growth hacking freelancer into the fray

Related: Learn more about Fractional CMOs

Hiring a Growth Marketing Agency

Consider this:

  • You’re looking at a minimum of $5,000 per month if you want to sign with a high-end growth marketing agency that has proven track records. It’ll roughly cost you the amount you’d pay to a full-time growth hacking employee. (This does not include PPC spend)
  • Agencies will generally only work with businesses that have product-market fit with an already existing marketing team. Most of them will tell you they want a single point of contact, usually the CMO or VP of Growth.
  • Be wary of growth marketing agencies that hoard information from you and don’t share their experiment spreadsheets. You want to make sure that they are transparent with what they’re working on.
  • Monitor what they’re doing, but at the same time don’t try and micro-manage. Give them space to do their job. Don’t be annoying.

Training in-house to become Growth Marketers

Consider this:

  • Train your team using the ConversionXL institute video courses.
  • Invest in Growthmentor 1:1 calls for your team. Talking to veteran growth hacking experts is an awesome way to hack the learning curve of your team and reduce the chance that they’ll make expensive noob mistakes.
  • All the knowledge will stay in-house. This is a HUGE benefit.
  • The culture of your team will adopt a growth mindset that permeates everything.

If you’re currently thinking of hiring a growth marketer to join your team, speaking to a growth mentor will help you sort through the pros and cons.

You’ll be able to share your thoughts on what you’re looking for with your mentor and get a second perspective.

This can help you head off potential expensive hiring mistakes down the road.