Series - part 16 of 19

Here are the 5 GrowthMentors of October


Let’s give a big round of applause to these awesome people for agreeing to join GrowthMentor and help people on their growth journeys.

This post is part of the Mentor Batches series

1. Alex Barbarsky

Describe yourself

I am a Growth Marketing Manager with over 7 years of experience. T-shaped marketer with a focus on growth.

It is a great feeling when the business is growing fast with the help of marketing. This is the reason why I am into it.

I love marketing automation which saves time and helps to focus on strategies rather than tactics. As a program engineer, I am not afraid to code and find new solutions.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I want to share my experience with those who need it. The ultimate goal is to help cool early stage startups grow into larger companies.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Well-built experimentation process helps you win the market. The more you experiment – the more knowledge about customers you have. While knowledge is a great competitive advantage.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

I love marketing automation which saves time and helps to focus on strategies rather than tactics.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

Automated scrapping YouTube channel data allowed the company to set up a cold outreach campaign that became one of the main acquisition channels.

View Growthmentor Profile

2. Anastasia Valentine

Describe yourself

I’m an award-winning product and business executive with over 20 years of experience helping innovative companies generate demand, revenue, and scale.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

After 20 years in tech, 5 exits, and a proven track record, I want to help startups and scale-ups build their businesses, products and scale!

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

A growth mindset to me means thinking of the big picture and desired outcomes short and long term then mapping out the strategy and getting it done. The most important part of having a growth mindset is understanding that things may change along the way. This is ok! As your company grows, objectives may change. Always keeping your eye on the prize and pivoting to get where you want to be while maintaining your integrity and the integrity of the company is key.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

Smart scaling. Many founders are eager to get to the end result very quickly which sometimes results in missed opportunities or lack of resources. Through smart scaling, you don’t need to rush to the finish line, you need to finish strong with a great foundation for additional growth and longevity.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

Our product was valuable, the features were there but it was by far not user-friendly. Ideally, we would hand over our product to the masses but this would have resulted in customers not being successful and we were under pressure to release now and demonstrate that we could generate revenue. We could have spent years in dev in a vacuum developing the best looking product. We choose to wrap some heavy-duty human TLC with every single sale. While this isn’t scalable in the long term, this was very much appreciated by our clients, served to be a differentiator, and was the best way to get direct feedback on how to improve the product. The rest is amazing history….

View Growthmentor Profile

3. Etan Efrati

Describe yourself

I’m a hyper-curious business geek who’s irrationally passionate about both “forest” (growth philosophy and concepts) and “trees” (the dirty details of execution).

My entrepreneurial spirit has energized me throughout my life, most recently during the last six years which I spent driving new customer growth at venture-backed tech companies (series B, C), managing $1m+ budgets and tapping a lot of intelligent people, from creatives to data scientists to “get growth done”. I’m now excited about bringing lessons learned to a wider audience, especially profit-focused businesses.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

I want to add more value to more people, and I see this as an excellent vehicle to do that!

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

It’s really hard to call a “winner” and decide where to double down versus calling something a “fail” and walking away. Creating your process and sticking to your process is both an art and a science, pulling from a wide range of disciplines like statistics, investor psychology, decision science, and of course, marketing and advertising.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

“Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs”. This concept, coined by renowned business author Jim Collins goes against our nature of perseverance and wanting to win at all costs. The idea is so basic but so hard to get right, which is about distilling your growth hypotheses down to smaller focused growth “bets” and building a portfolio. When you fire “bullets” first, you can miss and re-calibrate, and that helps you figure out where to focus the major “cannonball” ammo. I think this elemental idea breeds humility by clutching to reality… e.g. I don’t know where my growth will come from, and it’s going to take work to figure it.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

My team set up an automation up in Zapier that resulted in 250+ verified positive reviews on Trustpilot, by triggering sequenced Trustpilot emails to be sent after our automated NPS survey, targeting users who gave us an NPS 9 or 10. The emails came from Trustpilot’s system, which meant the completed reviews would count as “verified” and contribute to Google Seller Ratings. We had something like a 99% success rate where the reviews came in as 4-star and 5-star, because we had the automation sending emails only to happy customers. The occasional organic negative review that came in would get buried by a flurry of 5-star reviews within days, and without manual intervention.

View Growthmentor Profile

4. Glyn Owen

Describe yourself

Hi, I’m Glyn and for more than 12 years I led the marketing at Travelzoo, a global provider of travel and entertainment deals. I was instrumental in the growth of Travelzoo in the UK, taking the member base to 5 million. As a mentor, I’m excited to help others develop and grow their customer bases too.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

To keep my mind sharp by providing assistance to start ups while I look for a permanent role.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

Someone who is customer-centric, data-driven and able to prioritise efforts to achieve company goals.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

User acquisition.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

Found a way to create a video collage format that Facebook discontinued, by uploading via an iPad. This collage format worked incredibly well for Travelzoo for over 6 months, skyrocketing our organic reach. One video post in particular showing Egypt’s Valley of the Kings got about 50 million in reach!

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5. Paul Zaruchevsky

Describe yourself

I’m a growth marketing practitioner with over 8 years of experience mainly in tech companies. Currently, I’m working at Xero – a global SaaS company with over 2M customers worldwide. In my day-to-day job, data and insights always prevail over the gut feeling.

In just one sentence, why do you want to become a growth mentor?

Share my knowledge at scale.

In your words, what does a growth mindset mean to you?

It means experimenting and learning to scale your company, as well as setting ambitious goals that will drive your performance.

If you could mentor a startup on one topic, what would it be?

B2B digital growth.

Describe an out of the box solution to a complex problem that made you proud of yourself?

At one of the software companies I worked at, we had a huge base of people who didn’t buy a product but cost us a lot to acquire them as Trialists. I developed a 90-day marketing automation program to win them back.

This work included mapping out the existing content pieces for each buyer persona, creating blog posts, emails, ads and landing pages, reaching potential customers on the right platform at the right time, setting up the automation rules, triggering actions based on the user behaviour, A/B testing, and converting users on the relevant decision points.

The campaign generated Customer Lifetime Value of $1.05 million within the first 3 months and kept growing after it.

View Growthmentor Profile

Interested in becoming a growth mentor?

What we’re looking for:

  • Growth marketers, product managers, and designers, with extraordinary track-records of success
  • Inspirational founders that have “been there and done that.”
  • Friendly people that take joy in helping other people.
  • At least 5 years of demonstrable experience working in growth.
  • GrowthMentor is a #givefirst platform. You should be cool with mentoring for free until you have three reviews.
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