Dear SaaStr: When Is It “Too Early” To Hire Your First Marketer?
In a perfect world, you’d learn something about marketing first before you hire someone to take it over. I.e., you’d experiment and at least make some progress in:
- Content Marketing. Can you get even 1 or 2 customers from blogging and writing?
- Growth Hacking. Can you get even a couple of customers by emailing to a small list you’ve built?
- Event Marketing. Can you get any good leads by going to an industry event? Some founders end up very good at this. Many are terrible.
- Drip Marketing. Can you set up HubSpot or Mailchimp or Activecampaign or something similar to reach out programmatically to your leads, and see them convert at a higher rate?
- PR. Can you get some great PR for your company that leads to customers — any customers?
- Adwords and paid media. Can you prove this works at all, even just to get a few customers?
You can hire someone without any indications any of these channels work. But you’ll likely have a lot more success if you have a tiny bit of data to suggest what will work best for your app.
I’d at least try all of the above first before you hire a marketer, just to learn. Then hire someone immediately after you’ve seen any traction, even just a time bit, in any of the above.
Once any channel works even a tiny bit, you’re probably ready to hire a strong full-time marketer.
(note: an updated SaaStr Classic answer)