Tag Archives: marketing

Chris 1

I’ve had 15 jobs since I was 14 – a janitor at a school, guitar player, and a barista. I kept quitting because I’d get bored. So I started building companies.

I failed over and over. But I kept at it. And this year – six years after my first failure – I sold two companies in just a few short months.

  • The first was TaskBullet, a virtual assistant platform. I sold it for $10,000 to a guy who collects profitable hobby companies (“muses”). I sold the company because I was bored with it – but we’ll get to that story later.
  • The second was TOFU Marketing, an agency that I started and grew to employ 4 people. I sold the company to a Provo, Utah based agency called Fit Marketing. It was the best way to help my company scale.

The Opposite of a Starry-Eyed Success

When we think about exits, we imagine 9-figure buyouts from companies Facebook and Google. The truth is, 5-to-6 figure exits are happening for small business owners every day.

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If you had 18 months to make a million dollars, what would you do?

One entrepreneur, Justin Winter, is deciding to sell candles with a twist. And he’s projected to hit that milestone of making those millions.

Justin Winter is one of our hottest experts in e-commerce marketing on Clarity. Why?

  • Winter built a $12M run rate in 18 months for his startup
  • He is the co-founder and CEO of Diamond Candles, a bootstrapped, vertically integrated online home fragrance brand
  • Diamond Candles has been recognized as an Internet E-Retailers 2013 “Hot 100” e-commerce sites alongside Warby Parker, Bonobos and Sneakpeeq

This isn’t any of that wishy-washy BS. Winter shows you 7 crucial shortcuts for building an e-commerce site that made $1M in revenue in a cool 12 months. Without further ado, let’s look at Justin’s secrets for building a million dollar e-commerce startup.

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rocketFor nearly two years now, I have been studying growth hacking. Not because I fancy myself one, in fact, on the contrary I know that I am not.

That’s what keeps me up at night. I made it to my own little top of the traditional marketing mountain (director of marketing for American Apparel, a controversial but publicly traded fashion retailer in 20 countries) only to find that a lot of my skills were on the very of being made obsolete.

So in the course of frantically trying to update my understand and prepare for the future of marketing, I undertook a crash course in growth hacking. I also wrote a book about this awakening called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising.

I thought I’d give three quick quotes which I think exude the essence of this new science of marketing. Hopefully after reading them, you’ll be prepped for your own deep dive. Read More…


I don’t know if you noticed, but marketers are in a tizzy: GMail’s new tabbed inbox has thrown everybody who does email marketing for a loop. GMail now automatically sorts incoming email into four categories (primary, social, updates, promotions), which makes everything that’s not marked primary a lot harder to find and less likely to be read — by about 25%, according to Tomasz Tunguz of Redpoint. And Tunguz points out that the GMail change is just one of two big changes underway. Look at how much of the action in web apps happens on mobile now: Read More…


Growth hacking is what happens when street smarts join forces with technology, operations, creativity, and revenue. The goal is to create a customer acquisition engine that essentially runs on autopilot.

That’s what you do. Here’s what you get:

If you move forward with a clear strategic vision:
A steady, sustainable, and robust user acquisition stream.

If you’re not smart about what you’re doing:

What’s amazing about growth hacking is that the concept is timeless. It’s a marketing practice with roots back to the earliest days of entrepreneurship.

That’s good news. In building your growth engine, you have hundreds of years of experience to draw from. Here are some of my favorite lessons that dating back as far as 300 years ago: Read More…

a:bMost of your A/B tests are a complete waste of time.

That’s right, they don’t do you any good.

Why? Well, picking random tests seldom leads to fantastic results.

And this comes from what KINDs of tests you’re doing.

With A/B testing and optimization, most people think of headlines, button colors, and layouts. And in the process, we completely miss a much more important kind of testing. Read More…


Just about everything you’ve done in marketing in your early and lean startup stages was a warm-up.

Really? Yes.

Marketing takes a whole new direction once you’re scaling-up, and that means a lot more than Growth Hacking. Maybe Growth Hacking got you there, but it’s not sufficient to propel you further, so how do you bridge the relationship between Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing?

Marketing has always been about a set of integrated approaches, and it will always be. It’s called the Marketing Mix. The components of that mix evolve over time, and the priorities are different for each company, but Growth Hacking is one of those new components, so welcome it to the Mix. Read More…

Steve Jobs at D8 ConferenceAll too often events are just a fabulous way for companies to waste money. But if you play your cards right, producing an event can deliver huge ROI for your business with little overhead.

Even top technology companies focused on virtual communications rely on in person events. Steve Jobs’s keynotes were legendary, and a cornerstone of Apple’s product launch and marketing strategy. Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference positioned the enterprise software newcomer as the leader in cloud computing and nurtured their essential developer ecosystem. TechCrunch made half its revenue from startup events. Twitter and Facebook throw numerous events to woo advertisers. Expert web marketers including HubSpot, Moz and Twilio are now investing heavily in developing their own marquee events.

If these companies needed events to get the word out, yours probably will at some point too. But how do you make sure you don’t waste your limited marketing budget on the next Pets.com-style extravaganza? Read More…

customer line

Today’s featured guest post is by Seth Berman. In this post he writes about how to focus on acquiring your first 100 customers so you can be en-route to 1M+ users.  Seth has done it before, growing BabyCenter to over millions of users around the world. Here are some other accomplishments that make Seth pretty great:

  • Director of Global Marketing at BabyCenter, the #1 mobile and web pregnancy and parenting destination worldwide, with a monthly audience of 34 million users.
  • At BabyCenter, Seth is accountable for user growth, email marketing with 1.5 billion opt-in emails annually, product marketing, app store optimization for mobile apps that have been downloaded 9 million times, and SEO for a site that dominates in the pregnancy and parenting industry.
  • Seth is a mentor at 500 Startups.

Read More…


How to make the most bossome list!

We get it. Being bossome isn’t easy. Granted, some people are born bossome. For the rest of us, it could take years to achieve the stature of supreme bossomeness.

These last couple of weeks, we’ve featured new experts who have obviously risen to that level. If you or your friends haven’t yet applied to be a Clarity expert, and you’re thinking about it, we wanted to give you a few words of advice (it’s kind of our thing here at Clarity). Here’s how to go from zero to bossome in no time flat and give yourself a shot at being featured in an upcoming post so you can brag to your friends, family and enemies.

1. Connect Clarity with all of your social media networks – Twitter. LinkedIn. Facebook. We look at all of em’. Kinda creepy, I know, but a little stalking is necessary on our part.

2. Make your profile interesting – Every expert on Clarity is amazing. Otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed in. But what makes you interesting? How do you stand out? It’s hard to do that using professional LinkedIn-esque profiles like, “Serial entrepreneur with ten years of experience in internet marketing and social media.

You can do better than that…

Managed a team of dyslexic sherpas at everest basecamp and wrestled orangutans on the weekends while starting my own e-tutoring center in Kathmandu.”  Notice the difference? That’s straight-up boss.

3. Throw in an eye-grabbing profile pic – People can tell when you take your own photo. You know what it says to the world? It says, “I don’t have even one friend who would take five seconds out of their day to take my picture. BUT PAY ME FOR ADVICE!” See where we’re going here? Get gussied up – heck, maybe even do your hair. Why not go crazy and put on a nice, clean, flashy shirt. Smiling never hurts either. Please, no Blue Steel. Show us the best version of you. You know, the bossome version.

4. Video is nice – A three to five minute video is a great way for members to get to know you better. They don’t have time for much longer than that. Make it entertaining, or at least engaging. Why should they call you over someone else? Show them your personality.

5. Spruce up your website – We need to find out all about you – not necessarily your business or organization you work with – but you. So yes, we stalk your website too. It’s where you can go into a little more detail about what you’ve accomplished and maybe what you’re up to these days. Did you write a book, perhaps? Do you have a tribal following? What kind of stuff have you been writing about lately?  All these things add to your bossability.

We hope this helps. If you know of anyone who you think can add a level of bossomeness to our community of experts, pass this along to them and have them apply. Or, if you’re not an expert yet, maybe you should be asking yourself, “Am I bossome enough?” Our guess is you are. Read More…

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