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Which is the right 321 marketing program for me?

By | Marketing

“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.” – Seth Godin

Sounds great. Exciting. But how do we actually DO that?

If you’re not sure where to start, 321’s Marketing 101 will get your toes wet. You’ll learn how to build effective marketing – and by that, we mean the type that drives revenue, not just likes, visits and shares. After that, if you’re ready for more, you can dive into Growth Marketing, our 8-session program where you’ll create or refine your positioning, messaging, assets and campaigns.

Learn which 321 marketing program is the right fit for you in this video:

Ready. Set. Go.

Who should attend 321 Growth Academy?

By | Marketing, Sales

Are you still working IN your business, not ON your business?

In this video, I discuss the two questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you commit to one of 321’s sales or marketing programs.

First, are you in a position in your company from which you can make decisions and implement change? This is less of a question about your job title, and more about your ability to inspire – and enact change in your company.

Secondly, are you ready, willing and able? (Well, of course of you able – it’s more of a question of timing.) In other words, are you able to commit the time and energy to working ON your business, instead of IN your business? And if not (maybe you’re in the midst of fundraising, launching a new product, or implementing a big customer project), that’s totally ok. Now isn’t your moment. Yet.

Watch our video to learn more:

How do I pick the right sales accelerator program?

By | Sales

So, you’ve decided to up your sales game. But how do you decide which sales accelerator aligns best with your needs? You know your business better than anyone, but it can be tricky to know what program is worth your time, energy and investment. Thoroughly investigating the course offerings and assets is a great place to start.

At 321 Growth Academy, we have some great resources to help nudge you in the right direction. Let me walk you through what you can expect from each of our sales courses in this short video:

321 Brain Food: The Startup Canon Edition

By | Marketing, People, Product, Sales

Our Take on the Best Books to Get Growing

As far as we know, there’s no such thing as the Startup Canon, but, hey, why isn’t there?  Based on our adventures, founders and startup folk are the curious kind and always keen to learn more (most especially when it’s relevant to their burning startup challenges). So, we set out to create a list of essential growth titles (or at least the start of one, since we’re hip to living lean and iterating. Following is our take on the best books to help kickstart growth for scaleups and startups:

“The Lean Startup” by Eric Reis

We’d so be remiss if we didn’t start the list off with this one!  The Lean Startup is a great introduction to an experiential, ‘lean’  approach to  building a business.  Part backgrounder, part examples of a lean approach and largely a ‘how to’ this book is a startup essential.  If you’ve been hearing people in the startup world throw around terms like MVP, test, iterate and wondering how to get in on this action, this is the tome for you. Why we love it?  The best overview of lean methodology: learn it and use it!

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz

Anyone who’s ever worked in a startup (and especially, most especially anyone who’s ever founded a startup) knows that pretty much every day you ride the oscillating “height of possibility” and “trough of disillusionment” roller coaster.  On one of those days where things are going very badly (or as one of my co-workers used to say “ding ding here comes the shitmobile”) you may want some solace from someone who’s been-there, done-that (and landed extremely well to boot).  Someone who can spin a tale and share the hard learnings that came from living the dream.  Well, now, there’s a book for that and it’s The Hard Thing about Hard Things.  Why we love it? A relatable story from the startup trenches with leadership lessons that rings so, so, so true.

“Radical Candor” by Kim Scott

There’s no way around it: at 321 we are officially Raving Fans of Radical Candor.  For emphasis: Raving Fans (ok, anyone who’s met me has practically had this book thrust upon them; it’s true!).  Radical Candor is both a framework for giving (and receiving) honest feedback (including praise and criticism) and a guidebook for managing, replete with tools on how/when/why to run different kinds of meetings, how to attract and retain superstars and rockstars on your team and even how to analyze workflow to do what matters most.  Why we love it? It’s seriously the best book on the why and how to develop a practice of honest communication and it’s written by a person with serious street cred (and it shows!)

“Work Rules!” by Laszlo Bock

If you’re an early stage startup, you may currently be focused on getting to product-market fit and gearing up revenue traction. Yet if you’ve started to build out a team, sooner rather than later you’re going to be thinking about People and your People function (hopefully sooner rather than later!).  That’s where

Work Rules! comes in.  Written by the former SVP People at Google (who’s currently CEO at a startup called Humu) this book presents a refreshing take on People management.  Maybe it’s because Bock entered HR after stints in various business roles first, maybe it’s the heaps of things he learned at data-driven Google, maybe it’s a bit of both, but this book is such a superb primer on what matters and what doesn’t in the People realm and contains tons of ideas that you can put into action, whatever your stage of company.  For every Founder who’s told us “we just want our culture to be Googly” this book is for you.  Why we love it?  You had us at evidenced-based HR and a new data-driven approach to People management.

“How F*cked Up is Your Management” by Jonathan Nightingale and Melissa Nightingale

Don’t be offended by the title (we weren’t 😉  Reading How F*cked Up is Your Management is like getting in on a fireside conversation (and a virtual drink, naturally) with the brilliant minds of Melissa Nightingale and Jonathan Nightingale and getting the insight that their collective adventures have imparted.  They’re tech veterans so they get the quirky goodness (and not so goodness) that comes with the tech space.  The book is a collection of essays on a range of management topics that Will Ring True. Trust us, you are grappling with these challenges now so read it and learn.  Our favorite essay in the book?  So hard to choose but with our Product Management escapades (good and bad) we’d have to select You Know Your Product Team is Failing – Do you Know Why?.  We kind of think of it as an Ode to True Product Management.  Why we love this book? It’s funny and it’s full of relatable, relevant and really important management issues ranging from diversity, to supporting parents in the workplace to communication practices to managing meetings for impact, to…You get the idea.  Brain food!

Phew! Well, that’s all for now, but we welcome your feedback.  What did we miss?  Share your essentials and grow the Startup Canon.

This post originally appeared on Alberta Enterprise Corporation’s Start Alberta portal.

321 Brain Food

By | Sales

Sometimes I feel like my brain is full (or maybe just my inbox). There is just SO much great content out there. So, we thought we’d share with you some of our favourite articles, blogs and content on our favourite 321 topics – sales, marketing, product and people.

Here’s 3 blogs or sites that I keep coming back to, again and again, and why I love ‘em…

  1. Both Sides of the Table

Both Sides of the Table is written by Mark Suster – an entrepreneur turned VC. What I love about Mark’s blog is that it’s not a typical investor blog. You can tell Mark is an operator. He’s run companies. He’s had to sell, build traction, create great products, deal with unhappy customers. So his blogs are all great lessons from his own experience, as well as what he’s seeing in his portfolio and the broader market. Several of his blogs are my all-time-favourites, including:

  1. Close.io

I love blogs from Steli at Close.io. Close.io is a CRM solution focused on sales efficiency. What I love is that before Close.io, Steli led a team of contract sales folks. So he’s lived in the trenches, and has great stories and experiences to share – and he does share them, including what he’s learned from his own mistakes.

Here’s a handful of my favourites for your reading pleasure!

  1. Copyhackers

Copyhackers is founded by Joanna Wiebe – a conversion-oriented copywriter who’s worked for agencies and industry giants like Buffer, Shipify, Tesco and more. The company’s website has a ton of great resources, including a fantastic e-book series on writing for conversion, which many of my marketing friends have received as a gift. She also has countless great blog posts on both copywriting and growth marketing. Here are a few of our favourites:

 

This post originally appeared on Alberta Enterprise Corporation’s Start Alberta portal.