Everette Taylor

Founder/CEO of MilliSense & growth marketing strategist to Microsoft. Previously CMO StickerMule & cofounder GrowthHackers

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON March 15, 2016

Discussion

Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
Hi - I'm Everette Taylor, CEO/Founder of MilliSense and currently serving as a growth marketing strategist to Microsoft. I've previously served as CMO to Sticker Mule, helped start GrowthHackers.com, and I've worked/consulted with numerous startups focusing on growth, marketing, and product. My interests are pretty vast outside of tech too, excited to get started - ask me anything!
Justin Kwong@justinckwong · Founder @ ISM (ism-sf.com)
Can you tell us about the one growth hack that has given you the highest ROI?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@justinckwong Funny I think creating GrowthHackers.com had the highest ROI. The reason for creating the site was to build a community around growth marketing that would also bring brand awareness to our Qualaroo product due to association and funnel more sales. It did exactly just that, our Head of Sales for Qualaroo at one point asked people who trialed with us how did they hear about our product and 1 out of 3 people said GrowthHackers. Also the fact that GH went from a hack into growing into its own brand/company is pretty kick ass too.
Patrick M. Hodgdon@patrickh · Storytelling & Go-To Market Strategy 💡🚀📈
I've been learning a lot about the startup world in LA lately from guys like you, @mazzeo, @jacksondahl, @kaleazy, @erictwillis, and @kurtkumar. What brought you there originally from the East Coast? What do you think are the 1-2 biggest pros of being based there vs the Bay Area or anywhere else? Any major downsides?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@patrickh @mazzeo @jacksondahl @kaleazy @erictwillis @kurtkumar SQUADDDDDDDD! I love my LA tech people. But running marketing for Sean Ellis was my original reason for moving out to SoCal and I just ended up sticking around. The major pros being in LA to me is not being surrounded by tech stuff all the time. My interests are vast outside of Tech, and I like meeting all different types of people from different types of backgrounds. LA just feels a lot more eclectic in that sense. The weather doesn't hurt either. Major downsides is that there aren't as many opportunities out here for work like there is in the Bay area and the Bay has more talent just due to the vast numbers of tech people there. Also for those looking to learn at a bigger tech company/later stage startup -the opportunities are limited.
Danny Lowney@dannylowney · Growth ⛏@ Sup
Sup Everette! For us (www.supmenow.com), the network effect is super important. How do I go about encouraging the acquisition of groups of friends, rather than just individuals? Thanks so much, in advance :)
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@dannylowney Hey Danny, the key is forming a value proposition that encourages people to share the app either via word of mouth or easily giving giving people a way to add friends within. If people find value, they'll want to share it - simple as that. Haven't used the app but during the onboarding process I would encourage the adding of friends, I would also come up with clever push notifications that can serve as a retention + referral hack for people to reengage the app and add their friends. Also social sharing with creative copy via the app can be a strong engagement tool as well.
Alex Rodriguez@headhanchoarod · Founder/CEO at WorkMand & Code2040 EIR
If you had $1,000 to use for marketing (in a month or quarter) as a budget for an early stage startup what strategies and hacks would you be doing to attract users to your startup?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@headhanchoarod Save your money. The ROI you'll get on 1000 dollars in marketing spend isn't worth it. You're thinking inside a box with marketing budgets instead of out of the box - which can't be the mentality of a startup marketer. All the things you need to do early traction wise - creating valuable content, building an email list/creating lifecycle marketing campaigns, building social media audiences, speaking with your customers/studying data to develop the product and marketing strategies best suited for your target audience, optimizing your website, etc. All these things can be done with little to no marketing spend outside of paying for some software. And a lot of marketing software you can use at least for one month for free.
Seth Louey@sethlouey · 🙌 2017 & 2016 Maker of the Year Nominee
Hey Everette! Thanks for doing the AMA. What do you think that most startups are doing wrong when it comes to marketing/growth?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@sethlouey Not focusing on enough on product development or really taking the time to get qualitative insights back from their target audience. Also making sure that your attribution is correct in your analytics dashboards.
Vishnu Vs@vishnu_vs · Digital Services, Branding
Do a Marketing Degree Really matters to become a Marketing Strategist?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@vishnu_vs It depends honestly. If you want to work early traction startups or do consulting - I think its more about your skillset and the value/experience that you bring. If you want to do marketing for say a larger top-tier company, I would say their thinking tends to be a little less.... evolved lol. They have strong biases not only for having a degree but where you received your degree. Its unfair because talent comes from everywhere and all different backgrounds. But at the end of the day, if you take your time to really learn and hone your craft, build experience, proof of great work and have strong references - I think you'll be fine.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@Everette thanks so much for joining us today, my question would be for the marketing of podcasts and audio material what elements of habit forming and virality could be baked into the product itself? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@harrystebbings Hey Harry - I've actually been meaning to listen to your podcast, seen a great episode just posted and will have to check it out. The most successful podcasts are consistent with the day and times they post, that creates habits in itself. When people know they can expect to get a podcast on a particular day it creates a rhythm. Another thing I've noticed is that some popular podcasts has names for their audience which also builds habits and creates a loyal sense of community. You can also get creative with transcriptions of episodes which you can post on your website to create more shareable content and add some SEO juice. Also important to build in strong social sharing for particular quotes that have high viral capability that you can post under the episode or have social sharing for certain quotes in the transcriptions. Short sound bites that are easily shareable on social media could work really well too. Also, put an emphasis on building your email lists and growing your social channels.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@everette would absolutely love to hear what you think of the show. Massive fan of yours and really good suggestion to do teaser content that is shareable on other platforms. Really like that. Watch this space and let me know what you think on the show. Hit me up on harry@thetwentyminutevc.com would be good to chat more.
Alex Rodriguez@headhanchoarod · Founder/CEO at WorkMand & Code2040 EIR
Hey Everette, big fan and thanks for doing this. Would love to hear you answer these questions: 1. You're an advocate for people building a personal brand. What do you believe is the most important thing to be doing to grow your personal brand? 2. How can one use their personal brand to their advantage (such as promoting) for their startup and vise versa? 3. What do you believe is the most important thing to focus on/be doing for making your city a strong tech community for entrepreneurs of color? 4. How are you able to manage doing and running so many things? Cheers! -Arod
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@headhanchoarod 1. I wouldn't say that I'm an advocate, there's pros and cons to doing so. You have to make sure that before building a personal brand, that its right for you and your career. There's things I wish I knew in the beginning that I know now. With that being said, the most important thing to grow your personal brand is simple. Be great at what you do. I see a lot of people trying to build a person brand before they've made an impact or did enough learning. I've been super open about the fact that I feel like I still have a lot to learn. But if you're great at what you do and can provide insightful thought leadership through social media, blog/content, etc. You'll see progress. 2. Building your personal brand gives you an audience that you can tap into to find beta users, promote the launch of your product, new features, sales/deals, etc. You always have a loyal base of people that will listen to what you have to say. The larger and more dedicated that audience is, the more impactful your brand can be to promote your company. Whether its social media, a blog, email list or whatever - use content that you create as a way to promote your startup. 3. Being open to connecting with people and lending a helping hand. Change doesn't happen overnight but individuals take responsibility for their actions to help others and provide resources for each other that's the first step. It saddens me that there is still people of color who aren't willing to make time or help others minority entrepreneurs. 4. I GOT A REALLY BIG TEAM AND THEY NEED SOME REALLY BIG RINGS! lol - but all jokes aside I just have really great people around me and allows me the flexibility to do all that I do. Also I'm slightly a workaholic but I've optimized my schedule to get the most out of everyday. I don't waste time.
Akinolaoluwa Owoeye@civicark10 · People Operations @ CL
@everette @headhanchoarod thumps up to 1;be great at what you do
Dre Durr💡@dredurr · Growth Hacker
Hey Everette, 1. What did you have for breakfast? Very few people know how big giving back to the community is in your life. 2. You started a program to buy college kids school books. How do you plan on scaling (growth hacking) it? 3. Do you see your charitable contributions surpassing the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in the future?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@dredurr 1. I didn't have breakfast or eat anything yet today unfortunately. That happens a lot, I need to get better at that. Pop Tarts or a breakfast burrito are my go-tos though. 2. I just do stuff like that spontaneously, I never really thought too much into scaling it. I've had my alma mater reach out to me about formalizing it, but I like just doing philanthropic stuff on a whim. Feels more genuine and authentic to me, 3. Ha! You're basically asking me will I have Bill Gates money, the chances of that are very slim. But what I can do is devote my time, I think that's just as meaningful.
Amy Wu@jiaxuaannn
What are some good automation tools for Twitter? Trying to increase my startup's follower count while targeting the right people, but I'm finding it quite difficult. We started using Tweepi, but now have been trying to find future clients manually because the people following us are too random
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@jiaxuaannn This is a tough question just because there is no good answer. Never used Tweepi but I'm guessing its similar to Tweetfavy.com. Due to Twitter TOS against automation, there aren't really any great options. You can build tools yourself but you risk pissing off Twitter and getting your account shut down. Wish I could be more help, I outsource a lot of manual work overseas for Twitter.
Seth Louey@sethlouey · 🙌 2017 & 2016 Maker of the Year Nominee
@everette @jiaxuaannn Hey guys, @Mubashariqbal and I built a twitter tool called When Active. It's not really automation, but it does automatically send a composed tweet when the target user is active (whenever they like, tweet, or RT something). It's great for increasing your tweet's chances of being read. PH link: https://www.producthunt.com/tech... website: https://whenactive.com
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Student
Hi Everette-san! Nice to meet you. Thank you for coming today and following me @dnxx28. I'm Japanese Yoshi! 1 : Why Sticker Mule use Japanese and what technology do you use for Japanese in Sticker Mule :) ? 2 : Have you been to Japan ever? If you'd like , why don't you come to Tohoku area where 3.11 occurred....?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@dnxx28 1. Well at Sticker Mule we recognized that we wanted to make it the ordering process as easy as possible. That meant people coming from other countries being able to easily understand our site. I can't remember what company @ac132 went with but they did all of the translations for the SM site. But optimizing for conversions has always been a thing. For example when people hit the Sticker Mule site from outside the US, it will change everything to the metric system. 2. I have not been to Japan but I would love to.
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Student
@everette @ac132 I'd appreciate for your comment>_
Patrick M. Hodgdon@patrickh · Storytelling & Go-To Market Strategy 💡🚀📈
I've seen you say you are (working on) moving away from the term Growth Hacker despite being a huge part of what growthhackers.com has become? Can you explain more of your thinking/evolution here?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@patrickh I just hate how much people abuse and misunderstand the word "growth hacking" or "growth hacker" - I feel like its loss some of the integrity that people like Sean Ellis and Andrew Chen worked hard to build. Also the truth is, its just a word. Its just being a smart marketer at the end of the day. Every marketer should be doing this stuff.
Dan Tidmas@danrentaware
Hi Everette, it would be great to get some thoughts on attracting users to a new product or website. What would you say are the key channels and tactics used by startups nowadays?
Angie@angeliquesocial · Founder of YourApparel
Hi Everette, what is the most valuable lesson you have learned during your Career?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@angeliqueangiea Staying true to who you are and personal happiness matters most. Don't sacrifice who you are or your emotional health for success.
Jarry Ahmad@jarryahmad · Director of Marketing at Oneset
Hey @everette. Thank you so much for doing this! I was taken by surprise when I learned you're in your mid 20's (no offence, I just assumed someone with your experience would be in their 30's hahah). I was wondering how you broke into the industry? Were you working for a corporation at first, or did you get right into the startup scene after college? Thanks again!
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@jarryahmad I started my first job as a marketing & sales associate at 14 years old actually. Didn't work in marketing full-time until I was 18 and created my first startup at 19. I worked on my startup and worked at more traditional companies the first few years but I had a lot of success because I was bringing new marketing strategies to more traditional companies. Before connecting with Sean Ellis who broke me into the tech industry proper, I was doing marketing for online marketing for celebrity author Neil Strauss. After Sean gave me the opportunity, things just took off from there.
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Everette! Huge fan of the GrowthHackers community you've built. Here's my question: If you were releasing a new song today, what growth hacking techniques would you use to promote the song? Thanks! PS - just followed you on Twitter
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@mrsharma You should never figure out your growth hacking strategies the day of. Should be planned in advance and honestly its more of a grind than a hack. Strong networking and relationship building with influencers who can share your music, having your personal network ready to go to promote your music the day of, contacting music blogs/podcasts ahead of time, having social media posts in place for all networks, and having a list of places (online communities) that you can distribute your music to the day that it drops. I would focus on also building your audience on social media in advance to releasing the song. Music is just like a product, you want to build an audience in advance if you can.
Jarry Ahmad@jarryahmad · Director of Marketing at Oneset
I'm often told that early in your career you should pick one specialization within your field (ie. SEO, content marketing, etc) and become a guru at that one thing. As someone who is part of the founding team of a startup, it's nearly impossible to focus on mastering one aspect of the business because there's just so much to do. Do you agree with the above advice? If so, what advice would you have for a founder who is new to the industry?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@jarryahmad I agree but being an expert at 1 or 2 things shouldn't stop you from trying to be knowledgable in other aspects. Big believer in the t-shaped marketer https://moz.com/rand/the-t-shape...
Victor Tucker@victortucker01 · I love apps that make me happy.
hi @Everette can you give a some tips or tricks what ever you want im just love the learning that is why im asking you to some hints about promote to apps ??? @victortucker01
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@victortucker01 Its less about tricks and more so about taking time to get to know your audience and develop the product so that you have product/market fit. You can promote your app all you want but if its not something people want, you're wasting your time. Recently was working on an app with Microsoft and realized that we had to completely pivot the idea after beta testing and getting feedback. Make sure you're putting in the time to get a feel for your audience and from them you'll get inspiration for marketing strategies.
Mari Mustafova@mishle87 · Mari Mustafova
hi my question is What is you favorite color?
Everette Taylor@everette · CMO @Skurt || 4x Founder
@mishle87 So it's not really a color lol, but I don't care - my favorite color is black. Thanks for also submitting the easiest question. Nice break.