During the 2020 pandemic, I was furloughed from my job as a CMO at the credit focused FinTech Choose Wisely. With covid-19 spreading fast, the world changed overnight leading to many people losing their jobs and looking for a career change. Quickly the word spread across my network and I started getting requests to step in as marketing consultant / interim marketing director at several start-ups. Unexpectedly, one of these gigs made my heart beat faster than all the other consulting jobs combined. Setting up the affiliate and partnerships channel for the money management app Plum, got me right back to my marketing roots. Being able to help a business reach growth via the incredibly sustainable affiliate channel made me realise that there aren’t enough progressive, data-driven performance partnerships agencies that cover more than the usual suspects in the affiliate world - a.k.a incentive and comparison.
After a few months of working with Plum I picked up a few additional clients - Thread, Invest Engine, and more - who wanted to launch or scale their affiliate and partnerships efforts. When my life partner and now co-founder Firuj jumped in to help with the workload, we saw an opportunity to set up a business with a goal to help start-ups and scale-ups develop innovative affiliate & partnerships channels.
The 3 reasons that motivated us to start a business, are now at the core of Growth HQ:
1. 🧘🏻 A better work-life balance🧘🏻♀️ - for too long have I worked in businesses where investing every minute of your week in your career was the norm. For me this was always out of a place of love for the game, never because my employer made me too. I truly feel passionate about delivering value through growth marketing, but have learned the hard way that having space to breathe, sleep, enjoy family time, laugh with friends and travel the world are actually the essential elements we all need to recharge the batteries that allow us to perform at such a high level. Aside from selfishly wanting to have a better work-life balance, it is key for our fast-growing team to have space to be themselves, laugh, and enjoy their time in and outside of the office. It’s a work in progress and requires constant honesty and communication. You'll regularly find Firuj or myself openly sharing about anxiety, stress and de-stressing.
2. 🚀 To offer real value to our clients and team 🚀 It’s all about learning curves and seeing the impact an agency, employee or you as an individual are driving. Offering partnership services that go beyond traditional affiliate players and allowing for incremental growth has been a passion of mine ever since we decided not to work with any discount / cash back sides when I was at TransferWise. Now, I understand that it’s not about avoiding to work with incentive platforms (in fact I’m a fan of an elegant, selective strategy and A/B testing campaigns with the biggest players) but about ensuring you cover the full funnel of partners out there, from a top of funnel branding exercise in Paid PR, to mid-funnel dedicated YouTube videos and even the bottom of the funnel review and comparison players.
On the team side of things, we have learned that in order to grow a knowledgeable and successful team - with a low turnover rate - we need to hire inquisitive people who are driven by common goals and enjoy seeing the impact they drive. On top of that, add a co-founder like Firuj who is passionate about creating a progressive, inclusive and fun working environment and you have a winning formula of highly motivated, kind and impactful individuals. We won’t claim we have nailed it yet, but are keen to ensure everyone in the team feels valued, supported, challenged and seen.
3. 🤝An opportunity to give back🤝 We started the business not to become rich or flatter our egos with big job titles, but because t’s a true passion project. One of my co-founder’s biggest passions is ensuring our impact in the world is a positive one and to help those that are worse off when and where possible. At Growth HQ, we therefore decided to donate both time and 2% of the quarterly business revenue to charities and organisations that the GHQ team feel passionate about.
In summary, Growth HQ was born out of a passion for affiliate marketing and helping start-ups grow. We aim to deliver true value to our clients and the team, ensure that the work-life balance for everyone at Growth HQ is healthy, and are eager to give back both in time and money. We have grown 10x both in terms of team and revenue over the course of two years - and won’t stop here - which is why it feels like the right time to share this post and reflect on what should stay at our core to realise hypergrowth in a sustainable way.