GrowthMentor Review: Book calls with startup mentors for $75/mo
GrowthMentor is a tool I've been using since its Beta launch some years ago. It's a powerful marketplace for consultants and entrepreneurs looking for advice. Most of these consultants offer their sessions for free while you pay a $75/mo membership.
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Having said that, I will stay 100% unbiased and talk from my personal experience using the tools since the day they launched (or even before I think, as I was one of the beta testers).
As I was saying above, I was one of the first users of GrowthMentors, after one of its founders reached me out and shared with me the tool.
Since then, I’ve been using it every X months and has significantly helped me bootstrap my side-project, Failory. So...
GrowthMentor is a tool that allows founders of startups to connect with experts in different areas. You pay per month and get access to a pool of consultants who, 75% offer their sessions for free, while 25% charge per hour.
GrowthMentor’s objective is to disrupt the consulting industry carrying it from the old Google and cold email method to a clean dashboard where users can find, contact and pay to a consultant in just a matter of seconds.
At the same time, I think that the platform solves a huge problem that’s within the coaching and mentoring industry that’s about the quality of the advice. Anyone can call him/herself a consultant while having 0 experience in the industry. GrowthMentor solves this problem by comprehensively screening every single applicant. They claim to accept less than 5% of the people that apply to join as mentors.
Wait… Why Would I Need a Startup Consultant?
As a startup founder, and in every aspect of life, it’s impossible to be a master of all trades. All entrepreneurs have some sort of focus and deep knowledge, which means there are many areas of business in which they don’t have any knowledge about.
At the same time, if we ignore the knowledge thing and believe Google can figure it out, there’s a time issue. If your hour, for example, costs $100, then it’s cheaper for you to hire someone for $50 and get help on topic X, than investing 3 hours googling and trying to do it yourself.
This is why I think that anyone with business-related questions and challenges, no matter if it is a founder or production worker can benefit from GrowthMentor’s calls.
It’s just a two-people team: Foti Panagiotakopoulos, the founder and CEO, and Jessica Volbrecht, the COO.
Foti, who has a Bachelor in Business Studies and a Master in Business Administration, started the business as a side-project in September 2018. He is VP of Growth at EuroVPS and has founded another company in the past.
Jesica, instead, has a Bachelor in Sciences and has been working as an English teacher since 2009. She seems to be working on GrowthMentor part-time, along with writing and giving Skype English classes.
The reason why I’m talking about them is that they keep a really close relation with GrowthMentor’s customers and consultants. They have sent me many personal emails in the past as well as shared stuff I’ve published here on the site.
A few months ago I even had the chance to interview Foti and get to know the full story behind coming up with GrowthMentor’s idea, building the first product and growing it to thousands of users.
There he shares how he came with a great way of learning that consisted in hiring experts in topics he wanted to be informed about (such as Facebook Ads) and have a 1-hour call with them. He claimed it worked much better than online courses, as the call could be focused on his business and actionable stuff.
That’s when he made the click and decided to build something that would facilitate what he was doing through Upwork and cold emails.
How Does the Platform Work?
Pricing & First Steps
GrowhtMentor costs $50/month paid yearly or $75/month paid quarterly. With this subscription you get access to their pool of +250 mentors (of which 75% are free and 25% are paid). You can have unlimited calls with them. I once had +10 calls in 2 weeks, for example.
When joining, you will also get an onboarding call that will match you with a mentor that fits your business and challenges.
Once inside the platform, this is what you’ll see:
The most important section here is the mentors marketplace. When clicking on “Browse all Mentors”, you’re shown +250 consultants and a series of filters you can use to find the best fit for your business. You can also check them out here, without being logged in.
Mentors’ skills are classified into 20 categories, going from funding to public relations. Don’t need to worry if the skill you’re looking for isn’t there, anyway, as I will be explaining below.
You can also filter them by session availability (60, 30 and 15 minutes or instant), price/hour, software they know (Mailchimp, Google Analytics, etc.), industry expertise (SaaS, B2B, etc.), language (+29 accepted) and companies they have worked for (including Google and Amazon).
Once you select some filters, you will be shown some mentors who fit with all those requirements and you can check the profiles of each of them.
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Booking some Calls
Mentors’ profiles include description, expertise, tools they know, work experience, education, certificates and reviews from people who have had calls with them. They don’t miss anything!
Once you’ve found the perfect mentor, it’s time to book the call. In the booking section, you can explain to the mentor what you will be talking about and coordinate where the call will happen (Hangouts, Skype of Zoom).
Some important things to note:
As stated before, most mentors offer free sessions so for $75/month you get unlimited calls.
Most mentors are English-native speakers.
The calls can last up to 60 minutes and they need to be booked with +24 hours of anticipation.
There’s a feature called “instant session” in which no booking is needed - you immediately connect with the mentor. I’ve never tried it, but I guess it works well in urgent cases. Note only 2 mentors offer this modality right now.
The mentor with the lowest rating has 4.4/5. The feedback from customers tends to be really great.
The Other Way Round: Request
There’s a cool feature that allows users to post a request explaining what’s the issue they are facing or what they want to accomplish through a call, and mentors can apply to it.
This is why I previously said that you don’t need to worry if one of the skills you’re looking for help in isn’t within GrowthMentor’s filters.
I’ve personally used this feature 3 or 4 times and many mentors applied to them in each case (both free and paid ones).
As I said before, I’ve been using GrowthMentor since it was in its beta and have always found it super useful.
I’ve especially used GrowthMentor to request help on 3 things:
Design: When designing new pages and projects, I always try to get feedback from designers. That’s how I got into multiple calls with GrowthMentor designers when building the Startup Cemetery. One of those mentors even worked on a .sketch file that drafted how the layout should be.
Monetization: I was a little bit lost on how to monetize this blog, so in December 2018, I got into +10 calls with mentors and talked about this problem. I was making $300/month by that time. In January 2019, I made +$600 and an average of $1,000/month during the year.
Podcast: I’ve been working the last months on the podcast and I wanted to talk with people who had already gone through this process. That’s why I got into a 3 call with consultants after submitting a “request”. All their feedback was extremely helpful when defining the launch and marketing strategy of Failory’s Podcast..
In order to have a successful call, I think it’s super important to prepare the call and take notes/record it as you have it.
GrowthMentor does also share some tips for getting the most value of a call, which you can find here:
The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders
Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest content, curated resources, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join +9,000 other startup founders!
What Else does GrowthMentor Offer?
In their attempt to help startup founders solve their challenges, the GrowthMentor has created a series of tools I thought were worth sharing.
GrowthMentor has partnered up with 17 companies to offer their members exclusive discounts, such as 50% for 6 months on Typeform and 30% off on Baremetrics for the first year.
If you get to use 3-4 of them, you will be already getting many months of the subscription money back.
GrowthMentor wants to be sure you accomplish your business’ goals and plans so they created an Accountability Partner program where someone on their team follows you up every X time to see if you’re on the correct path.
They don’t have a defined way to do these follow-ups but claim to be willing to be something more complex, like a quarterly call or something super simple, like monthly messages and emails here and there.
I have neither personally tried it nor know of anyone who has, but I guess it’s quite similar to a mastermind, where entrepreneurs keep them updated on what they’re working in.
GrowthMentor has a tool that can connect your business with growth marketers for temporary or permanent roles.
You simply need to fill their form and they take care of the rest, without any additional code more than the monthly subscription.
This is a fairly new service from GrowthMentor that’s paid apart from the membership.
For 3 to 4 figures (you need to get a custom quote) you can get growth audits carried out by multiple marketers.
This is how the process works:
They ask you questions about your business.
You get connected with auditors that fit your needs and budget.
You have a 1-hour call with each auditor.
You get the growth audits delivered.
You have a 1-hour review call with the auditors.
The growth audits can especially help you if:
You have an idea but don’t know if it will work.
You want to test an idea you’ve had through an MVP.
You have a running product but need to achieve product-market fit.
Your customers love your product, but you need to scale and find product-channel fit.
When you become a GrowthMentor member, you get access to a Facebook group with many other startup founders and marketing experts.
I’ve personally never posted there. Anyway, I see that’s pretty inactive. The most recent post is one month old already.
What’s more active is their Slack community. There are hundreds of members and it’s a really great place to meet other founders as well as growth marketers.
The Online Summit
A few months ago, GrowthMentor carried out a growth online event. It lasted 5 days, there were 54 speakers and they covered 5 topics: growth frameworks, bootstrapped growth, growth playbooks, product-led growth and data and analytics + a bonus.
I had never seen something like this so I really like the idea (it even inspired me to start working on a Failory online summit).
You can have access to the 54 talks for free here. I’m sure you will at least find 3-5 super useful!
So far, everything seems to be positive. However, here’re some negative points I have been thinking of while writing this article:
This is a membership that’s costly. It’s not expensive, due to the high value it provides, but $75 is higher than many other memberships out there. What I’m trying to say is that you will need to use it and have some commitment with it to get the value back.
The calls are quite time-consuming. You need to find consultants, prepare the topics, take notes, maybe record and transcribe later, etc. It’s also a time you won’t be producing anything new for the business.
The pool of mentors might not be too big right now. As my startup is quite simple, I have never had any problems finding a mentor specialized on what I needed. However, if you’re looking for something more niche, you may be unable to find someone that fits. Remember you can check the existing mentors here.
Once you have had the call, you need to turn the notes into actions, which makes all this more time-consuming. Through these consultations, you aren’t getting any work done. You’re just getting guidance to do the work yourself. That’s how consultancy works anyway!
Some consultants will rarely cancel the call. I’ve canceled more than what I’ve been canceled, but I’ve been ghosted once, for example. Minor negative point though.
Conclusion - Who’s GrowthMentor For?
GrowhtMentor is a great way to get your business-related questions and issues sorted out with the help of experts in the field. I think that it’s a great solution for any type of position and industry, as it covers a wide scope of skills and areas of work.
Having a price of $75/month, I believe the tool provides a great value for the customer, although I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who doesn’t have the commitment to use it at least a few times per quarter.
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Having said this, I’d like to encourage you to contact me to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or think I missed anything.