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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 few 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 mentors, 65% of who offer their sessions for free, while 35% 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.
Who’s Behind GrowthMentor?
It’s just a four-people team: Foti Panagiotakopoulos, the founder and CEO, Jessica Volbrecht, the COO, Alek Manov, Product Designer, and Michelle Evans, Community Manager.
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.
The reason why I’m talking about the team is that they keep a really close relation with GrowthMentor’s customers and mentors. 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 $100/month paid monthly or $75/month paid quarterly. With this subscription you get access to their pool of +350 mentors (of which 65% are free and 35% are paid).
You can have unlimited calls with the free and paid mentors. I once had +10 calls in 2 weeks, for example. However, there's a “three in the queue” policy, which means that you can only have 3 sessions booked. Once you have had one of these sessions, you can book another one.
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 +350 mentors 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), 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).
Furthermore, you can use the search box to find mentors by name or keyword.
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-$100/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.
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).
If you're finding this article useful, it'd help me a lot if you could use my link when signing up to GrowthMentor.
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 mentors 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 +10,000 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.
Hundreds of members talking about their business' strategies, plans, struggles, etc.
It's a really great place to meet other founders, as well as the platform's mentors.
There's a Masterminds section, where you can connect with people in your same industry or job position, or with your same challenges, to exchange ideas and help each others.
There currently are +20 Mastermind groups, focused on blockchain, eCommerces, no-code, among other topics. If none of the existing masterminds are a good fit with what you need, you can suggest creating a new one.
GrowthMentor has partnered up with 21 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.
Workshops and Video Library
They frequently invite mentors to host live workshops on their expertise, to which you'll have free access.
They also then upload these workshops to their video library, along with the Q&As made in the live.
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.
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.
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-$100 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 mentors, 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 mentors 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.
If you want to read others' point of views, I recommend you to check the customer reviews in TrustPilot.
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-$100/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.