The Hack That Led Me to Build the 21st Fastest Growing Company

The hack that led me to build the 21st fastest-growing company in the United States. According to INC Magazine, I built the 21st fastest-growing company in the United States. What’s amazing is we did that within four years. We now have over 700 employees, and we’ll double in size within two years. Now, this company is called NP Digital. It’s a marketing agency that helps companies drive more traffic and sales to their website.



So what led me to this growth? Well, leave a comment guessing what tactics I used. Do you think it’s SEO, paid ads, blogging, social media, speaking at conferences? I’ve actually been doing that for ages. It’s actually none of those. I always thought that marketing and scrappy marketing is a key to grow. But it isn’t. The hack I use actually involved LinkedIn and specifically hiring.

I learned that if you hire people who have done exactly what you’re looking to do successfully two times plus in the past, the chances are they can do it for you again, the third attempt, right? In essence, if someone did something successfully two times in your exact same industry for your competitors, the chances are, they can do it for you again.

For example, at NP Digital, we wanted to build one of the most successful global ad agencies. So I hired people who had already done this, not once not twice, but in many cases, three or more times. My CEO is named Mike Gullaksen. He ran sales at a company called iCrossing, and eventually, fulfillment at iCrossing. Then that company got sold to Hearst for $325 million. Then he became the Co-CEO of an ad agency called Cavario. That company got acquired by Dentsu.

At Dentsu, he climbed his way to becoming the President of one of their divisions called iProspect, which is one of the largest digital marketing companies on the planet with over 4,000 employees.

So here’s the trick. I want you to go on LinkedIn. Type in the job title for anyone that you’re looking for. Or go look at specific companies that are your competitors. And I prefer to look at competitors and I go through there and I see who works for them and has the exact title that I’m looking for. And then what I look for is, have they been at that company for a long time and have they climbed the ranks?

In other words, did they get title promotions, more responsibility? Because if they have, that means that company has found them valuable. See, when you interview someone, they can lie. They can tell you they did all these things and they may have not. They may have not been that person who’s responsible for the success. But when someone climbs the ranks within a company, the chances are they found that person valuable. So when they tell you that they were valuable, it’s usually true.

Now, if that person also worked for a previous competitor before that and did the same thing, it stayed there for a while. I’m not talking about a year or two, I’m talking about 3, 4, 5, 6 years, and also climbed the ranks, which means that company found them valuable. So if they did that twice at two companies before, chances are, they’ll do it for you as well.

Now, when you hit them up, they will probably ignore you. If you say, Hey, do you want a job? My company’s hiring. That doesn’t work too well. But if you hit them up saying like, Hey Mike we’re actually looking for someone like you. Do you know anyone who’s interested in this role? And they usually will say, Hey, actually I’m interested in this role or they’ll tell you I know so and so, and they would be qualified. And they’ve also done what you are looking for multiple times. And you would either interview them or that other person. And do this with many candidates until you find the right fit.

Hire slowly, fire fast. As I learned when I raised venture capital years and years ago for my previous businesses. But when you do this tactic, you’ll grow much faster.

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