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Hi all, had a little search on this and nothing seemed to come up. Best I could find was this Quora thread which hadn't received much response. http://www.quora.com/Growth-Hacker-Salary

I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on this and let's assume for the purpose of the discussion little to no equity (<1%) and :

1. Junior Growth Hacker = minimal/no coding expertise with 2 years general digital marketing experience

2. Mid Level Growth Hacker = enough coding expertise to design/deploy basic experiments with 4 years digital/growth experience

3. Senior Growth Hacker = Not quite the reputation of Sean Ellis but been in the 'growth' game 4+ years with solid 7+ years digital marketing experience and can code competently and deploy experiments autonomously

Also interested to know if you think people with "Growth" titles earn higher salaries that "Digital" titles?

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    almost 7 years ago #

    For VP Growth level roles, I'd say they are on par with a VP marketing comp package but probably have a bigger variable component. For mid and jr level roles, I'm a big proponent of a significant variable performance component where a successful growth hacker is given aggressive targets but compensated beyond their years/experience for reaching those targets. So the base salary looks more like a marketing salary, but comp mix looks more like a sales person.

    Growth hackers have one goal - aggressive, sustainable growth. Their comp needs to be aligned with this goal.

    I think "average salary" part of the question makes this a tough question. Each of us only knows what we are paid or paying. Location also makes a big difference. If coding is part of someone's skill set and they are in the Bay Area, then salary is going to be a lot higher. Even without coding skills, many apartment prices in SF have doubled in the last few years, pushing the salary you need to pay to attract good talent higher.

    • KV

      Kyle Van Pelt

      almost 7 years ago #

      When you say variable comp are you tying that directly to user acquisition? MRR? Or something else?

      I thought about a comp package for a growth hacker for a while and figured paying them on a sliding scale for every user milestone they hit would be cool.

      For example: 1,000 users= $200 bonus, 5,000 users= $500 bonus and so on. (Rough numbers of course. Real numbers would be based on metrics like LTV, CAC, etc.)

      Would love your thoughts.

    • EB

      Ed Burrows

      almost 7 years ago #

      Thanks for the insight Sean. This provides some good context for the framework of a package. I figured salaries would vary considerably pending these factors but the comp based on target a la sales role makes total sense

    • NL

      Nathan Lippi

      over 5 years ago #

      Excellent to hear you talking about compensation tied to results, Sean.

      > For mid and jr level roles, I'm a big proponent of a significant variable performance component where a successful growth hacker is given aggressive targets but compensated beyond their years/experience for reaching those targets.

      Could you give some examples of what type of aggressive targets you'd be setting and measuring?

      Would the targets be based on metrics like:
      - # of paying users acquired
      - Customer/visitor LTV change
      - Conversion rate change
      - K-factor change

      What I'm particularly interested in is how these changes can/are reliably attributed to any one person.

  • KW

    Katelyn Watson

    almost 7 years ago #

    As a brand marketer in big and small companies, I can tell you what I would pay and have been paying in the startup realm...

    1. Junior Growth Hacker = $70K - 85 and some small equity and benefits

    2. Mid Level Growth Hacker = I hire for marketing so typically no coding, but level would be $85-115 + equity

    3. Senior Growth Hacker = I hire marketing so no coding but somewhere around $115-150 and equity

    Also interested to know if you think people with "Growth" titles earn higher salaries that "Digital" titles?
    -It depends on if it is product or marketing. For marketing, I don't really differentiate because marketing = growth = digital competency.

    I also think a huge variable is if it is B2B vs B2C and if it is client side vs service provider.

    I think for client side (brand marketer) vs service provider (agency) you get a premium, at the higher end. I also think for brand marketer B2C v B2B you earn more for B2C because it is harder to grow the masses vs one at a time for B2C which usually have higher sale prices and LTV...

    These are my opinions as a 12 years of experience VP of marketing with all digital experience who is hiring teams at my last three companies big and small.

    • KW

      Katelyn Watson

      almost 7 years ago #

      And it is sf based...

      • KW

        Katelyn Watson

        almost 7 years ago #

        But I can tell you I have lost offers to people getting 20% higher at other bigger companies (not startups)

    • EB

      Ed Burrows

      almost 7 years ago #

      Hey Katelyn thats an awesomely detailed reply and definitely super useful to anyone reading this thread. Thanks a lot and great to know

    • TA

      TWD and Co

      about 6 years ago #

      Could not agree more with every you wrote.

      FYI for anyone new venturing into this and looking at agencies to farm out acquisition and or hacking. I have been seeing more nimble agencies getting bought out by bigger fish and selling the 'data science' approach vis a vis 'growth hacking' as a service. Its nice that traditional agencies are recognizing some holes, by getting these services under one umbrella, but I have noticed they speak two different languages in terms of client's goals which can get sticky when it comes to strategy and management. They still feel very separate.
      There are some solid agencies doing it right, but as with a lot of marketing, it sounds far sexier in a deck than what it brings to table in practice :)

    • RH

      Raviraj Hegde

      about 4 years ago #

      Hey @Katelyn Watson, Thanks for the answer, it helps

  • ND

    Nate Desmond

    almost 7 years ago #

    If someone conducted an anonymous survey of growth hacking salaries by company size/industry/geo, I'd love to participate.

    Something like this: http://groovehq.com/blog/saas-conversion-survey

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      almost 7 years ago #

      Sounds like a perfect Qualaroo survey to run on GH :)

    • EN

      Eric Nakagawa

      about 6 years ago #

      I've created an anonymous #talkpay form for the Growth Hacker community. The idea of #talkpay is to openly share salaries so that others in the community can benefit.

      All responses are made public once 5 people submit their salaries (this further helps to anonymize responses).


      Additional background: I advise several founders, designers, and developers. One thing people always ask me is how much they should be making. Not having enough insight into salaries means it's hard for people to know how much they should be asking for.

      I am also a member of a small group of designers called Designers Guild. I created an anonymous #talkpay form that allows the members to share their salaries. We've had over 68 responses of actual, honest feedback. It has helped people negotiate for higher salaries.

      I'd love any feedback on this tool.

  • ET

    Everette Taylor

    almost 7 years ago #

    This is an interesting question due to the fact I'm seeing more and more people calling themselves "growth hackers" and included growth titles on their LinkedIn. I personally have no real data on the type of salaries offered. Due to the fact many growth hackers work for startups, I feel that a huge component is the size and stage of the startup/company.

    I think since its so new, salaries probably range wildly. My advice is, know your worth. Don't settle, so many opportunities are popping up each day. Just here on GrowthHackers we seem to get at least one company a day wanting to post a new growth position in our jobs section.

    • EB

      Ed Burrows

      almost 7 years ago #

      Thanks for the reply Everette. Yes for me, the real difference between a growth title and a digital title is the inclusion of technical ability, usually to code, but at the very least, having intimate knowledge of technology that allows you to direct a developer to achieve a desired growth outcome via technical led experimentation. Although many growth initiatives involve more traditional paid and content led acquisition, it seems logical that the scarcity of "growth" people that have the combination of both a technical and traditional marketing skill set would make them more valuable.

  • JG

    Jim Gray

    almost 7 years ago #

    If you're producing measurable results, then it should be a function of the value of those results. That won't always factor as salary - common formulations include bonus structure in mature companies, billable rate & choice of clients in agencies, or change in expected value of equity in VC-model ventures.

    If it's just window dressing on the business card, then it likely pays whatever the actual job would pay without the window dressing.

  • RS

    Ross Simmonds

    almost 7 years ago #

    IAB Canada, which is a Canadian advertising association collaborated with a research firm to find information out on national salaries. The information they provide is quite valuable and might be able to shed some light on this..

    In the digital section of their report, they highlight the following figures with the following job titles with the median salary next to it.

    Digital Media Specialist ($55K ~ $50K USD)
    Sr. Social Media Strategist ($71K ~ $61K USD)
    Director, Digital Media ($112,500 ~ $105USD)
    SEO & SEM Strategist ($50K ~ $45K USD)
    Director of Search ($98,750 ~ $91K USD)

    Based on this, I'd say a Junior GH would pull in $50k-$65K // Mid level would pull in $65-85K and senior would bring in $85K and up. That said, @sean makes a great point around the impact of location. $40K could be awesome in some parts of the country but feel like first world poverty in others...

  • AM

    Al Mukmin

    almost 7 years ago #

    I'm a growth hacker, performance marketer, digital marketer, email marketer, SEO, social media strategist and conversion rate optimizer for a startup that has presence in 3 different countries. I do not own any equity.

    How much do they pay me? ~ $30k/year.

  • BB

    Brooklyn Boardwalk

    almost 7 years ago #

    - Managing digital customer acquisition, conversion optimization, landing pages, signup flow, LTVs, etc.
    - Based in NYC
    - 2-year-old startup with aggressive growth over past 6 months
    - MBA
    - Came in with 2 years of direct customer acquisition experience with notable, young companies
    - <30 years old

    Salary: $75k / year + bonus (expecting 5%) + options

  • MB

    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky

    almost 7 years ago #

    IMHO a growth hacker should be a commissioned sales role - they earn a percentage of closed sales, not names gathered or based on some metric other than closed business.

    • ME

      Michael Eckstein

      almost 7 years ago #

      Dangerous territory there. Much easier to close a sale than to keep a customer.

    • AD

      Andre D. Woodley Jr

      over 6 years ago #

      I think it should be both Salary and Commission based.
      Salary because they are finding out what works and doesn't work for the company.
      Commission because is like a drive and push to find out quickly

      In my opinion if someone comes in and gets the company 1 million users they need to be compensated greatly for that.

  • SL

    Stuart Langridge

    almost 7 years ago #

    I would suggest that the description for post 1 above would include almost all the "social media experts" on earth and very few would be any good as an actual GH.

  • LP

    Lillian Pierson

    almost 7 years ago #

    Problematic question... You have not specified a location. And are you talking about as an employee or as an entrepreneurial service? The numbers sited on this page are way low, unless people are simply undercutting themselves. Again, this all depends on status and location. I am somewhere between what you'd classify as a Junior to Mid Level. I'd say Junior level should not work for less than $25 an hour, no matter where they live or what their status. I'm an entrepreneur. I wouldn't take on new work for less than $58 an hour... and I think that's totally fair. If I had senior level a senior level of experience?.?.? I am just saying that start-ups can design great products til their blue in the face, but if they can't get adoption, they're SOL. The work is worth a lot of money. And their are very few people with the analytics / engineering / internet marketing blend of skills that can do it.

    Someone mentioned $30k a year. If that's what the work was worth than I'd pay someone else to do it for me.

  • AL

    Alan Lewinger

    almost 7 years ago #

    One variable I did not see mentioned here was the client, especially startups. More specifically their ability/willingness to implement meaningful growth strategies. Many times working in a startup it's a bit of a wild west show. Sometimes as much as they feel they want it - they can be their own worst enemy when it comes to commitment , budget, and organization to be able to implement successful growth strategies.

  • ML

    Max Lytvyn

    almost 7 years ago #

    It depends on the stage of the company you are coming to and the team you are joining. I've seen a number of Junior Growth Hackers, using your terminology, take a rather massive haircut on salary to join a team that would get them fast-tracked to levels 2-3 and/or to prepare to be growth-focused (co-)founders sooner than later. A worthy trade-off in my opinion. But once you have the chops and the cred, you can get into double-digits of equity or sometimes even most of it. A good growth hacker should be able to growth-hack the comp as well ;-).

  • AM

    Adam Miller

    almost 7 years ago #

    If you're really interested, angel list (https://angel.co/jobs) might be a great place to start. There are a lot of openings for "growth hackers" either by title or within the description of positions looking for user acquisition or marketing managers.

  • TA

    TWD and Co

    about 6 years ago #

    In the San Diego market 'on average from what I have seen demanded.

    Junior = ~65kish
    Mid= 75k-90k
    Senior= 85-110k

    But I would say most of the folks I have interviewed or met with are between worlds and shifting because of opportunities and need in the marketplace but really are digital marketers. The resourceful ones are really adopting the data science approach and really digging in rather than just sort of floating at surface level analytics and channels.
    Thus they approach from a traditional space and distill all process down the funnel, which has its pros and cons. But follow the money.

    I think some of the better ones, depending on industry or business model, dont even go to market for quite some time without some hardcore due diligence and getting plugged in to product and how best to connect the dots to gather: relevant and relative user data, acquisition goals and a framework of possible retention outcomes to at least attack when that transition happens.

    Depending on the type of project it is and scope, my advice during the qualification process is to understand how long it takes for them to really go through the discovery process and how they might approach from that point forward with variables.

    Good luck!