Founder Stories: Alan Silvestri On Building Growth Gorilla

In today’s Founder Story, we feature Alan Silvestri, the founder of Growth Gorilla!

Read on for lessons he has learned from launching and marketing his content promotion and distribution company.

1. Please introduce your business and share your role. 

Hey there! I’m Alan Silvestri, the time-traveling founder of Growth Gorilla. When I’m not cruising around in my Delorean DMC-12 (yes, the one from “Back to the Future”), I’m steering the ship at Growth Gorilla. 

We’re not just another link-building agency; we are a content promotion and distribution powerhouse specifically designed for B2B SaaS companies. Our expertise lies in amplifying the reach of software companies that consistently produce high-quality content, helping them acquire valuable backlinks, and significantly boosting their traffic and signups. 

What truly distinguishes us in the crowded market is our commitment to evolving beyond traditional link-building. We aim to be the trusted advisor for SaaS brands, ensuring they get the recognition they deserve in the digital space.

2. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch? 

The inception of Growth Gorilla was rooted in a clear vision and a deep understanding of the market’s needs. Before launching, I heavily relied on my professional network, leveraging genuine relationships and the power of word-of-mouth. 

While we didn’t initiate any grand promotional campaigns at the outset, our positioning as a trusted advisor in the SaaS domain, distinct from other link-building agencies, was our unique selling proposition.

In terms of design, I created our main logo by watching a 10-minute YouTube tutorial. That is still our logo to this day and it’s a clear reflection of my passion for the 80s and the fact that I don’t like taking ourselves too seriously.

3. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?

Our journey post-launch has been a blend of strategic networking and content-driven marketing. Forming partnerships with other SaaS agencies, marketers, and freelancers has opened doors to collaborative opportunities. 

Additionally, featuring on industry-specific podcasts has not only elevated our brand awareness but also positioned us as thought leaders. Our content marketing strategy, which emphasizes delivering actionable insights through blog posts, social media posts, and guides, has been a cornerstone in attracting and retaining our clientele.

4. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?

We didn’t really take inspiration from any other agencies or brands in particular. As I said, my main goal was to create a brand that stood out from anything that was out there at the time. 

I think this has worked well and has helped us truly stand out. One of the first things people say when they get on calls with me is “I love your brand and style, so 80s!”.

5. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?

Organic growth has always been at the heart of our strategy. Platforms like LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter) have been instrumental for networking, thought leadership, and sharing industry insights. On the tools front, Ahrefs and Pitchbox have been a game-changer, enabling us to optimize and streamline our processes seamlessly.

We also use ClickUp for all of our project management, client portals, and knowledge base. It’s a great tool, super flexible and customizable.

6. Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?

The recent surge in our growth to $50k/month in 2022 has fueled my enthusiasm for the future. I’m keen on refining and scaling our processes, diving deeper into innovative content promotion avenues, and collaborating with even larger clients. 

The prospect of pushing our boundaries and achieving mutual growth with our clients is genuinely exhilarating. 2023 started off a bit slower, mostly due to the economic downturn, but we’ve been working hard in Q1 and Q2 to create a new pipeline and are ready to take on new clients and challenges.

7. Who or what inspires and motivates you?

My inspiration is deeply rooted in Stoic philosophy. The timeless wisdom of figures like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, coupled with modern interpretations by authors such as Ryan Holiday, has been a guiding light. Their teachings, emphasizing discerning what’s within our control and the pursuit of continuous self-improvement, mirror the ethos of my entrepreneurial journey. 

I’m also an ultra runner and into “natural lifestyle”, essentially a mix of practices allowing us to live more naturally in a modern disconnected world. I’ve recently started coaching it on the side too, Tony Riddle in the UK has been a huge inspiration for that.

8. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched? 

Entrepreneurship is a journey of constant learning. A few pivotal lessons I’ve gleaned are:

  • Embrace experimentation. Failures are just stepping stones to success. You can learn from anything. The obstacle is the way (also a great book).
  • Delegation is not just about offloading tasks; it’s about empowering and trusting your team.
  • Building genuine, value-driven relationships is more potent than any marketing gimmick.
  • Guard your time zealously. It’s the foundation upon which you build your empire.
9. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?

A successful entrepreneur is a blend of adaptability, resilience, vision, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. They’re risk-takers, but their risks are calculated and rooted in research. 

For a team to truly thrive, there needs to be transparent communication, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to the overarching vision. Hiring for cultural and value fit is paramount; skills can be taught, but alignment with the company’s ethos is intrinsic.

10. Let us know where we can go to learn more! 

For a comprehensive understanding of our strategies, our SaaS content promotion/link-building playbook, my article on Pitchbox, and some of the podcasts I’ve been on are good starting points. You can also check out some of our client case studies and results.

By systematically building Growth Gorilla with a productized approach, at the end of 2023, I was able to seamlessly transition and join forces with Powered By Search, one of the best B2B SaaS marketing agencies in the space, to help enhance their Digital PR capabilities. Dive deeper into our partnership and in the press release here.