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

  1. Debajit Adhikary June 9, 2022 at 2:02 pm #

    Great man

    • Neil Patel June 9, 2022 at 3:21 pm #

      Thank you!

  2. Jeremy Meister June 9, 2022 at 2:11 pm #

    It looked a bit like a cult of bald guys in white T-Shirts planning to conquer the world LOL. 🙂

    • Neil Patel June 9, 2022 at 3:21 pm #

      Shh! Don’t give away our plan 😉

    • Jeremy Meister June 9, 2022 at 4:21 pm #

      @Neil Patel Hahaha 😉

    • XcaliburG37S June 9, 2022 at 4:26 pm #

      Dude to work here you first have to shave your head like the boss, no exceptions!

  3. Tony Omary - Elite Affiliate Hacks June 9, 2022 at 2:27 pm #

    My first SEO master

    • Neil Patel June 9, 2022 at 3:22 pm #

      I’m honored 🙂

  4. electronzapdotcom June 9, 2022 at 3:00 pm #

    Genius hiring! Us bald guys are unstoppable 🙂

    • Neil Patel June 9, 2022 at 3:23 pm #

      Agreed 🙂

  5. A MARKETING June 9, 2022 at 3:12 pm #

    Hi Neil I just work in the company and I want to have more experience in seo so do your think going to agencies is the right desition or starting my affiliate website, I just build my youtube channel and i had the aprtunity to rank an e-commerce website in 3 monthe i ritch out to matt Diggity and he told me the reasons FOR THE FAST RANK.
    so what do you think (agencies or affiliate marketing)
    am taking for help
    your student AHMED

    • Neil Patel June 9, 2022 at 3:24 pm #

      I think the best way to get experience is by immersing yourself in it. I’d work with agencies to start 🙂

    • A MARKETING June 9, 2022 at 6:59 pm #

      ​@Neil Patel really thanks for your concern and ill always be the best because you teach me how do make things work

  6. HEAT LONDON June 9, 2022 at 3:23 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! You must have had a high budget to be able to hire and fire as you like. Is there a way to grow without having much of a high budget?

    • Neil Patel June 9, 2022 at 3:27 pm #

      We didn’t always! But in the beginning you have to invest into your business. It takes a few years to start seeing profit.

  7. SunDeep Mehra June 9, 2022 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks for this, Neel. Really Cool. Keep growing.✈️

  8. IShan Sharma June 9, 2022 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi neil what about fresher or internship opportunity in NP digital or NP Accel

    • Neil Patel June 10, 2022 at 3:26 pm #

      We offer entry level positions and internships 🙂

    • IShan Sharma June 10, 2022 at 4:29 pm #

      @Neil Patel not able to find any link to apply

  9. Lorenz O June 9, 2022 at 3:55 pm #

    0:25 I though it’s was tv ads ?? But Neil
    Does you think and other to have successful ppl working with you so, that mean you need niche ? So that mean too the other stuff Tactic Matter like traffic seo, blogging ect

    • Neil Patel June 10, 2022 at 3:27 pm #

      I’m not sure I understand your question, my friend

  10. Ravi Ranjan Prakash June 9, 2022 at 6:12 pm #

    Neil Sir every time my FB Ads account is being permanently disabled. Please provide any solution. I am presently in a very hopeless state. Please guide Sir

    • Neil Patel June 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm #

      You need to make sure your ads are following Facebooks policies

    • Ravi Ranjan Prakash June 10, 2022 at 5:14 pm #

      @Neil Patel Sir my Ads are not getting disapproved, my accounts are directly disabled for no reason, without any mail or message.

  11. David June 9, 2022 at 7:25 pm #

    Great advice for such a small percentage of companies. Most of us small business owners don’t have the money to pay high salary positions. I love Neil….hes losing reality for the common business owner.

    • Neil Patel June 10, 2022 at 3:32 pm #

      Even as a small business you’re going to have to hire employees at some point, so its a matter of making sure you hire the right people. In the beginning you have to invest, because it will likely be a few years before your business is profitable.

  12. Prakash Huilgol June 10, 2022 at 5:00 am #

    You have given strategies to analyse competitors in blogging but I want a tip for the competitive analysis for studies or others

  13. Honest Marketing Tips June 10, 2022 at 8:26 am #

    Probably due to all employees have shaved heads? 😀 I almost die laughing in 19th second of the video when I saw the employees 😀

    • Neil Patel June 10, 2022 at 3:19 pm #

      Lol 🙂

  14. Jason Alyosan June 10, 2022 at 12:00 pm #

    Hello Neil!

    I’m a big fan of your work. The content you create on Youtube is awesome! I want to ask for your permission if I can interpret your videos in another language and get paid for interpretation. in other words, sell them as a course package with some other videos that I will produce. I will mention your website and your social media address properly.
    It would be great if you let us add your content to our course package.

    In the end, I want you to know that whatever your opinion is, I will respect that and do whatever you say.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Best regards

    • Neil Patel June 10, 2022 at 3:25 pm #

      I’ll let you know if I ever need help with translating my content, friend. I like to offer my content for free online. Thank you though 🙂

  15. Emmanuel Ihuoma June 10, 2022 at 4:32 pm #

    Hire slowly. Fire fast. I hear you

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