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The First 5 Marketing Hires Every Startup Should Make

Chris King Wong
Posted by Chris King Wong on Jan 6, 2022 12:01:01 AM

Starting a company is easy. Building a thriving business is much harder. Success doesn’t come from recognizing a problem and solving it—it comes when people know you exist, understand what you do, believe you can deliver, and are persuaded to buy. 

As you look toward 2022, you may be realizing that now is the time to really start hitting the gas. You know you want more awareness, more traffic, more leads, more conversions, and more profit.

For all that to happen, you need marketers on your side. The problem is, marketing is a really broad field professionally speaking—there are countless specialties and roles that exist under the umbrella of marketing. 

How do you decide which roles to hire first? 

Here are the 5 first marketing hires we believe every startup should make:

1. Copywriter/Content Marketer

The first person you should consider adding to your marketing team is a copywriter. Copywriters are expert wordsmiths. They take rough ideas and complex concepts and transform them into compelling, cohesive messages. 


A copywriter can help you create messaging for:

  • Product screens
  • Websites and landing pages
  • Investor memos and pitch decks
  • Promotional and transactional emails
  • Brand or product stories
  • Paid ads
  • Social media pages
  • Press releases 
  • Internal communications
  • Blog articles and gated content
  • Sales materials 
  • Support centers 

Some copywriters also refer to themselves as content marketers. A Content marketer can help you develop conversion-driven content on your website or blog. They also tend to be more strategic and data-driven.

Content Writer Salary Range: Between $30K - $76K (Source: Payscale.com)


2. Brand/Product Designer

Once you have your copywriter, your next hire should be a designer. Copywriters and designers typically work closely together to help unite messaging and visuals. Designers, like copywriters, are able to work independently and with little to no supervision. 

A designer can help with:

  • UI/UX design
  • Website design
  • Product design
  • Landing page design
  • Social media visuals
  • Sales graphics
  • Pitch decks 
  • Physical collateral
  • Email headers and visuals 
  • Brand style guides


A designer can breathe life into your brand and products, giving them personality and making them more memorable to both customers and prospective buyers. Without a visual brand in place, you’ll find it difficult to stand out from competitors. 

Product Designer Salary Range: Between $51K - $136K (Source: Payscale.com)


3. Marketing Generalist

Another early hire you should make when building your marketing team is a marketing generalist. A marketing generalist, also known as a marketing manager or full-stack marketer, is someone who has experience working in many different marketing roles. Marketing generalists are self-starters who can easily shift from one project to another. 


Marketing generalists can help with:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid advertising 
  • Email marketing and automation
  • Sales enablement 
  • Freelancer management
  • Tradeshow & event planning 
  • A/B testing 
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Website management 
  • Landing page creation 


A marketing generalist is a great role to fill when you want to test specific channels and tactics before deciding whether it’s worth hiring a specialist to manage efforts permanently. 

Marketing Manager Salary Range: Between $42K - $106K (Source: Payscale.com)


4. Performance Marketer

A performance marketer can help you launch paid campaigns with the goal of increasing traffic, leads, and conversions. Performance marketers are strategic, analytical, and technically proficient across a number of tools and platforms. They are highly collaborative and work closely with leaders to uncover new revenue opportunities for the business. 


A performance marketer can help you:

  • Launch paid campaigns on Facebook and Google
  • Build and analyze performance dashboards
  • Optimize campaigns based on real-time performance
  • Understand search trends 
  • Make decisions about products and features based on data
  • Understand your customers and prospective buyers better 
  • Make decisions about how to invest marketing dollars


Performance marketers also tend to be generalists—they can move easily across channels and platforms, using data to inform decisions.  

Performance Marketer Salary Range: Between $76K - $103K (Source: Salary.com)


5. Marketing Leader

Most of the roles listed so far can work fairly independently, but eventually, you will need to hire a marketing leader to keep the team focused and accountable. A marketing leader is someone who has deep knowledge of marketing strategy and experience working in one or many marketing disciplines. 


A marketing leader can help you by:

  • Managing and nurturing the team
  • Interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new team members
  • Making strategic decisions about where to invest marketing dollars
  • Report on performance to you and/or your board of directors
  • Uncover new channels to test 
  • Giving you data to inform future decisions about features, products, markets, or growth strategies


A marketing leader should be able to take most of the responsibilities of marketing away from you, allowing you to focus on building and optimizing other areas of your business. 

Marketing Director Salary Range: Between $46K - $166K (Source: Payscale.com)


Final Thoughts

A marketing team can help you take your business to the next level—but you need to make sure you’re hiring the right people. Spending the time and money to build a marketing team only to find out you’ve got the wrong players in the wrong seats can be a costly mistake.

Thankfully, there’s another option that takes the pressure off and guesswork out of your hands: 

GrowTal gives you exclusive access to a network of pre-vetted digital marketing experts, on-demand.Need to scale your marketing team quickly? Tell us what you need.

GrowTal is the most exclusive network of top marketing talent.


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