Revealing The Marketing Strategy Noah Kagan Used To Build A $100M Business

Noah Kagan thumbnail

You might recognize Noah Kagan from his YouTube Channel, but behind the scenes, he also runs a $100M software company. And he’s built it using the exact same marketing strategy for 18 years. WTFFF.

Founder Noah Kagan shares the story:

“One day, Dave McClure came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, there's this guy who literally locked himself in a room for six months and built a [finance app] called MyMint. He's looking to hire someone in marketing. Why don't you come by and meet this guy?

And so I meet this guy. He's very arrogant and cocky, but I think he was actually just very confident. He showed me MyMint, and I was like, ‘Holy sh*t, this is going to change the world.’ 

MyMint website from 2008

So I said, ‘Aaron, all right, cool. I'll be your director of marketing.’ 

He's like, ‘Dude, hell no. You don't even know how to do marketing.’

And I said, ‘Well, let me do this. Let me go put together what I would do for marketing. I'll bring it back in a week, and if you like it, you can pay me, and I'll execute the plan I proposed to you. If not, it's fine. There's no cost to you. How does that sound?’

He said, ‘Great!’

So, I spent 60-80 hours locked in a room putting together this plan. You can see this plan online: The Mint Marketing Plan.

I presented it to him, and he was like, ‘Damn, this is good. Go do it.’

Q: How did you get the first 100,000 users without even having a product site launched?

“It's literally chapter eight in this book, which is the exact same marketing stuff I've done over and over with YouTube, now 1 million subscribers, with the email list at, with AppSumo, with TidyCal, it’s the same stuff over and over and really what you're trying to do in marketing is first think about the problem you're solving.

I call it the 3W’s. What's the problem? Who's the customer? Where are they online? So, for, our customer is actually a techie who just got a job or someone who's super into personal finance.

The two ways that we were able to really get 100,000 users super cheap was #1 is sponsoring pre-influencers. So we sponsored Paul Stamatiou, Jim from Blogineering, and Neville Medhora, all these guys who were blogging about personal finance, like no one was really sponsoring them.

So I thought, let me just email all these people and give them like $500 [for an ad slot]. That made it so cheap to sponsor them at the time. So when you're trying to do marketing, if you go to markets, you pay market price. If you go to things that haven't been fully tapped, like blogging at that time, it is a great opportunity.

The same thing is still happening today. Like at, we're still doing the same thing. We're sponsoring up-and-coming video creators who are talking about tech and personal finance, and we're sponsoring for a lot cheaper than they are because they don't have the full information yet.

When they will, they're going to charge a lot, and then we'll move on to someone else or maybe scale with them. For example, we sponsored Tim Ferriss before he was big. We were paying $5,000/month for all the ad traffic on his site. That guy [now] charges $50,000 per ad slot on his podcast. We were paying $5,000 for all of it for maybe 3-4 years.

And then #2 was blogging. We decided there's not a lot of blogging out there around personal finance, so I hired this guy named Viet from a blog called

And I was like, ‘Viet, I just need you to blog. Do whatever the heck you want to do. Just go write a lot of stuff.’ 

Obviously, we created structure, but he ended up creating the blog, which went on to be super big for Mint in customer acquisition.

And I'm still doing that with my personal stuff on Twitter, LinkedIn, and social media. So you do have to follow somewhat of a framework where you can find the thing that works, and then when you find the thing that works, go crazy on that.”

You can listen to my full interview with Noah Kagan on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or by clicking the image below.

Have a productive week!


Founder & Host of MBIT