Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
An inside look at Deel’s unprecedented growth | Meltem Kuran Berkowitz (Head of Growth)

An inside look at Deel’s unprecedented growth | Meltem Kuran Berkowitz (Head of Growth)

Brought to you by Miro—A collaborative visual platform where your best work comes to life | LMNT—Zero-sugar hydration | AssemblyAI—Production-ready AI models to transcribe and understand speech

Meltem Kuran Berkowitz is Head of Growth at Deel, which went from $0 to $300m in ARR in 3 years (fastest company in history to do so). Meltem joined Deel early to lead growth, and currently leads all of the growth and marketing teams including paid ads, content, product marketing, community, brand, and more. In this episode, we discuss:
• How Deel found success leveraging low-cost growth channels
• Why early awareness campaigns are a waste of time in B2B
• How to create effective SEO content
• Deel’s “traffic light” framework
• When it makes sense to invest in paid ads
• The art of structuring growth teams
• Building a startup culture

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Where to find Meltem Kuran Berkowitz:

• Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/meltemkuran

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meltem-kuran-berkowitz-4721114b

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Meltem’s background

(04:21) What Deel does

(06:32) How Meltem leverages low-cost growth channels

(13:18) How to answer questions in a value-add way

(14:52) Leveraging closed communities

(15:48) Breaking down Deel’s impressive growth 

(16:33) SEO best practices

(18:32) Deel’s “traffic light system” framework for publishing content

(20:03) The step-by-step process of publishing an SEO article

(21:55) How Deel structures their content team

(23:18) Why you can’t cut corners when doing SEO

(25:15) Businesses that should not invest in SEO

(26:40) The growth channels Deel prioritized early on

(32:12) Why Meltem is not a fan of early awareness campaigns for B2B businesses 

(33:54) What Notion did right with their ad campaigns

(36:16) How Deel can help your company

(38:15) Deel’s blog post that caught the attention of the IRS

(40:06) Paid ads tips

(42:12) Why acquisition channels are useless without a great product

(44:19) How the pandemic helped drive growth at Deel

(47:11) Structuring early growth teams

(51:23) Building a startup culture

(1:01:10) The story behind Meltem’s unique workspace

(1:05:22) Closing thoughts on growth 

(1:06:05) Lightning round


• Deel: https://www.deel.com/

• Clearscope: https://www.clearscope.io/

• Notion: https://www.notion.so/

• Geoff Charles on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/velocity-over-everything-how-ramp-became-the-fastest-growing-saas-startup-of-all-time-geoff-charl/

Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity: https://www.amazon.com/Amp-Unlocking-Hypergrowth-Expectations-Intensity/dp/1119836115

• Snowflake: https://www.snowflake.com

How Will You Measure Your Life?: https://www.amazon.com/How-Will-Measure-Your-Life/dp/0062102419

Oppenheimer: https://www.oppenheimermovie.com/

The Summer I Turned Pretty on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09NF4J7XW

• Library stamps on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/library-stamp/s?k=library+stamp

• Bloody Caesar recipe: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/bloody-caesar/

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.