6 months later, here's my unbiased...
Review of Reforge Growth Programs
Is Reforge worth $2000/year?
Could I, should I download Reforge for free?
Reforge vs the alternatives
An unbiased review of Reforge Growth programs
An overview of what Reforge looks like on the inside 👀
What I don’t like about Reforge
I have taken three programs from Reforge
1. Growth Series
2. Growth Marketing
3. Monetization and Pricing.
I plan to take the Advanced Growth Strategy and Retention and Engagement by mid-2023.
I’ve chain-smoked many MANY courses in the past
It’s more than 60+ online courses so far and I can confidently say, I’ve seen the best and the worst of online courses.
I’ve taken CXL, Demand Curve, Copyhackers, Common Thread Collective for FB ads, 90DaySEO, Foxwell, Chase Dimond for Email, Social Savannah Tiktok, Ahrefs and Moz courses for SEO, the super basic Hubspot and Google courses, Interface Design from Shiftnudge, Programmatic SEO from Preetam Nath, Content Marketing 201 from Amanda Natividad, Attribution and Marketing Mix Modelling from Vexpower and so many more. It’s endless, really. 💸
The point that I’m trying to drive home is that I’ve seen enough courses to have an opinion about Reforge.
This article is 100% un-sponsored.
No affiliate links, whatsoever either. No self-promotion either. It’s 100% unbiased and written on a whim. No ROI on this article but hopefully I’ll get to know you and make some friends.
Anyway, let’s answer the questions you have before this starts to feel like a recipe blog that takes forever to get to the actual recipe.
Is Reforge Worth it?
It’s worth more than $2000.
Reforge gives you access to all of their programs for an entire year.
They also add new programs twice a year (I think). So you technically have access to 20 courses for $2000. That’s $100/program or $170/month.
Realistically, you won’t do 20 courses, nor would all 20 be relevant for you. You might end up doing 4–5 at best, even if you are pacing yourself.
That would bring us to $400/course, which is a teeny tiny bit expensive until you look at the content.
A bit of background first.
Marketers have a 'content creation' problem
The problem with marketing as a field is that there’s too much content.
Everyone wants to produce content, and become a course creator or a ‘thought leader’.
My Twitter feed is endlessly long with incredible content but as an industry, we product more content than we can consume.
Compare this to the ML/AI industry where there just aren’t enough courses to complete or newsletters to subscribe to.
The ML industry is nascent.
Marketing on the other hand is loud.
There’s a lot of content and we have to be very mindful about who we learn from and how much.
Reforge bypasses this problem. It curates content.
I don’t have to worry about where I’m sourcing my knowledge from.
I don’t have to calendar-ise my learnings or go out of my way to follow so many people and ensure that the Twitter algorithm shows the good threads to me organically (which it usually won’t).
For a fee, Reforge ensures that I get the best content that exists, all wrapped in a consumable/memorizable fashion.
Why Reforge over literally any other platform?
Very valid question. Let’s dive in.
Reforge vs CXL
CXL is more tactical and useful during the early stages of your career. Reforge is more strategic, that does NOT teach you tactical skills. Reforge will not show you how to run FB ads, for example, there are many courses that can do that for you.
Reforge vs Demand Curve
Demand Curve is more startup-y and doesn’t have a lot of depth. It covers YouTube Ads and SEO in the same course which I think is not deep enough for seasoned marketers.
Reforge vs Niche Programs
I do take a few of them. Vexpower is one I really like for attribution and other cool skills. But it’s not a “this or that” decision but more of a “this AND that” decision.
Every course I took added a lot of value to me. CXL helped me land my first job. Reforge will help me tip over that inflection point in my career.
And frankly, you should have a learning budget set aside and force yourself to spend it.
What Reforge offers
1. Three live programs with an EIR each year
The one I’m taking now is with Agata.
2. Slack Community
A vibrant and helpful Slack community.
I get to ask questions directly to people who’ve created the "hockey stick" growth for their companies.
All past events are recorded. This includes workshops and case studies with operators who grew the tools you use every day. The sort of ‘behind-the-scenes’ knowledge is hard to find.
4. Templates and transcripts
Which seems like you won’t need it, but it is pretty helpful.
To ask clarifying questions from the best operators.
It is very different from asking questions to someone in a free Facebook community.
Use Reforge to help you cross that inflection point in your career, and the EIRs to help you along the way.
6. The devil is in the details
Reforge is by far the most organized, and detailed program I’ve ever taken.
It’s the little details that blow my mind, honestly.
Reforge isn’t rough around the edges. It’s painfully built and they’ve thought of so many little things.
Live events are shown in my time zone and auto-added to my calendar in bulk. No timezone madness. No missing out on events because of a tech issue.
I never have to ‘duplicate a template’ and make a copy of it. It auto-duplicates in Google docs, directly in my Google Drive.
Reforge reminds me of Zedd’s $16 million new house. Purchased because the interior designer added a little something in the kitchen.
Watch for just for a minute at around the 6:12 mark. It'll auto-play when you hit the play button.
Imagine how much thought someone would have put into the bigger picture if they cared about these minor details.
Could I, should I download Reforge for free?
Members get banned if they download Reforge.
If they copy something from the platform more than three times, they can get permanently banned and will lose access.
So, exporting stuff isn’t allowed.
Hard to Torrent
I had a friend who had copies of every other course but he still couldn’t get Reforge.
Of all the courses that exist out there, Reforge is the hardest to find on Torrent.
Second, you won’t get a certificate which can help nor do you get to meet new people.
Got rejected from Reforge?
If you’ve applied and gotten rejected, I have some ideas:
Their blog is extremely useful.
Because Reforge’s in-app search isn’t very good, I occasionally use Google search, and more often than not, they have a blog post about the topic I was looking for. I believe that much of their premium content is available on their blog. It’s disorganised and difficult to consume, but it exists and should be a good starting point because there are so many blog posts to read.
Reforge EIRs and Partners maintain their own blogs, newsletters, podcasts, books, Twitter threads, and so on.
The content is highly overlapping, and it is created by the same people who created the original Reforge content. EIRs are frequently invited as guest speakers, so keep an eye on YouTube. There will be plenty of material to look at. The disadvantage is that you must compile everything yourself.
Request a guest pass.
If you’re stuck on a topic and really want to use Reforge, ask someone who is a paid member for a guest pass, and they might be able to send you a 7-day access to three lessons from within a program. This isn’t the best method, but if all else fails, use these.
Admitted to Reforge but aren’t sure?
Good products cost money.
You want them to profit.
It’s in our best interests that Reforge profits so that they can invest in developing a better product.
Reforge is a learning tool.
It should be exclusive because knowledge is our most precious competitive advantage.
If you and your competitors are both using the same handbook, is it really a competitive advantage anymore?
The high price protects you.
It’s a blessing in disguise and a total silver lining.
The Slack community
It's well worth the money if you are able to network and make a few good friends.
Entrepreneurship is INCREDIBLY hard.
It’s tough, and if you don’t support people who truly add value to the world, they risk going out of business, and you end up with the bottom feeders.
That’s a terrible incentive for the world we live in.
Great products deserve to win and we should help them gain attention and then some more. 😇
Reforge Program Review
Reforge is not flawless.
Don’t sign up for Reforge thinking it’s all roses and sunshine.
You cannot copy from Reforge, or export the lessons.
It takes two times longer than they say it will, so your weekends are booked out. If you have consulting gigs, you might have to drop them too.
Not everything is easily applicable and requires you to research on your own, bring in data scientists at times, or just roll with it.
Your subscription will not stop if you have a major life event like a marriage or a baby. You may not study for months and really get no value during those months. There’s no way to pause it. I took Amanda’s Content Marketing 201 last month and I plan to take altMBA in Jan, so I know I cannot continue with Reforge in those two months and will have to deal with my anxiety and FOMO issues.
But that’s honestly fine, IMO.
Reforge is super into feedback, and they really try their best to improve.
Some things are business model constraints and some things are there to improve monetization.
You will hate some things about Reforge but it’s really up to you what you focus on — the value you can get out of it or the issues.
I appreciate the read!
If you have questions, drop them below in the comments.