In order to really understand any topic worth understanding, one of the best things you can do is get inside the mindset of someone who does it for a living; this is especially true for a growth hacker.
The growth hacking mindset is about embracing a no-nonsense attitude. There is no fancy padding or time to second-guess yourself – it is all about using data, limited resources and your own wit to accomplish your goals.
First things first: abandon any sense of ego.
Your opinion on your product or service will stop mattering very quickly. You are not the customer and the real customers will be the ones to have the final say in your product achieving success. The idea of abandoning ego capitalises a big portion of the first step. You should focus on getting rid on any unnecessary concerns, distractions and uncertainty – there is just no time to spend on these sorts of things.
Now, let’s step into the actual work. What is needed first and foremost is a strategy. As chaotic as growth hacking sounds, it is absolutely not about blundering forward without a second thought and hoping something works. It is all about strategy, setting an outline of sorts and understanding the process of your own plan. No assumptions, no guessing, just a straight plan. Set goals that are actually achievable and have a clear outline of how you will get there.
Importantly, have your growth ideas cemented, well-researched and backed up by customer affirmation. Chatting with and surveying customers, even just potential customers, is invaluable to the process and reaching your goals. Getting active users that retain when it comes to your product is what you want in the long run. This is unlike traditional marketing marketing, that counts on conversions for its success indicators. Conversions are not the ultimate focus when it comes to growth hacking, long term customers that increase the acquisition value or the revenues of the product, are.
Without the traditional marketing resources or approaches at play, putting yourself into the mindset of a growth hacker involves thinking about the longevity of the platform you are creating – thinking like an engineer and like a customer simultaneously. What is it that will convince a user not only to stay with the product, but to share it with others?
We then think about what it would take for someone to want to share their experience of a product with their family or friends. Psychologically, people want to come across as a person of authority and “in the know”. Giving people the advantage to be the first to talk about or share a new, exciting product en masse, is going to provide a growth boost.
Word of mouth is one of the biggest marketing tools and it is no less powerful when it comes to growth hacking. Get people talking about your product, listen to their feedback and how they want you to iterate the product. Better still, if you can build addiction into your product, it will advertise itself automatically.
To keep the momentum of user-fueled growth, one of the most effective hacks is incentives. Offering a reward of some sort to users who recommend others such as monetary rewards, perks or discounts. If you were getting invested into an all new service and platform, you would want the most out of the experience and rewards for getting your friends involved – sort of like recommending a friend for the job, you’d prefer a reward for putting yourself out there. A growth hacker has to use that alchemical mix of artist meets scientist: logical thinking, and solutions via opportunities.
Timing is also incredibly important, and not just in the sense of seeing rapid growth. An idea can be the most amazing one in the world, but if it is executed at the wrong time, it risks falling flat. Like with Nintendo creating virtual reality gaming several decades ago – it didn’t go well. However now, we have companies vying left and right to hack their own success from the Oculus VR.
Similarly, AirBNB had been improving their own platform for years with the tactics discussed in the top ten triumphant growth hacks of all time. Even if the timing isn’t perfect, you can still use the mindset of a growth hacker to make the best of it and use it to your advantage. Tweaking, testing and perfecting fall into that scientific mentality – always seeking to make something perform better or advance it in new ways. A marketer will take the chance to research the changes and use it fully to their advantage. A growth hacker takes the best of both worlds and uses it to get to the finish line of that framework.
The mindset of a growth hacker is one that anyone can take advantage of, not just those looking to launch a startup, but to any business owner or person looking to get their ideas out there. Minimal resources? No problem. A growth hacker is the master of taking what they do have, giving themselves a framework and finding their way to success without coding mastery or marketing in the traditional sense. That mindset is one any business person should try and slip into – it’s the most comfortable suit you’ll ever put on, guaranteed.
How has growth hacking changed the way you manage your product or service?