Who can become a Growth Hacker?
Growth Hacking is definitely becoming a reality and many people want to take it up as a career. The simple question arises what is it that you must have in order to become a successful growth hacker? This is exactly what we will be discussing in this article. It will help you to understand the challenges of becoming a growth hacker.
Should a Growth Hacker must be a programmer?
This is a common question that all people who want to become growth hackers will have. The answer is not as simple as it may seem. If you know coding then you definitely have an edge over. Many growth hackers do not do the coding themselves. You can also do with a good programmer in your team if you do not know much about programming yourself.
Growth hacker is a person who handles a team. He will have a front end and back end developer. He will guide the team on what exactly he wants. The programmers might not know anything about growth. They will basically follow the instructions that the growth hacker is giving them and try to build a code that is needed. The front end developer will just ensure that the site looks good and it user friendly. All these people work together in order to ensure that growth is achieved. It is basically a team work. No one can be considered more important or less important. A programmer might do the job of a growth hacker but that might not be possible all the time.
Can traditional marketers be good Growth Hackers?
Why is a growth hacker considered to be different from a marketer? This is simply because it is all in our mind. Growth hackers should not look at marketers as an enemy. Someone with knowledge of marketing will always have an edge as a growth hacker. It is not the skill set that is different between the two what makes the difference is the mindset.
What a marketer has to do as a growth hacker is copy write and then ensure that the focus is on growth alone. After this an event based analysis has to be done about the product. This analysis is needed to run the funnel analysis that will help to improve the copywriting that was originally made. After all this is done and all analysis is in place growth hacking is done. A traditional marketer can become a good growth hacker provided he or she changes the way they analyse the data and shift the focus to growth alone.
The best way to prove this point would be by using the example of Sean Ellis. He is the first person who came up with the concept of growth hacker. He was also a marketer by profession. The root of growth hacking is in marketing and we must never try to forget that. If you do not understand the basics of marketing it might be difficult for you to become a good growth hacker.
Are Growth Hackers unethical?
All that a growth hacker is expected to achieve is growth and they can achieve it by whatever way they want. Like we say everything is fair in love and war. Ethics is important no doubt. Every profession has ethics. We cannot say that growth hackers do not have ethics. They are just smart people who use their knowledge of distribution channels in order to increase conversions. In the last article we discussed the example of Craigslist and AirBNB. AirBNB was just trying to provide a good service to all the users. Craigslist could disallow AirBNB activities and they eventually did so. This is fine as no one was harmed by it.
It is true that sometimes the growth hackers might cross the limit. However, they must know where to draw the line and ensure that no one is harmed by their actions.
Growth Hackers must have good analytical skills
A growth hacker will have to use a lot of analytics. Without the ability to analyse data a growth hacker will not be able to succeed. Love for analytics drives a growth hacker.
Analytics actually keep the Growth Hackers honest – Analytics basically help the growth hackers to understand how they are performing. Analytics will reveal if the growth hacker did a good job or a sloppy one. It does not matter how big ideas you have. What is important is the analytics of the work done. Sometimes the growth hackers may feel that they have been doing a great job but analytics will have a completely different story to say.
Analytics helps the Growth Hackers to succeed time and again – Analytics means a detailed scrutiny of all that is happening in your business. Until you have a strong analysis done you will not be able to repeat the success that you made in the past. If your present quarter gave you a good returns compared to the previous one and you feel overwhelmed with it growth will not happen. Even if the present quarter is better do a detailed analysis of why and how. This will help you understand what is working and must be repeated as well as what is not working and must be stopped.
Analytics can help the Growth Hackers to predict the future – Companies like to predict and plan the future. Prediction is definitely guessing no one knows if it will come true. However, if you have proper data you can use it to ensure that the decisions you are taking about the future are more informed. Yes this prediction might also be wrong as it is a guess you are making. As you are using data the expectation is based on better analysis and can be considered to be more accurate. Event based analysis is critical to growth hacking. This process of causation bust be supported with strong analytics and that is a very strong weapon.
With Analytics the Growth Hackers can shift focus- When you have numbers in hand it can help you to shift your focus to the right things. It can help you give importance to things that you perhaps do not consider that important. With the help of analytics you can ensure that your focus is on the right track. Suppose the referral loop feature never attracted that you have never attracted your attention. With the help of data analysis you realise that almost twenty percent of the new signups are coming from this area so what you should do is make your team pay more attention to this area.
Why is it said that Growth Hackers are “T” shaped?
Why must a growth hacker be “T” shaped? This shape is basically used to describe the skills that a growth hacker must possess. The flat horizontal part of the “T” stands for all the various skills and disciplines that the growth hacker must have. A growth hacker must know about the market, the psychology of people, the area of knowledge is vast and they must know a little of everything. Rather we can say they must know a little bit of everything under the sun.
The vertical part of the “T” talks about skill sets that dominates and ensures that the growth hacker specialises in these. You will be considered an expert in this and as expected you must go deep into them and keep learning them. Of these skills you will have to be awesome in a few in order to be successful. These are basically the skills that you are expected to master. A growth hacker is less of a professional more of a skilled and creative person. For growing a product you have to go deep. You have to keep learning and finding new ways to deal with it. There is no short cut to success. Yes growing a product requires about ten to twenty percent of skills that you are naturally born with the remaining has to be acquired through hard work only.
The Growth Hackers are generally obsessive
Yes we want the growth hackers to concentrate only on growth. Can you concentrate on a one point goal for weeks and months? It might not be possible for all and they may lose focus. To do this you have to be an obsessive person who can concentrate on one single goal for a long time. It is thus the most important quality that a growth hacker must possess.
Keep looking for the best idea- every day you will come across a lot of ideas. It is not necessary that you get ten ideas and one of it works for you. Be prepared to work on at least hundred ideas and then you may stumble upon something that actually works. If you lose hope in between you will not be able to succeed as a growth hacker. One brilliant idea can come up after you have worked on a hundreds of failed ideas. This will help you understand why we say you must be obsessive.
Learn to make series of small successes over a period of time – people feel that growth hacking is about getting a big idea that can give huge success. The fact is that it is about looking for small ideas that can give small success which we can compound on later. You must look at improving your numbers day by day. It is not always about a breakthrough moment it is about making progress in the right direction over a number of years. Taking off like a rocket is not the aim always. Growth hacking means and looks at growth but it can be a slow and steady growth too. This is possible when you are obsessive and you can work relentlessly towards one single goal for years together.
A growth Hacker should be right brained
We have been talking a lot about analysis. Yes growth hacker must be strong at analytics but that is not the end of the story. With analysis you win half the battle the remaining battle depends on how creatively you use the analytics in order to grow the product. This is why we say that growth hackers must be right brained.
Growth Hackers must have an extra sense of curiosity – we all are born with a sense of curiosity. Curiosity helps man to think of new ideas and ways. Growth hackers must be curious not only about the product they are dealing with but also about how they can grow the product. A growth hacker must know that no idea is a dumb idea and all new ideas must be tried no matter how strange they seem to be. We will list examples of some ideas that you can get only if you are highly curious.
- Let’s allow the customers to choose the price for the product?
- For every customer support request send a drip email of funny videos from the YouTube?
- Making the users do something new every week so that the account does not get deactivated?
This list can go on depending on how curious you can get. To some these ideas may seem stupid and impossible. A growth hacker should not fear that he may be wrong and can be ridiculed. If you are afraid of being different you are not a curious person by nature. Write down hundreds of such stupid ideas and you never know which one would be the best idea you are looking for.
Logical thinking is critical in growth hacking
Growth hacker must be a data cruncher. It is not necessary that a heap of data will always solve your problem. Never leave logical thinking if you want to be successful as a growth hacker. If you have problems do not look for answers in the data. Take a break and you might find the solution to your trouble. Sometimes even a small change can make a huge impact on the growth of the product.
These are the various things to look for in a growth hacker. We hope this will help you understand if you have it in you to become a successful growth hacker.