Originally published by our MD, Rishabh Dev, on Quora.
Ready? Here are the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Growth Hackers
“A Single Brainwave Does Not a Hacker Make.” –
There are days when everyone of us has an amazing idea or two, but this does not make any of us a hacker. Why? Because hackers are not born in a single day. They are creatures of habit (which comes from the MINDSET) who have very clearly defined goals and values. What are they you ask? Well, we have listed the most important ones below. And yes, they are all non-negotiable!
#1: Be Wary of the ‘Default’.
To become a growth hacker, you must first build a growth mindset. Think beyond the traditional methods, hunt for tools to achieve results faster, discover cheaper alternatives for expensive marketing methods, and train your brain to look for opportunities others have missed. Some people already “Think Growth” while for others it will take some time to build the right mindset. The fastest way to achieve this mindset is to “DOUBT THE DEFAULT” in everything you do.
#2: Begin with a Product-Market Fit.
A business model canvas, product-market fit, and user personas are pre-requisites of running scalable growth hacking campaigns. This is especially notable for over-excited and motivated startups who tend to get ahead of themselves. The enthusiasm’s adorable, but well-honed technique will beat pure enthusiasm every time.
#3: Choose to Experiment.
The practice of experimenting is the core of growth hacking. Every hack starts as an experiment first and hence A growth hack is a mature version of a growth experiment. You might have to run several experiments to find one successful growth hack.
#4: Look Out for Offbeat Channels.
The most common channels are usually expensive and saturated. Digital marketers usually follow a single playbook with the same common and popular set of channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Rarely, if ever, are social media campaigns executed beyond this set of platforms, while search campaigns run across the same major advertising platforms like SM Ads and Google AdWords. As a growth hacker, you must think beyond the default digital or the traditional offline marketing channels to get better results, with less time and money. So, think outside the playbook of a digital marketer and make your own channel personas (not just user personas). Learn how to find the right channels for your growth hacking experiments here:
#5: Foster Creativity.
One of the characteristics of successful growth hacks is they are very creative and ingenious. Unlike marketing processes, repeating the same growth hacks is not the right strategy for the long-term. You will get the best results in your most creative growth experiment ideas. If you go through some successful growth experiment case studies, you will find the hackers always thought of creative ways to leverage other’s networks, or to run offbeat campaigns.
#6: Know Your Tribe.
What matters the most is to understand your tribe: which is your audience, your market, and your competitors. A lot of growth hacking success can also be achieved from leveraging your competitor’s networks and audiences. A lot of other growth hacks are based on user psychology. Hence, it is important to understand and analyse user psychology. Once you know your tribe, you also know what channels they hang out on. This then lets you come up with creative campaign ideas on those channels. But it all starts with Knowing Your Tribe!
#7: Build Frameworks and Processes.
One of the biggest misconceptions about growth hacking is that it is about finding a bunch of shortcuts and cool tricks. Though these might be a small part of your growth hacking process, the main idea is to build repeatable and scalable processes to achieve growth. Lot of blogs are written on growth hacking with negative perspectives while the authors do not realise they are talking about the “shortcuts” and “tricks” and not really about the growth hacking process. In fact, it is sad that most people do not really understand that growth hacking is a scalable process build of multiple frameworks.
Go through this definition of Growth Hacking again to ensure this misconception is out of our way.
Are You a Growth Hacker Yet?
The most important thing to remember is that many of your growth experiments will fail. But the advantage of growth hacking is we can measure Success OR Failure fast. And time is the only limited resource we have – both as a startup and a business.