Mindset, Tactics, Skills, Tools and Resources to Grow Your Business in the era of Growth Hacking

All the tools and resources mentioned in this article are not affiliated links. I do not earn any money from the resources I share. 

January 2015 Sean and his team at GrowthHackers.com were experiencing a stagnating growth. Although they grew at about 90,000 unique monthly visitors in a year they were mainly growing on the back of Twitter. Time to change strategy. They decided to implement an Hith Tempo Testing Program. That is how growth picked up and accelerated,

Source: GrowthHachers.com 

Growth Hacking is one of the most exciting subjects today. Not only in the marketing arena but in any other conceivable area. I’m not trying to emphasize when I tell you that growth hacking can make you become the next President of France. If you don’t believe me probably you didn’t notice that hacking growth has become the secret weapon of one of the screwiest politician alive, the new elected France’s President Macron, which used Growth Hacking to win the election (Growth Hacker Raffaele Gaito passed me this news).

What is Growth Hacking and what is not

As the story goes in 2007 Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia couldn’t afford the rent on their San Francisco apartment that is why they decided to transform their loft in a lodging space. Yet instead of relying on Craiglist, they built their own site, which they called Airbed & Breakfast and hacked Craigslist to drive users back to their site,

Source: GrowthHachers.com 

Long story short that is how they grew from a loft to a company worth $30billion, which we all know by the name of Airbnb. Yet that is only part of the story. In fact, Airbnb didn’t grow in a multi-billion business from a day to the next with a single magic trick. Instead, they had to undertake several experiments before seeing their listings grow.

In fact, experimentation is the key ingredient of growth hacking. Yet in order for it to work, you have to experiment through a rigorous process that mixes high-speed and cross-functional experimentation. That is what Sean Ellis called growth hacking.

In short, growth hacking overturned the traditional founders’ myth. In which, one very smart individual has a genial idea that makes the company go from a garage to a palace. Therefore, it isn’t anymore about a person but the team. It isn’t anymore about one genial idea but a process generating ideas. There’s no such thing as a growth hacker, but only a growth hacking team driven by the same mindset.

The Growth Hacking Mindset

The first step in hacking growth is to acquire the growth mindset. In fact, there is no tool, skill or strategy you can use, master or implement if you don’t develop the right mindset first. That mindset starts from the way you learn.

From Personal to Incremental: Two Approaches to Learning

The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity.

By Josh Waitzkin from The Art of Learning

In a world that becomes increasingly competitive the most important skill to master is “The Art of Learning.” In his homonymous book, chess player, martial arts competitor and author Josh Waitzkin explains the two modes of learning: entity vs. incremental theories of learning. 

The entity theory treats intelligence as fixed and stable. The incremental theory of intelligence instead thinks of it as something malleable, fluid and changeable. In other words, if you believe in the former you will identify yourself with the activity/experiment you’re undertaking. Therefore each failure will be unbearable and a demonstration of your lack of intelligence and skills. Instead, with the latter approach, you will stop identifying with the learning process and start to see each failure as an opportunity to learn something new.

In short, to develop a successful growth hacking mindset you must remove your ego from the learning process and use an incremental learning approach. That is how you develop a growth mindset.

The Power of Yet: The Growth Mindset

Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people…change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth take plenty of time, effort, and mutual support. 

by Carol S. Dweck from Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

If the growth mindset is not about you; it is about the process. How can you make sure to change the way you learn, while also making sure your team is on the same page? Use the power of yet:

praise the process and make sure your team knows the process is what matters
reward effort, strategy, and process not individual intelligence
learn and teach to push outside the comfort-zone so that failure becomes a normal aspect of the growth process

Once acquired the incremental learning method and the growth mindset, there’s a third non-trivial aspect of growth hacking, the scientific mindset.

It Got to Be Data-Driven: The Feynman Approach

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.

by Richard Feynman

If you want to build a growth hacking team you got to have a scientific mindset. The method to follow is pretty simple. Identify a problem, do some research, form a hypothesis, do an experiment, analyze your data, and draw conclusions.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is if it doesn’t match the data then it is wrong! In short, every decision has to be data-driven and based on the actions of the users rather than on the beliefs of the founders.

The Method

Sean Ellis in Hacking Growth shows the how as it follows,

The process is simple yet powerful. From data analysis to testing and back to dat analysis, the loop of growth must be followed consistently.

The Skills: Multidisciplinarity is the rule of thumb

As Davis Jones, author of the Udemy Bestselling course Growth Hacking Masterclass in Digital Marketing multidisciplinarity is the rule. SEO, email marketing, social media, copywriting and online advertising are the basic skills to acquire to thrive in the digital marketing world.

Growth Hacking is about the whole funnel

Growth hacking isn’t anymore about MRR or acquisition but it involves the whole funnel. From awareness to purchase the funnel accelerates at the speed of light,

Source: tomtunguz.com

In this scenario, there are a plethora of tools out there yet quite a few able to help you achieve success. Let’s see some of them.

The Top 20 Tools

Now that you got the right mindset it is time to start using some tools. GrowHack.com drafted an incredible spreadsheet about all the tools used by the greatest growth hackers for each funnel stage, which you can get from here.

Below I analyzed the data and extracted a list of the top 20 software used by top growth hackers independently from the funnel stage,

You can find a more comprehensive analysis done by GrowHack.com on the SaaS marketing stack per funnel stage.

Suggested Reading

Online Course

Websites to read

startup-marketing.com

growthack.com

growthachers.com

quicksprout.com

okdork.com

neilpatel.com

andrewchen.co

People to Follow on Twitter (source stuck study from GrowHack.com)

Amber Van Moessner

Anand Sanwal

Aubrey Arcangel

Cezary Pietrzak

Conrad Wadowski

Dave Gerhardt

Guillaume Cabane

Jamie Quint

Kevan Lee

Massimo Chieruzzi

Matthew Barby

Michael Taylor

Morgan Brown

Nick Christman

Noah Kagan

Peter Borden

Ryan Deiss

Sean Ellis

Zach Grove

Zack Onisko

Case studies

Growthackers

LinkedIn

Slack

Videos

The Growth Mindset

The Scientific Method



 

Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro Cuofano, International MBA. Creator of The Four-Week MBA Community and Content Marketer/Business Developer at WordLift