Everything about growth hacking job, responsibilities and benefits for startups that every entrepreneur must be well aware of
In recent years, the title “growth hacker” became a bit of a buzzword. Many start-ups look to such specialists to give their business a boost. Although the job has been around for quite some time, it still comes with a lot of confusion.
In this guide created in collaboration with Jooble, you’ll learn how such experts can help startups and how they’ve changed the game over the past decade. Whether they use social media, external PPC and video content, or challenges, they can provide a huge boost to a business.
Who is a Growth Hacker?
A growth hacker is a specialist who uses various methods and innovative tactics to make a company bigger (applies especially to small businesses). It has to do with marketing and digital tools that are often very affordable or completely free.
The basis here is an unconventional approach to leveraging marketing and business strategies. This term was first introduced by Sean Ellis in 2010 when he left his position at Dropbox. In many ways, it meant the shift from traditional business growth.
Dropbox is a great example of how this new approach can propel a startup to stardom. Here’s what the company did:
- Created a unique onboarding strategy that increased the motivation and excitement of employees;
- Launched the product at a business event where the target audience was;
- Offer invitation-only access first to give a sense of exclusivity (this tactic was later successfully used by the Clubhouse);
- Made a video demonstration of the product;
- Created a referral system where you get free storage space for every new user you invite.
As a result of all these methods, Dropbox grew rapidly. This is what growth hacking is all about.
What does Growth Hacker do?
What sets this position apart is that it has no set educational requirements or special certifications. Even the set of skills depends on the expert and their experiences. It is much more about the new way of thinking and approaching specific tasks.
This is where the hacking part comes from. It refers to “hacks” meaning shortcuts that make something easier. Such a specialist finds new ways to bring ideas to life and achieve specific goals.
Such an expert is responsible for expanding the startup’s development quickly and smartly. This could mean increasing brand awareness, increasing the audience or popularizing the product/service. The core here is to identify new opportunities that can truly change the game for a company.
In many cases, this position has ties to marketing. But they are different at the core.
Traditional marketing is:
- About long-term campaigns and steps;
- Build on a substantial budget;
- Based on traditional theories;
- Focused on the AIDA method (Awareness, Interest, Desire Action);
- Using traditional and/or digital marketing channels.
Growth hacking is:
- Driven by experimentation;
- Aimed at rapid actions or trends;
- Designed for small budget options;
- Based on hypothesis rather than theory;
- Focused on the AAARRR model (Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue);
- Uses all available channels.
A growth hacker follows trends, analyzes the market and finds innovative solutions that require little investment to achieve impressive results.
There are many existing techniques in growth hacking already. The problem is that some of them must be used as needed and in the specific industry. What worked for Dropbox may not work for Uber and vice versa. The expert knows not only tools and hacks, but also how and when to use a particular one. Or how to create new techniques based on previous cases.
In terms of essential skills for a growth hacker, such a specialist must have:
- Analytical and critical thinking;
- Some technical background in digital marketing and web development;
- Strong background in marketing, SEO, content and community management;
- Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking;
- Collaboration and communication;
- Growth mindset.
The core competencies come from soft skills that have to do with a mindset rather than knowledge of particular software. Although the latter is always an advantage.
A Growth Hacker is a Game Changer position for all newbies
Startups have many difficulties to overcome. One of the most important is that they have to compete with established businesses that have more resources in all aspects – money, outreach, employees and channels.
The best way to compete with them is to hack the game – approach it from a new angle. And with a growth hacker on board, it can be done with little investment, which is another pain point for many startups. Instead of competing with other manufacturers on their terms, a company can make its own. Consider Dollar Shave Club and how it managed to come out on top with a clever video in an industry where there was almost no change for years.
This new way of thinking brings enormous power to all types of startups. For example, Ahrefs is one of the most famous SEO brands now. But the start was just a 10-cent cup of coffee at the conference for professionals (target audience) containing important keyword metrics for “coffee” and a link to the website.
With intelligent tactics, a startup can quickly grow and achieve worldwide recognition. Because it is something new, fresh, exciting and engaging. This is the exact opposite of traditional advertising, which is often more annoying than effective.
A growth hacker is an essential professional for any startup as such an expert can “hack” the industry and bring the business to success. It’s about innovation and creative thinking. It is based on experimentation and small investment, while providing good returns.