How to be a Growth Hacker 101

Pavan Belagatti, the Manager at Digital Marketing & Growth Hacking Shippable, shares his comprehensive insights on who to become a successful growth hacker, at the 4startups Digital Marketing For Startups Event at NSRCEL.

Growth hacking or growth marketing is the non traditional approach to increase the growth rate, and market adoption of your product/service. It involves pitching different ideas and administering the ones that are most scalable.

A Growth hacker is a person whose true north or focus is growth. A growth hacker’s primary job entails examining how everything is going to impact the growth of a company.

Find out what it takes to be a growth hacker. Here’s your exclusive guide to growth hacking 101 :


Skill set checklist

What kind of skills do you need under your sleeve to become a growth hacker? Essentially, a growth hacker is a marketer with creative ideas, analytical skills, and a little bit of coding knowledge.

Similar to a digital marketer, a growth hacker must be a pro in social networking, blog writing, content, UI/UX, viral marketing, SEO, and analytics.

The primary difference between growth hacking and digital marketing lays in the fact that digital marketing is focused on brand and positioning, while growth hacking involves the process of rapid prototyping and testing of different tactics/ideas.


 Break the Rules

The secret weapon of growth hacking is plain and easy: Be a rule breaker. Growth hacking is all about having the right mindset. Sorry to tell you, but growth hacking doesn’t come with a set list of rules. The job demands you to think outside the box. Unleash your creativity.


 Follow the three commandments

Every idea/ strategy must be driven by the three customer commandments –

  1. What does your customer want?
  2. Where does your customer reside?
  3. What language does you customer speak?  

Knowing exactly who your customer is the catalyst, that will determine the fate of your efforts as a growth hacker.


The AAARRR Model

The AAARRR model is a customer behavior metric blueprint that allows you to monitor your customer journey. This in turn enables you to optimise your company’s customer growth. The model is not only meant for marketers, but is equally essential for growth hackers as well. Growth hackers are responsible for all these 6 stages in a growth funnel. These include:

  1. Awareness – Make yourself visible. Do people know who you are?
  2. Acquisition – How easily can people find you? If the answer is anything else than very, then you’re doing something wrong.
  3. Activation- Follow the tracking journey of your customers. It’s your job to dissect customer acquisition.
  4. Retention – Do your customers come back to you after the initial experience of your product/service?  
  5. Revenue – The more number of users that choose to upgrade; the more revenue you make.  
  6. Referral –  If customers like what you’re offering, they will refer you to their colleagues, friends, etc. This is extremely important, as word of mouth is one of the most effective growth strategies.


Be a master hacker

To be a growth hacker, you need to be mindful, creative, and smart. It’s crucial to know all the secrets or hacks to reach your destination of growth in a  faster and better manner. Here are a couple of hacks for you to crack:

  • Roundup article hack –  You might not know what to write about, especially if you’re a newby. There’s a simple trick: Just ask experts!  Post a couple of questions on platforms such as LinkedIn, and Reddit, and wait for the experts to reply. But for this to work, you need to have a strong network, and build a community.
  • Storytelling hack – Tap onto the reservoir of the power of storytelling. If you can figure out a way to create the magical portion of storytelling, you can enchant the world with your content. There’s a simple formula you can use – Use appropriate line breaks, pull in readers with an appetizing clickbait in the first 2-3 sentences, add an emotional touch, and have a strong, genuine content body.  
  • Infographic hack – It’s as simple as it sounds. Convert articles into infographics. They have a tendency to go viral.
  • Twitter hack – Timing is everything. Try to post GIFs to draw attention.
  • Tools Hack – The main goal of a growth hacker is to lower the cost per acquisition as much as possible. Instead of using paid ads and tools, explore the endless sea of free tools in every dimension of your job title. Buzzsumo, Hotjar,, SEOprofiler, crowdtangle, and don’t even scratch the surface of the iceberg.

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