How did the world’s fastest-growing companies drive breakout success? While many assume they got lucky and found some secret short-cut, the truth is these companies took a very scientific approach to growth. It’s now known as Growth Hacking. “Growth hacking is a process pioneered by today’s fastest growing companies to drive rapid and sustainable customer and revenue growth.” –

The man who coined the term, Sean Ellis, came together with Morgan Brown, founder of Inman to write a powerful and practical book on the art of growth hacking. It’s called “Hacking Growth: How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success.” Check out the video below as we discuss this great book.

Video Transcript

Hey. What’s going on, everybody? I’m Ryan Shelley, and this is Hack My Growth. In today’s episode, we’re going to be taking a brief look at this brand new book from Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown called Hacking Growth. This is a powerful look under the hood of what it actually means to be a growth hacker, some things that you can start to apply to your business to see the growth that you’ve really wanted to see. Now, here’s the thing. One of the things that I love about this book is that they don’t give you silver bullets, because there is none. Okay?

There is no quick fix to getting traffic. There is no quick way to get amazing results overnight. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes people just get that right message at the right time and it happens, but with most of these businesses, it took time. It took the time to understand their audience, understand what their product and service really were. What was the offering that their audience really wanted, and how can they deliver a good customer experience, and user experience in a way that keeps them coming back more and more over time?

A lot of times we talk about hacking growth, or growth hacking, or lead generation. We really talk about, you know, we want to see a ton of traffic to your site, and then we want to try and convert that traffic, which in theory is a good metric, and in theory it’s a good plan. Right? The reality is it’s not that simple. Just because you have a ton of traffic, it doesn’t really mean anything. A lot of times we obsess about these numbers that really have a lack of action to them, and those are numbers that I like to call vanity metrics, and what they do a really good job of in this book is helping you understand the difference between metrics that matter and metrics that really are just about our ego.

Here’s something really astonishing. It says that 98% of traffic to websites do not lead to an activation, and most apps lose 80% of their users within three days. What does that mean? It means that just driving traffic doesn’t mean instant growth, so we need to understand how can we take those acquisitions and turn them into activation and then turn them into retention, and how we can continue to iterate and grow our product and services, so we keep our customers happy. That’s what this book really starts to help lay that foundation for you about, and that’s really what hacking growth is all about, whether you’re doing inbound marketing, SEO, growth driven design, user experience. Whatever it is you’re doing, it’s learning to take what you have and adapt it for your users in a way that’s going to be practical and more human.

When you start to think like robots and think all about just the numbers, is when we really start to lose that human experience, but what makes data really powerful and what makes growth hacking really powerful is it takes the data and it joins it in with the human experience, so that we’re adding to that customer delight seeing growth over the long run, which is what we want. Sustainable growth over time is always going to beat those one-time wonders, you know, those one hit wonders. We know that song from the 90’s, that band that had that one song. Right? You don’t want to be that as a business. You want to be that block of consistency, that brand that continues to grow, that brand that continues to evolve, that brand that continues to change and continues to solve unique and interesting problems.

This is a really, really great start, so I highly recommend you checking out Hacking Growth. These guys don’t pay me. I don’t know these guys, never talked to them before, but what I do know is I’ve gotten a ton out of this book, and I actually use all the time, which is a site that Sean Ellis runs, an amazing site, where you really can learn a whole lot of information from people that are putting these into practice, that are sharing their failures, that are sharing their successes, and they also have a really cool tool that we use as well called Projects, where it really helps us … I call it my idea management system. You know, you have a product management system, where these are the campaigns that we’re running. Well, Projects really works for me like my idea management system, where I can go and then dump all of these ideas that I have about my business or the businesses we’re working with, and then it gives me a really straightforward way to put those into action, so I can test them and verify them or validate them and see if they worked or not.

When you’re really thinking about growing your business, think about the long run, and take the time to learn from the people that have put in the work. Learn from their mistakes. Model their behavior, but don’t copy what they’re doing. You know? That’s another thing that they caution a lot in this book. Just because it worked for somebody else, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. You’ve got to find those unique channels. I would definitely recommend checking out Hacking Growth, taking some time to read through it and see how you can start to apply growth hacking to your business. Thanks for checking out this video, and we’ll see you in the next episode.