I’m by no means an expert in growth hacking (I’m a growth rookie), but I have learned at least an bachelor degree’s worth in the last three months, and I’d like to help you do the same.
After spending an estimated 300 hours studying the topic, here are the five shortcuts to growth hacking expertise that I have found thus far.
#1 Learn The Framework
Before I could really dive into the nuts and bolts, I needed to learn the schema, or basic framework, of growth hacking. With this high-level understanding of the topic, all the detailed strategies and techniques become much more memorable.
To learn the basics of growth hacking, I highly recommend Neil Patel’s Definitive Guide. Complimentary to that resource, Quora has a tremendous discussion on the topic (and many other growth topics) and Andrew Chen wrote an enlightening essay (he’s definitely a thought leader on growth hacking).
#2 Skim Important Blogs
One thing I’ve noticed about leaders in growth hacking: They write frequently. That’s great news for those of us just starting out, because it gives us a chance to build our knowledge of everything from SaaS profitability to the importance of context. Going deep in your skill set is crucial, but so is building your general knowledge of overlapping fields.
Over the last few months, I’ve carefully managed my feed reader subscriptions to cover all sorts of fascinating blogs. You should build your own list, but to start off I’d highly recommend Andrew Chen, Ryan Holiday, and GrowHack.
#3 Read Lots of Books
Blogs are great at providing nice, bite-sized tidbits of information, but that medium is simply not designed to provide real depth.
Even as some people predict an end of books as we currently know them, others reiterate their importance. Bottomline: at least until something better is invented, books are still the best way to really dive into a subject.
You’ll definitely want to read some growth focused books like Growth Hacker Marketing or Your First 1000 Copies, but you’ll also want to branch out into books like Influence (behavioral psychology) or So Good They Can’t Ignore You (career development). Don’t be afraid to go completely off topic with fiction or history either.
#4 Watch (Or Listen To) GrowthHacker TV
GrowthHacker.tv is such an amazing resource that I’m actually having trouble deciding how to introduce it. Basically, if you’re serious about studying growth, this will make you giddy.
I’ll often watch an episode over dinner, and I’ve frequently learned key strategies that I was actually able to apply the very next day.
#5 Start Practicing
Whether you subscribe to the 10,000 hour rule or deliberate practice (hint: they’re both somewhat true), the general principle is simple. To become great at anything, you need a lot of practice. Reading a million books will never make you an experienced driver.
Go take action today.