Growth hacking is a buzzword that’s making its rounds through the startup ecosystem. What is it exactly? You could describe it as, “optimizing workflow and output through the use of tools and techniques”.
This sounds like a completely positive thing. But is there a darkside of growth hacking? I would contend that, yes there is. Recently, Rap Genius, a venture-backed music lyrics website was caught by a whitehat SEO knight and had their blackhat techniques exposed for the world, and Google to see. The results? Rap genius received a massive penalty and was removed from search results for quite some time. Since then, the owners of Rap Genius have stated that they are back in Google’s good graces. However, at the time of publication, they still are missing from the search results.
So, where did they go wrong? They mistook shortcuts and sloppy work for growth hacking. Growth hacking isn’t finding the shortest distance between two points and then blasting your way through any obstacles to get there. True growth hacking is finding the most effective path to a destination while still producing excellent and repeatable results.
What Real Growth Hacking Looks Like
Too often we’re seeing sloppy work and cutting of corners in the name of growth hacking. The opposite should be true; we should be seeing increased productivity and a rise in quality. If you’re sacrificing quality for speed, then you’re just making an even trade. If you’re increasing productivity while maintaining quality or raising it, you are taking part in true growth hacking.
There are several tools out there that really will enhance your productivity and allow you to maintain the same levels of quality you expect. So, avoid the pitfalls of growth hacking and assimilate these tools into your workflow.
Hubspot is considered by many to be the ultimate marketing tool. Manage your lead flow, run reports, optimize landing pages, and craft email campaigns all from the same tool. A marketer with a hubspot subscription will find themselves doing twice the work in half the time.
Part of being an effective business person is learning about your competitors and your market. The best way to do this is by keeping up on all the news that’s out there. With Pulse you’re able to build your news feed with all of your favorite sites providing their stories on one screen. Read the stories straight from Pulse without having to open up a dozen tabs. Also, sort your stories by topic to get your market research done in a fraction of the time.
I’ve heard famous entrepreneurs talk about keeping a notepad by their bed because you never know when inspiration will strike. Well, we all keep our phones on us at all times and it’s usually by the bedside charging. So, use the app that lets you take voice or text notes on pretty much any subject. Then access those notes from any of your devices. This allows you to keep your ideas organized and at your fingertips at all times.
Kevin Lindquist is a Crocker Innovation Fellow from Brigham Young University who is currently serving as Director of Sales and Marketing at workflow software vendor Decisions.com. You can find him on Twitter @GrowthHackerGuy or @DecisionsTweets.
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