Looking back at my professional career, I realized that I always received praises from the leaders and clients but it never materialized into promotions or roles I deserved.
I did not know how to market myself and hence never did justice to my hard work, skills or talent. I was dissatisfied with my growth and instead of making things better, I became lazy and bitter — further hampering the growth I could have had.
Entrepreneurship forced me to learn marketing and while researching the topic it became apparent that I could have used this all along — to write better emails, perform better in meetings with clients or to simply create my own brand.
As I will be using all the techniques for my startup, I felt it is necessary to start sharing my learnings.
The past decade was for honing of this skill, there is ofcourse a lot of learning still to happen but this decade it would define you as well as companies of the future.
I started my career as a developer then worked as management consultant for number of years. Last year I jumped on full-time entrepreneurship and currently bootstrapping my way to become successful in my journey.
See, I never had a growth mindset, for me, growth meant working hard and the rewards would follow itself. The same thing I thought about selling products and service, even for my startup idea.
Have a great product and it will sell — Is a wrong advice.
Growth is done consciously and is cultivated over time with practice while making mistakes. Having a great product is given but what good will come if know one knows about it?
Art of Marketing
The first place I went looking to search for marketing was traditional courses such as MBA and certificates from the top management schools.
I was disappointment as they were less about marketing and more about managing it.
I just wanted to learn how to reach more and more people and acquire them subsequently, after all this is what marketing is supposed to do.
I saw so many people on social media and startup world doing great things without a formal learning.
Marketing is an art — just practice more and more often to get better at it.
You don’t need to learn all the P’s and C’s they teach at school or spend significant amount of time and money to acquire the knowledge. Otherwise all marketing MBA’s would be going viral isn’t it?
See marketing needed a machinery because it meant spending significant amount of money — advertisement, focus groups, pilots and what not. Those days are gone, in the digital age, we have many channels available to us.
We have linkedin, facebook, instagram, twitter , medium— so many right? And that is where the people are and so should be every brand or product. Not just random people, this is where your family, colleagues and clients are too.
All these channels are free to use and does not need significant money or time to manage. This is where you can start learning, experimenting, iterating to get better over-time. You don’t need traditional marketing any more.
Traditional marketing is dead. Digital age needs growth hacking.
Haven’t you heard the term growth hacking yet? This is all about,
The idea is to do it fast, so that you can fail fast, learn from it and go at it better the next time. A relentless approach many traditionalist may call luck when successful, but they are absolutely wrong.
For The Naysayers
Growth hacking is absolutely data-driven and relies heavily on A/B testing. Don’t underestimate the power of this marketing method. It has been in use since 1997 and has potentials for exploding growth.
Some see growth hacking as a get rich quick scheme but it is more of a try things faster scheme. Here you do not wait because of bureaucracy your weapon is agility and flexibility.
Just think every disruptor is trying this to promote themselves or their companies and products.
In my opinion naysayers are purely managers and thrives on hard working teams. On the other hand, Growth hackers are doers they are good alone or in teams, I would personally love to have a team with this kind of mindset.
It’s a shame that so many talented and skilled people just like great products or services fail to make the impact and find the success they deserve.
I don’t want to spend my life thinking I could have done more and neither do you as well. Even Jeff Bezos says he has made Billions of dollars worth of mistake and that is what is growth hacking is all about.
I learned growth hacking for myself through instagram and then gained over 25K followers in less than 6 months. You can choose a social media platform too and try it!
Online search is enough to start learning — this is where you should start and don’t bother paying anyone for anything yet. Learn independent and free as much as possible.
I have been using the techniques learned in product development as well along with promoting my startup.