I stopped school a few months after the baccalauréat to become an entrepreneur. I was passionate about web development but I quickly realized that my products did not work because of bad retention. Despite the numerous customers who came to my various sites, I could not get enough attention to keep them on. In 2013, I stumbled into the growth hacking with the Growth hacker TV channel. I watched every Interview present and commented on each one of them. One day the person in charge of Growth hacker TV asked me if I wanted to collaborate with them and that's how I started to get into the business. In 2014, I joined the team of TheFamily as a growth hacker and co-organizer of the Growth hacking meetup.
The main focus of a growth hacker is to understand how he can get growth for a startup. That's why he runs experiments on a weekly basis to analyze what works. If you've ever heard of the term "growth hack," it's simply an experience that has generated growth. Now a growth hacker is someone with a very particular mindset. Since he often has at his disposal low budgets, he must be creative to acquire new users (and keep them of course). This lack of choice forces him to try new things. He must therefore be agile, disciplined and self-taught.
The Growth hacker works systematically, comparing the results he has gained from the various experiences it creates to generate growth every day. This allows him to identify what works or fails. When it comes down to an effective experience, the growth hacker concentrates all his energy on optimizing the process as much as possible. He launches everyday experiences but he is above all very focused on the product. He also constantly exchanges with its customers to iterate. Through testing, he gets a better understanding of the customers expectations and allows him to optimize the strategy to implement.
The basic and indispensable tool of growth hacker remains Excel. I also like the Mixpanel tool (or Amplitude) which allows tracking of events, build funnels of conversion and analyze in detail the retention. I advise to combine this instrument with Optimizely which is great to manage all the AB testing part. Imacro and Phantom JS allow scrapping sites to recover valuable data. Finally Zapier is an application that allows to automate different actions (ex: opening of Facebook at the same time as gmail). All these tools facilitate the everyday growth hacker because it becomes faster in its execution.
Two examples instinctively come to my mind. The first growth hack is comes from the startup Menu Next door, which started by creating a facebook group before becoming a marketplace. Thanks to various techniques, they were able to acquire a large number of users and benefit from the strong retention on Facebook. I also have an example of Hack that worked well at the Family. I set up a notification system (OneSignal) on the site TheFamily.co to warn the Net surfers of the latest news. This has produced good results since we had an acceptance rate of 10% and a click rate oscillating between 13-25%. See if this will last.
With the emergence of a multitude of new acquisition channels, I think that we will be a specialization of each growth hacker. He has to generate growth through multiple levers but I sincerely believe that the more a growth hacker gets experience, the more he specializes himself on a specific channel of growth, AB / testing, metrics, etc.
You can find Julien on Twitter and on his blog Hackisition.com