Cliff Notes: Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

By September 20, 2016Book Notes
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Growth hacking made marketing irrelevant.

Groth hacking is about maximizing ROI.

Our first idea when launching a business is media coverage, press release or an enormous advertising budget.

We most dangerously assume we need to get as many customers as possible in a very short time of the window frame, and if that doesn’t work – we see it as a failure.

Flashback to 1996 – Hotmail has launched for  free. With a problem of how to create awareness.

Tim Draper informs founder that spending all their money on advertisements is a waste of time. Instead, they think outside of the box and implement a line of text at the bottom of their outgoing emails ” P.s – I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.” This is growth hacking. Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for $400 million.

This is growth hacking. Hotmail was sold to Microsoft for $400 million.

Implemented by people with zero market experience. 

Google  took this further. Building a superior product and then making it invite only for users.

80% of marketers are unhappy with their ability to make the return on their investments.

Marketing is always been about the same thing. “Who are your customers and where are they.”

Groth Hacking is more of a mindset than a toolkit.

The new marketing mindsets begins not a few weeks before launch but, in fact during the development design phases.

We all told ourselves that you go to the market with the product you have not the one you want, growth hackers should be changed until they are primed to generate explosive reactions from the first people who see them

You are constantly looking to refine the product. until you get somewhere with it.

You add more muscle to the feedback generated.

How are we going to evolve this product to something millions will be using. 

Product market fit is by starting with a “minimal viable product” and improving it based on feedback opposed to what most of do, which is trying to launch publicity with what we think is our final product.

Isolating who you customers are and figuring out their needs. Designing a product that will blow their minds are marketing decisions, not just development and design ones.

Stop sitting on your hands and start getting them dirt.

Optimizing a product to spread and be well received by customers by the media and by influences is something that you and the marketer or growth hacker are uniquely qualified to do.

Amazon encourages product managers to think like Oprah. Would she shout about this product if she were giving it away to her fan base as a gift?

Product market fit is a feeling backed with data and information. 

People who are thinking about thins other than making the best product never make the best product.

Your product is essential – is your product slam dunk?)

Marketers job is to improve with what you have got instead of improving upon what you have.

Marketing is a waste of time unless you have product market fit.

We must repeatedly question every assumption. Who is this product for? Why would they use it? Why do they use? How do they use it?

You can ask your customers. What is it that brought you to this product? What is holding you back from referring it to other people?

What is missing? What’s great about this? Be scientific about this – use survey monkey – Wufoo, Google docs.

With growth hacking, we begin by testing until we can be confident we have a product worth marketing.

You are trying to target your first 100-1000 users. Not millions. Get the first batch to really love you.

Dropbox- created a wait list to join.

If you customers are _____________________ and are like you. they are probably reading and doing the same things you are doing every day.

Uber waited one week a year at SXSW to kill their growth, by handing out free Uber rides all week.

If you do not know where you right people are, then you probably do not know your industry well enough.

1. Reach out to sites you know your fans will love. This is who we are, this is what we are trying to do, this is why you should write about us.

2. Upload to hacker news, Quora or reddit.

3. You can start by writing blog posts yourself about popular topics.

4. You can use Kickstarter.

5. Use

6. Invite potential customers one by one and invite them to your service with an incentive.

7. Create exclusivity invite only feature.

8. Create hundreds of fake profiles to make your service more popular.

9. You can target a single service platform and cater to it exclusivity.

10. You can launch a mall group of people (facebook)

11. You can host cool event and drive your fans one by one (myspace)

Your customer is your army.

A growth hacker uses all the information to figure out where those problems are then does something about them as soon as possible.

The role of the growth hacker is to ruthlessly optimize income traffic for success.

The focus needs to be on customer retention.

Redefine and improve the service until users are so happy they simply can’t get enough of it.

Notes taken from: Ryan Holiday Growth Marketing.

Going Viral

First of all: Think why anyone should share, like or tweet your video or service?

Have you made it easy for your users to share your product?

Is what you are trying to go viral even worth talking about?

Can you post about me on facebook, tell your friend to watch my video. Invite your business contacts to use this service is not going to work.

Go back and ask yourself the first question. What is in it for them?

When things go viral, the users to share the content feel like they are the ones getting the value out of it.

Redefining “Call to action Buttons.”

A share button is not a call to action button.

A like button is not a call to action button

A subscribe now is not a call to action button.

The new way to look at this is, does your call to action – create value for you user? ie How could you add as much value as you possibly can for them to think – I am going to grab that with both hands.

Dropbox did this really well, offering free storage when you invite friends to join Dropbox. That is a call to action.

You have rewired your thinking from the end user in mind.

Receive the first shipment for free when signing up.

Your first ride on us. Uber.

Receive $10 when you join. Groupon.

Living social get this deal for free

A call to action should carry an incentive with it, not a begging note.

Your product should have a viral capability built into it.

There has to be a compelling reason to share it.

Anything that has gone viral on the internet was not out fo chance.

It was designed too. It was set up too.

Test many different methods of what your most effective method of growth would be.

Online Video 

1) Know where you are at currently.

If you are just starting out growing your blogging or online platform, awesome! Congrats for taking action and doing something cool.

If you are a pro and been doing it for a while, just as awesome.

But you need to know where you are at. You want to be an accountant for your data. Make a list of your current situation, like the following:

Current Subscribers: 

Current Daily subscriber:

Open conversion rate:

Current website traffic:

This would be your base point.

2. Setting specific goals to work too. 

You can’t set a target or goal if you do not know where you are at. Hence exercise 1.

Now you know your metrics.

Set yourself goals. Paul Grayham from YC states “you should be looking for  10% growth week on week.

You can do this by the following ideas: Guest Posts, advertising, e-books, PR, podcasting, free online course.

If you can beat 10% growth each week, awesome! Crush it out the ball park! Love to know some stats, feel free to leave a comment below!?