Growth hackers are a different breed of marketers.
They’re cross-trained in multiple disciplines, and they’re not afraid to get down in the trenches for the sake of growth.
But, what exactly should you look for in a growth marketer?
And, what kind of growth hacking skills do they bring to the table?
In today’s guide, I want to go through the skils that you should look for when hiring a growth hacker.
These are traits that our growth hackers at BAMF use, and they are the very traits that even I was trained in.
Let’s growth hack.
Monitoring performance is one of the ways that a growth hacker gathers data and determines if a campaign is worth the effort being put to it.
It’s an important part of ensuring that resources are being used properly and ensuring that a company is on track for growth.
But, that’s not all.
They should also provide be able to determine which KPIs matter the most and find areas of improvement at every step of the way.
A typical growth hacker will:
Other skills that they could have are heatmapping to improve UX and UI, and using cookies to make sure they’re following their prospects.
If they know how to track, they definitely know how to test.
I’ve never met a growth hacker that’s only used one standalone campaign or released one version of a post that’s intended to go viral.
It’s never happened.
When we were studying virality on LinkedIn, we would take down a post after a few hours if we didn’t get the result that we wanted – which led to us finding out the secret sauce of LinkedIn virality.
A/B testing is a natural reflex of most growth hackers because they want to be efficient with their campaigns.
Nobody really knows how the market will react.
If they someone claims otherwise, they’re probably lying.
A growth hacker, no matter how sure they are of their theories, will always test first. That’s how they guarantee results.
Think of them as market scientists that want to make sure they’re doing the right thing.
If you ask us what’s one of the best growth hacking skills, it’s got to be testing.
Writing is a critical growth hacking skill.
There’s no way around it.
You might have all the marketing skills in the world, but you should still know how to write a good CTA …at the very least.
The growth hacker you hire should be able to determine good copy from bad, and write copy on the fly if the need arises. This means being able to come up with captions, marketing copy, titles, and even LinkedIn headlines.
However, they don’t need to be fully-fledged writers.
You can’t expect your growth hacker to write articles for you on a daily basis, but they should be able to if it’s needed for growth.
Make sure you ask if they’ve written anything in the past.
There’s a fine chance that they have.
After that, read it.
Does it click? Is it written in a good way? Are you convinced by the copy?
These are important things to consider.
Most growth hackers I’ve met are geniuses when it comes to branding.
They can pick up a new product or startup from the ground up, implement systems for growth, and scale.
Branding is more than just coming up ways of marketing a new product.
It involves conceptualizing the vision and goals of a company, combining that with the values and principles that govern it, and presenting it with messaging that resonates with the target market.
They need to be able to take any product or organization, and give differentiate it from the rest of the competition while at the same drawing awareness to it.
Your growth hacker should be able to:
This list is in by no means complete.
Branding is critical to any organization because it shows people the heart of the business.
And that helps in creating an emotional connection.
Most growth hackers have experience.
Even first-time growth hackers will at least have some sort of experience in marketing and business development, and this is important.
You can’t hire a fresh grad and call them a growth hacker.
It just doesn’t work like that.
I’ve collaborated with a lot of growth hackers before, and the least I’ve seen was many months of experience in a marketing discipline that’s had real results.
Most growth hackers have spent years training in different disciplines to earn their stripes.
When searching for a good growth hacker, look for someone that has experience, preferably in the industry that you’re in.
If you can’t find someone with that level of experience, look for someone that specializes in a particular area that has a lot of room to grow for your organization. This gives them specialization.
But, does this mean you should dismiss someone who’s called themselves a growth hacker for the very first time?
Check their resume.
Are they well-versed in most of the skills that we’ve discussed in this guide? If they are, they’re still growth hackers, and it’s probably the first time that they’re using the title.
They’re still worth a shot.
What’s important is if they’ve helped organizations or other people grow using the resources that they have.
All your prospects will follow a buyer’s journey before they hot conversion (and remarketing).
Growth hackers have the responsibility of mapping this out and this is especially important for companies who are first starting out.
By mapping out the buyer’s journey, they can determine the different touchpoints that your company has with a prospect, create messaging for each stage, and be able to predict customer behavior and plan for it.
But, it doesn’t just end there.
They are also responsible for giving buyers the “experience” of working with your company.
Creating an account-based experience (ABX) is essential for the success of personalized campaigns.
A good growth hacker should be able to map out the entire process so that departments can see the processes visually.
Once a customer converts, your growth hacker should have also collected a wealth of information determining how they to the sale, and how they can do better.
Growth hacking relies heavily on data.
The reason behind this is simple.
The numbers don’t lie.
Using data, a growth hacker will be able to determine the efficiency of a campaign, find out if something can be done better, or scrap a campaign altogether.
Data allows growth hackers to do more with the resources that they have and scale on unprecedented levels.
When hiring a growth hacker, find out what their experience is in data analysis.
But, that’s not all.
They should also be able to interpret all this data to stakeholders, and make it mean something to them. This means taking complicated sets of data and turning it into easily digestible action statements that anyone can comprehend.
So, this means they should also be pros with data visualization.
Data is the primary reason why growth hacking has risen into prominence. It turns the art of marketing into a highly scientific endeavor and it makes organizations more surgical in the way they scale.
Every marketer should know how to run a complete lead generation campaign.
This means they should be able to:
One of the key growth hacking skills is lead generation because at the end of the day, organizations still have to build revenue moving forward.
However, they shouldn’t be relegated to purely lead generation tasks, but rather take a more administrative role in ensuring that leads are generated consistently passing a standard of quality.
Lead generation is not enough.
Its sibling, lead nurturing, usually gets the job done.
Lead nurturing is the process of creating content and reminders that gently push a prospect through a funnel.
It can involve well-placed retargeting ads, reminder emails, or just organic content that prospects get to see whenever they log into LinkedIn.
It’s a crucial part of the buyer’s journey because it is during this time that they truly experience what it’s like to connect with your company.
Being able to be strategic with lead nurturing is an essential growth hacking skill.
Growth hackers have to be sensitive to the needs of their prospects, their habits, and also constantly test what works and what doesn’t.
A good growth hacker will know how to conduct outreach.
Maybe, the reason you’re talking to them is because they were trying to reach you in the first place.
And, that’s a good sign.
Outreach is critical for any organization that wants to make it online.
It’s not only used for lead generation, but it’s also great if you want to get press, collaborate with other businesses, connect with thought leaders, and build backlinks.
Almost every growth hacker I’ve met has outreach skills and isn’t intimidated with writing a hundred emails.
I was once that struggling growth hacker sending out hundreds of emails a day and trying to build my network, and right now it comes naturally.
You should find out about your potential growth hacker’s experience in doing outreach.
Have they done it before? What are their takeaways?
How can they create an outreach campaign for your company?
Among the top growth hacking skills to have social media management and strategy ranks high.
When we talk about social media management, this doesn’t just involve scheduled posts and the like, but it mostly pertains to strategy.
Social media channels like LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the biggest led generation channels that we have today, and it seems as if for every niche product, there’s a corresponding social media platform that you can leverage for leads.
Good social media strategy deals with the following:
At BAMF, we specialize in LinkedIn marketing and turning our partners into influencers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rock a Facebook campaign if our clients need them.
Being able to leverage social media to score leads and nurture are important growth hacking skills.
SEO is vital to ensure that your website gets a lot of organic traffic coming in.
Although only a few growth hackers are fully-fledged SEOs – on the side – almost all the great ones will have SEO experience and will be able to help you with your organic strategy.
Being able to identify (and sometimes create) good headers, check for elements that will help with ranking, switch out schema, finding broken links, knowledge on technical problems, and SEO practices are all good skills to have.
They need to be able to align organic goals with the overall growth objectives of the company.
It’s not going to be the main part of their job, but they need to have some SEO skills.
Having some design knowledge is a good skill to have, not only for growth hackers, but for most marketers out there.
I’ve met social media managers that can chew out Canva designs that go viral in a couple of hours.
A good growth hacker doesn’t have to be an art critic, but they should know the difference between something that converts from something that doesn’t.
They need to have some knowledge in photo manipulation and have the ability to create marketing materials like Facebook posts should the need arise.
However, skills such as:
should be common among all good growth hackers.
Just as you don’t need to be art critic to be a good growth hacker, you don’t have to a full stack developer either, what matters is that a growth hacker has enough knowledge to figure out what’s going wrong and how they can make things more efficient.
Growth hackers must know the important elements of responsive design, website optimization, handling site speed concerns, handling security, and how to improve the site for mobile.
Most of the growth hackers that I know can easily design a landing page that looks aesthetically-pleasing, has tracking elements built-in, and copy that can help convert.
They can even take this a step further by creating landing pages with multiple iterations, all customized to unique audiences, with variations for A/B testing – because you need that data.
Knowing the process of creating, optimizing, and tweaking a website are all very important growth hacking skills.
Growth marketers and hackers are some of the most elite marketers that you’ll find.
They can take any startup or product at any point in its life cycle, leverage resources, and gear it up for success.
In fact, this list of growth hacking skills is too short in comparison to what most growth marketers can do.
If you’re planning on hiring a growth marketer – or if you want to become one – there are more skills that you should look out for.
But, here's what's important.
Combining these skills to achieve growth.
What skills are you using today to grow your company?
Are you hiring planning on hiring a growth marketer?
Or, are you satisfied with your current rate of growth?
There's never enough growth.
Does your business need more awareness, leads, and sales?