Learn about Growth, Strategy and user acquisition
I have experience growing a user base in a crowded market from 0 to tens-of-thousands of users, increasing top of funnel growth for a hyper-growth scale-up and enjoy writing detailed essays on all things growth and user acquisition from key learnings throughout my experience.
I am aspiring to be a world-class growth and digital marketer and extremely passionate about the field. Love brainstorming, testing, experimenting and analysing all growth initiatives. Join me on my journey.
With help from one of the greatest minds in growth, Brian Balfour (Founder and CEO @ Reforge and ex-Vp of growth @ Hubspot) we will demystify the differences between CAC and CPA to understand where, when and how to use them.
As a guiding principle to your growth strategies, it is important to note these key differences in order to make the best decisions for your growth. The common misconception with these two metrics is that you can use them interchangeably, and that is wrong.
Being able to know your way around a social network of 2B MAUs is pretty useful. It's an ocean of opportunity. And if you have the right tools for this ocean, such as, the right goggles, flippers and scuba gear, you'll not only be able to find the small fish (🎣 ), but also the medium to large ones (🐟 ). Oh heck, you may even find a whale or two (🐋 x2). Sounds good right?
Now enough with the ocean analogies.
I'll walk you through this robust framework which allows for A/B testing, multivariate testing, optimising and iterating, no matter how you target your users.
How I learnt the framework and strategy was predominantly through jumping in the deep end (ok just one more 🌊 reference) and trying to make sense of things as I went.
I have mentioned these metrics a lot in almost every essay, because they are THAT important.
The pirate metrics were coined by veteran (now disgraced) VC, Dave McClure from 500 Startups with the vision that they are the only true metrics that prove the health of a startup. They form a very adaptable conversion funnel that can be used for every business model. I literally can't think of one that won't work.
A B2B, B2C and B2B2C will have the exact same stages on this funnel, just focusing on different OMTMs (e.g. messages sent, uploads, games played, ARPPU).
In order to get the most out of your growth strategies, having a clear cut process in running growth experiments is paramount. As long as you approach this with some scientific methods - allowing any test to be analysed from a quantitative perspective - then you are on a good path.
A simple scientific experiment outlined below can be found in any secondary school textbook.
As mentioned in my previous essay about the 19 channels for growth, I promised a follow-up piece on how to prioritise them.
The "bullseye" name and framework was coined by Justin Mares and Gabriel Weinberg due to the three-step approach in reaching bullseye and unlocking your growth. This approach helps you prioritise your growth startegy in a qualitative way that provides more insight than just picking a channel out of thin air.
When I’m not listening to True Crime podcasts, I’m listening to more uplifting and aspirational ones. Ones that get me talking, thinking and sharing. I believe to be a huge channel of growth for some of these podcasts due to the voume of WOM marketing I do.
With this in mind, I thought I'd make it formal and write a small synopsis on which podcasts you could be listening to to stretch your mind.
When strategising on how to grow Dribble, the book "Traction" by Justin Mares and Gabriel Weinberg (which is amazing), was a go-to resource. They did a tonne of research into customer acquisition channels, interviewed startups and founders to hear their success stories on how they grew, and ended up with a pretty concrete list of 19 channels for growth.
The theory behind this list is that they are the only true channel groups that spur on growth, and within it you can find the 1-2 channels that will scale your business. However, I wanted to dig a little deeper into a few success stories to understand whether we need to add, subtract or keep the same number of channel groups on this list.
When you're in the (startup) trenches its pretty difficult to see over the banks. Not only is there a wall of dirt in front of you, but you are also victim to tunnel-vision. You're working on that integral campaign, feature or creative that NEEDS IMPLEMENTING ASAP, no matter how small it is. In fact, there's so much tunnel vision that the size of said feature or campaign doesn't even register. To you, it's the be-all and end-all. The only thing that matters.
This has happened to me. A lot. Trying to keep an eye on the big picture while getting down and dirty with growth is no easy feat, and I'll be honest, it's still an ongoing battle.
But, now I'm here writing this essay roughly 2 years after those trenches with the luxury of being able to reflect on what I wish I knew. And oh how it looks so easy from here. How simple, how rudimentary. I have no idea why I struggled so much.
Growth is very nuanced. There is a unique intersection between marketing, product and data where this field really gets interesting. It requires both creative and analytical capabilities to really succeed. My journey into this field began when cofounding my startup Dribble. In an early attempt to document this journey I wrote about how I launched my iOS app.
As mentioned in the previous post, the essay depicted the launch strategy I used, as well as being used as a content marketing campaign. Since hindsight is 20/20, I thought it best to look at both the launch strategy and the campaign in one go.
I plan to tackle this revision by looking at the bigger campaign-picture, in terms of how I set the campaign goals, the user hypothesis, how i constructed the conversion funnel and the top-line performance, but also critique what parts of the launch strategy I'd adapt.
I'm really glad I have a little extra time on my hands so I can really reflect on my career thus far. In doing so, I realised that it would be best to formally build out a small website to host all of my musings, learnings, experience, strategies, passions and theories on all things growth and user acquisition.
Inspiration for this comes from my previous startup, Dribble, my cofounders Nick and Daniel, the team we hired, Seffa and co., my "mentor" Howard K and all the growth experts I learn from: Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, Sean Ellis, Noah Kagen, Nir Eyal, Justin Mares, Gabriel Weinberg and so on...
Below is my first ever growth essay which I used to spearhead a content marketing campaign (across reddit, medium and others). This was post-launch so goal was to acquire users. I'll cover in more detail the goals of the campaign, the targeting hypothesis, how i constructed the conversion funnel and the campaign metrics in the following post.