Growth Hacking Geniuses - Nissar Ahamed - Visual Summary

Nissar Ahamed

1. How Did You Start Your Journey in Growth and Digital Marketing?

My journey was accidental. A few years ago, I would not imagine this is what I wanted to be. I have a full-time career – B2B sales. That’s where I focus a lot of my time. I wanted to explore marketing and learn marketing.

A couple of things happened. I came across a few articles and speeches by this individual from Malaysia. His name is Vishen Lakhiani. He is very famous in the digital marketing space. He runs a meditation company. I saw some of his videos and he talked about how he grew his blog from scratch and how, over the course of a year, he grew it to X number of subscribers, X number of revenue, and he had a bizarre topic. I thought, “Okay, wait, I can do this.” His topic was something most people have never heard of. So, that was how the idea started.

What also happened at the same time, at that point, I had also worked in recruiting. I understand the ins and outs a little bit about the job search market. I help myself getting jobs but I also started helping my friends and family as well. So, they came to me and whenever they were asking me a question, I’d say, “Do this on your interview. Do this with your resume.” One of my friends said, “Hey, you’ve been talking about this blog thing. Why don’t you start a blog on career and job search?” That’s how it all started. A few years later, here I am. Now, it’s something I spend most of my weekends and evenings working on.

 

2. Could You Tell Us a Bit More About Your Company?

I started a blog to make it a resource for jobseekers to find any information they need that’ll help them in the job search. This could be writing their resume, how to network better, how to do their interviews, how to negotiate their salaries. Also, once they get the job, how they can improve their skills – whether it’s leadership, communication, et cetera.

It’s meant to help find new jobs but also optimize their careers.

When I started off, it was started off by myself. I just did it as something to try out. Then, I started getting validation. People got excited. People started reaching out to me. They wanted to write for me. In the last couple of years, it has grown to close more than 900 articles. I have about 250-plus authors who have contributed to the site.

The site has won multiple awards for being one of the top career blogs. So, I’m pretty happy about what we have been able to accomplish, but it all started out as an experiment and now it’s come a long way.

 

3. Who Are Some of the Successful Growth Hackers that You Learned From or Inspired You?

The idea started off from Vishen Lakhiani. This was three years ago.

But, in terms of successful growth hackers, today, I just listen to one person or read one person. His name is Neil Patel. He is a content marketing king. He has a website called NeilPatel.com or QuickSprout.com. That’s one person I learn from today. I find that it’s easy to get confused by so much information out there so I stick to that one person. I’ve learned a lot from him. I also learn case studies from others but I would say Neil Patel is my number one go-to choice right now.

 

4. What Are Your Top 3 Pieces of Advice for Growth Hackers?

I think number one would be to have an open mind and willingness to learn because you will be learning a lot of new things. Growth hacking is so wide. There’s so many things you can start with – content creation, blogs, videos. It’s essentially marketing very quickly.

Growth hacking, very quickly, what that means is you’re hacking the growth of your business. You’re trying to change things so you can grow faster. There’s so much things to learn so you have to be willing to accept all the ideas and you need to be open to new ideas. It’ll change the way you think.

The second thing I would say would be quantity first, quality later. Almost anybody I’ve spoken to, they want to write that one article and become an instant success. They want to create one video, one interview, and become an instant success. I think, initially, you need to focus on quantity – just focusing on doing more and more and more. Eventually, you will get better. The quality of your visitors, the quality of your company would get better. So, I would say focus on quantity and volumes first.

The third thing is stick to one strategy. I just mentioned so many ideas out there. Sometimes, I get anxiety because there’s so many ideas and I’m just sitting there for one hour, not knowing what to do. I would say, no matter what you do, stick to one strategy and focus on completion. If you can break it down to multiple projects, don’t go to the next project until you have finished number one.

If I can give you a quick example, when I started the blog, I started focusing in June 2015, one of the first things I wanted to do was get into the habit of writing. So, I said, “Within the next three months, I’m going to write 25 articles.” So, evenings and weekends, I went to Chapters, Starbucks, or even a library and started writing. Once I got to 25, I said, “I’m going to write 100 articles.” I only focused on that goal.  I didn’t change anything and that actually helped me focus and create a good path for my business.

 

5. Which Growth Tools or Resources Do You Encourage People to Explore?

In terms of one thing I focus on, there’s tools and there is resources, right? Tools – I would say content is king so focus on writing. Learn to be a better writer. Content could be writing. Content also could be podcasting.

What you’re doing, this is amazing. You’re creating content for your business right now. You’re interviewing people. This is actually a good piece of content people would like to consume.

Content should be your focus and there’s tons of tools out there. Choose what works for you. You’re using Hangouts. I use podcasts. Use whatever works for you.

In terms of resources, I want to give out a shout-out once again to Neil Patel. I go to his website – QuickSprout.com or NeilPatel.com. He writes articles daily. What I like about him is he gives you examples and data to justify whatever he’s saying. There are tons out there but he would be my number one choice.

There is a website called GrowthHacker.TV. It’s essentially interviews – 45-minute to 60-minute interviews with different individuals. They have done a good job. They’ve interviewed about 200-plus people. You’re talking about people from Dropbox, Slack, all these big companies. But, funny thing, two years ago, I only listened to the first interview which was the growth hacker from a company called Treehouse and he’s the one who said focus on content and I’ve been running with that idea. I’m sure, if I listen to the next 199 interviews, I will learn a lot.

I think the third thing will be there are a lot of forums out there. Reddit has some forums, GrowthHackers.com, Inbound.org – these are all resources where people share questions, case studies. They do Ask Me Anything so you can learn from them as well