Growth Hacking Geniuses - Maree Jones - Visual Summary

Maree Jones

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

You know, it’s a funny story and it’s something that I would never ever – ever – recommend for a business to do.

I actually started out managing social media for a company that I was working for many, many years ago. It was a magazine publishing company. I was already working there, doing advertising, sales, and I was doing really well. I was very motivated and won several contests. But they kind of put me in-charge of social media and, really, my only qualification was that I was the youngest person in the office. And so, kind of by default, I was given that role and took it on for an additional $25.00 a week.

Since then, I’ve kind of found my niche and have grown that role but, yeah, it’s something that I would never recommend businesses to do.

What Are Your Thoughts on Growth Hacking or Growth Marketing?

You know, I believe growth hacking and growth marketing is really a response to the way that different online avenues have really changed the marketplace. Being reactive is really being the new proactive. As these technologies emerge, people who are able to respond, who are able to practice growth hacking have a huge advantage over people who only practice kind of the traditional marketing.

Growth hacking certainly does not take the place of traditional marketing but it’s a really cool compliment to it in that you can have those longer planning cycles but you can also be reactive in real-time.

What Are the Top Three Qualities that a Growth Hacker Should Have?

I think the first one is that they’re always looking for partnerships or integrations that make sense.

The smartest growth hackers that I’ve seen and worked with understand that one plus one equals three and that, the more you can find people and organizations to work with and to kind of grow your business, the better off you’re going to be in this environment.

You know, the second one I would say is a sense of curiosity or experimentation – being willing to try new things, new approaches, and really being reactionary while the marketplace may change or new technologies may develop.

Finally, I would say that user experience as well as the technical chops are very important. But thinking about the value that you can provide to a potential customer or partner is really important. Yes, you do have to have the technical chops to kind of bring it to life but you also have to have that creativity and that understanding of human experience to kind of bring to the table as well.

What Are Some Resources You Encourage People to Explore?

You know, a lot of times, I will come across clients who are maybe startups or entrepreneurs and they’re simply strapped for cash. They do not have a budget for marketing or PR or social media management. They can’t afford it so they kind of resort to approaches that are more along the lines of growth hacking – you know, referrals, loyalty programs, and things like that. Because of that lean cash flow, I like to point them in the direction of free resources as much as possible, if I can help them.

Sites like Kissmetrics have a wealth of information about growth hacking and even some of those non-conventional sites like Quora have a lot of information that’s community-driven and, really, heavily slanted to growth hacking.

Which Tools Do You Use to Grow Your Business or Help Clients Grow Theirs?

I specialize mostly in PR, content, social media, and there are lots of different ways to kind of growth hack those and to put some things on automation so that you can continue to work on your business. You can kind of set it and forget it, so to speak.

I really like tools like Hootsuite or Buffer that really make managing those multiple channels and social media more effective and having to log into an account or change a password or things like that. It saves people a lot of time in which they can work on other things and not have to worry about social media growth. It kind of puts them on auto-pilot a little bit.

For email marketing or content, there’s lots of really great things like CoSchedule. I use Emma for email marketing. I’ve also used MailChimp. Those kinds of tools have a lot of options that are very affordable if not free. They’re really great resources to kind of build your email list, build your social media following so that you can embrace kind of those principles of growth hacking.

Aaron Agius - Visual Summary

Aaron Agius

1. How Did You Become Passionate About Internet Marketing?

Initially, getting into it I was living in Thailand for a good six months, I sold everything I owned, went over there with my girlfriend at the time, and we decided we needed to find a way where we could do that for as long as we wanted, which was basically earn a strong currency, live in a weak currency. Essentially, you can live like a king in Thailand on very little money.

So my girlfriend at the time is now my wife. She was in marketing and I was in IT. We decided that we could combine our skills and we did a lot of online research, trying to find out how people are actually making money online. And so we decided we’d give it a shot. We flew back to Sydney, and for the next year my girlfriend supported me while I spent every day learning everything I could about Internet marketing.

About four months in, we made 40 cents online, and I was jumping around, high-fiving, celebrating, because we know now what we knew then: the Internet can be highly automated and almost infinitely scalable. And the very next day we made $400 online and it just continued from there.

Following that success, I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to keep going and going and I just haven’t stopped.

2. Would You Mind Telling Us More About Louder Online?

We’re a search and content marketing company. As you’ve mentioned in the intro, we worked for funded startups through to some of the biggest companies in the world. We’re a distributed team throughout the US, Australia, Asia, a number of different places. Most of our clients are in the US, some in Australia, some in Asia, and around the world as well.

What we do is we drive a positive ROI to our clients for their marketing spend. Clients come to us wanting brand awareness, wanting leads, traffic, sales, and we find a way to do that through fantastic content and search marketing.

The positive ROI is a key point of difference for us. So many people talk about ranking or traffic, and in the end, what does that matter to a business who’s just trying to grow their business? So we focus on what matters to the business and the end goal for them, and that’s how we make our clients happy.

3. What Are the Top 3 Qualities That a Growth Hacker Should Have?

There’s a lot of qualities. Someone in that position or title needs to be doing a number of different things. Some of the most important ones: data-driven. Don’t just rely on hunches, and actually do the work, put the effort in, get the data and make decisions based on that data. So very data-driven, that’s the first thing.

You definitely need to be creative, that’s the next thing. Once you got the data, you need to come up with great ways to try and manipulate it and use it to your best advantage.

A third thing, wanting to explore, being curious, and having the inkling that there’s something down that path, and really trying to research and going that way, then going the next way. Just exploring data. Curiosity I’d say is the next key thing.

4. Who Are Some of the Successful Growth Hackers That You Learned From or Inspired You?

You mentioned Neil Patel previously, we’ve done a number of things together, a number of big content pieces, and we’ve worked together in a number of different ways, there’s a lot to learn from Neil. He’s been doing this for a very long time and he’s everywhere. I’ve learned a lot through him and through different connections that he’s introduced me to.

The other person is Andrew Chen, who’s been working on Uber.

Just great information at a really high level from both of those people, so two people I’ll be keeping an eye

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

The three pieces of advice are all very closely related.

The first thing I’d say is don’t get caught in marketing tactic hell, so trying to think a thousand different things and try a thousand different things at once is inevitably is gonna cause you to do them all at a very shallow level and likely to be unsuccessful. So know about them, but part two is go deep into each channel and get as close as success as possible, and make sure you systematize it and have a team that can operate that for you so that you can move to the next channel or the next tactic. And once you’re able to see success across those, then you’re going to be winning.

I guess the third part, and this is a really part, build virality into your product or service. Make sure that it’s part of the product, that sharing is part of the product, that inviting other people is part of the product. Building that in from day one is going to enable a lot more success down the track.