The other day I got a call from a pretty awesome person that I met through LinkedIn. He asked some questions about publishing on it, about my business, and if what I was doing could be described in terms of “growth hacking”.
I told my new friend that I heard the term, but to be honest I really had no idea what it meant. It turned out that growth hacking is just a term for using a variety of methods to rapidly grow and scale a business. Some of the methods involved in growth hacking include creating authentic, engaging content, and being relentlessly growth oriented.
But you don’t need to be a startup, or an entrepreneur, to growth hack your own career.
You can rapidly create the opportunities you want by doing just a few things.
1. Create relationships based on giving, not getting.
Almost every young professionals or chamber meeting I ever attended seemed to amount to people talking all about themselves and trying to convince you to pay them for their services. As soon as they realized there was nothing they could get from you their eyes either glazed over or started to dart around looking for someone else who could actually help line their pockets.
Sometimes it felt like a bunch of hungry piranhas, who, rather than banding together to go find other sources of food, just started eating each other.
Approach life and your career differently. Figure out what you can do to help someone else get where they’re going. Growth hacking style career leaps require you to go through doors you currently don’t have access to. You may not even know those doors exist.
Other people can help you access locked or hidden doors—but they are far more likely to do that if you’ve tried to help them in their journey.
2. Create your personal content marketing plan.
Content marketing and storytelling aren’t just terms for marketers and corporations. You need your own content marketing plan that tells the story you want to tell. One year ago I started publishing online, and in the next few weeks our company will likely hire a fourth employee. All of that has happened because of the content created on this platform.
You may not want to own your own company. But whatever your career goals are, you’ll get to them faster if you show expertise and passion for what you do. Is there a specific promotion you want? What industry are you looking to break into?
Do your research. Figure out what the key challenges facing your next role or industry are. Write about them. Tweet about them. Establishing expertise is part of it, but marketing yourself as an expert is less important than showing that you have a genuine interest in and truly care about what you want to do.
Remember that knowledge can be gained by spending 5 minutes on Wikipedia. Passion can’t be faked. Make sure your passion is evident in your personal content marketing plan.
3. Be relentless.
My wife and I know an older couple who own a small Mediterranean market and restaurant in Phoenix. They make the best restaurant food I’ve ever eaten, and are very successful. I’ve also worked with successful founders of software companies.
Our restaurant owner friends and software company founders have one very big thing in common: whether you end your day covered in flour dust or blurry-eyed from looking at analytics, if you are a successful entrepreneur it’s because you’re relentless.
If you want to growth hack your career you need to be as relentless as any entrepreneur. You need to wake up and figure out how you’re going to conquer the day ahead of you—after you went to bed thinking about what you could have done better during the day that just ended.
Be a good person and invest in other people.
Demonstrate passion and interest in where you’re heading.
Do those things, and do them as much as possible, and you’ll growth hack your own career.
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