In the last article I showed you how I got my job as a Junior Growth Hacker.
Today, I want to show you what I learned so far working as a Growth Marketer at Receiptful.
Table of Contents
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
I’ll be honest with you: the first and a half month I didn’t know what I was doing.
Have you ever wanted something so much, and once you have it you don’t know what to do with it? That’s exactly what happened.
Did I have to start outreaching people to tell about Receiptful?
Did I have to start guest posting?
I didn’t know.
Fortunately, that first and half month was pretty simple: I only had to focus on the correct implementation of our analytics tools. Even though we had one big problem (which caused my learning #4), I did everything quite well.
Things changed in mid-December, when Adii asked me to develop a content marketing plan. So I did.
I defined goals, KPI’s and targets, with weekly benchmarks to hit. Also, every week I had to write what I have done, and what I need to do next week.
To my surprise, developing a plan was what I needed.
(Yes, it sounds cheesy, but being a newbie at startup marketing, it worked.)
All of a sudden, I started to know what to do each day with purpose and direction. I also started to enjoy my job much more. Now I know how much impact my work has had in the company, and how important it is.
Developing a plan also helped me measure my efforts, which resulted in better personal accountability of what I’ve done each day.
(The first weeks were so confusing for me, that in December I developed a personal accountability sheet, where I write what I do each day, and how productive I felt the day was. That had a big impact in my productivity too.)
All in all, goal setting and planning has been key for my productivity and my job.
The biggest lesson so far is that every time I start to do something big for Receiptful, I’ll develop goals and a plan, however small and simple it may be.
2. Prioritization is Key
Continuing the idea of planning and goal setting, prioritizing has also played a big part in my job.
Sometimes I have to do 15 different things, and I don’t know where to start.
At first, I started doing the things that at the time I thought were the best. Sometimes that lead to great productive work, but most times it didn’t.
That meant I was doing things that didn’t matter at all, and had no impact.
Since I started developing plans, and after I got a better sense of my job, I started to learn how to prioritize.
For example, now that I’m 100% focused with our content marketing strategy, I know that the most important things I need to do each week are writing, editing, outreaching and promoting.
All the rest is not that important.
So far, I’ve been telling you about the importance of planning, goal setting and prioritization. However, one final and key part of the whole productivity process is focus.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your plans and goals may be, if you don’t focus when you do your job, you’ll eventually fail to do it well.
Unfortunately, that has been one of my biggest problems.
Sure, making realistic plans and setting up goals has been really good to improve my productivity. However, from time to time, I suffer from a lack of focus which affects my job quality.
I think the problem behind my lack of focus are twofold:
- I live where I work (that is, in my parent’s house), which means it’s easy to get distracted, especially by my cute and lovely cats
- I’m extremely curious, just like Aziz Ansari explains in this hilarious video
In any case, lack of focus happens, and it messes up with my work really bad.
There are times that I recover on time and finish my daily work pretty good. But many times I don’t.
Lack of focus is still a big problem, but I’m optimistic about its solution. The solution, I think, is to go to work to an office, where there are other people around me.
Sorry Joe Pesci, your life will have to wait for other time.
4. Learn to Communicate with the Team
One of the biggest problems I’ve had with Adii and the team has been communication.
Since we’re an international remote company, our communication has been 100% Slack-based.
(To be honest, before I started working I thought Adii and I were going to have more Skype talks. To my surprise, that didn’t happen. I talked to Adii once, which was the “get-to-know-you-and-also-hiring” talk. Since then, we’ve only communicated through Slack and email.)
On the one hand, this meant that sometimes Adii and the team did things I didn’t know were happening, which ended up in my not knowing what was going on in the company.
At first, that kinda pissed me off. But after a few weeks, I realized that this is the life of a remote company. I had to deal with it.
So I did.
On the other hand, working remotely meant I had to learn that even though I was alone (both physically and technically), every time I need something from my team (like a technical change), I have to be clear and direct.
There have been a few times that I didn’t highlight a big change I needed because I was expecting the team to remember, so nothing happened.
After Adii noted me a few times how bad that was for the company’s growth, I learned to be more accountable for my work as a team member, and talk things when I needed them.
Sure, I still think our company will need a few changes once we start to grow our team, especially when we start to hire non-technical employees.
But until that happens, I have to remember that communication is extremely important for a remote company, and it’s everybody’s job to do it right.
5. Learn to Use Github
Of the 7 Receiptful team members, 5 of them are programmers. At first, every time I needed something from them, I reached out individually to ask for it. Whatever it was: small or big, important or not. I didn’t know better.
My teammates probably got tired of telling me “ok, that sounds great, PLEASE ADD AN ISSUE IN THE REPOSITORY.”
I learned pretty soon that the way to communicate with their race (just kidding) is through Github. So I had to learn how to use it.
Even though learning to use Github isn’t a difficult skill to learn, it can be tricky.
All the different terms, like “pushing”, “merging” and “branching”, can be confusing at first. But after a few days, things start to click.
Even though the habit was hard to learn, that made me realize how important it’s the technical part of a Growth Hacker.
I think the more technical you’re as a Growth Hacker, the easier it is to work by yourself and with a team of programmers.
Some jobs require a more technical background that others, but in any case, even if you’re just an HR person, working in a tech startup means that the more you know about programming, the easier it is to work and communicate with everybody.
As you can see, most of the things I’ve learned were productivityelated, and not skillelated. That’s because I’ve been doing things I already knew (or, at least, I had a good foundation).
So far, my job hasn’t been very technical, nor too complex. Our company is still very young, and needs to finish releasing more integrations, and most importantly, the premium features.
I have no doubts that now is the time where the learning starts. I think there are great things coming up for me in the next couple of months.
I will keep you updated.