Joe is a TV addicted, analytics driven son of a gun. With years of experience in traditional SEO, Joe adapted into a growth hacking related role when Swift Social launched their platform in late 2015. With a passion for his Camera and family life, he knows when to step away. Annoyingly this usually gives him more ideas for things work related so it’s rather counter-productive, yet productive…depending on how you look at it.
1. In your own words, what is a Growth Hacker?
A growth hacker is a guy who knows that waiting around for results is a bad way to spend their time, it’s a person who is willing to put their neck on the block to find the best way to get results, quickly and efficiently.
2. Why is Growth Hacking important?
As I mentioned previously, the importance in growth hacking is purely time. Time is a commodity that everyone wants more of but realistically has little of. So anything we can do to gain some time in some areas of a business is key. That’s where growth hacking comes into play. What can I do that will yield the biggest results for the smallest time investment.
3. Are you currently Growth Hacking a company, project, app, or startup? If so, give us a description of what you’re working on, and feel free to provide a link.
I currently work for a UK startup called Swift Social, my primary goal is to build our user base and expand it quickly so that we have solid number of base users prior to investment. Ironically, the tool itself is a growth hackers dream, it’s growth hacking software for twitter that can help boost an account quickly and even provides ways to monetize social media too. You can check the software out at https://swiftsocial.com
4. Describe your typical day. What it looks like? How do you know when it’s productive?
My typical day is exciting, as it’s never the same. Typically, you could say I don’t have a typical day! Every day begins with a team discussion to see how we can leverage the market on that given day, do we have a feature that we could promote to a sub-sect of potential users? Could we focus more heavily on some existing outreach already performed due to their higher conversion rate in previous rounds? Essentially planning is key. Without that, we would just be flailing around the internet poking the wrong bears. Success is purely defined for us by traffic, are we seeing referral traffic from the streams we are investing in that day? If so, then great the rest is purely a numbers game. We have a conversion rate and that’s going to do its own thing.
5. What is your most productive habit?
Being on top of feature rollouts and planning their execution with a targeted audience. When done right and timed perfectly the results can be incredible.
6. What trend, marketing strategy, and/or technique excites you the most right now?
Twitter, I love it, and it’s a primary focus for us at Swift Social as it’s a twitter management platform. If we are talking a specific strategy, it is simply: outreach. Find users of other software whose need’s aren’t being met, talk with them and see if you can provide what they are looking for. It’s amazing how many recurring paying users we have gotten that way.
7. What is the one habit you would recommend others develop? (Think lifestyle habits, productivity habits, or drinking some secret ninja tea made from a flower found only at the top of the mountain.)
Knowing when to step away, take a break and rest your mind. Sometimes the internet can feel like a terribly small place when desperately trying to hit a target. Take 5, take in some sunshine and let your brain breathe. It’s amazing how doing so can spring an idea that can turn the worst of days on their head.
8. What Growth Hacking strategy helped you grow your most important metrics? Explain what you did and how it worked.
The easiest growth we ever saw was a very simple execution but a long and arduous push afterward. Product Hunt. The day we got access to post and contribute we ensured that we built a good reputation on there, always contributed to discussions and built a good following so that when we posted we had a good surge of votes. That was the simple part, though, it’s how you then support that push through multi-platform outreach. We utilized email and twitter to great success. Do your research, follow those users who have some clout on product hunt, who share a lot of cool tech products. We did a 24-hour push and it provided us with an amazing number of new users, but also several press outlets across Europe featured us in an article too. It’s amazing what outreach can do.
9. What is one pain point in the digital space that you wish someone could/would fix -OR- what idea would you like someone to develop?
Lists. I hate them. Recycled tips for everything you can imagine that most people could think of if they actually cared to try. They are a huge pain point for me, it’s non-creative and is not going to influence growth or creativity in the industry.
10. Have any of your ideas, campaigns, or growth hacks ever failed? How did you overcome that failure?
So many of them. Just keep trying, experimenting and importantly tracking the results. you will start to see patterns emerge, they will shift over time but it’s best you see them. Just ask Neo about the Matrix, he’ll back me up.
11. What are 3 of your favorite marketing software programs, technologies, and/or tools?
Twitter, Nylas N1 Email client and of course Swift Social ; )
12. If you could only recommend one book for our community to read, what would it be and why?
Ready Player One, because sometimes you need to forget about work and just have a damn great time loving the idea of technology again.
13. Where does your personal motivation and inspiration to be successful come from?
Results. There is no better feeling than taking a route that isn’t traditional and out-performing others spending hours and hours and lots of money.
14. What people or companies should up-and-coming Growth Hackers seek out and learn from? (Include websites, blogs, Twitter profiles, etc.)
There are so many! But my go-to’s are:
15. How should people connect with you? E.g.: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, email, website, etc.
@sturge87 on twitter
Joe Sturgess on LinkedIn
16. Where are you located? Please include city + state + country (if outside the US).
Brighton, United Kingdom
17. What is your spirit animal?
Some sort of Bear.