Write to people as individuals, not as part of a group.

I’m writing this post for YOU.

We’ve probably never met. But I try to picture you in my mind as I sit at my computer, pecking away at the keyboard.

I might even imagine you here in my home, sitting across from me at the kitchen table.

I’m writing to you as if you’re the only person in the world on my mind right now.

This means I’ll always talk about you in the singular.

One-on-one. You and me.

I think you notice and appreciate it… the fact that I’m writing this just for you.

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It turns out I have been a Growth Hacker since 1979.

growth hacking

First, what is “growth hacking”?

Growth hacking is a term and practice beloved of Silicon Valley startups. It’s anti-traditional marketing. Some of its advocates go so far as to suggest that marketing ideas should come from the engineers, and not from anyone trained in marketing.

There are numerous definitions out there, but for the sake of brevity, here is how John Elman describes growth hacking, “This concept of “growth hacking” is a recognition that when you focus on understanding your users and how they discover and adopt your products, you can build features that help you acquire and retain more users, rather than just spending marketing dollars.”

Wanting to learn more, I have just finished reading an excellent book by Ryan Holiday, Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.

It’s a reasonably short book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In large part because I am a fan of any smart thinker who beats up on the old school of marketers. Those are the marketers who believe they can succeed by throwing bucket loads of money at campaigns designed to persuade people to buy stuff they probably don’t want anyway.

You should read it. It’s a smart book.


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