Beginners guide to Growth Hacking

Acorn Aspirations
5 min readMay 2, 2017

I am Snezana Milivojevic, 19, and am currently developing an educational gaming app, Gramer. I first attended the Acorn Aspirations hack on March 12th, 2016 and decided to take a gap year to work and develop on my idea which was developed on in March. I have been fortunate enough to work with Elena Sinel, CEO of Acorn Aspirations and have decided to create this beginners guide to growth hacking to educate not only myself, but any other aspiring entrepreneur into how to grow and share your business ideas with the world.

So what is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a marketing technique initially used in tech startups that uses creativity, social metrics and analytical thinking as well as tools to sell products and gain exposure.

So what’s the importance of Growth Hacking?

Well, it appeals to entrepreneurs with limited budgets because, when it’s done well it can transform the fortunes of a business in a short space of time! This is done by rapidly generating new customers or boosting efficiency. The term was reportedly coined by Sean Ellis, the CEO of

Entrepreneurs and startups want to see results, and growth hacking sure does provide them!

The 3 golden rules of growth hacking are: it must be scalable, predictable and repeatable.

Gaining exposure is great, but acquiring customers is even better and is mainly done through social news, social media, SEO and email as well as the old fashioned way of face to face. So gather as many emails as you can, go out and speak to people IRL and consider using Charlie to help you deal with your admin!

Let’s start with growing your social media. The 3 platforms that we will be covering today are Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Most of your users will be active on social media, so don’t miss this one out.


  1. Gain likes: portray your brand’s vibe visually through images that tell your company’s story. You want to use hashtags that are relevant to the image and your brand and keeping a bank of relevant hashtags is handy.

2. Be consistent: Post pictures regularly so you stay in front of your audience. Respond to your followers comments and follow people back, and then try to connect with them on other social sites.

3. Post what people want: Post behind-the-scenes shots of you preparing for an event or working on your product. Your stream should deliver value in visual content that followers can’t get anywhere else!


  1. Content and Community: Start by growing a community before you start promoting which builds trust and a network. Constantly add value and engagement on your page by posting relevant and quality content.

A way to do this is through content curation (sharing content from industry leaders, top influencers, role models…) which makes you look more serious and respectable. Secondly, it also saves time and money!

  1. Repost the same content a few times to reach more people: This is especially true if you have friends/ followers around the world.
  2. Influencer Marketing: With this, you’d connect with larger and more engaging pages with audiences similar to your target demo and establish a relationship for them to cross share engaging content from your page to theirs.


  1. Authentic content: Tell good stories; make sure you make daily stories and give your followers an insight to what goes
    on behind the scenes in your job!
  2. Great engagement: Use emojis and filters as well as humour to attract your audience and keep a great engageent with your fanbase. Think about your favourite Snapchatters… why do you enjoy watching

3. Build relationships: Snapchat is a great way to speak to people and engage with your audience. They get to know your brand as well as your amazing personality.

Think you’ve got what it takes to growth hack? Here are the top 10 characteristics that makes an awesome growth hacker:

  1. Focused on growth- they are always looking to grow their company and themselves.
  2. Addicted to metrics- they never lose sight of their previous metrics.
  3. Ability to execute- don’t just talk, execute on what you say you will do.
  4. Manage your time- prioritize your most important tasks and focus on what really matters
  5. Repeats what succeeded- repeat what gives you positive results
  6. Obsessed with your passion- visualise where you want to be and go for it
  7. Working in baby steps- work in small iterations, break down a goal into smaller steps
  8. Open-minded- listen to ideas and gather inspiration from others
  9. Creative- use your creativity to experiment and work outside the box
  10. Looks for fit- for the content hacker, it’s not product/market fit, it’s content/audience fit

For more information about the difference between a growth hacker and a digital marketer, please click here!

Thank you for reading, feel free to leave any comments or connect with me on twitter or drop me an email at !

Originally published at Acorn Aspirations.



Acorn Aspirations

Powering the Next Generation of Thought Leaders, Innovators and Technologists in #AI @teensinai #TeensInAI #GirlsinAI #MCStartup2016 Founder @elenasinel