Farah Hilmi - Growth Hacking Trainee
The moments during the (online) TTI traineeship that made me realise I enjoy becoming a growth hacker.
I never realised that becoming a growth hacker can be so fun (although serious at the same time).
Before starting, my thought about “growth hacking” is like this:
It’s a little bit like digital marketing, plus data analytics and business strategy.
Sure. In my latent, semi-professional view of it, it kinda is.
It wasn’t until the first week of the training that I realised growth hacking has more to offer.
I have a few years of experience in product designing (like designing interactive playgrounds in shopping malls) and digital marketing (designing social media contents for a psychology clinic). While these experiences allowed me to use my skill sets that I enjoy – mainly designing and strategising – they lack the mindset and attitude that growth hackers possess that I resonate with.
By the first month into the traineeship, I realised that:
I don’t have to get things right the first time
Because in this field, it’s mostly about “fail fast, learn faster.”
One of the first tasks of the first week was to design our business model for our own made-up startup business.
We had about 30 minutes to learn about business models before making one using the Business Model Canvas. The next thing we knew, we were meant to practice making one for Netflix within 15 minutes. Then later making another for our made-up business within 30 mins.
It was messy. And confusingly quick. Doing it via a Zoom call throughout the entire time didn’t make it any easier.
But I’m glad we did it this way – quick and “just-get-it-done” way. It let me express my ideas without worrying about being perfect (which sometimes makes me stuck). It forced me to simply start. It forced me to make mistakes first, before getting better as I go further.
By the 10th time of refining the same business model, it was awesome and our made-up business was solid.
I still get to use my passion and skills in “making things pretty”
I love making things look good. I love it when I get to use graphics to serve a practical purpose in making things more efficient.
This is when my passion in graphic designing is extremely important to communicate my ideas and when presenting.
Throughout this growth hacking training, we always needed to share ideas. But a Zoom call wasn't exactly the easiest when sharing a complex idea under 1 minute. Especially when I didn’t have the time to prepare on what to say right after working on that idea.
Using my skills in designing though, I could show instead of just telling. I showed my complex idea using well laid out graphics and diagrams. The trick I usually used was to make a mess first, then make them as pretty as possible as I went on working away on it. And when the time was up and I needed to present, the graphics were already doing the job of telling my idea for me. All I had to do was describe it.
This traineeship made me realise that I can use my skills beyond just designing social media content. My creative skills actually play a huge role in making growth hacking to work practically and efficiently.
I can use humour to do better work
By the second week, I found out that humour wasn’t only allowed, but welcomed in producing better work. How did I feel about this, as someone who enjoys having fun whenever possible? Well, it feels like I have this colourful sunshine smiling brightly inside me. In a shorter word: excited.
This is a modest example when humour was applied in our exercises. This was when we were learning about designing websites using Wordpress.
We had a learning task to design a simple homepage for another made-up business around money-saving habits for kids. None of us had ever designed a website from scratch before.
Instead of aiming for a perfect looking website with proper copywriting, we had fun by using hilarious choices of icons and words during the early stage of designing.
The best part about this “I don’t have to get things right the first time” attitude is that we can make our early trials as bad and funny as we want. Not only this makes working less stressful and more enjoyable, it also encourages us to use our creativity a lot more. More often than not, we tend to get better results this way.
See what Farah is up to now - https://www.linkedin.com/in/farah-hilmi/