Growth marketing is in high demand. If you’re a founder looking to grow your startup, or a marketer hoping to specialize in growth, there are online growth courses that can help you.
In this article, I will first discuss some of the most important skills that every growth hacker should master. Then, I’ll recommend my favorite courses and resources for anyone who wants to learn more about growth.
Are you ready to become a growth hacker? Then let’s get started.
What skills does a growth expert need?
To help companies grow, you need a wide variety of skills, and you must apply your knowledge to all kinds of scenarios. You have to be a problem-solver, and find unique ways to get ahead of the competition. Here are five key skills and attributes that growth experts need.
1. Growth Mindset
Growth begins with your mindset. Having a “growth mindset” means that you believe in your potential to learn, improve, and do better. In contrast, people with a “fixed” mindset believe that talents and skills come naturally. They have less confidence in their ability to improve.
For a growth expert, learning is a part of everyday life because you must keep up with new developments and never be afraid of change. This mindset must apply to your personal growth as well as your business.
2. Marketing Knowledge
Many growth hackers started as marketers. Growth hacking is like supercharged digital marketing that seeks to break the rules and conventions of traditional marketing.
To get into growth, you don't need years of experience as a marketer, but you should have a grasp of the basics of inbound and outbound digital marketing.
3. Data analysis
Not everything you do must be “data-driven” as there’s a time and a place for common sense and intuition as well. If you’re experimenting with new tactics, there may not be any historical data to base your hypotheses on.
However, growth experts must respect data. You need a passion for analyzing past and current data, using it to predict the best courses of action.
You should be comfortable with data analysis, know how to use it to identify new opportunities, and inform your strategy.
4. Creative thinking
Often, the biggest opportunities come from uncharted territories. You often have to try something new that no one else has thought of and provide solutions to problems that no one knew existed.
Copying and pasting growth hacks that have worked for other companies isn’t enough. What worked for Airbnb in 2007, and Dropbox in 2009, won’t work for your company in 2020. Tips and tricks can have an expiry date and don’t always translate to different business models. Growth experts must think outside the box and approach challenges from different angles.
Some think that genius growth hacks alone were responsible for the growth of companies like Airbnb, Facebook, and Uber.
In reality, though, it wasn’t single hacks that drove these companies to the top and kept them there. Sustainable growth is the result of continuous effort and testing idea after idea.
A culture of innovation and persistence keeps companies growing year after year. Perseverance is one of the most important skills for a growth hacker, so keep trying new things and learn from every failure.
The best growth courses online
If you want to get serious about growth, then you might be thinking about taking a course to learn more.
Here’s my rundown of the best online growth courses on offer. There’s a wide variety here to suit all budgets and interests, including self-paced and live courses.
CXL Mini Degree Growth
ConversionXL is a world-renowned source for marketing training, and you can expect high-quality content from their self-paced mini degree in Growth Marketing.
The instructors are industry professionals and teach practical skills, covering frameworks for growth, behavioral psychology, copywriting, and user research. You’ll learn technical skills and practice goal-setting, testing, and managing growth teams.
The course promises to take you “from dabbler to growth pro”. As well as video lessons, you’ll receive resources such as spreadsheets and checklists.
Passing the final exam makes you a CXL Certified Growth Marketing Specialist. That's an impressive achievement to add to your Linkedin profile!
Growth Minded comes from Craig Zingerline, a fellow Growth Mentor who has founded 6 companies and consulted many others.
Their Growth Marketing Courses can help you level-up your startup through “sustainable growth, not hacks.” They have three different courses on offer.
Growth 101 is completely free and will take you through the basics. You'll learn about building a growth model, acquiring customers, activation, retention, and experimentation.
Growth University is a paid course that offers a deeper dive into growth principles. It is a 6-week cohort program that includes live sessions and lectures from respected industry leaders. The course begins on 8th February, so submit your application if you’d like to take the course. Growth Minded also runs a deep dive course on paid acquisition for Facebook and Google.
Would you like to be “the most profitable person in the room”? That’s what Copyhackers promises, I must say, it’s a tempting offer.
Copyhackers is not just for copywriters - their courses can help any growth expert master extra valuable skills. After all, writing is one of the most fundamental and transferable skills, and it’s a powerful conversion tool.
Their website and blog provide plenty of free resources, and if you’re looking to go further you can take courses to learn about designing sales pages, funnels, landing pages, and social media ads that convert. If you decide to enroll in Copy School, you’ll get access to all courses, plus training videos and dozens of templates that you can adapt to your needs.
Demand Curve’s Startup Growth Program aims to help founders and growth teams scale their companies. The curriculum is full of technical knowledge, and you’ll receive mentorship and step by step playbooks for growth.
Demand Curve’s course is endorsed by Y Combinator and they have trained many YC founders and employees. You’ll learn to apply your knowledge to start executing straight away.
The course promises you'll spend “20% of your time learning, the other 80% growing your company”. Demand Curve’s founder, Julian Shapiro, is a respected growth marketer and thought leader who has coached many startups in achieving advanced growth.
You can choose between the self-paced course for $1500, or the full program which costs $3000. The full program includes 6 months with a dedicated growth instructor and a course that’s tailored to your business needs.
I couldn’t make a list of growth courses without mentioning GimmeGrowth, created by legend Sean Ellis. Ellis was one of Dropbox’s early marketers who coined the term “growth hacker” and wrote the book "Hacking Growth".
This course is a collection of video classes from top growth experts. Each class comes with a tactical playbook to help you put what you’ve learned into action. It’s ideal for startup founders who wish to learn as much as possible about growth and join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
The Complete Series is $500 and will teach you about email outreach campaigns, growth mindset, growth operations, list-building, SEO, and CRO.
Section 4: Business Strategy in a Digital Age
Section 4 aims to make elite business education more accessible and affordable. The company was created by Scott Galloway, otherwise known as Prof G, NYU Stem Professor of Marketing.
Business Strategy for the Digital Age is a 2-week sprint that costs $750. The short, intensive program s designed for mid-to-senior level full-time professionals and will help you master 8 winning strategies used by innovative companies around the world.
You’ll learn how to adapt your marketing strategies to fit the current landscape, identify opportunities and threats, and improve your value proposition and differentiation. You’ll also get access to Professor Galloway’s proprietary framework used by VCs, hedge funds, and Fortune 1000 companies.
Reforge: The Growth Series
Reforge, created by Hubspot’s ex VP of Growth Brian Belfour, is a platform for career accelerator programs from top tech leaders.
The Growth Series compiles the learnings, frameworks, and systems that have helped industry experts achieve success. It offers “decades of career experience” in 6 weeks.
You’ll learn about the customer journey from acquisition to retention, to user psychology and habit formation. The course covers experiments and growth models and aims to equip you to solve difficult growth problems.
You receive 2-3 hours of self-paced video and text material per week, which includes frameworks and systems for both B2B and B2C companies.
Learning and growth go hand in hand
There’s something in this list for everyone who’s looking to learn more about growth.
If you are new to the industry, start with free courses and resources. When you've mastered the basics, more intensive paid courses are a great way to expand your knowledge.
I’m a lifelong student and love to learn, so I wish you luck on your journey! Have you taken an amazing growth marketing course? I’d love to hear your recommendations.