Maker Hunt’s AMA with Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré from Inbound.org
Hi all, I’m Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré. I’m responsible for Community Growth at Inbound.org. I impact activation, engagement, and retention, but I am directly responsible for acquisition. I am a moderator / extension of the team at Product Hunt and was previously the Product Hunt Community Manager (if you have questions about that, they might be addressed here). Since you’re all makers, I’ll assume that you don’t need to know how to get your product posted on Product Hunt! If you have questions about that, however, please check out @Kiki’s book about it here.
I am a moderator / extension of the team at GrowthHackers.com and was previously a member of their core team. I was previously the Head of Content at Growth Hacker TV. I co-owned a full-service marketing agency Inturact.com for six years. I was an SEO Engineer for two years at an agency that has now dissolved into another agency. I’ve spent a lot of time in Instructional Technology and Library Information Science. I started figuring out SEO when I was 12 — I am now 32 — before I knew that there was or would be a such thing as “SEO.” I did web design, web development, and what I considered to be “online marketing” and the latter is what I’ve spent my life pursuing as my career.
I have a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and a partial Masters in Human Factors Psychology — I need to finish that. I’ve been a member of a robotics lab, have been a member of an Oncology lab — worked within Oncology and presented Oncology research to national conferences, have been a member of Human Factors labs. I love art. My life has always revolved around it in some fashion. There’s some of that here. I’ve had a range of hobbies — from gymnastics, karate, western-style horseback riding, performance piano, darts, chorus, quiz bowl, calligraphy, to cooking and so on — if it exists as something that can be done and isn’t extreme, I’ve probably looked into it at some point, or I will look into it at some point. I want to study everything. (Feel free to make suggestions.) I am a Customer Success Evangelist. My favorite people tend to be rappers, mathematicians, and other INFJs.
We’re starting the AMA with Nichole now. You can read the nice bio she’s created for us above. Since we don’t have much time, let’s get right to it. Ask her anything! We have a few questions from people that couldn’t be here so we’ll ask them throughout the AMA. So let’s get started here! Thanks for doing this Nichole.
Q: Nikki, how do you manage your time? — Violeta Nedkova
I don’t. lol! If I were actually good at time management, I’d be doing yoga and mediation every day. I just rely on old-fashioned to-do lists and work my way through them one at a time.
Q: Hey Nichole, how you doing today? How did you first get started in the customer-success / community / growth role? — Jonas Daniels
I’m doing awesome, thank you for asking ☺. I just made an iced double chocolate mate and it’ quite a treat — (I learned about mate from Unicorn Think Tank.) I got into Customer Success through observing Lincoln Murphy’s work — I’ve adopted him as a mentor for over a year now. His work is super inspiring. Community Management — I’ve always gravitated towards communities, but being active at GrowthHackers.com probably contributed to it becoming intertwined with my career path. Growth Roles — I spent the last two years studying Growth Hacking, networking within the field, and trying to learn about it as much as possible until I could actually build up enough of a reputation to take on related work.
Q: What are some of the best tools that you’ve seen for growth hacking? — Mike Endale
Buffer — for social media automation
Excel — for functions
Google Docs — to keep track of hypotheses / experiments
IFTTT — for social media automation
Import.io — for web scraping
Intercom — for customer communication
MailChimp — for e-mail marketing
Mixpanel — for event tracking and cohort analyses
Optimizely — for A/B and Multivariate testing
Python — for a programming language
Slack — for team communication
Trello — for project management
Unbounce — for landing pages
Zapier — for connecting APIs
Inbound.org is the world’s largest community of Inbound Marketers and is geared towards Marketing in general. GrowthHackers.com is a community devoted specifically to experiment-driven Growth Marketing.
Q: How do you define Growth Hacking? — Misbah Ashraf
I think Bronson Taylor’s Growth Hacker Manifesto answers this question quite nicely here.
In it, he shares what Growth Hackers do:
- Growth Hackers have an obsessive focus on user growth
- Growth Hackers combine the disciplines of marketing, product, and engineering
- Growth Hackers scientifically test new tactics
- Growth Hackers are concerned with the entire lifecycle of a user
- Growth Hackers are data-driven
- Growth Hackers exploit new growth channels extremely early
- Growth Hackers use their creativity to create new growth opportunities
- Growth Hackers exhaust free growth first
- Growth Hackers only spend money if there is a positive ROI
He elaborates on each in the article.
Q: What’s the most difficult thing about growing a community? — Eric Willis
Eventually you’re working with high-volume traffic in the hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, so growth gets more difficult over time, requiring creativity. This is why you’ll hear people say over and over how important creativity is within a growth-oriented profession. What used to work months ago will no longer work this month and what works this month won’t work in a couple more months. And you’ve got to stay focused, because you can’t allow creativity to cause you to lose sight of the original goal.
Q: What do you think about the whole Meerkat vs. Periscope thing? — Violeta Nedkova
To be completely honest, I haven’t been following this topic. I can look into it and get back to you on my thoughts, though.
Q: What’s your favourite aspect of your work? Also, related to that: What’s a typical work-day like for you? — Jonas Daniels
There’s a couple of things that I love about my work — I’ve met amazing people like you, Eric Willis, Violeta Nedkova, Kiki Schirr, etc. Being able to work remotely and autonomously is also a benefit.
My typical work day consists of working on hypothesis-driven experiments for Inbound.org, leading the SEO efforts for Inbound.org, Community Management (alongside our Community Manager, Mary), distribution, acquisition, hanging out in Unicorn Think Tank (because I love everyone there and it’s sort of my “virtual office”), approving Inbound originals, approving Inbound AMAs, among a range of other tasks, reading A LOT, listening to podcasts, watching webinars, attending courses, working on side projects, drinking coffee.
Q: You’ve had a lot of experience with growing the community at Product Hunt. What do you think is their biggest challenge regarding the community going forward? — Eric Willis
1. They’ll need to make the submission process more transparent.
2. They’ll need to expand their moderator team and determine how moderators can best assist them. (This one is probably the most important.)
3. They’ll need to find experts / well-networked and new team members to manage each of the verticals in which they expand — whether it’s book hunt, music hunt, etc.
4. The way the current home page is set up, they can’t scale it to take on more posts with more members (else it would be overwhelming), so they have to go into these other verticals or change the home page.
Q: As an “INTJ” interested in advice for introverted makers in a public/social marketing world? — Tina
Saying no is critical. If there is something that you get invited to do that doesn’t quite fit into your interests, don’t do it. (Perhaps it’s an in-person marketing meetup that is intimidating because it requires way more extroversion than you’re comfortable offering, realize that it’s OK to say no and don’t feel bad about not doing it.)
Q: Even Product Hunt doesn’t get many comments, what would be a good way to increase engagement in that aspect? — Daniel Kempe
Wow, that’s a tough question since Product Hunt is a closed community. I haven’t dug into the metrics any time recently, but a good place to start would probably be to re-engage members who are both “slipping away” (according to a tool like Intercom) and also have access to comment.
Q: What would you say is the #1 challenge we as *makers* need to tackle in the world, what do you think we should devote our energy to, to make the world a better place? (you have to pick one thing) — Jonas Daniels
Educational reform. Check out how Khan uses analytics to keep track of individual performance in the classroom instead of addressing each student as if they represent the group
Really, the same things that leads to job satisfaction for everyone else. I’ll reference some of my I/O Psych background here.
Q: What is the next thing you want to tackle? What’s your next challenge? — Violeta Nedkova
I really want to run a weekly curated newsletter and make money from it! I need to create a personal site first. I’m excited about doing it, I just have to get to it. lol!
I’m going to read this AMA multiple times. This was really awesome because you give such detailed responses. — Eric Willis
Well thank you.
And I am going to share the Medium post like crazy —Violeta Nedkova
I’ll tweet you when we have this up on Medium — Eric Willis
Talk to you all soon.
Keep an eye out on our Twitter — @MakerHunt for details/updates.
Special thanks to Nichole and everyone who participated. If you’re a maker with a product on ProductHunt, be sure to sign up to participate in the AMAs and connect with others.