Creating Impact: My Story At The Talent Institute.

What do you want to achieve from this traineeship?” This was one of the first questions I was asked by our personal growth coach Alexandra, afterwards I told my story of why I enrolled at The Talent Institute Growth Hacking traineeship. And let’s face it: I am an atypical Growth Hacker.

That is what this blog is about.

Before I started at TTI, I was very active in political campaigning: getting traction for your idea and influence the political decision-making process. I’ve actually worked on several campaigns, of which one is the start of the paternity leave campaign Vader Zoekt Verlof”. We achieved that last month the bill WIEG” passed! One of the organizations that helped is Emancipator. They work with enabling men to work on gender justice.

Later I started working at a green energy company: Vandebron. There I worked in the telesales team to boost energy sales. I had a great time and I learnt a lot. Interestingly, that was a commercial function: to help the company grow. How could I combine it with my own drive? That was because I was generating an impact there. I connected people to green energy instead of polluting the environment. I learnt about all the principles of Cialdini and structuring good conversations. I learnt about the Dutch energy market and how many companies there are that are greenwashing polluting energy.

I also learnt about the Growth Team.
They work on optimizing the website, work on optimizing pricing strategies and generate leads for us as a sales team. How to engage people with the Vandebron brand on the internet? And when I heard that my colleagues Hester and Felipe started with the TTI Growth Hacking traineeship I was hooked. This is what I was looking for!

So I enrolled and started the traineeship.
There the TTI rollercoaster began… The first week was focused on culture building and getting to know design thinking. What problems do we actually solve and is it really a solution what we are creating? Start from the bottom up was the bottom line for me. Which we also did with generating a safe learning environment. What values do we share and how should we work together?

This is really important because it creates the circumstances to really grow (personally). When you have explicated your common values you can trust each other much better and people help each other from respectful positions. At the end of the first week, we had the Matching Event. A speed dating session with potential companies to carry out our traineeship with. My match is: Elephant Road.

But first:
Mindset. We have to learn how to growth hack. What are the things you do? What perspective do you have on getting growth? Growth hackers use pirate metrics. Optimize the AAARRR funnel. By focusing on parts of the funnel you can look at the dropoffs that occur in becoming or retaining a customer. This enables you to do small experiments, which is the actual growth hacking. That mindset of small experiments is what makes a growth hacker unique. Not focusing on big plans based on big assumptions, but by doing small hypotheses and implement these in tiny experiments. Does it work? Then roll it out permanently, resulting in optimizing your funnel step by step.


Using techniques. A growth hacker makes use of lots of tooling to get the funnel right. Start with Awareness campaigns, for instance on facebook using Facebook (video) ads. When people are getting a need how to make sure they can find you? For that, you can Acquire them through good SEO, search engine optimization and SEA, search engine advertising, more about that later. So you got them on your site, then you have to Activate them, and to activate you have to build good, converting landing pages. People have to find the relevant content on the page, so that they become interested and want to buy your product. Later in the funnel, you make use of other tools, but that is not something my company focuses on right now.

People that are searching are already much further in the conversion funnel, compared to other places where you advertise. This makes SEA one of the most effective ways to get traction for your product. But how do you find the words to advertise on? The problem is that Google gives only a fraction of all the keywords people are searching for. So how about all the other words which people use to find you?

For that, there is a tool called Keyword Hero. With that, you can find the terms people used to find your site, so that you can optimise these words. I installed it this week so I hope I can get great results. I cannot wait to start implementing it.
Another thing that is important to do is to A/B(/C etc.) test your ad CTA’s, call to actions, and USP’s, unique selling points. By serving several ads, you can test which words really lead to clicks. No more guessing what we think that works, but look at the actual traffic you generate. And even more important: look at which ads and copy lead to conversions! The better your start, the better your outcome!

My company: Elephant Road
After the first month, in house at TTI, you start at your matched company. With Dirk and Ilana as Growth Hacking colleagues, it is already very nice. My company is focused on personal growth through e‑learning and I am really excited to help other people grow in their future proof skills just like me!

Guest blog by Harm Bult
Originally posted on

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