Nicole Elizabeth: Q&A Session

Q&A Session: Nicole Elizabeth

Nicole Elizabeth’s Q&A Session is happening on March 3rd 2015 12:00 PM Est

Community Growth at @InboundOrg. Moderator at @ProductHunt and @GrowthHackers.
Previously Head of Content at @GrowthHackerTV. Customer Success Evangelist. INFJ.
If you’re not an OG yet feel free to join us.

To join these Q&A Sessions, enter the #Q&A Session channel in the Slack group at the specified date and time.

NicoleCommunity Growth for -Transcript:


The Q&A Session with Nichole was held on May 28th, 2015. This transcript has been edited for punctuation, grammar, etc.

I’m responsible for Community Growth at

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:

I am a moderator / extension of the team at 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 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 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 Ev.My favorite people tend to be rappers, mathematicians, and other INFJs.

Thanks for doing this. I’m curious, what elements of digital/inbound marketing do you think are over-valued by marketers today? What elements do you think are under-valued compared to their importance in the coming years?

Can you expound on the question? What do you define as ‘over valued?’

Activities that receive more attention from marketing departments than they generate in value, and vice-versa for under-valued. Activities that marketing departments aren’t doing enough of today, but will produce immense value in the coming years.

Over-valued: It depends on the ideal customer ( and whether or not marketing is infiltrating their networks. ( I observe marketing departments spending too much time on things that aren’t working rather than doubling down on things that are working. For example, spending too much time on acquisition and distribution channels that don’t appeal to their ‘ideal customer’ and then wondering what’s wrong. Under-valued:Finding language-market fit and writing a STRONG unique value proposition (UVP) through Customer Development. Often the UVPs that I encounter are a simple description of services that are mistaken as UVPs. If someone else can easily apply your UVP to their products or services, then it isn’t a UVP. (More on that here:

How do you guys go through all of the PH requests a day. How do you guys decide who goes up?

The Product Hunt community determines what is posted on the site based on what they find relevant and interesting.

What’s the best way to “game” the system and get your product featured?

There isn’t a way to game the system. I recommend checking out Kiki Schirr’s e-book, “The Product Hunt Manual: How to Launch Your Startup or Product on the Internet’s Hottest Site” for solid advice on how to get featured:

SEO since 12. How did that happen?

I was fortunate in that I’ve owned computers since I was a little girl, as I grew up in a tech-savvy environment. I was curious as to how other people were creating web sites, so my uncle showed me how to view the source code to learn how they were created. From there, I taught myself HTML, built web sites, and started figuring out how to get them to rank in the search engines that were around at the time.

Was that back in the DMOZ days when you just had to buy a link or two Nikkie?

Yes, and I am proud to say that I had 12 DMOZ links at one point that were all linking to my personal web site (at the time) and that I’ve never purchased a link.

I started SEO at 14 and I’m 31. Feeling emasculated.

We’re just about even!

Twitter recently announced it will triple its team that deals with harassment and online abuse. Do you feel this is damage control? Or is this a harder problem to solve than simply tripling a team?

IMO this is an issue that extends beyond expanding related teams to instead educating the public about online bullying and harassment. It is important, however, that Twitter addresses this issue on their platform.

I am curious to hear what differences you’ve noticed between both community and team between Growth Hackers, PH and inbound dot org. On another note, who is your favourite rapper?

Hi Jonathan, the Growth Hackers team is marketing heavy, the PH team is dev heavy, and the team is a solid mix of both (ratio-wise). In all instances, the founders have been accessible – Sean Ellis, Ryan Hoover, and Dharmesh Shah, respectively, are right there to support their community teams. My favorite rapper is:

I took part in a long thread today re:the App Discovery ecosystem (or the lack of). Today, there are not too many avenues to optimize an App or gain traction outside of the TechCrunch /ProductHunt realm if you a want that PR push. What is your recommendation to drive App install and utilization outside of that realm?

It depends. Do you have product-market fit?:

How have you thought about product-market fit?:

Have you identified your ideal customer?:

 And infiltrated their network?:

Strangest PH request?

I’m still debating how I should answer this question because there are some things only the team should know. I’m thinking on it and promise I will get back to you.

How does being responsible for ‘Community Growth’ on _practically_ differ from Community Management?

I’m directly responsible for metrics that tie into acquisition, which means that a lot of my efforts are focused on it specifically. I’m still a Community Manager, just one that is oriented towards activities that lead to acquisition, whereas our other Community Manager, Mary, is oriented towards engagement. And we have a General Manager, Ed, who is focused on retention. At the end of the day, we all impact each other’s metrics because we all have the same end-goal.

You have obviously built up a very good personal brand – what was the biggest factor along the way that helped you create such a successful one?

I was the leading contributor to Growth Hacker TV’s community for a year straight, and second-leading contributor to for the same. For several months, I made sure that I was taking up over 50% of the submissions on the home page every day. The combination of those efforts + truly engaging others on Twitter has done wonders. So, my main recommendation is to participate in forums and on Twitter, or other channels that work for you.

Having managed some big communities, what tips do you have for keeping on top of spammers and keeping the community running smooth?

I’m still learning. There’s so many ways users can spam a community. It mostly seems to come down to recognizing patterns and determining how to address those patterns, whether that means addressing them manually or by setting up a system and putting a hybrid process in place. You may want to look into how Reddit and other long-term communities are addressing spam.

Favorite GIF?

For some reason I think this one is hilarious:

With hunts like beerhunt, artisthunt, unicornhunt and now showcasing the best Slack communities, how long will it be before we see something like hunthunt(i.e. a hunt for hunts)?

I feel like this is what Product Hunt Collections are – hunters hunting hunts.

I reckon we are around 10 years away from

Check out

Is everything on PH user submitted?

Yes, there aren’t any sponsored listings. (If that’s what you’re asking.)

Any tools you would recommend for this or is it more down to having a team of dedicated mods on the case 24/7?

Unfortunately, I can’t provide any first-hand advice here – you’ll need to reach out to devs who are on community teams who would be working with those tools directly. Might be a good question for the CTO at Product Hunt:

How do you see the future of SMS and voice calls in relation to marketing and tracking? Where are things heading?

I think it was in “Data Science for Business” that I read that Best Buy and other companies can detect when you’re in their store browsing their products while on a mobile device price checking their competitors – so then they present you with a coupon on your device to price match, etc. This has serious implications! I’d need to check the book again to provide more details – maybe follow up with me on this one if you’re interested.… I actually don’t have a whole lot of first-hand experience with voice/SMS products and marketing.

Little known fact: PH was originally started using – something that would typically now be featured on PH, how meta ¯\_()_/¯

Yeah… I learned that on ProductPeople podcast yesterday.

I’ve gotta run – if you have anymore questions, please hit me up on Twitter:, come join!

Thank you, Nichole, for doing this.

See our past Q&A Sessions or join our community to participate in future ones


Discounts for conferences, software, Invite only webinars, events and more....

Join 23,000 email subscribers

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.