Ok, so you have launched your business, and it’s starting to grow. How will you get the word out there? How will you get a bigger customer base? How will you rise to the top?
Growth-hacking is about creative and cost-effective steps that any entrepreneur should take to build an extensive customer base.
First of all, stop trying to make everything perfect. Seize opportunities and don’t wait for the perfect moment. One thing at a time could just give you that positive change that gets your customers going. Have you thought about writing a blog post, or calling a customer personally, or creating an event, or being a speaker?
Before you go viral, do some research. Find out what drives your target audience, when they are online, what their needs are, etc. Speak to customers and define your message. You should try to understand the needs of your potential customers and test your messages in several variations. You can do this by calling a customer personally. Not only is an existing customer worth more than a potential one; after a lot of practice, you will also create your perfect pitch because you know exactly what’s going on in the mind of your customers.
When you know what interests your target audience, try a blog. If the idea of writing a blog post is scaring you, don’t despair. The key point here is sharing content. Your customers want to see interesting content, whether it’s on a blog, on Instagram, through Infographics, or something else. You can even think about writing a guest blog post. This way you use an already existing audience. Be sure to make a contribution to the blog where you will be posting in this case, because another blogger has put a lot of effort in it.
The main goal is to make your content remarkable and appealing. Think about creating a trending topic on Twitter or do something crazy that will stick with your audience. If your post is worth reading and worth making a comment about, or worth sharing, you’re doing a good job.
Don’t forget to also share your content on your social media channels. Be careful though, make sure to find out where your potential audience and users are, because not everyone needs to be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. On top of that, be sure to post your content at the right time. Do some research to find out when your target audience is most active online.
Your main goal will be email traffic. Email is the number one lead generation technique. It’s much more effective than Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to build up a good email list.
Go to a conference. We know that not everyone feels comfortable enough to take the stage as a speaker, but don’t forget about the importance of public speaking. Going to conferences and networking with investors, executives and media might be the most important thing you’ll have to do to get your business out there. So even if you don’t take the stage to present your business, make sure you mingle to get your story out there and make sure to take some samples of your business with you.
A big tip on this front: know your audience. A lot of conferences have their partners, speakers, and media on display on their website. Do a little background check. Second tip: Do not talk about growth-hacking with investors. Your company should stick with them as a promising interesting investment, not a young unprofessional idea looking for money a user base.
Hunt for media and influencers at conferences. They are the ones that will make or break you, so be sure to build a good relationship with them. There are a lot of ways to prepare yourself for this first real contact. You can follow media and influencers on Twitter for example, commenting on their posts (not just by liking and saying “good article”, but by adding some interesting comment) until they notice you.
Analyze your efforts and understand your data. Don’t rely only on Google Analytics for your data. It will give you information on visits and page views, but it won’t give you anything substantial. Try to find out how many subscriptions you’ve had over the last weeks, look which content and actions generated most buzz and analyze this data to create new content for the future.
To give you a better idea about growth-hacking, a few examples:
- Whenever a Hotmail user would email another user, the email would have a message at the end saying “This email was sent with Hotmail, Join Hotmail now” and “Get your free email at Hotmail.” No money was spent. A huge customer base was built.
- Dropbox designed an easy to use referral program that awarded 500MB of free Dropbox storage space to each person signing up. This 500MB of space was a lot cheaper than paid advertisement and referrals from friends are also much more trustworthy than anonymous ads. They ended up growing their customer base from 100k users to 4m users in a little over a year.
- You could say Facebook is already big enough, but that doesn’t stop them trying to grow. They made sure that Messenger continuously asks users for permission to sync their address book to find other Messenger users. This means their users can even invite Facebook friends that aren’t using Messenger. This might be the best growth-hack of these examples, since it isn’t a one-time thing.
To conclude, keep working, keep creating, one step at a time. Growth-hacking is the most effective way to make your company grow. Even though your blog might not become the most read in the first month, keep creating content and try to impress your audience. Even though investors don’t jump on your company like crazy, keep networking and selling your idea. Try to come up with a crazy idea. Never give up. Keep following this plan and your company will rise to the top in no time!