Hacking is not a derogatory term. It simply implies that the person doesn’t really care much about prescribed methods of doing a thing and instead focuses on deliverables and then finds interesting and innovative ways to arrive at that deliverable.
With growth hacking, a term coined by Sean Ellis in 2010, the goal is to grow the business. It doesn’t really matter to the hacker how the business grows, as long as it does. It doesn’t have to be via marketing, or any prescribed methods – as long as there is growth that’s all that matters. Business growth can occur slowly or massively. Growth hackers seek to grow a business in a massive way, disregarding rules but not morals. So they’re not stealing or breaking the law; they’re just not using the usual methods.
Instead, growth hackers know that you can spur business growth in every single department and in every single thing you do for your business – not just in marketing.
Here are a few examples of departments that can spur business growth.
This one is obvious and often thought of as the only choice to affect growth, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is just one way to grow. All marketers should be asking, “How does this affect growth?”
Product (Business Development)
Naturally, a great product will spur growth due to satisfied users talking about using the product. You can help move this along by making it simple to share with their social media connections and others. Again, when a product is created, the producer must ask, “How does this product spur growth?”
Running a business, all the background work, the work done by secretaries, office support, graphic designers, data entry, transcription etc.… all also affect growth. If you don’t have a smooth way to perform a particular business operation, you may be slowing growth. If you can find ways to get things done in a smoother manner, you’ll automatically spur business growth.
Nothing can stop business growth faster than lack of finances. But, nothing can make a business grow as well as an influx of cash at the right time. A growth hacker may identify this as a need in the business and seek to find an innovative way to bring in cash.
Human Resources (HR)
Hiring the right people is an imperative for any business, but it’s even more important if you want to focus on growth. Every last person you hire or contract with can be made responsible for business growth.
Whether your business is in the beginning stages or has been around awhile, you can learn to hack your growth by being creative, innovative and fearless. Thinking outside the box is an imperative if you want to be a growth hacker or you plan to employ a growth hacker. A growth hacker finds the levers to pull that encourage massive growth.
Ways to Grow Your Business Massively
Growing your business is important. Growing it fast can make you seem like an overnight success. Think about how businesses like Facebook and Twitter grew so quickly. It wasn’t by accident, but it wasn’t by following all the rules either. One thing a growth hacker knows for sure is that “done” is better than being perfect. Let’s look at the many different ways in which you can think outside the box to encourage growth.
Create Amazing Content
You hear all the time about creating content as a way to market your business. You can do this slowly or you can do it quickly. If you want to hack growth in a massive way, you want to ensure that you literally blanket your market with your content. You want the content you produce to be seen by your audience everywhere they go, to the point they cannot escape knowing that you offer something they really can’t continue life without.
There are many different types of content and you should be creating them all. For content to be doing its job it needs to entertain, educate, persuade and convert. These are just a few types of content you can use, but there are many more types than this. This is just the beginning.
- Vlogs – These are video blogs that are usually only about 3 to 5 minutes long (sometimes 10 minutes long), which can give information to your audience in a creative and informative way. Try turning blog posts you have already written into vlogs.
- Blog Posts – You probably already put blog posts on your blog. A good blog post usually talks about one aspect of one problem and offers one solution or even compares solutions. Blog posts can also be how to, informative, expository and more. It just depends on the topic and your style.
- Guest Blog Post – As mentioned you want to literally blanket the internet with your content, and one way to do that is to offer up original guest blog posts to relevant blog sites. If your audience reads it, you should try to be there.
- White Papers – You can write a long report that guides a consumer to make the right choice when choosing between products and services.
- Infographics – This is a great way to represent data to your audience in a way that they can understand and a way that’s easy to share. You can set up your infographic so that others can embed it to explain a concept in a new way.
- Memes – You see memes every day on Facebook that are usually serious, thoughtful or humorous text on an image that makes a point of some kind. Memes can often go viral, so ensure that you watermark your work.
- Articles – An article is not really much different from a blog post these days, but in general an article is more researched and thought out and usually has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In addition, you can produce a series of articles that can then be put together into a book.
- Interviews – You can both give and get interviews, which are excellent pieces of content that most people love watching. You can use the recording in a variety of ways, from sharing on YouTube, Facebook and other social media to offering it as a live event first, which can create a lot of buzz depending on who the interview is with.
The content you create should be on point when it comes to speaking to your target audience, offering them solutions to their problems, and educating them so that they can make good choices. Plus, when you put it everywhere, and everything you put out there is well crafted, well researched, and is in your unique voice, you will boost growth amazingly fast.
Add Innovative Features
Today, when it comes to most products and services you can find ways to add on value by including amazing features that help growth – such as share buttons, special apps just for your subscribers, personalization and more. For example, if you have a weight loss blog and community, you can encourage your audience to stick around by offering them a place to keep a weight loss diary and check the calorie count of their favorite foods. Your members will share this feature with their friends just for being part of the community (especially if it’s free), and this will spur further growth.
This is probably one of the fastest ways you can increase your growth. It’s a growth hack that’s been around before computers. Find the super-connectors within your niche. They know everyone and are known for delivering excellence. They also make plenty of time for their connections, know them very well due to taking notes, and they’re not afraid of making waves and asking questions when there are problems.
If you can connect yourself to a super-connector or become one yourself, you’ll be able to grow your business faster than you can imagine.
Everyone likes to feel as if they’re part of the group or on the inside. They want to be VIPs. So, tell them they’re VIPs, tell them they’re special and then package your products and services in a special way so that there is no mistake about how special you think they are. When it comes to exclusivity, the follow-up is super-important because when people feel special and important they will brag about you to others.
Make It Viral
It might be a surprise to know that most things that go viral don’t go viral by accident. It’s usually a planned event – one that took a lot of tests to finally get to. There are a few tips you can follow to try to get your work to go viral.
- Develop a Clear Voice – As you grow your business you will have to reach deep to have a strong point of view about your niche, the products and services you promote, and your audience. It’s so much simpler to create amazing content, products and services if you’re strong about who you are, who your brand represents and who exactly makes up your audience.
- Be Culturally Relevant – The question here that you should answer is, “Who is my audience?” Create audience personas so that everything you create is relevant to them; then you’ll be culturally relevant only when your audience sees you as relevant. Knowing your audience is imperative to achieving this.
- Be Genuine – Always be who you are, otherwise it will come off as fake. You may even know people who have been accused of being fake online in the past. You don’t want that to happen to you and it won’t if you just focus on being who you are and fully representing your brand in an honest and candid way.
- Create a Solid Promise – When you make any offer to your audience, whether free or paid, it’s imperative that you create a solid promise to your audience to deliver what you say you will. If you say you answer emails quickly, do so. If you tell your audience that if they follow your instructions they’ll make six figures, they had better make six figures. You can go viral if your promise is extraordinary.
- Partner with Another Brand – A really great way to go viral is to join up forces with a complementary brand to yours and serves the same audience. A good example is how Apple joins forces with ATT to offer exclusive deals to iPhone users. Another example is if you can connect with a very popular YouTuber or Instagram member and pay for shout-outs by giving away freebies. If a bigger brand promotes you, it can help you grow fast.
- Be Extraordinary – Today you have to sometimes be a little different to get attention. Get a new haircut or color before doing your videos or live events. Dress differently than expected; create a signature look for yourself so that people can recognize you in a crowd. The popular Kimra Luna is a great example. She breaks a lot of business rules, but she’s amazingly successful and it all happened very fast.
- Tell Your Story – Throughout your brand’s story you can interweave your own story because you are part of your brand. Tell the people how you came to create your brand. Tell them the journey you were and are on, and they’ll love it and share it far and wide. People love a pick up yourself by your bootstraps story, and if you tell it right it will go viral.
- Design Matters – People like looking at pretty things. That’s just a fact. Add a little extra design element to all your offerings so that there is no mistake about who they’re from, but also no mistake about how much you care. It’s amazing, but the smallest addition of color or high quality images can make all the difference when it comes to perception of value for your offerings.
- Be Awesome – The fact is, if you overwhelm your audience so that they see you everywhere, in Facebook ads, in Facebook groups, in blog posts, articles, and as the name on a particular product that you created, they’ll become fans of yours because they’ll assume that you must know what you’re doing to be everywhere.
Going viral is an amazing way to add a lot of subscribers to your email list, or to get people to sign up for your community. It can even help sell your products and services directly. With the right plan of action, you can boost growth quickly if you take the time to create targeted material that speaks only to your audience.
Cause Some Buzz
If you really want to hack your growth, you want to create amazing buzz for your audience. There are many ways to create instant buzz and you don’t and shouldn’t pick just one if you really want to hack your growth.
- Host a Contest – This is a really good way to get new subscribers. Be sure to follow the terms of service on any social media group that you’re part of, as well as pay attention to the laws and rules of your state. Your contest should require people to provide their email address so you can add them to your email list, and then to do something that involves sharing with others. If you use a good sales page option like LeadPages.net, InstaPage.com, or ClickFunnels.com, you’ll be able to create amazing contests that get results fast.
- Do Daily Vlogs – Choose a month to do daily vlogs surrounding a particular theme or leading up to a new launch or new opening to your mastermind group. The daily vlogs can be behind the scenes, day in the life, interviews, Q&As, and more. By doing them daily and posting them at a regular time, it will help build your audience fast.
- Keep Blogging – While you’re doing other things, it’s important to keep up your blog. Even if you only post a meme, a graphic with a quote, a short blog about a minute problem your audience may have, or a video they might like, this is a great way to keep the content flowing and the audience’s interest up.
- Create Videos – You can put videos on YouTube, or even just create them on your computer and post them directly to your Facebook groups or to your website or blog. Videos are a great way to explain hard concepts and also to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
- Conduct Webinars – Webinars and even teleseminars are fabulous and effective ways to connect with your audience on a deeper level. It’s true that at first you might not have very many people to talk to, but after time and promotion you’ll get more and more people to show up.
- Tie to a Charity – Whenever you can honestly tie your work to a charity, that’s a great way to create buzz. Keep in mind that you’ll need to study your audience to choose the right charity that most people will like supporting. Otherwise you can turn people off by your choice.
- Make Important Announcements – When you have any announcements, no matter how small (it can be upgrades, getting closer to launch, a poll about the name of your new product, and other ways to mention yourself), your products, your services, and your brand will get attention from your audience.
- Be Part of the Community – When you have an audience or a target audience, you also have a community. If you can make yourself part of that community, you can grow just based on the fact that your audience knows, likes and trusts you.
Creating buzz is a great way to get known by a lot of people fast. And once you create the buzz, it’s important to keep it going and make it a regular part of your growth.
Tap into Communities
A really great way to get known fast and hack your growth, is to tap into communities. Whether you join communities already created or make your own (and you should do both), you can get to know people individually and as a whole community. You can use your membership or ownership of the group to conduct polls, ask questions, answer questions, and be of service.
- Facebook Groups – You can find Facebook groups that consist of your audience just by searching for the subject matter. Pay attention to the terms of service and rules for each group you join. Some are lenient and some aren’t at all. This is okay because you don’t want to spam them or send in a lot of sales messages. Instead, you’re going to be of help to your audience and become a great resource to the group and the leaders of the group.
- Message Boards/ Forums – There are also plenty of message boards or forums still online where your audience hangs out. You can do a Google search to find them. Join in and become a member who asks questions, answers questions and provides value to the participants. Go to their events and get known. You’ll increase your following amazingly just by making these connections. Not only that, you’ll also be able to create even better products and services for your audience.
- Mastermind Groups – You might not realize it, but joining a mastermind group with your audience as members, as well as starting your own mastermind group, is a great way to connect with your audience on a deeper level. The deeper you can get with your audience, the more people will come to know you, like you and trust you.
- YouTube Community – When you become a YouTuber and get a certain number of subscribers, you get access to a lot of behind-the-scenes information from YouTube to help you make your channel bigger. You can join the people who you know are members of your audience or who market to members of your audience. Get to know them so you can get their co-operation for events and sales.
- Create Your Own Community – One of the best ways and fastest ways to become the expert in your niche is to build your own community. You can start in a variety of ways depending on your niche. Many people start on Instagram, others on Facebook and some even on YouTube. When you create a community of followers, you create a very powerful way to increase your business and grow as big as the community you’ve created.
When you think of ways to be of service to your community, whether you created it or not, you’ll soon realize that there is great power in community building. Think about the company that produced the Vitamix blender. It’s a super-expensive professional blender that most households simply do not need. Yet due to building communities – from hiring YouTubers to making videos, to allowing people to have Facebook communities discussing the blender – they’ve expanded their audience in amazing ways. You can do it too.
Think Micro Markets
If you have big growth goals for your business, it might sound counterproductive to start small. But, it worked for Facebook, Twitter and a variety of other types of businesses, and it can work for you. Just pick a smaller audience to focus on at first, and then due to viral word-of-mouth marketing it will spread.
You can set up a strategy to infiltrate every Facebook group you can find as a member who is helpful and adds value to the group. Then when allowed, market to the group either via posts in the group, or via ads that target the group members. You can also set up your own group in the process.
A growth strategy that many people use is webinars and/or teleseminars. Many people have started at zero and gone to millions just with this one tactic. Start with free webinars that you market to particular Facebook groups and watch the interest grow fast.
There are some people who manage to find all the clients they need just from being a valuable member or leader of a mastermind group. You can even charge for membership in your mastermind group as another stream of income.
Pick one social media network to place all your focus. Work on building your followers to 100K. Once you get to 100K your following will start growing at a very high rate; it’s the first 100K that’s hard. You should be able to create an amazing business based off this type of following.
So many people forget about their local market. There has to be something you can speak about, teach, or share with local people regarding your niche. Consider getting on a speaker’s list. Start by going to local business meetings that will consist of your target audience. You can find these with a Google search or on Meetup.com.
One way online business owners are pushing their business to the next level is with live events. If you think you’ve built authority online, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Once you move that offline – as they say in Huntsville Alabama, the home of the US Space & Rocket Center, the sky is no longer the limit.
When you attack and conquer micro markets one at a time, you’ll soon move through each of them and win at all of them, which will push your business to the next level amazingly fast if you have a true strategy and plan.
Use Other Networks
One way to boost your business fast and prove yourself as a true growth hacker is to use other people’s networks to piggy back on to create your own success. This is not uncommon when it comes to creating plugins or add-on apps to make something more useful.
For example, when people create useful plugins that work with WordPress, they’re using someone else’s network (WordPress) to create something useful for their own audience. They automatically get some of the trust that WordPress offers by certifying the plugin, and then they also create something for their audience that really helps them – which makes the audience happy.
- Create Apps – For example, if you have a cooking site, you might create a plugin for your audience that makes it easier for them to post recipes and share them with the network they’re on.
- Share – Always share other people’s work, and they might do the same for you later. Share what’s relevant to your own audience though; pick and choose what you trust, so that other people trust your shares.
- Suggest – When you’re part of someone else’s network, make suggestions carefully without expecting anything in return. For example, if someone asks a question and you can answer it, answer it. Don’t share your last blog post or your sales page for a product.
- Profiles – Create an amazing profile for every network you’re on. Use a good picture and mind your branding. You want people to know it’s you, regardless of the network you’re on. Don’t make them exactly the same, but make them recognizable as your brand, you, or your business.
- Run Ads – You can run Facebook ads using other people’s groups that you know consist of your target audience as your target audience for the ads. This is an excellent way to make use of someone else’s work.
There are likely many more ways you can use other networks in an inconspicuous way to make your mark in business and blow the competition out of the water by your amazing growth.
One of the very best ways to hack your growth is to be of service to others. If you look around you at the people you consider successful – the people you want to emulate, you’ll notice that one of the things they have in common is service to others.
After all, the way Microsoft became the main software used in offices, and the main computers used in most offices, is that they donated hardware and software to schools all across the nation in the USA.
This made Microsoft software and computers what people were comfortable with and knew from school. Once they were in business and buyers, they chose Microsoft. While you may be thinking smaller scale, you can still take a page from their book and copy it.
Understand Their Pain
Show people that you understand how they feel and what type of pain they’re experiencing. You can do this simply by naming the pain and then telling them the solution. When you can tell them about their pain, they think you’re a mind reader and will relate with you more.
Give Away Solutions
Just because you give away the solution – small fixes that take you five minutes to convey – doesn’t mean people won’t buy from you. If you also offer the solution as a service, you can tell them in your answer that you do provide this service but this is how you do it. Many people will start recommending you and hiring you because, ultimately, they don’t want to do it themselves.
People Will Remember You
When you use other people’s networks to socialize, share, and give away your solutions, they’ll remember who you are and seek you out on your own groups and networks – as long as you have a good enough profile that they can find you. (Hint: if you’re blanketing the internet with content, that will help too when they search your name.)
It Feels Great
The fact is, serving others feels good. When you’re doing it willingly, not just because of what you might get from it, you’ll feel very good about it. Let go of any preconceived notions of what you’ll get from your actions and just go for it.
It Will Encourage Massive Growth
When people see you as helpful and valuable, they’ll start contacting you asking for your help and opinions about different things. They’ll ask you to promote them, they’ll ask if they can promote you (affiliate marketing), and they’ll want to promote you and your offerings because they know they’re awesome.
When you serve others, you need to do so in such a way that you do not feel resentful, but in a way that makes you feel good. You don’t want people to walk on you, but you do want to be so helpful that when they think of your niche they think of you.
Pay for Growth
A very powerful way to boost growth is to pay for it. This might not seem like a huge hack but if you want to grow fast, paying is the way to do it. You can pay to run ads, pay affiliate marketers, and pay for search.
Before you do that, though, ensure that you have the right infrastructure in place. If you want amazing growth, be ready for that amazing growth.
- Make Sure That You Are Legal – The right business license is a must; your local area will have the answers. Check with local colleges or universities, small business development services, or if you’re in the USA your local SCORE.org office to ensure you’re following all the laws you need to.
- Create or Have Created an Amazing Website – Your website is the most important thing you have going for you. It’s where your entire business lives. It’s the hub of your business and should get the attention it deserves. It needs to be fast and work on any browsers and devices, especially mobile devices.
- Set Up All Your Social Media Accounts – Assume that you’ll have a lot of hits on your social media sites and act accordingly. Fully fill out all profile information, include amazing images, videos, and whatever else the social site allows.
- Create Ready Sales Pages – Take the time to create amazing sales pages and landing pages for your new audience. You can create a different landing page for each audience; for example if you guest post on multiple blogs, create a different landing page for each audience.
- Develop Email Marketing Series – Assume people will sign up for your lists and develop email marketing information accordingly. You may have multiple lists and multiple series depending on the audience you’re targeting.
- Set up an Onboarding Process – You want everyone who joins your groups, follows you, friends you, and likes you to feel important. Follow up, answer questions, and be a resource for your tribe. Treat them like a tribe and make them feel special.
- Locate Potential Helpers – In every situation there are people, perhaps super-fans, super-connectors, super-affiliates, experts and others that can help you boost your business. Identify them and find a way to connect on a deeper level with them. It will be something that will help you in amazing ways.
- Ensure That You Have Funding – One of the biggest deterrents to fast growth is not having the infrastructure in place or the funding to support it while you are waiting to make money. Make sure that you can afford to get over the hump of growth to the money-making part.
In every case, you also have to have a strong follow-up procedure in place. For example, when you invite people to join you, buy from you, use your service, take your course, use your platform etc. you need to pay close attention to your delivery in terms of the quality of the offer and how you follow up with those who converted. Because, you can only sustain true growth and indeed have massive growth if you’re keeping your current customers happy and have a high retention rate along with attracting and converting new people.