One of the mistakes that entrepreneurs often make, is not taking the time to understand fully what’s growth hacking
Growth hacking is the magical tool to accelerate growth & transform your product or idea (both referred to as product) into a successful venture. Becoming a growth hacker isn’t simple & finding the right one is difficult & most importantly costly for startups.
Growth Hacking, originally started by Sean Ellis in 2010. As a consultant, he helped lots of startups such as Dropbox & LinkedIn to achieve accelerated growth. Sean Ellis describes a growth hacker as “A person whose true north is growth.”
Here are few techniques to help entrepreneurs in scaling their product & achieving accelerating growth:
1- Have the right product. Ensure there is a demand for your product in the market. At this stage, flexibility is key for success & you have to be open to the fact that you might need to adjust your business plan or product to fit market demand or it will not succeed.
2- Know & narrow your users base. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of targeting a large audience to acquire many users. Thus, wasting time & resources, getting frustrated thinking they’re doing everything right and getting nowhere! Therefore knowing your target audience is vital for your growth & asking these questions might help you in identifying your users; Whose more likely to use your product? Why will they use it? If they’re existing users are they using all features offered, If not why?
3- Feedback from users or target audience to ensure, you have the right product. This is accomplished by engaging with potential users and getting their feedback, analyzing it, adjusting your product to fit their requirements which, will enhance the probability of transforming them to users and ensure your fast growth.
4- Consider & discover the odds or stakes for growing your product? Consider all metrics and scales to ensure the growth of your product by continuously conducting market research studying & analyzing all the data you’ve gathered before & after launching your product.
5- Define & set your growth strategy; have a growth strategy & a timeframe for executing it. Be cautious & don’t be too eager to get your product into the market without testing it & making sure it’s ready for users to access it. Growth is best achieved by setting small targets towards achieving your major goal. As it will allow you to discover any flaws, gives you the opportunity to address them yourself as fast & as efficiently as possible & avoid frustrated users. Once you’ve done significant testing in-house, beta testing will assist you in refining your product.
6- Create a buzz about your product before launching it. You can achieve that by using social media platforms through engagement in asking & answering questions this will help you create a presence for yourself in the market & will get anticipation going on about your product. Plus it’s a great tool to assist you in minimizing future adjustments as you’re collecting data to ensure your fast growth. It’s important that you don’t use this technique early on as consumers have a short term of interest & if nothing is materialized within 3-5 weeks they’ll most probably lose interest and move on.
Crazy Egg created a buzz as a growth technique & Instagram utilized feedback to change the name of their app & improve their product, resulting in accelerating growth.
7- Test your product & analyze your data. Entrepreneurs have to be creative & innovative in utilizing low cost or free testing methods. For example, you can conduct a basic A/B test, create a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, G+ or any social platform where your target audience are active & you are able to give you a better understanding of consumer behavior, collect feedback & analyze data.
8- Colibri.io, Colibri shows you where your customers are engaging online. You can insert yourself into relevant conversations & use that as a tool in identifying your users & marketing your product. Colibri offers 14 days of a free trial if utilized effectively its more than sufficient time to provide you with effective results.
9- Amplitude provides you with deep customer knowledge and connects it to real users & understanding customer’s behavioral changes over time. It’s free for bootstrappers, the perfect tool for entrepreneurs.
10- Offer users a free trial for a significant amount of time that will ensure getting them hooked on your product, thus they’ll be willing to pay for it later & will ensure your fast growth. Netflix, they had success by offering a free trial period to new customers enough to get them hooked on the variety of programs they offered which resulted in many users switching from the traditional cable service to them.
11- Reward your users! Everybody loves to be rewarded. To simplify it we all love receiving presents, getting recognition as simple as a thank you or a smile from others! Work from that principle but in order to ensure fast and continuous growth don’t fall into the trap of promising a discount or anything that requires your users to wait for a long period of time, they’ll lose interest & move on. Study other companies that used this technique & personalize it. Be creative; come up with incentives that suit your product & users alike. This will ensure that you’ll stand out & rewards you with one of the best growth techniques “word of mouth,” as users trust referrals rather than paid ads.Dropbox offered every user that provides a referral extra space, resulting in growth that exceeded their expectations. Click To Tweet
Growth is a continuous process. Don’t wear it out, be patient, as growth hacking requires a lot of trial & error. Therefore, know the limits of your growth mechanisms, as some will only work for a short period of time, or at a specific phase of your product stage and others won’t. But both will reveal to you a lot about your product & users. Incentives for early adoption obviously only work in the early stages. Using analytics to continue fine-tuning your approach is vital to ensure continuous & fast growth. It’s also important to give each strategy a little breathing room (a few weeks minimum) to gain traction and show results.
Keep testing your methods, adjust accordingly, if a particular strategy fades, phase it out in favor of something newer & always stay up to date with new methods that can assist your growth mechanism.
Most importantly is to bare in mind if you want your growth hacking mechanism to be successful it has to be a team effort. A growth hacker needs the collaboration of all team members to fully understand the product, the odds at stake, work with all departments so they’re all up to date with recent developments in order to achieve accelerating growth & ensure the success of your product or idea.