Growth hacking is one of the biggest buzzwords in the startup community. But while exponential growth seems very appealing, achieving it is a whole different story.
And there are plenty of risks with trying to grow too quickly.
Whether you’re a small company just starting out, or a bigger company looking to branch out, ensuring your business can grow and remain profitable requires a huge effort and commitment.
Market dynamics change all the time, so any mistakes made when trying to grow as a company can have disastrous consequences.
But it’s not all bad news.
No matter how competitive your market, if you have a clear plan of execution and understand the necessary steps for growing your startup, it’s possible to ensure sustainable growth.
And it doesn’t have to be a stressful process.
In fact, there are plenty of strategies you can apply right now that will go a long way in helping your startup level up and start gaining ground in your marketplace.
Read on below and find out how you can start growth hacking your startup today.
Utilize the Power of Testimonials
When you’re a young startup, you don’t have a lot of credibility in your industry. That’s just the way it is, so it’s natural that both customers and potential investors will be skeptical about your ability to deliver quality services.
After all, there are literally thousands of startups competing for the same customer and the same investors, especially at the early stages. Without proof that you have what it takes to deliver, it will be almost impossible get any real traction for growth.
Luckily, there is a straightforward and organic way to instantly make yourself much more credible.
By utilizing the power of testimonials, a startup can showcase their success stories, allow both prospects and investors to see that the product works and is appealing to the target audience, and most importantly, establish credibility that can quickly propel a startup to new heights.
But where should you showcase your testimonials?
The short answer? Everywhere!
There’s really no bad way to display your testimonials – they’re such a powerful form of social proof that it can help enhance any communication with your prospects or investors.
You can obviously use them on your website, landing pages, sales pages, emails, advertisements, and any other place where you’re selling your services, but you can even sprinkle a few testimonials in your press releases and brochures.
Whether it’s people sharing their success stories when using your services, highlighting some of the benefits that you can bring, or simply vouching for your startup, seeing real users recommend your solution can be more powerful than any other form of advertising.
It’s important to develop a process for implementing fresh testimonials into your messages – as more people use your service and leave positive reviews, you will have better opportunities to highlight your main benefits through the words of your audience.
You should also not be shy about asking for testimonials from people that are happy with what you provide – not everyone will share experiences on their own, and not asking can leave you out of some of the best reviews of your products.
Sometimes, testimonials don’t even have to be written – if you engage your customers and ask them to recommend your services, they might put in a good word for you when talking to colleagues or friends.
Follow the Latest Startup Trends
Startups are always short on time, especially when just starting out.
Being understaffed and overworked means that a lot of important business activities have to be scaled back in order to keep the operation going.
But while there are some areas that you can focus less on, one that you shouldn’t skimp on is following on the latest news and developments in your industry.
Reading news and publications in your field may not seem like the most productive use of your time when you have an inbox full of emails and a hundred tasks that need to be taken care of. But when you look at it from a long-term perspective, it becomes clear that it should always be near the top of the priority list.
But why is keeping up with the trends so important? Well, the answer’s pretty simple:
The only way to stay ahead of the competition is to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry.
Following all the latest news and developments allows you to identify the bigger shifts that are happening in the startup world and get ahead of the curve.
By following the latest startup news, you’ll never be out of ideas on how to innovate your business practices and tweak your practices to achieve better results and ensure consistent growth.
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by daily tasks and forget the bigger picture perspective. But businesses that don’t innovate are doomed to fail, so no matter how busy you are, you should make it a habit to study other’s successes and failures as they occur.
Reach More Customers with Video Marketing
According to a study by Social Bakers, video posts achieve more organic reach than any other post, generating 135% greater organic reach than photo posts.
This means that companies that take the time to develop video content gain an enormous advantage over the competition. YouTube, Vine and other video platforms are becoming more popular each year, and video provides a unique opportunity to creatively tell your story and present your brand in a way that appeals to your target audience.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, either.
Producing a short five-minute video that tells your story, highlights your benefits and showcases your credentials can go a long way in separating you from the competition. And if you incorporate a few honest video testimonials, it can even become an incredibly powerful lead generation tool.
Embrace the Startup Culture
Making your startup a success is all about collaboration – teamwork makes the dream work, so having an effective process for sharing ideas and working together on goals can be the deciding factor between success and failure.
Sure, it may seem obvious – when working on the same startup, colleagues need to work together. But it goes beyond simply sharing an office and attending meetings.
The reason why the startup culture has exploded is that it allows a small number of people to come together with an idea and combine their visions into a product that changes the entire marketplace.
Developing a startup culture that embraces new ideas and allows each team member to contribute in their own way is essential, and it requires a persistent effort of cultivating a culture that encourages ideas to flourish.
The entire work process should be built around your company’s values and goals so that each made decision serves the bigger company goals.
About the author:
Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, a churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.