RAJ ANAND, GOODMAN LANTERN
Some people just don’t understand growth hacking. For those who have put in the hard work and time, it’s a fantastic way to grow a business. You build loyalty, which is the most important part of getting repeat clients.
Like anything in life, there’s a way to get results, and a way to fail. Sure, growth hacking can go horribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. The fact is, there are many ways you can start to make a major difference in your numbers.
I love sharing my insights. Over the years I have found that you must never lose sight of two things:
- The reason you started your business in the first place.
- The reason your brand deserves to exist.
These may sound too basic to be helpful, but they do help you keep your focus. Without focus, you cannot hope to be productive or successful. Time is a dangerous part of the puzzle. The more time goes on, the easier it becomes to lose sight of your goals. Daily tasks, stresses, meetings, and duties can all cloud up your vision, causing you do lose productivity.
More Than Actions
Growth hackers measure every aspect of their business, as often as possible. The goal is finding patterns in your results. If you try a tactic that doesn’t work, stop it and try something else. If it does work, find out why it worked so you can replicate that success. You want repeatable results. Anything less is just guesswork, which isn’t helpful to anybody. You’re not spending all this time, effort, and money to have a random approach to your business.
There is another side of the growth hacking coin, which gets many startups in serious trouble. While measurements are vital, you have to realise that you’re measuring the behavior of individuals. Business owners sometimes lapse into viewing their customers as data points and numbers. They become little more than results. If this is happening in your business, stop it immediately. Your customers will notice and you will lose them.
How To Ruin It
More than ever, people hate to experience boredom. Nobody will care about your message if it feels impersonal. One of the worst things you can do is to spam people with irrelevant messages in the hopes of gaining a few more clients. It often takes just one irrelevant message for people to start unsubscribing and blocking you. These days, everyone has a very low tolerance for things they don’t care about.
It’s often helpful to put yourself in your clients' shoes. Ask yourself how you’d react to the message you’re sending. Think about all the times you’ve unsubscribed or blocked a sender. Being boring, repetitive, and irrelevant will sink your startup.
Test The Water
When you come up with a new idea, it’s best to test it first. Choose a section of your client base to try your new approach. The logic here is that if you fail horribly, you won’t be losing all your clients at once. Many startups have lost their entire following over one bad decision. They jumped in the deep end without really considering every outcome.
The reason for that is simple. You and your team are human beings, and humans are fallible. There is no way you can predict every possible outcome of your decisions. There are many reasons your plans could fail. Small-scale testing can be even safer when you’re open with your clients about trying something new. Show them you care and losing them becomes far less likely.
When Hacks Attack
There are many growth hackers out there who seem to rely too heavily on their tools. When this happens, you end up with a ton of processes and hardly any fluidity. The sales process becomes impersonal and mechanical. How do you feel when you’re treated like a statistic?
Alienate your audience, and you’ll lose them. Do you have an overcomplicated sign-up process? Are you asking for too much information up front? Do you have a long, complicated process for canceling a free trial? These are all red flags to potential customers and they will stop trusting you.
Don’t Be Dull
Are there any brands you’ve used for years? You may not have decided to consciously, but most of us have a product or two we keep buying time and time again. These brands may have built a sense of loyalty with you, or perhaps they just haven’t given you a reason to go elsewhere. That’s the position you want to be in with your clients.
You want them to think about you at the right moment. You may have heard older generation business people referring to "staying top-of-mind". This basically means that your client’s go-to brand should be yours. When they’re in a position to purchase, they’ll pick up your product or choose your service because they’re familiar with you. They know what your brand represents and they want it in their lives.
A Time & A Place
Growth hacking is a very broad subject, with new tactics being dreamt up every day. The trick is to know what works for you and what doesn’t. There are lots of new and aspiring growth hackers who ask how to find what works. They’re unsure of where to start and usually, fear failure. Some people even run to growth hacking because someone told them it’s a passive way to generate a following. It isn’t.
In the real business world, there are no passive goldmines. If there were, we’d all be rich. The fact is that growth hacking can get you to pretty stable place in your business and help you to grow. Growth hackers are always trying new tactics and perfecting their results.
By all means, try other people’s tactics, but be prepared for the possibility that they may not work for you. Your business and your audience is unique. Try new things all the time, and be open about it with your clients. They’ll appreciate your transparency.
Care Or Lose
A growing number of businesses are realising that care is the most important part of their business. Customers have changed. It's not enough to just sell a product or service that matches their needs. They want to feel like they can trust you, and that you actually care about their quality of life. The best businesses genuinely do care. It’s difficult to fake goodwill, and your clients will notice.
The more care you show, the greater the impression you’ll make on your customers. It’s all about making decisions that make them want to buy from you again and again. There are so many alternative options to your offering, so you need to be worth coming back to. You can generate this sense of worth by showing your clients that you truly care for them.
Often, growth hackers call this "communicating value." This sounds a little mechanical, but actually means that your clients should feel loved. It really is that simple in theory. Showing that love can be far trickier, which is why growth hackers constantly experiment with new ways of achieving this.