Welcome back to your Home Business blog. In the last post we talked about ways to grow a big following on Twitter by using probably the best tool there is for this task in socialquant. I also talked about a couple other tools which are also effective. Today I want to give you examples of what growth hacking is and how it can help you expand your home business.
Firstly, you should know proper growth hacking requires technical skill and creativity. The best growth hackers are software developers who have deep understanding of how to market products. Sometimes growth hacking arises from teamwork in which some of the members are technical savvy and the rest are very good at applying marketing techniques to achieve various goals such as grow an audience or generate sales.
Is also very important to understand that growth hackers thrive when resources are scarce. They are able to better allocate resources in order to maximize results or they create (or tweak) already existing tools to achieve the required outcome. Growth hackers use to their advantage many of the techniques and tools we already discussed in the post about super affiliate marketers to reach their goals. If you want massive explosion in your business you will need to invest in various tools to get the job done.
It is also important to understand that growth hackers know well the lifetime value of a customer who enters their business. This is a concept I first learned as I completed basic marketing training with the 21 step system. In my experience that program offered immense value for the one time $49 payment. Many big corporations today spend more money on advertising than the money they initially make from selling products to new customers. These businesses and corporations recuperate the invested capital (and turn to a profit) as new customers continue to buy products from them.
Based on those points above Sean Ellis defined a growth hacker as “a tech savvy and data-driven marketer that understands product and is comfortable working in a resource-constrained environment.” What I want to do is give you some examples of the best growth hacks ever done so you can model them and use them on your own business. If you are a creative marketer perhaps you can even come up with something original that scales your business overnight.
One of the earliest and most famous growth hacks of all time was when Hotmail added a Tagline near the end of every email any of their users sent. It read “Get Your Free Email at Hotmail”. Whenever someone reading email clicked on the tagline they would be brought to a sign up page where they could create an account within seconds. When this plan was put into action the company had a little over 20,000 users and within a six month period the number of accounts had grown to over a million. Eighteen months later the company was bought for 395 million after it had reached a user base of over 12 million. The interesting part about this growth hack is that when Hotmail first launched in 1996 they had no money to advertise their email service over the radio or on big billboards like some of their big rivals were doing at the time. Hotmail was also giving away the services free to all users who signed up. This same strategy has been successfully used by many other companies that came later including Apple who added their own tagline which reads “Sent from my iPhone.”.
TIP: Crafting a good email subject line is the most important part in all of email marketing. You should also write emails thinking about the audience that will read them. The goal of marketers these days is to put out messages which resonates with different groups of people in order to attract as many leads and customers as possible.
You should take a look at your current business and see what service, product or website you can promote using the same strategy. Something I see successful marketers do these days is to have a section at the bottom of each email where they post a link to their website and they also use a call to action such as “Join my newsletter – It’s free!”. I know I will start using this strategy more often. Gmail in particular allows you to add a signature section you could be using to promote your business with every email communication you send.
TIP: Website speed can make a huge difference on whether a lead (or potential customer) decides to wait for the page to load or goes on about their day. Your website should load within two seconds or less.
Another growth hack is to give away “free money” (or resources) to capture a new lead or potential customers. When PayPal first started out they had a referral program that gave $10 to everyone that signed up to use their payment services. It is also known that PayPal created an algorithm also known as a bot which purchased auctions and other products on the eBay platform. The purpose of the software was to promote PayPal because this was the payment system used by the bot. It helped create the appearance that PayPal was more popular as a payment system than it really was and this is how sellers started adopting PayPal as the main payment solution on eBay. I guess that’s why there is a saying “Fake it til you make it”. I don’t know about you but I prefer to be authentic and show the real struggle behind building a six and seven figure business. If anyone tells you is easy and they are promising you riches overnight you know chances are they are promoting some variation of a scam.
Going back the the growth hack first used by PayPal… this same strategy is now used by many different companies and financial institutions. I have already listed some of the companies that would give you free money (or equivalent resource) on the main page of this website under “Cashback apps:” section. I will be adding PayPal later as they are still giving a $5 referral bonus for letting new customers know about their services. Groupon gives out $10 worth of credit that can be redeemed on the platform and Coinbase pays out $10 to both you (and the person you referred) whenever they deposit at least $100 to use at the cryptocurrency exchange (if you join don’t use credit cards… to avoid backbreaking fees from financial institutions) . Back when Mt. Gox got hacked and the exchange lost close to $500 million… in an attempt to revive the community around Bitcoin, Coinbase started paying out $75 per referral. There are many financial institutions that would pay you anywhere from $20 to $200 if you happen to qualify to open an account with them.
Companies these days prefer to pass down the money to affiliates who promote their products and leads that choose to join the programs because the cost of advertising has increased many times over the years. However… don’t be mistaken. Even when they offer amazing value to you as a customer for their products and services they are looking to make a profit from your lifetime value as a customer. Chances are you are not in the position to give away free money… but you could take advantage and participate in some of these referral programs to cash in on some money that you could then reinvest back into your business. Resourcefulness is key when you are trying to build a business from the ground up.
One other very famous growth hack was performed by Dropbox, a company which started with very little but which has become worth Billions of dollars. Dropbox saw the biggest success when they allowed customers to refer new users in exchange for 500MB increase on their Dropbox account. Under their referral program regular users can earn up to 16 GB of free storage and professional accounts can see a 32 GB increase just for sharing a link. I know back when I was studying engineering at Florida International University I would tell my friends to join with my link and this is how I maxed out free storage from my referral bonuses. It was well worth it because to this day I heavily still use Dropbox and I have had plenty of space with all the free storage I earned. The funny thing is… storage these days is cheap. This growth hack saved Dropbox millions of dollars worth of advertising and produced better results for a fraction of the cost. It should be clear why so many other companies in this space have adopted a similar system by which they provide free storage space to new potential customers.
NOTE: Some blockchain based companies are trying disrupt the file hosting industry by building decentralized solutions to storing information on the cloud. Under this model it would be possible for regular users like you and I to rent some of the storage available in our computers and receive payment (with cryptocurrency or crypto tokens) than can be exchanged for fiat currencies like USD or Euros. One such company working on cheaper and alternative storage solutions is Siacoin.
Another of the great growth hacks was performed by YouTube which is now owned by Google. Do you recall those times when MySpace was the number one social sharing platform? Well it was during those days that YouTube first released their embed code feature which for the first time allowed to share video on MySpace and it also made it possible to display YouTube videos directly on millions of blogs. By using this strategy YouTube grew its user base to what it is today. YouTube has become the second largest search engine (after Google) currently receiving over 1 billion monthly unique visitors. Whenever you embed YouTube videos onto your website or blog they take care of the resources required to host that particular video. This allows for smoother video processing, especially if you happen to be using a lower quality hosting service. I know images slow down websites considerably. Later I will try embedding a few YouTube videos and use various tools to check how website performance has changed. YouTube turns all this hosting costs to a profit by allowing users to buy video advertising on the platform.
In the early days of Facebook and Pinterest their growth hack was to open the platforms via invitation only. When websites or applications are launched as invitation only it allows the developers to receive feedback from the community so they can improve their services. There is also an aspect of human psychology that makes them prefer to join closed networks over those which are open to everyone. For example a CPA network I wanted to join pretty badly is Cash Network which is an invitation only network that currently is not accepting new applicants. As closed networks mature is normal to see weekend promotions that allow new users to join freely as a countdown timer expires. This results in a big spike in new sign ups. Often times the network is opened indefinitely so anyone can join. That was the case of Facebook and Pinterest. A way to make your business feel special and attract more customers and leads is to offer access to your private Facebook group where you may have marketing resources or a variety of useful people that can guide and help others succeed. Another common strategy is to create inner circles or private groups which would only disclose valuable information to members of the group. In my opinion private groups is one of the most powerful growth hacks today… so long as the values of the group in question is ethical… and not to exploit humanity at large for the benefit of the few through secrecy.
I would also tell you that in affiliate marketing it is the marketers who truly look to solve problems for their readers, visitors and customers that end up making the most money. Marketers who destroy their reputation by propagating lies just to make sales eventually will have karma catch up to them and nobody will believe them. Transparency and honesty is key for long term success in this business.
The last growth hack I want to talk about was made by Airbnb which is the largest rental property/hotel company that doesn’t own any real state. If you look into the story of Airbnb the founders launched the project multiple times before they succeeded. At one point they tried to raise capital and advertise the company by selling special edition cereals boxes. According to Wikipedia they sold about $30,000 worth of cereal boxes. The founder ate the unsold inventory for breakfast and dinner because they had no money at the time for anything other than their efforts to grow the company. The growth hack which made Airbnb explode in popularity was that the company figured out a way to list real state space in automated fashion by using Craigslist. This allowed AirBnb to finally grow fast into a company which is now disrupting the Hotel/Lodging industry worldwide. You can learn more about the whole story in this post.
About two thousand words later we are coming to close. Other growth hacks commonly used today is to give out to your subscribers (or customers) useful software for free in exchange for relevant contact information like their email address. Giving out software has become a better strategy to giving out free e-books because just about every business these days already gives out e-books in exchange for email addresses to lure in new customers and leads to their business. Location based mobile adds is also an strategy which is being brought back and so is listing your business in the yellow pages where you can find add space at bargain prices since businesses are moving all their marketing efforts online where they have tools that allow them to find their ideal customer more easily. Guest posting is also still one of the best growth hacks you can be using to grow your business today. I hope some of this information is useful to you in provoking ideas you can use to grow your business. If coming up with an original growth hack is too difficult simply research and reuse what other big companies already used to grow their businesses. Remember that super affiliates steal (and improve upon) whatever already works so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Do you want to earn money as an Instagram influencer? To succeed as an Instagram influencer not only should you make an interesting profile, you also need automation tools that do all the heavy lifting for you and get you real followers fast. As you build your profile and gain more followers you will find brands that will approach you willing to exchange value if you are willing to promote their products or services. Here is the tool I recommend you to use to start growing your Instagram influence today.