Growth Hacking strategies have rapidly become the biggest buzzword in the entrepreneurial sphere. And I know what you’re thinking…”Not another buzzword!” But hear me out, because ‘Growth Hacking’ is really just a fancy term for ‘Out-Of-The-Box Thinking That Rapidly Acquires New Clients And Grows Your Business’.
But who has time to say all that?
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re already a growth hacker, or at least, you’re striving to become one.
The nature of online marketing requires us all to perpetually stay one step ahead of the technological curve.
That means experimenting with new marketing techniques and combining unconventional methods to get great results.
Genuine growth hacking strategies are not the same-old-tips you’ve seen regurgitated by a million so-called ‘experts’. They will usually be mostly comprised of elements you’ve seen before, but with a twist.
It’s the twist that makes them faster, easier, and more effective than your everyday methods.
The twist makes them hacks.
Growth hackers aren’t reinventing the wheel, they’re just spinning it in a different direction.
You can use growth hacking strategies in your business to achieve a lot, but there are a few core things that such hacks are specifically designed to do for your business:
- Attract new leads
- Convert leads into clients
- Boost your revenue
- Distinguish yourself from the competition
The secret to a good growth hacking strategy is transformation; an innovative approach that flips your current way of doing things on its head and supercharges your marketing efforts.
Sounds good right? But how?
Here are five powerful growth hacks that rely on proven marketing frameworks, coupled with an effortless twist, to help you easily build your business… Try them for yourself. I’d love to hear about your results!
#1 Get Laser Focused On Your Niche
Possibly the simplest growth hack going is zeroing in on your niche with laser accuracy. There are arguments for and against having a niche in your business. The main fear people have surrounding niching is that they are leaving money on the table by focusing on a narrow niche.
There are other things they could be offering, and other people they could be targeting with their marketing. By narrowing it down, they feel they’re shooting themselves in the foot.
But the truth is that your business is infinitely easier to market if you know exactly who you are targeting. Your marketing will be far more successful if the pool of targets is relatively limited, and the individuals within it relatively similar.
People are vastly different, but when you focus on a niche you find a core group of ideal clients who are the perfect fit for your business. When you know who they are, what they need, want, and value the most, you can create content, products and services that are highly valuable to them specifically.
Rather than targeting everyone with a vague offer that some of them might find appealing, you hone in on an extremely specific group, with an offer that most of them will want to take you up on (if not immediately, then at some point).
The other huge benefit to having a highly specific niche is minimising the competition you face, and ensuring your brand can be much more clearly defined.
It’s easier to appeal to a smaller group with similar interests and needs than a broad group with an extremely wide range of tastes and requirements.
Here’s The Hack…
Niche marketing is far from new. The hack lies not in niching, but in the extreme specificity you use when choosing your niche. The biggest mistake people make here is mistaking an industry for a niche.
For example, Digital Marketing is an industry. Technically it is a niche, as it’s more specific than general marketing, but there is huge scope within it. Digital marketing covers social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, SEO, web development and so much more.
When you’re using niching as a growth hack you need to get as specific as you possibly can.
Laser focus, remember?
If I were to do this, I would narrow my niche as much as possible:
> Email Marketing
>> Nurture Sequences
>>> eCourse Nurture Sequences
>>> eCourse Nurture Sequences For Digital Marketers
>>>> eCourse Nurture Sequences For SEO Digital Marketers
If I added gender and age parameters, and an industry within the niche, I could get even more specific. The more specific your niche, the easier it is to market.
Just remember, you don’t have to stay in that niche forever! Make a name for yourself in the super-specific niche, and then expand!
#2 Attract New Leads By Guest Posting
It’s the perpetual battle faced by all entrepreneurs. How do you attract new leads?
The answer is simple: you don’t.
Rather than wasting all your energy constantly hustling to find new leads, sit back and let them find you. Attract potential clients to you by creating a space your ideal clients are naturally drawn to – like ants to honey.
Guest posting may be the greatest growth hack when it comes to using content to create that space, because it actually works outside it.
When you blog your blog becomes the space your ideal clients are drawn to, but that can be a slow process. Guest posting takes a tiny microcosm of that amazing world you’ve created, breaks it off, and sends it out into the wider universe like a satellite.
If you’re trying to attract new leads, getting in front of new people is essential. One of the easiest ways to do this is to post on sites that have large audiences in your niche.
Guest posts are great for raising awareness of your brand and driving traffic to your site from sites that currently have a lot more traffic than you do.
When guest blogging, look at creating incredibly high-value, high-quality content. Don’t just churn it out and plaster it on as many sites as possible. An exceptional guest post requires even more careful research and effort when it comes to writing, editing, and proofreading than your own content.
Simple: you’re used to writing for your own site. Other sites are different. They have different audiences, different niches, and can use different formats. They can even have different languages, both in literal terms, and in the sense of jargon, colloquialisms and industry-specific phrases.
Here’s The Hack…
You need to be strategic about it – there’s no point posting just anywhere. Pick somewhere your ideal client is likely to be. There are a huge range of choices, but some of the top ones for entrepreneurs are:
It can be tricky to get on the big sites, but it’s well worth the effort. Check out the submission guidelines for each and follow them to the letter. Send in your pitch, and chase it up if you don’t hear back!
#3 Rock Your Best Social Media Platform
One of the best ways of attracting new leads to your business is social media. But effective social media marketing goes beyond simply attracting people to your business; it effectively builds relationships with them.
These days there are so many options out there it can be difficult to know which social media platform is right for your business. It feels like you’re expected to be on all of them, and the sheer scope of that can quickly feel overwhelming.
The truth, however, is that you don’t need to be everywhere and do everything.
It’s a good idea to have a presence on the main channels for your niche – a profile, and regularly scheduled content going out – but you absolutely do not need a presence on every social media channel out there.
Here’s The Hack…
Pick the one social media platform that is favoured by your ideal clients, and going to give you the greatest return on your investment, and focus on that.
Utterly devote yourself to it. Master it completely.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]It’s far better to focus on one social media channel that is best for your unique business, and absolutely rock the socks off it, than to have a bland presence on everything.[/Tweet]
But which one is right for you?
I previously conducted a bit of a social media experiment to see which platform was best for online advertising. But there really are no absolute answers to this question, it depends on your business, your niche, your ideal client, and which platform you’re most comfortable using.
Here’s a (very brief!) rundown of where each of the six main social channels excel…
Where engagement is concerned, nothing performs better than video, and this trend is only set to increase as we head into 2018 and beyond.
From an SEO perspective, having a YouTube channel with your main content on it is also a massive bonus. And, recording your content in video form gives you endless scope for repurposing it into any other form you need, from written posts to audio and other social media content.
Businesses with a strong visual, educational, or creative component do exceptionally well on YouTube. If you think that’s not you, don’t rule yourself out right away – remember, education goes far beyond school and university.
If you’re an expert in any niche, you have something to teach, and video is the perfect medium to use!
If you have an exceptionally visual business, Pinterest is the place to be. It’s perfect for any product-based business and entrepreneurs with a focus on photography, art, food (recipes, nutrition, cooking equipment, edible products, restaurants etc.), or related areas.
But Pinterest is also rife with people searching for tutorials and DIY tips, for everything from makeup, fashion, and home projects, to marketing and branding tactics, advertising tricks, and ways to master pretty much every conceivable hobby, profession, or self-help topic.
Pinterest (like YouTube) is a great platform for anyone with something that looks good and/or can be taught. It’s also the ‘nicheiest’ social media network going, far more than Twitter or Facebook.
The most visual social media platform next to Pinterest, Instagram is hugely popular. If your ideal clients are glued to their smartphones, this is likely the best platform for you to use. With over 700 million active users, and a thriving community dedicated to some weird, wonderful, and highly specific niches (#bibliophile, anyone?), it’s a great platform for creating highly engaged followers.
If you’re making the most of a super-specific niche, find the perfect hashtags for it and get on Instagram!
There is no avoiding the visual nature of the content though; every post needs a perfect image, and the most successful brands have extremely consistent looks to all of them.
As the biggest social media network going, with around 2 billion active users, and the ability to create complex business pages with rich and varied content, Facebook is often the go-to for entrepreneurs.
While there’s a massive amount of potential and power in Facebook, particularly if you record video content and are willing to brave Facebook Live, it has become increasingly difficult to achieve effective reach and engagement on the platform. While there are ways of boosting them organically, many business users on Facebook require advertising to get any real traction.
If you have the budget for it, Facebook ads can be extremely successful, and the combination of advertising, a highly engaged page, and dedicated Facebook Groups is extremely effective. But if you’re looking for a social media platform you can leverage very effectively for free, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Twitter may not have as many users as Instagram or Facebook, but at around 328 million active users worldwide, it’s not far behind! If you’re a less visual brand and good at being extremely succinct, Twitter is an amazing platform. The reach you can achieve by sharing interesting content is amazing. It’s a very popular platform for businesses, and if you can master the fine art of hashtags and the perfect <280 character Tweet, you’re golden.
LinkedIn is an easy choice for B2B companies as it combines social elements with a rather corporate-driven theme. It’s incredibly easy to connect with other professionals and reach out to people in specific industries with very particular roles. It’s also far more social than the resume-style profile would suggest, focussing on building great relationships.
LinkedIn also features its own powerful native blogging platform, which can easily be utilised by repurposing the content from your main blog, and posting it on LinkedIn, either in its entirety, or as a short-form piece.
Essential Reading: 10 Tips To Improve Your LinkedIn Profile To Grow Your Business
One final area you need to focus on to attract new leads is networking. If you’re exhausted at the mere thought of interacting with people on a personal, one-to-one basis, the idea of networking probably doesn’t fill you with joy, but a little personal interaction goes a long way.
The frustration most people have with networking is that it takes a massive amount of time, and often doesn’t produce tangible results.
There are a couple of simple ways to hack your networking tactics for massive growth:
Hack #1: Social Networking Groups
Join business groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that are full of your ideal clients. Groups like this almost always have designated days for sharing your blog posts, offers, and expert tips. Read the group rules and pop a reminder in your calendar to nip into the group and share your stuff each week on the relevant days.
Don’t just post and run – check out what other people are doing. You’ll be surprised by how much mileage you get out of spending five minutes posting your latest blog post, clicking on any other people have shared (that you genuinely find interesting!), and leaving a few comments.
Do the same on days you can post your offers, and spend a couple of minutes on other days interacting with the group without agenda. Some of my best clients were found in networking groups, and I’ve also hired some amazing people after falling in love with their content in groups!
Get started right now and join the Optimise And Grow Online Facebook group!
Hack #2: Try Forum Marketing
If you have a little more time to invest in networking, forum marketing is a great tactic. The digitalverse is full of incredibly niche-specific forums. Look for a suitable forum in your niche that allows people to post their questions when they’re having a problem.
First, answer a lot of questions (helping people and simultaneously demonstrating your expertise). If you can find a natural way of doing it, direct them to a piece of your free content, and let your awesome content marketing strategy work its magic.
You need to do this in an unobtrusive way, and not all forums will allow you to post external links, so check the rules. But most are happy for you to do it as long as you don’t share paid offers (some are even happy to let you post links to paid products and services).
The more time you spend in a forum the more you will develop a reputation as the person with the answers to specific things.
People will start seeking you out for help, and naturally click your profile to find ways of contacting you. You will also reach a stage where you’ve contributed enough that members won’t mind you adding a brief line after your free advice, stating you offer a comprehensive solution to problems, and inviting people to get in touch if they’re interested in further help.
#5 Engage And Convert New Clients
After working so hard to attract all those new leads, you MUST do something with them!
If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, the concept that it takes between 7 and 13 touches to get a visitor to your site ready to buy isn’t new. You already know this but really wrapping your head around the concept enough to fully engage readers and maximise the potential for conversions takes a bit more thought.
Your whole website and marketing strategy needs to be heavily geared towards one thing: nurturing your leads.
This is largely done through the use of nurture sequences, but in order for those to work effectively you need the infrastructure in place to support them, and the content in place to make them effective.
Here’s The Hack…
Some growth hacks require a single, stunning action. Others require a sequence of very carefully planned actions and moving parts. Creating engagement and converting new clients is the latter kind of growth hacking.
Think of it as the culmination of all the other hacks on this list. Because they will all come into play. You need to develop a system that effectively covers all of these key areas:
- Constantly draws new readers to your site using high-quality, regular content, networking, SEO and a social media schedule.
- Tempts readers into subscribing to your list using Content Upgrades and Lead Magnets, and immediately deliver those optin offers.
- Follows up on new subscribers with an effective nurture sequence containing more awesome content that demonstrates the awesome value of your services, products, and other offers.
- Regularly check in with your tribe through weekly newsletters, delivering all your latest content, and keeping you front of mind.
- Keep subscribers directly informed about launches, offers, and any new products or services they may be interested in, so that when they are ready to buy, you’re right there waiting. AND obey the golden 80/20 rule – keep the sales emails to <20%!
The hack here is not relying on one or a couple of these elements, but getting every single one working in perfect harmony.
The Ultimate Growth Hack
Sound like an awful lot of work?
Don’t worry! A lot of it can be automated, and if you’re smart about it, every process can be streamlined for maximum efficiency.
Beyond that, there is The Ultimate Growth Hack, which simply involves hiring the right digital marketing manager to ensure the perfect solution to the whole conundrum in one fell swoop. If you’d like to have a chat about the best ways to put these awesome growth hacking strategies into practice in your business, book a discovery call with me now, and let’s get it sorted!