We first heard about growth hacking on this pretty awesome episode of MarieTV, which features special guest Todd Herman. When Todd briefly mentioned the concept of growth hacking, we were instantly intrigued.
What's a resourceful One Woman Shop to do when they want to learn more? Head to Google of course!
Apparently, Sean Ellis coined the term "growth hacker" and defined it as "a person whose true north is growth." In other words, "Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure" (Wikipedia).
On the MarieTV episode, Todd Herman describes it as "all about finding little micro-changes in the conversion on your page." Basically, he's saying that a 1% increase in conversion on 10 different page adds up to a 10% increase in conversion overall.
Honestly, it's a pretty vague and kind of confusing concept, but we'll try to distill it a bit and make it actionable (because actionable is what we do here at One Woman Shop).
Some real-world examples of growth hacking:
- Groupon requiring that their Daily Deals reach a tipping point (a certain number sold) to encourage customers to share the deals, thus expanding their customer base
- YouTube creating an an "Embed" feature so that uploaded videos spread more quickly through exposure on outside sites
- Airbnb allowing users to cross-post on Craigslist, creating hundreds of backlinks back to the Airbnb site and improving their SEO
- Hotmail including the message “P.S. I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail" at the bottom of every single email sent by their existing customers
Some ways that you can apply growth hacking in your solo business:
- Adding a link to your opt-in freebie page in your bio when guest posting, rather than a link to your homepage
- Adding Click to Tweets to your blog posts and email campaigns
- Running A/B split tests on your email campaigns (MailChimp lets you do this very easily)
- Adding a pop-up plugin to your website (we're using Nathalie Lussier's Popup Ally and loving it)
- Incorporating quotes, responses, or interviews from others in your industry or related industries on your blog to increase your reach when they share with their audiences (like we did in our post on email marketing tips from creative entrepreneurs. We explain all of the steps we used over on Brazen Careerist: Find, Learn and Grow from Industry Experts in 4 Simple Steps)
- Analyze and testing your website conversion rates with tools like Crazy Egg, Google Analytics, and split tests on your landing pages
Arguably, the examples above are just smart marketing, not growth hacking per se. We say call it what you will, but just go do it now!
And if you're interested in a few more resources on growth hacking:
- The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking by QuickSprout
- What can established businesses learn from Growth Hacking? from Smart Insights
- How to Apply the Principles of Growth Hacking to Your Small Business from Grasshopper