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Growth Hacking in a nutshell

The world of marketing consists of fads and hype words. At first you might have thought that “Growth Hacking” was just one of those catchy terms that weren’t here to stay. Well, think again, because stimulating the growth of your business is here to stay and it’s time to get in the Growth Hacking game right now.

What Growth Hacking actually is

Let’s start off with summarizing what Growth Hacking actually is. In a time where there are more young businesses around than anyone could ever need, you have to take your growth in your own hands. It’s not always the most well-designed and thought through product that automatically gains the most users. The (good) product that plays it smart does.

Growth Hacking quite literally is hacking your growth and forcing it to accelerate. By using what can only be described as “smart tricks” you convince people to use your product and –more importantly- to inspire people to promote your product. A good example is Dropbox, that urges you to share the online storage service in return for some extra free storage space on your own account.

Should you be Hacking your Growth?

Growth Hacking sure sounds fun and interesting if you want to grow your company rapidly, but never get ahead of yourself. The first question any entrepreneur should ask himself is: “should I do this now?” The answer to that question is key in kickstarting your growth. Sure, Growth Hacking can help you expand your userbase, but your product or service should be ready for that first.

That means that your creation has to be ready to go to the market for multiple users. It has to look and feel like the product that you had in mind in the first place. Next to that it should be able to support multiple users at once. For example if you’ve developed an online platform for webshops to show their wares, make sure that the system can support a multitude of visitors at once. Only when your product is really ready to be used in the way it was designed to be used, you can start thinking about pushing it to as many people as possible. In the end quality always wins. The golden rule is that somewhere between 20% and 40% of your users feel like your product is a must-have.

Craft the right hack

When you feel like your product is ready to conquer the market, you have to choose your tools to grow. There’s no “one size fits all” approach to Growth Hacking. Unfortunately that also means we can’t tell you exactly what to do. What we can do, is offer you the right tips to help you find the right tactics on your own.

First you’ll want to determine what you can offer your users if they decide to be an ambassador for your product. Keep in mind that what you offer is of enough value to make it a no-brainer for the user to start sharing. It needn’t necessarily be money or free stuff, but it sure has to have the right hook for users. Then you’ll have to keep in mind the benefit for the new clients that your ambassadors attract. It’s not a must to offer new users anything extra, but it sure helps convincing them to use your product or service.

The dangers of Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking sounds like a good and fun way to grow your userbase and in many ways it is. As with many other marketing tools, it also holds quite some dangers. Growth Hacks can be just as harmful to your reputation as it can improve it.

You never want to come across as too aggressive. Think about all those Facebook games that encourage you to invite friends to play with you in exchange for in-game credits or extra playable levels. Because of the amount of invites that are sent through the social service, there barely is anyone left who isn’t agitated by them. At this point, that particular Growth Hack is harmful to the games and the companies behind them, just because people have had enough of it.

It’s all about the client

So if there is one thing to take away from this, it’s that you always have to keep users in mind. Listen to your audience and don’t be afraid to change course if your hack isn’t as succesful as you’ve anticipated. Always keep in mind that good marketing is about customers and about offering your users an advantage that makes them love your company.

If you have ideas about making your company grow and still have no clue as of where to start, you are always welcome to grab a coffee with us. If you have any thoughts about Growth Hacking or crafting your business in general, we always love to hear it.