Startups are always looking for ways to accelerate their growth. It can be tough to get your business off the ground, but with the right tools and strategies in place, you can make it a lot easier. Read on to learn more about some growth hacks you can use to help your startup business take off.
1. Use HARO to Connect with Journalists and Bloggers
One great way to get your startup business noticed and start generating buzz is by connecting with influential people in your industry. One easy way to do this is by signing up for a service like Help a Reporter Out (or HARO). This is a free email subscription that connects you with journalists who are looking for sources for their stories. By responding to relevant queries from journalists, you can gain valuable exposure for your startup and build up a network of industry contacts.
HARO helps you connect to media outlets to spread the word about your brand (source)
2. Make Use of Social Media to Promote Content
Without a doubt, social media is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of a large audience and connect with potential customers. Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or some other platform, ensure you’re engaging with your followers regularly and responding to any questions or feedback they provide.
Social media is a great channel to launch your new business (source)
Make sure to pick a social network that is relevant to your industry and that your target audience primarily uses. Then, create and promote content that is interesting and engaging, such as image posts, infographics, or videos. This will help you get your startup business in front of as many people as possible and build up interest in what you have to offer.
If you aren’t sure how to do this you can always work with an agency that specializes in the social media channel you’re interested in using. There are plenty of good quality agencies that can assist with developing a good TikTok marketing strategy, an effective Facebook campaign, or an engaging Twitter profile.
3. Personalize the Customer Experience with Email Marketing Software
Another great way to give your startup a boost is by using email marketing software to improve the customer experience and make peer-to-peer sharing more accessible. Email marketing software can also be used to send targeted messages that highlight relevant content and products.
This approach helps you build stronger relationships with potential customers, which can help convert them into paying clients. For example, you can use an email newsletter program and encourage existing customers to refer their friends and contacts. Doing this will also help you grow your customer base quickly and acquire new leads without spending much money on traditional marketing tactics like paid ads or cold calling.
4. Create a List of Pre-launch Email Contacts
Before you even launch your startup, get some buzz going by collecting email contacts of potential customers. This can help you generate interest and build a list of people who are waiting to hear about your startup when it launches. For setting up email lists and building your leads pool, use expert pre-launch promotion platforms like Prefinery and UpViral.
Prefinery is a no-code platform to pre-launch your new business (source)
These platforms not only allow you to effectively and easily collect the email addresses of prospective customers on your website but also make it easy to sort them into segmented lists that can receive automated emails.
5. Use a Contact Picker to Save Time and Collect Share Analytics
An important aspect of growing your startup is finding ways to make peer-to-peer sharing easier and more accessible. One great tool that you can use to do this is a contact picker, which makes it easy for customers to select contacts from their address book or social media accounts when sharing content on your website.
A contact picker simplifies the sharing process to just a few clicks (source)
This approach will allow people to share your content with their contacts quickly, without having to enter email addresses manually. You, on the other hand, can collect relevant data and analytics to help you understand how you can improve the engagement of your sharing programs.
6. Make Peer-to-Peer Sharing Easier with Social Media Buttons
To help you accelerate your startup business even further, consider using social media buttons on your website and marketing materials. Platforms like Conjured Referrals and Extole make it easier for potential customers to share your content with their friends and followers on social media and get the word out about your startup.
The Still uses social media sharing buttons for its advocacy program (source)
By making it easy for people to promote you online, you can quickly gain traction and grow your customer base.
7. Elevate the Customer Experience
Your customers want to buy your goods and services, but they also want something that sets you apart from your competition. You can work your way into their graces by elevating their experience. How is that, you say?
For starters, you can make them feel special by directly addressing them and customizing your message based on their unique needs. Another way you can dial in the personalization is to curate emails with recipient details for better open rates and superior customer experience.
Email personalization improves open rates and accelerates conversions (source)
8. Outsource Your Customer Support
Outsourcing customer support to a reliable team can help you increase customer satisfaction and build trust with your customers. This is especially important for startups that are short on resources and don’t have the manpower to handle customer inquiries efficiently. By outsourcing your customer service, you’ll be able to provide efficient response times and ensure customer satisfaction.
Outsourcing parts of your business can help save costs and boost productivity (source)
Also, look to see if there are other areas you can outsource, such as warehousing and logistics in a manufacturing facility. The point is to entrust different parts of your operations to industry experts so that you are left with more time and resources to focus on, you guessed it, growth!
9. Differentiate Your Brand from the Competition
Lots of companies never really think about what they can do to differentiate their brand. Even worse is that they may be confused about what their differentiator actually is. However, understanding this can help business owners better market their brands, companies, products, and services.
Focus on your message rather than the product to sell better and differentiate your brand (source)
Think about it: Nike doesn’t sell golf balls; Nike doesn’t sell tee shirts. They sell winning. Once you understand how to differentiate your brand properly, get out of the middle if you want to own the competition.
Say there are ten accountants in your northeast Ohio neighborhood. Nobody remembers the one in the middle. People remember the ones on the edges.
So, get out of the middle and do something. And something does not mean lower prices and free shipping. Those are givens and standards in today’s world — everybody expects that now. People will pay more to get exactly what they want and buy from people they know, like, trust, and share values with. They will go out of their way to do business with them.
10. Partner with Other Companies
Partnering with other companies can be a great way to accelerate startup growth. By working with another company, you can leverage their reach and customer base to grow your own. This is especially true if the company you’re partnering with offers a service or product that complements yours.
Finding complementary partners to promote your business is an easy way to mutually get the word out for your brand (source)
For example, if you have a web-based business, consider partnering with a company that offers complementary services such as email marketing or cloud hosting. Both companies can benefit from the partnership, and each one can help promote the other to increase customer reach and brand awareness.
11. Limit Software Expenses By Using Promotional Offers
Limiting your startup’s expenses in the early stages is a vital part of surviving and thriving in the long-term. By keeping expenses low, you can conserve cash, increase your runway, and make smart investments in the areas that truly matter.
One of your biggest expenses is likely to be the software that you use to enable your business’ operations. No modern startup can run efficiently without properly enabling their HR, marketing, and project management, and technical teams.
Unfortunately, these tools can be pretty costly, and the popular “recurring revenue” payment model means that most of them will require a permanent subscription.
However, to increase visibility in a super competitive landscape, many software companies have promotional offers that include very generous discounts. When searching for a tool to enable a specific part of your company, start by seeing which of them have an active promo code.
Excellent savings opportunities exist for founders willing to do some legwork (source)
These promoted tools can vary in quality, however, so be diligent in your research. Don’t just choose the tool that has the most attractive promotional offer. Be very thorough in researching their product’s capabilities. Get the relevant team involved and do a critical assessment of whether their features will meet your needs.
And, equally important, find out what the company’s customers have to say. Don’t blindly trust the testimonials on their website. Check out their Trustpilot or Google reviews and look at their social media activity to see how their followers interact with them.
You’re very likely to find some excellent opportunities to save by using promotional offerings, but it’s still very important to get external verification that your chosen vendor is up to the task.
Overall, there are many different tools and strategies that you can use to help grow your startup. By making use of these tips, you can give your startup the boost that it needs to succeed.
Nader Rehaan is the Product & Partner Marketing Manager at CloudSponge. CloudSponge helps e-commerce companies lower their acquisition cost and boost their sales with a Contact Picker that improves performance of referral programs, invitation forms, and word of mouth outreach. CloudSponge has helped thousands of companies in every industry get more referrals, send more invitations, create stronger social networks and distribute more content.