What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking is one of those terms that we understand, but may have trouble explaining it. Sean Ellis coined the term back in 2010. He claims a growth hacker is someone “whose true north is growth.” These people eat, sleep and breathe growth – maybe not literally, but you get the point. Everything they do is for the sake of expanding a company’s user base. This is their guiding force.
It differs from traditional marketing in the sense that its sole purpose is growth. Basically, the focus is on increasing the user base of a business. Growth hacking is as much about the mindset as it is about the technical tricks you use to achieve it. During the early stages of a business, this practice becomes extremely important.
Some methods for growth hacking your business.
There is no clear-cut method to growth hacking – it truly requires creative and strategic thinking.
Tap into other people’s network (OPN). Why go through the hard work of building your user base bit by bit, when someone else has already done it for you? The trick is finding a way to tap into it.
Referral incentives. These work best when they are double-sided. This is when you offer a current user an incentive for a non-user. By providing the non-user an incentive too, it will greatly increase the chances of them signing up. Essentially, you are again tapping into other people’s networks here. Instead of it being a business though, it is a user’s personal network.
Consistent experimentation. As we said, there is no clear-cut path to growth hacking. You’re really going to need to test a variety of methods and tricks out until you find one that truly works. Even once you’ve found one that works, you can try to optimize it.
Ultimately, the biggest takeaway here should be the focus on tapping into other people’s networks. If you are to remember one thing from this article, this should be it.
Some examples of companies doing it right.
Sometimes, when the path to achieving something is unclear, examples are the best way to learn. This is especially true for growth hacking.
PayPal – Let’s start with the example of PayPal. In the company’s early days, it got creative in its attempt to drive adoption of its payment platform. Specifically, they developed a series of bots. These bots would go search the web and make purchases online from a variety of stores. However, this is where the magic happens. Once the purchase was lined up, the bots would request that payment be made via PayPal. Thus, they were able to artificially generate demand for their payment platform. This eventually convinced many online businesses to adopt PayPal as we know by its popularity today.
Udemy – This is an online learning platform that struggled in its early days. Particularly, they were having difficulty attracting teachers to post their courses on its teaching platform. Udemy decided to host a variety of teaching videos originally found on YouTube. This helped the platform to gain some traction and eventually led to others posting their courses on Udemy.
Airbnb – Of course, you can’t have a growth hacking article that doesn’t talk about Airbnb. This is a very well-known example in the world of growth hacking. Essentially, the company did some research and noticed that people typically visited Craigslist when looking for short-term rentals. Equipped with this knowledge, the team created a special program. So every time someone posted on Airbnb, the listing was also posted on Craigslist. When people viewed the ad, they were automatically directed to the Airbnb website. Clearly this worked based on the widespread popularity of this accommodations app.
Listerine – This is another great example that took a unique approach. Back in the day, Listerine wanted to increase its customer base. This is where they got creative. Supposedly, the son of the founder created a fake medical condition that was basically bad breath. However, the fact that it sounded like a medical condition caught people’s attention. This created a fear for bad breath and hence, increased demand for mouthwash.
As you can see, there are many ways to go about growing your business and no single path to success exists. Learning about growth hacking is just one of several ways Rich Dad Education can help you reach your goals. Why stop here when there is so much more we have to offer you!
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